In this article, we are going to have an overview of pathology: what it is, its importance, how it works, and the major areas of activity in pathology.
What is pathology? – Overview of Pathology
Pathology is the branch of medicine concerned with the study of the nature and causes of diseases. It is an essential part of the medical field, as it plays a role in every aspect of medicine, from diagnostic testing and monitoring of chronic diseases to advanced genetic research and blood transfusion technologies. In fact, pathology is integral to the diagnosis of every cancer.
Importance of pathology? – Overview of Pathology
The importance of pathology can be seen throughout the lifespan of an individual, from pre-conception to post-mortem. Many people associate pathology with images of dead bodies and lab-coated professionals investigating suspicious deaths for the police, as portrayed in popular television programs. While this is one aspect of pathology, the reality is that pathologists are usually working in a hospital clinic or laboratory, helping living people.
Pathology is essential to the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. Doctors in various fields rely on the knowledge, diagnostic skills, and advice of pathologists. For example, a general practitioner may arrange for a blood test, while a surgeon may need to know the nature of a lump removed during an operation. The definitive answer is usually provided by a pathologist. Some pathologists also see patients and are directly involved in the day-to-day delivery of patient care.
How does pathology works? – Overview of Pathology
Pathologists are specialized medical professionals who study the causes of diseases and the ways in which they affect our bodies. They do this by examining changes in tissues, blood, and other body fluids. Some of these changes may indicate the potential for the development of a disease, while others show its presence, cause, and severity, or monitor its progress or the effects of treatment.
Major Areas of activity in Pathology – Overview of Pathology
Currently, pathology has nine major areas of activity. These areas relate to the methods used or the types of diseases they investigate.
Anatomical pathology is concerned with the examination of tissues and cells to determine the cause of disease.
Chemical pathology analyzes body fluids to determine the chemical and biochemical abnormalities that cause disease.
Hematology focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the blood and bone marrow.
Immunology studies the immune system and its role in disease.
Medical microbiology examines microorganisms and their role in disease.
Molecular pathology studies genetic and molecular changes in diseases.
Neuropathology is concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the nervous system.
Forensic pathology focuses on the investigation of the cause of death in suspicious or unusual cases.
Cytopathology is the study of cells and their abnormalities.
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