Cancer diagnosis? Why calling your pathologist might be a good idea

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  1. Miguel Reyes-Mugica

    Great piece. I would only submit that the statement “…forensic pathology is the most exciting… part of our job” requires a deeper reflection. I find exciting many other aspects of working in Pathology. Pathologists are also researchers, and discoveries made through research create significant excitement, certainly more than the somber environment of autopsy rooms in forensic centers.
    The other comment I have is regarding the suggestion made to patients to try to speak with their pathologist, an idea I fully support. However, certain institutions not only do not support that, but even forbid that. Some of our colleagues in the clinical disciplines may feel anxious or even threatened about having their patients talking directly with other doctors providing care (the pathologists, in this case).

  2. Luis Cruz

    Excellent post Mazzer. I love the part that explains that we choose the field because we enjoy it. Sadly many doctors, and worst some pathologist believe that we do not like communicating with patients

  3. Jane Vailey


    Can you tell me when a CD57 NK+ Flow Cytometry test would be useful and what a very low count (below 26) could indicate? Would it be appropriate to have anther CD57 NK+ test a few weeks/months later to ascertain if Treatment is working, and that there may be in increase in these cells during and after treatment.

    Thank you
    Jane Bailey

  4. Richard N. Eisen, MD

    Nice piece Dr. Mazer. I agree with your assessment and call for pathologists to take an active role informing patients about their disease and treatment options, being mindful of their treating physicians’ roles at the same time. As a Yale Pathology alumnus, best of luck the rest of the way and kudos to your active participation on twitter on this issue.

  5. Jena Bradley

    Great article however my brother had three biopsy done in his GI trac. The initial CT scan did not confirm just needed further testing. All the lab work done on that day all lab work out of range was suggestive of cancer. Then they do biopsy four months latter with report done by GI Doctor “authenticated”. I explained to her we were not comfortable with that report never seen one like it, don’t even know who the pathologist was. She explained it was perfectly good report. I told her the problem is that she was not a pathologist and does not truly diagnose cancer. We still have no clue what pathologist did report or see any documentation from one. I ‘m truly amazed ! I feel like my brother has every right to see the report written by pathologist. I’m not sure who to talk to about resolving this issue. I guess I can file compliant with medical board. If you could give your thoughts it would be appreciated.

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