Pathology

I have never met them, nor have I ever thanked them for their part in my survival. And yet so much of that day and my treatment in the following months depended on their expertise.

Throughout our lives, most of us will undergo a variety of medical tests to help identify and treat various ailments and diseases. These exams will probably include a pathology test, which is used to study the cause and progression of a disease.

Dr. Neppalli’s challenge: to help doctors from other countries find ways to deliver fast, accurate diagnoses using the materials and facilities they have back at their home centers.

Pathologists are key partners of the medical team whose investigations and findings are essential to successful surgical and treatment plans for cancer patients.

During my own cancer journey, I’ve learned a lot about the importance of asking questions and getting multiple opinions. I had to be my own advocate to ensure the best possible care. Otherwise, my outcome might have been very different.
In addition to treating melanoma and sarcoma patients at Roswell Park, Joseph Skitzki, MD, FACS, spent the last few years developing a high-powered, first-of-its-kind microscope for use in the operating room. In February 2016, following a short study of the microscope’s functionality, Dr. Skitzki's research team revealed its stunning findings.

Solving a puzzle is a meticulous task, requiring concentration, logic and, at times, a certain degree of teamwork. Dermatopathologists solve puzzles each day and must excel in these areas, studying biopsies and providing precise diagnoses for patients.

Hearing “you have cancer” usually triggers a range of emotions in people that may include anxiety, sadness, anger, fear, confusion and a sense of urgency to have the cancer treated as soon as possible.

Understanding your illness is vital to making informed treatment decisions, and that begins with understanding the words related to a cancer diagnosis. Here are a few important words you should familiarize yourself with.

A cancer diagnosis starts with a biopsy - the process of taking suspicious tissue or fluid and studying it under a microscope. A pathologist examines the tissue or fluid and prepares a pathology report. Think of this report as a cancer profile.