Skin lesions - how long before I get biopsy results

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Hi all, I have been referred by my GP re the urgent suspected pathway 2 week deadline to a specialised unit in East Grinstead hospital, as I have a small type raised mole type area on my face. I saw the specialist on Monday and it’s going to be removed on the 3 July, then sent for biopsy review for cancer. Obviously I am concerned, but I think looking at the NHS stats for this type of possible cancer in around 93% it’s benign. Any help advice would be appreciated. Including does the Nurse or anyone know the average timeframe once it’s removed when I will hear the result of the biopsy. Thanks 

  • Dear Tricky 24

    Thank you for writing in with your question to us at ask a nurse. My name is Gemma, and I’m one of the Cancer Information Nurse Specialists here at the Macmillan support line.

    Waiting for tests and results can be an anxious time. It’s understandable that you would want to know an average time frame to have your results. When a biopsy is sent to the laboratory, there are various multistage processes it goes through to extract all the information needed from it. The findings are then verified by a second specialist before the results are published.

    At this stage the results, regardless of what they are, are often discussed at a multi-disciplinary team meeting before you would then learn of them and any necessary plan for your care or treatment. Even benign lumps can cause issues in some cases.

    While this length of time can differ between individuals, it is not uncommon to wait a short period of weeks. The practitioner who does your procedure on the 3rd of July should be able to give you a better estimated waiting time for your own results.

    Searching for information is tempting but can often lead to increase worry and sometimes confusion until you know more from your biopsy results.  If you do look for information, we encourage you to use reliable sources, and try not to look too far ahead into the unknown; I appreciate this is often easier said than done.

    Hopefully your surgeon will be able to give you a better idea of when and how you will get your own results, and then you will have a timeline to work with. It can be useful to stay as busy as you can during this waiting time, to distract your mind as much as is possible.

    If we can offer any support during this time for you, please just reach out to us. You can get in touch by email, webchat, or phone. We would be glad to support you in any way we can.

     Best wishes,

    Gemma J. Cancer Information Nurse Specialist 

    You can speak with the Macmillan Support Line team of experts. Phone free on 0808 808 0000 (7 days a week, 8am-8pm)