Pathology tests

We use a variety of techniques to look at different cells, tissues and bodily functions so we can understand your condition and help plan the best care for you.

What is a pathology test?

Pathology tests look at cells and tissues or the structure and function of organs in your body to investigate disease. We use pathology tests to diagnose symptoms, asses your condition and evaluate how well treatments are working to help us plan care that’s personalised to you. 

Pathology tests can involve taking a tissue sample and examining it in a lab, using tiny cameras to visualise the inside of your body or studying how well a particular organ or system is working. 

Within our network of state-of-the-art centres, we offer a comprehensive pathology service covering many different specialties, including breast, prostate and gynaecology. We use the latest proven screening and diagnostic techniques, conducted by experienced clinicians. 

You can read more about the pathology tests available at GenesisCare here. 

Biopsy

What is a biopsy 

During a biopsy, a needle is inserted into your tissues and extracts cells for analysis. It’s commonly used to investigate abnormal cells in the breasts or prostate and is a useful tool for diagnosing cancers.  

Common types of biopsy

  • Fine needle aspiration (FNA) 

A quick procedure where a thin and hollow needle is inserted into a lump or mass below the surface of the skin to remove samples of tissue or fluid  

  • Core biopsy 

The most common type of biopsy used when a larger tissue sample is needed, where a thin, hollow needle is inserted through the skin 

  • Image-guided biopsy 

Sometimes, your doctor may use image guidance to help them locate abnormal tissue to take the sample from. This can be done using X-ray (called stereotactic biopsy), ultrasound, CT or MRI scanning. 

TRUS biopsy

What is a TRUS biopsy?  

If you have suspected prostate cancer, you may have a prostate biopsy in order to obtain a sample of cells from your prostate for further investigation in a lab 

A transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) biopsis performed with your doctor using an ultrasound probe placed in the back passage to produce live imageof your prostate. The needle passes through the wall of your back passage into the prostate. 

Your doctor may use the images from an MRI scan taken before your biopsy to choose where to take the samples from – this is called a transperineal targeted prostate biopsy.  

Transperineal biopsy

What is a transperineal (TP) biopsy?  

If you have suspected prostate cancer, you may have a prostate biopsy in order to obtain a sample of cells from your prostate for further investigation in a lab.  

transperineal biopsy is where the needle passes through your perineum (the skin between your testicles and back passage) 

Your doctor may use the images from an MRI scan taken before your biopsy to choose where to take the samples from – this is called a transperineal targeted prostate biopsy.  

Blood test

What is a blood test?  

A blood test is a collection of laboratory experiments on a sample of your blood to look for infections, analyse levels of circulating proteins, hormones and other substances, or to see if certain organs are functioning properly 

Colposcopy

During a colposcopy, a device called a speculum is placed within your vagina and gently opened so that your doctor can investigate abnormal cells in the cervix. It’s often performed after your results have come back from a routine cervical screening showing abnormal cells. 

Cystoscopy

What is a cystoscopy 

A cystoscopy is a test where a thin camera, known as a cystoscope, is passed along your urethra to inspect the inside of the bladder. Cystoscopies are helpful for finding out the causes of bladder symptoms, can be used alongside a biopsy, or can help deliver treatment.

Types of cystoscopy

  • Flexible cystoscopy – the cystoscope is bendy, and the procedure is carried out while you are awake with local anaesthetic 
  • Rigid cystoscopy – the cystoscope is wider and stiff, because of this, the procedure will likely be performed with you under general anaesthetic 

Genetic testing

What is genetic testing 

A genetic test involves analysing your DNA analysis to see if you are inherited any harmful genetic faults, known as mutations, which can increase your risk of certain cancers. Your doctor may recommend testing either one of your BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes if you have a family history of breast and ovarian cancer.  

Smear test

What is a smear test 

smear test helps identify any cells that are susceptible to becoming cancerous. A sterile plastic brush is used to remove cells from inside your cervix and these will then be analysed further under a microscope.   

Urine cytology tests

What are urine cytology tests 

Urine cytology tests are collection of laboratory experiments that look for abnormal cells in a sample of your urine. They’re useful for diagnosing cancers in the urinary tract such as the bladder, urethra or ureters.  

Urodynamic studies

What are urodynamic studies 

Urodynamic studies (UDSs) are a collection of tests which investigate how well your bladder, sphincter and urethra can hold and release urine. They’re helpful for finding out the causes for a range of bladder symptoms and can to help diagnose an enlarged prostateThese kinds of tests can be called a bladder scan or urinary flow analysis.  

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Birmingham

Little Aston Hall Drive, Sutton Coldfield, B74 3BF

+44 (0)121 353 3055

Bristol

300 Park Avenue, Aztec West, Bristol, BS32 4SY

01454 456500

Cambridge

Fordham Rd, Newmarket CB8 7XN, UK

+44 (0)1223 907 600

Chelmsford

Springfield Cancer Centre, Lawn Lane, Chelmsford, CM1 7GU

+44 (0)1245 987 901

Cromwell Hospital

164-178 Cromwell Rd, Kensington, London SW5 0TU, UK

0203 848 0900

Elstree

Unit 710, Centennial Park, Centennial Avenue, Elstree, Borehamwood, WD6 3SZ

+44 (0)208 236 9040

Guildford

BMI St Martha Oncology Centre, 46 Harvey Road, Guildford, GU1 3LX

+44 (0)1483 806 000

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17 Kings Hill Avenue, Kings Hill, West Malling, ME19 4UA

+44 (0)1732 207 000

Milton Keynes

Sunrise Parkway, Linford Wood East, Milton Keynes, MK14 6LS

+44 (0)1908 467 700

Nottingham

The Park Centre for oncology, Sherwood Lodge Drive, Burntstump Country Park, Nottingham, NG5 8RX

+44 (0)1158 077 400

Oxford

Peters Way, Sandy Lane West, Oxford, OX4 6LB

+44 (0)1865 237 700

Portsmouth

Bartons Road, Havant, PO9 5NA

+44 (0)23 9248 4992

Southampton

Spire Hospital, Chalybeate Close, Southampton, SO16 6UY

+44 (0)381 277 900

Windsor

69 Alma Road, Windsor, SL4 3HD

+44 (0)1753 418 444