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Posted 3/21/2017

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  There is nothing that is more important in cancer care than an accurate pathology report. Everything follows from that; all treatment decisions are first based on that information. One of our pathologists told me years ago that each time she prepares a slide for her microscope, she pauses and offers up a prayer: Help me get this right.

  If you have never read your pathology report, you might (or might not) want to do so. There no doubt will be unfamiliar vocabulary, but you will understand much of it--and can ask questions about the rest.

  This is a helpful article from CancerNet:

Getting Up Close and Personal With Your Cancer’s Pathology

Kimberley Allen, MD

There’s a member of your health care team who plays a vital
role in your diagnosis and cancer care who you may never
meet face to face: the pathologist. A pathologist is a doctor who
analyzes tissue samples removed during a biopsy or surgery in
order to make a diagnosis.
I am a pathologist — and a cancer survivor. When I was
diagnosed with cancer, I was terrified. There were so many
unknowns and so much uncertainty to deal with. I was 33 years
old and had just given birth to my second child. Suddenly, instead of wondering what to pack in
my preschooler’s lunch before work, I was wondering how I’d survive to watch her graduate
preschool the next year.
While I had no sense of security about my future, I considered myself incredibly lucky. Unlike
many new cancer patients, I had the comfort of knowing a lot about my diagnosis and treatment
plan. I’m a pathologist specializing in breast cancer diagnosis—and I’d been diagnosed with the
very same disease. So the first thing I wanted to know was: “What exactly is the pathology?”

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