The Importance of Pathology In Cancer Treatments

Cancer is a disease picture that occurs as a result of the uncontrolled proliferation and growth of cells in any organ or tissue of the body. The most common types of cancer that cause death are lung, stomach, liver, colon and breast cancer. If the cancer spreads to other organs and tissues from the area where it originated, it is called metastasis.

Pathology is a branch of medicine that diagnoses diseases, especially cancer, by examining all organs, tissues and body fluids in the body. If we explain it in a broader sense, it reveals the causes of diseases, how they occur, their formation mechanisms and their effects on organs. It is not enough to say that the biopsies taken are only abnormal, that is, they contain cancer cells, because it is also necessary to name the cancer specifically. Thus, planning for specific treatments can be made. After pathological examination, we do not call a breast biopsy only breast cancer. We also determine which type it is. We also determine which drugs can be used for treatment. The treatment plan is made accordingly.

Especially the definitive and specific diagnosis of cancer patients is very important in making treatment decisions for this disease. For example, it is not enough to have a lung mass and to say that this mass is malignant in terms of the treatment algorithm. In addition, we need to prove whether this mass is lung-derived or metastatic. On the other hand, even if we prove that this mass is lung cancer, we have to prove what kind of lung cancer it is with immunohistochemistry stains. Because it is not enough to say lung cancer alone. There is a very serious treatment difference between squamous cell cancer and adenocarcinoma of the lung. It    is    very    important    for    a    patient    diagnosed    with    lung adenocarcinoma to have FISH analysis such as ALK, ROS, PDL-1, EGFR. Because the treatment that patients will receive will change according to the results of these tests. Examples like this can be multiplied. That is why early results of pathology reports are of great importance for our patients.

Dr.Orkhan Farmanlı, MD
Surgery Pathologist, Istanbul/ TURKEY