Monday, March 31, 2014

Looking for things that aren't there.

One of the pathologists came into the gross room at the end of the day to look at a multi part case
from early last week. It is always worrying when they say something like, "well, what do you think it was?"

There was nothing like this...
Eek! It didn't look like anything particular... but at least I threw out an option that was plausible  based on what I saw grossly. It wasn't right, but I'd argue that it made sense given what the surgeon thought was the primary and better than not having any answer at all.

Meanwhile we went back to the bucket to look at one of the parts, where he was interested in one particular area...already knowing before he saw it that the primary tumor should be there... Except it wasn't.... at all. There was a nearby tumor but nothing where we were looking.

Which is infinitely comforting. The idea of missing a tumor is terrifying--especially when it is a specific and semi diagnostic sort of one.

On a related note, I get paranoid when large swaths of bowel are removed for "neoplasm" and all that is in there is a lipoma or a little polyp. I always have to worry that there's something more sinister that I'm just not seeing.

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