Human Pathology

The investigation of disease in humans has, understandably, been one of the primary focal points in medicine for thousands of years. The image gallery presented in this section attempts to illustrate, through use of the brightfield microscope, many of the pathological conditions that are readily observed in stained human specimens. Each image was chosen for artistic merit, photographic quality, and content. Note that several of the images in this gallery might not depict every aspect of the pathological condition under which they are catalogued.

Adenomyosis

Adenomyosis generally affects scattered areas of the uterine wall, typically making the condition unsuitable for localized surgery. A complete hysterectomy is usually the treatment of choice, estimates indicating that the procedure is 80 percent effective in eliminating common symptoms of adenomyosis. Depending on the severity of the specific symptoms and the reproductive intentions of the patient, other treatments may be recommended.

  • Adenomyosis

    Adenomyosis

    Adenomyosis is a benign uterine condition that involves the invasion of tissue and glands typically confined to the inner mucous membrane of the uterus (termed the endometrium) into the adjacent muscle layer of the uterine wall, the myometrium. The actual incidence of adenomyosis is unknown due to the fact that the condition is often asymptomatic and is very difficult to diagnose, estimates ranging widely from 20 to 65 percent of the female population. When symptoms do occur, they typically consist of abnormal bleeding, cramping, and a distended, tender uterus. Chronic pelvic pain may also develop and intercourse may be difficult. Occasionally the pain associated with adenomyosis may radiate to other nearby areas, especially the lower back. Approximately 80 percent of the time adenomyosis occurs in women that also have another pathologic condition of the uterus, such as endometriosis or the growth of fibroids or polyps. Though the cause of adenomyosis is unknown, other risk factors appear to include childbirth, tubal ligations, Caesarean sections, and termination of pregnancy.
  • Adenomyosis

    Adenomyosis at 10x

    Due to the nature of adenomyosis, which generally affects scattered areas of the uterine wall, the condition is not suitable for localized surgery. Instead, a complete hysterectomy is usually the treatment of choice, estimates indicating that the procedure is 80 percent effective in eliminating common symptoms of adenomyosis. However, depending on the severity of the specific symptoms and the reproductive intentions of the patient, other treatments may be recommended.
  • Adenomyosis

    Adenomyosis at 40x

    If pain is the predominant concern for a patient with adenomyosis, gonadotropin releasing agents are often prescribed as a form of medical therapy. However, studies indicate that shortly after such therapy is halted, symptoms of adenomyosis return in full force. When abnormal bleeding is the primary problem for the patient, a progesterone intrauterine contraceptive device may be the preferred method of treatment. Again, if the use of the device is discontinued, the symptomatic relief provided by the device also ends.

Alveolar Cell Carcinoma

In the United States, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death among both men and women. The popularity of smoking is usually considered accountable for the prevalence of the disease, since cigarettes have been linked to about 90 percent of lung cancer cases in men and 80 percent in women. A few specific types of lung cancer, however, such as alveolar cell carcinoma, appear to have no relationship to smoking.

  • Alveolar Cell Carcinoma

    Alveolar Cell Carcinoma at 20x Magnification

    In the United States, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death among both men and women. The popularity of smoking tobacco throughout the twentieth century is usually considered accountable for the prevalence of the disease, cigarettes having been linked to about 90 percent of lung cancer cases in men and 80 percent in women. Yet, alveolar cell carcinoma appears to have no relationship to smoking. Also known as bronchoalveolar carcinoma, alveolar cell carcinoma instead appears to be most likely to develop in individuals whose lungs have been scarred by other diseases, such as scleroderma, tuberculosis, or fibrosis. The progression of this variety of carcinoma can be very slow, and patients with the disease often have a better prognosis than people with other kinds of lung cancer.
  • Alveolar Cell Carcinoma

    Alveolar Cell Carcinoma at 40x Magnification

    Carcinomas of the lung are generally classed into two fundamental types: small cell carcinomas and non-small cell carcinomas. Small cell carcinomas account for about 20 to 25 percent of all cases of lung cancer and are usually more aggressive than non-small cell carcinomas. Only in very rare instances do small cell carcinomas ever appear in people who have never smoked cigarettes or other tobacco products. Non-small cell carcinomas often grow and spread more slowly than small cell carcinomas and are usually further subdivided into several subtypes of cancer. One subtype of non-small cell carcinoma is adenocarcinoma, which accounts for approximately 35 percent of all cases of primary lung cancer diagnosed in the United States and is characterized by its development in the lining or inner surface of an organ. A variant of adenocarcinoma is alveolar cell carcinoma, which originates in the epithelia of alveoli, the small, capillary-rich air sacs of the lung that are the site of oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange.
  • Alveolar Cell Carcinoma

    Alveolar Cell Carcinoma at 10x Magnification

    Alveolar cell carcinoma frequently occurs as a single nodular mass, in which case the disease has a good prognosis. As many as 60 to 70 percent of people treated for this form of the disease are completely cured of the cancer. Even before treatment many individuals diagnosed with such localized alveolar cell carcinoma do not experience any palpable symptoms or only incur minimal symptoms. Alveolar cell carcinoma is also known to occur, however, in a diffuse form that is associated with a significantly bleaker prospect of recovery, especially if it has metastasized to distant areas. Patients with diffuse pulmonary involvement often experience marked symptoms, such as the production of copious sputum, dyspnea, chest pain, chronic coughing.

Anthracosis

Anthracosis is the term utilized to describe black lung disease before it has progressed to such an extent that symptoms of the disease are palpable. The condition most often develops gradually over the course of many years and is characterized by black spotting or marbling of the lungs. The dark pigmentation associated with anthracosis primarily is caused by excessive exposure to carbonaceous material, which may stem from soot, diesel exhaust, coal, or other sources of carbon-containing dusts.

  • Anthracosis at 10x Magnification

    Anthracosis at 10x Magnification

    Anthracosis is the term typically utilized to describe black lung disease before it has progressed to such an extent that symptoms of the disease are palpable. The condition typically develops gradually over the course of many years and is characterized by black spotting or marbling of the lungs. The dark pigmentation associated with anthracosis primarily is caused by excessive exposure to carbonaceous material, which may stem from soot, diesel exhaust, coal, or other sources of carbon-containing dusts. Pollution and smoking are also known to contribute to anthracosis, and the condition is present to some extent in many residents of urban areas. Historically, however, anthracosis and its more severe manifestation, black lung disease, are best known as occupational illnesses that occur most commonly in coal miners.
  • Anthracosis at 40x Magnification

    Anthracosis at 40x Magnification

    Though anthracosis is often asymptomatic, when the disease is allowed to progress into black lung disease (sometimes referred to as coal workers pneumoconiosis), the effects may be significant. Shortness of breath and severe coughing are usually among the earliest symptoms of the damage to the lungs, and labored breathing, phlegm production, and wheezing are also common. Over time, as particles increasingly overwhelm the lungs, scarring and thickening of the lung tissue can occur, which is sometimes followed by the development of progressive massive fibrosis, a particularly severe form of the disease that continues to progress even when exposure to carbon comes to an end. Other complications can include cor pulmonale (an increase in size of the right ventricle of the heart), emphysema, and chronic bronchitis. There is no cure for anthracosis or black lung disease, and treatment generally involves providing symptomatic relief.
  • Anthracosis at 20x Magnification

    Anthracosis at 20x Magnification

    Black lung disease was observed among coal workers as early as the seventeenth century, but the condition was not so-named until the 1830s. In earlier periods, the affliction was known by various other appellations, such as black spittle or miners asthma. Despite a long-time awareness that the condition was related to working in coal mines, little was done to stem the occurrence for many years. Some writers, such as the late nineteenth-century French naturalist mile Zola, did attempt, however, to bring increased attention to the injurious effects of black lung disease on the mining population. Nevertheless, it was not until 1943 that individuals afflicted with the disease could gain disability compensation in England, and more than two decades would pass before similar benefits could be readily obtained in the United States.
  • Anthracosis at 10x Magnification

    Anthracosis at 10x Magnification

    Due to the adoption of regulatory measures by the United States Congress in 1969, working in the mining industry is not as hazardous today as it was formerly. The measures, which were a significant step forward in the cause of occupational safety, included new guidelines for average dust levels allowable in mining zones and a program to distribute disability benefits to individuals that acquired black lung disease through exposure at work. Though most cases of this disease and anthracosis continue to occur among miners, morbidity and mortality related to carbonaceous dust particles has declined steadily over the last several decades. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, in the early 1970s a federally administered radiography-screening program of active coal miners found evidence of black lung disease in more than 10 percent of the individuals tested. A similar program carried out in the late 1990s discovered such evidence in less than 2 percent of the active miners screened.

Aortic Atherosclerosis (Older Lesion)

When severely affected by atherosclerosis, the flow of blood through the aorta can be hindered and oxygen deficiency (ischemia) or gangrene can develop. Atherosclerosis is also the primary underlying cause of heart attacks, strokes, and aortic aneurysms, which are blood-filled dilations of the vessel wall. The rupture of an aneurysm can be deadly due to the hemorrhaging it causes.

  • Aortic Atherosclerosis (Older Lesion)

    Aortic Atherosclerosis (Older Lesion)

    The thickening and hardening of the arteries known as atherosclerosis is a condition that usually affects the medium- and large-sized arteries of the body. The largest blood vessel, the aorta, which extends form the left ventricle of the heart and supplies oxygenated blood to all of bodys tissue via its many branches, is no exception. When severely affected by atherosclerosis, the flow of blood through the aorta can be hindered and oxygen deficiency (ischemia) or gangrene can develop. Atherosclerosis is also the primary underlying cause of heart attacks, strokes, and aortic aneurysms, which are blood-filled dilations of the vessel wall. The rupture of an aneurysm can be deadly due to the hemorrhaging it causes.
  • Aortic Atherosclerosis (Older Lesion)

    Aortic Atherosclerosis (Older Lesion)

    Atherosclerosis is generally thought to result from the gradual build-up of cholesterol, fibrin, fatty materials, calcium, and other substances inside the arteries, where they form plaques. Many scientists believe that these plaques develop at sites of arterial injuries, which have long been assumed to be related to high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, and other known atherosclerosis risk factors. However, some researchers have suggested that atherosclerosis-initiating injuries may also stem form chronic inflammation of the arterial walls. Although there is significant debate regarding the issue, viral and bacterial infections could cause such inflammation and are, therefore, currently under investigation as possible factors that contribute to the development of atherosclerosis.
  • Aortic Atherosclerosis (Older Lesion)

    Aortic Atherosclerosis (Older Lesion)

    Cholesterol is essential to the human body because it is a key component of cellular membranes. However, too much cholesterol in the blood appears to enable the substance to become inappropriately deposited on the walls of the arteries, contributing to atherosclerosis. Consequently, limiting dietary intake of cholesterol is generally cited as one of the best ways to slow the progression of atherosclerosis. Avoiding tobacco smoke, increasing physical activity, losing weight, and maintaining healthy blood pressure are other methods that individuals concerned about atherosclerosis can take to combat the disease. For those who are unable to sufficiently reduce their risk for atherosclerosis via dietary and lifestyle changes, a number of medications are available that can slow the disease and reduce the chances that heart attack, stroke, or another medical emergency related to the disease will occur.

Astrocytoma

An astrocytoma is a primary tumor of the central nervous system that develops from the large, star-shaped glial cells known as astrocytes. Most frequently astrocytomas occur in the brain, especially in the frontal and temporal lobes of the cerebrum, but occasionally they appear along the spinal cord. No one knows what causes the tumors, which may affect anyone of any age but occur most often in middle-aged men.

  • Astrocytoma at 40x Magnification

    Astrocytoma at 40x Magnification

    An astrocytoma is a primary tumor of the central nervous system that develops from the large, star-shaped glial cells known as astrocytes. Most frequently astrocytomas occur in the brain, especially in the frontal and temporal lobes of the cerebrum, but occasionally they appear along the spinal cord. No one knows what causes the tumors, which may affect anyone of any age but occur most often in middle-aged men. Symptoms of an astrocytoma, similar to other brain tumors, often depend on the precise location of the growth. For instance, if the frontal lobe is affected, mood swings and changes in personality may occur, whereas a temporal lobe tumor is more typically associated with speech and coordination difficulties. Frequently, however, many of the initial signs of a tumor, which stem from increased pressure in the cranium, are the same for all tumor types and locations, and may include headaches, nausea, and adverse changes in eyesight.
  • Astrocytoma at 20x Magnification

    Astrocytoma at 20x Magnification

    Astrocytomas are the most common variety of glioma (tumor that arises from glial cells) and may be benign or malignant. Like all brain tumors, astrocytomas are very serious and are usually described by the medical community based upon their grade. The grade of a tumor can generally be determined by observing the tumor cells under a microscope. High-grade tumors are characterized by a greater presence of abnormal cells and more rapid cell growth than low-grade tumors. The brisk pace of high-grade tumor cell growth allows these tumors to quickly invade the central nervous system, making them much more difficult to treat than low-grade brain tumors. In children, the majority of astrocytomas that occur are classified as low-grade, but in adults most of the tumors are of the high-grade variety. The most advanced astrocytomas (grade IV) are usually described as glioblastoma multiforme.
  • Astrocytoma at 40x Magnification

    Astrocytoma at 40x Magnification

    Treatment for an astrocytoma depends upon a number of factors, such as the state of health of the patient and the specific characteristics (size, grade, location, etc.) of the tumor. Thus, a number of medical examinations and tests are carried out before any specific plan of action is developed. These often include computerized tomography (CT) scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, and angiograms. In some cases, a biopsy may also be performed, but since this entails a medical operation, it is usually avoided if not deemed truly necessary. Following testing, a number of different treatments may ensue, but the first priority is generally to relieve any excess intracranial pressure, which can be achieved either by administration of steroids to reduce swelling or through the application of a shunt to drain fluid that has built up around the brain.
  • Astrocytoma at 10x Magnification

    Astrocytoma at 10x Magnification

    The primary treatment for an astrocytoma is generally surgery. The goal of such treatment is to excise as much of the growth as possible without afflicting any damage to adjacent areas of the brain. Of course, in many instances, certain factors may make it impossible to successfully remove an entire tumor, in which case follow up treatment of either chemotherapy or radiotherapy may be necessary. High-grade tumors are especially difficult to eradicate via surgery, and in some cases surgery may not be recommended at all due to position or widespread invasion of the brain tissues. Individuals that do not elect to undergo surgery typically undertake a combined treatment of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. The prognosis of patients is greatly determined by the grade of the tumor. The lowest-grade astrocytomas, which are sometimes known as pilocytic gliomas, have a five-year survival rate of approximately 70 percent, but the outlook for patients with higher-grade tumors is significantly less propitious.

Basal Cell Carcinoma

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of cancer that occurs in humans. In the United States alone, an estimated 900,000 people develop basal cell carcinoma each year, and by most accounts, that number will continue to grow as the Earth's protective ozone layer becomes increasingly compromised. Individuals with fair skin that tends to burn rather than tan, blue or green eyes, and blonde hair are among those that are most likely to acquire the disease.

  • Basal Cell Carcinoma at 10x Magnification

    Basal Cell Carcinoma at 10x Magnification

    Basal cell carcinoma is a form of cancer that develops in the basal layer of the skin. The disease is often the result of cumulative damage to the skin by the sun or other radiation, but its occurrence is also sometimes related to exposure to certain chemicals, such as arsenic, burns, scarring, or even vaccinations. A slow-growing form of cancer, basal cell carcinoma is usually treatable with simple surgery. However, if the cancer has invaded surrounding tissues or metastasized to more distant parts of the body, a very rare occurrence for basal cell carcinoma, then treatment becomes much more complex and the prognosis is significantly worse. If basal cell carcinoma is detected early, as it usually is since it can generally be easily observed along the surface of the skin, where it is most often found in locations that receive the greatest amount of exposure to the sun, then the five-year survival rate for the disease is nearly 100 percent.
  • Basal Cell Carcinoma at 20x Magnification

    Basal Cell Carcinoma at 20x Magnification

    Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of cancer in humans. In the United States alone, an estimated 900,000 people develop basal cell carcinoma each year, and by most accounts, that number will continue to grow as the Earths protective ozone layer becomes increasingly compromised. Individuals with blue or green eyes, fair skin that tends to burn rather than tan, and blonde hair are among those that are most likely to acquire the disease. Men have traditionally been much more likely to develop basal cell carcinoma than women, but over the last few decades the risk for the female portion of the population has increased to such an extent that the gap in incidence between the sexes is beginning to shrink. This statistical change is usually attributed to women spending more time outdoors than ever before.
  • Basal Cell Carcinoma at 10x Magnification

    Basal Cell Carcinoma at 10x Magnification

    The appearance of basal cell carcinoma can vary significantly, which sometimes makes it difficult for individuals to recognize that they have the disease. Thus, any non-healing or recurring sore is usually reason enough to visit a medical professional. The most prevalent form of basal cell carcinoma is nodular. The cancerous nodules may exhibit a waxy, translucent, or pearly appearance, may feature a central depression or a raised border, and may periodically bleed and crust over. In addition to the typical nodules, basal cell carcinoma can also have the appearance of bluish-gray cystic lesions, pink to red papules or scaly patches, or increased brown or black pigment, especially in dark-skinned individuals. The borders of basal cell carcinomas may be either well- or poorly-defined depending on the specific type of the disease. In some instances, the cancer may be easy to confuse with scar tissue upon initial examination.
  • Basal Cell Carcinoma at 40x Magnification

    Basal Cell Carcinoma at 40x Magnification

    The primary means of lessening ones risk of developing basal cell carcinoma is limiting exposure to sunlight. However, since the majority of an individuals lifetime exposure to the harmful rays of the sun is acquired during childhood and the latent period between intense exposure to sunlight and the onset of basal cell carcinoma is 20 to 50 years, preventative measures are best begun in ones youth. The most simple and effective means of avoiding too much sun are limiting outdoor activities to hours when the suns rays are less intense (generally before 10 a.m. and after 4 p.m.), wearing long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and a broad-rimmed hat whenever possible, and regularly applying sunscreen with a sun protection factor of at least 15. If one is physically active outdoors, it is important to remember that sunscreen will need to be periodically reapplied, usually about once every one-and-a-half hours.
  • Basal Cell Carcinoma at 20x Magnification

    Basal Cell Carcinoma at 20x Magnification

    Basal cell carcinoma is a form of cancer that develops in the basal layer of the skin. The disease is often the result of cumulative damage to the skin by the sun or other radiation, but its occurrence is also sometimes related to exposure to certain chemicals, such as arsenic, burns, scarring, and even vaccinations. A slow-growing form of cancer, basal cell carcinoma is usually readily treatable with simple surgery. However, if the cancer has invaded surrounding tissues or metastasized to more distant parts of the body, a very rare occurrence for basal cell carcinoma, then treatment becomes much more complex and the prognosis is significantly worse. If basal cell carcinoma is detected early, as it usually is since it can generally be easily observed along the surface of the skin, where it is most often found in locations that receive the greatest amount of exposure to the sun, then the five-year survival rate for the disease is nearly 100 percent.

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

Many men with benign prostatic hyperplasia experience urinary problems related to the condition. As the prostate enlarges, the gland places increasing pressure on the urethra, often resulting in difficulty beginning or ending urination, an inability to completely empty the bladder, decreased urine flow, and frequent urination. In the most severe cases, complete blockage of the urethra occurs, which may lead to kidney damage.

  • Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia at 20x Magnification

    Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia at 20x Magnification

    Part of the male reproductive system, the prostate gland produces and stores seminal fluids, releasing them into the urethra when semen emission occurs. The gland is located directly below the bladder and surrounds the upper part of the urethra. During adolescence the gland usually matures and reaches a size comparable to that of a walnut. The dimensions of the gland generally remain unchanged for several decades, but in most older men, the prostate begins to enlarge as the size of its cells increases, a process commonly referred to as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or hypertrophy. According to recent estimates, more than 50 percent of men between the ages of 50 and 60 experience benign prostatic hyperplasia, and over 90 percent of those 70 to 90 years old have developed the condition. Researchers do not yet completely understand the cause of this physiological change, but it is widely thought that elevated levels of the female sex hormone estradiol and increased manufacture of dihydrotestosterone, a derivative of the male sex hormone testosterone, contribute to the condition.
  • Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia at 10x Magnification

    Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia at 10x Magnification

    Many men with benign prostatic hyperplasia experience urinary problems related to the condition. As the prostate enlarges, the gland places increasing pressure on the urethra, often resulting in difficulty beginning or ending urination, an inability to completely empty the bladder, decreased urine flow, and frequent urination. In the most severe cases, complete blockage of the urethra occurs, which may lead to kidney damage. The symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia are similar to those of several more serious problems, including prostate cancer, and should, therefore, be quickly brought to the attention of a medical professional. Several tests and procedures, including a digital rectal exam, prostate specific antigen blood test, rectal ultrasound, urine flow analysis, and cystoscopy, can enable the doctor to rule out other possibilities and make a definitive diagnosis of the condition.
  • Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia at 4x Magnification

    Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia at 4x Magnification

    Men with only mild symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia may elect not to undergo any treatment or to simply take a wait-and-see attitude, visiting the doctor regularly for monitoring until signs suggest a more active approach is needed. For those who seek treatment, a number of options are available. For example, drugs such as alpha blockers and finasteride may be used alone or in conjunction with one another to relax prostatic smooth muscle and decrease the size of the prostate gland. Individuals that are not responsive to the typical medications, however, may require a more invasive form of treatment, such as balloon dilation of the urethra or any of several different surgical techniques, including transurethral incision of the prostate (TUIP), transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP), or open prostatectomy. The various treatments for benign prostatic hyperplasia are associated with a number of risks and side effects, which can include serious conditions like incontinence and impotence.

Breast Adenocarcinoma

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women worldwide, excluding nonmelanoma skin cancers. The vast majority of breast cancers originate in the glandular tissues of the breast and are, consequently, classified as adenocarcinomas. Both the lobular tissues, which produce milk, and ductal tissues, which are involved in the transfer of the milk to the nipple, are considered glandular tissues and, therefore, may give rise to adenocarcinomas.

  • Breast Adenocarcinoma at 40x Magnification

    Breast Adenocarcinoma at 40x Magnification

    Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women worldwide, excluding nonmelanoma skin cancers. Approximately one in every ten women in the United States will develop the disease at some point during her lifetime. Contrary to popular belief, however, breast cancer is not solely found among women. The disease also occurs in men, though with much less frequency. Fewer than one in every 1,000 men develop malignancies of the breast. In recent years, the month of October has been designated by many charities and health organizations as a time to increase awareness of breast cancer, an event that is most commonly associated with the pink ribbons many individuals wear in order to symbolically recognize the struggles of men and women faced with the disease.
  • Breast Adenocarcinoma at 20x Magnification

    Breast Adenocarcinoma at 20x Magnification

    The vast majority of breast cancers originate in the glandular tissues of the breast and are classified as adenocarcinomas. Both the lobular tissues, which produce milk, and ductal tissues, which are involved in the transfer of the milk to the nipple, are considered glandular tissues and, therefore, may give rise to adenocarcinomas. The most common variety of adenocarcinoma is known as infiltrating ductal carcinoma, a tumor that usually manifests itself as a single hard lump not easily movable. Nearly 80 percent of all cases of breast cancer diagnosed are infiltrating ductal carcinomas.
  • Breast Adenocarcinoma at 10x Magnification

    Breast Adenocarcinoma at 10x Magnification

    Increased awareness of breast cancer has resulted in increased funding for many research programs dedicated to discovering potential causes of and cures for the disease. Consequently, breast cancer has been much better characterized than many other types of cancer. Researchers have linked the disease to specific genetic mutations in the genes designated HER2, BRCA1, BRCA2, and p53. Knowledge of these mutations, which can be both inherited and acquired, may eventually lead to new ways to prevent and treat the disease.
  • Breast Adenocarcinoma at 20x Magnification

    Breast Adenocarcinoma at 20x Magnification

    Risk of developing breast cancer rises as women get older. Most malignancies develop around the time of menopause, about 75 percent of cases involving women 50 years of age or older. The disease can strike at any time, however, and it is widely recommended that all women over the age of 20 perform a monthly self-examination of the breasts. Most medical societies also suggest that women 40 and older receive mammograms on an annual basis. Such emphasis on detection is reflective of the fact that while breast cancer cannot be readily prevented, early discovery of the disease can greatly reduce the risk of developing advanced cancer, which is generally much more difficult to treat.

Bronchiectasis

Bronchiectasis is an abnormal, permanent dilation of the bronchial tubes in the lungs. The condition can result from a number of different causes. For example, obstructions, such as those posed by foreign objects (often accidentally ingested during childhood) or tumors, can prevent the elimination of fluid emissions from the bronchi, resulting in their expansion.

  • Bronchiectasis at 10x Magnification

    Bronchiectasis at 10x Magnification

    Bronchiectasis is an abnormal, permanent dilation of the bronchial tubes in the lungs. The condition can result from a number of different causes. For example, obstructions, such as those posed by foreign objects (often accidentally ingested during childhood) or tumors, can prevent the elimination of fluid emissions from the bronchi, resulting in their expansion. Following initial dilation, the tubes continue to swell with accumulated materials even after the obstruction is removed. Bronchiectasis is also frequently associated with pneumonia, whooping cough, measles, or other infections that can inflame and weaken the walls of the bronchi. Over the course of several infections, the walls of the tubes can deteriorate to such an extent that the elastic and muscle fibers they contain are damaged to such an extent that dilation occurs. Some inherited conditions, especially cystic fibrosis, are known to be linked to bronchiectasis as well.
  • Bronchiectasis at 20x Magnification

    Bronchiectasis at 20x Magnification

    The primary manifestation of bronchiectasis is a chronic cough that brings up large quantities of phlegm. This phlegm often is colored yellow or green and may have a very foul odor. The excessive production of phlegm is a result of infection in the lungs, which is a habitual problem for individuals with the condition, partially due to damage to of the cilia that normally help clean out the lungs. However, other signs of infection, including fever, fatigue, and pain, are often absent from bronchiectasis patients, though in some cases their conditions can worsen and lead to pneumonia if medical treatment is not received. Bloody sputum associated with bronchiectasis is also sometimes observed, a consequence of ruptured blood vessels located near the distended walls of the bronchi. In very rare instances, bleeding related to bronchiectasis may become a medical emergency.
  • Bronchiectasis at 40x Magnification

    Bronchiectasis at 40x Magnification

    Several different investigative techniques may be used by medical professionals to aid in diagnosis of bronchiectasis, including chest x-rays, CT scans, sputum culture, cystic fibrosis testing, analysis of serum immunoglobulin, and skin testing for tuberculosis. Once the condition is positively identified, then a plan of treatment may be formed. Generally this plan emphasizes the need to manage infections and phlegm production so that secretions do not block the airways and complications do not develop. Some means of keeping the condition under control include administration of expectorants, bronchodilators, and antibiotics. Also, since the symptoms of bronchiectasis can become amplified if the patient smokes or is exposed to high levels of air pollution, medical professionals generally advise patients to avoid smoking and highly polluted areas. In the most serious cases of bronchiectasis, lung resection may be necessary if other less invasive modes of treatment prove ineffective.

Bronchogenic Carcinoma

When bronchogenic carcinoma, or primary lung cancer, was first described in the mid-1850s, it was thought to be a relatively rare occurrence. Over the course of the twentieth century, however, the proportion of the population affected by bronchogenic carcinoma rose tremendously, and today the disease is the leading cause of cancer-related death among both men and women in the United States.

  • Bronchogenic Carcinoma at 20x Magnification

    Bronchogenic Carcinoma at 20x Magnification

    When bronchogenic carcinoma, or primary lung cancer, was first described in the mid-1850s, it was thought to be a relatively rare occurrence. Over the course of the twentieth century, however, the proportion of the population affected by bronchogenic carcinoma rose tremendously, and today the disease is the leading cause of cancer-related death among both men and women in the United States. The increase in popularity of cigarette smoking following World War I is generally considered accountable for the sudden rise in lung cancer cases and deaths. Cigarette smoke contains hundreds of known carcinogens and has been linked with bronchogenic carcinoma by some members of the medical field since at least the late 1940s, but the Surgeon General of the United States did not declare that smoking cigarettes is a cause of lung cancer until 1964. In 1966, health warnings on cigarette packages began appearing, and in 1971, ads for cigarettes were finally taken off American television, though cigarettes continue to be one of the most heavily marketed products in the world.
  • Bronchogenic Carcinoma at 10x Magnification

    Bronchogenic Carcinoma at 10x Magnification

    Bronchogenic carcinoma often does not present any palpable signs until the disease is already well advanced. Thus the disease, which is most common among individuals between the ages of 45 and 70, has a very poor prognosis. When symptoms do appear, they heavily depend on the exact location and extent of the disease, but often include coughing, wheezing, chest pain, shortness of breath, bloody sputum, frequent respiratory infections, and weight loss or loss of appetite. Occasionally, bronchogenic carcinoma is asymptomatic and is discovered incidentally during a chest x-ray or other exam. In recent years, several large-scale studies have been carried out to determine if regular chest x-rays or sputum analysis would be beneficial for smokers or other individuals at high risk for lung cancer. The findings of the studies, however, suggest that though such screening sometimes results in earlier detection of cancer, the overall survival of patients does not seem to improve in association with early detection.
  • Bronchogenic Carcinoma at 20x Magnification

    Bronchogenic Carcinoma at 20x Magnification

    Bronchogenic carcinomas are usually classified into two basic groups: non-small cell carcinomas and small cell carcinomas (sometimes called oat cell carcinomas). Of the two, small carcinomas, which account for about 20 to 25 percent of all cases, are the most aggressive. Rarely do these types of tumors ever appear in individuals who have never been smokers. Non-small cell carcinomas tend to spread more slowly and are usually further classified into three distinct types of tumors: squamous cell carcinomas, adenocarcinomas, and large cell carcinomas. The squamous variety of the disease tends to remain localized for longer periods of time than other types of lung cancer and, consequently, is often easier to treat successfully. Most common in the United States, however, is adenocarcinoma, which has usually invaded nearby tissues or metastasized by the time it is recognized. Large cell carcinomas only account for approximately one-tenth of all cases of bronchogenic carcinoma, but the cancer has a propensity to grow more rapidly than other types of non-small cell carcinomas.
  • Bronchogenic Carcinoma at 40x Magnification

    Bronchogenic Carcinoma at 40x Magnification

    When bronchogenic carcinoma, or primary lung cancer, was first described in the mid-1850s, it was thought to be a relatively rare occurrence. Over the course of the twentieth century, however, the proportion of the population affected by bronchogenic carcinoma rose tremendously, and today the disease is the leading cause of cancer-related death among both men and women in the United States. The increase in popularity of cigarette smoking following World War I is generally considered accountable for the sudden rise in lung cancer cases and deaths. Cigarette smoke contains hundreds of known carcinogens and has been linked with bronchogenic carcinoma by some members of the medical field since at least the late 1940s, but the Surgeon General of the United States did not declare that smoking cigarettes is a cause of lung cancer until 1964. In 1966, health warnings on cigarette packages began appearing, and in 1971, ads for cigarettes were finally taken off American television, though cigarettes continue to be one of the most heavily marketed products in the world.
  • Bronchogenic Carcinoma at 4x Magnification

    Bronchogenic Carcinoma at 4x Magnification

    Bronchogenic carcinoma often does not present any palpable signs until the disease is already well advanced. Thus the disease, which is most common among individuals between the ages of 45 and 70, has a very poor prognosis. When symptoms do appear, they heavily depend on the exact location and extent of the disease, but often include coughing, wheezing, chest pain, shortness of breath, bloody sputum, frequent respiratory infections, and weight loss or loss of appetite. Occasionally, bronchogenic carcinoma is asymptomatic and is discovered incidentally during a chest x-ray or other exam. In recent years, several large-scale studies have been carried out to determine if regular chest x-rays or sputum analysis would be beneficial for smokers or other individuals at high risk for lung cancer. The findings of the studies, however, suggest that though such screening sometimes results in earlier detection of cancer, the overall survival of patients does not seem to improve in association with early detection.

Bronchopneumonia

Young children and the elderly are particularly susceptible to bronchopneumonia, but anyone may contract the disease. Pneumococcal vaccinations are recommended for individuals in high-risk groups and provide up to 80 percent effectiveness in staving off pneumococcal pneumonia. Influenza vaccinations are also frequently of use in decreasing one's susceptibility to pneumonia, since the flu precedes pneumonia development in many cases.

  • Bronchopneumonia at 40x Magnification

    Bronchopneumonia at 40x Magnification

    Bronchopneumonia, or bronchial pneumonia, is a type of pneumonia that originates in the bronchioles of the lungs, which are the smaller ducts of the bronchial tubes. The contagious infection is caused by a variety of bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms. In previously healthy individuals that acquire the illness, Streptococcus and Staphylococcus infections are among the most common causes, but individuals whose pulmonary defense systems are already weakened from another ailment, such as chronic bronchitis, are more likely to be infected by Klebsiella or Pseudomona bacteria. When any of these microorganisms find their way into the body through the respiratory system, they are disseminated through the bloodstream and settle in the bronchiolar epithelium, causing acute inflammation that extends into the surrounding alveoli. An x-ray of the chest of a patient with bronchopneumonia often reveals a scattering of heterogenous opacities, rather than the homogenous opacity characteristic of lobar pneumonia, due to the involvement of multiple sites in the lungs.
  • Bronchopneumonia at 20x Magnification

    Bronchopneumonia at 20x Magnification

    Symptoms of bronchopneumonia are similar to other types of pneumonia and may include fatigue, a productive cough, fever, chills, chest pain, and difficulty breathing. The skin of individuals with the disease may also take on a bluish hue in advanced cases when enough oxygen is not available to the blood. The administration of oxygen is often necessary for such patients. Other types of treatment frequently provided to individuals with bronchopneumonia are dependent on the causative agent. Antibiotics are effective against many bacterial forms of the illness, but not viral pneumonias. Bed rest, use of a humidifier, and plenty of fluids are generally recommended for all cases of the disease.
  • Bronchopneumonia at 10x Magnification

    Bronchopneumonia at 10x Magnification

    Infants and the elderly are particularly susceptible to bronchopneumonia, but anyone may contract the disease. Pneumococcal vaccinations are recommended for individuals in high-risk groups and provide up to 80 percent effectiveness in staving off pneumococcal pneumonia. Influenza vaccinations are also frequently of use in decreasing one’s susceptibility to pneumonia, since the flu precedes pneumonia development in many cases. Vaccinations are often credited with significantly decreasing the threat of pneumonia, as are antibiotics. In the first half of the twentieth century before antibiotic drugs were developed, approximately one-third of all people who contracted pneumonia died of the disease. Today, more than 95 percent of all patients recover when they receive proper medical treatment. Nevertheless, pneumonia is still a highly destructive force, together with influenza ranking as the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.

