For identification of a disease or cancer a sample is collected either through surgery for removal of cells or tissues or biopsy for examination under the microscope. Based on the sample collected, either histologic examination (tissue) or cytologic examination is carried out. Histologic examination is the best way to identify the presence of cancer.
A pathology report is prepared by a pathologist within ten days after the biopsy or surgery and is sent to doctor with all the diagnostic reports like microscopic description of the sample and its comparison with the normal cells, the type of tumour, tumour grade, tumour size, tumour margins. Additional information can also be provided in the pathology report based on other tests performed like immunochemical stains which uses antibodies to identify specific antigens on the surface of cancer cellswhich is used for determining the starting point of cancer, differentiate between different cancer types like carcinoma, melanoma and lymphoma and also to diagnose and classify leukemias and lymphomas. Another diagnostic method is flow cytometry which is used to determine the properties of cells in a given sample which includes number of cells, percentage of live cells, cell shape and size, presence of tumour markers on the cell surface which are produced by tumour cells or other cells in the body in response to cancer. It may also contain results of other molecular diagnosis and cytogenetic studies which reveals the presence or absence of malignant tumours and genetic or molecular dis-functioning.
Biopsy, imaging for diagnosis, cytopathology, histopathology, clinical tests for cancer diagnosis, genetic tests for cancer, types of tumour, pathology based on types of cancer, cancer screening, risk factors, tumour grading and staging
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