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Topic: Important Info for Newbies Who Are Waiting for Test Results

Forum: Waiting for Test Results —

For members not diagnosed with breast cancer, but waiting for test results:  Biopsy, mammogram, ultrasound, or other screening tests. Waiting is VERY difficult but remember...

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength." -- Corrie Ten Boom

Posted on: Sep 1, 2011 12:46PM - edited Jan 16, 2015 06:28AM by Moderators

Moderators wrote:

Often, the hardest part of screening and testing isn't undergoing the tests themselves, but WAITING for results to come back. If you're like most people, you will want your test results as soon as possible.

Read here for steps you can take to feel more in control of the process:

In addition, there is a thread on Abbreviations to help you follow discussions going on in the community.

And If you've been diagnosed with breast cancer and are waiting for test results about your diagnosis, connect with others in the Discussion Board forum Diagnosed and Waiting for Test Results.

We hope this helps!

--The Mods

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Posts 1 - 30 (252 total)

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Oct 10, 2011 08:12PM wallycat wrote:

It would be so wonderful if doctors actually REALIZED that their patients are stressing.

To make someone wait and wait and wait and not return calls for ANY test should be

humilating and forbidden.

just sharing my angst and trying to understand why doctors think they are smart when they are so clueless about obvious patient issues.

Dx 4/07 1 month before turning 50; ILC 1.8cm, ER+/PR+, HER2 neg., Stage 1, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes. Onco score 20, Bilateral Mast., tamoxifen 3-1/2 years, arimidex-completed 4/20/2012
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Oct 24, 2011 07:50PM mawhinney wrote:

I have learned to be proactive. When tests are ordered, I have learned to ask how soon the results will be available and when and how will I be notified of the results. I relate that I want a written copy of the report for my files. I also state that it is alright to phone me with the results.

Dx 5/18/2008, IDC, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Oct 26, 2011 12:38AM renaedarlene wrote:

So I had a diagnostic mammogram and an ultrasound. Was told I had to have a biopsy and it is scheduled for next week.  I have a definite tumor.  My general practitioner is out this do I get a copy of the actual report? Should the radiologist have supplied me with one? I am left with too many questions and no paperwork. What's the protocol here? Help! Thank you. Renae

Renae Wilber Dx 11/7/2011, IDC, Right, 1cm, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Oct 26, 2011 09:23AM Megadotz wrote:

Call where you had the scans done and ask for a copy of your reports.  If there's a procedure, they can let you know what it is.  When you go in for the biopsy let them know that you want a copy of the results and ask when and how you'll be notified. 

Here's hoping for B9 results.


Dx 3/12/2009, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Oct 26, 2011 02:36PM renaedarlene wrote:

Thank you, this is great help...I'm playing mental guessing games trying to decipher their words - what did they mean "At least you caught it early" and "You are where you're supposed to be" and "You need to schedule a biopsy" - Did they see cancer on the mammo? To much guessing...I need to see the report myself to make sense of it rather than playing a guessing game in my head.  Thanks!

Renae Wilber Dx 11/7/2011, IDC, Right, 1cm, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Oct 26, 2011 04:02PM - edited Oct 26, 2011 04:03PM by LisaAlissa


I can't answer the "big question" for you, but I can tell you that "You need to schedule a biopsy" doesn't mean they "saw cancer."  Only a pathologist (looking at cells) can tell you for sure that it's cancer.  "You need to schedule a biopsy" just means that they see something suspicious, so that they can't screen cancer out.  The next step in the screening process is a biopsy, and that's what a BIRADs 4 or 5 means. When you see the report, I suspect that's all you'll see.

And in fact, of people in the screening process (where you are now) who have biopsies, 80% have benign results.  So your chances of having cancer screened out are still excellent!

I know that it's difficult to stay where you are in the process, but if you can, don't project yourself into "the 20%."  



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Oct 26, 2011 07:15PM renaedarlene wrote:

Thanks LisaAllisa,

Yes, I'm driving myself crazy. Mainly because it's not a cyst, it's a tumor. Today, I inspected my breasts and can't believe I didn't notice that my right nipple was pointing down.  The weight of the tumor is pulling down my boob! My God, how could I not notice?

I'm just trying to stay busy with chores, etc., the obsessiveness seems to come and go.

Thank you!


