The role labs play in your medical care

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) Most people have had a blood test before, a common procedure used to confirm many medical conditions including cancer. Spectrum Health‘s Advanced Technology Laboratories, provides state-of-the-art diagnostic services to physician offices and hospitals, throughout West Michigan and across the country.

A blood test is when a small sample of blood is taken from the body and analyzed in a lab. Although clinical laboratory science professionals are not often personally involved with patients, laboratory technologists play a crucial role in the process of providing personalized care. These individuals are highly skilled scientists who discover the presence or absence of disease and provide data that will help physicians determine the best treatment for the patient.

Lab professionals at Spectrum Health examine and analyze blood, bone marrow, body fluids, tissues and tumors, as well as identify infective microorganisms. They also evaluate test results for accuracy and help interpret these for the physicians.

Spectrum Health’s Advanced Technology Laboratories are unique because it’s very rare to find three labs in a hospital setting. Spectrum is a regional center for testing in molecular diagnostics, flow cytometry, and cytogenetics.Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory

  • The molecular diagnostics laboratory is experienced in nucleic acid-based diagnostics and is a Midwest leader in advanced genetic testing.
  • The lab conducts translational research and clinical trial activities, many of which lead to new opportunities to improve care.

Flow Cytometry Laboratory

  • This lab is the only hospital-based clinical lab of its kind in West Michigan.
  • Flow cytometry performs a variety of testing, including diagnostic testing for leukemia and lymphoma as well as immune competency testing.
  • Spectrum Health is able to provide physicians with preliminary results for new leukemia within approximately two to three hours, which allows the physician to begin more targeted treatment based upon the specific type of leukemia.

Cytogenetics Laboratory

  • This laboratory performs chromosome analysis that includes both neoplastic (or cancer-related) studies and constitutional studies for prenatal, pediatric and recurrent pregnancy loss. Preliminary oncology results are generally available within 24 hours.

If you have been diagnosed with cancer and would like a second opinion or consultation, call 1-855-SHCANCER (855-742-2623).

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