Bostwick Laboratories performs more prostate biopsies than any other lab - anywhere. Such disciplined focus could well revolutionize the $35 billion-a-year medical lab business.
Dr. David Bostwick tells a story about a 55-year-old pathology colleague whose blood analysis showed a slowly rising serum PSA count, a possible indicator of prostate cancer. The man had a biopsy taken, and sent it to the lab. He couldn’t sleep that night, or the next, for worry that he had cancer. As if the waiting weren't agonizing enough, the tests came back inconclusive. Most of the slides looked benign, but one showed a small “focus”, the size of a pin, that looked ambiguous. In desperation, he sent the slide to Bostwick, one of the leading prostate cancer pathologists in the world.
Bostwick determined that the biopsy was benign. His colleague, who’d gone without sleep by then for three days, was immeasurably relieved. “It was the uncertainty,” Bostwick says. “Knowing you’ve got cancer, and being able to deal with it, is easier in some ways than not knowing.”
One of the failings of the contemporary health care system is the extended turn-around time in lab results that can take anywhere from two days and two weeks. “The uncertainty is torture,” Bostwick says. And there’s no good reason for it.
That was Bostwick's primary motivation for founding Bostwick Laboratories, which has expanded over four years into the world’s fastest-growing, most efficient – and, quite possibly, most accurate – prostate biopsy laboratory in the world. “It’s quite remarkable, really,” says Bostwick. “We see more prostate biopsies than anyone else in the world – right here in this building in Richmond, Virginia.”