Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Who is West Coast Pathology Laboratories and what is its function?
A. West Coast Pathology Laboratories (WCPL) is one of the leading providers of anatomic pathology and cytology services across the entire United States of America.
Headquartered in Hercules, Northern California, we have been providing diagnostic testing, information and services for more than 30 years.
WCPL’s core area of expertise lies in the diagnostic interpretation of biopsies and cytology preparations. Our main client groups include individual physicians, patients, hospitals, surgery centers and university health centers.

Q. Who is a Pathologist?
A. A pathologist is a physician who specializes in diagnosing diseases by examining blood, body fluids, and tissue samples. Physicians in all fields consult with pathologists in diagnosis of diseases affecting their patients. Pathologists are often referred to as the “doctor to the doctors”.

Q. Do the West Coast Pathologists treat patients directly?
A. The pathologist do not treat the patients directly. However, our pathologists do work with the physicians to provide a diagnosis and consultation which helps create an effective treatment plan.

Q. How are my samples being evaluated by my doctor?
A. After your samples are processed a detailed report is sent to your physician. This report is used to help create a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Q. What is Anatomic Pathology?
A. Anatomic Pathology is the study of diseases through the examination of tissues and cells.

Q. What is cytology?
A.  Cytology is the study of the cells under a microscope. The most common cytopathology exam is the Pap Test.

Q. Why are high quality pathology services important?
A. High quality services are critical for diagnosis,screening,treatment and follow up. West Coast Pathology Laboratories believe in prompt communication. This helps the physician provide the diagnosis and treatment option to the patient as soon as possible. High quality pathology service helps the physician provide their patients the correct answers that they are waiting for.

Q. Why is it important that physicians choose their pathologist?
A.  As mentioned above the pathologist is known as “the doctor to the doctors”. Just as you need to have a good relationship with your physician, your physician needs to have a close relationship with the pathologist.