Renae Wilber Dx 11/7/2011, IDC, Right, 1cm, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 26, 2012 06:59AM alphaomega wrote:

Tomorrow is my lumpectomy and I'm scared. Mysister was just diagnosed with BC about 2 months ago and is having a double mas. in 2 weeks. I have a mass about 2 cm.which he is removing andsending to lab for testing. I asked my chances that it is cancer and he said 50/50. I am hoping it is not. Anxiety level is high.

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Mar 8, 2012 10:43AM Stacie wrote:

My surgery was Monday and my path report is due in anytime. I already knoe one swollen node was cancerous because they did a frozen section during my surgery rhen an AND was performed. The BS said the other nodes all looked healthy. I am nervous about what i will learn about the cancer and how many nodes are cancerous.

Dx 2/24/2012, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 2/13 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 12, 2012 05:04PM snassar wrote:

Stacie I hope everything is going okay.  I am new to this list. today was Ultrasound after 2 mammograms. They don't tell you everything except Radiologist will contact my Dr. and she will contact me. The woman doing the ultrasound wasn't too friendly (should be a requirement in that job). I asked how long before I hear anything and she said allow a week. Hope everything is going okay for you.

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Mar 14, 2012 12:59AM fibromom wrote:

I have been told I have DCIS and I had a core biopsy today...I am now waiting for the results and I am stressed out...I have not told family members about the biopsy because I am waiting until I have some news...I have been reading information on this site and I feel more confused than husband is trying to be supportive but he really has no idea what I am going through...I really do not know what to expect next....Its going to be a long week....

Dx 2/12/2012, DCIS
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Mar 26, 2012 10:40PM littlelady55 wrote:

I am already in treatment for stress and anxiety.  I have DCIS, core biopsy done. Surgery scheduled for tomorrow morning, lumpectomy with lymph node biopsies.  After that, I wait again for results.  Was already told I needed 33 radiation treatments.  I havent told hardly anyone cuz at of now, the only thing certain is I have cancer. That is not something I want to share.  Tomorrow, it might be gone or it might have spread.  Is there anything else? Waiting for drs, biopsies, tests, surgeries, diagnosis. Waiting waiting and waiting.  I understand how all of us are all stressed out, moody, high anxiety, etc.  I have been a zombie since I first found out and that was 2 weeks ago. What do we do, what's important, I am so tired, what about all of you?

Dx 3/13/2012, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER+/PR-
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May 22, 2012 12:18PM wendybee wrote:

When I found a lump in my breast last Tuesday (May 15) I wasn't even concerned.  I got a mamogram the next day and told my husband not to worry because I knew it was a cyst and would be nothing.   To my shock, the radiologist came back after the mamo and ultrasound and said that the lump was highly suspicious, that the edges were ragged, not smooth like a cyst and that I needed to get a biopsy soon and suggested, within the next two days.  I got the biopsy on Thursday the 17th and am now waiting for results.  I have gone from not being worried at all, to being certain it is Stage IV cancer.  All of a sudden, I am realizing all of the symptoms I have been experiencing, pain in my lungs, veins on my breast and it is all indicating cancer that has spread.  I am trying to focus, but really having difficulty.  Of course I am not telling my family, kids (16 and 12) or friends because I don't have results yet.  So here I am...telling all of you. I am frightened, but I will be strong.  There is nothing else I can do.  If it is the worst, I will fight it.  Any words of encouragement will be appreciated.

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May 24, 2012 09:22PM midnight1327 wrote:

 I am waiting for mamo results from my mamo last friday, i was diagnosed  last year and they came  very quick as they wanted repeat ones done because they were suspious of an area in L Breast and it turned out to be a grade 3 ductal carcinoma, stage 1a,  this time i had to have  a follow up six month one after rads and compare the two, last weeks and last years. i am too nervous to call them, i hate bothering  them as i know they are busy.  but i do wish i knew one way or the other. I may have to be brave and call them. But yes ladies the waiting is  worse than knowing at times.

Dx 8/12/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/30/2011 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 10/9/2011 Breast Hormonal Therapy 11/22/2011
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May 31, 2012 12:38AM DigitalCowgirl wrote:

You know, this waiting needs to stop.  I work for a major computer company who partners with Stanford Medical.  I know for a fact Stanford has trained computers to analyze biopsies that are far more accurate than human analysis in far less time.  There must  be a way to automate quicker notification to medical teams and patients with today's technology.  Heck we have capability to match fingerprints against millions in the AFIS database and notify thousands of law enforcement agencies in seconds, but it takes a week for a cancer biopsy result. That's just BS!

