Taking someone to test results

Hi, I’m due to get my scan and blood test results and just wanted a bit of advice about taking someone with me. I don’t  have a partner to come with me, someone has offered to come and I think they would be supportive and helpful but I’m worried about upsetting my parent if they find out I went with someone else (all they know is I’m going for the results of a scan but hasn’t insisted on coming). I’m very close to my parents but they’re getting on in age and I really don’t want to put them through the experience if it’s not good news.  I know it’s probably different for everyone and I’m thinking the worst but any pointers on how to handle test results with elderly relatives would be much appreciated.

  • Hello


    Thank you for getting in touch with us. How are things? I can see you are concerned about how your parents may feel, and that you may upset them by not asking them to come to the appointment with you. I guess it’s understandable you may feel that way, and it’s okay to feel that it might be best for someone else other than them to go with you Mdm. Remember, you are doing that because you don’t want them to feel upset, so it is their feelings you are considering. Whoever you feel would be most supportive with you would be the best person to ask to support you there.

    In terms of talking to them about the results, we understand this can be a really difficult conversation to have, and we realise it may not be easy approaching them. Ultimately you know them better than anyone else, and therefore you will know the best way to approach it with them. We do encourage people to be as open and honest as possible with loved ones about a diagnosis, but we realise that’s not always straightforward. We have a booklet which is called, ‘Talking about cancer.’ You can access it here. It will help you approach them with the conversation, and it also helps you understand their reactions too.

    We are here to support you and your parents Mdm, and any other family members and friends too. In addition to the community, we also have a freephone support line 0808 808 00 00 and an online webchat service which are both open 8am – 8pm seven days a week. You can email us too. There may also be face to face support you can access here.

    Please do stay in touch with us.

    David, Information and Support Adviser

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

  • Thank you for your advice and information. My scan confirmed a large tumour but said it was inconclusive as they couldn’t confirm where it was coming from. I have an appointment with a specialist next week so still a bit of a waiting game. Over the past few days I’ve started having some abdominal pain, not enough to feel the need to take painkillers but noticeable and I don’t know if I should be worried or if it’s just anxiety with the waiting. I wonder if there were any questions I should have asked at the results appointment but I think I was just in a bit of shock to think clearly. Thanks again for your reply and helpful advice, appreciate having this place to voice my concerns, just putting them down into words I think helps a lot. 

  • Thank you for replying it sounds like it is a worrying time for you. You mention about whether there were any further questions you could have asked, we can sometimes look back and think should I have asked more or could my questions have been more effective, at the time you can only ask what you can. 

    we have our support nurses here on Ask the Expert as well as being able to contact them through the helpline 0808 808 0000 choosing option 1 and 3 or through our Online chat and Email - it may help to talk to them about your concerns. Also as you mention having some abdominal pain I encourage for you to contact your GP so they can check the pain you are experiencing and they can also provide support around anxiety. 

    If you need support around anxiety it would be worth looking at these support options, they may help. 


    Anxiety UK

    Every mind matters

    Please take care and come back to us if you ever need to. 

    Katie, Information and Support Adviser

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