Burr Cell Uremia

Uremia is a condition in which urea and other nitrogenous substances accumulate to an abnormally high level in the blood. Symptoms of uremia often initially include fatigue, loss of appetite, edema, excessive thirst, and decreased concentration, and progression of the condition may lead to a rapid pulse, anemia, diarrhea, convulsions, discoloration of the skin, coma, and even death.

  • Burr Cell Uremia at 40x Magnification

    Burr Cell Uremia at 40x Magnification

    Uremia is a condition in which urea and other nitrogenous substances accumulate to an abnormally high level in the blood. Symptoms of uremia often initially include fatigue, loss of appetite, edema, excessive thirst, and decreased concentration, and progression of the condition may lead to a rapid pulse, anemia, diarrhea, convulsions, discoloration of the skin, coma, and even death. Uremia is characteristically related to the inability of the kidneys to expel wastes via urine, but the underlying cause responsible for the limited function of the important organs can vary greatly. The condition may originate from, for instance, kidney damage associated with various diseases, such as diabetes mellitus or glomerulonephritis, or from a blockage of urine related to an enlarged prostate gland or kidney stones. Some cases of uremia have also been associated with abnormal red blood cells, such as echinocytes, which are often better known as burr cells.

Cavernous Hemangioma

Hemangiomas are benign vascular tumor-like growths that usually present themselves at birth or soon thereafter. The abnormal dense collections of blood vessels may occur in the muscles, internal organs, and mucous membranes, but are most familiar along the surface of the skin. Hemangiomas of the skin are usually classified into three basic groups: capillary hemangiomas, immature hemangiomas, and cavernous hemangiomas.

  • Cavernous Hemangioma at 10x Magnification

    Cavernous Hemangioma at 10x Magnification

    Hemangiomas are benign vascular tumor-like growths that usually present themselves at birth or soon thereafter. The abnormal dense collections of blood vessels may occur in the muscles, internal organs, and mucous membranes, but are most familiar along the surface of the skin. Hemangiomas of the skin are usually classified into three basic groups: capillary hemangiomas, immature hemangiomas, and cavernous hemangiomas. The cause of the growths is not known and effective prevention measures are not available. Diagnosis typically only entails a physical examination, but CT scans or MRI scans are sometimes recommended in order that the extent of the growth can be better assessed. In rare instances, hemangiomas are related to certain syndromes, which, if suspected, may lead to additional testing.
  • Cavernous Hemangioma at 4x Magnification

    Cavernous Hemangioma at 4x Magnification

    Often better known as port-wine stains, capillary hemangiomas, which are associated with atypical aggregations of the capillaries, are common pink to dark purple birthmarks that exhibit distinct boundaries and a smooth surface. They often are permanent and form on the head or neck. Immature hemangiomas, which characteristically endow the skin with a reddish nubbed appearance, commonly are informally referred to as strawberry marks. These growths, which are comprised of localized groups of dilated small blood vessels, usually begin to recede after the first year of life and frequently have disappeared completely by the time the child is ready to begin school. The cavernous hemangioma is the rarest of hemangioma types and also generally the most problematic since the reddish-blue birthmarks are usually significantly raised from the surface of the skin and do not vanish as quickly as immature hemangiomas. The blood vessels present in a cavernous hemangioma are encapsulated in a connective and fatty tissue framework.
  • Cavernous Hemangioma at 10x Magnification

    Cavernous Hemangioma at 10x Magnification

    Hemangiomas often do not pose any health problems, but they are sometimes prone to ulceration and bleeding. Cavernous hemangiomas, which are more likely to receive injury due to their elevated form, should be treated with special care in order that such events are avoided. If not handled appropriately, an ulcerated hemangioma may develop a secondary infection. Depending on where the growth is located, a hemangioma can also interfere with various functions of the body. For instance, cavernous hemangiomas located around the eye or on the eyelid sometimes inhibit vision.
  • Cavernous Hemangioma at 40x Magnification

    Cavernous Hemangioma at 40x Magnification

    Many cavernous hemangiomas are not treated when they are first observed because more than 90 percent disappear on their own by the time the patient reaches puberty. When problems arise from the growths or when treatment is desired for cosmetic reasons, however, several different therapeutic techniques may be employed. Small hemangiomas can sometimes be successfully treated with corticosteroid injections, but surgery is often necessary for larger growths. Individuals who have one or more hemangiomas that are swiftly growing or are chronically ulcerated may be prescribed oral corticosteroids, which can slow growth and control inflammation. In cases where a hemangioma has shrunk but not completely disappeared, laser therapy can be utilized to cosmetically improve the skin.
  • Cavernous Hemangioma at 20x Magnification

    Cavernous Hemangioma at 20x Magnification

    Hemangiomas are benign vascular tumor-like growths that usually present themselves at birth or soon thereafter. The abnormal dense collections of blood vessels may occur in the muscles, internal organs, and mucous membranes, but are most familiar along the surface of the skin. Hemangiomas of the skin are usually classified into three basic groups: capillary hemangiomas, immature hemangiomas, and cavernous hemangiomas. The cause of the growths is not known and effective prevention measures are not available. Diagnosis usually only entails a physical examination, but CT scans or MRI scans are sometimes recommended in order that the extent of the growth can be better assessed. In rare instances, hemangiomas are related to certain syndromes, which, if suspected, may lead to additional testing.

Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

In the initial stages of chronic lymphocytic leukemia, patients are usually asymptomatic. Consequently, the disease is typically only discovered early if an individual undergoes a blood count as part of a regular medical examination or while under observation for another medical problem. An abnormally high number of white blood cells is the best early indicator that a patient may have a form of leukemia.

  • Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia at 40x Magnification

    Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia at 40x Magnification

    Chronic lymphocytic leukemia is a type of leukemia that primarily affects adults over the age of 50, though the acute form of the disease is chiefly a childhood malady. The chronic form of the disease is insidious and progresses slowly, whereas acute lymphocytic leukemia leads to rapid death after its onset if left untreated. The reason for such a drastic difference in the courses the diseases take is apparently related to the cells that they affect. The acute disease involves abnormal proliferation of immature lymphocytes in the bone marrow called lymphoblasts that are unable to mature and rapidly interfere with normal blood cell production. In chronic lymphocytic leukemia, however, lymphoblasts are allowed to mature, but the number of lymphocytes produced exceeds the normal amount and other components of the blood are slowly crowded out. Also, the lymphocytes that are produced are not as adept at fending off infections as healthy lymphocytes, making patients more susceptible to a number of other conditions.
  • Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia at 20x Magnification

    Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia at 20x Magnification

    In the United States, more than 17,000 cases of chronic lymphocytic leukemia are diagnosed annually. Males are about twice as likely to develop this type of leukemia as females. Other risk factors for the disease include being middle-aged or older, Caucasian, or related to Russian Jews or Eastern European Jews. A family history of the disease also increases the likelihood that an individual will develop chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Unlike other leukemias, chronic lymphocytic leukemia does not appear to be related to overexposure to benzene or radiation.

Chronic Pneumonia

The likelihood that an individual will contract pneumonia depends upon many different factors, as does the severity of the disease when it does occur. Risk of the disease is particularly elevated for the elderly and for very young children whose immune systems are still in an immature state. Similarly, anyone who has a compromised immune system due to other diseases, such as HIV or AIDS, or to certain medications are also more likely to develop pneumonia.

  • Chronic Pneumonia at 10x Magnification

    Chronic Pneumonia at 10x Magnification

    Pneumonia is characterized by inflammation of the lungs and may be caused by a variety of bacteria, viruses, and other agents, as well as exposure to certain irritants and irradiation. Oftentimes the disease follows a bout of the flu or a common cold, and the symptoms of pneumonia are frequently similar to those of these less severe illnesses, which can make it difficult for many individuals to realize that something more serious is wrong. Patients with bacterial or viral pneumonia typically experience a cough that will not go away and may have difficulty breathing, fever, chest pain, fatigue, muscle pain, and chills. When the disease is caused by mycoplasma or fungi, however, few symptoms are usually present, and those that are tend to occur in relatively mild forms.
  • Chronic Pneumonia at 40x Magnification

    Chronic Pneumonia at 40x Magnification

    The likelihood that an individual will contract pneumonia depends upon many different factors, as does the severity of the disease when it does occur. Risk of the disease is particularly elevated for the elderly and for very young children whose immune systems are still in an immature state. Similarly, anyone who has a compromised immune system due to other diseases, such as HIV or AIDS, or to certain medications are also more likely to develop pneumonia. Other factors associated with increased risk include smoking, drinking, drug abuse, and exposure to various toxic fumes or chemicals. Inhabitants of certain locales also experience an increased risk of contracting pneumonia from agents that are endemic in those areas. For instance, a serious form of lung infection caused by a fungus common in the Ohio and Mississippi River Valleys is most likely to affect individuals living in either of those regions.
  • Chronic Pneumonia at 20x Magnification

    Chronic Pneumonia at 20x Magnification

    Treatment for pneumonia varies depending upon the cause, with antibiotics being the primary therapy utilized for bacterial and mycoplasma forms. Bed rest and the ingestion of lots of fluids are usually recommended for other varieties of the illness, though over-the-counter medications may also be used to provide symptomatic relief. With adequate treatment, most healthy individuals recover fully from pneumonia. However, more than 60,000 Americans die of the disease each year.
  • Chronic Pneumonia at 10x Magnification

    Chronic Pneumonia at 10x Magnification

    When inflammation of the lungs is persistent or recurs periodically after treatment, the condition is generally referred to as chronic pneumonia rather than simply pneumonia. Chronic pneumonia also tends to develop more slowly than other types of the illness, often over the course of several weeks. An array of microorganisms, including several types of bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and helminths, as well as other non-infectious causes may be responsible for an individual developing the disease. Many of the microorganisms that cause chronic pneumonia are only endemic to certain areas, a fact that often aids in narrowing down the identity of the causal agent. A variety of procedures are typically carried out, however, to aid in diagnosis, including sputum smears and cultures, skin testing, serologic testing, and, often as a final resort, invasive diagnostic methods, such as biopsy or translaryngeal aspiration.

Colon Adenocarcinoma

Frequently colon adenocarcinoma is asymptomatic in its earliest stages. When symptoms do develop, they generally are manifested as disorders of digestion and waste eradication. Among the most common symptoms of the disease are diarrhea, constipation, pain in the abdomen, appearance of blood in the stool, and appetite loss.

  • Colon Adenocarcinoma at 20x Magnification

    Colon Adenocarcinoma at 20x Magnification

    Colon cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in the United States and is a leading cause of cancer-related death. In 2000 alone, nearly 50,000 Americans died from the disease, which is highly curable if detected and treated early. An estimated 95 percent of all colon cancer cases involve the glandular tissue present in the colon wall, which is normally active in the secretion of materials to lubricate waste products before they are excreted. Such cancers typically develop from benign tumors called adenomas and are referred to as adenocarcinomas. Overall, larger adenomas are more likely to develop into malignant growths than smaller adenomas.
  • Colon Adenocarcinoma at 10x Magnification

    Colon Adenocarcinoma at 10x Magnification

    Highly developed countries have higher rates of colon cancer than other parts of the world. This is believed to be due in large part to the customary diet in these countries, which generally includes significant amounts of red meat and fat and little fiber. A similar reasoning is often utilized to explain the rise in colon cancer rates in the United States since mid-twentieth century, the diet of the average American coming to include larger amounts of beef and fatty foods since that time. Other factors that may play a role in the onset of colon cancer include age (older individuals are more susceptible), physical inactivity, a personal history of chronic inflammatory bowel disease, and a family history of colon cancer, which is sometimes associated with Gardner syndrome or familial adenomatous polyposis.
  • Colon Adenocarcinoma at 40x Magnification

    Colon Adenocarcinoma at 40x Magnification

    Frequently colon adenocarcinoma is asymptomatic in its earliest stages. When symptoms do develop, they generally are manifested as disorders of digestion and waste eradication. Among the most common symptoms of the disease are diarrhea, constipation, pain in the abdomen, appearance of blood in the stool, and appetite loss. Fatigue, shortness of breath, jaundice, and accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity (ascites) may also occur, but usually not until the disease is well advanced. Due to the generally slow development of symptoms, most adenocarcinomas of the colon have grown several centimeters in diameter by the time they are successfully diagnosed.
  • Colon Adenocarcinoma at 10x Magnification

    Colon Adenocarcinoma at 10x Magnification

    Several types of exams are used to diagnose colon adenocarcinomas. A digital rectal exam and an occult fecal blood test are usually the initial techniques utilized, while more advanced examinations involve sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy, both of which employ a flexible tube-like instrument to inspect one or more parts of the colon. A biopsy is sometimes performed in conjunction with these procedures in order that abnormal tissue can be tested for the presence of cancer cells. A special type of x-ray called a double-contrast barium enema is often used to produce initial images of any growths present, and other advanced imaging techniques (CT scans, MRI, etc.) are generally exploited during staging of the disease.

Colon Carcinoma

Each year in the United States about 50,000 people die from colon cancer, making it one of the leading causes of cancer-related death in the country. In some other parts of the world, such as Asia and Africa, colon cancer is much less common, a fact often attributed to the Western diet, which tends too be high in fat and low in fiber. Statistics indicate that in countries whose inhabitants are increasingly eating like Americans colon cancer rates are rising.

  • Colon Carcinoma at 20x Magnification

    Colon Carcinoma at 20x Magnification

    The vast majority of colon cancers arise from the glandular cells lining the wall of the organ, in which case they are classified as a special type of carcinoma known as adenocarcinomas. Colon cancers can also originate in other cell types, such as those that comprise the connective tissue that supports the colorectal wall or those that are specialized for producing hormones. Each year in the United States about 50,000 people die from colon cancer, making it one of the leading causes of cancer-related death in the country. In some other parts of the world, such as Asia and Africa, colon cancer is much less common, a fact often attributed to the Western diet, which tends too be high in fat and low in fiber. Statistics indicate that in countries whose inhabitants are increasingly eating like Americans colon cancer rates are rising.
  • Colon Carcinoma at 10x Magnification

    Colon Carcinoma at 10x Magnification

    In addition to diet, a number of other risk factors for developing colon cancer have been identified. Genetics is thought to be particularly important, those with a close family member diagnosed with the disease being three times more likely than others to develop colon cancer. Various inherited conditions, the most notable of which are familial polyposis syndrome and familial colon cancer, also greatly increase the disease risk, as do the presence of benign polyps in the colon. Benign polyps, which can become malignant over time, are consequently often removed if they come to the attention of a medical professional. The irritable bowel disease known as ulcerative colitis, which is characterized by inflammation and ulceration, is also known to increase colon cancer risk in individuals in which it is a chronic occurrence.
  • Colon Carcinoma at 40x Magnification

    Colon Carcinoma at 40x Magnification

    As is generally the case with cancers, colon carcinoma is easiest to treat and is associated with the best prognosis whenever the disease is diagnosed early in its development. Unfortunately, symptoms of colon cancer do not usually appear until the disease is significantly advanced, and even then are generally non-specific so that individuals may not immediately seek medical attention. Diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, and appearance of blood in the stool are typically among the first signs that something is wrong. Later, jaundice, fluid accumulation in the abdomen (ascites), and shortness of breath may develop as well. Typically colon cancers are several centimeters in size by the time symptomatic evidence and testing result in a diagnosis.
  • Colon Carcinoma at 10x Magnification

    Colon Carcinoma at 10x Magnification

    Routine screening for colon cancer is often recommended for individuals 50 years of age or older. This procedure generally consists of a fecal occult blood test, which can reveal the presence of blood in fecal material even when it cannot be detected by the eye, and flexible sigmoidoscopy, which involves the use of a tube-like instrument to inspect the rectum and lower colon. Individuals known to be at high risk for the disease may also be advised to periodically undergo the more extensive examination known as a colonoscopy, in which the condition of the entire colon can be assessed. Diagnosis of colon cancer often initially involves the same techniques utilized for screening purposes, but a biopsy is needed to confirm the presence of cancer cells. A number of imaging techniques, including x-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) scans, are commonly used during the staging of the cancer.
  • Colon Carcinoma at 10x Magnification

    Colon Carcinoma at 40x Magnification

    The primary treatment for most colon cancer patients is surgery. In some cases, tumors can be removed through colonoscopic means, but most commonly surgical resection is needed. For some patients, a colostomy is necessary for bodily waste removal following surgery. Radiation therapy and chemotherapy are often used as adjuvants to surgery, but are occasionally the primary means of treatment, especially in individuals that are unable to undergo surgery for health reasons. The side effects of these forms of therapy can be intense because they target all rapidly dividing cells, not just cancer cells.

Colon Villous Adenoma

Several subtypes of adenomas have been described, which chiefly are differentiated from one another by microscopic observation of the manner in which the cells of the growths are organized. Villous adenomas are usually sessile polyps that have an architecture predominantly characterized by the presence of finger- or frond-like projections. These growths are more likely than any other type of adenoma to become cancerous.

  • Colon Villous Adenoma at 10x Magnification

    Colon Villous Adenoma at 10x Magnification

    The portion of the large intestine that extends from the cecum to the rectum is referred to as the colon. The chief function of the colon is to extract moisture from indigestible matter prior to its excretion. Similar to other parts of the body, the tissues of the colon may give rise to various types of abnormal growths. Many of these tumors are cancerous, but others are benign. Often when they are benign and arise from a mucus membrane, they are referred to as polyps. Colonic polyps are extremely common and are estimated to occur in about half of all people greater than 60 years of age. As many as 75 percent of polyps found in the colon are classified as adenomas, tumors that originate in glandular tissue or exhibit a glandular structure. Although adenomas are benign, they are prone to malignant change and may become cancerous over time if not removed.
  • Colon Villous Adenoma at 10x Magnification

    Colon Villous Adenoma at 40x Magnification

    Several subtypes of adenomas have been described, which chiefly are differentiated from one another by microscopic observation of the manner in which the cells of the growths are organized. Villous adenomas are usually sessile polyps that have an architecture predominantly characterized by the presence of finger- or frond-like projections. These growths are more likely than any other type of adenoma to become cancerous. According to current estimates, the risk of a villous adenoma undergoing malignant transformation is as high as 25 percent overall, and is even greater for growths larger than 2 centimeters in diameter. They are, however, the least frequently appearing variety of adenomatous polyp, accounting for only about 5 percent of the growths.
  • Colon Villous Adenoma at 20x Magnification

    Colon Villous Adenoma at 20x Magnification

    Villous adenomas and other polyps rarely present symptoms except in very advanced cases. When they do occur, however, they may include abnormal bleeding, cramps, abdominal pain, constipation, or diarrhea. Polyps in the rectum are occasionally palpable by rectal examination, but more often require examination via endoscopy to be discovered. Thus, individuals who are at an elevated risk of developing colonic polyps are generally advised to undergo regular screening in order that adenomas and other benign tumors may be detected before they grow to significant sizes, in which case they are associated with a higher rate of malignant change. Screening techniques that are commonly utilized include stool specimen tests for occult blood, which is blood that cannot be seen by the unaided eye, and flexible sigmoidoscopy, which involves the insertion of a tubular instrument into the anus in order that the lower portion of the colon can be visualized.
  • Colon Villous Adenoma at 10x Magnification

    Colon Villous Adenoma at 10x Magnification

    Several subtypes of adenomas have been described, which chiefly are differentiated from one another by microscopic observation of the manner in which the cells of the growths are organized. Villous adenomas are usually sessile polyps that have an architecture predominantly characterized by the presence of finger- or frond-like projections. These growths are more likely than any other type of adenoma to become cancerous. According to current estimates, the risk of a villous adenoma undergoing malignant transformation is as high as 25 percent overall, and is even greater for growths larger than 2 centimeters in diameter. They are, however, the least frequently appearing variety of adenomatous polyp, accounting for only about 5 percent of the growths.
  • Colon Villous Adenoma at 40x Magnification

    Colon Villous Adenoma at 40x Magnification

    The portion of the large intestine that extends from the cecum to the rectum is referred to as the colon. The chief function of the colon is to extract moisture from indigestible matter prior to its excretion. Similar to other parts of the body, the tissues of the colon may give rise to various types of abnormal growths. Many of these tumors are cancerous, but others are benign. Often when they are benign and arise from a mucus membrane, they are referred to as polyps. Colonic polyps are extremely common and are estimated to occur in about half of all people greater than 60 years of age. As many as 75 percent of polyps found in the colon are classified as adenomas, tumors that originate in glandular tissue or exhibit a glandular structure. Although adenomas are benign, they are prone to malignant change and may become cancerous over time if not removed.
  • Colon Villous Adenoma at 20x Magnification

    Colon Villous Adenoma at 20x Magnification

    Though the exact causes of villous adenomas and other colonic polyps are not known, there are several known risk factors for the growths and steps that may be taken in order to reduce the likelihood of developing them. The prevalence of adenomas increases with age and the growths are more common among individuals living in certain regions of the world, primarily highly developed nations such as the United States and Great Britain. Some studies suggest that regional differences in colonic polyp rates are related to dietary differences, the growths most commonly being associated with high-fat diets low in fiber and excessive alcohol intake. Cigarette smoking has also been linked to an increased risk of developing adenomas. Such lifestyle-related risk factors are under personal control and can be modified to help reduce the possibility of growths forming in the colon. There also appears, however, to be a genetic factor involved in polyp development that cannot be changed.

Coronary Atherosclerosis

Many individuals who have been diagnosed with coronary atherosclerosis take medications to help hinder further progression of the disease. The class of drugs known as statins, which effectively reduce elevated cholesterol levels, have been especially useful in the battle against the condition and other forms of heart disease.

  • Coronary Atherosclerosis at 40x Magnification

    Coronary Atherosclerosis at 40x Magnification

    Coronary atherosclerosis is one of the most pressing medical problems in the United States. The condition, which is characterized by thickening and hardening of the walls of the coronary arteries, is a key contributor to countless heart attacks, strokes, and aneurysms, as well as many cases of ischemic heart disease and peripheral vascular disease. Currently, more than 5 million Americans know that they are afflicted with coronary atherosclerosis, but many more are also subjected to the condition though they are unaware of it. Indeed, even individuals whose coronary arteries have narrowed as much as 50 percent from coronary atherosclerosis may not experience symptoms of the condition. Nevertheless, these individuals are at a heightened risk for a number of related problems, most notably heart attacks, one of the leading causes of death in the country.
  • Coronary Atherosclerosis at 10x Magnification

    Coronary Atherosclerosis at 10x Magnification

    A number of risk factors for developing coronary atherosclerosis have been identified. Some, such as a family history of cardiovascular disease and being a member of the male gender, cannot be changed. Many others, however, can be readily controlled. For instance, cigarette smoking, obesity, and physical inactivity are all associated with an increased incidence of coronary atherosclerosis, and are dynamics that can be readily modified through personal efforts. Similarly, the risk factors of high blood pressure and high LDL cholesterol levels are closely associated with diet and exercise and can, therefore, frequently be controlled as well. Diabetes mellitus, a metabolic disease characterized by high blood sugar levels, is another important atherosclerosis risk factor. Individuals afflicted with diabetes mellitus can keep their condition in check in order to help decrease additional risk of coronary heart disease.
  • Coronary Atherosclerosis at 10x Magnification

    Coronary Atherosclerosis at 20x Magnification

    Many individuals who have been diagnosed with coronary atherosclerosis take medications to help hinder further progression of the disease. The class of drugs known as statins, which effectively reduce elevated cholesterol levels, have been especially useful in the battle against the condition and other forms of heart disease. In fact, prevastatin, lovastatin, and similar cholesterol-lowering drugs are sometimes prescribed to individuals with several risk factors for coronary heart disease who have not yet developed the disease as a means of primary prevention. However, most practitioners initially recommend dietary therapy, in hopes that pharmacologic treatment will not be necessary.
  • Coronary Atherosclerosis at 10x Magnification

    Coronary Atherosclerosis at 10x Magnification

    The development of coronary atherosclerosis is a gradual process that usually begins in childhood and slowly progresses throughout life as an increasing amount of cholesterol, fatty substances, and other materials build up in the arteries, forming plaques. As plaques thicken, the flow of blood through the arteries is reduced, which can prevent enough oxygen from reaching the heart. Plaques are also problematic because they can rupture, which leads to the formation of blood clots. If these clots block the vessels of the heart, a heart attack ensues, but if they break away and clog a blood vessel that circulates blood to the brain, then the result is a stroke. Blood clots associated with plaques can also reduce the blood supply to other parts of the body, which can limit movement and eventually lead to gangrene.

Diabetes in Kidney Tissue

Today diabetes is counted among the leading causes of death and disability in the United States. In 2002, 6.3 percent of all Americans were reportedly diabetic, with more than a million new cases being diagnosed each year. Even more disturbing is the fact that a large percentage of the people believed to be diabetics are not aware they have the disease.

  • Diabetes at 20x Magnification

    Diabetes at 20x Magnification

    Today diabetes is counted among the leading causes of death and disability in the United States. In 2002, 6.3 percent of all Americans were reportedly diabetic, with more than a million new cases being diagnosed each year. Even more disturbing is the fact that a large percentage of the people believed to be diabetics are not aware they have the disease. Without being diagnosed, the glucose levels of diabetics are likely allowed to remain out of control, which can lead to cardiovascular complications, kidney disease, blindness, and ketoacidosis, which increases the ketones and acid content of the blood, eventually resulting in nausea, vomiting, coma, and even death in severe cases. With the proper medical attention, diabetics are usually able to effectively manage their disease through diet, exercise, and in some cases, insulin injections or oral medications.
  • Diabetes at 10x Magnification

    Diabetes at 10x Magnification

    The kidneys are organs that primarily function in the filtration of blood. As blood passes through them, urea, toxins and other waste products are separated from the substances the body needs to retain (water, electrolytes, protein, etc.) and concentrated to form urine, which can then be excreted. Diabetes, however, can gradually deteriorate this system. The high levels of glucose in the blood characteristic of diabetes requires extra work from the kidneys, which attempt to filter the sugar out, resulting in the sweet smelling urine that is commonly associated with the disease. Over time, all of the extra strain on the kidneys can cause significant damage, eventually interfering with their ability to properly filter the blood.
  • Diabetes at 40x Magnification

    Diabetes at 40x Magnification

    When regions of the kidneys begin to be less efficient at filtration, other parts work extra hard in order to compensate. Consequently, diabetes-related kidney damage may not be noticed until almost all functionality is lost. When symptoms begin to develop, they may include fluid accumulation, upset stomach, insomnia, weakness, loss of appetite, and loss of concentration. Usually by the time such signs appear, the damage to the kidneys is so extensive that dialysis or a kidney transplant is required. Since individuals diagnosed with diabetes are known to be at an elevated risk for kidney damage, however, they usually undergo periodic testing that enables any decrease in the filtration capability of the organs to be detected much earlier. A simple analysis of the urine for traces of protein is often enough to determine whether or not any kidney damage is present.
  • Diabetes at 20x Magnification

    Diabetes at 20x Magnification

    Though kidney damage is a common complication of diabetes, not all diabetics experience it. Individuals that are able to consistently maintain their blood sugar levels in their target range are much less likely to develop kidney damage than those who do not. Type-II diabetics are usually capable of doing this simply through dietary and lifestyle changes, though some of them, as well as all of Type-I diabetics, require a regimen of insulin injections or oral medications. High blood pressure is another factor that greatly increases the likelihood that a diabetic will suffer kidney damage. Consuming less salt in the diet, losing weight, obtaining regular exercise, and avoiding alcohol and tobacco products are some key ways to lower blood pressure naturally, though various blood pressure medications, such as ACE inhibitors, are also available for those who need additional help.

Diabetes Mellitus in Pancreatic Tissue

Diabetes mellitus is usually not considered a single disease, but rather a group of three different disorders that appear to have different causes though they result in similar symptoms. Type I insulin-dependent diabetes, formerly known as juvenile-onset diabetes, accounts for only 5 to 10 percent of all diabetics. The condition typically develops suddenly and often initially appears in people under the age of 30, though it may occur at any age.

  • Diabetes Mellitus at 10x Magnification

    Diabetes Mellitus at 10x Magnification

    Diabetes has been known since antiquity, when it was so named from the Greek diabainein, meaning “to siphon,” based upon one of the characteristic symptoms of the disease, frequent and excessive urination. Later the designation of some varieties of the disease was lengthened to diabetes mellitus, the additional term stemming from the Latin for “sweetened by honey” and referring to the sweet smell of the urine of diabetics. Diabetes mellitus is associated with such an unusual urine quality because diabetics either are unable to produce a sufficient amount of insulin or the action of the insulin they do produce is in some way hindered, resulting in elevated levels of glucose in the blood (hyperglycemia). Insulin, which is typically generated in areas of the pancreas called the islets of Langerhans, is required for the glucose to reach muscle and adipose cells, where it would normally serve as fuel, and when it is absent or does not function properly, the cells essentially starve as the simple sugar builds up in the bloodstream and then is excreted with the urine, giving the substance a sugary smell.
  • Diabetes Mellitus at 40x Magnification

    Diabetes Mellitus at 40x Magnification

    Diabetes mellitus is usually not considered a single disease, but rather a group of three different disorders that appear to have different causes though they result in similar symptoms. Type I insulin-dependent diabetes, formerly known as juvenile-onset diabetes, accounts for only 5 to 10 percent of all diabetics. The condition usually develops suddenly and often initially appears in people under the age of 30, though it may occur at any age. Type I diabetics have lost the ability to produce insulin due to damage to the pancreas and the beta cells it normally contains that manufacture the important substance. Scientists have not yet determined specifically what causes the destruction of the pancreatic beta cells, but several possibilities have been suggested including genetics, autoimmune disorders, and viruses. Insulin injections are essential for the survival of individuals with Type I diabetes, and before they became available in the early twentieth century, most Type I diabetics died shortly after onset of the disease.
  • Diabetes Mellitus at 20x Magnification

    Diabetes Mellitus at 20x Magnification

    Type II noninsulin-dependent diabetes accounts for the vast majority (90 to 95 percent) of diabetes cases. Unlike the Type I form of the disease, this type of diabetes comes on gradually and is associated with obesity and aging, though there also appears to be a strong genetic component to the condition. The beta cells of Type II diabetics are intact and produce insulin, but the other cells in their bodies have lost the ability to respond to the substance. Since they do not generally suffer form a lack of insulin, however, Type II diabetics do not usually need insulin injections, though they may be utilized in severe cases. Much more commonly, the disease is controlled with diet and exercise.

Emphysema

Emphysema is characterized by a deterioration of the elasticity of the lungs, which results in collapse of the alveolar walls and degeneration of the pulmonary capillaries. Consequently, large pockets of air may fill the lungs, but cannot be readily exhaled because the damage present in the organs hinders them from effectively pushing the air out. Early signs of the disease are breathlessness during physical exertion and a mild, chronic cough.

  • Emphysema at 40x Magnification

    Emphysema at 40x Magnification

    In the 1980s, approximately 2 million Americans were known to be afflicted with the chronic respiratory disease emphysema. By the dawn of the twenty-first century that number had ballooned to 3 million. What is perhaps even more disconcerting, however, is that the vast majority of individuals diagnosed with emphysema could have avoided the crippling disease by simply not smoking cigarettes. Similar to most other respiratory ailments, smoking is a key factor in the onset of emphysema, accounting for more than 80 percent of all cases of the disease, which tends to develop gradually as the alveoli of the lungs become increasingly damaged by tobacco smoke. Thus, emphysema most commonly afflicts individuals over the age of 45, many of which began smoking as teenagers.
  • Emphysema at 10x Magnification

    Emphysema at 10x Magnification

    Emphysema is characterized by a deterioration of the elasticity of the lungs, which results in collapse of the alveolar walls and degeneration of the pulmonary capillaries. Consequently, large pockets of air may fill the lungs, but cannot be readily exhaled because the damage present in the organs hinders them from effectively pushing the air out. Early signs of the disease are breathlessness during physical exertion and a mild, chronic cough. Over time, the condition gets progressively worse, especially among smokers. It may become difficult to obtain enough air even when at rest, interest in eating may decrease because the process is made arduous by breathing problems, and the production of phlegm may become a constant occupation, aggravating the cough. Other common symptoms of emphysema include wheezing, tightness of the chest, intolerance to cold environments, swelling in the extremities, and a bluish hue to the skin related to insufficient exchange of gases. Without treatment, permanent disability can result, as can heart or respiratory failure leading to death.
  • Emphysema at 20x Magnification

    Emphysema at 20x Magnification

    The damage to the lungs caused by emphysema is irreversible. A successful lung transplant is the closest that a patient with the disease can currently come to a cure, but many individuals that such a procedure could potentially aid are not physically fit enough to undergo it. Accordingly, other, less invasive, treatments for emphysema are much more common. Bronchodilators are often recommended to help combat constriction of the airways, corticosteroids can soothe inflammation, and oxygen therapy is typically provided to individuals in an advanced state of the disease to counteract oxygen deficiency (hypoxemia). Some emphysema patients also elect to undergo lung reduction surgery, a minimally invasive medical procedure that involves only a few small incisions, through which a small camera and stapling device can be inserted so that damaged portions of the lung can be cut away, providing healthy tissue with additional space for expansion.

