Dysplasia Vs. Carcinoma in Situ Vs. Invasive Carcinoma
These terms are related since they represent the three steps in the progression of many malignant neoplasms (cancers) of epithelial tissues. The likelihood of developing carcinoma is related to the degree of dysplasia.
- Dysplasia is the earliest form of pre-cancerous lesion which pathologists can recognize in a pap smear or in a biopsy. Dysplasia can be low grade or high grade (see "Carcinoma in situ" below). The risk of low grade dysplasia transforming into high grade dysplasia, and eventually cancer, is low. Treatment is usually straightforward. High grade dysplasia represents a more advanced progression towards malignant transformation.
- Carcinoma in situ, meaning "cancer in place", represents the transformation of a neoplastic lesion to one in which cells undergo essentially no maturation, and thus may be considered cancer-like. In this state, epithelial cells have lost their tissue identity and have reverted back to a primitive cell form that grows rapidly and with abnormal regulation for the tissue type. However, this form of cancer remains localized, and has not invaded past the basement membrane into tissues below the surface.
- Invasive carcinoma is the final step in this sequence. It is a cancer which has invaded beyond the basement membrane and has potential to metastasize (spread to other parts of the body). Invasive carcinoma can usually be treated, but not always successfully. However, if it is left untreated, it is almost always fatal.
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Famous quotes containing the word invasive:
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