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Pathology (from the Greek for "the study of suffering") is the study of the nature, cause and diagnosis of disease or, in a general sense, any condition produced by a disease. It is both a medical speciality and an ongoing field of scientific study. A specialist in the field is known as a pathologist.

Pathology embraces four different fields of study:

  • Etiology, the study of the mechanisms of how diseases affect the body
  • Morphology, or how cell structures are changed by disease; and
  • Clinical manifestations of changes in cell structure.

Kinds of pathology include:

  • anatomic: studies the structural changes of disease. This is broken down into several sub-specialities such as surgical pathology, cell pathology (cytopathology), dermatopathology and forensic pathology.
  • clinical: uses clinical analysis and laboratory procedures in the diagnosis and treatment of disease. Some of the sub-specialities of this field of study are hematopathology and molecular pathology.
  • special: studies particular diseases or organs
  • surgical: studies the application of pathological procedures for investigating surgically-removed tissues

Pathology at Wikipedia