Endometrial Adenocarcinoma

The endometrium is the lining of the uterus that periodically thickens and sheds during a woman's reproductive years. When menopause occurs, this cycle is ended and hormone changes ensue. Consequently, postmenopausal women are at greater risk for certain adverse health conditions, including endometrial neoplasms, which are the most common and most readily cured kind of uterine cancers.

  • Endometrial Adenocarcinoma at 20x Magnification

    Endometrial Adenocarcinoma at 20x Magnification

  • Endometrial Adenocarcinoma at 10x Magnification

    Endometrial Adenocarcinoma at 10x Magnification

    The average age at diagnosis of endometrial cancer is about 60. In addition to age, however, there are a number of other risk factors that increase the likelihood that a woman will develop an adenocarcinoma or other cancer of the endometrium. Being 50 pounds or more overweight, beginning menstruation early or menopause late, never giving birth, various ovarian diseases, and infertility are all associated with an elevated risk of endometrial cancer. Notably, these risk factors all share something in common—they are associated with increased exposure to estrogen. A steroid hormone, estrogen is known to facilitate the growth of endometrial cells, whereas the hormone progesterone impedes it.
  • Endometrial Adenocarcinoma at 40x Magnification

    Endometrial Adenocarcinoma at 40x Magnification

    The excellent prognosis enjoyed by many patients with endometrial cancer is closely linked to the ability to diagnose the disease before it has advanced very far in its development. Abnormal vaginal bleeding or other discharges are early signs of endometrial cancer and often motivate women to quickly seek medical attention. Other symptoms that may develop, however, are pelvic pain, a palpable mass, and unexplained weight loss. When endometrial cancer is suspected, a biopsy or a procedure known as dilation and curettage, in which tissue is scraped from inside the uterus, is generally carried out in order to ascertain whether abnormal cells are present. A number of other forms of analysis, including blood tests, proctoscopy, cystoscopy, computed tomography (CT) scans, x-rays, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), may be utilized to determine the extent of the disease once it is diagnosed.
  • Endometrial Adenocarcinoma at 10x Magnification

    Endometrial Adenocarcinoma at 10x Magnification

    Treatment for adenocarcinoma of the endometrium typically involves surgery. In some instances, the removal of the cervix and uterus through a simple hysterectomy is considered sufficient, but in others a radical hysterectomy, which entails significantly more extensive tissue removal, may be required. Fallopian tubes, ovaries, and lymph nodes are sometimes surgically removed as well. External and internal radiation therapies are other treatment options and can be used in conjunction with surgical methods. Chemotherapy is usually reserved for patients with metastases, and hormone therapy is generally useful only for those whose tumor cells exhibit progesterone receptors.

Eosinophilia

Eosinophils are members of the granulocytic class of white blood cells that function primarily in fighting infections of parasites and in allergic reactions. The cells, which are so-named for the eosin-staining granules they contain, generally comprise one to three percent of the total white blood cell count in a healthy individual. Persons who exhibit an abnormally large number of eosinophils are said to have eosinophilia.

  • Eosinophilia at 40x Magnification

    Eosinophilia at 40x Magnification

    Eosinophils are members of the granulocytic class of white blood cells that function primarily in fighting infections of parasites and in allergic reactions. The cells, which are named for the eosin-staining granules they contain, generally comprise one to three percent of the total white blood cell count in a healthy individual. Persons who exhibit an abnormally large number of eosinophils are said to have eosinophilia. Though eosinophilia may be beneficial at times since the increase in white blood cells helps rid the body of certain parasitic invaders, the condition can also lead to tissue damage as an increasing number of eosinophils accumulate in the body. Asthma patients, for instance, often experience additional injury to the lungs due to eosinophilia.
  • Eosinophilia at 20x Magnification

    Eosinophilia at 20x Magnification

    Eosinophilia is known to have many causes, the most common of which are helminthic (worm) infections and allergic conditions, such as asthma and hay fever. The former is the primary cause worldwide, but the latter is much more prevalent in the United States, Great Britain, and other developed nations. Rarer causes of eosinophilia include cirrhosis of the liver, certain tumor types, such as lymphoma, lung diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, dermatitis herpetiformis and other rare skin conditions, Churg-Strauss vasculitis, and various antibody deficiencies. In some instances, no cause is apparent, in which case the condition is termed hypereosinophilic syndrome.

Esophageal Carcinoma

The esophagus is the portion of the digestive tract that links the throat to the stomach and is located between the trachea and the spine. The primary function of the muscular tube is to move food along its tract so that the digestive process may be completed in other portions of the body. Cancer of the esophagus can greatly hinder this task, often making swallowing difficult and painful.

  • Esophageal Carcinoma at 10x Magnification

    Esophageal Carcinoma at 10x Magnification

    The esophagus is the portion of the digestive tract that links the throat to the stomach and is located between the trachea and the spine. The primary function of the muscular tube is to move food along its tract so that the digestive process may be completed in other portions of the body. Cancer of the esophagus can greatly hinder this task, often making swallowing difficult and painful. Other symptoms of esophageal carcinoma may include vomiting, repeated choking during meals, indigestion, heartburn, coughing, hoarseness, and pain in the throat or behind the breastbone. Frequently such symptoms only appear in the latter stages of the disease, a fact that makes esophageal cancer extremely difficult to diagnose early. Consequently, the disease has a very poor prognosis, less than 13 percent of all patients surviving more than five years after their diagnosis.
  • Esophageal Carcinoma at 20x Magnification

    Esophageal Carcinoma at 20x Magnification

    In the United States, esophageal cancer is relatively rare, accounting for only about one percent of all cancer cases. The disease is significantly more common among African-Americans than white Americans and among men than women. Cancer of the esophagus is especially prevalent in certain parts of the world, such as northern China, southern Africa, and Iran. The two most common types of esophageal cancer are squamous cell carcinoma, which originates in the squamous cells lining the esophagus, and adenocarcinoma, which develops in the glandular cells lining the organ. Depending on the kind of cancer an individual has, the location of growths tends to vary. Squamous cell carcinomas more frequently occur in the middle to upper portions of the esophagus, while adenocarcinomas are much more likely to affect the lower portions of the tube located in close proximity to the stomach.
  • Esophageal Carcinoma at 10x Magnification

    Esophageal Carcinoma at 10x Magnification

    The precise causes of esophageal carcinoma have not yet been identified, though researchers have found a number of factors that increase the risk of developing the disease. In the United States, smoking and heavy alcohol use are primary risk factors, but other dynamics may play a much larger role in the incidence of cancer of the esophagus in other countries. Some studies suggest that diet may be involved in some cases of the cancer's onset, so good nutrition, including the consumption of lots of fruits and vegetables, is commonly believed to help stave off the disease. In other instances, prior damage to the esophagus is believed to have contributed to tumor growth, since individuals with a history that includes the accidental consumption of caustic substances or chronic gastric reflux that resulted in a condition termed Barrett's esophagus have an abnormally high risk of experiencing esophageal carcinoma.
  • Esophageal Carcinoma at 20x Magnification

    Esophageal Carcinoma at 20x Magnification

    Individuals who are suspected of having esophageal carcinoma generally undergo a number of tests, which may include x-rays, esophagoscopy, biopsy, computed tomography (CT) scans, and ultrasound exams, so that a definitive diagnosis can be made and the extent of the disease, if found, may be determined. Based upon this information, the most suitable treatment options can be established and initiated. Whenever possible, treatment usually involves surgery, since all malignant cells, if localized to a small area, can be removed through such means, resulting in a long-term cure. Nevertheless, surgeries involving the esophagus are generally very complex and complications can often ensue. When surgery is not suitable for a particular case of esophageal cancer, chemotherapy or radiotherapy may be utilized alone or in conjunction with one another. These techniques are not curative, but can shrink tumors and alleviate some symptoms of the disease.

Fibroadenoma

A fibroadenoma is a common benign tumor of the breast found in an estimated 10 percent of all women. Approximately 10 to 15 percent of affected individuals have multiple fibroadenomas. The solid masses are most prevalent in young women between the ages of 15 and 30 and tend to grow larger in women that are pregnant.

  • Fibroadenoma at 40x Magnification

    Fibroadenoma at 40x Magnification

    A fibroadenoma is a common benign tumor of the breast found in an estimated 10 percent of all women. Approximately 10 to 15 percent of affected individuals have multiple fibroadenomas. The solid masses are most prevalent in young women between the ages of 15 and 30 and tend to grow larger in women that are pregnant. Some researchers suggest a link between the hormone estrogen and fibroadenoma development based upon this information as well as the fact that the tumors occur in postmenopausal women taking estrogen, but not in those that do not receive such hormone replacement therapy. It is not yet fully understood, however, why some women develop fibroadenomas and others do not or why some studies indicate that the tumors are twice as common among black women as they are among white women.
  • Fibroadenoma at 20x Magnification

    Fibroadenoma at 10x Magnification

    Since they are usually benign and typically stop growing after only reaching a few centimeters in diameter, fibroadenomas are often left alone after they are diagnosed. Even without treatment, approximately 10 percent of fibroadenomas fully recede each year. In cases where pain or tenderness occurs due to the tumors or the tumors grow unusually large, however, excision may be recommended. Many fibroadenomas that are removed are treated in an outpatient venue under local or general anesthesia, though some surgeries require an overnight stay in a hospital. The tumors recur in about 20 percent of patients.
  • Fibroadenoma at 20x Magnification

    Fibroadenoma at 20x Magnification

    Fibroadenomas, which are generally firm, smooth, and round, can be readily moved under the skin and are often described as feeling similar to marbles. Typically the masses measure from 1 to 3 centimeters in size, but occasionally they may grow much larger, in which case they are termed giant fibroadenomas. Fibroadenomas, which arise from the intralobular stroma, are solid and consist of a combination of glandular and fibrous tissues. The tumors are usually painless and present no symptoms, typically being discovered by young women only due to self-examination. In older women, fibroadenomas are often less palpable and may first be discovered during a routine mammogram.
  • Fibroadenoma at 10x Magnification

    Fibroadenoma at 10x Magnification

    Though fibroadenomas are benign, many other growths that may develop in breast tissue are not. Consequently, it is very important that any lump detected in the breast is brought to the attention of a medical professional. Several different diagnostic tests aid doctors in providing an accurate diagnosis. The most common investigative techniques used for individuals with a suspected fibroadenoma include mammograms, ultrasound scans, aspirated biopsies, and core biopsies.

Gastric Adenocarcinoma

Stomach cancer is unusual in that its incidence in the United States has declined considerably over the last hundred years, whereas many other malignancies have become more prevalent. The downward trend is primarily attributable to the significant reduction in the use of certain food preservation techniques, including salting, smoking, and pickling, since the invention of the refrigerator and its widespread dissemination in America.

  • Gastric Adenocarcinoma at 40x Magnification

    Gastric Adenocarcinoma at 40x Magnification

    The vast majority of stomach cancers are classified as adenocarcinomas, tumors that originate in epithelial cells and exhibit gland-like properties. Only about five percent of all cases of the disease are lymphomas, carcinoids, squamous cell carcinomas, leiomyosarcomas, or other types of cancer. Stomach cancer is not one of the top causes of cancer-related death in the United States, but is still of significant concern. Each year about 24,000 Americans are diagnosed with stomach cancer. Individuals afflicted with late stages of the disease have a very poor prognosis with an average survival time of less than a year. When the disease is caught early, nearly 70 percent of patients survive for more than five years, but many of these individuals experience long-term effects from their treatment.
  • Gastric Adenocarcinoma at 20x Magnification

    Gastric Adenocarcinoma at 20x Magnification

    Individuals with stomach cancer commonly do not experience any symptoms during the early stages of the disease. Then, even when signs do develop, they are often non-specific, which can make a proper diagnosis difficult. Some of the many symptoms associated with the disease are loss of appetite, pain or discomfort in the abdominal region, heartburn, indigestion, nausea, vomiting, bloating, fecal blood, unexplained weight loss, weakness, and fatigue. Many other forms of cancer as well as less serious disorders have similar symptoms, so extensive medical examination is generally necessary in order for a doctor to determine that a patient is suffering form stomach cancer.
  • Gastric Adenocarcinoma at 10x Magnification

    Gastric Adenocarcinoma at 10x Magnification

    Stomach cancer is unusual in that its incidence in the United States has declined considerably over the last hundred years, whereas many other malignancies have become more prevalent. The downward trend is primarily attributable to the significant reduction in the use of certain food preservation techniques, including salting, smoking, and pickling, since the invention of the refrigerator and its widespread dissemination in America. Other countries whose inhabitants still consume large amounts of foods preserved via such methods due to poor availability of refrigeration or for cultural reasons are associated with notably higher stomach cancer rates. There are several other risk factors, however, that are thought to increase the risk of developing stomach cancer, including alcohol and tobacco use, Helicobacter pylori infection, previous stomach surgery, chronic gastric inflammation, and having close relatives with the disease.
  • Gastric Adenocarcinoma at 20x Magnification

    Gastric Adenocarcinoma at 20x Magnification

    Scientists have not yet been able to develop a screening test that is specific for stomach cancer. Consequently, a variety of approaches are generally utilized by medical professionals to establish a diagnosis. For instance, fecal occult blood testing is often used to determine if there is any blood present in the stool, while the lining of the stomach may be examined via an endoscope. A biopsy can be performed during endoscopy if any abnormal growths are found. X-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are sometimes used to aid diagnosis, but usually play a larger part during the staging of the disease, which entails determining the extent of tumor progression.
  • Gastric Adenocarcinoma at 10x Magnification

    Gastric Adenocarcinoma at 10x Magnification

    The primary treatment for most stomach cancer patients is surgery, the only means of possibly fully curing the disease. The specific type of operation that is utilized depends chiefly on the location and the extent of the tissue involved. Early-stage cancers, for instance, are sometimes suitable for endoscopic tumor removal techniques, whereas more advanced cancers may require partial or complete removal of the stomach (gastrectomy) as well as removal of nearby lymph nodes. Radiation therapy is often used following surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells and can be used to shrink tumors and relieve symptoms of individuals for whom surgery is considered unsuitable. Chemotherapy is also commonly used as an adjuvant therapy, as well as a primary treatment for patients with metastases.

Gastric Carcinoma

The staging of stomach cancer is complicated, but is generally based on how far the tumor has advanced through the gastric wall and how many lymph nodes have been affected. Treatment for the disease is largely based upon its progression as indicated by the staging process. If the cancer is localized, a partial gastrectomy, which involves the surgical removal of portions of the stomach, is generally the treatment of choice and may result in a permanent cure.

Granulocytic Leukemia (Acute)

Acute granulocytic leukemia is a common form of adult-onset leukemia, with more than an estimated 10,000 American men and women being diagnosed with the disease each year. The risk of developing acute granulocytic leukemia increases with age, and men are more susceptible to it than women. In most cases, the cause of the disease is never identified, but in some individuals acute granulocytic leukemia has been associated with exposure to radiation or certain chemicals, such as benzene.

  • Granulocytic Leukemia at 20x Magnification

    Granulocytic Leukemia at 20x Magnification

    A group of neoplastic diseases primarily involving the bone marrow and characterized by an abnormal proliferation of white blood cells (leukocytes) are known as leukemias. In acute forms of leukemia, the disease strikes suddenly and progresses rapidly, whereas chronic forms are much more insidious and gradual in their development. Leukemias are generally classified based upon the precise type of white blood cells they involve in addition to whether or not they are acute or chronic. Thus, since normal, mature white blood cells form from stem cells in the bone marrow, a granulocytic leukemia is one that arises from stem cells that in a healthy individual would generate granulocytes, the most prevalent of the three basic leukocyte types (the others are lymphocytes and monocytes). Granulocytic leukemia is also sometimes referred to as myelogenous, nonlymphocytic, or myelocytic leukemia.
  • Granulocytic Leukemia at 20x Magnification

    Granulocytic Leukemia at 20x Magnification

    Acute granulocytic leukemia is a common form of adult-onset leukemia, with more than an estimated 10,000 American men and women being diagnosed with the disease each year. The risk of developing acute granulocytic leukemia increases with age, and men are more susceptible to it than women. The average age of an individual diagnosed with the disease is 65. In most cases, the cause of the disease is never identified, but in some individuals acute granulocytic leukemia has been associated with exposure to radiation or certain chemicals, such as benzene. Chromosomal abnormalities are also believed to play a role in some cases of the cancer and certain genetic diseases, such as Down syndrome and Shwachman-Diamond syndrome, have been linked to an increased risk of developing acute granulocytic leukemia. A few instances of families with surprisingly high incidence of the disease have also been observed.

Hashimoto's Disease

Hashimoto's disease is an autoimmune disorder first described in 1912 by the Japanese physician Hashimoto Hakaru. The disorder is centered in the thyroid gland, an endocrine gland located beneath the larynx in the throat that secretes a number of different hormones that are chiefly involved in metabolism and growth. Many individuals who have Hashimoto's disease do not display symptoms, though testing of their blood may indicate that the thyroid hormones in their system are imbalanced.

  • Hashimoto’s Disease at 40x Magnification

    Hashimoto’s Disease at 40x Magnification

    Hashimoto’s disease is an autoimmune disorder first described in 1912 by the Japanese physician Hashimoto Hakaru. The disorder is centered in the thyroid gland, an endocrine gland located beneath the larynx in the throat that secretes a number of different hormones that are chiefly involved in metabolism and growth. Many individuals who have Hashimoto’s disease do not display symptoms, though testing of their blood may indicate that the thyroid hormones in their system are imbalanced. In others, goiter and other symptoms that are associated with hypothyroidism, such as fatigue, weakness, weight gain, hair loss, dry skin, and intolerance to cold, develop very gradually. In such cases, the goiter is caused by the infiltration of the thyroid by lymphocytes, which begin to slowly damage the gland, leading to the development of scar tissue and decreased functionality of the thyroid. Occasionally Hashimoto’s disease will improve spontaneously without treatment, but oftentimes hormone therapy is necessary to provide relief. Surgery may also be recommended in some cases, primarily when goiter development has progressed so far that the growth is unusually large.
  • Hashimoto’s Disease at 20x Magnification

    Hashimoto’s Disease at 20x Magnification

    Also known as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, Hashimoto’s disease affects individuals of all ages, but is most prevalent in females 30 to 50 years old. In fact, the disease, similar to most other autoimmune disorders, is vastly more common in women than men, affecting them at approximately a 20 to 1 ratio. The reason for this disproportionately gendered distribution of Hashimoto’s disease is not fully understood, but some studies suggest that it may be associated with the effects of fluctuating hormones on immunoreactivity. In addition to being female, the other primary risk factor for developing the thyroid disorder is a familial predisposition for thyroid problems. Overall incidence of Hashimoto’s disease is estimated to be about 1 out of every 10,000 people.
  • Hashimoto’s Disease at 10x Magnification

    Hashimoto’s Disease at 10x Magnification

    Hashimoto’s disease is an autoimmune disorder first described in 1912 by the Japanese physician Hashimoto Hakaru. The disorder is centered in the thyroid gland, an endocrine gland located beneath the larynx in the throat that secretes a number of different hormones that are chiefly involved in metabolism and growth. Many individuals who have Hashimoto’s disease do not display symptoms, though testing of their blood may indicate that the thyroid hormones in their system are imbalanced. In others, goiter and other symptoms that are associated with hypothyroidism, such as fatigue, weakness, weight gain, hair loss, dry skin, and intolerance to cold, develop very gradually. In such cases, the goiter is caused by the infiltration of the thyroid by lymphocytes, which begin to slowly damage the gland, leading to the development of scar tissue and decreased functionality of the thyroid. Occasionally Hashimoto’s disease will improve spontaneously without treatment, but oftentimes hormone therapy is necessary to provide relief. Surgery may also be recommended in some cases, primarily when goiter development has progressed so far that the growth is unusually large.
  • Hashimoto’s Disease at 4x Magnification

    Hashimoto’s Disease at 4x Magnification

    Also known as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, Hashimoto’s disease affects individuals of all ages, but is most prevalent in females 30 to 50 years old. In fact, the disease, similar to most other autoimmune disorders, is vastly more common in women than men, affecting them at approximately a 20 to 1 ratio. The reason for this disproportionately gendered distribution of Hashimoto’s disease is not fully understood, but some studies suggest that it may be associated with the effects of fluctuating hormones on immunoreactivity. In addition to being female, the other primary risk factor for developing the thyroid disorder is a familial predisposition for thyroid problems. Overall incidence of Hashimoto’s disease is estimated to be about 1 out of every 10,000 people.

Hematogenous Pyelonephritis

Pyelonephritis is a common kidney disorder that occurs in both chronic and acute forms. The condition typically is the result of a bacterial infection and is characterized by inflammation of the kidney tissue. Most commonly, the infection is caused by fecal bacteria ascending upward through the urinary tract, but bacteria may also be introduced to the kidneys via the bloodstream, in which case it is referred to as hematogenous pyelonephritis.

  • Hematogenous Pyelonephritis at 20x Magnification

    Hematogenous Pyelonephritis at 40x Magnification

    Pyelonephritis is a common kidney disorder that occurs in both chronic and acute forms. The condition typically is the result of a bacterial infection and is characterized by inflammation of the kidney tissue. Most commonly, the infection is caused by fecal bacteria ascending upward through the urinary tract, but bacteria may also be introduced to the kidneys via the bloodstream, in which case it is referred to as hematogenous pyelonephritis. Acute pyelonephritis most often affects only a single section of the kidney, but the chronic disease, which develops after many years of repeated infections, usually involves more extensive regions of the organ, which generally has undergone substantial scarring.
  • Hematogenous Pyelonephritis at 10x Magnification

    Hematogenous Pyelonephritis at 10x Magnification

    Due to its bacterial origin, hematogenous pyelonephritis is typically highly responsive to antibiotics. When antibiotics are utilized, improvement in symptoms, which may include pain in the flanks, groin, or abdomen, discomfort or burning sensation during urination, fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, and cloudy urine, usually improve quickly. Patients should be careful to remember that antibiotics should always be taken as long as is prescribed even if symptoms have already disappeared. If pyelonephritis is left untreated, the acute form of the disease may eventually lead to chronic pyelonephritis and can cause permanent renal damage.
  • Hematogenous Pyelonephritis at 20x Magnification

    Hematogenous Pyelonephritis at 20x Magnification

    In general, pyelonephritis is more common in women than men because of the greater ease with which E. coli can invade the female urinary tract due to its close proximity to the rectum. The risk of developing the condition increases significantly for men, however, as they get older, when they are more likely to experience an enlargement of the prostate gland. Factors that increase the likelihood that both men and women will develop pyelonephritis include being a diabetic or having kidney stones, bladder tumors, bladder-related nerve problems, vesicoureteral reflux, or other urinary tract problems. Medical professionals generally recommend that individuals who are at high risk for pyelonephritis or who have recently recovered from an episode drink plenty of water and cranberry juice or take vitamin C tablets, all of which deter bacterial growth in the urinary tract.
  • Hematogenous Pyelonephritis at 4x Magnification

    Hematogenous Pyelonephritis at 4x Magnification

    Pyelonephritis is a common kidney disorder that occurs in both chronic and acute forms. The condition typically is the result of a bacterial infection and is characterized by inflammation of the kidney tissue. Most commonly, the infection is caused by fecal bacteria ascending upward through the urinary tract, but bacteria may also be introduced to the kidneys via the bloodstream, in which case it is referred to as hematogenous pyelonephritis. Acute pyelonephritis most commonly affects only a single section of the kidney, but the chronic disease, which develops after many years of repeated infections, usually involves more extensive regions of the organ, which generally has undergone substantial scarring.

Hemolytic Anemia

Red blood cells develop in the bone marrow and, in a typical healthy human, survive in the circulatory system for 100 to 120 days. The premature breakdown of red blood cells, an event that can occur due to a wide range of disorders and conditions, is known as hemolysis. When the bone marrow of an individual is unable to produce enough red blood cells to offset those that are precipitately lost, hemolytic anemia ensues.

  • Hemolytic Anemia at 40x Magnification

    Hemolytic Anemia at 40x Magnification

    Red blood cells develop in the bone marrow and, in a typical healthy human, survive in the circulatory system for 100 to 120 days. The premature breakdown of red blood cells, an event that can occur due to a wide range of disorders and conditions, is known as hemolysis. When the bone marrow of an individual is unable to produce enough red blood cells to offset those that are precipitately lost, hemolytic anemia ensues. In instances of mild hemolytic anemia, the patient may be asymptomatic, but in severe cases, one’s life can become endangered. The elderly and people with cardiovascular problems are at greatest risk of death from hemolytic anemia, but overall the mortality rate associated with the disease is quite low. Some of the most common symptoms of hemolytic anemia include weakness, fatigue, darkened urine, pallor, jaundice, shortness of breath, fever, confusion, and rapid heart rate.
  • Hemolytic Anemia at 20x Magnification

    Hemolytic Anemia at 20x Magnification

    Though the readily observable symptoms of hemolytic anemia are similar to those of other types of anemias, there are several signs that can aid in a more specific diagnosis. Some key signs of the hemolytic form of the condition are only recognizable with the aid of a microscope. For instance, when blood smear examination reveals red blood cell fragments, an unusually large number of reticulocytes (immature erythrocytes), or atypically small, round cells, hemolysis should be suspected. Other indicators that an individual’s anemia is hemolytic include elevated levels of lactate dehydrogenase and unbound bilirubin in the blood as well as a decrease in the protein haptoglobin.

Hemorrhoids

Approximately half of all Americans experience hemorrhoids by the time they are 50 years old. A special variety of varicose vein, a hemorrhoid is an abnormally distended vein located either in the rectum or in the outer area surrounding the anal opening. When hemorrhoids occur internally, they often go unnoticed for long periods of time, although they may produce some bleeding.

  • Hemorrhoids at 10x Magnification

    Hemorrhoids at 10x Magnification

    Approximately half of all Americans experience hemorrhoids by the time they are 50 years old. A special variety of varicose vein, a hemorrhoid is an abnormally distended vein located either in the rectum or in the outer area surrounding the anal opening. When hemorrhoids occur internally, they often go unnoticed for long periods of time, although they may produce some bleeding. External hemorrhoids, however, are commonly associated with pain and itching as well as bleeding. Thus, most of the approximately 500,000 Americans who seek medical treatment for hemorrhoids each year are afflicted with the external type of the swollen veins. Only about one out of ten of these individuals have cases that require surgery. Much more frequently hemorrhoids are successfully treated with over-the-counter creams and suppositories, pain medications, cold compresses, and warm baths. Increased fiber and fluid intake also helps alleviate symptoms by making stools softer and, therefore, decreasing irritation during bowel movements.
  • Hemorrhoids at 20x Magnification

    Hemorrhoids at 20x Magnification

    Hemorrhoids generally form due to excessive pressure in the rectal area, which causes the walls of nearby veins to distend as the result of an increased influx of blood. This increase in pressure may occur due to a variety of activities, such as straining during bowel movements, lifting heavy objects, sitting for extensive periods of time, and severe coughing. Also, pregnant women often experience hemorrhoids due to the intra-abdominal pressure caused by the presence of the growing fetus, and individuals suffering from chronic liver disease or tumors may experience them as a complication of their more serious condition. In many cases, hemorrhoids will clear up on their own over time, but once the veins have been stretched, it is subsequently easier for hemorrhoids to flare up again, so that many people experience the condition repeatedly.
  • Hemorrhoids at 40x Magnification

    Hemorrhoids at 40x Magnification

    Though usually considered a mild irritation, hemorrhoids can become a relatively serious condition in some cases. For instance, if an internal hemorrhoid is left untreated, it may swell to such an extent that it is forced outside of the anal opening, becoming what is known as a prolapsed hemorrhoid. This condition can be extremely painful and becomes even worse if the blood supply to the hemorrhoid is blocked by the sphincter muscle, resulting in a strangulated hemorrhoid. Another severe variety of hemorrhoid is the thrombosed hemorrhoid, which is characterized by rupture of the distended vein and the formation of a blood clot. Oftentimes, the only suitable treatment for severe forms of hemorrhoids is surgery, either in the form of hemorrhoidectomy, cryosurgery, or laser surgery.
  • Hemorrhoids at 20x Magnification

    Hemorrhoids at 20x Magnification

    Approximately half of all Americans experience hemorrhoids by the time they are 50 years old. A special variety of varicose vein, a hemorrhoid is an abnormally distended vein located either in the rectum or in the outer area surrounding the anal opening. When hemorrhoids occur internally, they often go unnoticed for long periods of time, although they may produce some bleeding. External hemorrhoids, however, are commonly associated with pain and itching as well as bleeding. Thus, most of the approximately 500,000 Americans who seek medical treatment for hemorrhoids each year are afflicted with the external type of the swollen veins. Only about one out of ten of these individuals have cases that require surgery. Much more frequently hemorrhoids are successfully treated with over-the-counter creams and suppositories, pain medications, cold compresses, and warm baths. Increased fiber and fluid intake also helps alleviate symptoms by making stools softer and, therefore, decreasing irritation during bowel movements.

Hepatitis

The means of hepatitis transmission varies depending upon the virus responsible for the inflammation. The hepatitis viruses A, E, and F are predominantly spread via the fecal-oral route through food or water that has been contaminated. These viruses are primarily responsible for epidemics of hepatitis in many less-developed regions of the world where crowded conditions and inadequate sanitation are often problems.

  • Hepatitis at 10x Magnification

    Hepatitis at 10x Magnification

    Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver usually caused by viral infection, but which may also develop from a number of other causes including parasites, bacteria, toxic agents, various drugs, and alcoholism. Occasionally, hepatitis may also be the result of an autoimmune dysfunction that leads the body to attack the cells of the liver as if they were a foreign substance. A number of different viruses may instigate hepatitis including Epstein-Barr virus, cytomegalovirus, yellow-fever virus, and seven hepatitis viruses that are only designated alphabetically as hepatitis A, B, C, D, E, F, and G. No matter which virus is responsible for the development of hepatitis, the symptoms are generally the same: abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, fever, and decreased appetite. Some individuals may also experience pain in their joints, a rash, or jaundice, a yellowish discoloration of the eyes, skin, and mucous membranes.
  • Hepatitis at 20x Magnification

    Hepatitis at 20x Magnification

    The means of hepatitis transmission varies depending upon the virus responsible for the inflammation. The hepatitis viruses A, E, and F are predominantly spread via the fecal-oral route through food or water that has been contaminated. These viruses are primarily responsible for epidemics of hepatitis in many less-developed regions of the world where crowded conditions and inadequate sanitation are often problems. The other main hepatitis viruses, B, C, D, and G, are chiefly spread through bodily fluids or blood, making their transmission through sexual activity and accidental contact with infected blood a common occurrence. Blood transfusions were also widely responsible for the transmission of the blood-borne varieties of hepatitis until adequate screening measures were introduced in the 1970s. Needle-exchange programs in some areas have also helped decrease incidence of the disease in recent years among intravenous drug users.
  • Hepatitis at 40x Magnification

    Hepatitis at 40x Magnification

    The most widespread form of hepatitis in the world is caused by the hepatitis A virus. Fortunately, this form of the disease typically requires only bed rest in order for affected individuals to fully recover. Also, vaccines are available and injections of serum globulin derived from other individuals previously infected with hepatitis A can be used as a means of passive immunization to lessen the severity of symptoms in persons that were recently exposed to the virus. Hepatitis viruses B, C, and D, however, are much more serious occurrences that can develop into chronic illnesses and eventually lead to irreversible damage to the liver. Hepatitis C, the form of the disease most commonly associated with alcoholism, is a particularly virulent variety of the disease that may culminate in cirrhosis of the liver, especially among individuals who continue to drink following diagnosis.
  • Hepatitis at 10x Magnification

    Hepatitis at 10x Magnification

    In the United States, approximately 35,000 people become infected with hepatitis C each year, making it the most common blood-borne disease in the country. The primary treatment for hepatitis C is a combination therapy of alpha interferon and the drug ribavirin, though only about half of the patients that receive the treatment experience improvement in their condition. Also, a number of notable side effects, including fatigue, nausea, vomiting, headaches, muscle soreness, depression, irritability, mood swings, insomnia, hair loss, fever, and chest pain, among others, often occur with this form of treatment. However, the risk of death from hepatitis C is such a serious concern (approximately 8,000 to 10,000 Americans die from the disease annually) that most individuals are willing to incur the side effects of treatment. If therapy fails, there is little recourse for patients except for liver transplantation. No vaccine is currently available for hepatitis C, but individuals that are infected with the disease are usually advised to receive vaccinations for hepatitis A and B, since their symptoms may become even more severe if they are exposed to another form of the hepatitis virus.

Hepatocellular Carcinoma

In addition to certain hepatitis viruses, hepatocellular carcinoma is commonly linked to cirrhosis of the liver. Approximately 3 to 5 percent of the population with cirrhosis is diagnosed with hepatocellular carcinoma each year, and about 80 percent of all people with hepatocellular carcinoma are cirrhotic. The malignant tumors of the liver are also, in some cases, attributable to exposure to aflatoxins, a group of toxic compounds produced by various molds.

