An accurate diagnosis is the most important part of your cancer testing
and screening. Torrance Memorial has an advanced laboratory with top-tier
technology. Our expert pathologists use a sophisticated array of tests
and analyses to thoroughly examine all biopsies and tissue samples to
arrive at the correct diagnosis.
The Role of Pathology in Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment
Pathologists don’t typically see patients in person, but are among
the most important members of your cancer care team. Your treatment relies
on the accuracy of their expert diagnosis.
Our skilled pathologists conduct microscopic-level investigations of biopsy
samples, blood and other samples of tissues and fluids. They use sophisticated
testing to determine whether cancer is present (a malignancy) or not (benign).
If a malignancy is found, further analysis will find the cancer subtype
and provide information your doctors will use to personalize your cancer
Every pathologist at Torrance Memorial is board certified by The American
Board of Pathology in anatomical and clinical pathology. Highly focused
on accuracy and providing quick results, our onsite pathology team delivers
the most precise and timely diagnostic services. Our laboratory uses state-of-the-art
medical technology found at leading university medical centers and research
The Importance of Excellence in Pathology
Cancer treatment is ever more personalized. Treatment plans are derived
from the detailed information obtained by the cell analysis done in the
pathology department. Our pathologists don’t only identify the specific
type and subtype of cancer, they also analyze tumor aggressiveness and
measure an array of bio-molecular markers and perform 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:
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. This phase determines whether your cancer
has spread and, if so, how far. Pathology results also help pinpoint the
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 combat the disease.
Aiding Treatment: Intra-Operative Diagnosis
Pathology is routinely used during surgery to ensure that a tumor has been
fully and successfully removed. While a patient is still under anesthesia
and in the operating room, samples of a removed tumor are immediately
delivered to the pathologist for microscopic examination. Tests are done
to determine if the margin of the sample is cancer-free or if more tissue
needs to be removed. Nearby lymph nodes are also checked to see if cancer
has spread. This procedure is referred to as intra-operative diagnosis.
Every patient’s continued health and safety 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.
Our rigorous quality assurance process requires that not one but multiple
pathologists review all cancer diagnoses. Occasionally it happens that
a diagnosis is not clear-cut; in such cases, our pathologists send tissue
samples for analysis by top experts at major medical centers in California
and throughout the nation, with whom they maintain close working relationships.
These safeguards protect the integrity of the report and assure the accuracy
of your diagnosis.
Many medical centers outsource pathology analysis to external labs but,
here at Torrance Memorial, we believe our quality standards are best upheld
by doing the vast majority of testing onsite. A few highly specialized
tests are examined by carefully selected outside pathology experts.
Keeping an onsite 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.
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