The Pathology Dictionary Team
February 24, 2023

What does acanthosis mean?

In pathology, acanthosis is used 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 can be seen anywhere squamous cells are normally found. This includes the skin, inside of the mouth, throat, esophagus, large airways, anal canal, and cervix.

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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