  • Hepatocellular Carcinoma at 40x Magnification

    Hepatocellular Carcinoma at 40x Magnification

    Hepatocytes are the specialized epithelial cells that chiefly comprise the liver and perform an array of metabolic, endocrine, and secretory functions. Hepatocellular carcinoma is a form of cancer that originates in hepatocytes. In the United States, hepatocellular carcinoma is relatively rare, but globally it is one of the leading causes of cancer-related death. The disease is especially common in some areas of Africa and Asia, a fact that is widely attributed to the prevalence of the hepatitis B virus in those regions. Studies indicate that individuals with hepatitis B or hepatitis C are at increased risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma. Although the specific link between the viruses and liver cancer is not yet fully understood, some scientists have suggested that viral infection interferes with signal transduction and, consequently, disrupts the normal, controlled growth of cells.
  • Hepatocellular Carcinoma at 10x Magnification

    Hepatocellular Carcinoma at 10x Magnification

    The symptoms of hepatocellular carcinoma most commonly include the yellowing of the skin and eyes known as jaundice, an enlarged, often painful or tender, abdomen, and easy bruising and bleeding of the skin. Such symptoms can also, however, be indicative of a number of other conditions and, therefore, many other signs are used by physicians to develop a diagnosis. An elevation of serum alpha-fetoprotein levels or liver enzymes, for instance, is often associated with liver cancer, and diagnostic imaging techniques, including ultrasonography, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging, can be used to demonstrate the presence of a liver mass. Findings from testing and imaging are generally either confirmed or refuted by biopsy.
  • Hepatocellular Carcinoma at 20x Magnification

    Hepatocellular Carcinoma at 20x Magnification

    In addition to certain hepatitis viruses, hepatocellular carcinoma is commonly linked to cirrhosis of the liver. Approximately 3 to 5 percent of the population with cirrhosis is diagnosed with hepatocellular carcinoma each year, and about 80 percent of all people with hepatocellular carcinoma are cirrhotic. The malignant tumors of the liver are also, in some cases, attributable to exposure to aflatoxins, a group of toxic compounds produced by various molds. These molds tend to invade stored food supplies, such as peanuts, grains, and beans. In the United States, aflatoxins have been almost completely eliminated, but in some other countries, they are quite prevalent.
  • Hepatocellular Carcinoma at 10x Magnification

    Hepatocellular Carcinoma at 10x Magnification

    The prognosis of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma is overall relatively poor, though some tumors may be much more successfully treated than others. If the tumor is small or slow growing, surgical removal is often the preferred treatment, but the risk of surgery is too high for some individuals, especially those that have cirrhosis. Surgery can also be problematic because hepatocellular carcinoma is frequently a multifocal tumor and daughter nodules may be overlooked by the surgeon, resulting in rapid recurrence of the disease. Only in about 10 to 20 percent of patients can hepatocellular carcinomas be completely removed utilizing surgical techniques. Individuals that are considered poorly suited for surgery, however, may elect to undergo any of several other treatments that may extend their survival times, including chemotherapy, radiation therapy, percutaneous ethanol injection, transplantation, and transcatheter arterial chemoembolization of the liver.

Hodgkin's Granuloma

Hodgkin's is a malignant disease of the lymphatic system that was characterized in 1832 by the English physician Thomas Hodgkin. The disease is differentiated from other forms of lymphoma by the presence of Reed-Sternberg cells in the areas affected by the cancer. Since the late 1990s, many members of the medical community have come to the conclusion that Reed-Sternberg cells are a malignant form of B lymphocyte, the type of cell that is normally involved in the production of antibodies.

  • Hodgkin's Granuloma at 40x Magnification

    Hodgkin's Granuloma at 40x Magnification

    Hodgkin’s is a malignant disease of the lymphatic system that was characterized in 1832 by the English physician Thomas Hodgkin. The disease is differentiated from other forms of lymphoma by the presence of Reed-Sternberg cells in the areas affected by the cancer. These large, often multinucleate cells were named for German researcher Carl von Sternberg, who described them in detail in 1898, and for American scientist Dorothy Reed, who independently described the cells in 1902. Since the late 1990s, many members of the medical community have come to the conclusion that Reed-Sternberg cells are a malignant form of B lymphocyte, the type of cell that is normally involved in the production of antibodies. The cause of Hodgkin’s disease is not known, but having experienced infectious mononucleosis, an illness caused by the Epstein-Barr virus and spread via saliva, appears to slightly increase the risk of developing this form of lymphoma. Reduced immune system function due to other diseases, such as AIDS, or to immune system–suppressing drugs, often given to recipients of organ transplants, is also considered to place individuals at increased risk for developing Hodgkin's disease.
  • Hodgkin's Granuloma at 40x Magnification

    Hodgkin's Granuloma at 40x Magnification

    A granuloma is an inflammatory lesion that characteristically contains a variety of cell types, some of which are involved in breaking down the affected tissue and some that help restore it. Numerous small, red, granular spots that readily bleed can typically be seen in a granuloma. In many cases, granulomas also display caseation, a form of necrosis in which the degraded tissue is soft and crumbly as well as dull and opaque, similar to cheese. When caseation is present, it is generally located in the center of the granuloma tumor. Granulomas are associated with a number of diseases, including Hodgkin’s disease, tuberculosis, syphilis, Crohn’s disease, and sarcoidosis.

Hyperplastic Arteriosclerosis

Arteriosclerosis, often described as a thickening and hardening of the arteries, appears in various forms and can be related to a number of different causes. Hyperplastic arteriosclerosis is characterized by a pattern of thickening commonly likened to an onion skin, concentric laminations of smooth muscle cells and basement membranes being deposited one on top of the other in layers.

  • Hyperplastic Arteriosclerosis at 10x Magnification

    Hyperplastic Arteriosclerosis at 10x Magnification

    Arteriosclerosis, often described as a thickening and hardening of the arteries, appears in various forms and can be related to a number of different causes. Hyperplastic arteriosclerosis is characterized by a pattern of thickening commonly likened to an onion skin, concentric laminations of smooth muscle cells and basement membranes being deposited one on top of the other in layers. As more and more layers are added, the lumenal space of the affected artery is progressively narrowed. Sometimes this process is accompanied by deposits of the acellular material known as fibrinoid or by death of the walls of the vessel. Hyperplastic arteriosclerosis is often linked to malignant hypertension and frequently affects blood vessels of the kidneys, though it can occur anywhere.
  • Hyperplastic Arteriosclerosis at 20x Magnification

    Hyperplastic Arteriosclerosis at 20x Magnification

    Blood flow can be seriously hindered by arteriosclerosis, which can result in various consequences. When arteriosclerosis affects the blood vessels of the kidneys, increased blood pressure, fluid retention, and even failure of the organs may occur. Hardening and thickening of the cerebral blood vessels can cause strokes, and if the arteries of the heart are affected, myocardial infarction may occur. On the other hand, lameness and ulceration may develop if the peripheral arteries of the body experience arteriosclerosis. Such serious health problems associated with the condition have made arteriosclerosis a key medical concern, and in recent years there have been significant efforts to make the general public more aware of its potential causes and risks.
  • Hyperplastic Arteriosclerosis at 40x Magnification

    Hyperplastic Arteriosclerosis at 40x Magnification

    A number of risks linked to the development of arteriosclerosis have been identified. The condition is often related to other diseases, such as diabetes mellitus, hypertension, or scleroderma, which is characterized by abnormal deposits of collagen. Diet is also thought to be a major factor in arteriosclerosis, especially since the most common variety of this condition, called atherosclerosis, involves the deposition plaques composed of fatty materials. Maintaining a low-cholesterol and low-fat diet is often hailed as a good way to lower one’s chances of developing hardened, thickened arteries. Avoiding cigarettes is another way to significantly reduce risk of arteriosclerosis, since smoking is widely acknowledged as a key contributor to onset of the disease. Some risk factors, however, such as a genetic predisposition and aging cannot be controlled.
  • Hyperplastic Arteriosclerosis at 10x Magnification

    Hyperplastic Arteriosclerosis at 20x Magnification

    Arteriosclerosis, often described as a thickening and hardening of the arteries, appears in various forms and can be related to a number of different causes. Hyperplastic arteriosclerosis is characterized by a pattern of thickening commonly likened to an onion skin, concentric laminations of smooth muscle cells and basement membranes being deposited one on top of the other in layers. As more and more layers are added, the lumenal space of the affected artery is progressively narrowed. Sometimes this process is accompanied by deposits of the acellular material known as fibrinoid or by death of the walls of the vessel. Hyperplastic arteriosclerosis is often linked to malignant hypertension and frequently affects blood vessels of the kidneys, though it can occur anywhere.
  • Hyperplastic Arteriosclerosis at 20x Magnification

    Hyperplastic Arteriosclerosis at 20x Magnification

    Blood flow can be seriously hindered by arteriosclerosis, which can result in various consequences. When arteriosclerosis affects the blood vessels of the kidneys, increased blood pressure, fluid retention, and even failure of the organs may occur. Hardening and thickening of the cerebral blood vessels can cause strokes, and if the arteries of the heart are affected, myocardial infarction may occur. On the other hand, lameness and ulceration may develop if the peripheral arteries of the body experience arteriosclerosis. Such serious health problems associated with the condition have made arteriosclerosis a key medical concern, and in recent years there have been significant efforts to make the general public more aware of its potential causes and risks.

Iron Deficiency Anemia

Anemia is a condition characterized by a bodily insufficiency of red blood cells, hemoglobin, or a combination of the two. Many different types of anemia with a wide array of underlying causes have been identified, but the most common form of the disease worldwide is known as iron deficiency anemia. As suggested by its name, iron deficiency anemia is related to a paucity of the mineral iron, which the body requires to produce hemoglobin.

  • Iron Deficiency Anemia at 20x Magnification

    Iron Deficiency Anemia at 20x Magnification

    Anemia is a condition characterized by a bodily insufficiency of red blood cells, hemoglobin, or a combination of the two. Many different types of anemia with a wide array of underlying causes have been identified, but the most common form of the disease is iron deficiency anemia. As suggested by its name, iron deficiency anemia is related to a paucity of the mineral iron, which the body requires to produce hemoglobin. The protein hemoglobin is the substance that enables red blood cells to carry oxygen. Without enough oxygen circulating in the body, symptoms such as extreme fatigue, pallor, weakness, lightheadedness, shortness of breath, and cold extremities may develop. Other possible signs of iron deficiency anemia include brittle nails, poor appetite, increased susceptibility to infection, headache, swelling and soreness of the tongue, and cracking of the sides of the mouth, though mild cases are sometimes asymptomatic.
  • Iron Deficiency Anemia at 40x Magnification

    Iron Deficiency Anemia at 40x Magnification

    Iron deficiency anemia affects an estimated one in five women and as many as half of all pregnant women. The high level of incidence associated with females is due to the reproductive cycle unique to the gender. Women lose a variable amount of iron each month during menstruation and significantly greater amounts when pregnant due to the fetal requirements for the nutrient. Men, however, may also develop anemia due to loss or poor absorption of iron, though they do so much less often than women, an estimated 2 percent of adult male Americans being affected by iron deficiency anemia. Iron loss can occur due to any type of bleeding and, therefore, iron deficiency anemia is often an indicator of another, more serious, condition, such as colon cancer, which can result in blood release into the stool. An inadequate dietary intake of iron, which is found in high concentrations in many foods, including meats, eggs, legumes, and whole grains, is rarely related to the condition in the United States, except among children.

Keloid Scars

Scars are formed by the collagen produced by fibroblasts in the area of the injury. Initially scars may have a raised or bumpy appearance, but over time tend to diminish in size and flatten. Sometimes, however, fibroblasts do not cease to produce collagen at the proper time, and the resultant scar swells with the fibrous protein to unusual proportions. If this growth remains restricted to the original location of the wound then it is referred to as a hypertrophic scar, but if it extends past the boundaries of the injured area, then the overgrown scar is called a keloid.

  • Keloid Scar at 20x Magnification

    Keloid Scar at 20x Magnification

    The development of a scar is a normal process necessary for the healing of wounds. Scars are formed by the collagen produced by fibroblasts in the area of the injury. Initially scars may have a raised or bumpy appearance, but over time tend to diminish in size and flatten. Sometimes, however, fibroblasts do not cease to produce collagen at the proper time, and the resultant scar swells with the fibrous protein to unusual proportions. If this growth remains restricted to the original location of the wound then it is referred to as a hypertrophic scar, but if it extends past the boundaries of the injured area, then the overgrown scar is called a keloid. The earliest known description of a keloid was found in an ancient Egyptian text and the name of the scar was coined by the early nineteenth-century French physician Jean-Louis Marc Alibert, who specialized in disorders of the skin. Alibert’s use of the term cheloide reflects the unusual clawlike extensions into uninjured regions of the skin that often occur with this type of scar, the Greek word chele meaning "claw of a crab or lobster."
  • Keloid Scar at 10x Magnification

    Keloid Scar at 10x Magnification

    Keloids can be unsightly and have a tendency to form on the face and on the earlobes due to the common practice of ear piercing, though they can develop anywhere the skin has been damaged. Thus, many individuals seek medical attention in hopes of having keloids surgically removed, but, unfortunately, this practice is associated with a very high rate of recurrence. Due to this fact, a number of alternate methods of treatment have been developed. Among some of the more common forms of therapy besides excision are compression therapy, laser therapy, corticosteroid injections, application of silicone gel sheets, and interferon therapy. The specific form of treatment considered best for any individual case and its probability of success varies greatly.
  • Keloid Scar at 20x Magnification

    Keloid Scar at 20x Magnification

    Although a keloid may result after any trauma to the skin, including piercing of the earlobes, surgical incisions, tattoos, acne, and chicken pox, scientists have not yet discovered exactly why the overgrown scar occurs rather than a normal one. Evidence suggests, however, that there may be a genetic element involved since some families have a history of keloid growth and the scars are most prevalent in members of certain races, namely individuals of African or Asian descent. Keloids are not usually painful, but can cause some discomfort depending on where they are located and may be itchy or tender to the touch. If the scar is situated on skin above a joint, some limitation to movement may occur as well. The primary concern for most individuals with keloids is of a cosmetic nature.
  • Keloid Scar at 10x Magnification

    Keloid Scar at 10x Magnification

    The development of a scar is a normal process necessary for the healing of wounds. Scars are formed by the collagen produced by fibroblasts in the area of the injury. Initially scars may have a raised or bumpy appearance, but over time tend to diminish in size and flatten. Sometimes, however, fibroblasts do not cease to produce collagen at the proper time, and the resultant scar swells with the fibrous protein to unusual proportions. If this growth remains restricted to the original location of the wound then it is referred to as a hypertrophic scar, but if it extends past the boundaries of the injured area, then the overgrown scar is called a keloid. The earliest known description of a keloid was found in an ancient Egyptian text and the name of the scar was coined by the early nineteenth-century French physician Jean-Louis Marc Alibert, who specialized in disorders of the skin. Alibert’s use of the term cheloide reflects the unusual clawlike extensions into uninjured regions of the skin that often occur with this type of scar, the Greek word chele meaning "claw of a crab or lobster."

Kidney Adenocarcinoma

Kidney adenocarcinoma, also known as renal cell carcinoma, is the most common form of kidney cancer in adults. Similar to most types of cancer, scientists do not yet know exactly what causes adenocarcinoma of the kidneys, though a number of risk factors have been identified. Smoking is one of the most notable of these factors, smokers being twice as likely as non-smokers to develop the disease.

  • Kidney Adenocarcinoma at 20x Magnification

    Kidney Adenocarcinoma at 20x Magnification

    The kidneys are organs that function chiefly in the maintenance of suitable water, electrolyte, and acid-base balances in the body and the filtration and excretion of metabolic wastes. A number of different diseases and conditions may affect the kidneys and interfere with their normal processes, including various types of cancer. Kidney adenocarcinoma, also known as renal cell carcinoma, is the most common form of kidney cancer in adults. Similar to most types of cancer, scientists do not yet know exactly what causes adenocarcinoma of the kidneys, though a number of risk factors have been identified. Smoking is one of the most notable of these factors, smokers being twice as likely as non-smokers to develop the disease. Being male, 50 years or older, and obese, as well as having certain rare disorders, such as von Hippel-Lindau syndrome, a family history of kidney cancer, or long-term dialysis treatments also can increase one’s risk.
  • Kidney Adenocarcinoma at 40x Magnification

    Kidney Adenocarcinoma at 40x Magnification

    The prognosis associated with kidney cancer is best when the disease is caught early. Consequently, when symptoms of renal cell carcinoma develop, they should be brought to the attention of a medical professional as soon as possible. Signs of the disease often include blood in the urine, side or lower back pain, fever, anemia, and weight loss. Water retention, swelling in the feet or ankles, and high blood pressure may also develop if the disease begins to interfere with the ability of the kidneys to regulate body fluids. Because symptoms of kidney cancer are similar to those of several other renal disorders, a definitive diagnosis generally necessitates thorough medical testing. Exams commonly utilized include urinalysis, blood tests, x-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans, and (MRI).
  • Kidney Adenocarcinoma at 10x Magnification

    Kidney Adenocarcinoma at 10x Magnification

    Kidney cancer treatment most commonly involves the surgical removal of part or the entire affected organ, a process known as nephrectomy. Adrenal glands, surrounding adipose tissue, and lymph nodes may also be removed. Other forms of treatment that are sometimes utilized in conjunction with surgery or alone include embolization, which cuts off the tumor blood supply and interferes with cancer growth, and radiation therapy, which can help shrink tumors through damage to the cancerous cells they contain inflicted by high-powered radiation. If a patient’s cancer has already metastasized by the time treatment is begun, systemic therapies, such as hormone therapy and biological therapy, are much more likely to be utilized. Chemotherapy, which is a popular form of treatment for many cancer types, has not proven very effective at battling kidney cancer.
  • Kidney Adenocarcinoma at 40x Magnification

    Kidney Adenocarcinoma at 20x Magnification

    Renal adenocarcinoma and other kidney cancers account for approximately three percent of all cancer cases diagnosed. In 2004, about 35,000 new cases of the disease were identified in the United States. The outlook for kidney cancer patients varies greatly based upon the stage of their disease, their general health, and a number of other factors. Approximately three-fourths of patients treated for kidney cancer that has not metastasized survive five years or more after diagnosis. Disease that has reached the lymph nodes or has spread to other organs in the body, however, is associated with significantly lower rates of survival.

Laryngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma

The vast majority of cancers that affect the larynx arise in the squamous cells of the epithelial lining. Only about 5 percent of laryngeal tumors develop in the glands beneath the epithelium or other areas of the larynx. Generally, squamous cell carcinomas of the larynx initiate from one of several different precancerous conditions, such as squamous intraepithelial neoplasia or dysplasia.

  • Laryngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma at 10x Magnification

    Laryngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma at 10x Magnification

    Often referred to as the voice box, the larynx is best known for its role in speech, but also constricts during the process of swallowing in order to protect the airways from food, saliva, and other materials and opens up at other times so air can be moved into and out of the lungs. The vast majority of cancers that affect the larynx arise in the squamous cells of the epithelial lining. Only about 5 percent of laryngeal tumors develop in the glands beneath the epithelium or other areas of the larynx. Generally, squamous cell carcinomas of the larynx initiate from one of several different precancerous conditions, such as squamous intraepithelial neoplasia or dysplasia, which may also occasionally disappear untreated, particularly if smoking or other activities that contributed to their development in the first place are discontinued.
  • Laryngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma at 40x Magnification

    Laryngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma at 10x Magnification

    According to estimates for 2004, more than 10,000 cases of cancer of the larynx are diagnosed in the United States each year and nearly 4,000 Americans die from the disease annually. Laryngeal cancer is significantly more common in men than women, presumably because two of the key risk factors for the disease, smoking and heavy alcohol use, are more prevalent among the male population. Women that participate in such activities are more likely to develop the disease than their non-smoking, non-drinking counterparts. Other known risk factors for laryngeal cancer include infection with one or more of the human papillomaviruses, a weakened immune system, and occupational exposure to asbestos, paint fumes, or a variety of industrial chemicals. Studies show that the elderly and African Americans also display a greater risk for developing the disease than other individuals.
  • Laryngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma at 10x Magnification

    Laryngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma at 10x Magnification

    The larynx can be considered to be divided into three parts, the glottis, the supraglottis located above the glottis, and the subglottis located beneath it. When carcinoma strikes the glottis, better known as the vocal chords, the disease can usually be detected very early. This is because even a minor change to the vocal chords can cause hoarseness, which should always be brought to the attention of a medical professional if it is still present after two weeks of its onset, and there are few lymphatic vessels in them, which reduces the possibility of metastases. Cancer of the supraglottis and subglottis may be harder to detect, however, and are often not noticed until they have reached a more advanced stage or have spread to the vocal cords or lymph nodes, the latter of which generally results in a palpable lump in the neck. Signs of these laryngeal cancers can include a persistent cough or sore throat, labored breathing, problems or pain associated with swallowing, earache, and weight loss.
  • Laryngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma at 20x Magnification

    Laryngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma at 20x Magnification

    Diagnosis of laryngeal cancer may involve a number of different tests, usually performed under the guidance of a head and neck surgeon (otolaryngologist) to whom the patient has been referred by their general practitioner. Special mirrors and laryngoscopes introduced through the mouth or nose are used to inspect the throat, and the entire head and neck region undergo a thorough evaluation. One of several different types of biopsies may also be carried out. Once the presence of a tumor has been verified, various imaging techniques, including computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and x-rays, are typically employed to help establish the full extent of the cancer.
  • Laryngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma at 10x Magnification

    Laryngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma at 10x Magnification

    The preferred treatment for laryngeal cancers depends on many factors, but the stage of the disease is an especially important consideration. When carcinoma has only begun to develop in the epithelial layer of the larynx, the affected lining is usually removed surgically or with lasers, though radiation therapy may also be appropriate. Cancers considered to be stage I or II are often successfully treated with radiation therapy, which generally causes less vocal damage than surgical techniques, but surgery is also a common treatment for these tumors and is associated with similar success rates. More advanced cases of carcinoma typically require combination therapy, which includes a combination of two or more of the standard cancer treatments (surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy).

Leiomyosarcoma

By the time that leiomyosarcoma is diagnosed, often the cancer has metastasized. Unlike other soft tissue sarcomas, this metastasis usually affects the liver and the peritoneum first, instead of the lungs. The treatment for leiomyosarcoma most commonly involves surgery, but radiation therapy and chemotherapy are also sometimes utilized though they are ineffective against certain types of the disease.

  • Leiomyosarcoma at 20x Magnification

    Leiomyosarcoma at 20x Magnification

    Leiomyosarcoma is a soft tissue sarcoma that attacks smooth muscle cells, usually in the gastrointestinal tract, retroperitoneum, and uterus. Extremely rare, only about 1 to 2 percent of all solid tumors are soft tissue sarcomas, and only a small percentage of those tumors are described as leiomyosarcomas. Due to the elasticity of the tissue that leiomyosarcomas form in, the tumors often grow to significant sizes before any symptoms become apparent. The most common signs of the disease when any occur are bleeding and the low hemoglobin levels associated with substantial loss of blood. Occasionally there will be pain associated with the mass pushing against nerves or muscular tissue and only rarely is a leiomyosarcoma palpable.
  • Leiomyosarcoma at 10x Magnification

    Leiomyosarcoma at 10x Magnification

    The cause of leiomyosarcoma is not yet fully understood, but a number of risk factors for the disease have been identified. One of the most notable of these factors is age, the vast majority of leiomyosarcoma tumors occurring in individuals that are more than 50 years old. In children, the disease is extremely rare. Heredity also appears to be involved in the development of leiomyosarcoma, individuals with various inherited diseases, such as neurofibromatosis, displaying an increased incidence. Some evidence suggests that exposure to certain chemical substances increase the risk of developing the disease as well. Some of the chemicals in question include various wood preservatives, industrial pollutants, and pesticides.
  • Leiomyosarcoma at 20x Magnification

    Leiomyosarcoma at 20x Magnification

    The size and grade of leiomyosarcoma tumors are the primary determinants of prognosis, which is typically poor since the cancer is very difficult to detect until it is in an advanced state and begins to produce symptoms. In fact, studies indicate that nearly 40 percent of the tumors are discovered incidentally during unrelated testing or other procedures rather than from complaints of the patient that could be connected to the cancer. By the time that leiomyosarcoma is diagnosed, often the cancer has metastasized. Unlike other soft tissue sarcomas, this metastasis usually affects the liver and the peritoneum first, instead of the lungs. The treatment for leiomyosarcoma most commonly involves surgery, but radiation therapy and chemotherapy are also sometimes utilized, though they have been demonstrated to be ineffective against certain types of the disease, especially the type that involves tumor formation in the gastrointestinal tract.

Lipoma

Lipomas are benign fatty tumors usually located in subcutaneous tissues, though they may also occur in other locations, such as the internal organs and the internal auditory canal. The masses are comprised primarily of mature adipocytes, which are generally surrounded by a fibrous capsule that makes them easily distinguishable from surrounding tissues. In such cases, the tumors have a doughy feel and can easily be moved around under the surface of the skin.

  • Lipoma at 10x Magnification

    Lipoma at 10x Magnification

    Lipomas are benign fatty tumors usually located in subcutaneous tissues, though they may also occur in other locations, such as the internal organs and the internal auditory canal. The masses are comprised primarily of mature adipocytes, which are generally surrounded by a fibrous capsule that makes them easily distinguishable from surrounding tissues. In such cases, the tumors have a doughy feel and can easily be moved around under the surface of the skin. Occasionally the fat cells of a lipoma will extend out into surrounding tissues, making the tumor significantly less movable. When this extension of adipocytes involves muscle, the tumor is considered a lipoma variant known as an intramuscular lipoma or infiltrating lipoma. Other notable variants include angiolipoma, which is a painful form of the tumor with its own vasculature, adenolipoma, which is distinguished by eccrine sweat glands among the adipocytes, and pleomorphic lipoma, a tumor characterized by giant multinucleated cells intermixed with the normal fat cells.
  • Lipoma at 20x Magnification

    Lipoma at 20x Magnification

    Lipomas are typically slow-growing and painless and have virtually no risk of malignant transformation. The tumors are, therefore, often left alone even after diagnosis, which can usually be correctly made simply based upon clinical appearance. If a lipoma is unusually large or is found in a place where it can limit movement, however, treatment may be recommended. Some individuals may elect to have their lipomas treated for cosmetic reasons as well, though the possibility of scarring or other complications should first be considered. Surgical excision is the most typical form of lipoma treatment, but other forms of therapy, including steroid injections and liposuction, are becoming increasingly common. Nevertheless, surgery is still considered the best way to completely cure a lipoma, less than 5 percent of those undergoing the excision procedure experiencing a recurrence of the tumor.

Liver Cirrhosis

Liver cirrhosis is an irreversible condition, but its progression can be slowed or even halted with proper treatment. Treatment of cirrhosis is generally targeted at the primary cause underlying the disease. When related to alcohol consumption, simply abstaining from alcoholic beverages and other drugs can alleviate many symptoms and hinder the advancement of the disease.

  • Liver Cirrhosis at 40x Magnification

    Liver Cirrhosis at 40x Magnification

    Cirrhosis is a chronic degeneration of an organ that results in the replacement of healthy tissues with fibrous connective tissue. The term is most frequently used to describe a diseased state of the liver, the organ that most commonly is affected by cirrhosis. Liver cirrhosis is caused by many underlying conditions and diseases, including alcoholism, hepatitis B and C, cystic fibrosis, hemochromatosis, liver fluke infection, Wilson disease, and biliary atresia, among others. The leading causes of cirrhosis vary by geographic region. In the Western hemisphere, long-term, excessive alcohol use is most commonly linked with the condition, in which case it is known as portal cirrhosis. Hepatitis infection is more often the cause of cirrhosis in many other regions of the world, especially in less-developed nations. Gender is also sometimes a factor in the development of the degenerative condition, men more commonly developing portal cirrhosis and women more often developing a form of the disease known as primary biliary cirrhosis, which is related to an autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation of the bile ducts.
  • Liver Cirrhosis at 10x Magnification

    Liver Cirrhosis at 10x Magnification

    In the early stages of cirrhosis, the liver expands and takes on a yellowish hue due to an increase in the presence of adipose tissue, which may also be accompanied by an increase in fibrous scar tissue and bile ducts. Over time, the liver develops a granular consistency due to an even greater proportion of fibrous tissue, and the blood vessels passing through the organ thicken, often hindering blood flow. In the final stages of liver degeneration, the organ substantially reduces in size and completely loses it typical lobular organization. At this point all fat in the organ has disappeared and all that remains is greatly damaged liver tissue.
  • Liver Cirrhosis at 20x Magnification

    Liver Cirrhosis at 20x Magnification

    The symptoms an individual with cirrhosis of the liver experiences vary greatly depending upon the extent the disease has advanced. In its earliest stages, cirrhosis may not be accompanied by any symptoms at all, so that the disease is not diagnosed until significant damage has already occurred. Some of the initial signs of such damage include fibrosis of the tendons in the hands, red palms, reddish spotting of the upper body known as spider angiomata, and itching related to an accumulation of bile in the blood. Other symptoms that may occur with cirrhosis advanced to various stages are jaundice, fluid retention (especially in the abdomen and legs), vomiting of blood, frequent infections, confusion, and memory problems. Eventually the disease can lead to coma or death.

Lobar Pneumonia

When pneumonia is restricted to a single lobe of the lung or to a portion of a lobe, it is referred to as lobar pneumonia. Pneumonia that has more extensively spread through the lungs is known as bronchopneumonia. The Gram-positive bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae (also called pneumococcus) is responsible for most cases of lobar pneumonia. Other leading causes of the disease include infection with Mycoplasma, Legionella, or other Gram-negative organisms.

  • Lobar Pneumonia at 10x Magnification

    Lobar Pneumonia at 10x Magnification

    Pneumonia is a disease characterized by inflammation and congestion of the lungs. Infection with any of a variety of microorganisms is the typical cause, but sometime the condition is related to an allergic reaction or inhalation of fluid, food, or certain gases. When pneumonia is restricted to a single lobe of the lung or to a portion of a lobe, it is referred to as lobar pneumonia. Pneumonia that has more extensively spread through the lungs is known as bronchopneumonia. The Gram-positive bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae (also called pneumococcus) is responsible for most cases of lobar pneumonia. Other leading causes of the disease include infection with Mycoplasma, Legionella, or other Gram-negative organisms.
  • Lobar Pneumonia at 20x Magnification

    Lobar Pneumonia at 20x Magnification

    Pneumococcal lobar pneumonia is most prevalent during the winter months, but can occur at any time. Those most commonly and seriously affected by the disease are children and the elderly. The presence of pneumococci does not always result in the development of pneumonia, some studies indicating that as many as one-fourth of healthy individuals are carriers of the bacteria. People who are at greatest risk of developing pneumonia, which include those at both ends of the age spectrum as well as those with compromised immune systems, are generally advised to receive the pneumococcus vaccine, which currently provides protection from the types of the bacteria that are responsible for about 90 percent of the most severe pneumococcal infections.
  • Lobar Pneumonia at 40x Magnification

    Lobar Pneumonia at 40x Magnification

    Since most cases of lobar pneumonia are pneumococcal in origin, they are typically treated with antibiotics, especially penicillin. Before the discovery of such drugs, the disease was associated with a high death rate. Medical advances have made it possible for most individuals diagnosed with pneumonia to recover. However, some strains of bacteria have developed resistance to penicillin and other antibiotic medications. Infections with such bacteria may necessitate special sensitivity testing in order that the best mode of treatment may be determined. In addition to medicine, many patients with pneumonia are prescribed analgesics to alleviate pain associated with breathing, coughing, or other symptoms of the disease. Bed rest and plenty of fluids are also considered key to supportive care.
  • Lobar Pneumonia at 10x Magnification

    Lobar Pneumonia at 10x Magnification

    An acute upper respiratory infection or cold often precedes the onset of pneumococcal lobar pneumonia. The symptoms that develop and the extent of their severity depend on the age and general health of the individual affected as well as a number of other factors, but often include a cough (dry or producing phlegm or blood), fever, fatigue, chills, shaking, and painful, labored breathing. Nausea, vomiting, and painful or tender muscles also sometimes occur. Many cases of pneumonia necessitate the patient’s hospitalization, but sometimes individuals are able to be treated simply by a general practitioner or never even realize they have an infection. In the latter instances, the disease is often referred to as walking pneumonia, since it does not cause incapacitation.

Lung Abscess

An abscess of the lung is a cavity filled with pus encircled by inflamed tissue that is typically caused by infection. Lung abscesses can be caused by a variety of bacteria and other microorganisms, many of which inhabit the mouth and throat and can be inhaled into the lungs. In most individuals, such bacteria are inhibited in their migration toward the lungs by the body's natural defenses, such as coughing and the gag reflex.

  • Lung Abscess at 10x Magnification

    Lung Abscess at 10x Magnification

    An abscess of the lung is a cavity filled with pus encircled by inflamed tissue that is typically caused by infection. Lung abscesses can be caused by a variety of bacteria and other microorganisms, many of which inhabit the mouth and throat and can be inhaled into the lungs. In most individuals, such bacteria are inhibited in their migration toward the lungs by the body’s natural defenses, such as coughing and the gag reflex. People whose airway defense mechanisms are hindered, such as those who are sedated or unconscious, are at elevated risk of developing lung abscesses. Other factors that can increase risk include poor dental hygiene and periodontal disease, alcohol abuse, and various lung disorders, including pneumonia.
  • Lung Abscess at 20x Magnification

    Lung Abscess at 20x Magnification

    The bacterium Staphylococcus aureus is one of the many microorganisms that can cause lung abscesses. Staphylococci are Gram-positive anaerobes that characteristically aggregate into clusters reminiscent of grapes. Sometimes S. aureus first leads to pneumonia before resulting in complications, including abscess formation. S. aureus can also result in abscesses via other means. For instance, intravenous drug users can transmit the microorganism via the blood, which often results in multiple abscesses in various parts of the lungs. Abscesses involving S. aureus can be difficult to cure because the bacterium is resistant to many antibiotic medications. Consequently, sensitivity tests are often utilized to determine the best drug available to treat particular strains of the microorganisms.
  • Lung Abscess at 10x Magnification

    Lung Abscess at 10x Magnification

    Over time, most lung abscesses rupture, emptying their contents into one of the bronchi, from which it can be coughed up, or into the pleural cavity, resulting in what is known as empyema. The spread of the pus contained in an abscess can also cause bronchopneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome. By administering antibiotics in a timely manner, rupture and further dissemination of infection can often be avoided. Accordingly, patients should quickly seek medical attention when they notice the symptoms of a lung abscess, which may develop acutely or gradually. Signs of the condition frequently include fever, night sweats, malaise, appetite loss, and coughing up sputum. The sputum associated with a lung abscess may be streaked with blood or have a foul odor, especially if the causative organism is an anaerobic bacterium, such as Staphylococcus aureus.
  • Lung Abscess at 40x Magnification

    Lung Abscess at 40x Magnification

    Since the symptoms of a lung abscess are similar to pneumonia and other lung disorders, testing must be carried out to produce a definitive diagnosis. Most abscesses can be identified in a chest x-ray, though sometimes computed tomography (CT) scans are necessary. CT scans can also sometimes provide information regarding the cause of the condition. In other cases, sputum smears and cultures can be helpful in determining the cause of an abscess. However, because of the microorganisms that are normally present in the mouth and throat, expectorated sputum is not useful for analyses, so that samples must be obtained via specialized techniques. As a result, some sputum tests are often not carried out unless traditional abscess treatments are ineffective.
  • Lung Abscess at 20x Magnification

    Lung Abscess at 20x Magnification

    The majority of lung abscesses can be cured over the course of several weeks with a regimen of antibiotics. Medications are often initially administered intravenously and then provided in an oral form once fever and other serious symptoms of the condition are adequately alleviated. Approximately five to ten percent of lung abscess cases require additional or alternative treatment. Surgery is necessary for patients with abscesses caused by a foreign object or tumor blockage of the airways. In rare instances, an abscess of the lung may be drained through a tube inserted through the chest or part of the lung tissue may be removed, primarily when the condition is caused by a microorganism that does not respond to antibiotic treatments.

