Histopathology: Meaning, Techniques, Results

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Histopathology is a branch of medical science and pathology that refers to the study of alterations in tissues caused by any disorder or disease. Medical professionals study tissues under a microscope to identify and diagnose an illness. After testing the specimen, histopathologists prepare reports for physicians and oncologists. This blog includes the definition, techniques, and courses of this medical domain. Keep Reading to know more!


What is Histopathology?

Histopathology refers to the study of tissues and diagnosis of tissue-related diseases. Under this medical practice, doctors use a microscope to identify developments and changes in tissues to detect cancer, infections, ulcerative colitis, uterine fibroids, and Crohn’s disease. Histopathologists examine tissues extracted from the kidney, liver, skin, and other organs to diagnose the aforementioned diseases. They use sophisticated imaging techniques to examine tissues extracted from lumps/tumours from affected organs. They process these tissues overnight and then examine the specimens under the microscope to identify cancerous cells. After the identification of affected tissues, histopathologists prepare a report mentioning the grade of cancer. Doctors/oncologists use the report to determine the course of treatment.

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Histopathology Techniques

Histopathologists use different sampling techniques to diagnose tissue-related diseases. Some of the widely used techniques for this medical practice are mentioned below:

Endoscopy, Colonoscopy, Breast Biopsy, and Colposcopy

Histopathologists examine tissues obtained through diagnostic procedures line colposcopy, endoscopy, breast biopsy, and colonoscopy to identify cancer. Tissues obtained through the aforementioned procedures are processed overnight and then examined the next day.  

Frozen Sections or Cryosections

Histopathologists use cryosection or frozen sections to examine traits of cancer. Tissues obtained during surgery or through frozen sections are examined immediately after extraction and results are available within a span of 20-30 minutes. 

Lymph Nodes and Bone Marrow Biopsies

These pathologists also perform bone marrow biopsies to identify different types of blood cancers. In this process, these medical professionals dissect and examine Lymph nodes to identify metastases of lung cancer and breast cancer.

Molecular Techniques

Under this technique, histopathologists analyse tissues at the molecular level to identify leukaemia through a single or a combination of molecular techniques- Immunophenotype, Cytochemistry, Morphology, and Karyotype. 


Pathologists use this technique to help doctors assess tumour type, cancer grade, prognosis, and course of treatment. Pathologists use antibodies to identify cancers of different types, for example; lymphomas.

Histopathology Results

The components and interpretation of this pathology report are given below:

Report Components

A histopathology report includes tissue description, a description of the view of the sample under a microscope, tumour size, and tumour margins. Reports also contain comments from pathologists for the convenience of patients. These reports are usually complex, owing to which one must consult a physician or an oncologist to understand the results.

Result Interpretation

These reports are used to determine the prognosis, i.e; estimate the grade of cancer and predict the survival or recovery from an illness. Basic indicators of prognosis are

  • Tumour grade
  • The severity of the disease.
  • Analysis and indication of the extent of spread. 

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Histopathology Courses Abroad

This branch of pathology is taught in numerous foreign universities. These academic institutions provide multiple courses in pathology at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. 

List of Universities and Courses

Given below is the list of universities and the courses offered for students/candidates/individuals aspiring to study abroad. 

UniversitiesCoursesFeesQS World Rankings
The University of Melbourne, AustraliaBachelor of Science in Pathology INR 25 lakh33
The University of Queensland, AustraliaBachelor of Clinical Exercise and PhysiologyINR 22 lakh50
Monash University, AustraliaBSc in Human PathologyINR 24.8 lakh57
Western University, CanadaBMSc in PathologyINR 22.4 lakh172
The University of Western Australia, AustraliaBachelor of Biomedical Science in Laboratory Medicine and PathologyINR 23 lakh90
The University of British Columbia, CanadaMSc in Pathology and Laboratory ScienceINR 5.6 lakh47
The University of Illinois at Chicago, USAMS in PathologyINR 13.6 lakh317
University of Cambridge, UKMPhil in Biological Science- PathologyINR 32.2 lakh2
Dalhousie University, CanadaMSc in PathologyINR 14.1 lakh308
Queen’s University, CanadaMS in Pathology and Molecular MedicineINR 8 lakh246
University of Leicester, UKMSc Molecular Pathology & Therapeutics of CancerINR 20.5 lakh279
University of Connecticut, USAMS in PathobiologyINR 33 lakh350
Manchester Metropolitan University, UKMSc in Cellular PathologyINR 18.4 lakh801-1000

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Application Process

Candidates aspiring to secure admissions to the above-mentioned undergraduate and postgraduate courses are suggested to follow the below-mentioned instructions:

  • Visit the official websites of the universities and create a student portal on the admissions page of the universities.
  • Login using your credentials.
  • Select the appropriate application form.
  • Fill out the mandatory details.
  • Upload the mandatory documents.
  • Share scorecards of IELTS/PTE/TOEFL.
  • Submit the application form and with this, the process is completed.

Eligibility Criteria/Admission Requirements

Here are the admission criteria for pathology courses in universities abroad:

  • Candidates applying for bachelor’s courses must have cleared 10+2 in the science stream. 
  • Applicants for master’s programmes should have passed senior secondary and have at least one bachelor’s degree in science and medicine. 
  • Candidates must have a valid passport and proof of finance. 

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Histopathology Courses in India

This stream of pathology is offered as a specialization in postgraduate programmes of medical institutions in India.

Given below are the colleges that are best suited for aspiring histopathologists.

  • All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi and Jodhpur
  • Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research (JIPMER), Puducherry
  • King George’s Medical University (KGMU), Lucknow
  • Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital, Faridkot
  • National Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) College of Paramedical Technology, Jaipur
  • Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education & Research, Chandigarh
  • Impact Paramedical and Health Institute, New Delhi

Histopathology Career Scope

The average annual salary of a histopathology technician in India is INR 3 lakh. The monthly salary of this technician is somewhere between INR 21.4 k to INR 23.1 k. These technicians can gain employment in hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, laboratories, pharmaceutical companies, clinical research organisations, and diagnostic centres. 


Q1. What is the purpose of the histopathology test?

Ans. This test is conducted to diagnose cancer, infections, ulcerative colitis, uterine fibroids, and Crohn’s disease by analysing tissues from lumps of affected organs.

Q2. What is called histopathology?

Ans. Histopathology refers to the study of tissues and diagnosis of tissue-related diseases. Under this medical practice, doctors use a microscope to identify developments and changes in tissues to detect cancer, infections, ulcerative colitis, uterine fibroids, and Crohn’s disease.

Q3. Does histopathology mean cancer?

Ans. No. This test or this branch of medicine does not mean cancer. If the result of this test turns out to be positive, then it might be cancer. Oncologists and physicians analyse the report and determine the prognosis.

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