• How long does it usually take to get your results back from a CAT scan?

    Asked by CovidCancer on Wednesday, June 3, 2020

    How long does it usually take to get your results back from a CAT scan?

    I had one done early last week, my doctor said at best by Friday but should have the results this week. I checked today and his office says nothing yet. Is it normal to take that long, should I be worried? I can only think that it might be bad news.

    12 Answers from the Community

    12 answers
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar

      You can feasibly get your results the same day. In my case, my doctor has it fixed so that his patients don't get their results for 72 hours or something like that - he wants them to see him before they see the results of their scan on MyChart. The reasoning behind that is (1) sometimes he doesn't agree with the scan report, (2) he doesn't want the patient to worry and fret if there is "bad news," (3) sometimes the reports have mistakes in them (more often than we would want to be true).

      (I have all of my work done at a large NCI-designated cancer center and that might make a difference in how quickly results are available. Please try not to worry while waiting.)

      about 1 month ago
    • beachbum5817's Avatar

      Waiting is the worst. Things seem to be taking more time due to Covid-19. Try not to worry. Hopefully you will hear something by the end of this week. Keep us posted. Take care.

      about 1 month ago
    • 2943's Avatar

      You can also tell the doctors office how anxious this extremely long wait is making you. Is it that you could not get in to see him to hear the results? I had this once. The doctor gave the results and patient did not get earlier. It changed when I would not start our appt until I saw the report and the next day sent a dozen or so written questions. I now get them as soon as available.
      They are often read same day. Call the office again. Sometimes they need reminders of what wearing our shoes is like. Hugs!

      about 1 month ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      Like Live said, if you're at an NCI designated hospital/facility your doctor will have access to the scan within hours. I can have a scan done at 10 AM and then see my doctor at 12 noon and she will pull the scan up on the computer in the room and have a look. The radiologist's report won't be ready for a couple of days, but usually, we are looking for big things that are large and easy to see, like a giant tumor, or a giant tumor that is starting to shrink. Those things my doctor can look at and see where we are in our treatment plan herself.

      Years ago it was 2 weeks every time I had a scan to get results, not these times. Push a little bit and tell them you need answers and ask what's the holdup. I've found that sometimes they have the information already, they just haven't gotten around to calling with the results.

      about 1 month ago
    • Teachertina's Avatar

      I used to have to wait days until I saw my oncologist. It was really hard over weekends! Finally I told him to just call me when I found out that he gets it in a couple of hours. I told him I’m a big girl and can take the news good or bad over the phone. I let him know I would not stop calling his office if he didn’t. He respected my request and that’s what happens now every time. A couple of times it was bad news and he talked to me about it. I’ve been with this doctor for 14 years , so it worked out ok but some people might not get the same response. I know we all hate the wait!

      about 1 month ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar

      I prefer to know the results before seeing my oncologist, but I rarely have that luxury since that is not how he prefers to do it. Different folks handle news in different ways, but like @Teachertina, I'm a big girl and I would rather know, even if it is bad news, before the visit. That way, I can be completely prepared to discuss options, etc. Apparently, it hasn't worked out well for my doctor for patients to have the information early because he steadfastly refuses to let you have it until you meet with him. I routinely have a scan on Thursday and get the results on Monday during an office visit with the doctor.

      about 1 month ago
    • andreacha's Avatar

      I see that you are from MO. Are you from a rural area? What sized facility do you go to for your tests? How far away is your Doctor? I live in a rural area of N GA. My nearest hospital with scans is in the next town. My previous Oncologist (just changed) was in that same next town. I have to depend upon someone to drive me. I spoke to the Chief Radiologist at the hospital and explained
      my situation about having to find someone to drive me. He assured me that I could make my appointments with the Oncologist for one hour after completion of scans and he would stat the results over. He hasn't let me down yet, even with the new doctor. I realize how fortunate I am to have this service. But it's food for thought. You might be able to work something out. When I mentioned this to my Oncologist he said that would NEVER happen so I asked about it myself. He ate his words. There are a lot of kind medical staffing out there. Check it out. It's a whole lot easier to get the scans, have a quick lunch and go for my results and home in the same day. Hope you can come up with a solution.

      about 1 month ago
    • 2943's Avatar

      Andreacha, I go about 2 hrs each way for treatment so make the most of the day and all my doctors help. I am having Two CTs at 9:00 am on Tues and doctor appt for 10:30. Hugs!

      about 1 month ago
    • Bug's Avatar

      I don't think it necessarily means bad news because it take a long time. I think several factors are involved, e.g., the office's protocol, staffing. But I do agree with others that the squeaky wheel usually gets the grease.

      about 1 month ago
    • DIlly39's Avatar

      I usually get my cat scan result in a few days when I see the dr.for a follow up appt. It may be they are short staffed at this time because of the virus. Remember no news is good news.

      30 days ago
    • MyLungCancer's Avatar

      I have had the results in the same day before, and I have also waited a week before. I guess it has a lot to do with what the facility, doctor, and radiologist has on their schedule. The waiting is terrible though.

      28 days ago
    • Paperpusher's Avatar

      It usually takes two weeks for my husband to get the results of his scans. That's a long wait when you know the onc usually has the radiology report at least by the next day unless the radiologist is getting input from someone else. We've had that happen. Hubby doesn't even have to go back in to see him to get the results. If they're ok, he may call or he may just release it to the portal

      27 days ago

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