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biopsy results why so long?

my sister is having a colonoscopy on friday to remove a polyp the size of a small tennis ball.

The doctor will be doing a biopsy too.

The doctor said it could take 3 weeks for the results to come back

is this the normal waiting time?

and why does it take so long?

thank you.

6 Answers

  • Panda
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    There is no reason for the biopsy results to take so long . . other than paperwork and backlog. Usually all it takes is for someone to actually look into a microscope . . if the cell is misshapen and quite abnormal looking than it is malignant. However because human beings are involved in the process and there are other patients . . the process of actually getting the information back to the doctor and patient can take longer than is necessary. What we discovered is that the more urgent the information, the quicker the results will come back. We have gotten info back in an hour . . don't expect that though. With a polyp the size of small tennis ball you will probably get the results quickly.

    The ACS has good information about the processing of the biopsy:

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  • 4 years ago

    Depends on what time of the day the biopsy was taken. A small biopsy taken early in the day, can technically be processed so it is ready for microscopy the following day.Sometimes additional "stainings" (eg. immunohistochemistry) are necessary, which will add a day or two (in some cases a few more days). A pathologist can only examine one biopsy at a time, but usually those with cancer suspicion are on the top of the stack.

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  • 1 decade ago

    The key phrase there is "could take 3 weeks", which doesn't necessarily mean it will. Sounds like the doc might be giving you the longest time frame just in case things are backed up, which can sometimes happen. If the sample is sent to another facility for examination, it also required more time than if it is done right there, such as in the same hospital where it is done. These are the only two factors I can think of right off the top of my head. A biopsy is just looking at the cells and identifying what they are composed of.

    Source(s): Retired RN
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  • 1 decade ago

    I don't know why it takes so long but it is normal to wait a few weeks. The government has given the NHS targets to be met and it appears that they do things in such a way as to meet these targets so as long as something was done, in your sisters case a biopsy was taken ,they can say she was seen within X amount of time even if treatment takes considerably longer. Things move slowly now that the government has interfered and set targets ,it is the meeting the target that is the priority not the patient.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    A radioligist looks at all xrays and biopsy believe me they take their time. I waited a month for cancer result. My oncoligist had to go and speak to the radioligist because of such a long wait. Also there is many more ahead of you believe me

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  • 5 years ago

    how long to find cancer in biopsy

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