September 22, 2023

A gland is a group of specialized epithelial cells connected side by side to create a round structure with a central open space called a lumen. Glands are found in organs throughout the body including the breast, digestive tract, salivary glands, prostate gland, skin, and female reproductive tract.


What do glands do?

The function of a gland depends on where in the body the gland is located. Glands produce substances such as mucus and saliva that aid in the function of the organ. In some organs, the substances produced move along ducts before being released.

What kind of tumours are made up of glands?

Many types of noncancerous and cancerous tumours are made up of abnormal glands. These tumours usually start with the prefix “adeno”. For example, benign (noncancerous) tumours made up of glands are called adenomas while malignant (cancerous) tumours are called adenocarcinoma. These types of tumours can start anywhere in the body.

About this article

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.

Other helpful resources

Atlas of pathology
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