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What is Adenocarcinoma: Types, Symptoms, and Treatment

Adenocarcinoma is a term that many patients and their families encounter when reading medical reports, often leading to questions about what it is and where it can occur.

In this blog, we will discuss adenocarcinoma, its characteristics, and the various organs and systems it can affect.

What is Adenocarcinoma?

Adenocarcinoma is a type of cancer that originates in glandular cells. Glandular cells are responsible for secreting various substances and managing the body’s secretory functions.

This type of cancer is commonly found in organs with glandular cells and columnar epithelium, a lining designed for absorption and secretion.

Adenocarcinoma and the Digestive System

The human digestive system extends from the mouth to the anus, with each organ having a unique function and a specific type of epithelium lining.

The mouth, throat, and food pipe (oesophagus) are responsible for transporting food to the stomach, with little to no digestion occurring at this stage.

These organs encounter various types of food, spices, and temperatures, so their lining is composed of strong squamous epithelium.

In contrast, the lining of the stomach, duodenum, small intestine, large intestine, and rectum is designed for digestion and absorption.

These organs have a columnar epithelium lining that contains glandular cells. As a result, adenocarcinoma is more likely to occur in these regions due to the higher concentration of glandular cells.

Other Types of Cancer in the Digestive System

While adenocarcinoma is the most common cancer in the digestive system, other forms of cancer can develop due to the presence of different types of cells.

These include gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GIST), neuroendocrine tumours, and lymphomas (although rare). The probability of these cancers is lower compared to adenocarcinoma.

Adenocarcinoma in the Respiratory Tract and Breast

The respiratory tract contains both squamous and columnar epithelium, making it possible for both adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma to develop.

Adenocarcinoma is also a common type of breast cancer, as glandular cells are present in breast tissue.

Risk Factors and Symptoms

Several risk factors contribute to the development of adenocarcinoma, including genetics, lifestyle factors, exposure to harmful substances, and chronic inflammation.

Symptoms can vary depending on the affected organ but may include abdominal pain, changes in bowel habits, unexplained weight loss, difficulty swallowing, and persistent cough.

If you experience any persistent abdominal symptoms for more than two weeks, consult Dr. Praveen Kammar immediately, the Best Cancer Surgeon in Mumbai,  It’s essential to address the issue and, if necessary, change treatments or conduct more tests to determine the cause accurately.

Diagnosis and Treatment

To diagnose adenocarcinoma, healthcare professionals use various techniques, such as imaging tests, endoscopy, and biopsy.

Treatment options depend on the location and stage of the cancer and may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, or immunotherapy.

Early detection is crucial for successful treatment outcomes, so it is essential to undergo regular check-ups and screenings as recommended by your healthcare provider.


We hope this blog has provided a clearer understanding of adenocarcinoma, its occurrence, and the various organs and systems it can affect.

Adenocarcinoma is a common type of cancer that arises from glandular cells, primarily affecting the digestive system, respiratory tract, and breast tissue. It is essential to be aware of risk factors, symptoms, and the importance of early detection for effective treatment.

If you have any doubts or concerns, please feel free to reach out to our experts for guidance and support. Your health and well-being are our top priorities.



    About Author
    Dr. Praveen Kammar

    Surgical Oncologist


    Years Of Experience

    Dr. Praveen Kammar is a Best Surgical Oncologist in Mumbai. His main area of expertise aslso includes GI oncology, Gynecological cancers, minimal access surgeries, Robotics surgery, Laparoscopic Surgery, HIPEC.

    Dr. Praveen has done more than 6000+ surgeries in his expertise.

    More About Doctor


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