Errors in Oncology Pathologies

Giltnane, Jennifer M jennifer.giltnane at VANDERBILT.EDU
Tue Aug 13 19:43:56 UTC 2013

Peggy Zuckerman writes, "Clinicians can assist pathologists with more accurate analysis of underlying disease by providing pertinent clinical information and radiologic testing to the pathologists. 4" As a junior pathologist, I am ever so grateful that she included this simple statement. All of the missed and delayed diagnoses I have encountered so far (thankfully, few, but more than I imagined) had a significant component of minimal to no supporting clinical information, or even misleading information. I insist that all of my family and friends get a second oncology and/or pathology opinion when a major treatment decision is based on a limited biopsy. Thankfully, referral pathology is often a "package deal" when a patient seeks a second oncology opinion, and so this may be the best route for patients to pursue. It works best, however, when the pathology material can be received and reviewed with ample time before the patient's visit. 

Best regards, Jena
Jennifer M. Giltnane, MD, PhD
Dept. of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology
Division of Investigative Pathology
Arteaga Lab @ Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
jennifer.giltnane at


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