Here are some frequently asked questions about results after a biopsy or excision at our clinics:
When will the result be ready for discussion?
10 days to 2 weeks. Please do not pressure for a hurried result, as some samples go through extended processing for accuracy. Rarely, some samples may take up to 3 – 4 weeks.
What if the result is ABNORMAL (cancerous or requires further treatment)?
This does not necessarily mean skin cancer. Sometimes it may be a pre-cancerous finding that would benefit from treatment. There are different types of skin cancers with different implications. This will be discussed with you at a consultation, where you can obtain a copy of the result. Please note we cannot forward an abnormal result to you prior to a consultation.
What if the result is NOT CANCEROUS:
If requested, we will notify you by SMS. Skin lesions consist of living cells and can change any time. If you notice any further change, inform us so we can review it for you.
Will there be fees for the Result Appointment?
A short consultation (5 – 6 min) will be bulk-billed. Normal fees apply with longer appointments, prescription treatment, referrals or procedures.
Will treatment happen on the same day as the Result Appointment?
This depends on the skin cancer. With early skin cancers and our regular patients, we can “Discuss and Treat” on the same day. In some cases, a planning visit is required to discuss treatment options with you.
I have been told I have an abnormal result. What if I cannot physically attend to discuss the result?
- ask your local Doctor to request the result from us using the abnormal result request form, or
- request a tele-consultation. It will be booked and scheduled in the same way as a physical consultation. However, Medicare does not rebate tele-consultation at the present time, leading to more costs for you.
I have been told I have an abnormal result. What if I wish to just obtain the result without further discussion with a Doctor about its implications?
Unfortunately, we are not able to do so.
This is a very difficult situation for doctors who have performed the biopsy. They are bound medicolegally with an obligation in particular in the cancer field to explain the implications of the result. We hope the following points will help explain:
- We believe informed and knowledgeable patients should be able to take full control and responsibility for his/her result. (If you are reading this you are likely to be informed)
- However, there are those in the community who are less informed about health matters.
- The current medicolegal requirement states that ALL patients, regardless of their level of education and knowledge, can only be deemed as “informed” about an abnormal result after a suitably documented consultation with a trained doctor.
- At present, there is no method for a knowledgeable patient to alter this legal requirement for the doctor.
- Our doctors are obliged to do this discussion or another doctor must agree in writing to do the same.
We are therefore unable to release an abnormal result prior to a properly conducted consultation. We will gladly provide such a copy to you at the consultation. Please request it at the time.
If you wish another Doctor to be provided with the result and to provide this discussion, please download this abnormal result request form.
Can I obtain a copy of my “NOT CANCEROUS”, or old pathology reports?
Yes, absolutely. Please fill in the form below. Allow up to 3 business days due to the processes required.
Please note this can only be done for non-cancerous results or skin cancers that have already been treated.