Lung Adenocarcinoma

Adenocarcinoma is usually a slow-growing cancer, but can be difficult to detect because the disease typically involves the periphery of the lung, resulting in fewer early symptoms than cancers that develop centrally, near the airways. When signs of the disease do occur, they may include painful breathing, shortness of breath, wheezing, and a persistent cough.

  • Lung Adenocarcinoma at 10x Magnification

    Lung Adenocarcinoma at 10x Magnification

    Today more men and women die from lung cancer than any other type of cancer. The disease claims the lives of more than 160,000 Americans each year. In the United States, adenocarcinoma, which originates in epithelial cells, is the most common form of lung cancer. Similar to other lung cancers, the development of adenocarcinoma is often linked with smoking tobacco products. However, it is also the type of lung cancer that is associated with the greatest number of nonsmokers.
  • Lung Adenocarcinoma at 40x Magnification

    Lung Adenocarcinoma at 40x Magnification

    Adenocarcinoma is usually a slow-growing cancer, but can be difficult to detect because the disease typically involves the periphery of the lung, resulting in fewer early symptoms than cancers that develop centrally, near the airways. When signs of the disease do occur, they may include painful breathing, shortness of breath, wheezing, and a persistent cough. Oftentimes, lung adenocarcinoma has already metastasized by the time any symptoms develop, resulting in an overall five year survival rate associated with the disease that is less than 20 percent. Secondary tumors most commonly form in the opposite lung, the brain, spinal cord, bones, liver, and adrenal glands. Additional symptoms related to tumor growth in these or other areas of the body sometimes develop before signs of the primary tumor.
  • Lung Adenocarcinoma at 20x Magnification

    Lung Adenocarcinoma at 20x Magnification

    In addition to smoking, chronic exposure to secondhand smoke has become generally acknowledged as a lung cancer risk factor in recent years. A number of other factors are known to increase the likelihood of developing the disease as well, including living in an urban region, exposure to asbestos or radon, lung scarring from an earlier medical condition or injury, and working in certain high-risk manufacturing jobs that entail exposure to paints, gases, and other materials that contain carcinogens. There also appears to be a genetic component to the disease, and having a close relative with lung cancer is another notable risk factor. It is important to remember, however, that no one yet knows exactly what causes cancer, and many people that are diagnosed with the disease have no known risk factors.
  • Lung Adenocarcinoma at 40x Magnification

    Lung Adenocarcinoma at 40x Magnification

    The diagnosis and staging of lung cancer typically involves a variety of medical examinations. A history of smoking or exposure to certain known carcinogenic substances accompanied by symptomatic evidence is often suggestive of lung cancer. Chest x-rays are then usually ordered to determine whether or not a growth is present in the lungs, followed by computed tomography (CT) scans or other imaging techniques that can reveal more detailed information. Other procedures may be necessary to confirm that a tumor is malignant or to determine the specific type of cancer. These frequently include sputum analysis, a chest fluid examination known as thoracentesis, and various biopsy techniques, such as bronchoscopy, mediastinoscopy, and fine-needle aspiration.
  • Lung Adenocarcinoma at 10x Magnification

    Lung Adenocarcinoma at 10x Magnification

    Surgery is generally the main form of treatment for adenocarcinomas and other types of non-small cell lung cancers. Depending on the specific characteristics of the tumor and the needs of the patient, surgery may entail the removal of only a small portion of affected lung tissue (wedge resection), a complete lobe of the lung (lobectomy), or the entire organ (pneumonectomy). Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are frequently utilized as adjuvant therapies for lung cancer patients and can help kill any cancer cells that remain after surgery. They are also sometimes utilized to shrink or slow the growth of tumors and relieve symptoms in individuals whose disease is so advanced at the time of diagnosis that a cure is not possible, though their lives may be prolonged with medical care.
  • Lung Adenocarcinoma at 20x Magnification

    Lung Adenocarcinoma at 20x Magnification

    Today more men and women die from lung cancer than any other type of cancer. The disease claims the lives of more than 160,000 Americans each year. In the United States, adenocarcinoma, which originates in epithelial cells, is the most common form of lung cancer. Similar to other lung cancers, the development of adenocarcinoma is often linked with smoking tobacco products. However, it is also the type of lung cancer that is associated with the greatest number of nonsmokers.

Lung Epidermoid Carcinoma

Epidermoid lung tumors characteristically are comprised of cells that are flat and scale-like. Often they do not metastasize as quickly as other lung cancers, which frequently make them easier to treat if caught early. When metastases do occur, they typically invade the tissues of the liver, brain, small intestines, adrenal glands, and bones.

  • Lung Epidermoid Carcinoma at 10x Magnification

    Lung Epidermoid Carcinoma at 10x Magnification

    Epidermoid carcinoma, also known as squamous cell carcinoma, is accountable for 25 to 30 percent of all primary lung cancers. One of three main types of cancer known as non-small cell carcinomas, the disease typically originates in the central area of the lung, either in one of the main bronchi or in a major lobe. Epidermoid lung tumors characteristically are comprised of cells that are flat and scale-like. Often they do not metastasize as quickly as other lung cancers, which makes them easier to treat if detected early. When metastases do occur, they typically invade the tissues of the liver, brain, small intestines, adrenal glands, and bones.
  • Lung Epidermoid Carcinoma at 10x Magnification

    Lung Epidermoid Carcinoma at 10x Magnification

    Due to their common central location in the lung, epidermoid carcinomas frequently cause symptoms to develop in patients before adenocarcinomas and other cancers that usually affect the periphery of the lung. Some of the typical early signs of the disease include a cough that will not go away, coughing up blood or mucus, fatigue, wheezing, and shortness of breath. Many other symptoms, such as unexplained weight loss, difficulty swallowing, hoarseness, swelling of the face or upper body extremities, chest, shoulder, or arm pain, and neurological problems, including confusion and seizures, may also develop and are responsible for bringing many cases to the attention of a medical professional.
  • Lung Epidermoid Carcinoma at 40x Magnification

    Lung Epidermoid Carcinoma at 40x Magnification

    Smoking is the number one cause of epidermoid carcinoma of the lung, and in fact, is directly linked to approximately 87 percent of all lung cancers. Cigarette smoke contains thousands of different chemicals, including many substances known to be carcinogens, and avoiding smoking is considered the best way to reduce one’s chances of developing lung cancer. Those cases that are not linked to smoking are usually associated with environmental exposure to the radioactive gas radon or secondhand tobacco smoke. Having one or more relatives with lung cancer and contact with other cancer-causing materials, such as asbestos, are also known risk factors.
  • Lung Epidermoid Carcinoma at 20x Magnification

    Lung Epidermoid Carcinoma at 20x Magnification

    Epidermoid carcinomas and other lung cancers are generally treated surgically whenever possible. Yet, even when a tumor is successfully removed, recurrence of the cancer is relatively common. Consequently, chemotherapy and/or radiation treatments may be used following surgery to decrease the likelihood that tumors will return. These forms of therapy are also used for individuals who are considered medically unfit to undergo surgery and can slow the growth of tumors or shrink them even when a cure is not possible. The overall prognosis for patients with epidermoid carcinoma is rather bleak, the five-year survival rate being approximately 15 percent. If diagnosed and treated early on, however, the outlook for patients is much better, with a survival rate of nearly 50 percent.
  • Lung Epidermoid Carcinoma at 10x Magnification

    Lung Epidermoid Carcinoma at 10x Magnification

    Epidermoid carcinoma, also known as squamous cell carcinoma, is accountable for 25 to 30 percent of all primary lung cancers. One of three main types of cancer known as non-small cell carcinomas, the disease typically originates in the central area of the lung, either in one of the main bronchi or in a major lobe. Epidermoid lung tumors characteristically are comprised of cells that are flat and scale-like. Often they do not metastasize as quickly as other lung cancers, which frequently make them easier to treat if caught early. When metastases do occur, they typically invade the tissues of the liver, brain, small intestines, adrenal glands, and bones.

Lymph Node Metastatic Carcinoma

When cancer has spread to regional lymph nodes, it is often referred to as nodal involvement or regional disease. If cancer cells become lodged in distant lymph nodes or other remote areas of the body, however, the condition is usually termed metastasis or metastatic disease. Frequently metastasis occurs downstream from the site of the primary tumor, as liberated cancer cells move along the path normally taken by lymph in the lymphatic system or blood in the circulatory system.

  • Lymph Node Metastatic Carcinoma at 10x Magnification

    Lymph Node Metastatic Carcinoma at 10x Magnification

    The lymph nodes are part of the lymphatic system and function primarily in filtering out and destroying foreign substances in the blood. While this role of the lymph nodes is invaluable to the body’s fight against infection, it can actually facilitate the spread of cancer. Lymph nodes located near a primary tumor, referred to as regional lymph nodes, are often the depositories of any cancer cells that are able to break away from the original growth. The cells usually enter the lymphatic system through the lymphatic vessels, which drain and concentrate their materials in the lymph nodes. Cancer cells sometimes begin growing in the lymph nodes, but they may also escape the nodes and then travel to even more distant parts of the body, where they can become lodged and initiate secondary tumor growth. The other principal means of distributing cancer cells of a primary tumor to other organs or areas is via the circulatory system.
  • Lymph Node Metastatic Carcinoma at 20x Magnification

    Lymph Node Metastatic Carcinoma at 20x Magnification

    When cancer has spread to regional lymph nodes, it is often referred to as nodal involvement or regional disease. If cancer cells become lodged in distant lymph nodes or other remote areas of the body, however, the condition is usually termed metastasis or metastatic disease. Frequently metastasis occurs downstream from the site of the primary tumor, as liberated cancer cells move along the path normally taken by lymph in the lymphatic system or blood in the circulatory system. Yet, many metastatic growths form in locations unexplainable by circulatory means. For example, prostate and breast carcinomas tend to metastasize to the bone tissue. Consequently, it is widely thought that cancer cells have a special mechanism that enables them to identify and target tissues that are particularly favorable to their growth.
  • Lymph Node Metastatic Carcinoma at 40x Magnification

    Lymph Node Metastatic Carcinoma at 40x Magnification

    Whether or not cancer cells have spread to regional lymph nodes is generally a key criterion for staging cases of the disease. Stage II and III cancers are generally those in which there is localized advancement and nodal involvement but no evidence of distant tumor growth, though the precise characteristics of these stages vary by cancer type. Since it is usually impossible to know the full extent of nodal involvement without surgery, staging is often not precise, but is rather the best estimation of the advancement of the disease that a doctor can make with available information. In order to err on the side of safety, the regional lymph nodes of cancer patients are often removed during surgery for their primary tumor. The nodes are then examined for signs of cancer, which is a good indication of whether or not metastases are likely to have begun forming in other areas. With some cancers, surgical removal and inspection of the lymph nodes occurs before tumor removal surgery or any other treatment is given.
  • Lymph Node Metastatic Carcinoma at 10x Magnification

    Lymph Node Metastatic Carcinoma at 10x Magnification

    By definition, metastatic cancer cannot occur unless a primary tumor has first been initiated. However, in some cases, metastatic cancer may be diagnosed before any other tumor is found. Doctors can be sure that a particular tumor is a metastatic rather than a primary growth based on the cell type, since metastases are comprised of cells from the initial growth. For instance, if abnormal stomach cells are found on an ovary, the tumor must be a secondary one spawned from cells of a gastric tumor. With thorough examinations, a primary tumor can usually be found following the identification of a metastatic tumor. Occasionally, however, this is not the case and a patient may be considered to have cancer of unknown primary origin (CUP).

Lymphocytic Leukemia (Acute)

As suggested by its name, a lymphocytic leukemia is one that affects lymphocytes, which in a healthy individual comprise about 20 to 30 percent of the total white blood cell count. Normally, lymphocytes and other mature white blood cells form from stem cells in the bone marrow. The source cells of lymphocytes, however, which are known as lymphoblasts, multiply uncontrollably in the bone marrow of patients with acute lymphocytic leukemia, interfering with the production of normal blood cells.

  • Lymphocytic Leukemia at 40x Magnification

    Lymphocytic Leukemia at 40x Magnification

    The term leukemia is used to describe a group of neoplastic diseases primarily involving the bone marrow that are characterized by an abnormal proliferation of white blood cells (leukocytes). In acute lymphocytic leukemia and other acute varieties of the cancer, the onset of the disease is sudden and it progresses rapidly, whereas chronic leukemias develop gradually and slowly worsen over time. As suggested by its name, a lymphocytic leukemia is one that affects lymphocytes, which in a healthy individual comprise about 20 to 30 percent of the total white blood cell count. Normally, lymphocytes and other mature white blood cells form from stem cells in the bone marrow. The source cells of lymphocytes, however, which are known as lymphoblasts, multiply uncontrollably in the bone marrow of patients with acute lymphocytic leukemia, interfering with the production of normal blood cells.
  • Lymphocytic Leukemia at 20x Magnification

    Lymphocytic Leukemia at 20x Magnification

    Acute lymphocytic leukemia is the most common cancer that occurs in children. An estimated 4,000 Americans are diagnosed with the disease each year, the majority of which are less than ten years old. Acute lymphocytic leukemia does not appear, however, to be an inherited condition. Instead, environmental factors, such as prenatal or childhood exposure to radiation, electromagnetic fields, or certain toxins, are generally believed to influence the likelihood that someone will develop the disease. Recently, benzene has been of particular concern for its potential link to some cases of acute lymphocytic leukemia, especially since the publishing of a preliminary study in 2004 that suggests that living near a gas station or auto repair shop, where benzene emissions in the air are at elevated levels, may quadruple the risk that a child will develop leukemia.
  • Lymphocytic Leukemia at 40x Magnification

    Lymphocytic Leukemia at 40x Magnification

    Without treatment, acute lymphocytic leukemia usually results in death only months after onset of the disease. Modern medical practices, including chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and bone marrow transplants, can greatly extend the lives of patients. Approximately 50 percent of individuals that receive treatment for the disease today achieve a complete cure, which is defined as being free of malignant cells for more than five years. Many others experience a full remission, but later suffer from a recurrence of the disease. Generally, the younger the patient is at the time the leukemia is diagnosed, the more likely they are to respond favorably to treatment.

Malignant Melanoma

Melanoma is a form of skin cancer that stems from melanocytes, the pigment-producing cells found in the basal layer of the epidermis. The most virulent of the skin cancers, more than 7,000 Americans die each year from melanoma, accounting for the vast majority of all skin cancer deaths. Nearly 90,000 new cases are diagnosed annually in the United States, and according to many reports that number is rising steadily.

  • Malignant Melanoma at 10x Magnification

    Malignant Melanoma at 10x Magnification

    Melanoma is a form of skin cancer that stems from melanocytes, the pigment-producing cells found in the basal layer of the epidermis. Clusters of melanocytes are what comprise the familiar benign growths known as moles. When melanocytes become malignant, the condition is called melanoma. The most virulent of the skin cancers, more than 7,000 Americans die each year from melanoma, accounting for the vast majority of all skin cancer deaths. Nearly 90,000 new cases are diagnosed annually in the United States, and according to many reports that number is rising steadily. In fact, between 1980 and 2002, melanoma incidence more than tripled among Caucasians. The malignant growths, which are closely linked with damaging exposure to solar radiation, are much less common among African Americans and other dark-skinned individuals.
  • Malignant Melanoma at 20x Magnification

    Malignant Melanoma at 20x Magnification

    Due to its tendency to invade other tissues of the body, melanoma needs to be detected as early as possible in order for patients to have the best possible prognosis. Treatment is much less successful if the cancer is well advanced or has already metastasized to other areas. Thus, it is widely recommended that individuals, especially those with light skin, hair, and eyes or who have a relative diagnosed with melanoma, regularly examine their skin for new growths or changes to preexisting moles. Any moles that are found that have notably altered or are asymmetrical, have irregular borders or coloration, or are more than one-quarter inch in diameter should be of special concern. Moles that are suspicious should be brought to the attention of a medical professional, who can perform a biopsy if needed to make a definite diagnosis. If the sample reveals melanoma cells under the microscope then further testing is usually carried out to determine the extent of the cancer growth before a specific treatment plan is developed.
  • Malignant Melanoma at 4x Magnification

    Malignant Melanoma at 4x Magnification

    Complete surgical removal of a melanoma is the standard treatment for the cancer. The excision generally includes some healthy tissue surrounding the growth, as well, to ensure that no cancer cells remain in the area. Nearby lymph nodes may also be removed to further help control the disease and a skin graft may be performed depending upon the total amount of tissue that is lost. In cases where the melanoma has already metastasized, surgery is often not an effective treatment. Consequently, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiation therapy, and gene therapy are usually utilized in such cases, though frequently with limited success. Individual outcomes vary greatly, however, as no two cases of melanoma are exactly alike. Patients who have been treated for a melanoma are at increased risk of developing a new growth and also experience a certain amount of risk for a recurrence of the original tumor.
  • Malignant Melanoma at 10x Magnification

    Malignant Melanoma at 10x Magnification

    Though it is often difficult to determine precisely why one individual develops melanoma and another does not, certain key factors that may lead to the disease have been identified. The most well known of these factors is excessive exposure to the ultraviolet radiation of the sun. Recent studies have particularly linked severe sunburns in childhood with an increased melanoma risk and, consequently, the medical community has begun emphasizing the need for parents to make sure that the skin of their children is protected through the use of sunscreens and protective clothing if they are going to be outside. In fact, it is generally recommended that all adults take the same precautions since the disease may develop from the cumulative skin damage over the entire course of one’s lifetime as well.
  • Malignant Melanoma at 40x Magnification

    Malignant Melanoma at 40x Magnification

    In addition to the sun, exposure to melanoma-causing UV rays may be due to artificial sources, such as tanning beds, which should generally be avoided to decrease the risk of skin cancer. Other factors that contribute to the likelihood that someone will develop melanoma include a family history of the disease and the presence of atypical moles (dysplastic nevi). Interestingly, according to a report released in 2004, people employed in certain occupations, specifically members of airline flight crews, appear to have an increased risk of certain cancers, including malignant melanoma.

Malignant Schwannoma

Malignant schwannomas are rare and are classified among the soft tissue sarcomas, accounting for about ten percent of all such tumors diagnosed. They are frequently alternatively referred to as neurofibrosarcomas or malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors. Individuals between 20 and 50 years of age are more likely to develop malignant schwannomas than children or the elderly, but the tumors can appear at any age.

  • Malignant Schwannoma at 40x Magnification

    Malignant Schwannoma at 40x Magnification

    Schwannomas are tumors that arise in the Schwann cells found in the sheaths that surround nerves. Oftentimes, schwannomas are benign, but can still cause serious medical problems. The acoustic neuroma, for instance, which is the most common variety of benign schwannoma, can result in deafness because it occurs on the cranial nerve associated with hearing. Similarly, other symptoms that arise from schwannomas are often related to the loss of function of the nerve they affect, but the tumors may also simply manifest themselves in the form of pain or may be asymptomatic. Schwannomas can develop anywhere in the body where Schwann cells are present, but most commonly occur in nerves in the lower back, upper arms, or legs.
  • Malignant Schwannoma at 10x Magnification

    Malignant Schwannoma at 10x Magnification

    Malignant schwannomas are rare and are classified among the soft tissue sarcomas, accounting for about ten percent of all such tumors diagnosed. They are frequently alternatively referred to as neurofibrosarcomas or malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNSTs). Individuals between 20 and 50 years of age are more likely to develop malignant schwannomas than children or the elderly, but the tumors can appear at any age. Notably, when associated with the autosomal dominant genetic disorders neurofibromatosis I and II, onset is typically many years earlier than the average onset age. About 50 percent of malignant schwannomas are linked to one of these disorders.
  • Malignant Schwannoma at 20x Magnification

    Malignant Schwannoma at 20x Magnification

    Malignant schwannomas can be difficult to diagnose, and are usually more than 5 centimeters in diameter by the time they are brought to the attention of a medical professional and identified. Similar to most other types of cancers, the tumors are treated with one or more of the following: surgery, chemotherapy, or radiotherapy. The five-year survival rate associated with malignant schwannomas is low, primarily due to poor response of the tumors to available treatments and metastasis to the lungs and other areas of the body. Patients that usually have the best outlook are those that are young and have relatively small tumors able to be completely removed via surgical means.

Meningioma

The meninges are the three membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord. A meningioma is a type of frequently benign tumor that develops in the outermost of these membranes, the dura mater. The cells of origin of meningiomas are the arachnoid cap cells that line the inner dura mater, and therefore, the tumors can develop anywhere these cells are found.

  • Meningioma at 40x Magnification

    Meningioma at 40x Magnification

    The meninges are the three membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord. A meningioma is a type of frequently benign tumor that develops in the outermost of these membranes, the dura mater. The cells of origin of meningiomas are the arachnoid cap cells that line the inner dura mater, and therefore, the tumors can develop anywhere these cells are found. Oftentimes meningiomas are ovoid in shape, but those that form in some areas, such as the fold of the dura mater known as the tentorium, exhibit a form reminiscent of a dumbbell. Symptoms associated with the presence of a meningioma largely depend upon the site affected by the tumor, but may include localized or nonspecific headaches, spinal pain, blurred or lost vision, hearing loss, personality change, incontinence, apathy, sensations of numbness, and seizures.
  • Meningioma at 10x Magnification

    Meningioma at 10x Magnification

    In the United States, meningiomas account for approximately 15 to 20 percent of all intracranial tumors. The tumors are more common, however, in Africa than in America or Europe, though it is not yet understood why. Similarly, on a smaller scale, in Los Angeles county meningiomas are diagnosed at higher rates in African Americans than in Caucasians. Meningiomas also more frequently affect adult women than men, though in childhood boys and girls are affected at equal rates. Incidence of the tumors increases with age. Scientists hope that details about meningioma occurrence may help provide clues as to what causes the tumors, but as of yet, this mystery is unsolved.
  • Meningioma at 20x Magnification

    Meningioma at 20x Magnification

    The cause of meningioma formation is not known, but several different agents have been investigated in relation to the development of this type of tumor. Thus far, only radiation has been shown to be related to the formation of meningiomas, but trauma or viruses may also play a role in their growth, though no proof has yet been found for these commonly suggested origins. A chromosomal abnormality has also been posited by some to lead to the tumors and there has been significant medical interest in this regard in the long arm of chromosome 22. Some researchers have theorized that a loss of a suppressor gene in this region may be involved in the growth of some meningiomas.
  • Meningioma at 10x Magnification

    Meningioma at 10x Magnification

    Meningiomas are most often slow growing and benign, but may also be malignant and aggressive. These tumors arise from the dura mater as do benign meningiomas, but tend to rapidly invade the brain and may metastasize to other parts of the body, especially the lungs. Unlike the much more common benign meningiomas, malignant meningiomas are equally distributed among men and women. The tumors, which are typically white and firm to the touch, often are associated with a significant amount of swelling (edema) and seizures. Under the microscope, necrosis of tissues can be seen. Malignant meningiomas are typically treated with surgery, though radiosurgery, which is a type of precisely targeted radiation therapy, is becoming increasingly common. Recurrence following treatment of malignant meningiomas is relatively high.

Meningitis (Acute)

The most dangerous varieties of meningitis are of bacterial origin, some being capable of causing death within only a few hours of the onset of symptoms. The first sign of the disease is often vomiting, which is usually followed by an excruciatingly intense headache that develops from escalated cerebrospinal fluid pressure. Other symptoms may include confusion, drowsiness, fever, sensitivity to light, and a skin rash.

  • Meningitis at 10x Magnification

    Meningitis at 10x Magnification

    Meningitis is a condition characterized by inflammation of the meninges, the membranes surrounding the spinal cord and brain. This inflammation may be produced by a number of different agents, including bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa, and occurs in both acute and chronic forms. The most dangerous varieties of meningitis are of bacterial origin, some being capable of causing death within only a few hours of the onset of symptoms. The first sign of the disease is often vomiting, which is usually followed by an excruciatingly intense headache that develops from escalated cerebrospinal fluid pressure. Other symptoms may include confusion, drowsiness, fever, sensitivity to light, and a skin rash. Eventually, as the nerves along the spine become increasingly irritated, the neck stiffens, and, in some cases, the patient may experience convulsions, especially if the individual is very young. If acute bacterial meningitis is left untreated, the inflammation may lead to fluid build up in the ventricles of the brain, which can result in a loss of consciousness or even death.
  • Meningitis at 10x Magnification

    Meningitis at 10x Magnification

    When someone refers to an outbreak of meningitis, they are typically referring to meningococcal meningitis, a contagious bacterial form of the disease caused by Neisseria meningitidis. Transmitted most commonly by sneezing, coughing, or other means of exposure to respiratory fluids, meningococcal meningitis is more common in colder climates and in areas where many people live in close contact, such as dormitories. In fact, statistics provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that between 1991 and 1997, the incidence of the disease doubled among individuals 15 to 24 years of age. Consequently, the federal agency began recommending that college students be vaccinated for meningococcal meningitis, particularly if they live in university housing. The vaccines that are currently available are considered effective for up to five years and provide at least some protection from four of the five strains of bacteria that cause the disease.
  • xxx

    The primary agent that causes acute bacterial meningitis is Haemophilus influenzae b (Hib), but use of the Hib vaccine in the United States has helped decrease its incidence. The misleading name of the bacterium is indicative of the fact that when it was first discovered, it was believed to be an influenza virus. The bacterium Neisseria meningitidis is responsible for the second largest number of cases of the disease. Oftentimes this pathological agent will occur in epidemics. Between 1974 and 1975, an outbreak of meningococcal meningitis in the poverty stricken areas of Brazil resulted in the deaths of more than 11,000 inhabitants and the neurological damage of approximately 75,000 others. Also, in the mid-1990s, the spread of N. meningitidis killed approximately 16,000 people in West Africa. In the United States, the number of deaths each year from meningococcal meningitis is estimated to only be a few hundred, but many more people experience serious long-term effects of the disease, which may include mental retardation, hearing loss, and blindness.
  • xxx

    Due to the rapid progression of many forms of meningitis, a quick and efficacious diagnosis is essential to the patient’s chances of survival and avoidance of serious complications. A medical history and physical exam may help clearly indicate the disease, but definitive diagnosis is generally made through the analysis of cerebrospinal fluid obtained via a spinal tap. In some cases, a doctor may administer a general antibiotic to the patient immediately in an attempt to minimize the severity of the illness even before the specific cause is determined. Many people wait so long after symptoms begin to seek medical attention that the disease is already in an advanced state by the time they see a doctor. This mistake is very easy to make since many of the earliest signs of meningitis (vomiting, fever, headache, and lethargy) are remarkably similar to symptoms of the flu. Approximately 1 in 10 people with meningitis die from the disease.

Metastatic Carcinoma in Liver Tissue

Typically metastases in the liver are not discovered due to their symptoms, but rather from routine testing associated with a patient's primary tumor. Occasionally, however, metastasis-related symptoms are observed before there is any other indication of cancer. Nevertheless, simple analysis of tumor cells can establish that liver growths are secondary rather than primary since such tumors are composed of abnormal cells from a non-hepatic tissue.

  • Metastatic Carcinoma in Liver Tissue at 20x Magnification

    Metastatic Carcinoma in Liver Tissue at 20x Magnification

    In addition to the lungs, the liver is one of the most common organs to be affected by metastases, which are tumors formed from cells that break away from a primary tumor to produce new growths at distant sites. Such cells generally travel through the body through the circulatory system or the lymphatic system closely associated with it. Accordingly, it is not surprising that the liver is such a customary site of metastases since all of the body’s blood is filtered through it. The liver may also be the location of a primary tumor, but this occurrence is much rarer. Americans are about 20 times more likely to develop metastatic liver disease than primary liver cancer.
  • Metastatic Carcinoma in Liver Tissue at 10x Magnification

    Metastatic Carcinoma in Liver Tissue at 10x Magnification

    Though most any type of cancer may metastasize to the liver, some are more likely to do so than others. Breast, lung, colorectal, stomach, pancreas, and small intestine tumors are among those that are most closely associated with the liver. The prognosis of an individual with metastases in the liver is to some extent related to the site of the primary cancer. Individuals with liver metastases that developed from a primary tumor of the bowels, for instance, often have a better chance of survival than others. This is because liver metastases originating from the bowels frequently develop before cancer cells travel to other locations in the body and only affect a single area of liver tissue. Consequently, patients with cancers that follow this pattern are more readily treatable with surgery, which can sometimes result in a cure. More commonly, however, patients with metastases in the liver undergo chemotherapy.
  • Metastatic Carcinoma in Liver Tissue at 40x Magnification

    Metastatic Carcinoma in Liver Tissue at 40x Magnification

    Chemotherapy generally does not cure individuals with metastatic cancer, but the treatment can prolong their lives. A targeted form of chemotherapy enables significantly higher concentrations of cancer-killing drugs to be utilized to fight the disease than can be safely used in the more common systemic approach. The specialized procedure involves placing a catheter and infusion pump into the main hepatic artery so that floxuridine or other medications can be administered directly to the affected organ. Studies show that this treatment method can add months to the life expectancy of some patients, whereas systemic chemotherapy can help alleviate certain symptoms but does not apparently lengthen the lives of cancer patients whose disease has metastasized to the liver. Similarly, liver tumors are not very responsive to treatment with radiation, so that radiation therapy is also only normally useful for symptom relief.

Metastatic Carcinoma in Lung Tissue

Approximately 30 percent of all metastatic cancers involve one or more secondary tumors in the lungs. In fact, cancer in the lungs is more often metastatic disease rather than a primary neoplasm. Some of the most common cancers that lead to secondary pulmonary tumors are breast, stomach, prostate, thyroid, colorectal, and kidney cancers, testicular teratomas, bone sarcomas, choriocarcinomas, and melanomas.

  • Metastatic Carcinoma in Lung Tissue at 20x Magnification

    Metastatic Carcinoma in Lung Tissue at 20x Magnification

    When cells break away from a primary tumor and migrate through the body to a new location where one or more new tumors begin to form, the process known as metastasis has occurred. Generally, cancer cells are distributed in this way via the circulatory system or the closely associated lymphatic system. Since all blood flows through the lungs, pulmonary metastases are very common. Approximately 30 percent of all metastatic cancers involve one or more secondary tumors in the lungs. In fact, cancer in the lungs is more often metastatic disease rather than a primary neoplasm. Some of the most common cancers that lead to secondary pulmonary tumors are breast, stomach, prostate, thyroid, colorectal, and kidney cancers, testicular teratomas, bone sarcomas, choriocarcinomas, and melanomas.
  • Metastatic Carcinoma in Lung Tissue at 10x Magnification

    Metastatic Carcinoma in Lung Tissue at 10x Magnification

    The tumors that are most likely to metastasize to the lungs are those that exhibit a well-developed vasculature. Indeed, angiogenesis (the development of capillaries) is considered one of the primary steps any tumor takes on its way to becoming dangerously malignant. Investigations of this process are ongoing, but it appears that some cancer cells are able to aggregate existing proteins in the body that facilitate angiogenesis and eventually develop to the point where they are capable of synthesizing such proteins themselves. One of these proteins facilitates the invasion of a tumor by endothelial cells. These cells accumulate and multiply to form capillaries, which are thought to promote tumor growth and cancer cell mobility.
  • Metastatic Carcinoma in Lung Tissue at 40x Magnification

    Metastatic Carcinoma in Lung Tissue at 40x Magnification

    Oftentimes patients with metastases in the lungs have not developed any symptoms of the disease at the time they are diagnosed. Instead, the thorough medical exams and advanced imaging techniques used to diagnose and stage the primary cancer frequently lead to the discovery of pulmonary metastases. In instances of slow growing primary tumors, however, metastases may be noticed before the initial disease. When symptoms of lung cancer metastasis do occur, they are similar to the signs of primary lung cancer and may include a chronic cough, chest pain, and shortness of breath.
  • Metastatic Carcinoma in Lung Tissue at 10x Magnification

    Metastatic Carcinoma in Lung Tissue at 10x Magnification

    Metastatic cancer in the lung is often more treatable than other kinds of metastases. Consequently, detection of pulmonary metastases can be very significant to a patient’s chances for survival. Treatment is most successful when there is an isolated pulmonary metastasis, which makes removal via surgery highly feasible. About half of patients with this type of metastatic disease, which is more common among those with primary tumors in breast, kidney, bone, or testicular tissue, survive more than five years if they undergo resection. Most lung metastases, however, are multiple, in which case the prognosis is not as favorable. In select patients, surgery may still be beneficial, especially if only a single lung is affected and the primary cancer is in remission. Individuals considered poorly suited for surgery are usually treated with chemotherapy, though radiation therapy may also be utilized.
  • Metastatic Carcinoma in Lung Tissue at 10x Magnification

    Metastatic Carcinoma in Lung Tissue at 4x Magnification

    Recent studies indicate that a new way to determine if breast cancer is likely to result in secondary tumors of the lungs may not be far off. Researchers from the Burnham Institute in La Jolla, California have identified a breast cancer cell surface molecule that is thought to arbitrate the metastasis of breast tumors. Dubbed metadherin, a name chosen to reflect the role of the molecule as a metastasis adhesion protein, the substance isolated by the investigators has been shown to specifically direct breast cancer cells to the microvasculature of the lungs, at least in early experimental work with mice. Additional research may demonstrate that antibodies directed at metadherin may reduce the likelihood of metastasis or reduce tumor growth, but in the meantime, scientists hope to be able to utilize metadherin testing to help predict the aggressiveness of breast cancers, which can greatly influence decisions regarding treatment.

