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Expert Laboratory Medicine

While normally unseen by patients, pathologists are among the most important members of your cancer care team. The basis of your treatment relies on the accuracy of their expert diagnosis.

The pathology laboratory at Torrance Memorial gives South Bay patients and their healthcare team direct access to the most accurate and expedited results available from examination of samples. The team of expert pathology physicians investigates biopsy samples, blood, and other sample tissues or fluids at a microscopic level.

Our laboratory uses state-of-the-art medical technology found at leading university medical centers and research hospitals. Based on this sophisticated testing and examination of your samples, suspicious tissue may be diagnosed as benign or malignant. If a malignant tumor is diagnosed, further analysis is used to find the precise cancer subtype.

Torrance Memorial is proud to deliver the most precise and timely diagnostic services from an expert on-site pathology team.  Every pathologist at Torrance Memorial is board certified by The American Board of Pathology in anatomical and clinical pathology.

The Importance of Excellence in Pathology

Cancer patients benefit greatly from the detailed information identified as a result of the cell analysis done in the pathology department. In addition to determining the specific type of cancer, the pathologist at Torrance Memorial can analyze tumor aggressiveness, as well as an array of biomolecular markers and tumor gene analysis that aids the fine-tuning of treatment decisions.  Pathology can also be used to verify the effectiveness of treatment.

Here are some of the ways pathology serves South Bay cancer patients:

Diagnosis

Sophisticated laboratory tests determine if cancer is present. Pathologists perform these tests on the tissue or fluids collect by biopsy or surgery. These reports identify the specific type of cancer based on appearance, location and other studies. Whether your cancer has spread, and how far, is also part of the diagnosis. Results of the pathologist's report help pinpoint the cancer stage.

Prognosis

Based on special studies, pathologists may determine the nature and seriousness of your cancer. These prognostic markers allow your cancer care team to shape your treatment and medications to most aggressively defeat the disease.

Aiding Treatment

Pathology is routinely used during surgery to establish if a tumor has been successfully removed. While a patient is still in the operating room, samples of a removed tumor are immediately delivered to the pathologist for microscopic examination. These physicians determine if the margin of the sample is cancer free, if more tissue needs to be removed, and check nearby lymph nodes to seen if cancer has spread. This procedure is referred to as intra-operative diagnosis.

Accuracy assured

The continued health and safety of you or a loved one is the top priority of every member of the Torrance Memorial cancer care team. For the pathology laboratory, that means finding the most accurate diagnosis possible.

Multiple pathologists review all cancer diagnoses as part of a rigorous quality assurance process. In the rare instances of an uncertain diagnosis, the pathology laboratory maintains relationships with recognized top experts in the field and obtains a second opinion review by sending tissue to these experts at major medical centers in California and across the nation.  These safeguards protect the integrity of the report and assure the accuracy of your diagnosis.

On-Site Laboratory

While some medical facilities outsource their pathology analysis to external labs, Torrance Memorial maintains nearly all laboratory testing and diagnosis at the medical center. For a handful of highly specialized tests, samples may be examined by carefully selected outside pathology experts.

Keeping an on-site laboratory assures the quality of your diagnosis and expedites your results. More than 90 percent of results from laboratory studies are available to your cancer care team within 24 hours.