As a pathologist specializing in gynecologic and breast cancers and diseases, Natalia Buza, MD, rarely sees the patients she spends many hours thinking about; her work is done not in an exam room, but behind a high-powered microscope. This doesn’t make her patients any less real, however. Dr. Buza explains that she became a pathologist because “it’s an exciting discipline and so important for patient care.”
Working closely with gynecologic cancer doctors, Dr. Buza examines samples of patients’ tissue taken for a biopsy to look for signs of endometrial, ovarian and cervical cancers. Once a cancer has been identified, she continues her examination of the cells, specifying the tumor subtype and looking for specific markers at the protein and genetic level that could help the patient’s physician create a personalized cancer treatment plan. Also, she notes, “I do a lot of collaborative research and studies.” For example, she and other colleagues recently investigated the possibility of using targeted anti-HER2 therapy in certain endometrial cancers.
Dr. Buza is an associate professor of pathology and associate director of gynecologic pathology at Yale School of Medicine.