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Topic: How long will I wait for biopsy 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 22, 2020 08:44PM

momanddaughter wrote:

I have heard some people hear as soon as 1 day after? The lab told me 2-5 days

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Sep 22, 2020 09:00PM Beesie wrote:

I'd say 3-4 working days is probably average. But every facility is different. If you were told 2-5 days, then it should be 2-5 days.


“No power so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.” Edmund Burke
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Sep 22, 2020 09:02PM momanddaughter wrote:

Do you know if it’s true that benign results come back quicker than malignant

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Sep 23, 2020 04:40AM December11 wrote:

Mine took over a week, way too long.

Dx 12/11/2019, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (FISH) Chemotherapy 1/2/2020 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Targeted Therapy 1/2/2020 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy 1/2/2020 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Surgery 5/18/2020 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 7/12/2020
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Sep 23, 2020 04:54AM momanddaughter wrote:

My impression is that the malignant ones take longer bc they are trying to learn more about it

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Sep 23, 2020 05:33AM MountainMia wrote:

As Beesie said, please assume 2-5 days and don't read anything into it. You don't know what else is going on in the lab right now. Maybe they are short-staffed, or maybe they have more cases to handle (covid?) Waiting is hard, sometimes the hardest part of the process. Try to find other things to think about, and don't spend time googling. If you can get outside, do that.

Good luck and let us know when you do find out.

The rain comes and the rain goes, but the mountain remains. I am the mountain.
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Sep 23, 2020 05:35AM momanddaughter wrote:

Thanks . .I do need to get off the internet. Frustrated because each step of the way I was told it's fine don't worry, but then I needed to go to the next step. So each step of the way I was assured it was nothing but then had an unpleasant surprise. Thank you again for your suport.

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Sep 23, 2020 05:46AM Beesie wrote:

"Do you know if it's true that benign results come back quicker than malignant"

No. Again, every situation is different. You are trying to find generalities where none exist.

Some facilities will contact the patient or doctor as soon as they get a preliminary result, if the biopsy is malignant. Then it might take a few more days to get the rest of the pathology report. Or if the preliminary result is malignant, some facilities will bump that sample to the front of the line and the pathology will be completed immediately. So at these places, people with benign results wait longer.

Other facilities will contact the patient or doctor as soon as they get a benign result, but will hold off on the malignant results until they have the full pathology, which takes longer because there is more to check. So at these places, people with malignant results will wait longer.

The other factor is that many facilities require a verification check of the results by a second pathologist; this can be a quick sign off that adds no time to the process, or it can add several days. Some facilities are large and well staffed while others are small and have only a few people. For those, if someone is sick or on vacation, there might be added delays. Smaller facilities may have to send some samples out for more specific testing - and this can happen if the result is benign (to confirm that it really is benign) or if it is malignant (to determine something specific about the pathology). Results usually take longer if a biopsy is done before a long weekend or Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Every testing facility has it's own process. Every doctor has his/her own way of handling results. Some will call the patient with partial results, whether malignant or benign, while others won't. Some will not give any results out over the phone. Some will call with benign results but ask the patient to come in if the results are malignant.

You've had a biopsy. There is nothing you can do but wait for the results. You are trying to figure out what the waiting time - the number of days - indicates. It indicates nothing.

Good luck. Hoping your result is benign, and that you get your results quickly.

“No power so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.” Edmund Burke
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Sep 23, 2020 05:47AM momanddaughter wrote:

Thank you for your thoughtful response,


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