Spotlight on Cytopathology

Cytopathology is a minimally invasive method of diagnosis that examines cells from various body sites to determine the cause or the nature of disease. A cytopathologist is an anatomic pathologist trained in the diagnosis of human disease by means of the study of cells. 

Pap smear

Cytopathology is also used in the diagnosis of some infectious diseases and other inflammatory conditions. A common application of cytopathology is the Pap Smear – a screening tool used to detect pre-cancerous cervical lesions that may lead to cervical cancer.

Fine-needle aspiration biopsies

The other principal diagnostic tool of the cytopathologist is the Fine-Needle Aspiration biopsy. This technique uses a thin needle to remove a sample of cells from just beneath a patient’s skin.

The cytopathologist identifies cells that pose potential danger to a patient such as pre-cancerous, cancerous or infected cells.