Pathology and Cancer
Board-certified pathologists experienced in diagnosing and staging cancer are key to the detection, diagnosis and treatment of the disease.
Pathologists confirm a suspected cancer diagnosis by examining tissue removed either during surgery or in less invasive, biopsy procedures. Imaging studies (X-rays, CT and MRI) help determine the location and extent of the cancer.
Advanced Pathology Resources
The Pathology Laboratory analyzes blood and tissue in a variety of ways. The hospital's immunohistochemistry laboratory also analyzes tumors for hormone receptors and HER2/neu protein receptors in breast cancer and looks for proteins in other tumors as well. These analyses are used to make a more precise diagnosis.
Our highly skilled staff includes surgical pathologists and dermatopathologists trained in the pathology of medical diseases, tumors and skin disorders.
Pathologists and oncologists are linked by an electronic imaging system that allows them to view pathology microscope slides at the same time. The system is also used at the weekly Tumor Board meetings coordinated by Richard Eisen, MD, a board-certified surgical pathologist.
Grade and Stage of Cancer
Pathologists help determine the grade and stage of a tumor. This information helps oncologists to develop a treatment plan for a specific cancer. Cancers caught at an early stage generally require less aggressive treatments than more advanced cases.
The grade of a tumor corresponds to how abnormal the cancer cells appear under a microscope. A higher grade reflects more abnormal cells, indicating a potentially more aggressive cancer. Staging determines how much and where the cancer exists. Pathologists determine the exact size of the tumor and whether the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes or to distant areas of the body.