Adenocarcinoma: Description, Causes and Risk Factors: A malignant neoplasm of epithelial cells in glandular or glandlike pattern. Alternative Names: Glandular cancer, glandular carcinoma. Adenocarcinoma is the most common type of lung cancer, making up 30-35% of all cases, liver cancer (liver cancer is primarily adenocarcinoma, with 2 major cell types: hepatocellular and cholangiocarcinoma), etc. A number of organs and body parts can be assaulted by an adenocarcinoma, including the cervix, pancreas, prostate, stomach, thyroid, and breast. Adenocarcinoma is a cancer originating in glandular tissue. This tissue is also part of a larger tissue category known as epithelial. Epithelial tissue includes, but is not limited to, skin, glands and a variety of other tissue that lines the cavities and organs of the body. Epithelium is derived embryologically from ectoderm, endoderm and mesoderm. To be classified as adenocarcinoma, the cells do not necessarily need to be part of a gland, as long as they have secretory properties. This form of carcinoma can occur in some higher mammals, including humans. Well differentiated adenocarcinomas tend to resemble the glandular tissue that they are derived from, while poorly differentiated may not. By staining the cells from a biopsy, a pathologist will determine whether the tumor is an adenocarcinoma or some other type of cancer. adenocarcinoma Adenocarcinomas can arise in many tissues of the body due to the ubiquitous nature of glands within the body. While each gland may not be secreting the same substance, as long as there is an exocrine function to the cell, it is considered glandular and its malignant form is therefore named adenocarcinoma. Endocrine gland tumors, such as a VIPoma, an insulinoma, a pheochromocytoma, etc, are typically not referred to as adenocarcinomas, but rather, are often called neuroendocrine tumors. If the glandular tissue is abnormal, but benign, it is said to be an adenoma. Benign adenomas typically do not invade other tissue and rarely metastasize. Malignant adenocarcinomas invade other tissues and often metastasize given enough time to do so. Symptoms: Symptoms will vary according to which organ has been affected and small adenocarcinoma tumors may not cause any symptoms. As the tumor grows, symptoms will develop such as a tumor growing in the colon may pierce a blood vessel causing blood in the stool. Tumors in the lung may cause a coughing up of blood or shortness of breath. Diagnosis: A physical exam will be performed and a complete medical history given. When a lump is present in the breast, a mammogram will reveal any tumors. A CT or MRI scan will show any tumors in the colon, lung or other organs. When a tumor is located, a biopsy will be performed to determine if the tumor is benign or malignant. A malignant tumor will be viewed with a specialized X-ray to determine the stage of the cancer. A diagnosis of ''adenocarcinoma'' which is not further described, known as adenocarcinoma not otherwise specified or adenocarcinoma NOS, is significant because it indicates a cancerous process is present. However, it is not very useful for treatment decisions and prognosis, as these are determined by the tissue from which the tumour cells arose, i.e. the tissue of origin; an adenocarcinoma of the colon has a different prognosis and treatment than an adenocarcinoma of the ovary. Adenocarcinoma not otherwise specified is often a preliminary diagnosis and can frequently be clarified by a pathologist with the use of immunohistochemistry. Cancer for which a primary site cannot be found is called cancer of unknown primary. Treatment: Treatment will depend on which organ is affected and the stage of the cancer. Early stages of adenocarcinoma may only need surgery to remove the tumor. In later stages of the disease, surgery along with radiation and chemotherapy may be necessary. The length of these treatments will depend on the organ afflicted, the stage of the cancer and if the cancer has spread. When treatment is not successful, adenocarcinoma is fatal. Disclaimer:The above information is just informative purpose. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. DISCLAIMER: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care.  


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