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Understanding Your Pathology Report

Understanding Your Pathology Report

A pathology report is a medical document written by a pathologist. A pathologist is a doctor who diagnoses a disease in the following ways: 

 Laboratory test interpretation 

 Evaluation of cells, tissues and organs The report makes a diagnosis based on the pathologist’s examination of a patient’s tumor tissue sample. This tissue sample is called a specimen and is collected during the biopsy process. 

 By examining and examining the tumor tissue, the pathologist can determine: Whether the tissue is cancerous or cancerous. A malignant tumor is cancerous, which means it can grow and spread to other parts of the body. A benign or benign tumor means that the tumor can grow but cannot spread. 

 Further specific information about the characteristics of the tumor. This information will help your doctor determine the best treatment plan. 

 Your doctor will receive these test results when they are available. It may take several days to several weeks for you to receive a complete report. The time depends on the required test. You are legally entitled to a copy of your pathology report. However, you should expect the report to contain highly technical medical terminology. Ask your doctor to explain the results in the pathology report and their meaning. 

Components of a pathology report 

 Different pathologists use different words to describe the same things. However, most pathology reports contain the sections discussed below. 

 Patients, doctors, and samples 

 This section lists the following items: 

 Patient’s name, date of birth, and other personal information 

 A unique number assigned to the patient to identify the sample 

 Information to contact the pathologist and oncologist and the location of the sample The laboratory has checked detailed information about the sample, including the type of biopsy or surgery, and the type of tissue 

 General or obvious description 

 This section describes the tissue sample or tumor seen with the naked eye. This includes general color, weight, size, and consistency. 

 Micro description 

 This is the most technical part of the pathology report. It describes what the cancer cells look like under the microscope. This section mentions several factors that affect diagnosis and treatment. 

 Is the cancer aggressive? Many types of tumors can be non-invasive (in situ, meaning “in situ”) or invasive. Invasive tumors can spread to other parts of the body through a process called metastasis. Although non-invasive tumors will not spread, they may grow or develop into invasive tumors in the future. In the case of invasive tumors, it is important for the pathologist to pay attention to the extent to which the tumor has grown to nearby healthy tissue. Class 

The degree describes the appearance of cancer cells compared to healthy cells. Typically, pathologists look for differences in cell size, shape, and color characteristics. Tumors whose cells look more like healthy cells are called “low-grade” or “well-differentiated”. Tumors whose cells do not look like healthy cells are called “high grade”, “poorly differentiated” or “undifferentiated”. Generally speaking, the lower the tumor grade, the better the prognosis. There are different ways to assign cancer grades to different types of cancer. Learn more about specific cancer classifications. 

 How fast the cell divides and the mitotic rate. Pathologists usually record the number of cells that are dividing. This is called the mitotic rate. Tumors with less cell division are usually mild. 

 Edge of tumor. Another important factor is whether the cancer cells are on the edge or the edge of the biopsy sample. A “positive” or “involved” edge means that there are cancer cells on the edge. This means that there may still be cancer cells in the body. 

 lymph nodes. The pathologist will also determine whether the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes or other organs. Lymph nodes are tiny bean-shaped organs that help fight disease. If the lymph node contains cancer, it is called “positive”, if it does not contain cancer, it is called “negative”. Tumors that have grown into blood vessels or lymphatic vessels are more likely to spread to other places. When the pathologist sees this, he will include it in the pathology report. stage. Typically, pathologists will assign a stage using the TNM system of the American Joint Commission on Cancer (AJCC).

The system uses 3 factors: 

 1. The size and location of the tumor (tumor, T) 

 2. Whether the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes near the tumor (node, N) 

 3. Whether the tumor has spread to other parts of the body (metastasis), M) . 

 Pathological staging, along with the results of other diagnostic tests, help determine the clinical stage of cancer. This information guides a person’s treatment options. Learn more about cancer staging. 

 Results of other tests. Pathologists can perform special tests to identify specific genes, proteins, and other factors that are unique to the tumor. The results of these tests can be reported in separate sections or separate reports. These additional tests are especially important for diagnosis, because the choice of the best treatment plan may depend on these results. 


 This section provides the “final results”. You can find this section at the beginning or end of the pathology report. If cancer is diagnosed, this section may contain: 

 Type of cancer, such as B. Carcinoma or sarcoma 

  • Tumor grade 
  •  Lymph node status 
  •  Marginal status 
  •  Stage

 All other test results, such as B. Whether the tumor has hormone receptors or other tumors Marker 

 Comprehensive pathology report or summary 

 If the tumor has been removed, the pathologist will add a summary. This lists the most important results in the table. These are the points considered the most important in determining a person’s treatment options and recovery opportunities. 

 Comment area 

 Sometimes cancer may be difficult to diagnose or the development of the cancer is unclear. In these cases

pathology report



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