Breast Cancer Pathology Report

The breast cancer pathology report is normally divided into several sections:


This is shown at the top of the report and identifies the patient and the doctor. The patient’s name, address, birth date, and date of procedure are normally indicated

Anatomic Pathology Diagnosis

This is the most important section of the breast cancer pathology report. It gives the breast cancer diagnosis and other information that is necessary for treatment.

The following are also included in this section:


The type of breast cancer found and the organisation of the breast cells.

  • Stage: The size of the cancer how much it has spread.
  • Grade: The nature of the cells.
  • Clinical History: The patient’s initial breast diagnosis prior to the pathologist’s diagnosis.

Specimen(s) Obtained

What cells and tissues were received following the procedure, and when it was received.

Gross Description

The nature of the specimen that was seen measured and felt when examining the tissue without a microscope.

Microscopic Description

How the tissue appeared when examined by the pathologist under a microscope.

The following terms are usually found on a breast cancer pathology report:

  • Abscess: closed hollow containing pus.
  • Atypical: Means not typical, or shows unusual characteristics.
  • Benign: Non-cancerous.
  • Calcifications: Small deposits of calcium that may show the presence breast cancer.
  • Carcinoma: A cancerous tumour situated on the inner surfaces of the breasts.
  • Dysplasia: An unusual increase in the number of breast cells.
  • Hyperplasia: A dangerous increase in the number of breast cells.
  • Inflammation:  This includes swelling, pain, redness and heat.
  • In situ: Means “in place.” The breast cancer has not spread to tissues.
  • Lesion:  A tumour, inflamed area or other breast abnormality.
  • Malignant: Cancerous.
  • Metastatic:  Cancer that has spread from its original site to other body parts.
  • Necrosis: The death of tissue.
  • Neoplasm: The benign or malignant uncontrollable growth of the body’s own cells.
  • Tumour: An accumulation of tissue, or lump.

Your doctor will receive your breast cancer pathology report as the test results become available.  All of the results will need to be available to your doctor for a complete breast cancer diagnosis to be made.

    Need medical advice?

    Schedule an appointment for the same day or within 48 hours with an urgent GP referral.

    GP referral is required for all appointments except for mammogram screening.

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