Waiting for Breast Biopsy Results

6 minute read time.
Waiting for Breast Biopsy Results

Receiving a cancer diagnosis is one of the toughest moments a person can face. Whether it’s you or a loved one, going for a biopsy and waiting for test results can be a nervous and anxious process, as they can potentially affect the rest of your life. About 55,000 women are diagnosed with Breast Cancer in the UK every year. There are also around 390 men are diagnosed with breast cancer in the UK. As one of the UK’s most common cancer types, we take a deeper dive around the Breast Cancer forum within the Community and see how other members have reached out for support during a difficult time.

What the Community says

If you or a loved one have recently had a biopsy for breast cancer and feel worried about the results, you’re not alone. There are a lot of members who post on the Online Community about having a biopsy and waiting for the results. Let’s head into Community and see how this difficult subject matter is dealt with by members in the Breast Cancer forum.

It may be a worrying experience to wait for the results of the biopsy:

“I had a biopsy on my left breast on 7th April and will be going for my result on Tuesday 3rd May. The consultant I saw said that looking at the pics it "probably" is cancer. I luckily managed to get a fortnight in the sun and almost managed to forget all about it following my biopsy but now I am back and starting to panic as it gets closer to getting result. Are there any clues when you walk into the room to help you guess the result? Will the consultant be all smiles if it's actually ok or from faced if not good news? Do they give you all the facts and options straight away or do you have to go back? Sorry rambling, am really starting to panic now....”

Online Community Member, Breast Cancer forum

Some members may draw on loved ones to help support them during difficult periods:

“I was shocked, tearful and didn’t ask any questions. I came off the phone and just broke down. After pulling myself together, I called the nurse back. She told me that the area found was very small 8mm, the prognosis was excellent and that I would be referred to a specialist and they would be able to tell me everything I needed to know and what the treatment procedure would be.

I know I have to stay strong and I have a wonderful husband and daughter, plus very good friends and they will all be there for me. I haven’t told many people yet, it’s hard and I don’t feel up to calling people at the moment.”

Online Community Member, Breast Cancer forum

If you feel it is difficult to engage with any family and friends, you are more than welcome to engage with the members on the Community. Other members might really understand what you are going through.

You might feel worried after having your biopsy. A member here talks about what the most important thing they learnt during their biopsy:

“I had to wait a week for results and then they had to redo the biopsies.  It was torture.

The thing to learn about this is process, I was frustrated until I found out how they work.  They generally meet weekly to discuss results as a team.  That is oncology and surgical professionals.   They cannot discuss your results if the data isn't ready.  Your breast nurse will be able to explain the process for you and it might help you know what to expect when.  

Waiting is the worst part.  I felt like I was on pause.... stuck in time free falling. ”

Online Community Member, Breast Cancer forum

At times, it’s only natural that you might feel overwhelmed:

“Hi I'm due to go Tomorrow for my biopsy results and so worried can they ring me instead does anyone know please”

Online Community Member, Breast Cancer forum

Support may always be on hand in the Community. This member then reached out to help reassure them:

“I was told no results are given over the phone, so try not to worry about receiving a face to face, it doesn’t necessarily mean bad news. Good luck, will be thinking of you. X”

Online Community Member, Breast Cancer forum

It may not always be possible to get responses immediately on the Community, therefore, you may find some comfort in our blog, ‘The Worry of Waiting.’ There are other 24 hour services available if you need to talk such as SHOUT. It’s the first free 24/7 texting service in the UK for anyone in crisis anytime, anywhere. Simply text SHOUT to 85258 and a trained Crisis volunteer will be willing to help.

Some members feel reassured by chatting to their medical team during appointments:

“I went to see my Consultant and my breast nurse (who I had met before) for my results. They were both Absolutely lovely and I felt totally reassured that I was in good hands, he asked me if I was okay and I said, yes I’m okay, I told him I had a hip flask of brandy in my bag if I needed it which resulted in us all laughing our heads off., I would not have swapped a face to face appointment for a telephone call. Make the most of meeting your medical team and get to know them.”

Online Community Member, Breast Cancer forum 

Support and resources while you are waiting for test results:

If you wish to speak to someone, always remember you can contact the Macmillan Support Line every day from 8am until 8pm on 0808 808 00 00 or our webchat.

Please feel free to take a look at some of the resources that are available when it comes to biopsies and breast cancer:

There is no right or wrong way on how to think or feel whilst waiting for results. Everyone has their own unique way of coping during what may be a worrying time. Always keep in mind, you are not alone. The Community is right there with you.

If you are waiting for your biopsy results and are uncertain on what to expect, please feel free to use some these examples to try and put your mind at ease. You could also post in the Breast Cancer forum to talk to the wonderful members who know how you’re feeling.

Please feel free to take a look around the Community and see how other members approached their biopsies so it may help build your confidence up as you prepare for your own.

  • I had biopsies taken 2 weeks ago and was told then looked like cancer in my breast.  I got a letter for seeing a surgeon who I presumed would tell me  results next tuesday. Then today I got a call saying a consultant will call me with some of my results this Friday. Will they really tell me I have cancer over the phone? I'm going out of my mind as my kids will be running around the house as schools will be off..

  • Hi Shba,

    It’s Megan here from Macmillan’s Online Community team. I am sorry to hear what brings you to the site and that you have some concerns about getting your test results.

    It’s understandable that you are worried about taking a call with your consultant while your children are around. There may be an alternative way for you to speak with your doctor and you could ask if they can arrange a face to face appointment, or call for a time when the children are not there.

    Our Nurses here at Macmillan can talk through your concerns and discuss what other options there may be. They are experienced professionals and can offer information for what usually happens when receiving test results. They are there to help for as long as you need so please do get in touch with them.

    You are welcome to post a question in our Ask an expert section here on the Community or contact them on the Macmillan Support Line, you are very welcome to.

    The Macmillan Support Line teams can provide emotional, practical and financial support. They’re available 7 days a week, 8am-8pm on freephone 0808 808 00 00email or live webchat.

    When you get in touch with the Support Line there will be options to speak to the Information Nurse Specialists and Support Advisers alongside the Money and Work teams. If you need a listening ear, then the teams are here for this too as sometimes it can be helpful to talk to someone who is there to listen.

    I'd like to wish you all the best for when you do get your results. I hope the above information is helpful and please don’t hesitate to get back in touch if you need help using the Online Community, or need some additional support.

    You can contact the Online Community team every day by sending a private message to the Moderator account, or by emailing community@macmillan.org.uk.

    Best wishes, 

    Macmillan's Online Community team