Good medical practice requires a tissue diagnosis prior to planning and initiating therapy.

The field of surgical pathology evaluates tissues removed from living patients during surgery or other types of invasive procedures in order to:

  • Diagnose a disease and aid in the development of a treatment plan
  • Provide information regarding prognosis such as:
    • Status of surgical margins (complete or incomplete removal of disease)
    • Size and extent of disease, including tumor invasion into adjacent structures
    • Tumor grade (well, moderately, or poorly differentiated)
    • Presence of metastasis to regional lymph nodes or distant organs