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Flashcards in Neoplasms Deck (34)
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What are neoplasms?

means "new growth"

uncontrolled growth of cells whose proliferation cannot be adequately controlled by normal regulatory mechanisms

note: not all neoplasms are tumors


How are human tumors classified?

Clinical classification

Histologic classification


What are the main differences between benign and malignant tumors?

benign = limited growth potential

- sharply demarcated

- often encapsulated

- differentiated

- uniform cells




How do tumors metastasize?

They can go 

- through lymphatics

-via blood

-by seeding

denotes a process in which cells move from one site to another in the body. benign tumors NEVER metastasize.


List a few benign mesenchymal tumors and their malignant equivalents.

Mesenchymal = CT, muscles, bones






How do carcinomas differ from sarcomas?

carcinoma = malignant tumor of epithelial cells

sarcoma = malignant tumors of mesenchymal cells


Define lymphoma, glioma, seminoma, and teratoma.

teratoma = benign tumor, embryonic cell

seminoma = malignant, testicular seminiferous epithelium

glioma = malignant, brain glial cells

lymphoma = malignant, lymphoid cells


List three eponymic tumors.

- hodgkin's lymphoma

- ewing's sarcoma (bones)

- kaposi's sarcoma (skin)


What is the difference between tumor staging and grading?

staging = clinically assessing the extent of tumor spread

grading = based on histological examination


Compare normal and malignant cells, taking into account their morphology, some basic biologic funcitons, and biochemical properties.

MAlignant cells have

- simplified metabolism >> loss of highly specialized functions

- there are no definitive biochemical tests to tell 

- may secrete fetal features (eg AFP)



How do tumor cells gow in vitro?

They can survive much longer than normal cells. "Immortal"

There is no contact inhibition, and the cells pile up to form aggregates and nodules. Have autocrine stimulation


What are the most important exogenous and endogenous causes of cancer?


- chemicals
- physical agents
- viruses


- oncogenes


How do scientists identify potential human carcinogens?

begins with clinical observations . . . which are amplified by data obtained from epidemiological study . . . additional studies, experimental animal studies, in vitro studies . . .final goal is identification and isolation of cancer genes. 


List some chemical carcinogens and explain how they cause cancer.

Chemical enter the body and can act several ways

  • locally
  • at the site fo digestion in the intestines
  • at the site of metabolic activation in the liver
  • at the site of excretion in the urine


Compare the carcinogenic action of oncogenic RNA and DNA viruses.

DNA viruses induce malignant transformation by integration into the genome. 

Acute-transforming RNA viruses produce malignant transfromation by transduction.

Slow-transforming RNA viruses produce malignant transformation by transfection/insertion of promoter gene.


Which human DNA viruses have been linked to cancer?

  • human pipilloma virus
  • EBV
  • Hepatitis B
  • Human T cell lymphoma/leukemia virus 1


How do proto-oncogenes transform into oncogenes?

4 basic mechanisms

1. point mutation

2. gene amplification

3. chromosomal rearrangement

4. insertion of the viral genome


What are tumor suppressor genes, and how do they cause cancer?

Tumor suppressor gene = regulatory genetic mechanisms that protect against activated/acquired oncogenes

mutations of the genes can lead to cancer and inability to suppress



How does ultraviolet light cause cancer?

UV light damages the DNA of skin, thus causing mutations that lead to malignant transformation.


Explain the role of heredity in the pathogenesis of cancer.

Tumor genes can be transferred through mendelian traits


Describe the immune response to tumors and explain the clinical significance.

Tumor antigens can induce an immune response: NK, B lymphocytes, T-cytotoxic cells, macrophages, neutrophils


What are the common warning signs of neoplasia?

Change in bowel or bladder habits

A sore that does not heal

Unusual bleeding or discharge

Thickening or lump in the breast, testicles, or elsewhere

Indigestion or difficulty swallowing

Obvious change in the size, color, shape, or thickness of a wart, mole, or mouth sore

Nagging cough or hoarseness


Explain the pathogenesis of common local symptoms of neoplasia.

As they grow, they compress adjacent tissues. Invasion of blood vessels and erosion of normal tissues. May cause narrowing or obstruction in lumens. 


What is the pathogenesis of tumor-induced cachexia and hypercoagulability of blood?

cachexia occurs b/c the cancer competes for nutrients and drains energy from the body. 

hypercoagulability occurs b/c of tumor degredatoin or secretions


Define paraneoplastic syndrome and provide specific examples of syndromes dominated by endocrine, hematologic, or neuromuscular changes.

paraneoplastic syndrome occurs when various substances are secreted by cancer cells . . . such as ACTH and parathyroid hormone


List some risk factors for common cancers.

smoking, family history, promiscuity, hormal imbalance and treatment, sun exposure, fair skin, old age


What is the difference between incidence and prevalence of cancer.

incidence = number of new cases in a specific period and defined population

prevalence = number of all cases 


The incidence of which cancers has increased or decreased over the past 60 years?


lung cancer
colon cancer

gastric cancer


Discuss important safeguards against cancer.

breast: annual mammogram and breast exam @40

lung: stop smoking

colon: regular colorectal testing @50

cervix: beginning 3 yrs after becoming sexually active; regular PAP 1-2 yrs; @30, every 2-3 yrs if normal

prostate: @50, decide about testing

skin: avoid sun/tanning

oral: routine examination


Cells exhibit new features not inherent to the tissue of their origin.