by Jason Wasserman MD PhD FRCPC
September 20, 2022

What does acanthosis mean?

Acanthosis is term pathologists use to describe an increased number of specialized squamous cells on the surface of a tissue. The increased number of squamous cells causes the tissue to look thicker than normal when examined under the microscope. Another word for acanthosis is acanthotic.

Where is acanthosis normally found?

Acanthosis is commonly seen in a layer of the skin called the epidermis. However, it can also be seen in a thin layer of tissue on the inside of the mouth and throat called the epithelium.

Does acanthosis mean cancer?

By itself, acanthosis is a non-cancerous change. However, acanthosis can be seen on the surface of some tumours made up of squamous cells.

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