Metastatic Melanoma in Lung Tissue

Once melanoma has metastasized the cancer is associated with a very poor prognosis. The outlook is worst for those who have several different organs with metastases, while it is somewhat better for patients with metastatic cancer restricted to a single site, even when this site is affected by multiple tumors.

  • Metastatic Melanoma in Lung Tissue at 10x Magnification

    Metastatic Melanoma in Lung Tissue at 10x Magnification

    When clumps of melanocytes, the pigment-containing cells of the skin, normally occur, they form benign growths commonly known as moles. If melanocytes become malignant, however, melanoma, the most deadly type of skin cancer, ensues. In the United States, approximately 7,000 melanoma-related deaths are reported and 90,000 new cases of the disease are diagnosed annually. Melanoma is much more likely to be fatal than other forms of skin cancer because the disease tends to spread to other areas of the body (metastasize) early in its development. Abnormal melanocytes tend to grow downwards, enabling them to invade deeper tissues and eventually some cells may break away and enter the lymphatic or circulatory system, which facilitate their travel to new locations.
  • Metastatic Melanoma in Lung Tissue at 20x Magnification

    Metastatic Melanoma in Lung Tissue at 20x Magnification

    Most commonly, melanoma metastasizes via regional lymph nodes. When nodal involvement occurs in a patient with melanoma, the disease is said to be in stage III, and when distant metastases have already formed the cancer is considered a stage IV disease. In order that melanoma can be detected in earlier stages of the disease, when it is more readily treatable, those that are at risk should regularly screen their skin for any new growths or any changes in preexisting moles. Any notable alteration in symmetry, border shape, size, or coloration of a mole should be of special concern and be brought to the attention of a medical professional.
  • Metastatic Melanoma in Lung Tissue at 10x Magnification

    Metastatic Melanoma in Lung Tissue at 40x Magnification

    Once melanoma has metastasized the cancer is associated with a very poor prognosis. The outlook is worst for those who have several different organs with metastases, while it is somewhat better for patients with metastatic cancer restricted to a single site, even when this site is affected by multiple tumors. Metastatic melanoma present solely in one of the lungs is especially more promising than many other forms of metastatic cancer. This is because pulmonary metastases are often surgically resectable, which makes long-term survival more possible. When metastatic melanoma cannot be adequately treated with surgery or radiation therapy, which is also considered a local treatment, systemic approaches such as chemotherapy and immunotherapy are commonly utilized.
  • Metastatic Melanoma in Lung Tissue at 10x Magnification

    Metastatic Melanoma in Lung Tissue at 10x Magnification

    The primary risk factor for melanoma is excessive exposure to the ultraviolet radiation of the sun. In recent years, there has been particular interest in the link between severe childhood sunburns and melanoma, though damage to the skin at any age is unhealthy. Individuals with light skin, hair, and eyes are especially susceptible to the effects of the sun’s rays and should take extra precautions against skin cancer, which may include regularly utilizing sunscreen, staying indoors midday when the sun is most intense, and wearing hats and protective clothing. Other notable melanoma risk factors include a family history of the disease, the presence of atypical moles (dysplastic nevi), and being employed in certain occupations, particularly those that require regular exposure to ultraviolet radiation.

Mononucleosis

Often known simply as mono or the kissing disease, mononucleosis is a common viral disease that usually occurs in individuals between the ages of 15 and 35. The infection generally spreads via saliva exchange and is thought to be caused by the Epstein-Barr virus, a member of the herpesvirus family. Symptoms of mononucleosis are varied, but frequently include fever, fatigue, and sore throat.

  • Mononucleosis at 40x Magnification

    Mononucleosis at 40x Magnification

    Infectious mononucleosis is a common viral disease often known simply as mono or the kissing disease that usually occurs in individuals between the ages of 15 and 35. The infection generally spreads via saliva exchange and is thought to be caused by the Epstein-Barr virus, a member of the herpesvirus family. Symptoms of mononucleosis are varied, but frequently include fever, fatigue, and sore throat. Swelling of the lymph nodes is also common and is the origin of another alternate name for the disease, glandular fever. Less often, a rash, eyelid swelling, or muscle soreness, as well as the more serious and even less common onset of pneumonia, meningitis, hepatitis, or peripheral neuritis, may occur. In some cases, the spleen may become enlarged, and rupture of the organ is the primary cause of the rare instances of death associated with mononucleosis.

Myelomonocytic Leukemia (Acute)

Many of the early symptoms of acute myelomonocytic leukemia and other types of acute myelogenous leukemia are nonspecific, often consisting of fever, weakness, unexplained weight loss, fatigue, and aching bones and joints. Other indications of disease may include repeated infections, slow wound healing, frequent and easily produced bruising and bleeding, and spotting of the skin.

  • Myelomonocytic Leukemia at 40x Magnification

    Myelomonocytic Leukemia at 40x Magnification

    Leukemias are a group of diseases characterized by an abnormal proliferation of white blood cells. Acute and chronic leukemias are differentiated by the maturity level of the cells they affect. Acute forms affect immature cells, hindering them from completing their development, and chronic forms involve atypical mature cells. Leukemias are generally further differentiated by the type of white blood cells they are connected with. Myelogenous leukemias are diseases involving granulocytes and monocytes. Acute myelomonocytic leukemia is a distinct type of myelogenous leukemia as established by the French American British (FAB) classification system.
  • Myelomonocytic Leukemia at 20x Magnification

    Myelomonocytic Leukemia at 20x Magnification

    According to the FAB system, there are eight different types of acute myelogenous leukemia (also called acute myeloid leukemia), identified as M0 through M7. Acute myelomonocytic leukemia, which is designated M4, is one of the most common of the eight types, accounting for about one-fourth of all cases of acute myelogenous leukemia. This form of the disease is distinguished by the involvement of a combination of two kinds of immature cells, myeloblasts (precursors of the myelocytes that mature into granulocytes) and monoblasts (precursors of monocytes). Many individuals with acute myelomonocytic leukemia exhibit a chromosomal aberration (inv(16)). The prognosis of such patients is better than that of acute myelomonocytic leukemia patients without the abnormality.

Myocardial Infarction (Acute)

Acute myocardial infarction is the medical term for the event commonly referred to as a heart attack. One of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in America and most other industrialized nations, myocardial infarction involves death to tissues of the heart due to a blockage-related inability of sufficient oxygen to reach the organ. Though symptoms of a heart attack vary, they frequently include chest pain or pressure that may radiate into the jaw, shoulders, arms, or back, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, lightheadedness, sweating, and anxiety.

  • Myocardial Infarction at 20x Magnification

    Myocardial Infarction at 20x Magnification

    Acute myocardial infarction is the medical term for the event commonly referred to as a heart attack. One of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in America and most other industrialized nations, myocardial infarction involves death to tissues of the heart due to a blockage-related inability of sufficient oxygen to reach the organ. Since 90 to 95 percent of individuals in the United States that experience myocardial infarction and are admitted to a hospital survive, it is important to know the warning signs of the condition so that medical help can be obtained in time. Approximately 300,000 Americans die from heart attacks each year before they reach a hospital. Though symptoms of a heart attack vary, they frequently include chest pain or pressure that may radiate into the jaw, shoulders, arms, or back, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, lightheadedness, sweating, and anxiety. A significant number of individuals only experience very mild symptoms that may go unnoticed, in which case the myocardial infarction is sometimes referred to as a silent heart attack.
  • Myocardial Infarction at 10x Magnification

    Myocardial Infarction at 10x Magnification

    Myocardial infarction is commonly related to the gradual accumulation of cholesterol plaques in the arterial walls known as atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is characterized by a narrowing of the lumenal space within arteries and hardening of arterial walls. When atherosclerosis occurs in coronary arteries, there is a risk that a plaque may rupture and a blood clot will form over top of it. If this clot becomes so large that it blocks the blood flow through the artery, acute myocardial infarction occurs. The precise reason that cholesterol plaques rupture and form blood clots is not well understood, but there are a number of factors that can contribute to the event. Some of the best-known contributing factors include high blood pressure, adrenaline levels, and LDL cholesterol, as well as smoking and diabetes mellitus.
  • Myocardial Infarction at 40x Magnification

    Myocardial Infarction at 40x Magnification

    When someone suffers an acute myocardial infarction, the primary objective is reperfusion, the restoration of blood flow to the heart. Reperfusion provides the best result if it is achieved within the first 4 to 6 hours after a myocardial infarction occurs. If blood flow is restored after that amount of time, irreversible necrosis usually has already taken place. Thus timely diagnosis and treatment are extremely important for sufferers of heart attacks. Electrocardiograms, magnetic resonance imaging, and a thrombolysis in myocardial infarction (TIMI) risk score are often used to aid in diagnosis, but must be carried out rapidly. Blood tests that measure the level of cardiac enzymes released into the circulatory system by dying heart muscle are also useful indicators of heart attacks, but take such a long time (up to 24 hours) to complete that they are only useful in the confirmation of a diagnosis, rather than the diagnosis itself.
  • Myocardial Infarction at 10x Magnification

    Myocardial Infarction at 10x Magnification

    Oftentimes initial treatment of acute myocardial infarction will consist of an anti-platelet medication, such as aspirin, and an anti-coagulant, such as heparin or warfarin. Together these medications effectively prevent additional clotting of the blood from taking place, but in order to dissolve any blood clots that are already present, one or more thrombolytic medications must be administered. Approximately 80 percent of coronary arteries blocked by blood clots can be readily cleared with intravenous thrombolytic medications, including tissue plasminogen activator (TPA) and tenecteplase (TNK). If such medications are unsuccessful or cannot be used due to other health conditions, then the more direct method of coronary angiography and percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) becomes necessary for opening the artery, a procedure that is sometimes accompanied by stenting. If the patient does not respond to PTCA, coronary artery bypass grafting surgery is usually the final resort. Other treatments that may be utilized at various times during treatment for acute myocardial infarction include nitrates and angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, which dilate blood vessels, beta-blockers, which are antagonists of adrenaline, and oxygen, which can help minimize the extent of damage to the heart.

Myocardial Infarction (Old)

Myocardial infarction was initially described in the early 1900s by American physician James Brian Herrick. The condition was initially called coronary thrombosis due to its primary cause, but eventually myocardial infarction became the preferential term due to the fact that death to the heart muscle is directly responsible for the pain and other signs of a heart attack, rather than the arterial blockage that usually precedes it.

  • Myocardial Infarction at 20x Magnification

    Myocardial Infarction at 20x Magnification

    Myocardial infarction is the necrosis of a section of heart muscle tissue, most commonly from coronary occlusion. Often referred to as a heart attack, myocardial infarction occurs suddenly, but is usually the result of long-term conditions. Typically the coronary arteries are thickened with cholesterol plaques over the course of many years, increasingly narrowing the lumenal space. The rupture of a plaque can result in the formation of a blood clot, which causes complete occlusion of the arterial lumen if it grows too large, blocking the flow of blood and the oxygen it contains to the heart. Scientist have not yet determined exactly what causes plaques to rupture, but a number of risk factors for myocardial infarction have been identified, including diabetes, smoking, inactivity, being overweight, high LDL and low HDL cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and increased adrenaline.
  • Myocardial Infarction at 40x Magnification

    Myocardial Infarction at 40x Magnification

    Being able to recognize the signs that someone is experiencing a myocardial infarction is important for making sure appropriate care is provided in a timely manner. Patients have a very high survival rate if they are admitted to a hospital, but hundreds of thousands of Americans die each year from heart attacks before the ever reach a medical center. The most common symptoms of myocardial infarction include chest pain or pressure that may radiate into the jaw, shoulders, arms, or back, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, low blood pressure, quickened pulse, lightheadedness, sweating, and anxiety. The severity of such indicators can vary significantly depending upon the extent of heart tissue affected. Some individuals may experience such mild symptoms that they do not realize that anything serious is wrong, resulting in what is often called a silent heart attack.
  • Myocardial Infarction at 10x Magnification

    Myocardial Infarction at 10x Magnification

    Myocardial infarction was initially described in the early 1900s by American physician James Brian Herrick. Though initially called coronary thrombosis due to the primary cause of the condition, eventually myocardial infarction became the preferential term due to the fact that death to the heart muscle is directly responsible for the pain and other signs of a heart attack, rather than the arterial blockage that usually precedes it. Over the course of the last century, much has been learned about myocardial infarction and a number of diagnosis methods have been developed. Electrocardiograms, magnetic resonance imaging, and a variety of blood tests can be used as indicators of heart muscle tissue necrosis. However, because blood flow to the heart must be restored as quickly as possible in order to minimize damage, some tests are more useful as a means to confirm diagnosis rather than as a way to first determine that a patient is experiencing a myocardial infarction. Fortunately, experienced emergency response team members and other medical professionals can generally identify most instances of heart attack simply based on symptomatic evidence.

Neurilemmoma

Neurilemmomas are benign tumors that originate in the Schwann cells that comprise nerve sheaths. Accordingly, the neoplasms are sometimes alternatively referred to as benign schwannomas. The cause of neurilemmoma growth is unknown, but the tumors are occasionally associated with von Recklinghausen disease. Neurilemmomas are typically encapsulated and well defined.

  • Neurilemmoma at 20x Magnification

    Neurilemmoma at 20x Magnification

    Neurilemmomas are benign tumors that originate in the Schwann cells that comprise nerve sheaths. Accordingly, the neoplasms are sometimes alternatively referred to as benign schwannomas. The cause of neurilemmoma growth is unknown, but the tumors are occasionally associated with von Recklinghausen disease. Neurilemmomas are typically encapsulated and well defined. Symptoms related to the tumors are often vague, which can greatly hinder an accurate diagnosis. On average, it takes five years for a diagnosis of neurilemmoma to be confirmed after initial symptoms appear.
  • Neurilemmoma at 40x Magnification

    Neurilemmoma at 40x Magnification

    The growth of neurilemmomas is most common in adults, and the tumors can affect a wide variety of nerves. The neoplasms are most common in the head region, accounting for approximately 6 to 8 percent of all primary intracranial tumors. Of the cranial nerves, the eighth nerve is the most frequent origin of neurilemmomas. The tumors generally respond well to local resection and recurrence is rare. A few reports of malignant change have been documented, but such transformation is considered highly unusual for this type of tumor.
  • Neurilemmoma at 10x Magnification

    Neurilemmoma at 10x Magnification

    Histologically, two distinct regions of a neurilemmoma are recognized. Antoni A regions are areas that contain a large number of cells, chiefly benign spindle cells organized into overlapping bundles. The cells sometimes surround eosinophilic regions known as Verocay bodies. The density of cells in Antoni B regions is much less than in Antoni A regions. Loose connective tissue that has the appearance of a myxoma (benign tumor found predominantly in the heart) serves as the background to Antoni B cells.

Neutrophilia

Though bacterial infection is the most common cause of true cases of neutrophilia and exercise and intense emotions are the most familiar origins of the transient form of the condition, neutrophilia can also be traced to a number of other causes. For instance, inflammations unrelated to infectious agents, such as gout, rheumatic fever, and glomerulonephritis, can often lead to neutrophilia, as can burns, injuries, and surgical operations.

  • Neutrophilia at 40x Magnification

    Neutrophilia at 40x Magnification

    Three different classes of cells are known as white blood cells, the most numerous of which are called granulocytes. Granulocytes are intricately involved in the body’s natural inflammatory response and are further subdivided into three basic types: neutrophils, eosinophils, and basophils. The vast majority of granulocytes in the human body are neutrophils, the cells comprising as many as 80 percent of the white blood cells at any time. Billions of neutrophils, each of which usually exhibits a diameter of approximately 12 to 15 micrometers and a lobed nucleus, are produced in the bone marrow of a typical adult each day. The body generally maintains a portion of these cells (termed the marginal pool) in a relatively inactive state in the blood vessels. The rest of the cells are either present in tissues or are being rapidly circulated in the bloodstream (termed the circulating pool). Neutrophilia, a condition that is characterized by an increased number of neutrophils in the blood or tissues, can sometimes occur do to a significant number of neutrophils shifting from the marginal to the circulating pool, in which case it may be referred to as shift neutrophilia. The condition can also be related to an overall increase in the body’s neutrophil count, sometimes referred to as true neutrophilia.
  • Neutrophilia at 20x Magnification

    Neutrophilia at 20x Magnification

    Shift neutrophilia is generally a very short-lived condition, often lasting less than sixty minutes and, consequently, it is sometimes alternatively referred to as transient neutrophilia. This increase in actively circulating neutrophils is usually associated with vigorous exercise, but can also develop following an injection of epinephrine, a seizure, or an intense emotive response, such as fear or rage. In instances of shift neutrophilia, all of the neutrophils in circulation are fully mature since they simply have been transferred from the marginal pool, which in a normal adult is comprised of cells that have already fully developed in the bone marrow, a process that typically takes 4 to 6 days to complete. When true neutrophilia occurs, however, some of the neutrophils observed in the blood may be immature forms that were released by the bone marrow before their development was complete due to an insufficient number of mature cells to meet the demands of the body. Typically this excessive demand is related to a bacterial infection, which results in the release of chemoattractants that bind to certain neutrophil receptors and initiate their activity so that they can aid in the body’s immune response.

Oat Cell Carcinoma

Oat cell carcinoma accounts for approximately 15 to 20 percent of all lung cancer diagnoses. Most oat cell tumors initially form in a central location in the lungs, often in the major bronchial tubes. This origin of formation is consistent with the fact that smoking is well established as the primary contributing factor in the onset of oat cell carcinoma.

  • Oat Cell Carcinoma at 10x Magnification

    Oat Cell Carcinoma at 10x Magnification

    Oat cell carcinoma, also known as small cell carcinoma, is a type of lung cancer that is characterized by small, oat-shaped malignant cells. The tumors generally consist of sheets of nearly identical cells with strands of connective tissue interspersed among them. Under the microscope, it can be observed that these cells contain very little cytoplasm and have an appearance similar to normal lymphocytes, though the nuclei of the carcinoma cells are about twice the size of lymphocyte nuclei. Oat cell carcinoma is extremely aggressive and, in the majority of cases, by the time a diagnosis is made, the cancer has already metastasized to other parts of the body. Only about 30 percent of patients exhibit a limited form of the disease when they first seek medical attention.
  • Oat Cell Carcinoma at 40x Magnification

    Oat Cell Carcinoma at 40x Magnification

    Oat cell carcinoma accounts for approximately 15 to 20 percent of all lung cancer diagnoses. Most oat cell tumors initially form in a central location in the lungs, often in the major bronchial tubes. This origin of formation is consistent with the fact that smoking is well established as the primary contributing factor in the onset of oat cell carcinoma. Approximately 90 percent of people diagnosed with the cancer are, or were formerly, smokers. Thus, not smoking and avoiding secondhand smoke are the best ways to reduce one’s risk of developing oat cell carcinoma. Uranium and radium miners have also, however, been found to display a higher incidence of the lung cancer than the general non-smoking population, and in fact, it is widely recommended that all carcinogens that can be borne by the air be avoided to lower risk.
  • Oat Cell Carcinoma at 20x Magnification

    Oat Cell Carcinoma at 20x Magnification

    Some individuals do not experience any early symptoms of oat cell carcinoma, but frequently some problems do occur that may first bring the disease to the attention of a medical professional. These problems, which could be a sign of a number of other conditions as well, may include hoarseness, difficulty swallowing, a chronic cough, shortness of breath, coughing up blood, fatigue, loss of appetite, weight loss, chest pain, and facial or neck swelling. The seriousness of symptoms quickly amplifies in individuals with oat cell carcinoma and without treatment the median length of survival following diagnosis is only 2 to 4 months. The tumors also have a tendency to metastasize rapidly, which means that signs of cancer in areas of the body other than the lungs may also appear. The prognosis of specific individuals depends upon a number of factors, including the stage of the disease, gender, general health, and location of the tumors, but overall, the five-year survival rate is approximately 6 percent.
  • Oat Cell Carcinoma at 10x Magnification

    Oat Cell Carcinoma at 10x Magnification

    Due to the high metastatic rate of oat cell carcinomas, the cancer is rarely well suited for treatment by surgery, though in some limited stage cases of the cancer in which the lymph nodes are not involved it may be recommended. These less serious cases of the disease are usually associated with the periphery of the lungs rather than the more familiar central bronchial site. Much more commonly, chemotherapy, or a combination of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, is considered the preferred treatment for oat cell carcinoma. For some patients, doctors may advise radiation therapy to the brain for tumors that have not yet spread to the central nervous system as a preventative measure since involvement of the brain is associated with a very poor prognosis. For individuals with widespread oat cell carcinoma, radiation therapy is usually only used to help relieve bone pain and other symptoms.

Occlusive Atherosclerosis

Atherosclerosis is the thickening and hardening of the arteries associated with deposits, or plaques, building up along the inner lining of the vessels. Plaques may contain a variety of materials, including cholesterol, fatty substances, calcium, and fibrin. As plaques increase in thickness, they progressively occlude the flow of blood through the affected artery. Blood clots that form over top of the plaques can cause further obstruction.

  • Occlusive Atherosclerosis at 10x Magnification

    Occlusive Atherosclerosis at 40x Magnification

    Atherosclerosis is the thickening and hardening of the arteries associated with deposits, or plaques, building up along the inner lining of the vessels. Plaques may contain a variety of materials, including cholesterol, fatty substances, calcium, and fibrin. As plaques increase in thickness, they progressively occlude the flow of blood through the affected artery. Blood clots sometimes form over top of plaques as well, which can cause further obstruction. If an artery becomes completely blocked, a heart attack or stroke can occur. Such medical emergencies may also ensure, however, even when an artery is only partially occluded if a plaque ruptures or a blood clot attached to a plaque breaks away and migrates to the heart or brain.
  • Occlusive Atherosclerosis at 10x Magnification

    Occlusive Atherosclerosis at 10x Magnification

    Millions of Americans have been diagnosed with coronary atherosclerosis and it is considered the leading cause of death among both men and women in the United States. Many risk factors for the disease have been identified, however, some of which can be controlled to reduce the likelihood that a particular individual will develop atherosclerosis. Notably, smoking, obesity, physical inactivity, and a high-cholesterol diet are factors linked to the disease that can be readily modified. Similarly, high blood pressure, which is also a key risk factor, is sometimes under personal control, since it is often closely associated with one or more of the previously mentioned atherosclerosis risk factors. A family history of cardiovascular disease, having diabetes mellitus or various other diseases, advanced age, and being of the male gender are known to increase the possibility of coronary atherosclerosis as well, but generally are unchangeable.
  • Occlusive Atherosclerosis at 20x Magnification

    Occlusive Atherosclerosis at 20x Magnification

    Atherosclerosis is an insidious condition that develops over long periods of time. Symptoms of atherosclerosis often do not appear until later in life, when arteries are already significantly occluded. Indeed, even when the lumen of a coronary artery has been reduced by as much as 50 percent due to plaque build-up, an individual may be unaware that anything is wrong though he or she is at a significantly higher risk for heart attacks and other cardiac problems than the general population. When blood flow to the heart becomes inadequate, however, the condition is referred to as ischemia. Abnormal heart rhythms, the chest pain known as angina pectoris, and heart tissue necrosis have all been associated with ischemia.
  • Occlusive Atherosclerosis at 10x Magnification

    Occlusive Atherosclerosis at 10x Magnification

    Most medical practitioners initially recommend dietary therapy to patients at high risk for atherosclerosis. A number of drugs are available, however, if needed to help reduce the possibility of heart attacks and other atherosclerotic-related events. In particular, prevastatin, lovastatin, and other members of the class of drugs known as statins, are often prescribed to lower blood cholesterol levels. Some doctors also recommend a regimen of low-dose aspirin, which studies show thins the blood, stabilizes plaques, and lessens atherosclerotic inflammation, but for many people the possible side effects of such a regimen, mainly gastric bleeding, may outweigh the potential benefit. Nitroglycerin, beta-blockers, and calcium channel blockers are other medications that may be prescribed for individuals with atherosclerotic problems.

Osteogenic Sarcoma

Similar to many types of cancer, the symptoms of osteogenic sarcoma vary and are often dependent on tumor location and the extent of the disease. The malignant growths most commonly occur in the large bones of the arms and legs, thus, pain and swelling in these areas may be observed. The knee is another frequent place osteogenic sarcomas are found, and tumors in this area are often accompanied by joint pain and limited movement.

  • Osteogenic Sarcoma at 10x Magnification

    Osteogenic Sarcoma at 10x Magnification

    Osteogenic sarcoma, which is also widely referred to as osteosarcoma, is a type of bone cancer that most commonly affects teenagers. The highly age-related distribution of the disease is reflective of the fact that this kind of tumor develops from osteoblasts, a cell type particularly active during adolescence, when bones grow rapidly. Similarly, osteogenic sarcoma occurs significantly more often in boys than girls due to the generally greater growth experienced by males. Other than age and gender, most individuals that are diagnosed with osteogenic sarcoma have no known predisposing risk factors for the cancer. In some instances, however, the presence of a gene implicated in the development of hereditary retinoblastoma, a tumor of the eye, has been linked to the onset of osteogenic sarcoma. Also, when the bone cancer occurs in adults, the condition is frequently associated with Paget’s disease, a chronic condition characterized by abnormal bone destruction and regrowth.
  • Osteogenic Sarcoma at 20x Magnification

    Osteogenic Sarcoma at 20x Magnification

    Similar to many types of cancer, the symptoms of osteogenic sarcoma vary and are often dependent on tumor location and the extent of the disease. The malignant growths most commonly occur in the large bones of the arms and legs, thus, pain and swelling in these areas may be observed. The knee is another frequent place osteogenic sarcomas are found, and tumors in this area are often accompanied by joint pain and limited movement. Due to the aggressiveness of the cancer, these and other symptoms that can serve as indicators that something is wrong all too often do not develop until the disease is well advanced, in which case treatment may be much less successful. Moreover, osteogenic sarcomas tend to metastasize to other parts of the body relatively early and in cases where metastases have already developed, the possibility of a cure is low.
  • Osteogenic Sarcoma at 40x Magnification

    Osteogenic Sarcoma at 40x Magnification

    Formerly the primary treatment for osteogenic sarcoma was complete limb amputation. Over the last several decades, however, advances in the medical field have resulted in a significant reduction of amputations related to the disease. It is now often possible for surgeons to remove the tumor and a small area of healthy tissue surrounding it, instead of the whole bone that contains the tumor. Moreover, any bone tissue that is lost may usually be replaced through a bone graft or an artificial implant. For individuals who have tumors of the bone that are not well suited for surgical removal, chemotherapy or radiotherapy is typically employed. Such techniques are sometimes utilized following surgery, as well, in order to ensure that any remaining malignant cells are destroyed.
  • Osteogenic Sarcoma at 20x Magnification

    Osteogenic Sarcoma at 20x Magnification

    The prognosis of patients with osteogenic sarcoma has improved in recent years in response to improvements in treatments for the disease. When the cancer is caught in an early stage, five-year survival rates are now as high as 60 to 80 percent. If the disease has already progressed to an advanced state by the time it is diagnosed, however, which is the case for approximately one in every five children, the outlook is not nearly so promising. Nevertheless, ongoing medical research may eventually help significantly improve the prospects of all bone cancer patients. In development are new chemotherapy drugs that could make the eradication of malignant cells a simpler process with far fewer side effects by solely targeting tumorous tissue, rather than all rapidly dividing cells. Future treatments may also be developed that relate to specific growth factors that are known to play a role in the development of osteogenic sarcoma.

Ovalocytosis

The red blood cells of certain animals, such as reptiles, amphibians, fish, birds, camels, llamas, and alpacas, are naturally oval in shape, but in other species ovalocytosis is an abnormal condition related to hereditary or acquired disease. In the latter cases, ovalocytosis often causes mild hemolytic anemia, which may or may not requite treatment. The condition can also develop into a more serious problem, and severe cases of anemia may necessitate the removal of the spleen or blood transfusions.

  • Ovalocytosis at 20x Magnification

    Ovalocytosis at 20x Magnification

    Normal human red blood cells are small, round, and biconcave when they are mature. Their flexible shape makes them well suited for squeezing through tiny blood vessels, which they must do in order to distribute oxygen to, and remove carbon dioxide from, the various tissues of the body. Deviations in the shape of red blood cells sometimes occur and, in some cases, may result in serious medical problems. Ovalocytosis is a condition in which the red blood cells exhibit somewhat of an oval or elliptical shape, rather than the normal round one. Known as ovalocytes, these abnormal cells are often flat instead of biconcave as well. Sometimes, when oval-shaped red blood cells do not lack concavity, they are referred to as elliptocytes and the condition is termed elliptocytosis, but this nomenclature varies.

Ovarian Adenocarcinoma

Ovarian cancer is a relatively rare disease, but is the fifth leading cause of cancer-related death among American women. A number of factors contribute to the unusually large number of fatalities associated with the disease. Most notably, the symptoms of ovarian cancer are generally vague and are frequently attributed to other conditions, delaying the diagnosis of the disease.

  • Ovarian Adenocarcinoma at 20x Magnification

    Ovarian Adenocarcinoma at 20x Magnification

    Ovarian cancer is a relatively rare disease, but is the fifth leading cause of cancer-related death among American women. A number of factors contribute to the unusually large number of fatalities associated with the disease. Most notably, the symptoms of ovarian cancer are generally vague and are frequently attributed to other conditions, delaying a correct diagnosis. The symptoms of this type of cancer may include various gastrointestinal complaints, such as indigestion, gas, bloating, and nausea, as well as abdominal or back pain, abnormal vaginal bleeding, a feeling of heaviness in the pelvic area, ascites, and unexplained weight gain or loss. By the time signs of ovarian cancer become palpable, the disease has usually already metastasized to the bladder, bowel, or uterine tissues. Because symptoms of ovarian cancer are so non-specific, there has been a significant amount of interest in developing a useful, cost-effective screening method.
  • Ovarian Adenocarcinoma at 10x Magnification

    Ovarian Adenocarcinoma at 10x Magnification

    Recently there has been considerable excitement in the medical community regarding a new experimental method of screening for early-stage ovarian cancer. The technique involves testing the blood for a set of three proteins associated specifically with ovarian cancer, and early trials have produced promising results, especially when the protein analysis was utilized in conjunction with tests for CA 125, a previously known biomarker for tumors of the ovary. One study demonstrated that by screening women with both tests, more than 80 percent of ovarian cancers could be detected, as could more than 90 percent of normal tissues. Nevertheless, even after further studies, such screening techniques are not likely to be utilized by medical professionals for most women. In order to avoid patients with false positives undergoing the invasive procedures currently needed to confirm a diagnosis of ovarian cancer, screening is likely to remain advisable only for high-risk women.
  • Ovarian Adenocarcinoma at 40x Magnification

    Ovarian Adenocarcinoma at 40x Magnification

    Several different risk factors are associated with ovarian cancer. Studies show the disease most commonly strikes women over the age of 50, and is more prevalent among Caucasians than African Americans. Ovarian cancer tends to run in families, and is associated with a particularly high risk if an individual has had two or more close family members with the disease. An elevated level of chronic exposure to the female sex hormone estrogen related to, among other things, early onset of menstruation, late onset of menopause, and low number of pregnancies, is another key risk factor that contributes to malignant ovarian growths. Certain acquired genetic mutations and a personal history of breast cancer have been linked to some cases of ovarian cancer as well.
  • Ovarian Adenocarcinoma at 20x Magnification

    Ovarian Adenocarcinoma at 20x Magnification

    Ovarian cancer is a relatively rare disease, but is the fifth leading cause of cancer-related death among American women. A number of factors contribute to the unusually large number of fatalities associated with the disease. Most notably, the symptoms of ovarian cancer are generally vague and are frequently attributed to other conditions, delaying a correct diagnosis. The symptoms of this type of cancer may include various gastrointestinal complaints, such as indigestion, gas, bloating, and nausea, as well as abdominal or back pain, abnormal vaginal bleeding, a feeling of heaviness in the pelvic area, ascites, and unexplained weight gain or loss. By the time signs of ovarian cancer become palpable, the disease has usually already metastasized to the bladder, bowel, or uterine tissues. Because symptoms of ovarian cancer are so non-specific, there has been a significant amount of interest in developing a useful, cost-effective screening method.
  • Ovarian Adenocarcinoma at 10x Magnification

    Ovarian Adenocarcinoma at 10x Magnification

    Treatment for most women with ovarian cancer involves surgery. The ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus are usually completely removed, but in some cases more conservative surgery may be performed. The latter is particularly common among women with slow-growing tumors in an early stage who want to maintain the ability to have a child. Internal and external radiation treatments are also sometimes utilized as the primary therapy for ovarian cancer patients, but are more frequently used as adjuvants to surgical techniques. In patients with metastases, the systemic approach of chemotherapy is often necessary in order to destroy as many cancer cells as possible.

Ovarian Endometriosis

When endometrial tissue is found in areas of the body outside of the uterus the condition is known as endometriosis. The locations in which endometriosis most commonly occurs include various components of the pelvic cavity, such as the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and the urinary bladder. In very rare instances, endometriosis may develop in the lungs, brain, or other organs significantly removed from the uterus.

