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Q:

What are the three principle types of ACC cells and why is it helpful to know what type of cells are in an ACC patient’s tumor?

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Pathologists have identified three distinct types of ACC cells. They each have a different set of characteristics and have been named cribiform, tubular and solid. One of the common characteristics of an ACC tumor is that many times it will have a combination of two or even all three of these types of cells. This can complicate the diagnosis since the erratic patterns can be misdiagnosed as being a different type. The most common type of tumor histology is cribiform. There is some evidence from some of the larger medical studies that the solid type is a more agressive form of ACC causing an earlier mortality rate, but without more studies that is not an absolute fact yet. If a person is able to find out their histology type for their diagnosis this information may help determine the course of treatment, especially if there is a high percentage of the solid type. This information may lead to a more agressive treatment process being recommended. In order to be considered solid a tumor ... more
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