Pathological findings, which examine cancerous cells and tissues under a microscope, are used to determine the exact type of cancer and thus to plan the necessary treatment. Correct interpretation of pathological findings is as critical as collecting them properly.
Pathological findings, which examine cancerous cells and tissues under a microscope, are used to determine the exact type of cancer and thus to plan the necessary treatment. These pathological findings, which can be grouped as cytology and biopsy techniques, are the only valid way to make a definitive diagnosis regarding what type of cancer it is.
In cytology, the microscopic images of cells taken from the tumour with a needle are examined. For certain types of cancer, cytology alone can be diagnostic. For some types of cancer, it provides classification by giving basic information about the disease. Depending on the condition of the tumour, cytology can be performed with ultrasound or advanced imaging, or it can be performed without sedative drugs in external tumours.
In many cases, a biopsy is required to determine the exact nature of the cancer. In a biopsy, tissue samples taken from the tumour are examined under a microscope. According to the biopsy findings, the tissue structure, spatial connections and the grade of the tumour are determined. This procedure is performed surgically under anaesthesia. Appropriate techniques must be used to ensure that a suitable sample is taken and that the cancer does not spread to adjacent tissues during the procedure.
Some tissues, such as lymph nodes, may also require cytology or biopsies to test for the extent of the cancer. In rare cases where cytology and biopsy results do not show the cancer type with any certainty, different tests can be performed on the same tissue sample to reach a conclusion.
Correct interpretation of pathological findings is as critical as collecting the specimens correctly. For this purpose, the samples taken should be examined by pathologists specialised in oncology. In some cases, samples may need to be sent to different universities and private laboratories. Since pathology results will directly affect the diagnosis and treatment of the disease, more than one opinion should be obtained when necessary and different pathological methods should be used until a definitive diagnosis is made.
In our clinic, procedures such as bone marrow biopsy, cytological smear examination, cytology and biochemical tests from cerebrospinal fluid, ultrasound-guided biopsy and cytology, advanced imaging (MRI, CT, PET scan) guided tumour biopsy and immunohistochemistry of pathological samples from different pathologists are offered to patients with detailed explanations at each stage.