  • Ovarian Endometriosis at 20x Magnification

    Ovarian Endometriosis at 20x Magnification

    The endometrium is the membrane that lines the uterus and periodically thickens due to hormone changes associated with a woman’s reproductive cycle. Each month, if pregnancy does not develop, the lining is shed during menstruation. When endometrial tissue is found in areas of the body outside of the uterus the condition is known as endometriosis. The locations in which endometriosis most commonly occurs include various components of the pelvic cavity, such as the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and the urinary bladder. In very rare instances, endometriosis may develop in the lungs, brain, or other organs significantly removed from the uterus. The cause of endometriosis is not well understood, but according to one popular, but unproven, theory, the condition results from endometrial tissue moving up the fallopian tubes and into the pelvic and abdominal regions rather than out of the body during menstruation, causing the tissue to become embedded in unusual places.
  • Ovarian Endometriosis at 20x Magnification

    Ovarian Endometriosis at 20x Magnification

    Some cases of endometriosis are asymptomatic and are only discovered when other problems arise. In others, pain associated with the condition can be severe. For some patients pelvic pain is chronic, while others may only experience pain during sexual intercourse, menstruation, bowel movements, or urination. Endometriosis tends to cause pain because of the nature of endometrial tissue, which produces chemical secretions as part of the reproductive cycle in order that it can thicken during parts of the month and then break down into blood and tissue components before being shed from the body. Even when it is located outside of the uterus, endometrial tissue attempts to maintain its normal activities and, consequently, the chemicals it secretes can irritate adjacent tissues, resulting in pain. Similarly, since in many cases misplaced endometrial materials have no way to vacate the body, fluid may accumulate into cysts or nodules may form in the area of endometriosis. When endometriosis affects certain parts of the body, such as the rectum or the urinary tract, irregular bleeding may become noticeable.
  • Ovarian Endometriosis at 40x Magnification

    Ovarian Endometriosis at 40x Magnification

    Though pain and abnormal bleeding can be a serious problem for individuals with endometriosis, many patients are most concerned about infertility related to the condition. An estimated 30 to 40 percent of women with endometriosis are infertile, and oftentimes for asymptomatic individuals, the disorder may only come to their attention when they attempt to conceive a child and are unable to do so. The specific reason why an individual with endometriosis is unable to become pregnant is not always known, though in some cases it has been linked to obstruction of the fallopian tubes. Some studies also suggest that there may be certain changes associated with the condition that take place in the uterus or in the egg that adversely affect fertility, but research is ongoing and many other factors could be at fault as well.
  • Ovarian Endometriosis at 10x Magnification

    Ovarian Endometriosis at 10x Magnification

    There is currently no cure for endometriosis, but the symptoms of the condition can often be successfully treated. Over-the-counter pain medications or prescription drugs are usually recommended for individuals with relatively mild symptoms, as are hormone pills, injections, and nasal sprays. The latter can cause severe side effects, however, in some women and exacerbate symptoms. Extensive endometriosis may often best be treated with surgery, which may entail a major or minor procedure depending on the size and location of the affected areas. Yet, even if a patient undergoes a complete hysterectomy or removal of the ovaries, there remains a risk that the symptoms of endometriosis will return.
  • Ovarian Endometriosis at 20x Magnification

    Ovarian Endometriosis at 20x Magnification

    Some cases of endometriosis are asymptomatic and are only discovered when other problems arise. In others, pain associated with the condition can be severe. For some patients pelvic pain is chronic, while others may only experience pain during sexual intercourse, menstruation, bowel movements, or urination. Endometriosis tends to cause pain because of the nature of endometrial tissue, which produces chemical secretions as part of the reproductive cycle in order that it can thicken during parts of the month and then break down into blood and tissue components before being shed from the body. Even when it is located outside of the uterus, endometrial tissue attempts to maintain its normal activities and, consequently, the chemicals it secretes can irritate adjacent tissues, resulting in pain. Similarly, since in many cases misplaced endometrial materials have no way to vacate the body, fluid may accumulate into cysts or nodules may form in the area of endometriosis. When endometriosis affects certain parts of the body, such as the rectum or the urinary tract, irregular bleeding may become noticeable.
  • Ovarian Endometriosis at 40x Magnification

    Ovarian Endometriosis at 40x Magnification

    The endometrium is the membrane that lines the uterus and periodically thickens due to hormone changes associated with a woman’s reproductive cycle. Each month, if pregnancy does not develop, the lining is shed during menstruation. When endometrial tissue is found in areas of the body outside of the uterus the condition is known as endometriosis. The locations in which endometriosis most commonly occurs include various components of the pelvic cavity, such as the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and the urinary bladder. In very rare instances, endometriosis may develop in the lungs, brain, or other organs significantly removed from the uterus. The cause of endometriosis is not well understood, but according to one popular, but unproven, theory, the condition results from endometrial tissue moving up the fallopian tubes and into the pelvic and abdominal regions rather than out of the body during menstruation, causing the tissue to become embedded in unusual places.

Peptic Ulcer

The most characteristic symptom of a peptic ulcer is pain, typically in the mid-upper region of the abdomen. This pain often takes the form of an aching, burning, or gnawing feeling and tends to vary in its intensity depending on the digestive state. Gastric ulcers generally cause the greatest pain soon after a meal is consumed, whereas duodenal ulcers are generally considered to be most painful between meals, when the stomach is empty.

  • Peptic Ulcer at 20x Magnification

    Peptic Ulcer at 20x Magnification

    An ulcer is a lesion of the skin or mucus membrane that forms an open sore as inflamed tissue undergoes necrosis and is subsequently sloughed. The most familiar form of ulcer is the peptic ulcer, which affects approximately 10 to 15 percent of the worldwide human population. Peptic ulcers may be found anywhere within the gastrointestinal tract, but occur predominantly in the mucosa of the stomach or the duodenum, which comprises the upper portion of the small intestine. The incidence of the two main types of peptic ulcer varies significantly according to gender, region, and age.
  • Peptic Ulcer at 40x Magnification

    Peptic Ulcer at 40x Magnification

    In the United States and other areas of the Western world, duodenal ulcers account for approximately 80 percent of all peptic ulcers and are considerably more common in men than in women. Gastric ulcers in Western countries, however, occur more often in the female half of the population. In some Eastern parts of the world, such as Japan, gastric ulcers have a higher incidence in both sexes. Some scientists have attributed this fact to the traditional diet in the region, which generally includes raw fish and foods pickled in acetic acid. Also, it is much more likely to that someone in his or her mid-twenties to mid-thirties will develop a duodenal ulcer than a gastric ulcer, since the latter kind of peptic ulcer is very rare in individuals less than 40 years of age and peaks in incidence in those that are between ages of 55 and 65.
  • Peptic Ulcer at 10x Magnification

    Peptic Ulcer at 10x Magnification

    Peptic ulcers have traditionally been considered to result from high levels of stress and a diet laden with rich or spicy foods. However, this viewpoint, which still persists among many laypersons today, was disputed in the early 1980s by Australian scientists Barry Marshall and J. Robin Warren. According to their theory, peptic ulcers could be generated by the presence of the bacterium Helicobacter pylori in the gastrointestinal tract despite the earlier belief that organisms could not survive in the stomach or duodenum due to the extremely acidic environment they provide. Although the Marshall-Warren theory was initially met with significant skepticism, since that time it has become widely accepted in scientific circles. It is now generally thought that H. pylori successful live in the stomach and duodenum by locally neutralizing their environment via the conversion of urea into carbon dioxide and ammonia. This activity apparently facilitates a weakening and eventual breakdown in the mucus membrane, which can lead to the formation of an ulcer. Infection with H. pylori is believed to be related to approximately 9 out of 10 cases of duodenal ulcers and 7 out of 10 cases of gastric ulcers. Yet, the presence of the bacterium, which affects approximately one-third of the population of the United States does not always result in ulceration, other factors apparently playing a significant role in the development of the inflamed lesions.
  • Peptic Ulcer at 20x Magnification

    Peptic Ulcer at 20x Magnification

    Most instances of peptic ulcer that do not involve infection with H. pylori are associated with ongoing use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). When NSAID treatment is halted, the healing process of the ulcer usually is able to take place on its own. Thus, it is important to know the primary cause of a patient’s ulcer in order that it may be determined what, if any, therapy should be used to combat the condition. In cases where H. pylori is considered at fault, antibiotics, such as tetracycline, amoxicillin, or metronidazole, are usually prescribed to fight the bacterial infection. In addition, a proton pump inhibitor or H2 blocker may be administered to hinder the stomach’s secretion of acid until the ulcer has healed.

Pernicious Anemia

Anemia is a condition of the blood characterized by a deficiency of erythrocytes (also known as red blood cells), hemoglobin, or total volume. Nearly 100 different types of anemia with a wide array of underlying causes and symptoms have been described. Pernicious anemia is a form of the disease that is associated with an inability of the body to absorb vitamin B12.

  • Pernicious Anemia at 40x Magnification

    Pernicious Anemia at 40x Magnification

    Anemia is a condition of the blood characterized by a deficiency of erythrocytes (also known as red blood cells), hemoglobin, or total volume. Nearly 100 different types of anemia with a wide array of underlying causes and symptoms have been described. Pernicious anemia is a form of the disease that is associated with an inability of the body to absorb vitamin B12. The name of the disease reflects the fact that it was often a fatal condition prior to the 1920s when the dietary nature of the condition was discovered and liver began to be utilized to treat it. The development of pernicious anemia is usually a gradual process that affects individuals 35 years of age or older. The disease may also begin in youth, but in such cases, usually appears before the age of 3. There appears to be a hereditary component involved in the development of pernicious anemia, an increased incidence for the disease being observed in some families.
  • Pernicious Anemia at 20x Magnification

    Pernicious Anemia at 20x Magnification

    Pernicious anemia typically develops gradually and the initial signs of the disease, which may include weakness and fatigue, are vague. Other symptoms of pernicious anemia typically only occur in more severe case, but may include pallor, shortness of breath, rapid heart rate, anorexia, tongue soreness and redness, bleeding gums, and weight loss. If the condition is left untreated, irreparable neurological problems may develop that may become apparent as unsteadiness when walking, a tingling or a numb feeling in the hands and feet, irritability, memory loss, or severe personality changes that are sometimes referred to as megaloblastic madness. Few individuals incur such serious effects from pernicious anemia in modern times, although they were seen as inevitable steps on the path towards disease-related death in earlier periods. Today, treatment for pernicious anemia involves periodic intramuscular injections of vitamin B12. This form of therapy is very successful and usually provides rapid relief. The injections must be continued throughout life, however, or symptoms of pernicious anemia will return.

Plasmodium vivax Infection

Individuals with malaria caused by Plasmodium vivax rarely die, unlike individuals infected with P. falciparum, but are much more likely to endure repeated bouts of the disease. The prolonged problems associated with P. vivax are generally believed to involve a persistent form of the parasite (hypnozoite) that inhabits the liver and can lead to repeated relapses.

  • Plasmodium vivax Infection at 40x Magnification

    Plasmodium vivax Infection at 40x Magnification

    Malaria is a disease characterized by the cyclical occurrence of fever, chills, and sweating that has been recognized since antiquity. An effective cure for malaria, the bark of the cinchona tree, was discovered in America and was brought to Europe by the Spanish conquistadores. It was not until the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, however, that the vector and parasite responsible for the disease were identified, though malaria had been associated with swampy areas long before. In the 1880s, a surgeon with the French military, Alphonse Laveran, identified parasitic protozoa as the cause of malaria, and over the ensuing decades a number of scientists contributed to the identification of the bite of the female Anopheles mosquito as the mode of transmission. Today, four species of the protozoa first observed by Laveran are known to produce malaria: Plasmodium vivax, P. falciparum, P. ovale, and P. malariae. The former two varieties are by far the most common, accounting for the vast majority of malaria cases around the world.

Polycythemia

Polycythemia is a condition characterized by an abnormal proliferation of erythrocytes in the blood. This increased presence of erythrocytes thickens the blood and slows its flow through the body, as well as elevates the risk of blood clot formation. Consequently, polycythemia can sometimes culminate in pulmonary embolism, stroke, heart attack, or other thrombosis-related events.

  • Polycythemia at 40x Magnification

    Polycythemia at 40x Magnification

    Polycythemia is a condition characterized by an abnormal proliferation of erythrocytes (also known as red blood cells) in the blood. This increased presence of erythrocytes thickens the blood and slows its flow through the body, as well as elevates the risk of blood clot formation. Consequently, polycythemia can sometimes culminate in pulmonary embolism, stroke, heart attack, or other thrombosis-related events. More often symptoms include headache, fatigue, shortness of breath, light-headedness, itchiness, easily bruised skin, bleeding, and hypertension. Diagnosis of polycythemia usually involves a physical examination, patient history, and close study of the blood, which may encompass measurements of oxygen levels, the hormone erythropoietin, and erythrocyte mass. Occasionally imaging studies are also considered necessary in order to help determine what factors may have instigated the condition.
  • Polycythemia at 20x Magnification

    Polycythemia at 20x Magnification

    The cause of polycythemia varies and is often associated with certain activities or other medical conditions, in which case it is typically described as secondary polycythemia. For instance, the body frequently compensates for decreased oxygen related to prolonged habitation of high altitudes, smoking, certain types of cancer, pulmonary disease, heart disorders, and other conditions by increasing the production of red blood cells. In such cases, the polycythemia is usually treated by addressing the underlying condition. Similarly, relative polycythemia, which is a form of the condition in which the appearance of a raised erythrocyte level is the result of a reduction of blood plasma, is treated by correcting the problem that caused the plasma decrease, such as excessively low consumption of fluids, high blood pressure, or stress. Sometimes patients will take measures to relieve symptoms of polycythemia, such as using antihistamines to combat itchy skin, while they are attempting to remedy the cause.

Prostate Carcinoma

Prostate carcinoma is second only to skin cancer as the most prevalent cancer among men in the United States. This type of tumor is most commonly discovered in men over the age of 55 and has a higher incidence among African Americans than Caucasians. In other parts of the world, prostate cancer rates vary greatly. Asian countries, such as China and Japan, report some of the lowest incidences of the disease.

  • Prostate Carcinoma at 20x Magnification

    Prostate Carcinoma at 20x Magnification

    Prostate carcinoma is second only to skin cancer as the most prevalent cancer among men in the United States. This type of tumor is most commonly discovered in men over the age of 55 and has a higher incidence among African Americans than Caucasians. In other parts of the world, prostate cancer rates vary greatly. Asian countries, such as China and Japan, report some of the lowest incidences of the disease. The racial and national differences in the occurrence of prostate cancer have incited much speculation about factors that contribute to its development. Some research suggests that there may be a link between diets high in fat or low in certain nutrients and the disease, while other studies seem to indicate that high levels of the hormone testosterone can increase the risk of prostate carcinoma. Another area of intense scientific interest is a possible genetic basis for prostate cancer, which is more common among individuals who have a close relative with the disease.
  • Prostate Carcinoma at 10x Magnification

    Prostate Carcinoma at 10x Magnification

    The prostate gland primarily functions in the production and storage of seminal fluids and is located just below the bladder. In healthy individuals, the gland is approximately the size of a walnut and encircles the urethra without unduly placing pressure on the duct. If a tumor develops in the prostate, however, the urethra becomes increasingly compressed as the growth enlarges, which can result in decreased urine flow, a need to urinate frequently, and other urinary problems. Symptoms of an abnormal growth may also include sexual dysfunction and frequent pain or stiffness in the upper thighs, hips, and lower back. Prostate tumors can develop from various types of cells, but the vast majority (approximately 95 percent) of growths are identified as adenocarcinomas, the malignancies originating in epithelial glandular tissue. In as few as 5 percent of prostate cancer cases, the tumor is of another variety, such as small cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, or endometrioid cancer.
  • Prostate Carcinoma at 40x Magnification

    Prostate Carcinoma at 40x Magnification

    The symptoms of prostate cancer are similar to those of several other conditions, including benign prostatic hyperplasia, and, therefore, a variety of medical tests may be necessary in order for a definitive diagnosis to be made. Rectal examination and transrectal ultrasound can be used to establish that the prostate is enlarged, and a prostate-specific antigen blood test can detect prostate growths even in their earliest stages of development. In fact, both techniques can indicate the possible existence of a tumor before any symptoms appear, and are accountable for many instances of early detection. If preliminary tests suggest prostate cancer, a biopsy is carried out to confirm or refute the diagnosis.
  • Prostate Carcinoma at 10x Magnification

    Prostate Carcinoma at 10x Magnification

    Prostate carcinoma is generally a very slow-growing type of cancer and most typically develops late in life. Due to such characteristics, some individuals who are diagnosed with the disease prefer a watchful waiting approach, in which a doctor monitors the disease for any signs that active treatment is necessary, rather than undergoing immediate surgery or other therapy. Watchful waiting is particularly popular among very elderly individuals or those that are in poor health related to other conditions. For patients that require treatment a number of options are available, including various surgical techniques, radiotherapy, hormone therapy, and chemotherapy. Oftentimes, several approaches will be used in conjunction with one another to increase the likelihood that all malignant cells are destroyed or removed.

Pulmonary Edema

Since cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of pulmonary edema, following steps that reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems also decreases one's risk of fluid accumulation in the lungs. One of the most important of these steps is controlling blood pressure. In the United States, around 50 million people are affected by high blood pressure, which is currently defined as having a resting blood pressure consistently 140/90 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or higher.

  • Pulmonary Edema at 40x Magnification

    Pulmonary Edema at 40x Magnification

    Pulmonary edema is a swelling and accumulation of fluid in the lungs. The serious condition is most often caused by heart failure or some other cardiac condition that weakens or stiffens the muscle tissue of the heart. In such cases, the decreased functionality of the heart leads to an elevation of the pressure in the pulmonary veins and, consequently, fluid is forced into the alveoli. Other causes of pulmonary edema include excessive accumulation of body fluids related to kidney failure or another medical problem, living in or traveling to areas at high altitudes, and injury to the lungs related to serious infections, such as pneumonia, smoke inhalation, or exposure to toxins or certain medications.
  • Pulmonary Edema at 10x Magnification

    Pulmonary Edema at 10x Magnification

    Pulmonary edema is considered a medical emergency and individuals exhibiting symptoms of the condition should promptly seek medical care. Some of the most common symptoms of the condition include difficulty breathing, bubbling or grunting sounds when breathing, wheezing, cough, pallor or cyanosis (blue or purple coloring of the skin), sweating, swollen hands and ankles, anxiety, and restlessness. Some individuals with pulmonary edema may also cough up blood, experience decreased mental alertness, exhibit an increased heart rate, or be unable to speak due to air hunger. Listening to the chest of an individual with pulmonary edema with a stethoscope often reveals rales (crackling sounds) in the lungs and heart murmurs as well.
  • Pulmonary Edema at 20x Magnification

    Pulmonary Edema at 20x Magnification

    Treatment for pulmonary edema usually initially consists of the administration of oxygen via a face mask, nasal prongs, breathing tube, or ventilator. Immediately thereafter, treatment is typically shifted to address the underlying cause of the condition. For instance, if a heart condition is associated with the edema, then the heart must be ministered to, whereas infection-related edema often requires the use of antibiotics. Diuretics can also help eliminate excess fluids from the body, morphine and several other drugs can relieve anxiety and shortness of breath, and various narcotics may be used to dilate the blood vessels and relieve pressure. It is important to note that without prompt treatment, pulmonary edema is much more likely to be fatal.
  • Pulmonary Edema at 10x Magnification

    Pulmonary Edema at 10x Magnification

    Since cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of pulmonary edema, following steps that reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems also decreases one’s risk of fluid accumulation in the lungs. One of the most important of these steps is controlling blood pressure. In the United States, around 50 million people are affected by high blood pressure, which is currently defined as having a resting blood pressure consistently 140/90 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or higher. High blood pressure has been linked with an increased risk of not only cardiovascular disease, but a host of other problems as well. Among the best ways to lower one’s blood pressure is to exercise regularly, consume a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and limit intake of coffee, salt, and alcohol. Some recent studies also suggest that an insufficient supply of calcium to the body is associated with some cases of high blood pressure.

Ruptured Ectopic Pregnancy

In a normal pregnancy, fertilization takes place in the uterine tube and then the fertilized egg travels along the tube to the main cavity of the uterus, where it is implanted in the uterine lining. In an ectopic pregnancy, the ovum never completes the journey to the uterine cavity. Instead, implantation occurs in the uterine tubes, abdomen, or even, in rare instances, in the ovarian follicle if fertilization takes place before the egg is released.

  • Ruptured Ectopic Pregnancy at 10x Magnification

    Ruptured Ectopic Pregnancy at 10x Magnification

    In a normal pregnancy, fertilization takes place in the uterine tube and then the fertilized egg travels along the tube to the main cavity of the uterus, where it is implanted in the uterine lining. In an ectopic pregnancy, however, the ovum never completes the journey to the uterine cavity. Instead, implantation occurs in the uterine tubes, abdomen, or even, in rare instances, in the ovarian follicle if fertilization takes place before the egg is released. Ectopic pregnancies are nearly impossible to carry to term and usually result in spontaneous abortion. The condition is relatively common, occurring about once in every 300 pregnancies.
  • Ruptured Ectopic Pregnancy at 20x Magnification

    Ruptured Ectopic Pregnancy at 20x Magnification

    Ectopic pregnancies can be difficult to diagnose and sometimes go completely unnoticed, especially when the fetus dies at a very early stage and is resorbed by the body. Cases are even known when fetal death occurred at a later time and instead of being resorbed or expelled, was carried for substantial amounts of time in a sort of mummified form without the appearance of any symptoms. In some instances, individuals may also experience what is known as a combined pregnancy, in which one pregnancy is the normal uterine variety and the other is an ectopic pregnancy. This unusual condition can make diagnosis even more problematic, but when recognized, can often be treated so that the uterine fetus survives and the abnormal pregnancy is ended. Signs of a more typical ectopic pregnancy frequently, but not invariably, involve missed periods, abdominal pain, recurrent irregular bleeding, and weakness. Also, oftentimes pregnancy tests will provide mixed results, and certain common symptoms of pregnancy, such as morning sickness, are absent. Rarely, the intense pain and hemorrhaging associated with rupture are the first indications that anything is wrong.
  • Ruptured Ectopic Pregnancy at 40x Magnification

    Ruptured Ectopic Pregnancy at 40x Magnification

    The most frequent type of ectopic pregnancy is the tubal variety, which can be particularly dangerous to the mother if it involves implantation in the narrow portion of the tube near the uterus called the isthmus, rather than the larger, more expandable ampulla or infundibulum. This is because as the fertilized egg attempts to grow and divide, the isthmus attempts to stretch but is so narrow and inflexible that it soon ruptures, causing profuse internal hemorrhaging that can lead to death. Tubal rupture may also occur when the ovum is implanted in other regions of the uterine tube, but at a lower rate of incidence since the longer amount of time it takes to occur means that there is a better chance that the condition will be recognized before the tube becomes physically damaged.
  • Ruptured Ectopic Pregnancy at 20x Magnification

    Ruptured Ectopic Pregnancy at 20x Magnification

    Specific causes of ectopic pregnancies are not generally known. Some medical professionals have suggested that many times the condition is a result of scarring, kinks, pockets or other irregularities in the lining of the uterine tubes caused by prior infection, but oftentimes no tubal abnormality can be found. Damage to the cilia lining the uterine tubes is another possible cause of ectopic pregnancy since the hair-like structures are important in the process of pushing the fertilized egg towards the uterus. Also, certain hormones or hormonal imbalances are theoretically capable of resulting in an abnormal implantation site for the ovum as well because they can slow the speed at which the mass travels along the uterine tube. This delay could allow the egg to mature to a level that signals it is ready for implantation before it actually reaches the cavity of the uterus.

Sarcoidosis

Sarcoidosis is a disease that most commonly affects the lungs and is characterized by the inflammation of tissues resulting in the formation of the small aggregations of cells known as granulomas. In addition to its most customary pulmonary form, sarcoidosis may affect the skin, eyes, lymph nodes, muscles, liver, and most any other tissue in the body.

  • Sarcoidosis at 20x Magnification

    Sarcoidosis at 20x Magnification

    Sarcoidosis is a disease that most commonly affects the lungs and is characterized by the inflammation of tissues resulting in the formation of the small aggregations of cells known as granulomas. In addition to its most customary pulmonary form, sarcoidosis may affect the skin, eyes, lymph nodes, muscles, liver, and most any other tissue in the body. The onset of the disease may be gradual or sudden, and it usually disappears on its own, though this process can take years. In some individuals, the disease comes and goes spontaneously throughout life. Many people with sarcoidosis, however, do not display any palpable symptoms, and diagnosis is only incidental. In others, symptoms may include shortness of breath, chronic cough, skin rash, and swelling of the eyes, depending upon which region of the body is experiencing the inflammation.
  • Sarcoidosis at 10x Magnification
    The cause of sarcoidosis is not known, but some scientists have attempted to link it with a number of different factors, including exposure to certain toxins and mycobacteria. There also may be a hereditary component to the disease, which is more prevalent and rigorous in certain groups of people than others. Most notably, individuals of Scandinavian origin are more likely to develop sarcoidosis than other Caucasians, and in North America, the black population tends to experience the disease in greater frequency and severity than the white population. Gender also appears to somehow be involved in the likelihood of developing sarcoidosis, at least among the black population, the females of which are twice as likely as males to get the disease. The precise incidence of the disease, however, cannot be determined since it is generally believed that only a small portion of individuals with sarcoidosis are ever properly diagnosed.
  • Sarcoidosis at 40x Magnification

    Sarcoidosis at 40x Magnification

    Many individuals with sarcoidosis do not require any treatment for the disease. When symptoms are severe, however, or when the disease affects the nervous system, therapy may be advisable. The primary form of treatment for sarcoidosis is the administration of a corticosteroid, frequently prednisone, which suppresses inflammation. Generally, this form of treatment results in significant improvement, but cessation of use typically results in the reappearance of symptoms. Thus, due to the long course of the disease, which can extend as long as 36 months, corticosteroid treatment would necessarily be required for an extensive amount of time. However, the possibility of adverse side effects from corticosteroid usage, such as ulcers, calcium loss, and high blood pressure, increases when the synthetic hormone is taken for lengthy periods. Consequently, patients should carefully consider the possible problems of treatment as well as its benefits before electing to undertake it.
  • Sarcoidosis at 10x Magnification

    Sarcoidosis at 10x Magnification

    Sarcoidosis was described in the nineteenth century independently by an Englishman, Jonathan Hutchinson, and by Caesar Boeck, a Norwegian doctor. Consequently, the disease was formerly known as both Hutchinson’s disease and Boeck’s disease. The modern term was derived from a Greek phrase meaning “flesh-like,” a choice that is reflective of the protuberances that sometimes form on the surface of the skin due to the disease. These reddish, tender bumps, scientifically described as erythema nodosum, most commonly appear on the shins, arms, and face.

Scar Tissue

Scars can never be completely eradicated, but a number of techniques have been developed that can greatly improve their appearance. For many scars, dermabrasion, which involves the use of an electrical machine to remove the outer layers of the skin to provide a more even contour, and laser resurfacing, in which high-energy laser light is used to eliminate damaged tissue, can be very beneficial.

  • Scar Tissue at 10x Magnification

    Scar Tissue at 10x Magnification

    A scar is the marking that remains after tissue damaged from a cut, burn, or other wound has healed. The most familiar scars appear on the surface of the skin, though they also can develop on tissues located inside the body. Scar formation is a natural process that results from replacement tissue being somewhat structurally and functionally different than the original tissue that was injured. Produced by fibroblasts, scar tissue is predominantly composed of fibrous connective tissue made of collagen and is typically thicker, denser, and paler than surrounding tissues. The poor elasticity of scar tissue can limit movement in areas of the body that were extensively damaged, and the lack of oil glands in the inferior tissue is sometimes associated with itchiness or irritation.
  • Scar Tissue at 20x Magnification

    Scar Tissue at 20x Magnification

    Scars can exhibit a wide variety of appearances and have been considered ornamental in some cultures, but are often considered unsightly. Most commonly scars are pale and flat, but red or dark and raised scars, usually termed hypertrophic scars, also frequently occur and are associated with an imbalance in the manufacture of collagen during the healing process. A particularly problematic type of hypertrophic scar is the keloid, which grows beyond the bounds of the original injury, sometimes to significant sizes. Keloids are most common in young, dark-skinned individuals and can become serious problems if they continue to grow indefinitely. Hypotrophic scars, which have a sunken and often hyperpigmented appearance due to a loss of collagen and ground substance, can also be problematic. Acne and chicken pox are two common conditions that frequently result in hypotrophic scarring. Stretch marks, which usually develop during pregnancy or adolescence due to rapid expansion of the skin, are another form of hypotrophic scar.
  • Scar Tissue at 10x Magnification

    Scar Tissue at 10x Magnification

    Scars can never be completely eradicated, but a number of techniques have been developed that can greatly improve their appearance. For many scars, dermabrasion, which involves the use of an electrical machine to remove the outer layers of the skin to provide a more even contour, and laser resurfacing, in which high-energy laser light is used to eliminate damaged tissue, can be very beneficial. Chemical peels and collagen injections can also be used to cosmetically improve sunken scars, though improvement resulting from the latter process is temporary and must be repeated every three to six months. In some instances, scars can be made less noticeable through surgical techniques that may involve moving a scar to a more favorable location or changing its width or length. All surgeries result in their own scar tissue formation, but under the care of a medical professional, the original scar may be diminished and the new marks may be minimized for an overall cosmetic improvement. Other methods that are sometimes utilized to treat scars include the application of cocoa butter or creams with vitamin E, pressure bandages, cortisone and interferon injections, and the use of silicone-containing creams, gels, and bandages.

Sickle Cell Anemia

Normally, mature erythrocytes have a rounded, biconcave shape that is flexible enough for the small cells to squeeze through even the smallest of blood vessels. In individuals with sickle cell anemia, however, many red blood cells assume a rigid sickle-like shape that can hinder their passage through diminutive capillaries, resulting in oxygen deficiency to certain tissues as blockages form.

  • Sickle Cell Anemia at 40x Magnification

    Sickle Cell Anemia at 40x Magnification

    Normally, mature erythrocytes have a rounded, biconcave shape that is flexible enough for the small cells to squeeze through even the smallest of blood vessels. In individuals with sickle cell anemia, however, many red blood cells assume a rigid sickle-like shape that can hinder their passage through diminutive capillaries, resulting in oxygen deficiency to certain tissues as blockages form. Sickled red blood cells are unusually fragile and prone to breakage, so they only survive in the bloodstream for about a tenth of the time that normal erythrocytes remain in circulation, increasing the effects of anemia. Among the most common symptoms of sickle cell anemia are fatigue, breathlessness, joint pain, delayed growth, jaundice, rapid heart rate, increased susceptibility to infections, and sporadic attacks of pain (often termed crises) in the abdomen or other areas of the body. Complications of the genetic disease may include ulcers, damage to the eyes, strokes, and seizures.
  • Sickle Cell Anemia at 20x Magnification

    Sickle Cell Anemia at 20x Magnification

    Early twentieth-century descriptions of sickle cell anemia in Western literature noted that sickling was related to low levels of oxygen, and before mid-century Linus Pauling and Harvey Itano demonstrated through protein electrophoresis that the hemoglobin of patients with the disease is different than that of normal individuals. In the subsequent decades, a more complete understanding of the disease was culled. According to modern medicine, sickle cell anemia is caused by a point mutation in one nucleotide within the sequence of 438 bases coding for the hemoglobin beta chain. A shift in the seventeenth nucleotide from a thymine base to an adenine base in the DNA of genes encoding hemoglobin causes a switch in the sixth amino acid, from glutamic acid to valine, in people with sickle cell anemia. The change of this one amino acid results in hemoglobin (generally referred to as hemoglobin S) that responds to oxygen deficiency by stacking into filaments and clustering in red blood cells containing the mutated protein in such a way that their shape is distorted. Initially, cells experiencing the distortion, or sickling, can resume their normal shape when they are reintroduced to oxygen. However, over time, they lose this ability and the sickle shape becomes permanent.

Silicosis

Silicosis is a disease of the lungs caused by excessive or chronic exposure to silica dust. Silica is the chief mineral component of sand and is found in many varieties of rock and in mineral ores. Thus, individuals employed in certain occupations, such as sandblasting, mining, grinding, and drilling, are at increased risk for developing the disease.

  • Silicosis at 10x Magnification

    Silicosis at 10x Magnification

    Silicosis is a disease of the lungs caused by excessive or chronic exposure to silica dust. Silica is the chief mineral component of sand and is found in many varieties of rock and in mineral ores. Thus, individuals employed in certain occupations, such as sandblasting, mining, grinding, and drilling, are at increased risk for developing the disease. Silicosis is recognized as one of the earliest known industrial diseases, having been associated since at least the eighteenth century with individuals working as knife grinders or potters. Silica dust is sometimes invisible to the naked eye and can remain airborne for significant periods of time, thus it is necessary for individuals in high-risk occupations to always take protective measures at work in order to prevent silicosis. In the United States, many preventative measures are legally required and federal safety standards for acceptable levels of exposure have been put in place. Consequently, incidence of the disease in the country has steadily decreased over the last several decades. According to statistics compiled by the World Health Organization, however, silicosis is still widespread in many locations around the globe.
  • Silicosis at 20x Magnification

    Silicosis at 20x Magnification

    When silica dust is inhaled into the lungs, the tiny particles are engulfed by macrophages, large phagocytic cells that play a key role in fighting off bacteria and other foreign substances. The cells are unable, however, to digest the dust and the silica kills them. The dead macrophages then slowly accumulate in the lungs so that they eventually form fibrous nodules, which may further coalesce into sizable masses. These fibrous masses, which are characteristic of silicosis, hinder lung expansion and gas exchange. Thus, the primary symptoms of silicosis are breathing difficulty, coughing, chest pain, and general weakness. Silicosis also predisposes the sufferer to a number of other diseases, including tuberculosis, pneumonia, lung cancer, bronchitis, and emphysema.
  • Silicosis at 40x Magnification

    Silicosis at 40x Magnification

    Although most commonly silicosis is a chronic disease that develops over decades from exposure to low concentrations of silica dust, accelerated and acute forms are also known. Accelerated silicosis usually occurs over as few as five to ten years, the hastened development stemming from exposure to unusually high levels of silica dust. Acute silicosis develops even faster, sometimes in as little as a few weeks of heavy contact with silica dust. There is no real cure for any form of silicosis, and the condition can worsen even when exposure is discontinued. The nature of acute silicosis, however, makes it a particularly dire condition that can equally affect the young and the old. Acute silicosis is often treated with steroids, but the prognosis is usually poor because once respiratory failure begins it cannot be readily reversed.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinoma is a type of cancer that develops in epithelial tissues. It may occur along the surfaces of a number of different organs, but is most familiar as a disease of the skin. In fact, squamous cell carcinoma accounts for about 20 percent of all non-melanoma skin cancers and is most often attributed to chronic exposure to the ultraviolet radiation of the sun.

