February 24, 2023


In pathology, acanthosis (or acanthotic) describes 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.  This condition 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. By itself, acanthosis is a non-cancerous change. However, acanthosis can be seen on the surface of some tumours made up of squamous cells, such as squamous cell carcinoma.

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Doctors wrote this article to help you read and understand your pathology report. Contact us if you have questions about this article or your pathology report. For a complete introduction to your pathology report, read this article.

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Atlas of pathology
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