Scottish Referral Guidelines for Suspected Cancer

Scottish Referral Guidelines for Suspected Cancer

Scottish Referral Guidelines for Suspected Cancer I wish to inform all the women who have given me support or been following my postings that I have just, this week, heard from the Scottish Executive that the new Scottish Referral Guidelines have now been completed and include “unilateral axillary lymph node (my symptoms) and will be implemented shortly.

I have been campaigning for the last two years to make sure that GPs refer women with lumps under their armpit in light of what has happened to me at GP level – refused further investigation (3 times) on the grounds that there was nothing for me to worry about, only to find eventually that I had localised advanced invasive lobular cancer. This was 4 years after my first consultation with concerns.

This should be of great benefit to all women who are suspicious of unusual developments in this area of their body and subsequently present armpit swelling, thickening and lumps to their GP.
then Reports and publications
Reports and guidelines
Scottish Referral Guidelines for Suspected Cancer (2007)

Thanks to all who have encouraged me.

Kind regards.


Well done Jeannie, 10 out of 10 and congratulations on shifting immovable bureaucratic mindless mindset!
Wish I had the go to do likewise for bonescans as soon as BC mets appear, best wishes, dilly

Congratulations Well done Jeanne…dogged determination and campaigning pays off. Her’s hoping that the new guidleines will mean fewer women get mistreated as you were.

best wishes


great you pursued your symptoms When I got invasive ductal bc in 2003 ( no palpable lump, just a 2 cm tumour seen on a normal 3 yrly mammo) the only person I knew with bc was an acquaintance of a dear friend in Omaha, Nebraska, USA, when I was visiting there a year beforehand. I live in Cornwall. When I got bc I e-mailed her for help and information and she told me her only symptom was a lump under her armpit. Luckily her doctors took her seriously and she had the appropriate surgery, chemo and rads, but unfortunately ended up with lymphoedema in her arm, which was not surprising I guess, when you think where her tumour was.

As I only had 3 yrly mammos, my tumour had spread to the lymph nodes. Wish I had the hindsight of foresight. Most of my younger friends now go for private mammos after my experience, and some of them have been diagnosed with DCIS, long before it gets to the invasive stage.

I am so pleased and enervated to think that you were proactive about your lump and can only hope other surgeons/oncologists will take axillary lumps more seriously so that other women in a like situation will not have to go through the trauma that you did


Still Fighting On Hi All

Thank you all for your supporting messages. It’s been a long haul and I’m still battling on with the medical negligence aspect. However, getting my voice heard with my campaign for armpit lumps to be in the referral guidelines is a great boost to my psychological state. As is all your encouragement.

I would like to suggest to anyone who has had a bad time with regards treatment that they register their complaint. It is by registering their complaint that the service for the management of women with breast cancer can improve. I was told when I first approached the Scottish Executive, Health Department, that I could only get the guidelines changed if my complaint was evidence based. I reported my complaint to both the National Patient Safety Agency (England) and NHS QIS (Scotland).

Having such encouragement from others helps me to have the strength to fight on. I do not want women to suffer the way I have. Getting better guidelines should help. Unless, of course, their GP is an idiot! Yes, next campaign will be for better training for GPs! Enough said.



Pleased Jeannie,

Really pleased that they are changing the guidelines. Well done!! I cant belivev that armpit lumps arent on the guidelines, I know of a woman who had these and now she cant use her arm at all, and this was all because her gp refused to refer her to hospital and she had had bc a few years previously (you have to wonder dont you!!) I drew to the concluision that gp’s are idiots a long time ago, well, mine is anyway!!

Just a quick update as to where I am too. Well Ive been doing my research, and guess what the SPSO are being, shall we say, some what “ecconomical with the truth”, there are no new guidelines on adoption either here in Scotlan or in England for that matter. So a wee letter is going to be winging its way to them, Ive been advised to ask them to “see these guidelines”.

Just a quick question who is it you complain to about the SPSO??

Well done Jeannie and take care


Here’s a few suggestions. Hi Sharleen

I have to be careful what I say over the web at the moment because I am still “fighting my case” if you know what I mean.

I went to see my MSP who has been really supportive. I’m still dealing with this problem. You could also try the CAB. If you tell them in advance what you want to talk about they can usually find someone who has the knowledge to help or put you in the right direction. The lady I got was really on the ball and I have taken up some of her suggestions.

Good luck.


Im in the process of writing to the SPSO to enquire where they got their "advice/lies " from. It makes me wonder if they really do read people letters. I notice someone has set up a website againt them do a google search. Its obviously a disgruntled memeber of the public.

Just to top it all my uncle has been told he has cancer started in the kidney and has speard, outlook isnt good. I wonder if I should tell my ‘good friends’ up at genetics…


SPSO Watch Hi Sharleen

I hope things are well with you.

I got round to doing a “google” search today for the SPSO Watch. It was very interesting and I have put in my complaint. It hasn’t appeared as yet. Whatever, I will follow this website with interest.

Frankly, and for the benefit of those who come after me, unless the Ombudsman idea does a genuine job, then it is a waste of money, time and effort. It was in my case. Obviously it would have been so much better if my GPs had known what they were doing in the first place, but that so called ‘expert’ witnesses (ie the Ombudsman’s people) couldn’t see the truth and understand a citizen’s plight as a last resort is a shameful stain on the good name of Scotland’s institutions.

Enough said!

Take care.