Cytopathology is a subspecialty area in Anatomic Pathology, which studies the morphologic abnormality of cells from precursor lesions to frank malignancy. The detection of pre-malignant and malignant cells is at the heart of what we do in Cytopathology.
Cytopathologists and their cytotechnologist counterparts are trained in the detection of malignant cells by cytologic evaluation of specimens obtained through fine needle aspirations (FNAs), pleural and peritoneal effusions, cerebrospinal fluids, urine, pelvic washings, gastric and bile duct washings/brushings and the Pap smear. Currently, the Papanicolaou smear is the longest running and most successful screening test performed for the detection of cervical cancer.
The Fine Needle Aspiration Service was first established at RPCI in late 2010 and is becoming widely accepted as an important ancillary test in the detection of primary and recurrent disease. It is especially helpful for patients seeking a preliminary diagnosis and looking for help in the triage of their disease. The Cytology laboratory accessions over 7,500 specimens per year of which 1,300 are fine needle aspirations.
Roswell Park offers an accredited fellowship in Cytopathology.