Patient Information Sheets
These patient information sheets were prepared in collaboration with the College of American Pathologists. Each represents a downloadable link to a PDF file that describes the disease and how your pathologist made that diagnosis.
Sites: Bladder, Blood, Breast, Colon, Cervix, Lung, Ovary, Prostate, Skin, and Thyroid.
You can download them as a zip file, or select individual articles below.
Urinary Bladder Adenocarcinoma
About 2 percent of bladder cancers are adenocarcinomas, which are nearly all invasive. Urinary bladder adenocarcinoma begins in the cells of glandular structures lining body organs and spreads to the bladder. After treatment, patients must be monitored carefully because the chance of bladder cancer coming back is high–50 to 80 percent.
Urothelial (Transitional) Cell Carcinoma
Urinary bladder urothelial cell carcinoma starts in the cells lining the bladder and, if not treated successfully at an early stage, can spread to nearby organs or other parts of the body. In industrial countries, this type of cancer accounts for 90 percent of bladder cancers. Early-stage bladder cancer can be treated effectively; however, patients must be monitored carefully after treatment because the chance of bladder cancer returning is high–50 to 80 percent.
Ductal Carcinoma In Situ
Ductal carcinoma in situ is the earliest possible and most treatable diagnosis of breast cancer. Some experts consider it to be “pre-malignant.” The most common form of non-invasive breast cancer, DCIS accounts for about 20 percent of all newly diagnosed breast cancers, according to the National Cancer Institute. Sometimes, DCIS is seen in association with an invasive form of breast cancer.
Invasive Ductal Carcinoma
Invasive ductal carcinoma is the most common invasive breast cancer, It is also known as IDC, infiltrating ductal carcinoma, or carcinoma of no special type (NST) or not otherwise specified (NOS). IDC represents 65 to 85 percent of all cases.
Invasive Lobular Carcinoma
Invasive lobular carcinoma, also known as infiltrating lobular carcinoma, is a type of breast cancer that starts in a lobule and spreads to surrounding breast tissue. If not treated at an early stage, ILC also can move into other parts of the body, such as the uterus or ovaries. ILC is the second most common type of invasive breast cancer, accounting for 10 to 15 percent of all breast cancer cases.
Lobular Neoplasia (Lobular Carcinoma In Situ)
Lobular carcinoma in situ, also known as lobular neoplasia, is not technically a cancer or a carcinoma. The alternate name for this condition–lobular neoplasia–is more technically accurate, since LCIS is only a “marker” of cancer in most women. In women who develop invasive lobular carcinoma, LCIS is a direct precursor. An LCIS diagnosis means there is abnormal cell growth that increases your chances for developing breast cancer later in life. While having LCIS increases the chances of someday having breast cancer, most women with LCIS do not develop breast cancer. Due to improvements in breast cancer screening, the diagnosis of LCIS is increasing.
Adenocarcinoma is the second most common sub-type of cervical cancer, making up about 15 to 20 percent of all cervical cancers. Cervical adenocarcinoma arises within glands located in the
endocervix. The most common subtype of cervical cancer, called squamous cell carcinoma, arises from the surface lining of the ectocervix, usually at the area where the ectocervix connects to the endocervix. If not successfully treated at an early stage, cervical cancer is capable of invading through the wall of the uterus into adjacent areas and sometimes can spread through the bloodstream or the lymphatic system to parts of the body away from the uterus.
Cervical dysplasia is abnormal cell growth on the surface lining of the cervix. With proper follow-up and treatment, the prognosis for cervical dysplasia is excellent. If untreated, cervical dysplasia may, in some cases, progress to cervical cancer; this process usually takes
Cervical Squamous Cell Carcinoma
According to the American Cancer Society, in 2010 more than 12,200 American women will be diagnosed with invasive cervical cancer. Squamous cell carcinoma is the most common type of cervical cancer. More than 4,200 women die from cervical cancer each year, but the death rate has been declining by about 4 percent a year. The main reason for this decline is the increased use of the Pap test, which can detect pre-cancerous cells or early-stage cancers when they can be treated most effectively. The five-year survival rate for patients with very early-stage cervical cancer is more than 95 percent.
