carcinoma [kahr″sĭ-no´mah] (pl. carcinomas, carcino´mata)
a malignant new growth made up of epithelial cells tending to infiltrate surrounding tissues and to give rise to metastases. A form of cancer
, carcinoma makes up the majority of the cases of malignancy of the breast, uterus, intestinal tract, skin, and tongue.
(adenoid cystic carcinoma
) carcinoma marked by cylinders or bands of hyaline or mucinous stroma separated or surrounded by nests or cords of small epithelial cells, occurring in the mammary and salivary glands, and mucous glands of the respiratory tract. Called also cylindroma
basal cell carcinoma the most common form of skin cancer, consisting of an epithelial tumor of the skin originating from neoplastic differentiation of basal cells, rarely metastatic but locally invasive and aggressive. It usually occurs as small pearly nodules or plaques on the face of an older adult, particularly on a sun-exposed area of someone with fair skin. It has been divided into numerous subtypes on the basis of clinical and histological characteristics.
basosquamous carcinoma carcinoma that histologically exhibits both basal and squamous elements.
cylindrical cell carcinoma carcinoma in which the cells are cylindrical or nearly so.
a highly malignant germ cell tumor
that is a primitive form of carcinoma, probably of primitive embryonal cell derivation; it usually arises in a gonad
and may be found either in pure form or as part of a mixed germ cell tumor
giant cell carcinoma a poorly differentiated, highly malignant, epithelial neoplasm containing many large multinucleated tumor cells, such as occurs in the lungs.
primary carcinoma of the liver cells with hepatomegaly, jaundice, hemoperitoneum, and other symptoms of the presence of an abdominal mass. It is rare in North America and Western Europe but is one of the most common malignancies in parts of sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, East Asia, and elsewhere. A strong association seems to exist with chronic hepatitis B virus
carcinoma in si´tu a neoplasm whose tumor cells are confined to the epithelium of origin, without invasion of the basement membrane; the likelihood of subsequent invasive growth is presumed to be high.
medullary carcinoma that composed mainly of epithelial elements with little or no stroma.
a malignant tumor arising in the epithelial lining of the nasopharynx
, occurring at high frequency in people of Chinese descent. The epstein-barr virus
has been implicated as a causative agent.
oat cell carcinoma
a form of small cell carcinoma
in which the cells are round or elongated and slightly larger than lymphocytes; they have scanty cytoplasm and clump poorly.
carcinoma in which there are papillary growths that are irregular in nature arising from otherwise normal tissue; it can occur in the thyroid gland, the breast, or the bladder. Called also papillocarcinoma
carcinoma with a hard structure owing to the formation of dense connective tissue in the stroma. Called also fibrocarcinoma
carcinoma sim´plex an undifferentiated carcinoma.
small cell carcinoma
a common, highly malignant form of bronchogenic carcinoma
in the wall of a major bronchus, occurring mainly in middle-aged individuals with a history of tobacco smoking; it is radiosensitive and has small oval undifferentiated cells. Metastasis to the hilum and to mediastinal lymph nodes is common.
squamous cell carcinoma 1.
carcinoma developed from squamous epithelium
, having cuboid cells and characterized by keratinization
. Initially local and superficial, the lesion may later invade and metastasize.
2. the form occurring in the skin, usually originating in sun-damaged areas or preexisting lesions.
in the lung, one of the most common types of bronchogenic carcinoma
, generally forming polypoid or sessile masses that obstruct the airways of the bronchi. It usually occurs in middle-aged individuals with a history of smoking. There is frequent invasion of blood and lymphatic vessels with metastasis to regional lymph nodes and other sites. Called also epidermoid carcinoma
transitional cell carcinoma a malignant tumor arising from a transitional type of stratified epithelium, usually affecting the urinary bladder.
verrucous carcinoma 1.
a variety of squamous cell carcinoma
that has a predilection for the buccal mucosa but also affects other oral soft tissue and the larynx. It is slow-growing and somewhat invasive.
2. Buschke-Löwenstein tumor, so called because it is histologically similar to the oral lesion.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.
lung cancer; although the term was formerly limited to malignant neoplasms arising from the epithelium of a bronchus or bronchiole, it is now applied generally to any primary malignancy of the lung or bronchial tract. Lung cancers are divided on the basis of predominant cell type into small cell carcinomas (15-25%) and non-small cell carcinomas (75-85%). Some tumors contain both cell types. Not included in this dichotomy are a small number (2-3%) of miscellaneous tumors (carcinoid, cylindroma, mucoepidermoid carcinoma). Small cell carcinomas of the lung tend to grow rapidly and metastasize early. They often produce hormones and antibodies capable of inducing paraneoplastic conditions such as hypercalcemia, Cushing syndrome, and myasthenia. Non-small cell carcinomas are subdivided into adenocarcinomas (50-60%; the most common type in women and nonsmokers), glandular cancers that usually arise peripherally, produce mucin, form tubular or papillary structures, and metastasize widely and early; squamous cell carcinomas (30-40%), which tend to develop centrally and in lower lobes and to metastasize more slowly; and the highly anaplastic large cell carcinomas (10%), which grow rapidly and produce carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA).
