Looking for Answers: What is more painful? A prostate biopsy or giving birth?


Natural language processing (NLP) is a field of computer science that deals with the interaction between computers and human language. NLP platforms can understand and generate human language, and they are increasingly being used in a variety of applications, including healthcare and pathology. 

However, NLP platforms still have limitations. One of the biggest limitations is that they cannot provide all the answers. This is because human language is complex and nuanced, and it is difficult to program a computer to understand all the nuances of human language. 

Another limitation of NLP platforms is that they are dependent on the data which they are trained in. If the data is biased or incomplete, the NLP platform will be biased or incomplete as well. It is therefore important to carefully consider the source of the data that is used to train NLP platforms. 

Despite these limitations, NLP platforms have the potential to revolutionize healthcare, and, in the future, we can expect to see NLP platforms playing an increasingly significant role. However, it is important to remember that they are not a replacement for human healthcare professionals. NLP should be used as a tool to supplement the care provided by human doctors, nurses, applications engineers, and other healthcare workers. 

NLP is already being used in pathology and laboratory medicine through several means: 

  • Identifying patients at risk: NLP can be used to identify patients who are at risk for certain diseases or conditions based on their pathology and laboratory results, medical history, demographics, and other factors. This information can be used to develop targeted prevention and intervention strategies. 
  • Developing new diagnostic tests and treatments: NLP can be used to analyze large datasets of pathology and laboratory data to identify new patterns and trends. This information can be used to develop new diagnostic tests and treatments more quickly and efficiently. 
  • Providing personalized recommendations: NLP can be used to develop personalized care plans for patients based on their individual pathology and laboratory results, medical history, and preferences. This can help to improve patient outcomes and satisfaction. 

The pain of prostate biopsy: A question that neither NLP nor humans can answer. 

One of the questions that neither NLP algorithms nor humans can answer is: What is more painful, getting a prostate biopsy or giving birth? 

This is a complex question with no easy answer. The amount of pain experienced during a prostate biopsy varies from person to person, and the same is true for childbirth. There are factors that can affect the amount of pain experienced, including the patient’s individual pain tolerance, the skill of the person performing the procedure, and the presence of any underlying medical conditions. 

The machine can never undergo childbirth, nor can it experience a prostate biopsy. And while I cannot say much about childbirth, I do know some things about the prostate. 

During a prostate biopsy, the patient is typically placed on their side on a table. The doctor will then insert a lubricated, thin needle into the rectum and guide it towards the prostate gland. The needle is then used to take several samples of tissue from different areas of the prostate. 

When the needle is inserted into the rectum, it passes through several layers of tissue, including the skin, the anal sphincter, and the rectal mucosa. The anal sphincter is a muscle that helps to control bowel movements. The rectal mucosa is the lining of the rectum. As the needle passes through these layers of tissue, it may cause bleeding. The blood comes from the small blood vessels that are present in these tissues. The needle also passes through nerve cells, disrupting these cells and causing discomfort or pain. The number of nerve cells that are disturbed depends on the route that the needle takes through the rectum. This is often guided by ultrasound or MRI imaging. 

Some people might say that childbirth is more painful because there is a much larger sample size. More data equates to better information. Others might say that a prostate biopsy is more painful because it is a procedure that involves the insertion of a needle into the rectum. 

The answer to the question of whether a prostate biopsy or childbirth is more painful is a matter of opinion. Neither NLP algorithms nor humans can provide a definitive answer. 

Despite this limitation, NLP platforms can be used to automate tasks, develop new tools and treatments, and provide personalized recommendations. For example, NLP can be used to: 

  • Automate the process of reviewing pathology slides and identifying abnormalities. This could free up pathologists to focus on more complex tasks and improve the efficiency and accuracy of a patient’s diagnosis. 
  • Develop new tools for analyzing and interpreting laboratory data. This could help laboratorians to identify trends and patterns in laboratory data that would be difficult to detect manually. 
  • Develop new systems for reporting and communicating pathology and laboratory results to clinicians and patients. This could improve the communication of important medical information and help patients to better understand their results. One question is- will we ever have automated data uploaded into our patient file about how much we move and what we eat? 

The partnership between NLP and humans has the potential to revolutionize pathology and laboratory medicine and make it more accessible and affordable for everyone. 

In the future, NLP is expected to play an even greater role in pathology and laboratory medicine. For example, NLP could be used to develop virtual assistants that can help pathologists and laboratorians diagnose diseases, interpret results, and develop treatment plans. NLP could also be used to develop new tools and treatments that are tailored to individual patients’ genetic profiles. 

The partnership between NLP and humans has the potential to transform pathology and laboratory medicine, making it more efficient, effective, personalized, and accessible for all patients. 



NLP platforms are a powerful tool that has the potential to revolutionize pathology and healthcare. However, it is important to remember that NLP platforms are still in their initial stages of development. I believe that soon the answer to what is more painful will be answered not by the howls of our patients but by the whine of our processors.