Testing Biopsy and Cytology Specimens for Cancer

Waiting to hear test results to find out if you have cancer can be very stressful. But a better understanding of the testing process used to diagnose and classify cancer can help you understand how test results affect treatment options. It can also help you work with your doctors to make the best decisions about your treatment.

You’ll probably have a chance to meet and ask questions of most of your health care team, which may include a surgeon, medical oncologist, radiation oncologist, oncology nurses, and many others. You’ll be able to see what these professionals do. On the other hand, you rarely meet the pathologists, histotechnologists, cytotechnologists, and medical laboratory technologists who tell you whether the cells in your biopsy sample are cancer or not.