Cancer of Unknown Primary (CUP)


Kingston Hospital
Galsworthy Road

Parking and directions:

About Us

If you are diagnosed with cancer that has spread within the body (metastatic cancer), the primary site – where the cancer started – is not always obvious. This is called Malignancy of Unknown Origin (MUO).

For many people diagnosed initially with this type of metastatic cancer, the origin of the cancer will be found through further tests. Patients will be referred on to the appropriate team.

However, for some patients the primary cancer will never be identified despite extensive further testing. These cancers are known as a confirmed Cancer of Unknown Primary (CUP).

In this case the team will tailor treatments that they think will best suit your diagnosis. There are many people involved in your care who are experts at diagnosing and managing your cancer. This is the Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT), which includes professionals who specialise in different elements of your diagnosis and treatment.

The team meet each week to discuss results and to decide on appropriate individual treatment plans. This plan is recorded and explained to you at your clinic appointment.

Your keyworker (usually your clinical nurse specialist) is a member of the MDT and is always able to discuss tests, results and treatment plans further.

Further information

Jos Foundation:


Health and Wellbeing


·     Macmillan cancer support

·     Kingston Hospital Macmillan support

·    Cancer Counselling service

·     Emotional /anxiety:

·     Cancer Care Map

·     Maggie’s at The Royal Marsden

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