Bronchogenic carcinoma is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. in both men and women, and the most common cancer in men world-wide. About 200,000 new cases of lung cancer are diagnosed each year in this country. The 5-year survival rate is 10-15%, depending on cell type. The increase in the incidence of lung cancer in the U.S. during the early 20th century closely followed the increase in cigarette sales, a fact first noted by Ochsner and DeBakey in 1941. A fall in the male:female ratio of lung cancer incidence began in 1935 and accelerated steadily with the increase in smoking among women. The age-adjusted death rate from lung cancer in women doubled between 1965 and 1974, and in 1987 bronchogenic carcinoma surpassed carcinoma of the breast as the most common fatal malignancy in women. Currently, about 90% of lung cancer deaths are directly attributable to cigarette smoking, and 25% of lung cancer in nonsmokers is due to involuntary (passive) smoking. About 11% of regular cigarette smokers develop lung cancer. Cancer risk is related to the age at which smoking began, the number of cigarettes smoked, and the depth of inhalation. Smoking cessation reduces the risk. Because adenocarcinoma of the lung is more common in families with other cancers and with inherited lung disorders, a genetic predisposition is probable. (Some people may also be genetically predisposed to nicotine addiction.) Inhalation of industrial carcinogens (particularly asbestos, silica, chromium, nickel, and polyvinyl chloride) and exposure to ionizing radiation or radon are other known causes. Bronchogenic carcinoma may encroach on the bronchial lumen or may invade adjacent lung parenchyma. The principal sites of metastasis are mediastinal lymph nodes, liver, brain, and bone. Complications include superior vena cava syndrome, esophageal obstruction, pericardial tamponade, phrenic nerve palsy, and Pancoast syndrome. Early symptoms (gradual onset of cough or change in a chronic cough, dyspnea, wheezing) may be wrongly attributed to smoking or to lower respiratory infection. By the time more ominous symptoms (hemoptysis, anorexia, weight loss, chest pain) occur, the condition is usually advanced and inoperable. Chest x-ray or computed tomography (CT) typically shows a solitary nodule and may also reveal evidence of atelectasis, pneumonic infiltrate, involvement of mediastinal nodes, or pleural effusion. MRI may detect invasion of vertebrae, spinal cord, or mediastinal structures. The diagnosis of carcinoma is confirmed by the finding of malignant cells in sputum, bronchial washings, or pleural fluid, or in biopsy material obtained by bronchoscopy, percutaneous needle aspiration, thoracoscopy, mediastinoscopy, or thoracotomy. Some studies suggest that screening high-risk populations (for example, smokers aged 60 or older) by means of CT or sputum cytology reduces morbidity and mortality. Low-dose helical (spiral) CT is more sensitive than standard chest radiography in detecting lung cancer, but may not be cost effective even in high-risk populations. Surgical excision is the treatment of choice for bronchogenic carcinoma. Lung-sparing procedures (sleeve lobectomy, segmentectomy, wedge resection) may permit surgical excision in patients with limited pulmonary reserve but are associated with higher recurrence rates. Radiation therapy and chemotherapy with cisplatin, mitomycin, vinca alkaloids, ifosfamide, and etoposide are chiefly of use as palliative measures in advanced or inoperable disease.
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carcinoma (kar?sin-o'ma ) [ carcin- + -oma]
A malignant tumor that occurs in epithelial tissue and may infiltrate local tissues or produce metastases. It may affect almost any organ or part of the body and spread by direct extension, through lymphatics, or through the bloodstream. The causes vary with tumor type.
Optimal patient care includes: identifying and explaining to patient and family the type of cancer and its typical natural history; options for treatment, side effects of treatments, expected response of the cancer to the treatment, best predictions for recovery and life expectancy, availability of clinical trials, alternative and complementary therapies, and the potential benefit of referral to specialty cancer centers.
acinar cell carcinoma of the pancreas
A rare carcinoma that arises from pancreatic cells that manufacture digestive proteins, such as lipase, chymotrypsin, or alpha-1-antitrypsin.
alveolar cell carcinoma
A type of lung carcinoma.
