Adenocarcinoma Diagnosing, Treatment & More
If your doctor tells you that you have adenocarcinoma, it means you have a type of cancer that starts in the glands that line the inside of one of your organs. Adenocarcinoma can happen in many places, like your colon, breasts, esophagus, lungs, pancreas, or prostate.
It’s natural to feel worried when you find out you have cancer, but remember that treatments can slow or stop the disease. You might need chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery. You and your doctor will decide on the best approach, based on where your tumors are growing and how long you’ve had them.
How Adenocarcinoma Starts. Your glands make fluids that your body needs to stay moist and work well. You get adenocarcinoma when cells in the glands that line your organs grow out of control. They may spread to other places and harm healthy tissue.
How Is It Diagnosed? You could have symptoms like pain, diarrhea, bleeding, or fatigue, depending on your type of cancer. But early on, you may not feel that anything’s wrong. Your doctor will give you a physical exam. He may feel your organs to see if there is any swelling or a growth. He may also notice something’s not right when you have regular screening tests like a colonoscopy, when a doctor puts a tube into your colon to check for polyps.
You may also get tests to see if you have adenocarcinoma in any of your organs:
Blood tests. Your blood may show signs of possible cancer. For example, your doctor may check it to see if you have anemia from a bleeding tumor.
Imaging tests. They can help see if any of the tissues in your organs don’t look normal. You may get a CT scan, which is a powerful X-ray that makes detailed pictures inside your body. Or you might need an MRI, which uses powerful magnets and radio waves to make pictures of organs and tissues.
Biopsy. Your doctor takes a small sample of tissue from the organ where he thinks you may have cancer. For example, he may remove a polyp or growth from your colon, or use a small needle to remove tissue from your breast.
How Is It Treated? Your treatment depends on the type of adenocarcinoma you have and how far along your disease has moved. This is called the stage of your cancer.
Surgery. Your first treatment will probably be to remove the tumor and tissue around it. Your doctor can then look at the tissue to see if you’re cured or if there still may be cancer cells in your body. You may need to combine other treatments with surgery to make sure your cancer is gone.
Chemotherapy. Drugs can kill adenocarcinoma cells, slow their growth, or even cure your disease.
Radiation. Doctors use high-energy X-rays or other types of rays to kill your cancer cells.