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Why do test results take so long

By Anonymous September 30, 2014 - 11:07am
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Tests results :
Please help me understand how the radiologist can have immediate results when you are getting a routine mammogram and follow up ultra sounds but if they need to do a ultra sound needle biopsy it's takes 3-4 days ? Or longer at times. Where in the world do they send that biopsy to be examined ?

I am not sure what's worse the anxiety doing the test or the multiple days waiting to see if you or your loved one is negative or positive with cancer.

In this case I am the loved one concerned while I sit and wonder in the waiting room at the Image center. Even though the lobby is nice and the staff talks very cordial and soft it's heartbreaking to see all of the women sitting waiting for thier name to be called back.

Not many of the women ( and a couple men) even have a loved one with them for this procedure.


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Dear Anon,

Thank you so much for reaching out to EmpowHER community, especially as you sit and wait in the lobby of the imaging center! I can only imagine what you are going through! Your loved one is very lucky to have you by her side!

When I read your post, it brings me right back to a very difficult time in my family. A couple of years ago, my mother in law was diagnosed with breast cancer. While she was out of state, most of the family had to process the test results and ray of emotions from a distance. Luckily her husband and daughter were with her every step of the way. Fortunately, years later she is a survivor but her experience really hit home and my husband and I decided that I would do a mammogram just as a precaution. I was under the age of 40 so at the time, it was elective, not ordered by my doctor. 

Really, the point of my story is that I too, sat in the waiting room at the imaging center and it felt like an eternity! I also observed all the women (there were no men that day) that were in the lobby. Some you could tell had or have breast cancer because they were sporting a pretty silk scarf wrapped around their balding head. Some just looked sad and some (much like me) looked nervous as heck! 

Being in your shoes is however a feeling that I can only empathize with as I was not in the lobby the day my mother in law underwent her tests. The feelings that you must be feeling, break my heart. It's a feeling of helplessness and agony. My heart sincerely goes out to you and your loved one! What a blessing that she is not alone in her journey-whatever the result may be.

Unfortunately, a needle biopsy does take time to get the results. The best way I can reassure you during this undaunting waiting period is that the sample is being thoroughly reviewed by a pathologist who will be able to give the most detailed and accurate diagnosis to your doctor. I certainly wouldn't want someone glancing over the test and just making a mediocre diagnosis. 

I know it's easier said than done, but try to keep your mind off of waiting for the results. Maybe do something spontaneous! Take tomorrow off work and go to that museum she always wanted to check out, or hop in the car for a short road trip to see a place you both have never been before. 

I will be thinking of you, even though you are anonymous. Please keep me posted, we are here for you!



September 30, 2014 - 12:44pm
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