June 22, 2023

What does anaplastic mean?

In pathology, the term anaplastic is used to describe very abnormal-looking cancer cells. While most cancer cells share some features (shape or size) with normal cells, anaplastic cells do not look anything like normal cells. Because anaplastic cancer cells look nothing like normal cells, pathologists will often perform additional tests such as immunohistochemistry to determine where the cancer started. Unfortunately, cancers with anaplastic cells tend to be very aggressive and are often associated with poor prognosis. Another word for anaplastic is anaplasia.

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