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2nd Biopsy refered to another hospital

10 May 2022 17:39

I am a daughter writing on behalf of my father who is 75 years old.he had an armpit lump way back in February.this prompted a biopsy.the first one the results came back inconclusive..we then had the 2nd biopsy..after 3 weeks we have had a call from one of the team saying that the sample has been forwarded to another hospital in London  to get a diagnosis.i tried to get more information from the doctor but he was not giving anything away..he has said its not lymphoma  but they have sent it for further analysis .this is worrying me tremendously..has anyone been in a similar position?do they refer to other hospitals if they think its cancer..out of my mind with worry..thank you..

Edited on Tue, 10/05/2022 - 17:42 by Angie55, edited to remove name of hospital in line with forum terms and conditions

2nd Biopsy refered to another hospital

10 May 2022 18:32 in response to Angie55

Hi Angie,

I will be looking with interest to the replies you get. I have just found out today that my excisional biopsy has been sent on from the path labs at my local hospital - not sure if this is for a second opinion or a first one! I've been waiting over 5 weeks now. Most people keep telling me no news is good news - but I'm not so sure. If it's benign why send it somewhere else?! I suppose it could be something really rare and they need a specialist eye - who knows. I'm sorry I can't help you with any advice myself, hopefully the nurses on here will be able to help/ explain.

2nd Biopsy refered to another hospital

11 May 2022 10:41 in response to Angie55

Hello and thanks for your post,

I am sorry to hear about your father and I can understand waiting for results can be very stressful. 

It is not unusual for pathologists to seek the advice of other pathologists in a different hospital to get an opinion on a specimen. Not all samples are straight forward. It is so important to diagnose or to rule a cancer out. Unfortunately of course it does lead some delays and also some anxiety for you all waiting to get an answer. Nowadays more and more tests are done on biopsies so they can get as much information as they can.

Try not to think too far ahead until you know more.

If at any stage you would like to chat any of this through with on of the nurses on the helpline then you are more then welcome to get back to us. The number to call is Freephone 0808 800 4040 and the lines are open from 9am till 5pm Monday to Friday.

All the Best,


2nd Biopsy refered to another hospital

11 May 2022 11:19 in response to Songbird68

Hi Songbrird

Thank you so much for your kind reply..sorry to hear you are in a similar position.i think waiting is the hard part..this is our second biopsy..All the investigations started in February,lots of scans etc..still no closer to actually knowing what's going on..we were surprised when they said its been sent to another hospital.i was just wondering how they preserve the sample for that long.


I hope you don't have to wait too much longer..5 weeks is a long time..good luck with it all..hopefully something you can deal with..take care..x

2nd Biopsy refered to another hospital

11 May 2022 11:30 in response to CRUK Nurse Catherine

Hi Catherine 


Thank you for your lovely reply..

Yes its been very stressful..iv posted here before..this issue with my dad's lymph node has been going on for months now.He feels well in himself and has no it was abit of a shock when they said his sample has been forwarded to another hospital.

As you have explained this can happen with biopsies. I thought they would be able to make a diagnosis by now.The waiting is very difficult..My dad also needs an urgent heart valve operation.its alot to cope his only daughter I feel very own health isn't great..on dad has been my rock..

Hopefully he's in good hands..yes I'll try and not overthink and stay calm..thank you for all your help..ill call the helpline at some point.many thanks



2nd Biopsy refered to another hospital

11 May 2022 19:01 in response to Angie55

Hi Angie,

As far as I know biopsy samples are put into a preservative to start with, and sometimes it is the processed slides that are sent away for a second opinion. They use different dyes to look at the cells. (I am sounding very nerdy - but human biology has always fascinated me). I've also read that some hospitals send out batches of samples that need the same tests done to a certain hospital path lab hubs. Sometimes they get sent off because the diagnosis is unusual or rare, and sometimes because the local path lab in the hospital near you is not as well equiped as another. It doesn't make our wait any shorter, but perhaps is the best outcome for a correct diagnosis. 

I really hope you get some news soon too xx

2nd Biopsy refered to another hospital

13 May 2022 23:23 in response to Songbird68

Hi Songbird

Thank you so much for explaining how these biopsies are tested..You have great knowledge in this area.this has all been a shock..came out of the blue..The thought of it been sent off to another hospital made me very nervous..yes I think you're get an accurate diagnosis it needs action.

I requested a call from a consultant dealing with our case.He said because its a lymph node it needs to be investigated further,we have to wait..but he understood that I was present they don't know what it is.

I'll update this post if I hear anything.thank you for your kind message..much appreciated.hope you hear from your doctors soon.x

2nd Biopsy refered to another hospital

14 May 2022 04:51 in response to Angie55

Hi Angie

It's a testing time for us all. I actually phoned my surgeons secretary yesterday, as it was exactly 6 weeks since I had my lump removed. I just wanted an idea of time frame. They couldn't give me one. All she could say was they are keeping an eye open for my results, that they rarely send out to other labs and this is a second opinion. I have not been told what they are looking for, or what they had back from their initial investigations. I have read from earlier posts on here that sometimes the biopsy shows cells that are neither cancerous or benign, and thats why they go for futher examination.

I am glad that your Dad's consultant is keeping you as informed as he can and I hope that you get your results through soon too. The waiting is just horrible!