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The Effect of a Required 48-Hour Window to Schedule Genetic Counseling on Time From Diagnosis of Breast Cancer to Surgery.

BACKGROUND: The length of time from diagnosis of breast cancer to surgery has steadily increased. Consultations and tests, in addition to a lack of available counseling programs, contribute to delays. Evidence suggests that delays between diagnosis and surgery may adversely affect patients.

OBJECTIVES: This article examines the effect of time from diagnosis of breast cancer to surgery by requiring nurse navigators to contact the genetic counseling office within 48 hours of the diagnosis to schedule an appointment for the patient as soon as possible.

METHODS: Using a quasiexperimental design, data of time from diagnosis to surgery among patients with breast cancer were collected retrospectively preintervention (N = 30) and prospectively postintervention (N = 30).

FINDINGS: Time from diagnosis to surgery decreased significantly from pre- (mean = 50.3 days, SD = 22 days) to postintervention (mean = 39 days, SD = 16 days) (t = 2.25, p = 0.03).

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