I am going to write up a suggestion and submit it to our research labs for consideration.  We girls need to also lobby Washington and help those who are yet to be diagnosed.  I'm mad as hell that we are subjected to this inhumane waiting and will be taking action for change in my own little way.

Dx 3/20/2012, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/14/2012 Lymph node removal: Right; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement
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Jul 8, 2012 08:22PM Mhundt wrote:

I am waiting for my appt with the Dr to discuss my biopsy results.  I am so very scared I can barely think.  Is it normal to have met with a oncologist the same day I had my mamogram diagnostic appt -  and have him take me in to look at my mamogram and explain to me about the microcalcification and that it is a concern.  I feel like I have been diagnosed without even having the biopsy results.  I did not get a good feeling from the conversation I had with the Dr.  has anyone else experienced this?

 Thank you!

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Jul 12, 2012 11:27AM proudtospin wrote:

if you have a bad feeling about a doc at the start, get a dif one as it will not get better

first radiation doc I saw took 3 cell phone calls while he explained my propsed treatment

I ran out and got a new doc!

iris Dx 6/2008, DCIS, Stage 0, ER+ Dx 2/2017, Left, Stage IV, metastasized to bone/liver, Grade 3, 1/1 nodes, ER+, HER2+
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Jul 31, 2012 12:51PM PatiencePlease wrote:

Surgery was 6 days ago (but only 4 BUSINESS daysWink) and I'm sitting here back at my desk and trying not to go crazy waiting for results. (Yesterday, I called at 2:00 pm, I decided today, I would wait until 4....). 

I'm so glad I found this web site - it is very helpful to know it's just not me!

I love the comments from Digital Cowgirl (ABOVE)  I would love to know if there is some way we can lobby to stop the incredible torture of waiting for results.  Interesting concept.

Thanks for being here - you all get that no news is no news.

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Aug 1, 2012 02:37AM Moderators wrote:

Any news from your 4pm phone call, SallyMakesSense? Waiting is heck! We hope you get your answers soon.

The Mods

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Aug 9, 2012 12:36PM PatiencePlease wrote:

Thanks!  I FINALLY got all my results last Friday (7 business days/9 actual days...but who's counting?!?)  Everything looks pretty good so far.  I meet with med onc tomorrow and rad onc on Monday and surgeon on Wed.  Lot's of waiting with this diagnosis.  I'm impatient by nature and have always enjoyed checking things off and I have to learn how not to do that.  One report comes back and next its waiting to see what the radiation schedule will look like.  After that I guess I'll be waiting to see how the radiation is going to affect me.....but you all get this and that's kind of nice....Smile
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Aug 9, 2012 06:16PM - edited Aug 9, 2012 06:57PM by besa

When it comes to test results I am proactive.  I hated waiting two weeks or more for results of important tests.  I learned that if HIPAA laws are applied correctly patients are entitled to a copy of the same results sent to their doctor.  I now talk to the facility doing the tests and tell them that I want a copy of the report.  (I often pick up the report in person to get it quickly.)  Usually I have to sign a release form - releasing the reports to myself.  I also talk to the facility before I have a test to make sure they will be easy to deal with - if not I vote with my feet and go elsewhere.  Most of my radiology reports are available within 24 hours. I use hospital labs for blood work instead of the big commercial labs.  I found it is easier to get results from hospital labs.  At this point I have absolutely no trouble understanding the content of the reports.  This works for me.  The only negative I can think of would be if you are uncomfortable seeing your results before your doctor contacts you. 

Dx 2007, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Sep 13, 2012 05:09PM lukefrancis1 wrote:

Ihave been dealing with the possibility of bc from July27th...I posted before that radiologist did core biopsy and missed lesion!  First time in 6 yrs that this happened to her.  I am now scheduled Monday 9/27 for excisional biopsy!  Have been told 9 day wait!!! I am at my wits end....can't sleep, trying to be positive, but I have my moments.  It is not fair that we have to have this waiting game!

Any encouraging words would be greatly appreciated.

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Sep 23, 2012 04:13PM DigitalCowgirl wrote:

Hi lukefrancis,

I'm  sorry you have to wait so long.  It's so barbaric isn't it?. I had to wait about a week so I completely understand your worry.. Let's hope you get word that it's benign.  You found the right place for support.

