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Dr. Bakhtar: When I pick up a slide at eight in the morning and I put it under the microscope
and it's malignant, there's an entire life story. This patient had a lump in her breast
and this biopsy was done to determine if this was breast cancer.
Even though patients don't see me, I'm absolutely one of their doctors.
Being the person that actually makes the diagnosis and looks at the tissue, I'm probably best
equipped to answer questions.
The specimen consists of a single fragment of tan dash red tissue...
So I want you to look at your pathology reports. "T" stands for tumor. And I want you to find
the size of your tumor.
Angiolina: Dr. Bakhtar had the idea of "Meet the Pathologist" to help the patient who has
already been told about their diagnosis, further understand it.
Dr. Bakhtar: Really what we're trying to do today is to give you an understanding of what
disease you have so that you can ask questions.
Acknowledging someone's fears is putting yourself in their shoes.
Angiolina: The things that people don't know are usually the scariest.
Dr. Bakhtar: Did they remove the entire breast?
Female patient #1: No, not the entire, only a part, but still...is it a danger of spreading?
Dr. Bakhtar: For me things changed about a year ago. My wife was diagnosed with breast
cancer. I remember looking at the slide myself and my heart dropping. I said it’s cancer
and I remember my voice was quivering. I’ll never forget that experience. And I can tell
you every time I look at breast cancer now my heart drops in the same way.
My wife had breast cancer in the eighth month of her pregnancy with our little guy who's
18 months now. And so I can appreciate what you all go through.
They're mothers. They're fathers. They're sons and daughters. They're wives like my
My wife is doing extremely well. She's finished her therapy, is back to work and life is good.
Female patient #2: [Spanish]
Angiolina: She said she wanted to say thanks for doing this, that she says she thinks that
women are going through all of this and not knowing what they're doing.
Dr. Bakhtar: The moment of diagnosis can be a devastating moment, but once patients are
informed, they feel empowered.