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Breast Cancer Pathology Report: What It Means




When you find out that you have breast cancer, your pathology report is a key document in your health records.

A pathology report explains what a doctor called a pathologist found when examining a piece of your tissue from a biopsy or surgery. Typically, it takes a week or two after your biopsy to get a pathology report.

The report provides some details – but not all – about your cancer.

If you see your pathology report in your patient portal before you’ve had a chance to talk to your doctor, it can be easy to misunderstand or take things out of context.

Your doctor will go over the findings with you. But it can be helpful to know what the report might include and what it means for your treatment going forward.

What’s in a Breast Cancer Pathology Report?

While the format will vary depending on your health care provider, it will typically include:

Information about you: The first section of your report will include basic information such as your name, age, medical history, and the date of the biopsy.

A diagnosis: This section of the report will state whether the checked tissue is:

If you have invasive breast cancer, that means that it has spread beyond where it started into the surrounding breast tissue or further to the lymph nodes or other parts of the body. The report may further state whether you have invasive lobular breast cancer or invasive ductal cancer. This refers to whether the cancer is in the breast’s lobules (glands that make milk) or ducts (tiny tubes that bring milk from the lobules to the nipple).

A description of the tumor: This may have two parts: a “gross” description, which is what it looks like to the pathologist’s eye, and the micro description, which is how it looks under the microscope.

The report may also include the results of a “hormone assay.” This tells you if the cancer cells have receptors for the hormones estrogen, progesterone, or neither. Your doctor will use these results to help determine whether the cancer could respond to hormone therapy.

The grade of the tumor: The report may give a grade from grade 1 to grade 3 to your tumor. Grade 1 tumors are slower growing and less likely to spread, while grade 3 is the fastest growing.

Why Your Breast Cancer’s Stage Isn’t in the Pathology Report

The report will not tell you the stage of cancer that you have. But the pathology findings are one of the things that doctors use to determine the cancer’s stage.

To stage the cancer, doctors also consider things including whether the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes or to more distant parts of the body. That requires other scans or tests than what they can learn from analyzing the tumor itself. Finding out the stage of your cancer may also require a core biopsy or surgery.

What to Ask Your Doctor

When you talk with your doctor to go over your pathology report, you should ask them to clarify anything that you don’t understand about the report, your diagnosis, or your treatment plan.

“Many patients come in with their pathology report marked up with circles and highlights because they want to make sure that they understand everything there,” says Lauren Nye, MD, a medical oncologist at the University of Kansas Cancer Center.

You may want to have a friend or family member join the phone call or visit to discuss your pathology report, so you have good support and record of everything discussed. It’s often hard to take the notes yourself.

What Happens After the Pathology Report?

If you got a breast cancer diagnosis, your doctor will likely refer you to a breast specialist.

“The breast specialist will be able to put the whole picture together, including a physical exam, the mammogram, the ultrasound, and an MRI to formulate a plan for treatment,” says Stephanie Bernik, MD, chief of breast surgery at Mount Sinai West. “It varies from person to person more than it did in the past.”

If you have surgeries or biopsies later on, each one will generate a new pathology report.

WebMD Feature
Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on June 06, 2022



Breast Cancer Now :”Your Pathology Results.”

Susan G. Komen: “Contents of a Pathology Report.”

Dana Farber Cancer Institute: “What is Lobular Breast Cancer.”

OncoLink: “Understanding Your Pathology Report: Breast Cancer.” “Hormone Receptor Status.”

American Cancer Society: “Breast Cancer Grade,” “Breast Cancer Stages.”

Jocelyn Park, MD, associate chief, breast imaging, eastern region, Northwell Health, New York.

Lauren Nye, MD, medical oncologist, University of Kansas Cancer Center.
Stephanie Bernik, MD, chief of breast service, Mount Sinai West, New York.

(C) 2022 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Congress Under Pressure: Colorado Officials Push for Cannabis Banking Reform




With the end of Congress’ session just around the corner, marijuana advocates, stakeholders and lawmakers continue to push for marijuana banking policy change.

This time, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) joined forces with Lt. Gov. Dianne Primavera (D), Attorney General Phil Weiser (D), Treasurer Dave Young (D) and Department of Public Safety (DPS) Executive Director Stan Hilkey in urging congressional leaders to revisit the issue, reported Marijuana Moment.

In a letter sent on Monday to both House and Senate leaders, Colorado officials focused on the impact which a bipartisan marijuana banking bill will have in terms of public safety and industry equity,

“The lack of safe banking and financial services for the cannabis industry in the State of Colorado has become a dire public safety issue for highly regulated cannabis businesses operating in compliance with state …

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New Data Shows Weed Legalization a Boon for Real Estate, New Jobs and Tax Revenue




A new report from the Federal Reserve Bank shed light on the economic impact marijuana legalization has had in recent years, reported Marijuana Moment. Policy changes on the state level have resulted in increased commercial real estate demand, as well as a surge in tax revenues while creating more jobs.

According to an analysis from the Kansas City arm of the Central Bank, which collected data from several states under its jurisdiction, the Tenth Federal Reserve District, the cannabis industry has become one of the main economic sectors positioned to grow substantially in the coming period.

“Overall, the marijuana industry has had a significant effect on the economies of Tenth District states in the initial years after legalization,” the report said. “The emergence of the industry has …

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Will Missouri Legalize Cannabis? Amendment 3 Suffers Another Attack This Time by State NAACP




Cannabis legalization efforts in Missouri are under attack once again, this time by The Missouri State Conference of the NAACP.

What Happened

The Missouri NAACP, breaking with chapters in the St. Louis area is urging its members to vote against Amendment 3 on the Nov. 8 ballot, reported the Saint Louis Post-Dispatch.

The group announced Thursday that it believes recreational marijuana legalization, as it is proposed under Amendment 3, would prevent minorities from entering the cannabis industry. 

“Marijuana possession should not be a constitutional crime. Additionally, for years now, Black people, other minorities, and people who have been criminalized by marijuana laws in the past have been unable to enter the medical marijuana market,” the Missouri NAACP wrote. “That is not right. In an effort to prevent the permanent exclusion of minorities from the cannabis industry in the state of Missouri, the NAACP calls upon every voter to reject the criminalization of marijuana possession, de facto racist regulation of the cannabis market, and the wool being pulled over our eyes by the supporters of Amendment 3.”

Under Amendment 3, the first “comprehensive” cannabis business licenses would be provided to existing medical marijuana companies. 

The state’s chapter highlighted that the amendment “does not increase the number of available full market licenses” and claims that giving “micro” business licenses to disadvantaged groups makes a “very limited” program. 

According to Nimrod “Rod” Chapel Jr., president of the Missouri NAACP, members agreed last week …

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