Would i be better going private??

Did not think I was that worried about going up to my Gp today for my lump to be checked, but I woke up at 6am, so it must be playing on my mind.

I was wondering if there was any benefit of getting the first tests and diagnosis done privately?? Would it be quicker? Would the results more or less accurate than NHS?? Could i then slip into the NHS system?, once i knew what it was?

I am not insured so would have to pay myself

I don’t know that the results would be any more accurate. I know some people have some parts of their treatment from the NHS and some privately. If your GP feels you need a referral, you should have an appointment for a mammogram within about 2 weeks. Some centres then make a further appointment if scanning and biopsies are indicated, but I believe some do everything in one session. Ask your GP what the local procedure is before you decide.


In a word - no.
The NHS system is superb for this.If you go privately you won’t have the “joined up thinking” and multi-disciplinary teams that exist within the NHS. You won’t get a breast care nurse. Just hang in there. Breast clinics are usually one stop shops. Most people know when they come out following 3 hours of mammos and U/S and biopsies if they have BC or not.
I am sorry you have this stress - we have all been there. But just remember that most breast lumps are benign.
Good luck.

I’m private and I have a breast care nurse and the whole team speak regularly, I have a surgeon and oncologist etc etc so sorry but I have to disagree with msmolly on that one however the NHS do an excellent job and I am only private through work healthcare insurance.

Hi I am NHS but have paid privately in the past for a consulatation because this was faster. The treatment was a one-stop (as is my NHS) but was scheduled for the next day rather than two weeks time. Same consultant who told me that if treatment was, for whatever reason, taking longer on the NHS then the consultation and diagnosis was a sensible part to short cut. The consultation was around £200 plus cost of tests which mounts up but I discussed jumping between the two systems again when I wanted to get my operation out of the way as soon as possible and both NHS and private liaised together well and were concerned about getting the best treatment for me, not which system did what.

That said, the NHS have been brilliant and although waiting times are a little longer they have been excellent x

For the testing stage I’m not sure if there would be any benefit. I hope that all you will need to go through is the testing stage, but if you are one of the few that does get a positive diagnosis, I have found definite benefits to private treatment.

You do get a multi-disciplinary team and bcn, and insurance companies normally assign you a specialist nurse in addition. There is no waiting around in crowded waiting rooms for appointments. I had the same chemo nurse every time. But for me the main benefit is that I always see the same three consultants (surgeon, medical and radiologist), and for lengthy meetings that go on until I am happy that we’ve covered everything - I’m never rushed. And during the treatment phase I could see them as often as I needed to, and I have their mobile numbers and can call at any time. I have also had access to drugs (Avastin) and treatment (Cyberknife) that would not have been available on the NHS, and that has made a very real difference to my prognosis.

finty x

I have had terrific treatment on the NHS. My local is a centre of excellence and a one stop shop so maybe I’ve been lucky, but can only let you know my experience. I was seen by the surgeon within 5 days of seeing my GP and had very thorough tests, mammograms, scans, biopsies all in the same place. I was seen my a doctor after the tests who sat me down and told me the probable outcome in a sensitive way. The results all came through quickly, follow through treatment came quickly and copies of letters to my GP all sent to me as I requested.

I had an overnight stay in hospital after my op, WLE, and even had my own room. It was brilliant. I realise I may have been lucky but I have high praise for the breast care centre in my area. I also don’t have private insurance and prefer to spend my money on extra comforts such as weekends away and better food.

Ask about the system in your area. The best advice I can offer you is to keep asking questions, write them down before you see the Dr, write down the answers too. You can then make an informed decision. Take a friend with you if you can.

Whether or not there’s any advantage to private treatment depends partly on the treatment and partly on where you are.

I really, really hope and pray that your lump will be one of the many that aren’t BC but I thought I’d let you know my experiences so far with NHS and private care.

I had my breast clinic appointment with the NHS and it was two weeks after I’d seen my GP.

I have private cover through work so then opted to have my op privately (saved 10 days, had private room, treated in small hospital on Christmas Eve rather than having to wait until January and be on big NHS ward etc.) It was the same surgeon I’d have had on the NHS, just quicker and with less stress!

I had my scans privately, again to save time.

