Diagnosis and treatment of well-differentiated adenocarcinoma
Adenocarcinoma is a type of malignant tumours arising from glandular tissue organs, i.e. from glandular epithelium. There are several different types of tumours, depending on their degree of differentiation (similarity to the original normal tissue). One such species is the high-grade adenocarcinoma. These tumours minimally differ from the tissue of normal cells in the shape and structure. Therefore, they are less aggressive.
Furthermore, adenocarcinoma can be classified depend on the place of its formation. Thus, it can distinguish well-differentiated carcinoma of the uterus body, cervix, colon, stomach, lung, and any other body which has a glandular epithelium.
What are the possible causes of adenocarcinoma?
The medical science for many years carefully study all types of cancer. Every year, new facts are discovered about subtle molecular mechanisms of cancer formation, but a definite answer-fits-all is not yet open. To date, regarding all oncological disease doctors determine the so-called risk factors, which can only define the propensity to develop a disease.
For well-differentiated adenocarcinoma and other adenocarcinomas risk factors include:
- Hereditary predisposition (adenocarcinoma or another type of cancer in close relatives).
- Malnutrition, when a diet includes an insufficient amount of fibre and too much flour and fatty foods. Coupled with physical inactivity, it contributes to slow the passage of stool and stagnation in an intestine, which is also a risk factor for a variety of intestinal tumours.
- Elderly age. In old patients, anti-tumor immunity is weaker.
- Infection with HPV, which can cause adenocarcinoma of the rectum, uterine body and cervix.
- Prolonged contact with carcinogens and radiation.
- Hormonal disorders, e.g., excessive oestrogen may cause uterine adenocarcinoma.
- Frequent and severe nervous stress.
- Metabolic diseases such as obesity and diabetes.
- Premorbid conditions often include inflammation in various organs, chronic bowel inflammation, chronic inflammatory diseases of female reproductive system, etc.
Of course, this list is not complete, there are much more risks factors for adenocarcinoma of each organ and system. However, their absence does not rule out the possibility to have cancer, as well as their presence in your is not obligatory predicts the onset of disease.
When to worry?
Unfortunately, in the early stages of the disease, well-differentiated adenocarcinoma give no symptoms. They reveal themselves only after a significant proliferation, and in such cases, their treatment can be difficult. Therefore, regular preventive examinations are so necessary for the timely diagnosis.
Rectal adenocarcinoma is characterised by:
- Long-term pain in the lower abdominal area, without apparent reason.
- Flatulence and bloating.
- Frequent diarrhoea or constipation.
- Unreasoned loss of appetite and weight in a short time.
- Blood and mucus in faeces.
Adenocarcinoma of the uterus is characterised by:
- Uterine bleeding not associated with the period (in 90% of cases).
- Endometrial polyps.
- Hypermenorrhoea - extended menstruation more than 7 days.
- Too copious menstruation.
What is the possible prognosis in a case of well-differentiated adenocarcinoma?
The oncologists use for predicting the results of cancer treatment the so-called criterion "5-year survival". It represents the percentage of patients which have survived 5 years after cancer was detected. This rate depends on such factors:
- Age of the patient. For example, in the case of well-differentiated uterine adenocarcinoma in patients up to 50 years, the 5-year survival rate can exceed 91%, and in the same patients after 70 years - about 60%;
- A depth of germination and tumour size. The larger a tumour, and the more deeply it has penetrated into the surrounding tissues, it is more difficult completely to remove it by surgery and therefore it decreases a prognosis;
- The presence of metastases;
- The degree of tumour differentiation.
It is important to note that the diagnosis of well-differentiated adenocarcinoma is a factor affecting the 5-year survival. As the higher the degree of differentiation of tumours (similarity to the original tissue), the tumour is less aggressive, in other words, it grows slower, not as fast spreads or proliferates into the surrounding tissue. Therefore, well-differentiated adenocarcinoma is treated more efficiently and have the highest 5-year survival in the group.
How is adenocarcinoma diagnosed?
The diagnostic process in the well-differentiated adenocarcinoma includes conventional methods useful for the diagnosis of cancer. These include radiological techniques such as CT or magnetic resonance imaging, endoscopic methods and the identification of cancer markers in the blood. However, the only method to confirm cancer is a biopsy. Only followed by histological study, cancer can be verified. Of course, there are differences in the diagnosis of various adenocarcinomas, depending on the affected organ.
Methods to treat well-differentiated adenocarcinoma
Depending on the organ in which the tumour was formed, it is provided certain techniques and components in the treatment. Although in all cases of well-differentiated adenocarcinoma, the most critical stage is radical surgery, which aims to remove the entire tumour from the body as possible. Due to modern technology, the surgical operation is performed quickly and efficiently. For example, colon surgery may even be made without opening the abdominal cavity, which greatly speeds up the patient's rehabilitation after surgery.
Achieving a complete removal of cancer cells prevents a possibility of recurrence following surgery. For this aim, oncologists also use modern radiotherapy and radiopharmaceuticals. It is necessary to note that despite significant progress in the treatment of cancer, the maximum efficiency and 5-year survival rate is only achieved in cases of timely diagnosis of adenocarcinoma. Therefore, regular examination by a specialist and oncological screening are so necessary.