carcinoma

carcinoma

[kahr-suh-noh-muh]
carcinoma: see neoplasm.
or hypernephroma

Malignant tumour of the cells that cover and line the kidney. It usually affects persons over age 50 who have vascular disorders of the kidneys. It seldom causes pain, unless it is advanced. It may metastasize to other organs (e.g., lungs, liver, brain, bone) and go unrecognized until these secondary tumours cause symptoms. Blood can appear in the urine early on but is painless and usually disregarded. Even when the cancer is in the early stages, X-ray films can show deformity in kidney structures.

Learn more about renal cell carcinoma with a free trial on Britannica.com.

A carcinoma is any malignant cancer that arises from epithelial cells. Carcinomas invade surrounding tissues and organs and may metastasize, or spread, to lymph nodes and other sites.

Carcinoma in situ (CIS) is a pre-malignant condition, in which some cytological signs of malignancy are present, but there is no histological evidence of invasion through the epithelial basement membrane.

Classification of carcinoma

Carcinoma, like all neoplasia, is classified by its histopathological appearance. Adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, two common descriptive terms for tumors, reflect the fact that these cells may have glandular or squamous cell appearances respectively. Severely anaplastic tumors might be so undifferentiated that they do not have a distinct histological appearance (undifferentiated carcinoma).

Sometimes a tumour is referred to by the presumptive organ of the primary (eg carcinoma of the prostate) or the putative cell of origin (hepatocellular carcinoma, renal cell carcinoma).

Types of carcinoma by ICD-O Code

(8010-8790) Epithelial

Types of lung carcinoma

Staging and grading

The staging of cancers is the extent of spread of the neoplasm. Grading is the system used to record the tumors degree of differentiation from the parent tissue. High grade shows little differentiation and the prognosis is therefore poor.

Carcinomas, like all cancers, are staged according to the extent of disease. The UICC/AJCC TNM system is often used, however for some common tumors, classic staging methods (such as the Dukes classification for colon cancer) are still used.

See also

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