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717440 tn?1292743742

definition of terms

Hello,

I was told I had pre-cancerous cells and was wondering what is the difference between
cancerous and pre-cancerous cells?


Thanks in advance!!
3 Responses
322973 tn?1239904438
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Hi,
The development of a "normal cell" into a "cancer cells" is not a sudden, one-step phenomenon.
There exists a series of changes that are known to occur in normal cells that gradually turns them to cancer cells. These changes have been given names like "atypia", "dysplasia", "pre-malignant" etc by pathologists.
Several "pre-cancer" states have been identified by doctors and scientists by careful observations over the last several decades. These are conditions in which the chances of developing full-blown cancer are higher than in a normal person. They include dysplastic cells identified in pap smears, Barrets esophagus identified on endoscopy, leukoplakia of mouth etc.
You can think of a pre-cancerous cells as lying somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, where a "normal" cell is at one end, and "cancer" cell is at the other.
717440 tn?1292743742
Thank you so much for answering this question for me. It makes sense to me now.
Avatar universal
A related discussion, What does "no significant abnormalities" mean? was started.
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