BASAL CELL CARCINOMA
BASAL CELL CARCINOMA
basal cell carcinoma Abbreviation: BCC
The most common human cancer, typically found on skin exposed to sun or other forms of ultraviolet light. Although it is sometimes locally invasive, it rarely metastasizes to other organs. Typically it begins as a small, shiny papule. The lesion enlarges to form a whitish border around a central depression or ulcer that may bleed. When the lesion reaches this stage, it is often called a rodent ulcer. After biopsy, the removal method used is determined by the size, location, and appearance of the lesion. Synonym: basal cell epithelioma
; epithelial cancer
A relatively rare form of non-small cell lung cancer consisting of columnar cells, and in which the tumor arises in the periphery of the lung within the septal borders of the alveoli, which the tumor tends to preserve. The tumor cells frequently produce mucin.
bronchogenic carcinomaLung cancer.
choroid plexus carcinoma
A cancer that arises from the cells that line the fluid-filled cavities (ventricles) of the brain.
carcinoma of the colon See: colorectal cancer
colorectal carcinomaColorectal cancer.
Any slowly growing squamous cell carcinoma of the skin, typically presenting as a gradually enlarging warty tumor.
ductal carcinoma in situ of breast See: ductal carcinoma in situ of breast
An aggressive germ cell tumor that may metastasize widely. It can occur in young adults of either sex.
epidermoid carcinomaSquamous cell carcinoma.
Metastatic spreading of cancer, usually from an internal organ to the skin, to which the spreading tumor gives a red, inflammatory appearance.
giant cell carcinoma
Carcinoma marked by the presence of unusually large cells.
A cancer arising from cells in the epidermis. It includes basal cell carcinomas, keratoacanthomas, and squamous cell carcinomas of the skin. Most keratinocyte carcinomas arise in sun-exposed areas of the body, such as the ears, the temples, the forehead or the nose.
carcinoma in situ Abbreviation: CIS
Malignant cell changes in the epithelial tissue that do not extend beyond the basement membrane.
Carcinoma in which there is a predominance of cells and little fibrous tissue.
Carcinoma containing melanin.
Carcinoma in which the glandular tissue secretes mucin.
Any of a diverse group of malignancies, such as carcinoid, islet cell tumors, neuroblastoma, and small-cell carcinomas of the lung. All have dense core granules and produce polypeptides that can be identified by immunochemical methods.
oat cell carcinoma
A poorly differentiated carcinoma of the bronchus that contains small oat-shaped cells. Synonym: small cell carcinoma
carcinoma of pancreasPancreatic cancer.
pancreatic carcinomaPancreatic cancer.
papillary carcinoma of the thyroid See: papillary carcinoma of the thyroid
renal cell carcinoma
A carcinoma that arises from the proximal tubular cells of the kidney. In 2008 the American Cancer Society estimated there would be about 56,700 new patients diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma and about 13,700 deaths from it. Synonym: hypernephroma
; kidney cancer
Because of its location in the retroperitoneum, renal cell carcinoma may grow to a relatively large size before it manifests obvious symptoms. The most common findings are blood in the urine (hematuria), flank pain, or a flank mass. Some patients develop fevers, weight loss, or symptoms caused by hormones excreted by the tumor. These hormones (parathyroid-like hormone or erythropoietin) occasionally cause hypercalcemia or abnormal increases in the red blood cell count (erythrocytosis).
Surgical removal of the affected kidney may be curative for those patients whose tumor has not spread outside the perirenal fascia. Treatment options are less successful for patients with metastatic disease because renal cell carcinomas are relatively resistant to chemotherapy.
A carcinoma that contains both epithelial and mesenchymal components. This cancer may arise from cells in the kidney, urinary bladder, or lung.
scirrhous carcinomaHard cancer.
small cell carcinomaOat cell carcinoma.
SQUAMOUS CELL CARCINOMA
squamous cell carcinoma
Carcinoma that develops primarily from squamous cells, e.g., of the skin or in the mouth, lungs, bronchi, esophagus, or cervix. Synonym: epidermoid carcinoma See: illustrationillustrationillustration
A carcinoma found in the anterior mediastinum, usually a squamous cell carcinoma, spindle cell carcinoma, or lymphoepithelioma. Many of these tumors release chemically active substances that cause paraneoplastic syndromes.
transitional cell carcinoma
A carcinoma that originates in cells that line the urinary tract, e.g., in cells that line the inner kidney, the ureters, or the urinary bladder. Synonym: urothelial carcinoma
urothelial carcinomaTransitional cell carcinoma.
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