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Topic: How long did you wait between mammo and biopsy?

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: Dec 6, 2011 08:18AM

Dawnsigkap wrote:

Good Morning !

 How long did you wait between your mammo/US and biopsy?  I go in tomorrow for my mammo/US.  My surgeon said if they dont see anything "spectacular" we will schedule for January.  If they see something "spectacular" it might be before the holidays.

Im assuming then if my mammo/us is okay and I am not called back before the holidays then I can breathe a sigh of relief?  I know it is kind of desperate, looking for any sort of clues...but Im just trying to get through the holidays without all this weighing on my mind!!!

 Thanks for any info!


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Dec 6, 2011 11:22AM CharB22 wrote:

After I had my 2nd mammo/US, the radiologist came right in the room and said I needed a biopsy done. The first surgeon I called couldn't see me for over a month. The 2nd surgeon (and the one I'm keeping!!) met with me 6 business days later. Four days after that I had the biopsy and 4 days after that I had the results (BC). I'm having my lumpectomy 6 days after diagnosis. I'll meet with him 4 days later for pathology report/treatment plan. It's been a whirlwind, but I'd rather get this over with!!

Sound like your surgeon has a good plan though....if it's not "spectacular" then I'd try to have a wonderful holiday!

Good luck!

Lumpectomy - 12/9/11, 4 AC, 4 Taxol; Chemo done - 4/26/12 Dx 12/1/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 12/8/2011 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Chemotherapy 1/5/2012 AC
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Dec 6, 2011 11:26AM BooksRule wrote:


I had a mammogram on a Wednesday.  They called me back into the exam room before I could get re-dressed.  They took more pictures.  They took me right into another room for an US. Then, I came back later that afternoon for a needle biopsy. 

There was a three-week gap from that until I met with the BS (on a Tuesday).  I then had an excisional biopsy the next day (not because my case was an emergency or anything--she just had an opening and I took it).  I got my results (B9) that next Tuesday.

I would think that if they saw something on the mammo/US that needs further investigation (such as with some type of biopsy) you would at least be informed that further action should be taken, even if they don't schedule any further testing until after the holidays.  I guess it will all depend on what they see and how full everyone's schedules are getting.  I would certainly hope that if they see something that would need some type of biopsy, you would not be left in the dark until after the holidays and then get a phone call or letter that says,  'Oh, by the way, you need to have.......[fill in the blank with whatever test they need].  Please give us a call to schedule, yadda, yadda, yadda'.

I know how you feel.  It's hard to enjoy the upcoming holidays with things like this hanging over your head.


"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, 'Wow! what a ride!'"
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Dec 6, 2011 12:02PM - edited Dec 6, 2011 12:06PM by marie5890

From screening mammo that should the "new finding" to biop...10 weeks...

There were other appointments during that time, including an attempt at a US guided biop but since it couldnt be found at that time (it has showed up on a previous US but that was not a biop attempt) that biop was cancelled.

Also, I live in the North East and we had hidious snow last year. Twice TWICE I had to cancel my biop appointment due to snow...(we were have feet of snow, not inches) 

Dawn--It's really hard to relax when the fear of cancer hangs over our heads. But try.

There are some thing that show a serious red flag on mammo/US.....there are other things that are more of a yellow flag. January really isnt that far away, although it seems like it. I know.

Those 10 weeks (and that was from before Thankgsgiving, my birthday, Christmas, and New Year's was often very anxiety filled. And I am not an anxious person by temperment)  

Jan '11 Biopsy Dx-ed a PASH tumor (rare, but benign tumor)....All I ask is for peace and serenity to the depths of my soul. Makes the rest of life more live-able.
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Dec 6, 2011 01:37PM Dawnsigkap wrote:

Char and Book - yikes...it sounds like they identified things right away and pulled you right back in...just the time between those results and then the biopsy was the wait...

 And oh Marie! 10 weeks!!!!! Through all those holidays?  Ugh, the thought...

 I think the thought of not knowing or having a secure plan, a date is the worst part for me....according to the surgeon he is going to do a biopsy regardless of what the tests say because it is palpable. So at least I know that. At least I dont have to worry about them not finding something on the tests and feeling like nobody is taking me seriously or that I am imagining things.

