Can results change after surgery

My mother has just had a masectomy and lymph node clearance after being told she had grade 2 BC. She was waiting for results on hormone tests but for some reason there has been a delay getting them. Does the consultant review the grade and type of cancer after the surgery? I’m wondering if my mother’s results will change at all now she’s had the masectomy. I don’t know much about it so wondered if the cancer is looked at in more detail as a matter of proceedure, or if the biopsy is enough to determine what’s going on?

Hi Overtherainbow,

I don’t know if you will find the answer you are looking for but I have put the link to BCC’s publication ‘Understanding your pathology report’ for you to have a look at. Could I also suggest that you give the helpline a ring and one of the nurses here will have a chat with you about it. Calls to the helpline are free, 0808 800 6000, lines are open until 5pm today (Mon-Fri) and Sat 9-2.*/changeTemplate/PublicationDisplay/publicationId/91/

Hope you get some answers.

Molly, Facilitator

Hi Overtherainbow
Its a horrible time waiting for results, sorry to hear you and your mother are going through that at the moment.
My experience was that the results were more accurate post-surgery. Mine were slightly different to those from the core biopsy I had originally. Not sure if you mean there is a specific delay with the results, but just to reassure you if not that they can take a while- I remember one of my hormone tests (Her2)was borderline the first time, so underwent a second test to confirm the result which took another few days-feels like weeks when you are waiting.
All the best
C x


I think results do change sometimes after surgery. It is only then they know the actual size of the tumour. Also at my hosp they said it was only then they could tell exactly what grade it was as they go on the highest grade of cell they find even if there was only a few. I think the HER2 status had to be done after. Am not sure about hormones other than I knew before that it was not hormone responsive so I don’t know about that.

Waiting is very hard- hope your mum gets her results soon. dx

Thanks so much for the replies everyone, I appreciate the support and info. I will give the helpline a ring tomorrow. It does sound like my mum will be given some definite results fairly soon then. I hope it doesn’t take too long. I’m worried the cancer will end up being more aggressive than first predicted, but pointless worrying I guess.