[Histonet] Re: Minimum sample size for breast markers

Martha Ward-Pathology mward <@t> wakehealth.edu
Thu Sep 12 14:19:31 CDT 2013

Thanks to everyone that responded to my question.   It has encouraged a nice discussion and I have learned from it.

Martha Ward, MT (ASCP) QIHC

Molecular Diagnostics Lab
Medical Center Boulevard  \  Winston-Salem, NC 27157
p 336.716.2109  \  f 336.716.5890  
mward <@t> wakehealth.edu  

-----Original Message-----
From: histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu [mailto:histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu] On Behalf Of Bob Richmond
Sent: Thursday, September 12, 2013 1:56 PM
To: Histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
Subject: [Histonet] Re: Minimum sample size for breast markers

Pathologists need to be very ready to note that a breast cancer sample size is small, and that the markers need to be repeated on the lumpectomy or mastectomy specimen.

This is easier said than done. Popping a Dolly-size breast into too-small container and dribbling a little formalin on it is not going to preserve the specimen adequately. Even with a moderate-sized lumpectomy specimen the formaldehyde penetration is going to be chancy.

This is an issue that surgeons, OR nurses, and too many pathologists are unable to understand. The pathologist has to arrange to receive the specimen promptly and get the tumor cut into formalin. Easier said than done.

The woman's cancer care depends on this getting done. It's non-trivial. And colon cancer is distinctly the next frontier for this problem.

Bob Richmond
Samurai Pathologist
Maryville TN
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