What is Pathology?
Pathology, translated literally as the ‘study of disease’, is the medical specialty dedicated to the examination of human tissues, cells and molecules, for the purpose of naming, describing, staging and understanding diseases. Pathologists who specialize in the study of cancer are known as surgical pathologists. At Saint John’s and it’s Cancer Institute, our surgical pathologists all have different, special training in multiple areas of cancer, and as a team will ensure that every patient benefits from the diagnostic expertise necessary to characterize their own cancer type or disease condition.
Who is your pathologist, and what do they do?
Pathologists work directly with the Health Center and Cancer Institute’s oncologists, surgeons, radiation oncologists, and other medical specialists to provide diagnostic and tumor staging information necessary to build customized treatment plans for every patient. At Saint John’s, pathologists routinely present patients’ pathology findings at one of the Health Center’s 14+ multidisciplinary cancer conferences held each month in specialties including Gastrointestinal, Genitourinary and Prostate, Skin, Neuroscience, Thoracic and Breast Cancers, among others.
Our pathologists study and utilize new techniques in the molecular, immunologic and genetic study of cancers, which in the last decade has advanced cancer treatments to unprecedented cures in certain areas, and counting. Pathologists are also involved in Cancer Institute research, some of which has resulted in historic advances in how cancers are cared for worldwide, such as our early work in the development of sentinel lymph node pathology, now international standard in the care of melanoma and breast cancer.