There is little data on the amount of time patients and families typically wait for pathology results when pediatric malignancy is suspected. The purpose of this study was to determine the average waiting period after diagnostic intervention for pediatric cancer. Pathology reports were reviewed for pediatric patients who had their initial diagnosis and were followed in the Division of Hematology/Oncology from 2007 through 2010. The average turnaround time (TAT) for all pathology (n=266) was 6.9 days. The TAT for pathology results according to diagnosis was 10.1 days for CNS tumors (n=59), 9.7 days for sarcomas (n=40), 5.4 days for lymphomas (n=31), 5.4 days for neuroblastoma (n=13), 7.3 days for kidney tumors (n=11), 7.2 days for thyroid tumors (n=7), 9.4 days for ovarian tumors (n=7), 7.0 days for schwannomas/neurofibromas (n=5), 5.7 days for testicular tumors (n=3), 5.0 days for hepatoblastoma (n=3), and 7.0 days for nasopharyngeal carcinomas (n=2). Overall the TAT for leukemia was 3.1 days (n=76), with diagnosis by flow cytometry taking 1.2 days and results by bone marrow biopsy taking 4.0 days. The TAT for pediatric oncology pathology after diagnostic intervention varies according to diagnosis. The hope is that this information will better prepare patients and families for the agonizing waiting period associated with diagnosis.
- pediatric oncology
- turnaround time
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health