Revealed: The Secret Language of a Pathology Report

By Cancer Foundation on September 3 / 2019

[Cancer, Research]Comments

Jason Wasserman MD PhD FRCPC, co-creator of is working with Cancer Coaches to help their clients easily interpret their pathology reports.

“Your life could change depending on what I see on one of those slides behind me,” says Dr. Jason Wasserman, pointing at pathology slides in his office at The Ottawa Hospital.

As a pathologist, Dr. Wasserman knows the language used in patients’ pathology reports can be complex. He therefore wanted to find a way to help cancer patients read and understand their reports by using terminology they are more familiar with. “Our diagnosis is delivered through your oncologist, surgeon or family doc,” he says. “And our findings and medical terms can be confusing and difficult for anyone to understand.”

It was this “patient-centered” thinking that led Dr. Wasserman to creating, a website geared toward helping patients, families and physicians better understand pathology results. And now, working directly with Cancer Coaches at the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation, Dr. Wasserman is able to refine the website based on feedback from the Coaches and their clients.

Since the site went live just over a year ago, over 6,000 patients across Canada have accessed and used the tools written specifically for them. With a goal to empower and teach, Dr. Wasserman has a message for anyone who accesses the site. “We hope the articles on will be helpful to you and your family as you go through your report for the first time. We look forward to any feedback you may have.” contains over one hundred articles (and growing) written by Dr. Wasserman and over 30 of his colleagues across Canada, and also includes helpful sections like a glossary and Frequently Asked Questions. The entire site is written, designed and managed for no charge by the participating pathologists.

Have you visited You can enter your comments right on the home page and use the headings to find the information you need. Thank you to everyone who has worked with Dr. Wasserman and his colleagues to help make the site as helpful as possible!

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