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New service launched to speed up cancer diagnosis in Hywel Dda University Health Board

07 May 2023 2 minute read
Hywel Dda’s Malignancy of Unknown Origin (MUO) Service

A new service has been launched in Hywel Dda University Health Board to speed up the treatment of patients who have had a probable cancer diagnosed but it is unclear exactly what kind of cancer it is, and where the cancer originated.

The Malignancy of Unknown Origin (MUO) service will allow patients with a secondary cancer diagnosis to undergo further investigations to try and determine the source of the cancer, while receiving the most appropriate treatment and care.

Working closely with colleagues at Swansea Bay University Health Board, Hywel Dda UHB will offer patients appointments within two weeks of referral from their GP and contact from the MUO team within 48 hours to a patient that is already in hospital.

MUO is when the cancer has metastasized (spread) from another part of the body.

The place where it began, also called the primary site, is unknown. These cases typically make up about 2% to 5% of cancers diagnosed.


Prof Ken Woodhouse, Clinical Lead, said: “This is an exciting and very important development for Hywel Dda. Patients who are found to have a possible cancer, but not from an obvious primary site, can be very complicated to sort out. “

“This new service, provided in partnership with our colleagues in Swansea, will ensure that they are assessed in a timely manner so that any further tests can be done quickly, and a treatment plan started as soon as possible”

Based in the Pembrokeshire Haematology and Oncology Day Unit at Withybush Hospital, patients referred by their GP will be assessed and reviewed by a doctor and have an oncology clinical nurse specialist assigned as their key worker to help co-ordinate their care and support them through their journey.

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