The pathologist is an integral part of the patient’s team, and a pathology report is a consultation, not an automated test like a blood count. As such, clinicians can maximize the utility of the report for themselves by keeping a few things in mind. First, a thorough relevant clinical history should always be provided, including the appearance of a lesion, symptoms, and any prior treatment, which may be significant in that it changes the histology of the lesion, or allows the pathologist to compare the tissue to prior biopsies or excisions on the patient. There is often not a single answer in pathology, as in clinical medicine, and the information the clinician provides is used in developing a differential diagnosis.
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