Cancer is a molecular-based disease that is often impossible to diagnose through traditional microscopic testing.
Often, physicians are plagued with incomplete information that makes it difficult to achieve a definitive diagnosis.
In traditional testing, pathologists examine a biopsy under a microscope. Often a definitive diagnosis is achieved. However when "indeterminate, atypical, suspicious, equivocal or non-diagnostic specimen" is the result, the patient is often required to return for additional biopsies and testing. This could mean that several months pass before a patient receives a definitive diagnosis, delaying potentially lifesaving treatment and creating anxiety in the absence of the definitive diagnoses.
Further, with certain cancer types, physicians traditionally have had difficulty making a definitive diagnosis without major surgery.
- 80% of pancreatic cancer is diagnosed late stage
- Pseudomyxoma perotonei is one of many cytology case types for which the cellular sample is inadequate for traditional pathology methods
- Up to 30% of breast cancer diagnoses are indeterminate
- 30% of colon cancers are over/under staged with dramatic ramifications for the treatment plan
If you have reached the point where a definitive diagnosis has not been possible, your physician may choose to send your biopsy to RedPath for a molecular DNA-based test called PathFinderTG. Only your physician can order PathFinderTG. If he or she is not familiar with RedPath's tests, please refer them to this web site, www.redpathip.com.