Pathology refers to the medical specialty concerned with the diagnosis and characterization of disease through the study of tissues or body fluids as well as the related scientific study of disease processes.
Pathologists are physicians who specialize in the diagnosis and characterization of disease based on the examination of tissues removed from diseased body parts or biopsy samples. They can also diagnose certain diseases and conditions through the laboratory analysis of various bodily fluids.
Pathologists specialize in a wide range of diseases including cancer. Tissue samples are observed under a microscope and the cellular pattern observed to help determine if a sample is cancerous or non-cancerous (benign). Pathologists also employ genetic studies and gene markers in the assessment of various diseases.
Pathologists work in conjunction with clinicians to help them make decisions regarding the most appropriate treatments for different disease conditions. Pathologists may also conduct post mortems or autopsies to investigate the cause of death. These specialists are called forensic pathologists.