Asked Questions;

What is Pathology?

Pathology is a branch of medical science primarily concerning the examination of organs, tissues, and bodily fluids in order to make a diagnosis of disease.


Types of pathology

The main branches of pathology are clinical pathology, anatomical pathology or a combination of the two, referred to as general pathology.


General pathology

General pathology describes the scientific study of disease which can be described as any abnormailty that is causing changes in the structure or function of body parts. In pathology, the causes, mechanisms and extent of disease may be examined.

The resulting changes in the structure or function of a body part and significance of the disease is also considered. A general pathologist would usually be familiar with all aspects of laboratory analysis and trained in clinical chemistry, microbiology and hematology, for example, but their knowledge would be less detailed than that of a subspecialist in one of these fields.


Anatomical pathology

This branch of pathology involves the study and diagnosis of disease based on the examination of surgically removed bodily specimens or sometimes of the whole body (autopsy). Aspects of a sample that may be considered include its gross anatomical make up, appearance of the cells and the immunological markers and chemical signatures in the cells.


Clinical pathology

This branch concerns the laboratory analysis of blood, urine and tissue samples to examine and diagnose disease. Typically, laboratories will process samples and provide results concerning blood counts, blood clotting ability or urine electrolytes, for example.


Who is a pathologist?

Pathologists are physicians who specialize in the diagnosis and characterization of disease based on the examination of tissues removed from diseased body parts or biopsy samples. They can also diagnose certain diseases and conditions through the laboratory analysis of various bodily fluids such as the blood, semen, saliva, cervical fluid, pleural fluid (around the lungs), pericardial fluid (around the heart) and ascetic fluid (collected in the abdomen in liver disease).

Pathologists specialize in a wide range of diseases including cancer. Tissue samples are observed under a microscope and the cellular pattern observed to help determine if a sample is cancerous or non-cancerous (benign). Pathologists also employ genetic studies and gene markers in the assessment of various diseases.

Pathologists work in conjunction with clinicians to help them make decisions regarding the most appropriate treatments for different disease conditions. Pathologists may also conduct post mortems or autopsies to investigate the cause of death. These specialists are called forensic pathologists.

By Dr Ananya Mandal, MD


What does Pathologist do?

Pathologists help care for patients every day by providing your doctor the information needed to ensure appropriate patient care. They are valuable resources for other physicians 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

A pathologist is a physician who studies body fluids and tissues, helps your primary care doctor make a diagnosis about your health or any medical problems you have, and uses laboratory tests to monitor the health of patients with chronic conditions.

A pathologist may also recommend what you can do to prevent illness and maintain good health. For example, when your blood is drawn as part of your annual physical, the pathologist supervises testing and performs tests to help assess your health.

A pathologist will also examine a tissue biopsy to determine if it is benign or if you have cancer, and shares that information with your primary care doctor. Some pathologists specialize in genetic testing, which can for example, determine the most appropriate treatment for particular types of cancer.

Pathologists also perform autopsies, which not only determine the person’s cause of death, but may also discover more information about the genetic progression of a disease. This discovery can help family members take preventive action for their own health and can aid researchers in developing future treatments.

Source: College of American Pathologists, November 2005


What am I required to bring for my pathology testing?


Make sure you bring your pathology test request form that your doctor completed for you. Please note that we normally accept all pathology request forms.

Our pathology collection staff are required to positively identify you at the beginning of your procedure.

I have an old pathology request form that I never used – can I still use it?


Most test request forms are valid for at least 6 months (unless your doctor has specified otherwise).

If your pathology testing request form is more than 6 months old, please contact your doctor for a new request.



Copyright © 2015 · Best Bilgisayar