WEBPATHOLOGY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY WEBPATHOLOGY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Signet ring cell carcinoma of the colon, light micrograph. This is a rare form of adenocarcinoma, a cancer of the glandular lining that is found in many different organs, including the digestive tract. Colon cancer is one of the most common cancers in North America and Western Europe. It is thought to be connected to a diet high in fat and low in fibre. Signet ring cell carcinoma makes up around 1 percent of all colorectal cancers. The signet ring cells (centre left to lower right) are arranged in diffuse sheets, small nests, or clusters. The oval or crescent nuclei are hyperchromatic and pushed to the periphery by intracellular mucin. This specimen shows a mixture of tumour cells and normal colon tissue. The tumour spreads via peritoneal dissemination and has an extremely poor prognosis.
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