The word Pathology is a derivative of two Greek words: pathos means ‘suffering’ and logos means study. Pathology is the scientific study of the structure & function of the body in disease and affliction. Pathology studies the abnormalities that occur in normal anatomy, histology and physiology owing to disease. Pathology or pathophysiology is, thus, the study of disordered function and breakdown of homeostasis in a diseased body.
Pathologists diagnose diseases; thus, a clear & comprehensive grasp of pathological knowledge is an absolute essential for all medical practitioners. For students, pathology forms the vital bridge between the initial learning phase of preclinical sciences & the final phase of clinical subjects. And, it is this criticality along with the vast and intricate nature of the subject that makes seeking pathology assignment help online, a priority for struggling medical students.
This article serves the sole purpose of acting as an accurate and informative introductory guide for everything pathological. From key terminologies in general pathology to the basic techniques used in diagnosis, this guide covers all.
So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.
A Brief History
Pathology has been in existence in one form or another since the prehistoric times. In ancient times, religious customs, magic and superstitions played a huge role in the treatment of diseases. Diseases were considered as curses from God and various esoteric customs & rituals were involved in the treatment & other procedures.
The real practice of medicine began in historic Greece where Hippocrates, the great Greek clinical genius began advocating the necessity of rational and ethical attitudes in the practice and teaching of medicine. He firmly believed in the acute studying of patient symptoms and describing appropriate methods of diagnosis. As time and technology progressed, we advanced from gross pathology to the era of cellular pathology. Technological advancements in machinery and the resultant advent of varied diagnosis techniques gave rise to surgical pathology.
Pathology has since made significant strides from the latter half of the 20th century and it is ongoing progress. Modern Pathology makes it possible to study diseases at the molecular level, providing an evidence-based & objective diagnosis and making appropriate & accurate diagnosis a surefire possibility. Certain revolutionary discoveries that paved the way for modern pathology are:
- Description of DNA structure in cells
- Identification of chromosomes
- Identification of the first chromosomal abnormality in any cancer
- Advent of the recombinant DNA technique
- Stem cell research
The domains of molecular biology and advanced medical instrumentation are making it possible for the study and treatment of previously incurable diseases. Groundbreaking inventions and highly effective diagnostic techniques & tools are helping doctors better understand an endless list of diseases and determine the health needs of people according to their genetic makeup.
Terminology in Pathology
For any student of pathology, knowledge of vital pathological terms and their definitions is of utmost importance. Here’s a quick glimpse of some crucial terminologies involved:
- Patient is the afflicted individual.
- Morphology is the study and examination of diseased tissue.
- The etiology of the disease involves the causal factors responsible for the symptoms of a disease.
- Lesions are the characteristics of changes in tissue or cells because of a disease.
Understanding the morphological and functional changes in an afflicted host helps doctors deduce what’s wrong (diagnosis), determine what can happen next (prognosis), devise the best possible mode of alleviation (treatment) and finally, the steps required to prevent further complications or occurrences.
Subdivisions of Pathology
Pathology is conventionally divided into two parts namely: General Pathology and Systemic Pathology. Modern advancements have made it possible to subdivide the above two branches into different sub-specialties like,
- Histopathology, which is the classical method of studying and diagnosing diseases. It is also called anatomic pathology and is further subdivided into surgical pathology, forensic pathology & autopsy and cytopathology,
- Haematology, that deals with diseases of the blood,
- Chemical Pathology, which is all about the analysis of biochemical constituents of blood, urine, semen and other bodily fields,
- Immunology, the detection of abnormalities in the immune system,
- Experimental Pathology , that involves experimentation of diseases, their causes and outcomes,
- Medical Genetics, a branch of human genetics concerned with the relationship between heredity and diseases,
- Molecular Pathology, the detection and diagnosis of abnormalities at the level of DNA
As you may very well know, your pathology assignments may deal with any of the above sub-divisions. Though emanating from a common branch of study, individual sub-branches have their own body of knowledge, specific techniques of diagnosis & investigation and challenges. Professional pathology assignment help online may become necessary unless you possess an acute understanding of everything.