A pathology report confirms the diagnostic of several diseases; and among them, cancer, on the basis of the analyses of cells and tissues extracted through a biopsy.
The Cancer National Institute indicates that a biopsy performs an important duty for determining the diagnostic and the stage of cancer, meaning a description of how far it has extended in the body, especially if the disease has disseminated. The result helps determining the treatment options.
In most of the cases, the doctor should make a biopsy or surgery to extract those cells and tissues that require an analysis. Some of the most common ways to obtain a sample are:
- Using a needle to extract tissue or fluid.
- Using an endoscope (a lightened thin tube) to observe the areas inside the body and ablate cells or tissue.
- Surgery for ablating part of, or the whole tumor.
Finally, the extracted tissue is sent to a clinical laboratory, where they make thin cuts to this tissue and observe them through a microscope. This is known as a histologic study, and is the best way to know if there is cancer, among other diseases.
Related article: Symptoms of colon cancer.