Pay Attention to the Pathologist Behind the Curtain

“You have doctors you’ve never met, but who are absolutely essential to your care. Pathologists are in the background, but are key to diagnosis, treatment and care,” says Kent B. Lewandrowski, MD, associate chief of Pathology and director of clinical services for the Pathology Department at Massachusetts General Hospital.

I personally discovered the critical nature of pathology in the treatment of HDGC while researching the topic after testing positive for the CDH1 gene mutation that causes HDGC. While interviewing a prospective surgeon I asked “Who will be analyzing my stomach, who is the pathologist?” This is how I first learned of Dr. Gregory Lauwers, his expertise with gastric cancer, his experience with HDGC patients, and more about the extensive and time consuming analysis that would be performed on my stomach following its removal. I met with Dr. Lauwers, approximately sixteen days following my surgery, to get my pathology results first hand and learn more about the process.  My stomach remains, in Boston, in wax blocks, in 170 sections, in a drawer, for all of eternity.  Read more about the importance of surgical pathology.

Pay Attention to the Pathologist Behind the Curtain, by Cathryn Delude

Massachusetts General Hospital, Cancer Center
Synergy, Winter/Spring 2009

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