Table 2

Language requirements for patient-centred pathology reports

Clinical elementKey requirement for patient-centred translation
  • Keep tone agnostic and/or neutral

  • Include, but define, pathology terminology

  • Describe the type, size and location of cancer

  • Provide additional explanation to help place size and location in broader context of patient anatomy

  • Explain the ranges and directionality of stages available

  • Provide details on what clinical elements contribute to staging

  • Explain the ranges and directionality of grades available

  • Provide details on how grade connects to cancer aggressiveness

Surgical margin status
  • Clarify directionality of ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ margin status

  • Provide implications to guide discussions with their provider

Ancillary studies
  • Connect ancillary studies to treatment decision-making

  • Clarify when there is uncertainty about the role of ancillary studies in decision-making for an individual diagnosis