Tumour classification

Classification and typing of tumours still relies on histopathology and aspirated cell material. Tissue and cellular samples are submitted fresh or fixed (usually in formalin) with all relevant pieces of information (present and past clinical history, operative findings, and radiological data). Description of gross features of the organ or surgical specimen containing the tumour is essential. Size, shape, colour, consistency, appearance of the cut surface, and tumour-host interface (neoplastic pseudocapsule), presence/absence of ulceration, necrosis, and cystic spaces have to be recorded. Important histological features include:-

♦ Lymphocytic infiltration (e.g. medullary carcinoma of breast, cutaneous melanoma).

♦ Extent and the type of necrosis (e.g. breast cancer and soft tissue tumours).

♦ Presence/absence of peritumoral vascular invasion (e.g. germ cell tumours of testes).

♦ Type of lesions adjacent to the tumour (e.g. atrophic gastritis, carcinoma in situ).

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