But its also the little details that got me confused...do I need to give him the tests? do they send them to him? will somebody call me with results or will they tell me right there (birads i think I have read?)...all of those things that I feel bad asking...I think I need to get over that "feel bad" "dont want to inconvenience people or make them upset or put them out" attitude.

Thank you all! Im going to do some deep breathing and try to pay attention to other things till tomorrow!

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Dec 6, 2011 01:55PM eulabt wrote:

I had a core needle biopsy the same day as my mammo and ultra sound.

Dx 12/17/2010, DCIS, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 6, 2011 02:01PM epgnyc wrote:

I had my mammo/us on a Wed.  I'd already known there was something hinky, although there was no lump and my PS agreed.  They did extra mammo images and after all the tests were done, the radiologist came in and said she didn't know what was going on either, but I needed a biopsy.  I had the biopsy the following Thurs. and was glad I didn't have to wait longer as waiting is often the hardest part.  And the very next day my surgeon called to say it was breast cancer....again (this was my 2nd time having it).

Hoping there's nothing "spectacular" and, for that matter, nothing whatsoever to be concerned about.  Please try not to worry alot (so easy to say) and enjoy your holidays.  Good luck.

Dx 5/2002, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Dx 2/4/2011, IDC, 4cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Dec 6, 2011 02:12PM Tenmom wrote:

Just depends on your imaging center and their policies. Mine told me nothing other then abnormal tissue! They asked me if I had surgeon and I said yes because when my ob scheduled mamm/ultrasound she scheduled surgeon as well even though she felt it was benign. So glad she did because it was only four days between test and biopsy. Because I live in a relatively small town with just a handful of breast surgeons i didn't have to worry about sending records. The imaging center works with these surgeons daily. My BS was able to pull up the results from mammo at his office. I think I do remember telling the mammo nurse who my surgeon was. I think though they work thru a network that they can pull patients test results on a database. You just need to call your BS office and ask them if you need a hard copy tomorrow. Most likely they will be digital.

They may tell you bi rad or they may not. They didn't tell me. I saw the score written on a piece of paper on the nurse desk. She told me they just gave her a number and she pointed to it because I asked her what the lesion looked like. She said they didn't tell her just told her a number. I didn't know it was bi rad until night before appointment with BS. But you do have the right to ask for it. I got a high bi rad score. But it turned out benign. So don't freak out if you do get a bi rad score that is higher.

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Dec 6, 2011 02:17PM Tenmom wrote:

Oh and this is your body! Push away! I'm like that too. They found two lesions in my breast and do you know, they didn't tell me!!!! My BS told me when he did biopsy! I even asked the mammo nurse if anything else was found! She said no because they usually tell her If there is. I so wish I had demanded to talk to radiologist!

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Dec 6, 2011 02:45PM MizMarie wrote:

I went in because I found the lump myself, so had a diagnostic mammo.  Took a week to schedule the appointment, but once I had it, things happened really fast.  I had mammo on Monday, met with the radiologist immediately afterwards, biopsy on Tuesday, official dx on Thursday, consult with surgeon on Friday.  Referred to oncologist and met with him the following Friday.  From mammo to first treatment was 17 days - warp speed!  I think that this is not the norm - it was summertime, docs were on going on vacation, so I was squeezed in where I might not normally have been seen so quickly.  It would have been weeks otherwise, which they clearly thought I could not spare  :-/

Dx 8/4/2011, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Targeted Therapy 8/18/2011 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 8/18/2011 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 2/7/2012 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary Radiation Therapy 3/24/2012 Breast
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Dec 6, 2011 03:49PM akmom wrote:

Hi Dawn

I had a mammogram on Sep 7.  They found a cluster of microcalcifications so I was referred for an ultrasound, which was done on Sep 15.  Had an appointment with my family doctor to follow up on Sep 23, after which his office contacted the hospital to make an appointment for a stereotactic core biopsy (radiologist's recommendation).  I had to wait a long time just for a call back, but finally was told that my biopsy would be on Nov 29.  Had the biopsy as scheduled, got a call from my family doctor Dec 5 to say that they have my results and I need to come in for a "non-urgent" follow up. I made an appointment for Dec 9 (probably could have got an earlier date but I figure the "non-urgent" is a good sign). So it will be 3 months from my mammogram to getting the biopsy results.

