Thursday, August 8, 2013

Fifteen Days? Really?

This I do not understand. I found an article on the how this new test speeds up the testing of the sentinel lymph node in breast cancer surgery in the UK. Previously it took 15 working days (!!!!) to get the test results. That's three weeks. That's completely crazy.

When I had my (bad) lumpectomy here in the US, I was told the instant test during surgery of the sentinel node had a margin of error of 50% and it really wasn't worth doing. The sentinel node was checked by the lab after surgery to confirm the results. I know several women who were told that the test they had during surgery was wrong so I guess my surgeon was right on this.

Now that was six years ago so technology must have changed and now there is a new test available in the UK for instant testing of the sentinel node during surgery. I hope the margin of error is less now.

But I digress. I just do not understand why it takes a lab in the UK 15 working days to confirm the presence of cancer. Three weeks? In my non medical understanding it is a relatively quick test - not like the ones which need to grow cells or something.

I remember being promised my results within a week and getting them in about four days. So why does it take three weeks on the other side of the ocean?

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