Pathology dictionary

What is a duct?

A duct is a small hollow tube lined by cells that connect together to form the walls of the tube. A duct acts like a pipe, connecting glands found deep inside tissue to the surface of the tissue or outside of the body. The purpose of a duct is to provide a path for fluids to move from one place to another.

The inside of a duct is lined by specialized cells called epithelial cells. Ducts are commonly found in the skin, salivary glands, breast, pancreas, and liver.

Cancers that start from ducts

Some cancers start from the epithelial cells on the inside of ducts. Many of these cancers will have the word ‘ductal’ in their name.

Examples of cancers that start from ducts:

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