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Waiting for results

Waiting time for results varies greatly depending on what test is being done for the patient. Results for some tests may be available the same day, whilst others may take days or weeks to come back. Not knowing when results will be ready and not understanding why they are taking some time can cause concern. Try not to be alarmed if results take longer than expected. This can happen and it does not mean that there is something wrong.

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Why do I need to wait for results?

It is important that all of the test results are reviewed properly by the doctor or medical team. It is also important that they diagnose the exact subtype of lymphoma . They will then take into account individual factors and decide the best treatment for the patient.

Why can it take so long?

Routine blood tests may be ready hours after the sample is taken. Routine biopsy results may be ready as soon as 1 or 2 days after they are taken. Scan results may take a few days or weeks to come back.

Blood samples are tested in a laboratory. Sometimes biopsy samples may need to be sent to a special laboratory. There they will be processed and interpreted by pathologists. Scans are reviewed by a radiologist. Then a report is made available to your doctor and GP. This all takes additional time, however there is a lot happening whilst you are waiting.

Sometimes these results are then reviewed again at a meeting where several different people from the medical team review these results. This is called a multidisciplinary team meeting (MDT). When all the information is available your doctor will arrange to discuss these with you.
Your doctors will be able to give you an idea about how long your results will take to come back. Waiting for results can be a difficult time, you understandably may be very worried during this time. You should speak with your doctor to find out how long it will take for the results to come back. It may also help to discuss this with your family and GP.

You can also call the Lymphoma Nurse Support Line on 1800 953 081 or Email  nurse@lymphoma.org.au if you would like to discuss any aspects of your lymphoma.

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Please note: Lymphoma Australia staff are only able to reply to emails sent in English language.

For people living in Australia, we can offer a phone translation service. Have your nurse or English speaking relative call us to arrange this.