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Breast Biopsy Results Should Be Available Even Faster

July 26, 1998

I was heartened to read that Helena Chang has persuaded her colleagues to turn over breast cancer test results faster ("The Lifesaver," by Lisa Leff, June 21). Health psychologists have documented the tremendous anxiety and stress that women experience while waiting for biopsy results.

In one study, women with confirmed breast cancer called waiting for biopsy results the most anxiety-provoking time of their entire illness. However, not all of us are able to obtain an appointment for a biopsy at UCLA "within a few hours," as Chang herself was able to do after discovering a breast lump. Recently, I had to wait two days for a biopsy and then an additional eight days for the results. If only pathologists could experience women's pain of waiting--every 1752135026 Sonja Lyubomirsky

Assistant Professor of Psychology

University of California, Riverside

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