NYU offering 'instant' mammogram results

March 9, 2012 2:55:58 PM PST
When a woman has a mammogram looking for breast cancer, she frequently must wait anxiously for days or weeks for the result, but more and more, that's changing.

Several women say that they want results from their mammograms as soon as possible.

In response, there are some radiologists who are changing how they practice to do that, and to reduce women's anxiety.

45-year-old Karine Wong went in for her yearly mammogram.

Her sister has breast cancer and she's anxious for the results.

"You have to wait and then it takes a week to get a phone call," Wong said.

That's not the case at NYU Langone.

Karine will get her results the same day.

It's a national trend.

"It's more labor intensive to do this, it's more difficult to do this, but we felt that if patients want that and we want to be a patient centric medical center, we need to make the effort to do that," said Dr. Michael Recht, Radiology Chairman, NYU Langone.

It meant hiring more radiologists, but NYU says they have not passed that cost on to the patients.

Other centers may.

Based on a woman's mammogram, other needed tests can be done or scheduled on the same day.

Women are offered the option of getting same day results or the standard option of waiting a few days.

At NYU Langone, about half of women chose option two and wait.

Some said they did not have time to wait an hour for results, or because of previous normal studies, are not nervous about the results.

"There are patients who are happy to get they're screening mammogram, and are happy to wait for the results because most mammograms are going to be normal," said Dr. Jiyon Lee, NYU Langone Medical Center.

Dr. Lee found a suspicious area on one breast, so Karine was asked to take another x-ray there the same day.

With that result and with her previous mammograms to compare, Dr. Lee finally could give Karine some good news, there are no problems, and "see you next year".

"If I had to wait for two weeks to get the results, of course I could deal with it, but the idea that I have the option for this, I want to know right away," Wong said.

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