Pathologist Questions Pathology

What does a pathology report tell you?

My doctor said that we must wait for a pathology report after my son's biopsy. What does a pathology report tell a doctor?

4 Answers

What was removed, is it cancerous or not, did they get it all, will it spread if cancerous - basically, it dictates what the doctor will do next.

RB Thomas, MD
It will tell him the diagnosis; the pathology report will tell him whether the lesion your doctor biopsied was benign or malignant, and what needs to be done. Does the lesion need to be excised or not? Is everything going to be OK or your son might need more investigations, radiation or chemotherapy.
All doctors at times make a few differential diagnosis for a condition. The pathology report will narrow it down to the right diagnosis.
A pathology report will have information that will guide the physician in managing the patient. The report will include information, such as benign or malignant, type of a lesion, size of a lesion, whether the lesion is totally removed and sometimes the predicted prognosis. Once in a while the material sent to the pathologist may not be diagnostic of a certain disease entity or may not be adequate for a comprehensive pathological examination. A second sample may sometimes be requested by the pathologist.