Private Oncology in Suffolk | BMI St Edmunds Hospital | BMI Healthcare Skip to main content


Oncology focuses on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer

Oncology focuses on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer, with our Consultant Medical Oncologist specialising in a few different types of cancer, with lung cancer, upper/lower gastrointestinal cancer and mesothelioma being just three.

The latter cancer, mesothelioma – the asbestos-related cancer of the lining of the lung – is seen less often at BMI St Edmunds.

Predominantly affecting tradespeople (builders and carpenters, for example) who have experienced asbestos exposure in schools or hospitals, cases of mesothelioma, while rarer than some forms of cancer, still ‘trickle through’ the clinic, says our Oncologist.

Other cancers and conditions seen in clinic include:

  • Colorectal cancer – also known as colon cancer, rectal cancer or bowel cancer, colorectal cancer affects the colon and the rectum. Symptoms include a change in bowel habits, blood in the stool or rectal bleeding, weakness or fatigue, or unexplained weight loss.
  • Oesophago-gastric cancer – also called gastric cancer, oesophago-gastric cancer means cancer of the stomach or the oesophagus. The latter is the long tube responsible for carrying food from the mouth to the stomach. Symptoms can include recent onset indigestion, loss of appetite, burping a lot, weight loss, and difficulty swallowing.
  • Pancreatic cancer – starting in the pancreas (near the stomach), this type of cancer can involve symptoms including pain in the back or stomach, unintended weight loss, and yellowing of the eyes and skin.
  • Neuroendocrine tumours – which covers the main types of tumour seen in patients who visit BMI St Edmunds.

When you visit BMI St Edmunds for your initial consultation, our Consultant Medical Oncologist will take a full medical history to find out about your current symptoms, as well as what led to you being diagnosed with cancer.

At BMI St Edmunds, your medical care is very much tailored to your situation and the characteristics of your cancer. You will be asked about any other medical investigations you’ve undergone, as well as what medication you are taking, and any allergies you have.

Our Consultant may want to know about your family’s medical history, if relevant. Your social circumstance is also important; you will be asked if you smoke, drink, live on your own, have family around you, are working, and how you handle your daily activities/living.

If appropriate, you may need a clinical examination, before going on to discussing with our Consultant what you understand so far about your condition – i.e., what you have previously discussed with your GP. Our Consultant will then move forward with a recommended plan of action, in terms of treatment.

This might include chemotherapy, or any systemic anti-cancer treatments, molecular targeted therapy being another. This is usually in the form of a tablet, but it can sometimes be intravenous.

With some cancers, there are main accelerators or ‘drivers’, which drive the cancer to make it grow.

We now have drugs that can block the main accelerators or ‘put the brakes on them’, says our Consultant – and they are systemic, targeted therapies. One reason why we’re getting better results with cancer treatment is because we are using smarter treatments. For example, one in four breast cancer patients can have the molecular drug.

Immunotherapy or radiotherapy may also be offered – if you are fit enough to have either. Immunotherapy involves activating or suppressing the body’s immune system to help your body fight the cancer.

Radiotherapy, meanwhile, uses radiotherapy to kill cancer cells. It can cure cancer completely or halt its progress.

BMI St Edmunds’ oncology clinic offers a holistic, tailored approach to help meet your needs, in terms of which treatment(s) is recommended.

With the NHS, sadly, not all cancer drugs our Consultants wish to use are funded, which is why some patients may choose to go private, to get access to things that are not NICE-recommended.

There are lots of things you can have on the NHS, but having a private approach means there are more options available to you. If you are a self-paying patient, you can find out exactly what you will pay for treatment before you commit to anything.

Infection control at BMI St Edmunds is great, too, with our consultant currently using disposable, single-use endoscopes.

At a glance, here are some reasons why you might choose BMI St Edmunds for your consultation:

  • Reduced waiting times – Patients who visit BMI St Edmunds Hospital can benefit from shorter waiting times than they would if, say, they were to pursue treatment on the NHS.
  • Flexible appointments at a time to suit you – You can choose an appointment time to suit you and your schedule. In some cases, remote oncology consultations will be offered.
  • Consultant-led appointments – Your appointment at BMI St Edmunds will always be consultant-led.
  • You’ll see the same person each time you visit - From your consultation, right through to any treatment needed, you will meet with the same person here in our clinic.
  • Patient satisfaction and personalised care – In an independent survey* in 2020, 99% of our patients said they would recommend BMI St Edmunds Hospital, and the hospital has a CQC overall rating of ‘Good’. *Results compiled by healthcare agency, Quality Health.         

BMI St Edmunds Hospital covers a wide catchment area, says our Consultant Medical Oncologist here at BMI St Edmunds – usually the same catchment area as the local NHS practices.

Most private patients go through the NHS route for cancer diagnosis; a few may have had treatment privately, but most have investigations on the NHS and use their medical insurance to get access to specific medication.

Occasionally, the hospital receives referrals from outside of the catchment area, but most come through West Suffolk – the NHS hospital.

That said, our Consultant Medical Oncologist sees patients from Sudbury or south Suffolk, Newmarket, Stowmarket, Ipswich, and King’s Lynn.

Occasionally, for second opinions, people find the oncology clinic at St Edmunds online and will travel further – including as far away as Lincolnshire.

Want to make a consultation with our Consultant Medical Oncologist at BMI St Edmunds Hospital?

You can get in touch with our team by calling 01284 844636. You can also use our handy online booking system to make your appointment.

Specialists offering Oncology

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