Updated NICE Guidelines – Suspected cancer: recognition and referral

This guideline covers identifying children, young people and adults with symptoms that could be caused by cancer. It outlines appropriate investigations in primary care, and selection of people to refer for a specialist opinion. It aims to help people understand what to expect if they have symptoms that may suggest cancer.

We have used the terms ‘men’ and ‘women’ in some recommendations on gender-related cancers, but they also apply to people who have changed or are in the process of changing gender, and who retain the relevant organs.

See the guidelines here

In December 2021, we reviewed the evidence on fixed and age-adjusted thresholds for prostate-specific antigen testing and updated the recommendations on referral for suspected prostate cancer.


This guideline includes recommendations on the symptoms and signs that warrant investigation and referral for suspected cancer.

The recommendations are organised by:

The guideline includes recommendations on:

Who is it for?

  • Healthcare professionals
  • People involved in clinical governance in both primary and secondary care
  • People with suspected cancer and their families and/or carers

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