Patients

FAQ

FAQ

What is a pathologist?
Why did I get a bill from PCNM?
What is a ThinPrep Pap Test?
What does that mean to you, our patient?


What is a pathologist?
“A specialist in pathology; a physician who practices, evaluates, or supervises diagnostic tests, using materials removed from living or dead patients, and functions as a laboratory consultant to clinicians, or who conducts experiments or other investigations to determine the causes or nature of disease changes. “
–Stedman’s Medical Dictionary

Pathologists are physicians. Following medical school, pathology students undergo four to seven more years of training. There are two branches of Pathology: Anatomic and Clinical. Most pathologists are board certified in both areas of practice.



Why did I get a bill from PCNM?
Your clinician has referred your specimen to us for examination and testing. Depending on the type of specimen your clinician collected, we provided the following:

  • One of our pathologists performed an examination on the tissue or cytology specimen
  • One of our cytotechnologists examined your Pap test
  • We performed other requested testing

Your bill reflects our services, and not those services performed by your clinician.



What is a ThinPrep Pap Test?
In the last few years, a new technology has been developed to help make taking a Pap sample more reliable and to improve its accuracy and precision as a test. With this new methodology, the cervical/endocervical sample that your doctor collects from you is placed in a liquid instead of smearing it on a slide to dry. The liquid is then processed, which cleans up the specimen and deposits a very thin layer of cells onto the slide. The specimen is then analyzed with the Image Directed Cytology™ System, which improves the accuracy of the ThinPrep™ Pap. For an in depth look at ThinPrep, visit http://www.thinprep.com/index.html.



What does that mean to you, our patient?

  • The ThinPrep™ Pap test detects abnormal cells in the cervix better than the conventional Pap test.
  • Image Directed Cytology™ improves the accuracy of the ThinPrep™ Pap test.
  • Having a Pap test at regular intervals helps you better manage your health and prevent cancer through early detection.
  • The test for presence of HPV can also be performed from the same ThinPrep™ vial. The presence or absence of HPV guides your clinician in deciding what the best course of care will be. More HPV test information is available at http://www.thehpvtest.com/?LanguageCheck=1
  • With a negative HPV and a negative Pap test, it is most likely you will not develop a significant cervical lesion in the next three to five years.