College of American Pathologists’ New Web Site Arms Women with Information to Fight this Deadly Disease

NORTHFIELD, ILL. — It could be your mother, sister, or best friend. Unfortunately, most of us know someone who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. In fact, more than 175,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in 2007, and nearly 41,000 women will die from the disease this year, making breast cancer the most common cancer among women, other than skin cancer.

If someone you are close to is diagnosed with breast cancer, you want quick access to as much credible information as possible. That’s why the College of American Pathologists developed a new patient Web site – www.MyBiopsy.org. The site is intended to serve as a resource to women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, or know someone who has been diagnosed with this disease, to better understand their illness.

Currently, the site includes information on some of the most common types of breast cancer, including invasive ductal carcinoma, invasive lobular carcinoma, and ductal carcinoma in situ, as well as the breast condition, lobular carcinoma in situ. It addresses such questions as, “How does the pathologist diagnose breast cancer?” and “What questions should I ask my doctor?”

“As a pathologist and a recovering breast cancer patient, I know how frightening and overwhelming a diagnosis of breast cancer can be,” said Kim A. Collins, MD, FCAP, a pathologist at the Medical University of South Carolina in Columbia. “Our goal is to, hopefully, eliminate some of this angst by providing credible information that women can use.”

Each page on www.MyBiopsy.org was developed by pathologists -- physicians who examine tissues and fluids to diagnose disease and to assist in making treatment decisions. The pages include answers to questions about breast cancer, lists of available treatment options, a glossary of key terms, and pictures of normal and diseased tissues, among other features.

All of the information available on the College’s new Web site is featured in three formats: HTML, PDF, and Microsoft Word. In addition to information about breast cancer, visitors to the site can also find information on nearly 20 of the other most common cancer diseases and cancer-related conditions, including those affecting the lungs, colon, prostate, and skin, among others.

“I know how truly important it is for women diagnosed with breast cancer to understand the disease they are fighting,” said Dr. Collins. “Because the more you know, the more empowered you become about your own health, or the health of someone you love.”

The College of American Pathologists is a medical society serving nearly 16,000 physician members and the laboratory community throughout the world. It is the world's largest association composed exclusively of pathologists and is widely considered the leader in laboratory quality assurance. The College is an advocate for high-quality and cost-effective medical care.
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