Importance of Pathologic Diagnosis

Most patients don’t realize that there are TWO very important opinions to get when seeking an opinion about your care.  The first, is obviously the physician who knows your disease, and the subtleties related to its treatment.  Most patients believe this is where the consultation begins, and ends. 

However, the second important opinion, and arguably the most important, is the one that comes from the hematopathologist.  The hematopathologist (a pathologist that specializes in diagnosis blood cancers from human tissue) is the person who actually makes the diagnosis.  Reading, deciphering, and interpreting the many pieces of information that go into making the diagnosis is a highly skilled craft, one that takes as long to perfect, as the clinical prescribing your therapy.  In fact, the treating physician typically cannot make any recommendation about your care until he or she has had a conversation with the pathologist.  Your treatment, in every case, is dictated by the pathologists interpretation.