The nurse at my biopsy asked if I had been waiting long; apparently they have been working overtime trying to get rid of a backlog.  I am in Canada, by the way, where surgery wait lists are not unusual, at least for non-emergency conditions.  The Bi-rads score on my mammo was a 4.

Surgery 2/13/2012 Lumpectomy: Right Dx 2/24/2012, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2 Radiation Therapy 4/10/2012
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Dec 6, 2011 04:10PM Nicole55 wrote:


I went for the first mammo october 20th and while I was waiting for them to say that everything was ok, she asked me for a second mammo to be sure.  October 27th, my family doctor called me at home on my lunch break and told me that he wanted to see me the day after.  After the call I new that the images where bad.  I saw him the next day and he told me that they found a lump who looked suspect by the form (spiculated).  At that time he had already took an appointment with a surgeon for the next week.  So I saw the surgeon on november 1st and passed the biopsy 3 weeks later and had the results last week.  Fortunately he will do the surgery this friday.  Told me that they catched the cancer at the beginning.  Well, I am ready for Christmas cause I took 2 weeks of vacation and I will be on a leave of absence for a couple of months. 

Good luck and God bless you xx

Nicole Dx 11/30/2011, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/0 nodes
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Dec 7, 2011 06:10AM Dawnsigkap wrote:

Thank you all for the feedback! I have my appointment this morning. I wish I had a "feeling" about the results...haha, I gues that's like asking to be psychic. I also wish my biopsy was before the holidays not after although with my deductible it's probably better after. I'll let you know how it goes! Thank you all!

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Dec 7, 2011 11:17AM MaryLu1 wrote:

I had my mammo/US yesterday and they are doing a biopsy tomorrow.   I am scared all I know is on the US they saw a 9mm mass that looks "worrisom"  not sure what that means, but my regular doctors office called today and already set up a meeting for Monday afternoon to go over the results of the biopsy.  I didn't think the results came back that quick.

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Dec 7, 2011 01:07PM Tenmom wrote:

Mary. It can. My docs Nurse said sometimes 24 hours. The docs usually get them faster then most think but they have to chart it then the nurses generally have to have time to sit down and make calls.

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Dec 7, 2011 01:08PM cycle-path wrote:

Yes, biopsy results can (and should!) come back quickly. I had mine on Wednesday and got the results by phone on Friday. Sometimes women have to wait longer, but I don't think anyone should need to unless there's an unusual situation of some kind.

I am an Uppity Woman. Don't like my posts? Put me on IGNORE. Dx 12/10/2010, DCIS, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+
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Dec 7, 2011 01:25PM Tenmom wrote:

Cycle is right. I had a mole biopsy that took two weeks. My lump was ready within 48 hours so to speak. I had it done on Tuesday before thanksgiving and it was back on that next Monday. They were closed thur/Friday. I noticed they are very quick with these things. And doc was pretty sure it was benign.

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Dec 7, 2011 01:57PM Dawnsigkap wrote:

Well, I had mammo and us. The films were given to radiologist. Tech came back and said "your free to go, doesn't look like anything, follow up with your doctor.". Doesn't look like anything??? I feel it! I'm going to take it as good news and see if my doctor contacts me. Initially he said it had to come out, I wonder if he will even do a biopsy now if the mammo and us came back negative. I hope he does do something because it's uncomfortable and hurts, I'd rather it just be out, whatever "it" is. Is it a cyst? Fibroadema? I have no idea. I wonder if my doctor will at least call me in to explain... Feel a little but better, relieved I didn't get called back for more pics or anything but still, more unanswered questions and another wait to see if doctor contacts me...blah.

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Dec 7, 2011 08:41PM cycle-path wrote:

I think "follow up with your doctor" means "call your doctor and discuss the results." So the ball is in your court.

I am an Uppity Woman. Don't like my posts? Put me on IGNORE. Dx 12/10/2010, DCIS, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+
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Dec 8, 2011 05:13AM dogeyed wrote:

Dawn, I think you should call the doc who ordered the mammogram and ultrasound and speak to him or his nurse directly.  You should reiterate how you know you have a bump there and you'd like to know what it is!  While the radiologist said it looked okay, he didn't say what that bump was, so you are entitled to know (a) what is the bump, and (b) shouldn't you have a biopsy of it to be sure.  I'd just stand all over these people until you get an answer before this week is out.

