This is the aftermath post after I dragged my feet two days ago trying to process the specimen. I allocated half a day just to get this over with (even if it was my day off). It's exactly as I expected it to be, messy, gross, formalin soaked, and heavy.
The widest diameter of this thing was around 27.5cm. According to guidelines, if I suspect it to be mucinous carcinoma (which it does grossly), I'd double the number of sections to submit (56 sections rounding up to 28). Naturally, the med tech on duty didn't seem to happy with processing it and we just exchanged glances saying it can't be helped.
What you see from the images is exactly what you would get. Just imagine a huge chunk of fleshy watermelon being cut into bread loaf. The technique serves to view multiple parts of the specimen and examine it extensively trying not to miss subtle features. Some cysts popped like water balloons while cutting, some had gelatin consistency.
After finishing up, I accidentally knocked over an ink bottle near the working area and it soaked around 14 sections. This was during the time I tidied up most of the specimen away to its containers and cleaned the area partially. You can can guess how much frustrating it can be to repeat the process for those 14 sections.
A small trivia:
You might be wondering why it has gotten this huge already. Shouldn't patients have been seeking something was wrong even when it was just one fourth the size of this thing? In a third world country, medical consultation gets delayed due to health care costs.
I'm not sure how first world countries often hear patients trying to keep their diseases to themselves at the first sign of suspecting something is wrong until it's too late. But tumors like these are kind of common to be seen here due to that small economic hurdle. The worse they get the higher the chances of it becoming an interesting case presentation.
One can just feel sorry about this reality but then I just block it out of my head. These are things not within my control and it's just another specimen to process and diagnosis on the lab.
I'd probably try to post the microscopic views on the sections submitted in the future if I remember this mental note.
If you made it this far reading, thank you for your time.
Posted with STEMGeeks