PEOPLE referred for a suspicious neck lump will now be able to get it checked and know the diagnosis the same day.

The rapid assessment Neck Lump Clinic at the Churchill Hospital is a new service that replaces three separate appointments for consultation, scan and biopsy.

Rather than an anxious wait of weeks between these appointments, people are now first seen by a Head and Neck Surgeon.

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Following the consultation, if it’s needed, the patient goes straight on to the imaging department where they undergo a biopsy. If a needle test is needed then this will be analysed and at the same time additional scans arranged.

There are many different causes of a neck lump and it can be symptom of cancer.

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Though in most cases the lump is benign in the event of a diagnosis of cancer, a specialist nurse is immediately available to support the patient.

Stuart Winter, Ear Nose and Throat consultant at Oxford University Hospitals trust, said: “Getting an early diagnosis is crucial if we are to save more lives from cancer and reducing the time between diagnosis and treatment is a key factor.

"Through the rapid assessment Neck Lump Clinic, we are diagnosing people more quickly and they are then being treated more quickly, without them needing to come back on multiple visits."