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Understanding Cancer Series-Part3 (Naming Cancers)

Discussion in 'Oncology' started by waleed, Sep 13, 2011.

  1. waleed

    waleed Moderator

    Aug 12, 2011
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    Scientists use a variety of technical names to distinguish the many different types of carcinomas, sarcomas, lymphomas, and leukemias. In general, these names are created by using different Latin prefixes that stand for the location where the cancer began its unchecked growth. For example, the prefix "osteo" means bone, so a cancer arising in bone is called an osteosarcoma. Similarly, the prefix "adeno" means gland, so a cancer of gland cells is called adenocarcinoma--for example, a breast adenocarcinoma.
    Doctors use different abbreviations for different cancers. ACC is used for adenoid cystic carcinoma, acinic cell carcinoma, adrenal cortical carcinoma, advanced colorectal carcinoma, anal canal carcinoma, and advanced cervical carcinoma.
    Another alternative used by doctors for adenoid cystic carcinoma is AdCC (which is the one that I use most often). Oddly enough, when they starting switching acronyms for that disease, other physicians started using the AdCC acronym for adrenocortical carcinoma also.

    Physicians and researchers normally use several different names to identify your cancer. These names may be a little confusing, since naming conventions are not standardized. The name that the physician may use could be based on any one of the following:

    » The tissue type involved (for example: adenocarcinoma, carcinoma, etc.).

    » Cancer cell type (for example: acinar, basal cell, squamous cell, etc.).

    » The body site of the original cancer (breast, liver, prostate, etc.)

    » And the stage of the cancer.

    Some medical professionals will give you the name of the cancer according to the body site where the cancer originated. Others will use the name of the cell structure. And occasionally one may use an alternate name based on an older naming convention. For example, my cancer may be described by one professional as breast cancer. Another may call it adenoid cystic carcinoma of the breast or AdCC/B. Still others might call it cribriform or cylindroma. And other countries may use different terms, like adenocystic for this same cancer.

    [Broken External Image]:
    source 1:Rare Cancer : Naming Cancer
    source 2:Comprehensive Cancer Information - National Cancer Institute

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