CAP

Pathology and Your Health

Pathologists are committed to ensuring you get the right diagnosis and accurate test results.

Pathology and
Your Health

When you receive a diagnosis, it can be a scary, confusing, often overwhelming experience. As pathologists, we want you to have the information you need to ask the right questions and participate fully in your care.

We’re the physicians examining your tissue and blood under the microscope. Accuracy and laboratory quality matter to us because your health depends on it.

COVID-19 Information for Patients

Testing for COVID-19

In this COVID-19 global pandemic, everyone wants safe, accurate testing. Find out what pathologists are doing on the front lines to ensure that happens.

Read our COVID-19 Testing FAQs

Pathologists on the Front Lines of the Pandemic

During this COVID-19 health crisis, you need medical answers now more than ever. This is complicated science and pathologists are involved at every step. Learn how these physician experts are keeping you safe and healthy.



How to Read Your Pathology Report

You can find the important information you need to know about your diagnosis in the pathology report. It’s written by pathologists for other physicians on your care team. But you need to understand what it means, too. These resources will walk you through each section of the report and highlight what it all means.

Download the Overview

From Diagnosis to Treatment: Patient Stories

Real-life stories that highlight patients partnering with pathologists.

“It Was My Turn.”

by Nancy E. Johnson

She put on the examination gown and sat in the holding area with the other women. And waited. She didn’t want to be there. After more than 10 years of normal mammograms, Shelly Staat went through the ritual again at age 53, a bit reluctantly because she was convinced that she’d have another good report. “I was giving the tech a hard time, like I do not know why I’m here,” she said. “We have heart disease and diabetes in my family, not cancer.”

Read full story

Recently Diagnosed with Cancer? Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Your Diagnosis

As physicians, family members, and patients ourselves, we know you have many questions, concerns, and fears after receiving a cancer diagnosis. As pathologists, we suggest starting a meaningful dialogue with your health care team with five simple questions:

  1. Does my diagnosis mean I have cancer?
  2. What type of cancer do I have?
  3. Is my cancer treatable, and if so, how will you treat it?
  4. What is my prognosis?
  5. What resources can I trust to help me with next steps?

Once you have answers, you may want to know even more about your diagnosis, treatment options, and impact of cancer on your lifestyle. Here are additional questions you may want to ask your doctor:

  • What is cancer exactly and what does it mean for my life?
  • Which doctors made the diagnosis and how did they figure it out?
  • What type of tumor do I have?
  • I’ve heard about personalized medicine and targeted therapy in the news. Am I eligible for these treatments?
  • Based on my diagnosis, are my family members at increased risk for developing cancer?
  • What will cancer really mean for my life? Is my life in danger? How long do people typically live with a diagnosis like mine?
  • Has my cancer spread to other parts of my body? Will it?
  • Am I going to suffer?
  • What side effects can I expect from treatment for my cancer?
  • Can I work? Have sex? Is it contagious?
  • What if none of the treatment options work?