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What Are the Different Types of Invasive Adenocarcinoma?

By C.B. Fox
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Adenocarcinoma is a cancer that attacks a type of tissue called epithelium. This type of tissue is found throughout the body, which means adenocarcinoma can affect a number of organs. While many organs can be affected, most of the time this cancer will develop in the colon or the lungs. Invasive adenocarcinoma occurs when the initial tumor grows into surrounding tissue. This condition can develop along with any type of adenocarcinoma and can lead to a terminal case of the disease.

One of the most common types of invasive adenocarcinoma is found in the lungs. About 40 percent of new cases of lung cancer are classified as adenocarcinoma, which makes it the most commonly found form of lung cancer. Invasive adenocarcinoma of the lungs can be treated with a number of traditional cancer treatments, including surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.

Invasive adenocarcinoma also commonly develops in patients with colorectal cancer. The cells of any of the many glands within the colon can mutate and lead to adenocarcinoma. This type of cancer is quite prevalent compared to other cancers and, though it is responsible for many cancer deaths each year, it is often treatable if caught early, even if the cancer has become invasive. Surgery is often one of the primary treatments used, and radiation and chemotherapy may be administered to kill off any remaining cancer cells in the patient’s colon.

Cancers of both the male and female reproductive systems also can be adenocarcinoma, which can develop into invasive adenocarcinoma as the tumor takes over the healthy tissue in the organ. In men, most cases of prostate cancer are adenocarcinomas, making this one of the most common types of cancer found in men. In women, cancer of any part of the reproductive system, including the cervix, uterus and vagina, can develop out of the epithelium of these organs. Invasive adenocarcinoma of these organs is relatively rare in developed nations, because women are frequently screened for these types of cancers. This means the cancer is found and treated before it has time to become invasive.

Aside from these relatively common types of invasive adenocarcinoma, many other parts of the body can also become infected with this type of cancer. Organs in the endocrine system, including the kidneys and bladder, can become infected with invasive adenocarcinoma, as can organs in the digestive system, such as the stomach and esophagus. The brain, liver, breasts and pancreas can also develop this type of cancer.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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