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AH Lab works closely with consultants and hospitals to help diagnose breast cancer types and treatment options for patients.

The accurate diagnosis and management of breast cancer requires an understanding of the histological analysis of breast tissue. This allows clinicians to identify the most appropriate and effective treatment for individual patients.

Advance Histopathology Laboratory (AHLab) works in close partnership with consultants and hospitals to help diagnose breast cancer types and treatment options for patients. We help review all stages of breast cancer via our state-of-the-art technology where our expert team provide accurate and rapid results.

Our specialists participate in Multidisciplinary Team Meetings where all aspects of diagnosis and treatment are discussed and reviewed to ensure a personalised level of service for each individual patient.

With breast cancer survival around 76%* our mission is to continuously strive to provide the best support for breast cancer doctors and patients in beating this disease.

*(Statistics taken from Cancer Research UK).

What is breast histology?

Histopathology is the science of examining cells and tissues from biopsies or surgical operations in order to establish a diagnosis to find therapy options.  Breast histology helps to identify any abnormal cells and diagnose specific types of breast cancer which then helps consultants and hospitals proceed with the most suitable treatment for patients. Early detection of cancerous cells is crucial in increasing breast cancer survival rates. Our expert team use the latest technology and specialised equipment to provide clinicians with an accurate and rapid sample turnaround.

Breast Histology at AHL

1/ Expert diagnosis

At AHLab our team of highly experienced consultant histopathologists specialising in breast pathology include Dr Mary Falzon, Dr Laura Casey, Dr Athanasia Vargiamidou, Dr Wael Harmarneh, Dr Anna Silvanto, Dr Anu Malhotra and Professor Gordon Stamp. Their in-depth knowledge in specific breast disorders helps facilitate personalised patient treatment by providing an accurate histological analysis of patient biopsies to consultants and hospitals.

2/ Types of breast histology

Using state-of-the-art equipment AHL can provide the following breast histology services:


  • Biopsy and Cytology
    The main method of microscopic diagnosis is for a pathologist to examine a breast tissue sample. This may be at the initial stages using a very fine needle to extract a few cells for cytology (sometimes called Fine Needle Aspiration), or after imaging taking one or more thin cores of tissue for histology. These examinations can detect any changes in cells that may be benign or malignant to be identified.
  • Immunohistochemistry (IHC)
    Immunohistochemistry is a powerful technique that involves the use of specific antibodies to identify the presence or absence of proteins in breast tissue samples. This helps with decisions around treatment by identifying the hormone receptor status (e.g. oestrogen receptor, progesterone receptor) and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) expression.
  • Molecular Testing
    Molecular testing is a method that uses a sample of tissue, blood, or other body fluid to check for certain genes, proteins, or other molecules that may be a sign of a disease or condition, such as cancer. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or gene expression profiling, analyses the genetic alterations within breast tissue. These tests can help identify specific genetic mutations (e.g., BRCA1/2) or gene expression patterns (e.g. Oncotype DX) that influence prognosis and treatment responses. More and more frequently we are using “molecular profiling” to identify tumours that may well respond to new treatments that are being developed all the time.

3/ Benefits to patient care

According to Cancer Research UK, breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK, with around 55,200 people (men as well as women) diagnosed each year. It is encouraging that breast cancer survival rates have doubled in the last 50 years. This is in part due to early detection and diagnosis.

Accurate histological evaluation of breast tissue ensures proper diagnosis and staging of breast cancer, thereby guiding appropriate treatment strategies. For example, decisions on whether surgical intervention is needed or using a combination of other treatments such as radiotherapy or chemotherapy are required need histology information to be provided via the multidisciplinary team. 

Our histology expertise is also used to help predict patient prognosis, risk of recurrence and long-term survival rates. This allows the identification of any treatment plans that may need to be modified to ensure the maximum benefit to patients.

At times, clinicians and patients may seek reassurance about an original diagnosis formed elsewhere. At AHLab our Expert 2nd Opinions service provides access to an extensive referral network allowing us to confirm the initial diagnosis made elsewhere or suggest additional diagnostic procedures where this is required. Of paramount importance to us is the effective diagnosis to ensure the best possible patient treatment.

Why choose AHLab?

Our high-quality breast histology diagnostic service provides clinicians with access to a wide network of expert consultant pathologists and scientists, experienced in diagnostic and research pathology, working in centres which are internationally recognised.

Utilising the latest technology and specialised equipment the Breast Pathology Team provide a swift sample turnaround, high levels of expertise for in-depth analysis, a personalised service to clinicians and patients, together with a competitive pricing structure.

Get in touch:

For more information about our breast histology diagnostic services, please read our user guide or 

Email: [email protected].