Tissue Cell Abnormalities

Cancer Conditions

Cancer

A term for diseases in which abnormal cells divide without control and can invade nearby tissues. Also called malignancy.

Cancer cells can also spread to other parts of the body through the blood and lymph systems. There are several main types of cancer:

  • Carcinoma is a cancer that begins in the skin or in tissues that line or cover internal organs.
  • Sarcoma is a cancer that begins in bone, cartilage, fat, muscle, blood vessels, or other connective or supportive tissue.
  • Leukemia is a cancer that starts in blood-forming tissue, such as the bone marrow, and causes large numbers of abnormal blood cells to be produced and enter the blood.
  • Lymphoma and multiple myeloma are cancers that begin in the cells of the immune system.
  • Central nervous system cancers are cancers that begin in the tissues of the brain and spinal cord.

Cancer Stages

The extent of cancer in the body. Staging is usually based on the size of the tumour, whether lymph nodes contain cancer, and whether cancer has spread from the original site to other parts of the body.

Tumor

The abnormal mass of tissue that develops when cells in a specific area multiply at an abnormal rate. Also called neoplasm.

  • Malignant Tumor: A cancerous tumor that can spread to other parts of the body. For example, lymphoma is a malignant tumor of the lymphoid tissue.
  • Benign Tumor: A tumor that is not cancerous.
  • Dysplasia: Cells that look abnormal under a microscope but are not cancer.

Neuroblastoma

A type of cancer that forms from immature nerve cells. It usually begins in the adrenal glands but may also begin in the abdomen, chest, or in nerve tissue near the spine.

Neuroblastoma most often occurs in children younger than five years of age. It is thought to begin before birth. It is usually found when the tumor begins to grow and causes signs or symptoms.

Breast Cancer

The most common type of breast cancer is ductal carcinoma, which begins in the lining of the milk ducts (thin tubes that carry milk from the lobules of the breast to the nipple).

Another type of breast cancer is lobular carcinoma, which begins in the lobules (milk glands) of the breast. Invasive breast cancer is breast cancer that has spread from where it began in the breast ducts or lobules to surrounding normal tissue.

Breast cancer occurs in both men and women, although male breast cancer is rare.

Prostate Cancer

A type of cancer that forms in tissues of the prostate (a gland in the male reproductive system found below the bladder and in front of the rectum).

Prostate cancer usually occurs in older men.

Colon Cancer

A type of cancer that forms in the tissues of the colon (the longest part of the large intestine). Most colon cancers are adenocarcinomas (cancers that begin in cells that make and release mucus and other fluids).

Colon Polyp

An abnormal growth of tissue in the lining of the bowel. Polyps are a risk factor for colon cancer.

Skin Cancer

A cancer that forms in the tissues of the skin. There are several types of skin cancer:

  • Skin cancer that forms in melanocytes (skin cells that make pigment) is called melanoma.
  • Skin cancer that forms in the lower part of the epidermis (the outer layer of the skin) is called basal cell carcinoma.
  • Skin cancer that forms in squamous cells (flat cells that form the surface of the skin) is called squamous cell carcinoma.
  • Skin cancer that forms in neuroendocrine cells (cells that release hormones in response to signals from the nervous system) is called neuroendocrine carcinoma of the skin.

Most skin cancers form in older people on parts of the body exposed to the sun or in people who have weakened immune systems.

Bronchial Adenoma

Bronchial Adenoma is a cancer that forms in tissues of the bronchi (large air passages in the lungs including those that lead to the lungs from the windpipe).

Leukemia

Leukemia is characterized by an abnormal increase of white blood cells in the bone marrow. Since all blood cells originate in the bone marrow, the increase of leukemic cells interferes with the production of red blood cells, platelets, and normal white blood cells as these healthy cells are crowded out from the marrow.

Lymphoma

Lymphoma is a cancer that begins in cells of the immune system. There are two basic categories of lymphomas:

  • Hodgkin lymphoma, which is marked by the presence of a type of cell called the Reed-Sternberg cell.
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, which includes a large, diverse group of cancers of immune system cells.

Non-Hodgkin lymphomas can be further divided into cancers that have an indolent (slow-growing) course and those that have an aggressive (fast-growing) course. These subtypes behave and respond to treatment differently.

Both Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphomas can occur in children and adults, and prognosis and treatment depend on the stage and the type of cancer.

Body Types and Growth Abnormalities

  • Somatotype
  • Aplasia
  • Achondroplasia
  • Dwarfism
  • Ectomorph
  • Macrosomia
  • Gigantism
  • Mesomorph
  • Endomorph

Somatotype

Refers in general to body type.

Aplasia

A limited or reduced growth in the development of body tissue or of any organ. Examples of aplasia are certain birth defects that result in stunted limbs. Another example is the reduced growth of bone marrow.

Achondroplasia

This is the most common of the approximately two hundred types of dwarfism.

Dwarfism

A condition characterized by a relatively normal-sized trunk and abnormally short arms and legs. Dwarfs typically reach an adult height of approximately four feet.

Ectomorph

This is one of the three main classifications for human body types. A body that has many of the following traits characterizes the ectomorph:

  • Tends to be tall and slim
  • Tends to have a delicate build
  • Tends to have slight muscularity
  • Tends to have slower muscle growth
  • Tends to be relatively linear in shape
  • Tends to have narrow hips and pelvis
  • Tends to have small bones and joints
  • Tends to have trouble gaining weight.
  • Tends to have long arms and legs limbs
  • Tends to have less fat and muscle mass

Macrosomia

A body that is significantly large with arms, legs, and head that are in proportion to the trunk.

Gigantism

Excessive body growth, both in height and certain body parts. Disorders of the pituitary gland are responsible for this condition. It is important to note that this excessive body growth occurs during childhood or adolescence.

Mesomorph

This is the second of the three main classifications for human body types. A body that has many of the following traits characterizes the mesomorph:

  • Tends to have a muscular, hard body
  • Tends to develop muscle easily
  • Tends to have straight shoulders and good posture
  • Tends to have a rectangular-shaped body
  • Tends to have thick bones
  • Tends to have thick skin
  • Tends to gain or lose weight easily

Endomorph

This is the third of the three main classifications for human body types. A body that has many of the following traits characterizes the endomorph:

  • Tends to have a soft body
  • Tends to have underdeveloped muscles
  • Tends to have trouble losing weight
  • Tends to gain weight easily
  • Tends to add weight to the hips, buttocks and stomach areas
  • Tends to have a round shape
  • Tends to have small to medium bones
  • Tends to have short limbs in relation to the entire body.

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