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Malignancy of Unknown Origin (MUO)

Who are we?

A Malignancy of Unknown Origin (MUO) is the term we use when a patient is diagnosed as having cancer but the origin of the cancer cannot be identified. When an MUO is diagnosed it can be very hard to accept that even with tests, the primary cancer cannot be found. You’ll probably be coping with difficult feelings, so it is important to get the support you need.

The service is available for you and your carers if you are having investigations or treatment for a Malignancy of Unknown Origin.

 Many people will be involved in your care and they form the Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT), your Specialist Nurse or Key Worker is the link between you and the other MDT members throughout your treatment. An MUO Specialist Nurse is a registered nurse who has training in caring for patients diagnosed with cancer when the origin of their cancer is still to be identified or cannot be identified. There are MUO specialist nurses based at York and Scarborough Hospital and work as part of the wider cancer team.


How can a Specialist Nurse help?

 A Specialist Nurse can help you in the following ways;

 A contact for you and your carers within the hospital throughout your treatment and care

  • Information, support and advice about your illness and treatment
  • Advice on managing symptoms that you may have as a result of your illness or toxicities you have as a result of treatment
  • Identifying sources of practical help
  • Liaison with other people who may be involved with your care. This may be the doctors in the hospital, your GP, dietician, district nurse, and community nurse or benefits advisor

How can you contact us?

 The MUO nurse at York can be contacted directly on;

8am - 6pm, Monday to Friday on 01904 724516


The MUO nurse at Scarbough can be contacted directly on;

9am - 5pm, Monday to Friday on 07979 645059 or 01723 236236




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