As for how fast things progress with appointments, it goes very fast in most cases, with the above 10-week thing maybe a misstep somewhere in the offices.  The reason being for going fast, they want to get at whatever is in your breast quickly, becuz just by speeding things up, they improve chances you will be cured of this thing.  People around ME literally dropped everything and got me set up with a treatmentn plan... I think from mammogram to surgery (to put in a port for chemo, I had chemo first) was all within a two-week period, with chemo being put in my veins just two days after port surgery.

So, as some other posters here have said, YOU must be the one to call the doc who ordered the tests and make CERTAIN any information about your results be conveyed by the doctor or his nurse who should know for certain, too, what he knows.  You see, the doctor knows your HISTORY, which is you have a lump in your breast, whereas the radiologist guy doesn't know ANYthing about that, unless he had the records in his hands when he looked at your mammogram and US.  I would not rely on a quick, "It looks okay," from him.  See, another radiologist has to check over his report, and then it's all sent to the doc who ordered it, and he sees the pictures and reads the report, and based on the lump you had, let's say if the radiology people ignored it by mistake, for example, he'll be on the phone giving them hell about not identifying the UFO in your boob! 

So, no, you must not just "wait" and you must not just "followup" with your doc.  NO.  You must find out from the doc who ordered these tests and find out THIS WEEK (today) about should you have a biopsy, what IS your lump, and so on and so forth.  I just wanted to be sure you understood if THEY aren't going to jump all over this, YOU MUST.  Let us know what happens.  GG 

IBC, IDC, Melanoma/ 5 mos ACT chemo, mastectomy, rads to 11/2011, Arimidex 1 mo, NED 9/2012, two+yr survivor 5/2013 Dx 2/14/2011, IDC, 5cm, Grade 3, 2/11 nodes, ER+
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Dec 8, 2011 09:41AM marie5890 wrote:

Just want to be clear...

No missteps with the offices here with my 10 weeks...

A failed biop attempt, more testing, and bad weather here in CT in which the biop had to be re-scheduled twice (we had over 80" of snow here in CT in Jan/Feb).

If the failed biop had been successful, it would have been more like 4 weeks 

Jan '11 Biopsy Dx-ed a PASH tumor (rare, but benign tumor)....All I ask is for peace and serenity to the depths of my soul. Makes the rest of life more live-able.
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Dec 8, 2011 11:53AM Dawnsigkap wrote:

Thank you again !

 I took your advise and called right now.  The receptionist said the doctor will look at the results and call to follow up with me and make an appointment.  Which is good, seems like regardless of whether the results are positive or negative I will still meet with him face to face.   So, just have to wait for that appointment!

Thanks all!!! 

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Dec 9, 2011 07:11AM dogeyed wrote:

Sorry, Marie, I was going from memory, which for me is very poor.  GG

IBC, IDC, Melanoma/ 5 mos ACT chemo, mastectomy, rads to 11/2011, Arimidex 1 mo, NED 9/2012, two+yr survivor 5/2013 Dx 2/14/2011, IDC, 5cm, Grade 3, 2/11 nodes, ER+
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Dec 9, 2011 01:19PM JannoD wrote:

I am a one year bc survivor but also manage an imaging center where we do mammo's, biopsies, MRIs etc. My cancer was found during my routine screening mammogram by one of my radiologists here. While every place has different policies...we do things as quickly as we possibly can. A screening is read next day and if there is something suspicious or impossible to tell what it is...the patient is contacted immediately for "Callback". We get them in as quickly as we possibly can. When the patient comes back for a full diagnostic mammogram..the radiologist will meet with them immediately after and let them know what they think. If it continues to be 'suspicious' they will tell you so and we would schedule the patient for a biopsy right then. Might have to wait a few days for the biopsy but would get it done quickly. Biopsy results usually come back in 48 hours and the information is shared with the referring physician by phone if it is positive and a copy of the report is faxed immediately. I have been through this process myself and at the right imaging center and with the right referring physician, things CAN move quickly. From diagnosis to unilateral mastectomy with DEIP reconstruction was exactly two weeks.

Dx 10/26/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 1/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 9, 2011 07:12PM Tenmom wrote:

Why is it some radiologist do biopsy some don't?

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