The laboratory plays a vital role in diagnosis, treatment, and management for patients who have been diagnosed with a chronic disease. Because of the persistent and long-lasting effects of many chronic diseases, the laboratory has an ongoing role in performing tests so that results can guide the patient and medical team in decisions for the next steps in effectively managing the diagnosis. Our Patient Champions who have been diagnosed with a chronic illness rely on the laboratory as a critical resource to help make healthcare decisions that are right for them.




Chronic diseases or conditions are defined broadly as conditions that last 1 year or more and require ongoing medical attention or limit activities of daily living, or both. Chronic diseases can be fatal, but not always or necessarily, especially if you receive a diagnosis and are able to treat and/or your disease effectively.

Chronic diseases can take many different forms, including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, autoimmune disease such as lupus and Behçet’s, and more. Chronic diseases are diagnosed in different ways, depending on the type of chronic disease and where it is located.




“My laboratory background empowered me to take an active role in my care during my fertility challenges and my lupus diagnosis. Whenever I received my results back, I would do more research on what the results meant individually and collectively.” — Crystal, ASCP Patient Champion diagnosed with Lupus.



“Essentially all the data that guides therapy, that allows me to live my life, comes from the lab. All endoscopies have biopsies read by pathologists, I've had a liver biopsy interpreted by pathologists, blood transfusions received in emergency situations which were quickly matched to my blood type by pathologists, genetic testing for HLA haplotypes, TPMT enzyme activity assays, and routine and emergent lab work.” — Anthony L, ASCP Patient Champion diagnosed with Crohn’s disease.



“The laboratory professionals and pathologists are the reason I have my diagnosis. They looked at my biopsies, they looked at my red cells, they looked at my white cells and all my counts and they’re the ones that determined my ranges for the doctors to piece together what was going on in my body.” — Jasmin, ASCP Patient Champion diagnosed with Behçet's Disease.



“For every visit that we went to the hospital, we were just sitting with bated breath just waiting for those lab results. They basically determine the course of every day and the actions that the doctors would take after that.”— Belinda, Mother of ASCP Patient Champion, – Malik, diagnosed with Sickle Cell Disease.



“My life has since revolved around blood work. The accurate numbers from my lab results were so helpful for my team. They knew when to admit me, it allowed them to be so proactive instead of reactive, which is everything in a transplant scenario.” — Kya, ASCP Patient Champion diagnosed with Aplastic Anemia and Bone Marrow Transplant Recipient.



My life without pathologists and laboratory professionals would be uninformed. I’m so grateful that I’m able to get this A1c every three months.” — Christie, ASCP Patient Champion diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.