The unseen wall – changing the perception of pathology
In this chapter, Dr. Jerad M. Gardner highlights the ways in which pathologists, hospital managers and administrators, physicians, and all those involved in the cancer care continuum can work better together, based on improved understanding and collaboration. With the rise of social media platforms, Dr. Gardner also recommends ways in which pathologists can share their insight and expertise with patients and the public, working towards creating a vibrant human interface between pathologists and all the people they impact.
“The crucial first step in a patient’s treatment journey is diagnosis and disease classification, made by a pathologist. As cancer diagnoses become more complex, requiring integration of multiple types of testing, it is invaluable for the pathologist to liaise with the treating physician about the implications of diagnosis. Where a diagnosis proves particularly challenging, a tumor board meeting can provide additional information about the patient which may guide the pathologist’s decision. The benefit that tumor boards bring to patients, the healthcare team and pathologist continues throughout the patient journey. Due to advances in both knowledge and technology, the pathologist is no longer involved only with cancer diagnosis but has an essential contribution to make to screening, treatment choice, monitoring treatment response and assessing disease progression. At all these points, a pathologist brings perspectives that others do not have.”