Dr. Udager Appears on '3Ps of Cancer' Podcast

By Camren Clouthier | July 14 2020

The Department of Pathology's Dr. Aaron Udager recently appeared on Michigan Medicine's podcast entitled 3P's of Cancer: Prevention, Preparedness, Progress in order to discuss the role of pathology within a cancer diagnosis.

Dr. Udager began by explaining the role of the pathologist, discussing how they are often chiefly responsible for generating the official reports of cancer diagnoses. "From there, the pathologist may consult with other oncologists, surgeons, or radiologists," he describes.

He goes on to share the importance of why pathologists often work behind the scenes on a given case. "Often, a pathologist is the doctor's doctor. Historically, patients haven't interacted directly with their pathologist, but certainly, more recently, there is an increasing interest in patients reaching out to communicate with their pathologist and maybe understand more of what is going on or what is [going on] within the report that we may generate."

Later in the episode, Udager explains the process of putting together a full diagnosis report. He explains the importance of taking the initial biopsy, transferring the data to glass slides, specialized testing within the laboratories, and eventually how all of the information is synthesized into a cohesive report with fields for diagnostic information, such as the specific type of cancer or cancer template. "When we finish that report, we finalize it and make a digital copy of it which is then sent out to the Electronic Medical Record (ERM) for the physician or patient to view," Udager notes.

The episode closes with a final takeway from Dr. Udager who reiterates the importance of a patient's relationship with their pathologist. "I think, we as pathologists are used to working behind the scenes, but I know that our department is interested in providing opportunities for patients to communicate directly with their pathologist, whether they have questions about their report, or providing ways to connect them [with the pathologist] in order to review what's on the glass slide. Another option would be to communicate with the treating clinician and then they could connect you to the pathologist."


The full episode of 3P's of Cancer: Prevention, Preparedness, Progress with Dr. Udager is accessible here.