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From Diagnosis to Treatment - Part 3 of 4, Diagnosis of Breast Cancer with H&E and Immunohistochemistry Stains

Thomas Haas, D.O., FCAP

In the case of Breast Cancer, the patient’s cancer is usually detected by a mammogram or palpitation of an experienced Physician. However, these first indications that something is wrong must be confirmed by a more scientific approach. Usually what follows is an actual biopsy; a sample of the tissue in question is removed from the person. Once a tumor is confirmed from the biopsy, then a more radical surgical approach may be necessary or other treatments are performed. Part 3 of the series addresses the importance of proper H&E/ICH sections and staining for diagnosis of breast tumors.  A view of optimization and controls for prognostic markers will be examined, and brief overview of  IHC  diagnosis and treatment will presented.

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Learning Objectives

Discuss the importance of good H&E / IHC  sections, and differences in the pathologist’s evaluation of core versus whole-section specimens.

  1. Understand the differential diagnosis of types of breast tumors.
  2. To view a good optimization of the antibody as an essential part of laboratory practice.
  3. Examine a variety of controls for prognostic (graded)  IHC  markers such as ER/PR/ HER2 .
  4. A brief overview of the next steps after  IHC  diagnosis and treatment. 

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About the presenter

Thomas Haas, D.O., FCAP

Dr. Thomas Haas is an attending Pathologist and Director of Molecular Pathology at Mercy Health Systems, Janesville, Wisconsin. He received his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from Des Moines University. His daily responsibilities involve anatomic, cytologic, and clinical pathology in a community hospital and system reference laboratory, with participation in tumor board and medical education conferences. His areas of interest include the development of immunohistochemistry panels for tumor diagnosis, molecular pathology, and histotechnology education for the National Society for Histotechnology (NSH). Dr. Haas is board certified in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology.

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