Because parts of your pathology report results will come back over time, we suggest these two important tips:
Wait for the whole picture.
Some tests take longer than others, and not all tests are done by the same lab. In the few weeks after surgery, you may see a few different reports from different labs.
Waiting can be very difficult, and it may be tempting to fixate on each piece of information by itself. However, you and your doctor need the complete pathology report to truly understand the cancer and decide on a treatment plan. Ask your doctor how and when you can get the results and discuss them together (the language in the reports is technical and not always reader-friendly). Call the office if you are expecting a result but haven’t heard anything.
Keep all pathology report results in one place.
You will need those results as you learn more about your diagnosis, consider treatment options, and meet with your medical team. You may want to start a folder or binder containing copies of all your test results. Breastcancer.org also has developed two easy-to-use tools to assist with this task: a mobile app and a printable pathology report guide.
For more information about obtaining and organizing your test results, visit the Test Results and Medical Records section.