Big hugs. 

Dx 3/20/2012, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/14/2012 Lymph node removal: Right; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement
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Oct 1, 2012 10:22AM - edited Oct 1, 2012 12:15PM by Moderators

This Post was deleted by Moderators.
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Oct 26, 2012 09:31AM d-marie wrote:

I, too, am awaiting my biopsy findings. I made the choice, after the ultrasound, to let family and friends know. I find it comforting having them pray for me. I do believe in the power of prayer, not so much for a cure (though I would love that) but for strength and peace of mind. I hope all has turned out well for you.

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Oct 26, 2012 11:48PM DigitalCowgirl wrote:


I'll keep you in my prayers.  Waiting is so stressful.  Please try to find something fun to keep your mind occupied.. Let us know your results please.

Dx 3/20/2012, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/14/2012 Lymph node removal: Right; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement
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Nov 16, 2012 06:20AM brooksdawn45 wrote:

Please help I dont understand whats going on Had to get a 2nd mam. done on my left breast said results need to be further evaluated. then they made me wait to see if the radiologist wanted me to get an ultra sound. well she did and they did it right then and there. all I saw was a solid black mass about the size of a silver dollar. The lab tech then gave the doc the images and the doc did another ultra sound, and breast exam but she couldnt feel the mass. She then told me I have a mass and will need to get a stereotactic core biopsy, she told try not to worry that It had binign characterists. Of course I research it on internet I thinking I may have a fibroadenoma from what I researched. But still not sure cause the cyst ones and solid ones and mine looked black solid but oval with smooth edges. She never said it could be cysts and never gave it a medical name or term. Plus biospy couldnt be schedulesduntil DEc 4th was 1st opening. please help me try to understand Im 45 and concerned.

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Dec 28, 2012 09:49PM zabbie wrote:

Hi, I am not sure if I am writing in the right forum as I have nevr done this before...but here it goes...

I felt some hard areas in my breast and it got worse during my period, after, it got a little better but was still there. I had an ultra sound which came up normal and a mammogram which showed an area of concern.

This is what the mammogram report said: "There is a right axillary nodes. The left axilla is free of nodes. A cluster of coarse calcifications are in the upper outer quadrant of the right breast. The cluster configuration is somewhat concerning. Needle localiztion/biopsy is advised for further evaluation. The parenchyma of the left breast is normal, with almost equal amounts ofglandular tissues and fatty tissues.There is no skin thickening, prominent vessels or microcalcifications."

I live on a small island so we do not have breast specialists etc. I went to a surgeon who examined me and felt a small lump. I had a surgical biopsy yesterday. The surgeon said that he removed the lump and some surrounding tissue. Both the lump and tissue had a gritty feeling from the calcification. I pressed the surgeon to give me some percentages and he said about 60 percent it is not cancer. While this is somewhat reassuring, I am still freaking out! I will not get the results till next Friday, maybe Monday as they send the sample to the USA. I am trying to stay positive and hold on to that other 40 percent that is in my favour (though I do understand that it is not a guarantee). What I wanted to know is what other conditions can cause a lump with calcification? Any info you could give me would be hugely appreciated.


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Jan 5, 2013 04:51PM MSSWISS wrote:

My docs have been amazing. I have started up a unique pink file with copies of images, reports and questions for each visit all in chronological order. As im going back and forth, between surgeon and oncologist sometimes they don't always have the latest letters since it depends on our postal system so I can give show them a copy if I have received it first.  I feel more in control.  Test results have been taking a while but I had my PET scan on 21st Dec which just about finished me off., When I got back from hospital, 2 hours later my oncologist called me to say that the results were very promising. I was not expecting any info until after the holidays and I broke down in floods of tears of relief.How kind he was trying to help me get through the xmas hols without major worrying.I think we forget sometimes that the labs have many slides to go through for many patients and the tests they do take time to perform but it's always good to ask the doc how long they will take so you have an idea of when to start following up.I have now developed a keen interest in the role of the patholgist and have started reading up more on the tests that are being done on me.

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Jan 8, 2013 09:24PM terri39 wrote:

Hi I am waiting for results from biopsy. I had a mammogram and ultrasound that came back abnormal. Mammogram came back thickening of areola and dense areas. Will they send a certified letter to let you know your results? Worried!!!!!

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