Cancer Pathology Specialty

Our Cancer Pathologists: World-Renowned Disease Detectives

Each year, pathologists at BIDMC examine approximately 50,000 tissue specimens and perform nearly 7 million laboratory tests. Every blood or urine sample, throat culture and tissue specimen comes to the pathology laboratories at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) where pathologists examine, measure, analyze, and interpret to glean information that is critical to the care of that patient.

Pathologists Guide Treatment

Before the treating physician can begin to treat the patient, the physician must have as much information as possible about the specific disease the patient has and how it might respond to various treatments. It is the special responsibility of the pathologist to examine and interpret the tissue biopsy and to conduct specialized tests to correctly identify the type of disease and help the treating physician develop the right treatment plan to ensure the best possible outcome. The experience and knowledge of the pathologist is critically important in this team effort. Clearly, if the pathologist does not correctly diagnose the disease, then the treatment outcome may be compromised.

World-Class Expertise at BIDMC

At BIDMC, our world-class pathologists are dedicated to providing expert interpretation of tissue samples and the subtle nuances that help make accurate diagnoses. Our pathologists are internationally regarded for their expertise in all types of cancer and benign diseases.

Our team is especially adept at identifying factors that may:

  • Influence a risk of cancer recurrence 
  • Foreshadow the development of subsequent cancer from benign disease 
  • Indicate tumor progression

Our work has impacted cancer care and management in multiple areas including breast (our pathologists are routinely consulted on difficult cases, nationally and internationally) and genitourinary (approximately 14,000 prostate biopsies, reviewed annually).

Research: Building on Division Strengths

We are also actively engaged in research efforts to enhance the accuracy and the thoroughness of tissue and laboratory diagnosis. The very concept of personalized medicine in which a treatment plan is tailored to meet the individual needs of each patient depends entirely on the pathologist to analyze each patient sample and extract the maximum amount of information to help the treating physician select the most appropriate treatment plan for that one patient. We are now at the beginning of a revolution in individualized tissue diagnostics. Pathologists at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center are leading the way in developing new, more comprehensive tests to produce the best possible clinical outcome.