An investigation to discover why a Derbyshire man had to wait 22 weeks for a hospital test which revealed he had six months to live has begun.
The 76-year-old who did not want to be named was found to be suffering from oesophageal cancer.
He said he had to make a string of calls to the Derbyshire Royal Infirmary before the X-ray was carried out.
The Derby Hospitals NHS Trust said efforts were being made to ensure that this does not happen again.
In a statement a spokesperson said: "Based on initial investigations, it would appear that some delays have occurred in the processing of referrals and the trust would apologise to the patient.
"We are currently investigating the incident and will make efforts to ensure that it does not happen again.
"Anyone who experiences similar difficulties should contact the Patient Advice and Liaisons Service for advice."
The patient, who is now undergoing chemotherapy, said he first attended the hospital's ear, nose and throat clinic in February after experiencing problems swallowing.
He was advised to have an X-ray but said he heard nothing and was passed from department to department when he phoned about the delay.
He said the cancer was found to have spread to other parts of his body.