AskDefine | Define carcinoma

Dictionary Definition

carcinoma n : any malignant tumor derived from epithelial tissue; one of the four major types of cancer [also: carcinomata (pl)]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. An invasive malignant tumor derived from epithelial tissue that tends to metastasize to other areas of the body.

Extensive Definition

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

  • Adenocarcinoma is a malignant tumor originating in the epithelial cells of glandular tissue and forming glandular structures. This is common in the lung (forming 30-40% of all lung carcinomas). It is found peripherally, arising from goblet cells or type II pneumocytes.
  • Sinonasal undifferentiated 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.
carcinoma in Czech: Karcinom
carcinoma in Danish: Karcinom
carcinoma in German: Karzinom
carcinoma in Modern Greek (1453-): Καρκίνωμα
carcinoma in Spanish: Carcinoma
carcinoma in Persian: کارسینوما
carcinoma in French: Carcinome
carcinoma in Italian: Carcinoma
carcinoma in Hebrew: קרצינומה
carcinoma in Dutch: Carcinoom
carcinoma in Japanese: 癌腫
carcinoma in Portuguese: Carcinoma
carcinoma in Russian: Карцинома
carcinoma in Swedish: Carcinom
carcinoma in Turkish: Karsinom
carcinoma in Chinese: 癌

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

benign tumor, callosity, callus, cancer, corn, cyst, excrescence, fungosity, fungus, growth, intumescence, malignant growth, metastatic tumor, mole, morbid growth, neoplasm, nevus, nonmalignant tumor, outgrowth, proud flesh, sarcoma, tumor, verruca, wart, wen
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