Colon adenocarcinoma is the most common type of gastrointestinal cancer, with about 140,000 cases each year in the United States, according of the National Cancer Institute. This type of cancer begins in the cells of glandular structures in the inner layer of the colon and spreads first into the wall of the colon and potentially into the lymphatic system and other organs. Colon adenocarcinoma can be treated, with 50 percent of patients surviving for at least five years. Early-stage colon cancers have survival rates of 70 to 80 percent.
Colon Adenomatous Polyps
Polyps begin in the cells of glandular structures lining the colon. Most polyps are benign, but one kind is the cause of greater concern–the colon adenomatous polyp (adenoma). This growth is associated with DNA changes in the lining of the colon. Polyps can become cancerous if undetected or ignored. For individuals with multiple polyps, the chance of at least one of these polyps becoming cancerous is very high. However, if malignant polyps are detected early, 70 to 80 percent of patients survive at least five years.
Lung adenocarcinoma is the most common kind of lung cancer, both in smokers and non-smokers and in people under age 45. Adenocarcinoma accounts for about 30 percent of primary lung tumors in male smokers and 40 percent in female smokers. Among non-smokers, these percentages approach 60 percent in males and 80 percent in females. This disease also is more common among Asian populations.
Small Cell Carcinoma
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Squamous cell lung carcinoma is a type of non-small cell lung cancer formed from reserve cells—round cells that replaced injured or damaged cells in the lining of the bronchi, the lung’s major airways. Squamous cell tumors usually occur in the lung’s central portions or in one of the main airway branches. These tumors can form cavities in the lung if they grow to a
Endometrioid tumors make up about 2 to 4 percent of all ovarian tumors. Most endometrioid tumors (about 80 percent) are malignant and represent 10 to 20 percent of all ovarian carcinomas. In some cases, endometrioid carcinomas of the ovary appear synchronously with an endometrial carcinoma (epithelial cancer of the uterus) and/or endometriosis (presence of endometrial tissue outside the uterus).
Serous carcinoma is a type of epithelial ovarian cancer, which is the most common kind of ovarian cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, ovarian cancer accounts for 3 percent of all cancers among women. The overall five-year survival rate for women with endometrioid carcinoma is 83 percent. If the disease is found at an early stage (with no spread outside the ovary), the survival rate is about 95 percent.
Prostate adenocarcinoma accounts for 95 percent of all prostate cancers. It starts in the prostate gland and, if not treated successfully at an early stage, can spread to other parts of the body. Other than skin cancer, prostate adenocarcinoma is the most common cancer in American men, with 217,730 cases diagnosed each year, according to the American Cancer Society.
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)
Basal Cell Carcinoma
The most common of all cancers, basal cell carcinoma affects 1 million Americans each year. One of three cancers in America is a skin cancer, and 75 percent of skin cancers are basal cell carcinoma. This type of cancer has a 95 percent cure rate but can cause complications or even death if it is neglected.
Melanoma is a type of cancer occurring in cells that color the skin called melanocytes. Located in the lower part of the epidermis, these cells produce melanin. When the skin is exposed to the sun, melanocytes produce more pigment, causing the skin to darken, or tan. The most aggressive form of skin cancer, melanoma can occur anywhere on the body. If detected and treated early, it is curable in most instances. Once it advances, however, it can be difficult to treat. Melanoma cases have increased over the past 10 years more rapidly than that of any other cancer, with more than 68,000 cases reported each year.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
The second most common skin cancer, squamous cell skin carcinoma affects 250,000 Americans each year. This type of cancer begins and usually is confined to the epidermis for some time. This type of cancer has a high cure rate but can cause disfiguring, complications, or even death if it is neglected and allowed to spread.
Follicular Thyroid Cancer
About 44,670 Americans are diagnosed with thyroid cancer each year, according to the National Cancer Institute. Thyroid cancer incidence is increasing at a faster rate among American men and women than any other type of cancer. Follicular thyroid cancer makes up about 15 percent of these cases.
Medullary Thyroid Cancer
About 44,670 Americans are diagnosed with thyroid cancer each year, according to the National Cancer Institute. Thyroid cancer incidence is increasing at a faster rate among American men and women than any other type of cancer. Medullary thyroid cancer makes up about 3 percent of these cases.
Papillary Thyroid Cancer
About 44,670 Americans are diagnosed with thyroid cancer each year, according to the National Cancer Institute. Thyroid cancer incidence is increasing at a faster rate among American men and women than any other type of cancer. Papillary thyroid cancer, which accounts for about 80 percent of these cases, is a cancer of thyroid follicular cells.