Our Department of Pathology plays an important role in shaping treatment plans for breast cancer patients, including advanced analysis of biopsies. Every breast cancer diagnosis is reviewed at our dedicated weekly breast cancer conference, where experienced and dedicated Breast Pathologists present their findings and give detail of the cancers to Breast Surgeons, Radiation Oncologists, Medical Oncologists, and Geneticist. In addition, every negative biopsy performed at Stamford Hospital is reviewed weekly at a Radiology-Pathology Correlation Conference to make sure no cancers are missed and that patients receive the best follow up. This is unique in the state of CT. Such formal Radiology-Pathology core correlation conferences only take place at high functioning academic medical centers and national cancer centers.
Pathology Services Offered:
Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsy Service. At Stamford Hospital, only experienced breast radiologists perform Fine Needle Aspirations because it is Radiologists, and NOT Pathologists who are most expert in using breast ultrasound. At SH, all FNAs are performed under Ultrasound Guidance to assure lesion sampling and minimize injury. Our fellowship trained, sub-specialty boarded cytopathologists evaluate these samples with expertise. Stamford Hospital is the only hospital in CT with 2 MD Anderson Cancer Center fellowship trained Cytopathologists. Results are available within 24 hours.
Breast cancer predictive testing is performed at SH using most current and validated methods. We test for Estrogen receptors, Progesterone receptors, Her2 Neu status and proliferation rate using Immunohistochemistry and quantitative image analysis to obtain the most accurate and reproducible results. We are one of very few institutions in CT to offer this advanced analysis. In addition, we evaluate tumors for Her2Neu gene amplification using Fluorescent In-Situ Hybridization (FISH) to make sure every patient has the chance to benefit from appropriate Her2 targeted drug therapy. We extensively use immunohistochemistry to "prove" our diagnosis and avoid false negative and false positive diagnoses of breast cancer. Accuracy is of prime importance to us.
Our dedicated breast pathologists routinely provide second opinion evaluations to patients diagnosed with breast cancer or breast abnormalities who seek care at Stamford Hospital. Our breast Pathologists work closely with Breast Imagers/Radiologists, Breast surgeons, Radiation Oncologists and Medical Oncologists to ensure that decisions that are best for the individual patient are made. Second opinion reviews are completed within 24 hours of outside slide receipt.
Our Breast Pathologists assist the surgeons in intraoperative evaluation of lymph nodes and margins, and in intraoperative decision making. This is done with frozen sections and margin touch prep assessment in cases requiring such attention. This service ensures that excisions are complete at time of surgery, and that return to the operating room for additional surgery is minimized.
Post Surgery Specimen Evaluation
At SH, because of excellent Surgeon to Pathologist communication, all breast excisions are carefully oriented, marked, and surgical margin assessment is optimized. This gives confidence that the tumors are adequately excised with negative margins.