When it came to chemo and rads I’ve stayed with the NHS. The main reason for this is financial. I’m sorry to put the burden on the NHS, but my insurance are paying me £100 for each chemo and rads appt. Considering the distance I have to travel (up to 80 minutes each way for rads) and also have to buy lunch (it takes pretty much all day as it’s even a 20 min walk from the car park!!!) it would be costing me quite a bit to get to each session and I just couldn’t afford it (no critical cover, sadly)

I was also told by my specialist that in my area (Bedford) if you have chemo and rads privately it’s in the same place, at the same time, with the same team so there’s absolutely no advantage. I’ve always seen my own oncologist, never a registrar, and I know that even if I go without an appointment she’ll see me for as long as I need. Yes, I had to wait 2 hours for one appointment but I know that was because someone else needed to see her in an emergency or needed to talk to her for longer so I don’t begrudge that.

All my NHS treatment has been absolutely superb and I’ve never regretted my choices.

Good luck and please let us know how you get on - we’re all here for you.

Jane xxx


Going private not an option for me, but I cannot fault the treatment received by NHS.

Luckily I was under one of the main centers of excellence I think they’re called.

First mammo on National screening called back appt week later; one-stop shop results same day. Biopsy 2 days later; had to wait for results but you need to do this whether private or not. Took 10 days; (inconclusive !).

Referred to surgeon for wire guided WLE; within same week; day surgery scheduled 2 weeks; results given 2 weeks (not clear margins) second WLE then good margins. Same surgeon all way through; same BCN all way through.

Referred for RT (thankfully no Chemo/Tablets as non-invasive)there was a delay for treatment; you have to wait for surgery to heal & simulator being replaced this slowed everything up Private & NHS. Rt took place soon after this though. Follow up on time. Now onto monitoring. Same Oncologist all way through & for follow up.

I understand you can opt for both Private/NHS at various stages. If I’d had the money/insurance then would of considered it to avoid delay for receiving RT.

I can’t fault the staff or treatment as I felt I was getting the gold service. I may of been lucky but was never rushed at clinic appt’s and had best of care during day surgery & by RT team.

Good luck, hope tests are OK. Remember not all breat issues are Cancer; mine turned out to be a very early DCIS; which is a non-invasive form.

As mentioned on other posts I’d suggest you list any questions as in my early appts I didn’t & felt hadn’t asked what I needed. I then called BCN who answered everything for me. Also if you go on Net please stick to main sites as there can be a lot of worry and contradicting information out ther. It could worry you; when your already concerned.

Take care

I have free PMI as one of my terms of employment in the medical arena. It makes up for being non-NHS and having a crappier pension and fewer holidays (and I only get 30 days p.a. paid sick leave GRRR).

I saw the GP on a Thursday at 16.00 and he said that I would get an NHS appt in 2 weeks. So I asked him for a private referral and I got an appt the following morning. BCN at every appt; tests done quickly incl. core biopsies on Wednesday; results on Friday morning. The BCN phoned me at home in between to make sure I was handling it all OK, both before and after results and gave me her mobile no to ring *anytime*.

I know in the past that other family members have used BUPA etc for an immediate private consultation; then then just asked the consultant to transfer them to their NHS list and their waiting time was cut by weeks/months at minimal cost.

I have had a special nurse call me from the PMI company saying that if money gets tight, I can opt for some treatments in NHS (doesn’t need to be all) and they pay me cashback. Apparently lots of folk do that


I have private health care and my surgeon and onc both operate privately they actively encouraged me to stay in the NHS which i did and they were right to do so. The NHS has been as good as a service i could have got privately and in some instances quicker as our private hospital uses NHS equipment. Im saving my private health care in case of recurrence and need things like cybernife that i cant get on the NHS at the moment.It has also prevented my premium going up which is good as i pay for my own private health care as im self employed.
My surgeon refused to let me go private for surgery when id had chemo NHS so would have had to find another surgeon to do the op if i had wanted to go private. The surgeon was and is an excellent operator so i stuck with him.

Hi Oldandlumpy,I went private for mammogram and diagnosis this was because my GP would only refer me as non urgent and I would of had to wait for about 6/8 weeks and I couldn’t wait that long (bit of a panicker lol).It cost me about £1000. I then went back to NHS as I couldn’t afford private and wouldn’t of gone private in the first place if my GP had referred me as urgent.I had excellent treatment from NHS and can’t fault anything,although I do remember when I went for my first appointment I overheard one of the nurses commenting that I had come from private and she seemed to disapprove (not nice to be judged)

Wishing you all the best and hoping for good news for you
Love Melxx

Forgot to add that this was 3 1/2 years ago so could be more expensive now x

unortunately my husband is not here at the moment to discuss finances. He has had heart and stroke problems and will be driving back alone from Denmark on Monday and I do not want him to be stressed and worried during the drive, so i will wait till he gets back before discussing it.

