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Flashcards in Cellular Pathology of Cancer Deck (25)
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Define Metaplasia.

A reversible change in which one adult cell type (usually epithelial) is replaced by another adult cell type


Give two examples of metaplasia, one pathological and one physiological.

Barrett’s Oesophagus – gastro-oesophageal reflux can change the stratified squamous epithelium of the distal oesophagus to simple columnar
Cervix during pregnancy – the cervix opens up and the columnar epithelium of the endocervical canal is exposed to the acidic uterine fluids making it squamous


What are the two types of metaplasia that can take place in Barrett’s Oesophagus?

Gastric metaplasia – stratified squamous to simple columnar
Intestinal metaplasia – goblet cells begin to appear


State some features of cancer that are seen in dysplasia.

Large nuclei (and hyperchromatic)
Increased mitoses
Abnormal mitoses
Increased nucleo-cytoplasmic ratio
Loss of architectural orientation
Loss of uniformity of individual cells


What is the difference between low and high-grade dysplasia?

They both show changes of dysplasia but the changes are more severe in high-grade dysplasia
High-grade has a high risk of progression to cancer


What are the main features of benign tumours that separate them from malignant tumours?

They do not metastasise
They do not invade
They also are usually encapsulated (except for fibroids in the uterus), slow growing and have normal mitoses


Under what conditions can benign tumours be dangerous?

If they are in a dangerous location
If they secrete something dangerous
If they get infected
If they bleed
If they rupture
If they become twisted


What are the features of malignant tumours?

Invade surrounding tissues
Spread to distant sites
They also have no capsule, can be well or poorly differentiated, rapidly growing and have abnormal mitoses


Define metastasis.

A discontinuous growing colony of tumour cells, at some distance from the primary cancer


What are the two different types of benign epithelial tumour?

Papilloma – of the surface epithelium
Adenoma – of glandular epithelium


Define carcinoma.

Malignant tumour derived from the epithelium


What are the different types of carcinoma?

Basal cell carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinoma
Transitional cell carcinoma (transitional epithelium is found in the bladder)


State some different types of benign soft tissue tumour.

Osteoma –bone
Lipoma - fat
Leiomyoma – smooth muscle


Define sarcoma.

Malignant tumour derived from connective tissue (mesenchymal) cells


What are the names given to malignant tumours of striated muscle, smooth muscle and the nerve sheath?

Striated muscle – rhabdomyosarcoma
Smooth muscle – leiomyosarcoma
Nerve sheath – Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumour


Define leukaemia.

Malignant tumour of bone marrow derived cells, which circulate in the blood


Define lymphoma.

Malignant tumour of lymphocytes (usually) in lymph nodes


Define teratoma.

A tumour derived from germ cells, which has the potential to develop into tumours of all three germ layers


What is an important difference between teratomas in men compared to women?

Gonadal teratomas in men are almost always malignant
Gonadal teratomas in women are almost always benign


Define hamartoma.

Localised overgrowth of cells and tissue native to the organ
In other words, the cells and tissues present are appropriate for that particular location but their structural organisation is inappropriate


Which group of the population is hamartoma common in?

It is common in children and the hamartoma usually stops growing when the children stop growing


What is the difference between grading and staging?

Grading – how well differentiated the cancer is
Staging – how far the cancer has spread
Staging > Grading


What is meant by the ‘degree of differentiation’?

How much the tumour cells resemble the cells from which they are derived


What are the grading systems for breast and prostate cancer?

Breast –Nottingham scoring system
Prostate – Gleason classification


What is the term given to tumours that show little or no differentiation?