Pathology is a medical specialty that focuses on the causes of illness and disease. A pathologist examines changes in tissues in a person’s blood and bodily fluids in order to determine how diseases affect the body. They are trained to examine bodily tissues for infections, viruses, and bacteria, giving doctors and patients the assurance of a clear diagnosis. This means if you are showing symptoms of a certain illness, your doctor may recommend a pathology test to confirm the type and cause of the problem.
At Star Clinic, our highly skilled pathologists provide accurate results and diagnoses so you can begin the path to treatment. Book an appointment with one of our doctors to determine whether you may require a pathology test.
What is pathology?
Sometimes, it is difficult to diagnose a medical issue based on symptoms alone. A person’s symptoms may suggest a number of possible health concerns, and doctors must ensure they have the right information before recommending a treatment. For this reason, pathologists are often integral to the process of diagnosis.
A pathologist studies samples of bodily tissues or fluids in order to correctly diagnose diseases, viruses, and other health issues. They study these samples in a laboratory, looking for abnormalities in the cells or blood chemistry. They may also conduct lab tests. This helps doctors give patients accurate information about their condition or illness and can indicate an appropriate course of treatment. For example, diagnoses of illnesses such as cancer often involve a pathologist, since cancerous cells are sometimes invisible to the naked eye.
Reasons to have pathology tests
Your doctor will advise whether you should have a pathology test, depending on the symptoms you are experiencing. You should discuss your symptoms during your appointment, as well as any past health issues or current medications, since this will help the doctor identify potential health concerns. If you require testing, you will need to provide a sample, and a pathologist will examine the sample to determine if the tissue is healthy or if there is any disease present. The results will reveal a diagnosis, and your doctor can then recommend a treatment approach accordingly.
Not only do pathologists work to diagnose illnesses and diseases, but they can also help to determine a suitable treatment approach. This is because knowing the cause of an illness gives an indication of how to treat it and which methods will best target the issue. Additionally, pathology tests can be useful for determining the effectiveness and progress of treatment. This means if an illness or disease is identified and treated by a doctor, further testing can establish whether the treatment worked or if further treatments are necessary.
Types of pathology tests
Different types of pathology tests are used to diagnose different diseases and health issues. They include:
A test of your iron levels will allow a doctor to determine if you have too much or too little iron in your blood. It is important that your iron levels are at an ideal range. If you have too little iron, you may be at risk of anaemia which causes fatigue and low energy. However, if you have too much iron, this can increase your risk of developing other conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, and liver disease.
Liver function tests
Liver function tests help to determine problems in the liver which may be causing inflammation, obstructions, and other abnormalities. The pathologist looks at the proteins, enzymes, and other substances produced by the liver to identify potential issues. Once we have identified the issue and underlying condition, we can begin treating it.
Full blood count
A full blood count can identify a wide range of infections, diseases, and illnesses. The pathologist examines the number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets in order to detect abnormalities and potential health concerns.
A urinalysis involves testing a sample of urine for abnormalities. This form of testing can be used to determine various issues, such as kidney disease and diabetes. It can also indicate outcomes such as pregnancy.
Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) tests
A TSH test is used to identify and monitor thyroid issues. This can include diseases such as hyperthyroidism (an excess of the thyroid hormone) and hypothyroidism (deficiency of the thyroid hormone). The hormones stimulated by TSH are integral to many bodily functions, which means this test is important to ensure the stability of things such as body weight, energy levels, breathing, and body temperature.
A biopsy can identify abnormal or cancerous cells in various tissues of the body. For example, skin cancer and breast cancer can be diagnosed with a tissue biopsy, which may include surgical excision. There are various types of biopsies, including:
- Needle biopsy
- Endoscopic biopsy
- Skin biopsy
- Bone marrow biopsy
Book your appointment at Star Clinic
If you are experiencing health issues, it is important to have these issues diagnosed by a doctor. Your doctor will examine your condition and symptoms and determine whether a pathology test is required. This way, we can treat your condition effectively. A pathology test may involve providing a blood, urine, or tissue sample. Your doctor will advise you through the process to ensure you receive accurate outcomes.
Accurate pathology tests can only be performed by qualified pathologists who understand how to properly test and diagnose certain illnesses. At Star Clinic, our pathologists take great care to ensure their results are accurate, ensuring each diagnosis is carried out to the highest possible standard. Book an appointment to find out if you may benefit from a pathology test.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can I expect?
Typical pathology test procedures involve either a blood or urine sample. In the case that a blood sample is required, your doctor may ask you to lie down, and the sample will be taken carefully from your arm. If a urine sample is required, this may be collected either at the doctor’s office or at home.
How long will it take to get the results?
Once we have your sample, you may need to wait several days to a week to receive your results.
Do I need to stop my medications before my pathology test?
Generally, no. However, this may depend on the type of test and what kind of medication you are taking. You should let your doctor know about your medications before your pathology test.