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Similar to what pathologists do, cytopathologists analyze specimens in a lab to help your doctor diagnose your condition. However, cytopathologists primarily analyze cells from tissues, tumors and lesions in order to detect disease, whereas pathologists primarily focus on bodily fluid samples.
The most common example of this is pap smears, which cytopathologists use to detect and study the precursors to cervical cancer in women. Additionally, they help oncologists detect blood cancers and blood disorders. You can think of all pathologists as a type of lab consultant for doctors. You consult with your doctor and then he or she often consults with a pathologist who uses lab testing to confirm what they suspect your condition might be.
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