70% of medical decisions rely on pathology

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Pathology is a medical specialty that determines the cause and nature of diseases by examining and testing body tissues (from biopsies and pap smears, for example) and bodily fluids (from samples including blood and urine). The results from these pathology tests help doctors diagnose and treat patients correctly.

Every Australian receives their first pathology test just days after they are born. It is a blood test that screens for serious genetic conditions.

From then on we rely on blood tests, biopsies and a multitude of other pathology tests to prevent, diagnose and treat infections, allergies, chronic diseases, cancers and countless other medical conditions. Read more about the most common pathology tests

Did you know?

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We have all experienced having a pathology test at some point – but very few of us are aware of what is happening behind the scenes, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

There are 35,000 Australians working in pathology; from collectors and couriers to lab technicians, medical scientists and pathologists. These skilled professionals, along with the most up to date medical technology make up an efficient system that allows for timely and accurate testing around the clock. This means your doctor can get results back to you as quickly as possible allowing for the best possible health outcomes.

Pathology laboratories can be found all around Australia. They range from large inner-city laboratories servicing thousands of patients a day, to smaller regional laboratories that are able to service rural and remote communities. Each lab is different but some of the most common departments include haematology, microbiology, biochemistry and genetics.