The human body is made up of cells that make up tissues such as skin or organs such as the lungs. Tissue samples consist of cells taken from these tissues or organs.
You will already be familiar with blood taken for testing and this is a type of tissue sample. However, tissue sampling may also include taking a small sample of tissue or removing part or all of an organ. Learn more about human tissue samples via the web.
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Why do we take tissue samples?
A small tissue sample (biopsy) is taken to diagnose the disease. In other situations, obtaining a tissue sample is part of treating the disease. Diseased tissue, usually part of an organ, is removed.
In these cases, examination of the removed tissue allows for a better assessment of the next steps of treatment after surgery. We can also take tissue samples to assess how the patient is responding to treatment.
The tissue sample is turned into tissue blocks so that very thin slices of tissue can be cut and placed on a microscope slide for examination. The cloth block is usually 20mm by 5mm, and part of the slide is very thin, less than five-thousandths of a millimeter.
For small specimens, the entire biopsy is used in this process. However, for large samples, such as organs removed for cancer, the doctor examining the tissue selects small sections.
After examining the tissue under a microscope, a report will be prepared for your doctor, who will explain the results in detail and suggest further treatment.