Going with someone when having tests

Hi all

I’ve just been referred to the breast clinic and am kind of here there and everywhere at the moment, am also going through a break up and not sure i can take much more!

Basically I have read through the posts and saw that some people get results or an idea of results when they have the tests. I wasn’t thinking of taking anyone with me for the tests and wondered if maybe I should?

Thanks for your help in advance :slight_smile:

Hi Vicky May,

I went to my tests on my own (against my OH’s wishes - but at that point we were telling ourselves it was nothing and I was determined to be “strong”!) and found the whole thing upsetting even though they told me there and then that they didn’t think it was cancer! I was still scared and worried and having the tests made it feel more real. As such, if you have a close friend or family member I would recommend taking someone just in case. And if you don’t find it emotional you could just go out for a nice lunch/tea and have a nice catch up!!

Good luck - fingers crossed for a clear biopsy.


Hi Vicky_may and welcome to the BCC forums

I am sorry to read that you are having such a worrying time, it may help to talk things through and our helpliners are here to offer you further support and information, the lines are open weekdays 9-5 and Saturday 9-2 on 0808 800 6000

Here’s a link to the BCC publication ‘Referral to the breast clinic’ which you may find helpful to read prior to going:


Take care

Hi Vicky-May,
so sorry you are facing the anxiety of these tests.

The hospital where I was treated has a ‘one stop’ clinic where you are given a diagnosis before you leave. I went on my own quite sure I’d cope fine . When I went in to see the copnsultant the very first thing he asked me was ‘have you come onyour own or is there someone with you?’. This is, for him, a standard question, but a very wise one.

I was one of th eunlucky ones, and he had to tell me I had cancer. I kind of knew this when he came in with the breast nurse and she immediately took my hand! I was fine, kind of dazed and as if it was happening to someone else. Amazingly I took in what I was told and remembered it accurately.

However, both the consultant and the nurse told me in no uncertain terms that when I came for my next appointment, for the core bioposy results and to confirm my treatment plan, that I must take someone with me.

My advice would be to find someone to go with you - I took a friend (I am single and ~350 miles from nearest relative). You will find that many women take a sister a friend or their Mum, and others take their partner. It could be a long session if they do lots of tests, so good to have someone to chat to whilst you wait.

Hopefully you will be in the 90% of women who turn out not to have cancer in which case you will have someone to celebrate with.

Sorry this is a long essay! Really hope it’s good news for you.

Hi Vicky May

I’d take someone along, then as has already been said, if it’s bad news you have some support (and another pair of ears to listen to what has been said) and if it’s good, someone to celebrate with!

My own experience is that when I got the call back from my routine screen, I went on my own and getting all the biopsies done was probably one of the most shocking days I’ve had so far. I went in expecting another mammogram and ended up with 6 biopsies! It would have been good to have someone there, even though the staff were fab.

Hope it all works out for you. Hang on in there!

Laurie x

Thanks for all your quick replies, it’s just difficult as the person I would want to take hasn’t handled this well (surely I should be the one doing that?!) but I am lucky to have some great friends and will ask one of those. Only found out on Monday about the referral so waiting for the appointment which they said would be asap. They didn’t mention about getting the results there and then but it’s a one stop shop clinic so looks likely I’ll have an idea when am done!

So glad I found these forums otherwise would have been completely unprepared on the day and will keep reading through. It’s great knowing how I feel isn’t out of the ordinary and that I can ask questions if needed with thoughtful replies.

Speaking from the other side of the discussion, I went to almost all of my sessions on my own. This allowed me to be “me”, and not “concerned mum”, “worried friend” or some other version of me. I did bring my OH with me to one results meeting and would rather he wasn’t there, and I took one of my daughters (13) with me to one of my rads sessions but that just felt weird.

So if you don’t WANT to take someone with you, there’s no obligation. I had a book to read, and didn’t want to make small talk while waiting, so that was what suited me.

Whether you go on your own or with someone else, make sure you bring a pen and a piece of paper. Possibly give them to the person with you so they can make notes. That allows you to look back at what was said at the consultation. If you have specific questions, write them down beforehand and bring them with you, so you get the most out of the consultation and don’t end up thinking afterwards that you forgot to ask a question you needed answering.

Most importantly, best of luck for you. You are in the worst place at the moment. We’ve all found The Waiting Room to be excruciatingly painful. Hopefully you’ll be one of those who leaves by the All Clear door. Around 9 out of 10 referrals to the breast clinic turn out NOT to be cancer, so you have a good chance. There will be lots of fingers crossed for you, with lots of sympathy for the agony of waiting.


I went on my own too. And I wasn’t emotional. I was worried they would think I would be and when a male doctor was accompanied by a female nurse I was worried it was because I was expected to break down.

However, I wish I had taken someone with me for other reasons: as ChoccieMuffin says, to take notes. They can both help you to take in details which might be given, and also help you discuss whether the advice seemed OK, whether you need a second opinion or whatever. Maybe one of your friends would understand this role, which is really just to pay attention rather than to hand the tissues. There were a few occasions throughout my treatment where it took me a while to work out what was worrying me, e.g. should I have complained when I had to wait 2 hours for a doctor because it was tumor conference day and the trainees enjoyed the conference more than doing their work! A stupid example in your case, but I do think two heads are better than one.


Thanks for the further information - I am torn really as it’s all come as a shock and with the whole unsupportive partner am at a loss with who should go and if I’m not better doing it on my own. I don’t suppose anyone else has had experience with their partners not taking it well? This coupled with the worry of the tests and lump is making me a complete wreck at the moment!

I just got back from a mammogram follow up appointment. I didn’t take my husband as he’s not very strong mentally, and I usually end up having to support him more than he supports me! I was expecting just another mammogram but ended up having several, and ultrasound and a needle biopsy. The staff were very supportive but surprised I was on my own - which made me feel worse in a way. I have decided I will take my husband to the results appointment next week - but I may get him to stay in the car - I can text him if I feel he needs to join me and I won’t have to drive home in tears again! Good luck. JCJ

Hi Vicky May

Sorry you’re having to go through this worry at a time when you’re clearly having other problems too.

I was diagnosed in May 2009 at a one-stop clinic which meant I went at 9am and by 1pm was given the sad news that I did have cancer. I took my husband with me, and was glad he was there, as I tuned out a bit after getting the bad news and am not sure what I really remembered being said.

So, I think it would help to have a friend with you even just to keep chatting to whilst you are waiting, as there are inevitably delays whilst waiting.

I truly hope they don’t find anything, but if it’s not the news you are hoping for, please take heart from the fact that so many amazing girlies on here have come through it and come out the other side!! My baby son was only eight months old when I was diagnosed, but it is totally do-able!

Unfortunately, my husband later struggled to cope, and walked out on me and my son three times (each time I was in hospital having follow up surgery on my reconstruction). The last time he walked (three months ago) I told him not to bother coming back!!

I have lots of good friends, and have made some lifelong buddies through these forums.

If I can do ANYTHING to help, please just shout. Will keep everything crossed for you xx

Hey she

Thanks for your post, it’s a great help to see you had something similar (although on a worse scale, I can’t believe he did that and am glad you told him not to come back!) and got through it.

My appointment is next Tuesday at 4pm (seems late!) and am taking my friend who is a nurse for practical reasons just in case. I just want it done and out the way but have told a couple of friends and they are being wonderful - this weekend is jam packed with things to do now which is great.

Thanks again everyone, it’s brilliant being able to look through here and find out information and also see how I am feeling is normal!