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Pathology is a field of medicine that studies the causes of disease. Pathologists analyze body cells, fluids, and tissue samples extracted from biopsies in order to detect and diagnose medical conditions. Using advanced laboratory equipment, pathologists examine samples for abnormalities and markers of potential disorders. Pathologists can also analyze DNA and genetic structures to identify chromosomal irregularities or inherited conditions. Pathologists are physicians with additional training in pathology.
Pathologists may specialize in a specific area of pathology, focusing on certain testing techniques, sample types, or certain regions of the body. For example, a forensic pathologist examines dead bodies to determine the cause of death, while an immunopathologist studies immune response to disease. Pathology specialties include:
With greater knowledge and understanding of the markers and results of disease that comes from the field of pathology, patients can receive more effective treatments.