The Role of Pathology in Diagnosing Cancer

Cancer is an uncontrolled growth of cell that form tumors, damage normal tissue and that may eventually spread throughout the body which is called as metastasis. Pathology as a Medical Specialty pertains the study and diagnosis of disease through examination of cells, tissues, organs, body fluids, and the complete organism. A wide variety of diagnostic evaluations are performed for the assessment of different types of tumors.


These tests have a wide range of protocols like a) Diagnostic procedures which are generally non-invasive or only minimally invasive, usually involve an analysis of tissue or blood. The common procedure used in this are Anoscopy, Biopsy, Bronchoscopy, Endoscopic procedures, Lumbar puncture, Pap test and pelvic exam, etc. b) Diagnostic imaging tests through electromagnetic radiation captures the pictures which would help the doctors to locate and diagnose cancer, to determine whether cancer has spread, and to evaluate whether and to what extent a particular treatment is working. These include Angiography, Barium swallow or enema, Bone scan, Colonoscopy, Computed tomography (CT) scan, DEXA scan, Mammography, Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), Nuclear medicine imaging, Ultrasound, X-ray, etc. c) Genetic testing and advanced genomic testing where in it is used to detect the Gene mutations, BRCA1 and BRCA2, Microsatellite instability and mismatch repair deficiency, PD-L1, etc. d) Laboratory tests which are generally used are circulating tumour cell (CTC), Complete blood count test, Flow cytometry, tumour markers, CA-125 test, Prostate-specific antigen test, and many more.

The recent technical advances have brought greater insights into the biology of cancer. So, the early diagnosis of Cancer can save the lives and also cut down the treatment costs and diagnosing it in the late stages, would increase the inability to provide treatment, leads many people to unnecessary suffering and early death. In spite of great advancements in the technology and Science the complete cure of Cancer is still questionable.

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