Histopathology is the diagnosis and study of diseases of the tissues and involves examining tissues and/or cells under a microscope. Histopathologists are responsible for making tissue diagnoses and helping clinicians manage a patient’s care.
Cytology (also known as cytopathology) involves examining cells from bodily tissues or fluids to determine a diagnosis. A certain kind of physician, called a pathologist, will look at the cells in the tissue sample under a microscope and look for characteristics or abnormalities in the cells. Since cytology only examines cells, which are so tiny, pathologists only need a very small sample of tissue to do a cytology test.
Healthcare providers use cytology in many different areas of medicine, but cytology tests are most commonly used to screen for or diagnose cancer.