Pathology dictionary

What does necrosis mean?


Necrosis is a type of cell death. Necrosis is an uncontrolled type of cell death that happens before the end of the natural life span of the cell.

Non-cancerous cells can die by necrosis as a result of injury, infection, or radiation. Cancer cells also frequently die by necrosis as some cells in the fast growing tumour run out of nutrients. For this reason, pathologists look for necrosis in combination with other features such as atypia and mitotic activity to support the diagnosis of cancer.

Compare necrosis with another type of cell death called apoptosis.

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