Well they probably wouldn't have…if I'd actually had cancer. Let me explain:
It occurred to me that an NHS-worshipper (if the NHS is a religion, what are its adherents called?) reading my previous post, would have held it up as a shining example of the perfect and wonderful NHS. Except it's somewhat misleading; the only diagnosis I had on the NHS was a blood test and an ultrasound scan. The other tests were conducted privately, courtesy of my employer's private health scheme (although I did have to contribute a percentage of the costs).
At my first private consultation I had a sigmoidoscopy. That evening, the consultant's PA called me to say that a CT scan had been arranged for the following evening - the consultant had reviewed the ultrasound scan, which he considered inconclusive, and determined that further scans were required.
When I went to see him for the results of the CT scan, I was expecting the worst - some form of abdominal cancer, probably bowel (runs in the family) or pancreatic. Fortunately it was all clear and for completeness I subsequently had an endoscopy (also clear).
The point is that the NHS would probably have relied on a few blood tests and an (inconclusive) ultrasound scan. Were it not for the fact that I was able to go private (I no longer have that option), I may not have had the other tests which could have revealed something serious, in time for treatment.
The NHS should be able to provide a full service, but for many reasons it can't, and it won't be able to until radically reformed.