These pages will hopefully help patients with cancer, their relatives or interested individuals to see what cancer cells look like. Some people find that it is easier to fight the disease if they can see "the enemy".
There are many different types of cancer and they can have a wide variety of appearances.
The images we have are generated from tissue that has been removed by surgeons during the diagnosis (identifying which disease process is affecting the patient), staging (seeing how far the tumour has spread) and local treatment of the disease.
Click on the name of a cancer (next page) and a programme called Zoomify will open an electronic digital slide which reproduces a normal glass slide that a pathologist would look at to diagnose your tumour.
- By moving the triangle at the bottom you can zoom in and look more closely at the cells (See example right).
- By moving the arrows you can move north, south, east and west.
The tissue has been stained with two stains:
- haematoxylin which causes the nuclei of the cells to stain grey to black
- and eosin which stains pink.
This helps the interpretation of the tissues.
Pathology is the study of disease and cancer is a large part of the pathologists daily workload. Pathologists have to do five years medical training, 2 years basic medical practice and then specialist training for a minimum of 5 years. Some take a research degree in addition.
An Example of a Virtual Slide