Oct 22, 2009 08:05PM , edited Oct 22, 2009 08:10PM by leaf
Waiting is just awful.
I'm not trying to apologize for the biopsy result process, but it is lengthy.
First they get the tissue into the lab. They have to ink it, preserve it, then they have to dehydrate the sample, and remove the chemical used for dehydration, then they have to stick it in parafin, and let it dry. Then they have to cut it into thin sections (this takes a lot of skill and practice), then letting it dry on the slide. Then, if staining needs to be done, they have to remove the parafin from the tissue, then a coverslip is added.
If calcium deposits are in the tissue, they have to be removed before sectioning.http://library.med.utah.edu/WebPath/HISTHTML/HISTOTCH/HISTOTCH.html
At some point, if it is malignant, or high risk, they may stain the tissue with different stains or antibodies or chemicals to help identify the cells and their properties.
Then the pathologist has to look at the slide, and dictate the result. Then the secretary has to type the report, and send it to your doctor.
At least one poster here found her institution sent her slides to another institution to get a 2nd opinion (without telling her about the delay of several weeks duration.)
You don't want to rush the pathologist and have them make a mistake. The pathology report is the diagnosis, and, if cancerous, often gives you information about treatment.
Some people find distraction helps. Some people go to their docs for anti-anxiety meds. Some people find vigorous exercise, talking with friends, meditation, religion, or biofeedback helps. Some people find retail therapy, or watching light hearted comedies help.
Feel free to ask questions or vent. Its awful waiting.