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San Cancer Services

Diagnosis & referrals

Support from the very start

At the San, we know that getting the right support from the very beginning will have a significant impact on your cancer experience. That’s why we make sure every patient receives a treatment plan that’s tailored to their individual needs.  We know more about cancer today than we ever did before and the outcomes continue to improve. More than half of the people diagnosed with cancer today can be cured, and many others can live with a diagnosis of cancer.

Understanding your diagnosis

The beginning of a cancer experience is full of unknowns and the path to diagnosis can be quite varied. Cancer may be diagnosed after certain symptoms arise, or simply as the result of routine testing. Once cancer is suspected, a number of tests are usually required to confirm and clarify the diagnosis.

Diagnostic tests

At the San, we can carry out a comprehensive range of tests and investigations onsite through San Radiology & Nuclear Medicine, San Pathology and our clinical specialists. These include blood tests, x-rays, imaging scans (CT, MRI, ultrasound), radioisotope scans (nuclear medicine / PET scans) and removal of tissue (biopsy) for examination by pathologists. Utilising the latest technologies, we can safely and accurately identify the type and stage of cancer a patient has – and from there, determine the best treatment plan. The San is also recognised as NSW’s only accredited Prostate MRI Centre of Excellence (Radbound) offering world-class diagnosis and greater clarity for your specialist, and therefore more refined treatment options.

Genetic testing

Diagnostic technology has advanced tremendously in recent years, and a range of helpful tests can now be carried out. These include somatic tests, which are performed on a small piece of identified cancer, and are used to help sub-classify cancers and guide treatments. Genetic testing can also be performed to look for an inherited family predisposition to cancer. This is called germline testing and is usually done via blood sample. To learn more, contact Sydney Cancer Genetics, which is located in the San’s Integrated Cancer Centre.

Becoming a patient

Once you have seen a cancer specialist (who may be a surgical, radiation or medical oncologist) and any additional tests have been completed to confirm your diagnosis, you will be directed to the best team to manage your cancer care. The San’s cancer experts are highly skilled at treating a broad range of cancers, and all of our cancer specialists work as part of a multidisciplinary team who jointly contribute to personalising your treatment plan.


If you’re a medical practitioner and want to refer a patient to the San, please use our Find a Doctor search for contact information on our medical oncologists, surgical oncologists, radiation oncologists or other doctors by specialty. You can also use this tool if you’re a patient in search of the right doctor.

For more information on medical oncology services you can contact Northern Haematology Oncology Group (NHOG) and for radiation oncology services you can contact ICON Wahroonga. To access these services, you will require a referral.