Jan 8, 2016
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THE IMPORTANCE OF CANCER PROTOCOLS IN REPORTING CANCER RESECTION SPECIMENS

The Cornerstone of oncologic practice and determining optimal patient care is the pathology report for resected cancer specimens. Indeed the culmination of the entire complex process of professional assessment of a cancer resection specimen is the final synopsis or cancer case summary that goes out to the referring clinician embodied in the pathologic report.

In view of the great heterogeneity in the reporting of cancer resection specimens, the cancer committee of the college of American pathologists (CAP) developed a series of cancer protocols for the more common carcinomas, first published in 1998, which are now mandatory for pathologists at all COC (Commission on cancer) approved cancer programs in the United States.

The lack of uniformity and standardization in reporting cancer resections in this country, however leads to serious therapeutic dilemmas among clinicians and oncologists with critical elements required for patient management and prognostication, often missing from the report.

Despite ever increasing work volumes and the inherent complexity of incorporating the large number of formats and protocols essential to cancer reporting, the anatomic pathology wing of Dr. Lal Path Labs has successfully accomplished this through a dedicated customized software incorporating all the CAP – approved checklist for cancer resections. Indeed, we have been routinely using these for more than a year.

The use of standardized reporting enhances our participation in multi-disciplinary superspecialty cancer care, apart from ensuring uniformity of reporting within the department. It also ensures the inclusion of all therapeutically and prognostically relevant data and serves as an important quality parameter.

It is our mission to enhance and augment the role of pathologists as leaders in the practice of oncology in this country and the use of cancer protocols are inextricably and indelibly linked to the achievement of this end.

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