Hallux’s Pathology Puzzles: Health Screening

Pathology is about looking for clues!

One of Professor Hallux’s favourite TV shows is one called ‘Time Cop Crime Stop‘. In the show, the Crime Cops solve all types of mysteries by looking at the evidence and asking questions. Nurse Nanobot isn’t that impressed by it though – she’s far more excited by ‘Robot Wars’ for some reason!

Now, there’s a type of medicine that is all about solving puzzles – it’s called pathology!



Health Screening is a type of pathology that helps find diseases and keep us healthy for longer – they’re used to to test healthy people to see if they might have a disease… or may have one in the future.

Some people have a higher chance than others to get a particular disease – maybe because of their age or family history, and so health screening is done to look for evidence.

There’s lots of ways pathologists look for clues. They might want to analyse a sample of you blood or wee or tissue.


In a laboratory, pathologists will investigate these samples further, looking at samples under microscopes and using chemicals to check what’s happening deep inside the cells. For example, there’s something called cholesterol which you find in blood.

But if the levels are too high, that can point to a problem in the future. If pathologists find this evidence, they can give the person advice or treatment to help prevent the problem occurring.



> Visit the Professor Hallux Pathology Puzzle homepage
> Download the free Pathology Puzzle podcast from iTunes

Hallux’s Pathology Puzzles with support from The Royal College of Pathologists