I would think if i can get the results quickly for not much more than £1000 the whole family would appreciate that. we dont have insurance, so its our money.

I will ask the doctor to refer me to NHS today,to see how long that might take and also find out if it will be one of these centres of excellance people are talking about ( I am Harringey, North London). I have a show tomorrow which health or no health i cannot cancel. So I would not be doing anything till next monday tuesday anyway.

I have a huge, I mean huge, phobia of hospitals, dentists, needles, proceedures of any kind and so having a one stop service will spare me a lot of distress.

I think having to gather the information on costs and pro’s and cons might be making be think I have some control over what is happening, so thats a good thing, especially as i am here by myself till monday.

What my surgeon said to me is that you get the same treatment whether NHS or private. If you go privately, he said, the cogs on the wheel are better oiled. By that he means you don’t have to chase things up, it’s easier to get appointments etc.
My oncologist said stick with NHS as chemo and rads would be expensive privately and no different.

I did have problems at the first hospital with delays and then misdiagnosis so I switched hospitals. I then had initial appointments with the surgeon and Onc above privately and some tests privately (scans) so that my treatment wasn’t delayed even further. I had a large fast growing tumour so time felt to be of the essence.

So overall, what I’d say is stick with NHS unless you had an absolute need not to. You should get as good a service. Elinda x

OAL - reading your posts, I think you are taking an awful lot on your own shoulders and shielding your family. I completely understand you don’t want your upset while he has a long drive back from Denmark, but you also mentioned on another thread about not worrying your daughter.

Having someone to talk to can really help. If not family members, then do you have a friend close by. I would strongly recommend taking someone with you when you go for tests for emotional support.
Elinda x

I can’t agree enough with what Elinda has said - you shouldn’t do this alone - you really need to get someone else involved and you must definitely, absolutely, take someone with you when you go for your tests.

Jane xxx

i think i will wait until I see if i need referring and where i am to be referred to. My daughter is not in london, and to be quite honest I am not very girly, so dont realy have the sort of friend i would want to come with me. I cannot see the young lads in my band wanting tocome. so if i do need tests I will just have to take a good book. I rang the helpline for advice about private–what a waste of time—are they funded by the NHS??

Hi oldandlumpy
It’s really nothing to do with being girly or not. I’m totally un-girly, go to the loo on my own when out for the evening and all that stuff - but you need someone with you to help absorb information. Classic case of two heads being better than one.
I was told at my first appointment with the breast consultant that I had BC - but after 2 or 3 days I’d convinced myself that I’d misheard her and it wasn’t BC. Because my husband had gone with me he was able to tell me not to fool myself.
Sarah x

I’m not girly either and was self employed doing a demanding job before I got diagnosed.
Hopefully, everything will be fine for you and it will be benign. I was given a very clear idea when I had my first appointment which included a mammogram and biopsy that mine was more than likely cancer. No matter how much you think you’re prepared, it’s a huge, huge shock.
My husband came with me thank goodness. I’d had major surgery for another problem prior to that without a second thought but facing a cancer diagnosis is something else.

As for cost, the best thing way to find out is to ring somewhere like Bupa or whatever’s the private hospital in your area. I had my biopsy and mammogram done NHS, my scans privately (bone and CT) and a couple of private appointments. I think it came to just under £2K.
By the way, it’s not necessarily automatic that you’ll have scans.

I would say that do all that quickly on the NHS and I only had those done privately because I’d experienced quite a delay.

Please don’t waste your money going for private tests. Although there will always be a few folk who experience some delay, the vast majority of us have been seen and had all the investigations- and the results, VERY rapidly- too quickly for us to take it in almost. I know it’s hard to have to wait for a few days - but it is just not worth £1,000 .
I do agree with those who’ve advised you to take someone with you when you go for your investigations. Apart from the importance of having a third party to ‘take in ’ what is said to you, you may also have to wait a while at the hospital and it really is better to have someone with you. If the news is not so good, there’s someone to share it with you- and if it’s actually good news, as it may well be, then there’ someone to take you out to celebrate.
As someone who looked into having private treatment AFTER diagnosis - the cost is truly horrendous. Unless you have insurance: the chemotherapy alone runs into thousands. I would have liked the privacy that going privately does ensure but I am certain that the actual treatment you receive will be the same. I saw my oncologist everytime I had chemotherapy and also had the full ‘personal’ attention of the surgeon when I had my op.