  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma at 20x Magnification

    Squamous Cell Carcinoma at 20x Magnification

    Squamous cell carcinoma is a type of cancer that develops in epithelial tissues. It may occur along the surfaces of a number of different organs, but is most familiar as a disease of the skin. In fact, squamous cell carcinoma accounts for about 20 percent of all non-melanoma skin cancers and is most often attributed to chronic exposure to the ultraviolet radiation of the sun. Individuals with fair skin that tends to burn rather than tan and light-colored eyes and hair are at greatest risk. Occurrence of the disease may also be associated with radiation treatments, scarring from burns, ulceration, adverse reactivity to vaccinations, and exposure to tar and mineral oil. Approximately 200,000 inhabitants of the United States are diagnosed with this type of cancer each year. Most cases arise from solar keratoses, scaly or warty lesions that typically form on the ears, hands, and other parts of the body frequently exposed to the sun, but can also be precluded by white patchy areas or the reddened scaly plaques characteristic of Bowen’s disease.
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma at 20x Magnification

    Squamous Cell Carcinoma at 20x Magnification

    Squamous cell carcinoma is a type of cancer that develops in epithelial tissues. It may occur along the surfaces of a number of different organs, but is most familiar as a disease of the skin. In fact, squamous cell carcinoma accounts for about 20 percent of all non-melanoma skin cancers and is most often attributed to chronic exposure to the ultraviolet radiation of the sun. Individuals with fair skin that tends to burn rather than tan and light-colored eyes and hair are at greatest risk. Occurrence of the disease may also be associated with radiation treatments, scarring from burns, ulceration, adverse reactivity to vaccinations, and exposure to tar and mineral oil. Approximately 200,000 inhabitants of the United States are diagnosed with this type of cancer each year. Most cases arise from solar keratoses, scaly or warty lesions that typically form on the ears, hands, and other parts of the body frequently exposed to the sun, but can also be precluded by white patchy areas or the reddened scaly plaques characteristic of Bowen’s disease.
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma at 4x Magnification

    Squamous Cell Carcinoma at 4x Magnification

    Minimizing exposure to the sun is generally regarded as the best means of lessening one’s chance of developing squamous cell carcinoma. Thus, since the light of the sun is at its most intense level at mid-day, whenever possible individuals should avoid outdoor activities between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., especially if they are at increased risk for the disease. If outdoor activity is unavoidable at mid-day, wearing protective clothing, such as a broad-rimmed hat, long-sleeved shirt, and long pants or skirt is generally advisable. Most medical professionals also recommend the regular use of a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or more. Sunscreens usually need to be applied at least a half-hour before exposure to the sun and may need to be periodically reapplied, especially when swimming or other physical activity is involved.
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma at 10x Magnification

    Squamous Cell Carcinoma at 10x Magnification

    If caught early enough, squamous cell carcinoma is readily curable. In such cases, the cancer is usually removed through surgical excision. However, depending on the location and other characteristics of the cancer as well as the patient’s general health, a number of alternate treatments, such as radiation therapy, laser therapy, micrographic surgery, cryosurgery, or electrodessication and curettage, may be utilized instead. If left untreated, squamous cell carcinoma can cause significant damage by invading surrounding tissues. Also, there is a risk that the cancer will metastasize to internal organs or other regions of the body, which greatly increases the incidence of serious health effects and even death. Therefore, any visible lesions that refuse to heal or repeatedly recur should be examined by a medical professional.
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma at 40x Magnification

    Squamous Cell Carcinoma at 40x Magnification

    Squamous cell carcinoma is a type of cancer that develops in epithelial tissues. It may occur along the surfaces of a number of different organs, but is most familiar as a disease of the skin. In fact, squamous cell carcinoma accounts for about 20 percent of all non-melanoma skin cancers and is most often attributed to chronic exposure to the ultraviolet radiation of the sun. Individuals with fair skin that tends to burn rather than tan and light-colored eyes and hair are at greatest risk. Occurrence of the disease may also be associated with radiation treatments, scarring from burns, ulceration, adverse reactivity to vaccinations, and exposure to tar and mineral oil. Approximately 200,000 inhabitants of the United States are diagnosed with this type of cancer each year. Most cases arise from solar keratoses, scaly or warty lesions that typically form on the ears, hands, and other parts of the body frequently exposed to the sun, but can also be precluded by white patchy areas or the reddened scaly plaques characteristic of Bowen’s disease.

Squamous Cell Papilloma

Papillomas are typically benign growths of the epithelium caused by a human papilloma virus (HPV). When found on the skin, papillomas are more commonly referred to as warts or corns. The growths arise from a single infected cell and characteristically exhibit small fingerlike projections. Papillomas are usually not painful and those located on mucus membranes, especially along the genital tract, may go unnoticed for long periods of time.

  • Squamous Cell Papilloma at 20x Magnification

    Squamous Cell Papilloma at 20x Magnification

    Papillomas are typically benign growths of the epithelium caused by a human papilloma virus (HPV). When found on the skin, papillomas are more commonly referred to as warts or corns. The growths, which arise from a single infected cell, characteristically exhibit small fingerlike projections and are frequently lobulated with a central vascular core. Papillomas are usually not painful and those located on mucus membranes, especially those of the genital tract, may go unnoticed for long periods of time. Occasionally, however, some cases of genital or venereal warts may be associated with significant pain and itchiness. In rare cases, papillomas may mutate and lead to cancer.
  • Squamous Cell Papilloma at 40x Magnification

    Squamous Cell Papilloma at 40x Magnification

    Despite the popular myth about humans developing warts from contact with toads, humans contract the growths from contact with other humans infected with a HPV. More than 60 HPVs have been discovered, many of which are very common. The different types of HPVs often affect different regions of the body. At least thirty are known to specifically infect the genital tract, and it is estimated that about ten percent of the adults in developed countries have been infected with one or more of them. These viruses are passed onto others through sexual activity, but HPVs in general can be spread through any direct contact with an infected person or with the virus on a surface, such as a locker-room floor. Not all people exposed to HPV will develop papillomas, however, and researchers are currently trying to determine why some individuals are more susceptible to infection than others. Papillomas have been of scientific interest for a very long time, records indicating that the Romans studied them as early as the 1st century AD.
  • Squamous Cell Papilloma at 10x Magnification

    Squamous Cell Papilloma at 10x Magnification

    Oftentimes papillomas will heal on their own over time and disappear. There is no cure, however, for human papilloma viruses, and individuals may carry them their entire lives. Papillomas of the skin are sometimes treated for cosmetic reasons, especially if they are very large or are located in a highly visible location, or to eliminate pain, which most commonly occurs when they are located on the soles of the feet. Typically, treatment for the dermal growths consists of the application of any of a variety of salicylic acid products or cryosurgery, though laser therapy is sometimes utilized in severe cases. The recurrence rate following treatment is unfortunately quite high. Papillomas of the genital tract generally require more serious forms of treatment, which may range from the application of podophyllin or other chemical solutions to a variety of surgical techniques.
  • Squamous Cell Papilloma at 20x Magnification

    Squamous Cell Papilloma at 20x Magnification

    Papillomas are typically benign growths of the epithelium caused by a human papilloma virus (HPV). When found on the skin, papillomas are more commonly referred to as warts or corns. The growths, which arise from a single infected cell, characteristically exhibit small fingerlike projections and are frequently lobulated with a central vascular core. Papillomas are usually not painful and those located on mucus membranes, especially those of the genital tract, may go unnoticed for long periods of time. Occasionally, however, some cases of genital or venereal warts may be associated with significant pain and itchiness. In rare cases, papillomas may mutate and lead to cancer.

Suppurative Appendicitis (Acute)

Appendicitis is an inflammation of the appendix, a widely familiar condition that afflicts approximately 7 percent of the American population at some point in their lives. In parts of the world where dietary fiber is consumed in significantly greater amounts, incidence of appendicitis is lower. The condition is most common in individuals that are between 10 and 30 years of age, but can occur in all age groups.

  • Suppurative Appendicitis at 10x Magnification

    Suppurative Appendicitis at 10x Magnification

    Appendicitis is an inflammation of the appendix, a widely familiar condition that afflicts approximately 7 percent of all Americans at some point in their lives. In regions of the world where dietary fiber is consumed in significantly greater amounts than in the United States, incidence of appendicitis is lower. The condition is most common in individuals that are between 10 and 30 years of age, but can occur in all age groups. In fact, young children and the elderly are at increased risk for complications of appendicitis, and, therefore, signs of the condition should be watched for with particular attention in such individuals. These signs typically include abdominal pain, which often is at first located centrally before it shifts to the lower right side of the abdomen, fever, and loss of appetite. Diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting are sometimes associated with the disease as well, but occur less frequently.
  • Suppurative Appendicitis at 10x Magnification

    Suppurative Appendicitis at 10x Magnification

    Suppurative appendicitis has traditionally been considered a later stage of appendicitis, in which bacteria and inflammatory fluids accumulated in the lumen of the appendix enter the wall of structure and subsequently cause intense pain when the inflamed membrane rubs against the parietal peritoneum lining the abdominal cavity. Accordingly, for many years incidence of suppurative appendicitis was utilized as a measure of medical care since, according to this view, delays in diagnosis or treatment increase the likelihood of suppuration. Recent research, however, indicates that acute appendicitis and suppurative appendicitis may develop through discrete processes. For instance, one intriguing study found that the incidence of acute appendicitis is greatest among teenagers, but that incidence of suppurative appendicitis does not vary by age. Also, according to some researchers, acute appendicitis is more frequently linked to mucosal ulceration than suppurative appendicitis, which is more often caused by obstruction of the appendix. It has even been suggested that small epidemics of acute appendicitis could be associated with a viral agent, though more studies must be carried out on the subject to more fully understand such occurrences.
  • Suppurative Appendicitis at 20x Magnification

    Suppurative Appendicitis at 20x Magnification

    The most common cause of appendicitis is an obstruction of the narrow lumen of the appendix, usually by fecaliths, but also by tumors, lymphoid hyperplasia, or various foreign materials. The condition is typically treated with the surgical removal of the appendix, known as an appendectomy. Since delay of treatment can allow the appendix to become gangrenous and could result in the rupture of the process, diagnosis must be rapid. Thus, blood tests and other diagnostic procedures are often only utilized if the case does not appear urgent, physical examination and the patient’s history frequently being the primary means of evaluation. Appendectomy is usually a relatively simple procedure and individuals generally heal rapidly from the surgery. No major adverse health effects caused by the removal of the appendix are known, though individuals that have undergone an appendectomy do exhibit a slightly higher risk of developing certain diseases, such as the chronic inflammation of the intestines known as Crohn’s disease.
  • Suppurative Appendicitis at 40x Magnification

    Suppurative Appendicitis at 40x Magnification

    In rare instances, appendicitis can heal on its own without surgery. This uncommon occurrence is usually associated with antibiotic use, especially among the elderly. The condition may not even come to the attention of a medical practitioner until scar tissue formed during healing becomes observable as a lump in the lower right-hand side of the abdomen, which can be confused with a tumor. The rarity of self-healing from appendicitis, however, along with the significant possibility of infection spreading from a burst appendix, suggests that individuals experiencing symptoms of the condition should seek professional help as soon as possible.
  • Suppurative Appendicitis at 20x Magnification

    Suppurative Appendicitis at 20x Magnification

    Suppurative appendicitis has traditionally been considered a later stage of appendicitis, in which bacteria and inflammatory fluids accumulated in the lumen of the appendix enter the wall of structure and subsequently cause intense pain when the inflamed membrane rubs against the parietal peritoneum lining the abdominal cavity. Accordingly, for many years incidence of suppurative appendicitis was utilized as a measure of medical care since, according to this view, delays in diagnosis or treatment increase the likelihood of suppuration. Recent research, however, indicates that acute appendicitis and suppurative appendicitis may develop through discrete processes. For instance, one intriguing study found that the incidence of acute appendicitis is greatest among teenagers, but that incidence of suppurative appendicitis does not vary by age. Also, according to some researchers, acute appendicitis is more frequently linked to mucosal ulceration than suppurative appendicitis, which is more often caused by obstruction of the appendix. It has even been suggested that small epidemics of acute appendicitis could be associated with a viral agent, though more studies must be carried out on the subject to more fully understand such occurrences.
  • Suppurative Appendicitis at 40x Magnification

    Suppurative Appendicitis at 40x Magnification

    Appendicitis is an inflammation of the appendix, a widely familiar condition that afflicts approximately 7 percent of all Americans at some point in their lives. In regions of the world where dietary fiber is consumed in significantly greater amounts than in the United States, incidence of appendicitis is lower. The condition is most common in individuals that are between 10 and 30 years of age, but can occur in all age groups. In fact, young children and the elderly are at increased risk for complications of appendicitis, and, therefore, signs of the condition should be watched for with particular attention in such individuals. These signs typically include abdominal pain, which often is at first located centrally before it shifts to the lower right side of the abdomen, fever, and loss of appetite. Diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting are sometimes associated with the disease as well, but occur less frequently.

Tattoos

Most modern tattoos are produced with an electrically powered machine that rapidly moves a needle up and down so that the insoluble micrometer-sized particles of ink it contains are injected into the skin quickly and at an even depth, generally one-eighth inch past the skin's surface. The original electric tattooing machine was developed in the late nineteenth century and was largely based on an engraving apparatus invented by Thomas Edison.

  • Tattoo at 20x Magnification

    Tattoo at 20x Magnification

    Tattoos are created by injecting or otherwise ingraining colored pigments into the dermal layer of the skin. Unlike the epidermis, which is continually sloughed by the body, the dermis stays intact throughout one’s lifetime, which makes tattoos permanent. Most modern tattoos are produced with an electrically powered machine that rapidly moves a needle up and down so that the insoluble micrometer-sized particles of ink it contains are injected into the skin quickly and at an even depth, generally one-eighth inch past the skin’s surface. The original electric tattooing machine was developed in the late nineteenth century and was largely based on an engraving apparatus invented by Thomas Edison.
  • Tattoo at 20x Magnification

    Tattoo at 20x Magnification

    Before the development of modern tattooing methods, a wide variety of techniques were utilized. Many Native American tribes, for instance, rubbed pigments into prick marks or scratches to produce tattoos, and in other parts of the world a number of different implements, from thorns and knives to small rake-like instruments and needles followed by pigment-coated thread have been utilized to make permanent markings on the skin. Indeed, there are almost as many ways to create a tattoo as there have been cultures that practiced tattooing. The unusual art form has been known to humans for at least several thousand years, a mummy dating from about 3,300 BC exhibiting what is believed to be the most primitive evidence of tattoos. The ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Germans, Britons, and other early societies are also known to have utilized tattoos for various purposes, though the rise of Christianity led to their disappearance in Europe for many centuries.
  • Tattoo at 10x Magnification

    Tattoo at 10x Magnification

    Throughout the late twentieth century tattoos greatly increased in popularity, and today tens of millions of Americans have one or more of the colorful designs. Unfortunately, studies indicate that many of those individuals wish they had not been tattooed. Unexpected break-ups, changes in lifestyles, and similar reasons are frequently to blame. Yet, for those who can afford it, tattoos can often be removed. Laser treatments that break the pigment molecules comprising a tattoo into smaller particles that can be eradicated by the cells of the immune system and are associated with only a small risk of permanent scarring are generally the preferred method of tattoo removal. Other treatments, including dermabrasion, surgical excision, and cryosurgery, are also sometimes employed, but are typically more painful and likely to cause scarring than the laser technique.
  • Tattoo at 40x Magnification

    Tattoo at 40x Magnification

    As more and more tattoo parlors began infiltrating American business districts over the last few decades, a certain amount of concern arose regarding their safety. Some critics labeled them as sites where hepatitis, HIV, and other infections can readily be spread through unsanitary practices. However, statistics show that the sterilization methods and other precautionary measures taken by professional tattoo artists are highly successful at eliminating the possibility of spreading diseases via tattooing. In fact, according to data released by the Center for Disease Control, more people contract hepatitis and HIV at dental offices than at tattoo parlors.

Testicular Seminoma

Testicular cancer is one of the most prevalent types of cancer that occurs in men from ages 15 to 34. Approximately 95 percent of testicular tumors stem from germ cells. Seminomas, which are widely considered to develop from the germinal epithelium of the seminiferous tubules, account for approximately half of all germ cell tumors.

  • Testicular Seminoma at 10x Magnification

    Testicular Seminoma at 10x Magnification

    Testicular cancer is one of the most prevalent types of cancer that occurs in men from ages 15 to 34. Approximately 95 percent of testicular tumors stem from germ cells. Seminomas, which are widely considered to develop from the germinal epithelium of the seminiferous tubules, account for approximately half of all germ cell tumors. Seminomas are malignant, and though at one time they were usually fatal, advances in the medical field have ensured that the vast majority of patients fully recover. Treatment may involve the surgical removal of the affected testicle, but studies show that the tumors demonstrate remarkable sensitivity to both chemotherapy and radiotherapy. The exact treatment utilized for a particular patient varies based on the stage of the disease, general health of the individual, and a number of other factors, but oftentimes those with advanced seminoma are provided with combination therapy.
  • Testicular Seminoma at 10x Magnification

    Testicular Seminoma at 10x Magnification

    Seminoma tumors are usually first noticed accidentally or through self-examination. The growths typically manifest themselves as a lump in one of the testicles, often without any other symptoms of their existence. Sometimes the tumors may result in pain in the testicles, groin, or lower abdomen or a feeling of heaviness or fluid-accumulation in the scrotum. In very rare instances, systemic symptoms may develop due to metastases in the liver, lungs, bone, or other parts of the body. Unlike nonseminoma testicular tumors, however, seminomas have a propensity for remaining localized or to spread only to nearby lymph nodes. Approximately 85 percent of seminoma tumors are confined to the testes when they are diagnosed.
  • Testicular Seminoma at 40x Magnification

    Testicular Seminoma at 40x Magnification

    The cause of seminoma tumors is not known, but a history or trauma to the testes is not uncommon, though generally believed to be coincidental. Most researchers consider such trauma to be the reason the growths are first noticed rather than why they form. Seminoma does, however, appear to have a definite link with cryptorchidism, a condition often more familiarly known as undescended testicles. As many of ten percent of seminoma tumors identified occur in individuals with a history of cryptorchidism. Seminoma is also much more likely to occur in white men than black men, but so far this fact is inexplicable.
  • Testicular Seminoma at 20x Magnification

    Testicular Seminoma at 20x Magnification

    Testicular cancer is one of the most prevalent types of cancer that occurs in men from ages 15 to 34. Approximately 95 percent of testicular tumors stem from germ cells. Seminomas, which are widely considered to develop from the germinal epithelium of the seminiferous tubules, account for approximately half of all germ cell tumors. Seminomas are malignant, and though at one time they were usually fatal, advances in the medical field have ensured that the vast majority of patients fully recover. Treatment may involve the surgical removal of the affected testicle, but studies show that the tumors demonstrate remarkable sensitivity to both chemotherapy and radiotherapy. The exact treatment utilized for a particular patient varies based on the stage of the disease, general health of the individual, and a number of other factors, but oftentimes those with advanced seminoma are provided with combination therapy.
  • Testicular Seminoma at 20x Magnification

    Testicular Seminoma at 20x Magnification

    Seminoma tumors are usually first noticed accidentally or through self-examination. The growths typically manifest themselves as a lump in one of the testicles, often without any other symptoms of their existence. Sometimes the tumors may result in pain in the testicles, groin, or lower abdomen or a feeling of heaviness or fluid-accumulation in the scrotum. In very rare instances, systemic symptoms may develop due to metastases in the liver, lungs, bone, or other parts of the body. Unlike nonseminoma testicular tumors, however, seminomas have a propensity for remaining localized or to spread only to nearby lymph nodes. Approximately 85 percent of seminoma tumors are confined to the testes when they are diagnosed.

Thalassemia Minor

Thalassemia minor is the least serious of the forms of beta thalassemia. In fact, the condition is often asymptomatic, though patients with the disease produce red blood cells that are smaller than normal and are, therefore, capable of carrying less oxygen than typical red blood cells. Thalassemia minor is sometimes accompanied by mild anemia and on rare occasions can lead to minor swelling of the spleen.

  • Thalassemia Minor at 40x Magnification

    Thalassemia Minor at 40x Magnification

    A variety of genetic blood disorders are known as thalassemias, all of which are characterized by abnormal hemoglobin production. Hemoglobin is a protein in red blood cells that chiefly functions in the transport of oxygen from the lungs to the tissues of the body. Thus, many thalassemias are characterized by symptoms resulting from insufficient oxygen. Thalassemias are typically classed as either alpha thalassemias or beta thalassemias depending on whether the hemoglobin abnormality results from aberrant alpha or beta proteins. Beta thalassemias are the most familiar form of the disease and these disorders are further subdivided clinically into three subtypes: thalassemia minor, thalassemia intermedia, and thalassemia major.
  • Thalassemia Minor at 20x Magnification

    Thalassemia Minor at 20x Magnification

    Thalassemia minor is the least serious of the forms of beta thalassemia. In fact, the condition is often asymptomatic, though patients with the disease produce red blood cells that are smaller than normal and are, therefore, capable of carrying less oxygen than typical red blood cells. Thalassemia minor is sometimes accompanied by mild anemia and on rare occasions can lead to minor swelling of the spleen. Usually, however, no treatment is necessary. Individuals that are diagnosed with thalassemia minor have inherited the disorder from only one parent, making them heterozygous for the condition.

Third-Degree Burns

Third-degree burns are typically considered those that involve the destruction of the entire thickness of the skin, penetrating the epidermis and dermis as well as the structures located within these layers, including the blood vessels, hair follicles, sweat glands, and sebaceous glands. Since pain receptors are also destroyed by third-degree burns, this type of injury is often initially less painful than a first- or second-degree burn, and may simply seem numb to the burn victim.

  • Third-Degree Burn at 10x Magnification

    Third-Degree Burn at 10x Magnification

    Burn-related injuries are one of the leading causes of accidental death in the United States, second only to motor vehicle accidents. It has only been over the course of the last few decades, however, that the needs of burn victims have been significantly addressed by the medical community. In the 1950s, only a small handful of hospitals in the United States were dedicated to treating burn injuries, a number that has recently grown to about 200. Along with this increase in burn centers there has been a vast improvement in the understanding of burns and a dissipation of many of the myths about the treatment of such injuries. The traditional practice of categorizing burns based upon the depth of damage to the skin is still commonly utilized, however, although the severity of the injury is also dependent upon a number of other factors, especially the percentage of the body’s total surface area affected and the location of the burn. In addition, the age and the prior state of health of the burn victim often influence the gravity of the situation.
  • Third-Degree Burn at 4x Magnification

    Third-Degree Burn at 4x Magnification

    Third-degree burns are typically considered those that involve the destruction of the entire thickness of the skin, penetrating the epidermis and dermis as well as the structures located within these layers, including the blood vessels, hair follicles, sweat glands, and sebaceous glands. Since pain receptors are also destroyed by third-degree burns, this type of injury is often initially less painful than a first- or second-degree burn, and may simply seem numb to the burn victim. If pain is experienced by the patient, it is generally due to nearby areas that may have only received second-degree burns. The appearance of third-degree burns is usually leathery, but the color may vary from white or tan to brown, black, or red. Charring and coagulated blood vessels are also often observable with this type of burn, and signs of shock are not uncommon.
  • Third-Degree Burn at 10x Magnification

    Third-Degree Burn at 10x Magnification

    The recipient of a third-degree burn should be provided with emergency medical care as soon as possible, but there are certain procedures that can be followed to decrease the risk of complications before professional help is available. Unlike first- or second-degree burns, third-degree injuries should not be submerged in cool water since this may increase the intensity of shock to the patient’s circulatory system. No ointments, sprays, or home remedies, such as petroleum jelly or butter, should be applied to the wound, and clothing adhered to the burned area should not be removed. To protect the tissues exposed by the burn, a loose, sterile dressing may be applied, or if the damaged area is large, a clean sheet may be draped over the affected parts of the body. If the injury is to the lower extremities, the legs should be elevated. In cases of hand burns, the injured appendage should be elevated higher than the heart. Also, the breathing and other vital signs of the recipient of a third-degree burn should always be closely monitored and CPR administered if necessary.
  • Third-Degree Burn at 40x Magnification

    Third-Degree Burn at 40x Magnification

    Third-degree burns usually require hospitalization, the duration of which will vary according to the seriousness of the injury. Intravenous fluids are often provided to the patient to help replace the significant amount of fluid lost through the burned area and antibiotics are usually administered to fend off infection. Injuries are also typically cleaned and then wrapped in sterile bandages, which are changed periodically. In some cases, burn victims may be placed in an oxygen-rich, high-pressure room known as a hyperbaric chamber. Despite the best possible treatment, however, the damage to the skin is so extensive from a third-degree burn that the affected areas will never return to their normal state. Instead, scar tissue will eventually begin to form and cover the burned area unless a skin graft is performed. Skin grafts in which tissue from other parts of the patient’s body are transplanted to the injury are typically permanent, but those in which the skin comes from another person or a donor animal are usually a temporary means of protecting the damaged area during the long, slow healing process.
  • Third-Degree Burn at 10x Magnification

    Third-Degree Burn at 10x Magnification

    Burn-related injuries are one of the leading causes of accidental death in the United States, second only to motor vehicle accidents. It has only been over the course of the last few decades, however, that the needs of burn victims have been significantly addressed by the medical community. In the 1950s, only a small handful of hospitals in the United States were dedicated to treating burn injuries, a number that has recently grown to about 200. Along with this increase in burn centers there has been a vast improvement in the understanding of burns and a dissipation of many of the myths about the treatment of such injuries. The traditional practice of categorizing burns based upon the depth of damage to the skin is still commonly utilized, however, although the severity of the injury is also dependent upon a number of other factors, especially the percentage of the body’s total surface area affected and the location of the burn. In addition, the age and the prior state of health of the burn victim often influence the gravity of the situation.

Toxoplasmosis

Ocular injury and other serious effects of toxoplasmosis are much more likely to occur in individuals with weakened immune systems. In AIDS patients, for instance, a form of encephalitis may develop following infection with Toxoplasma gondii. Symptoms of toxoplasmic encephalitis include headache, fever, psychosis, and impaired vision, speech, movement, and thought capacity.

  • Toxoplasmosis at 20x Magnification

    Toxoplasmosis at 20x Magnification

    Toxoplasmosis is a parasitic infection caused by the protozoan Toxoplasma gondii. The definitive hosts for the organism are domestic and feral cats, but birds, humans, and a variety of other animals can become infected by accidental ingestion of infectious oocysts. Members of the family Felidae release the oocysts with their excrement and after a period of days or weeks, depending on environmental factors, the oocysts become infectious agents and may remain so for up to a year. If within this time an individual comes in contact with the oocysts when changing cat litter or from gardening, or other contact with infected soil, then they can become infected if contact with the mouth occurs before hands are washed. Infection can also occur from eating unwashed fruits or vegetables that have been contaminated with the oocysts or by consuming undercooked meat or untreated water that has been infected.
  • Toxoplasmosis at 10x Magnification

    Toxoplasmosis at 10x Magnification

    It is estimated that one-third to one-half of the inhabitants of the world have been infected with Toxoplasma gondii at some point in their lives. The primary evidence of such widespread exposure is the pervasiveness of toxoplasmosis antibodies since demonstrable symptoms of the infection are uncommon. Infection with Toxoplasma gondii may involve the spleen, liver, central nervous system, and other regions of the body, but symptoms, when they do occur, are usually very mild in otherwise healthy individuals and only entail a fever and some swelling of the glands. Occasionally muscle aches and pain, similar to those experienced with the flu, occur as well, and in very rare instances there may be damage to the eyes. Generally toxoplasmosis is not treated, but medicines, including sulfonamide drugs, folinic acid, pyrimethamine, clindamycin, and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, can be used to help eradicate the infection.
  • Toxoplasmosis at 10x Magnification

    Toxoplasmosis at 10x Magnification

    Ocular injury and other serious effects of toxoplasmosis are much more likely to occur in individuals with weakened immune systems. In AIDS patients, for instance, a form of encephalitis may develop following infection with Toxoplasma gondii. Symptoms of toxoplasmic encephalitis include headache, fever, psychosis, and impaired vision, speech, movement, and thought capacity. Similar grave effects are associated with congenital toxoplasmosis, which is passed on from expectant mothers that are exposed to Toxoplasma gondii to the developing fetus. In some cases, this transmission of the parasite can cause the child to be stillborn or born prematurely. In other severe cases of infection, the disease may affect many of the newborn’s organs, including the brain and eyes, and epilepsy, mental retardation, and blindness can ensue. Thus, it is extremely important that women that are pregnant, or are attempting to become so, take precautionary measures to avoid toxoplasmosis.
  • Toxoplasmosis at 40x Magnification

    Toxoplasmosis at 40x Magnification

    Approximately 750 deaths are attributed to toxoplasmosis annually. Many of these deaths could be avoided by following relatively simple preventative recommendations. Most notably, about half of the toxoplasmosis-related fatalities reported are thought to involve exposure to Toxoplasma gondii through the consumption of contaminated meat, making the disease one of the top causes of foodborne deaths in the United States (only foodborne infection with Salmonella and Listeria are more deadly). Ensuring that all meat consumed is cooked thoroughly can, therefore, significantly lessen one’s risk of developing toxoplasmosis, as can freezing meat for several days prior to its use. Other steps that can be taken to decrease the incidence of the disease are washing fruits and vegetables thoroughly or peeling them before eating, wearing gloves when gardening or changing cat litter, washing cutting boards, knives, and other items that come into contact with raw meat or unwashed plant matter with hot water and soap, and keeping domestic cats indoors and only feeding them commercial cat foods or well-cooked human foods.

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis was the primary cause of death among Westerners of all ages during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries when industrialization and urbanization surged, and continues to be a primary contributor to mortality in some parts of the world in modern times. In fact, approximately 3 million people die each year from the disease, and in 1993, the World Health Organization declared tuberculosis a global health emergency.

  • Tuberculosis at 40x Magnification

    Tuberculosis at 40x Magnification

    Tuberculosis was the primary cause of death among Westerners of all ages during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries when industrialization and urbanization surged, and continues to be a primary contributor to mortality in some parts of the world in modern times. In fact, approximately 3 million people die each year from the disease, and in 1993, the World Health Organization declared tuberculosis a global health emergency. The disease, often referred to simply as TB, is most prevalent in countries where sanitation is poor and living conditions are crowded, but can occur anywhere. Due to improvements in public health and the development of antibiotics in the first half of the 1900s, incidence of TB steadily declined throughout much of the twentieth century in the United States, Great Britain, and other developed countries. However, in the mid-1980s, cases of tuberculosis began to occur with increasing frequency in such nations, an event that has been associated with a decline in public health facilities in some cities, the prevalence of AIDS, and the emergence of drug-resistant strains of the tubercle bacillus that causes the disease.
  • Tuberculosis at 10x Magnification

    Tuberculosis at 10x Magnification

    Historically pulmonary tuberculosis, which is the form the disease takes when it is spread via the bacterium M. tuberculosis, has been known by many names, including phthisis, the white plague, and consumption. These alternative monikers reflect common symptoms of the disease: phthisis stems from the Greek word phthinein, meaning “to waste away,” the white plague refers to the strikingly pale appearance of TB sufferers, and consumption signifies the tendency of the same sufferers to appear as if they are being consumed, or destroyed, from within by the affliction. In addition to these general outward signs of the disease, tuberculosis traditionally involves chest pain, labored breathing, coughing (sometimes releasing bloody sputum), sweating, fever, and a decrease in weight. Before treatment was available, such symptoms gradually led to death, which usually resulted from a combination of lung failure, toxemia (blood poisoning), and physical exhaustion.
  • Tuberculosis at 20x Magnification

    Tuberculosis at 20x Magnification

    Several closely related species of rod-shaped bacteria belonging to the genus Mycobacterium are capable of causing tuberculosis in humans. Most commonly, individuals become infected with M. tuberculosis, a human-variety of the bacteria spread through the inhalation of infected respiratory particles released via coughing, sneezing, or even casual conversation. Humans can also contract tuberculosis from drinking unpasteurized milk if the cow from which the milk was derived was infected with M. bovis, a bovine form of the tubercle bacillus. Tuberculosis caused by M. bovis predominantly affects the tissues of bones and joints, rather than the lungs. An avian type of Mycobacterium is also known and can infect humans and other animals, though less often than other species of the bacteria.
  • Tuberculosis at 40x Magnification

    Tuberculosis at 40x Magnification

    Tuberculosis was the primary cause of death among Westerners of all ages during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries when industrialization and urbanization surged, and continues to be a primary contributor to mortality in some parts of the world in modern times. In fact, approximately 3 million people die each year from the disease, and in 1993, the World Health Organization declared tuberculosis a global health emergency. The disease, often referred to simply as TB, is most prevalent in countries where sanitation is poor and living conditions are crowded, but can occur anywhere. Due to improvements in public health and the development of antibiotics in the first half of the 1900s, incidence of TB steadily declined throughout much of the twentieth century in the United States, Great Britain, and other developed countries. However, in the mid-1980s, cases of tuberculosis began to occur with increasing frequency in such nations, an event that has been associated with a decline in public health facilities in some cities, the prevalence of AIDS, and the emergence of drug-resistant strains of the tubercle bacillus that causes the disease.
  • Tuberculosis at 10x Magnification

    Tuberculosis at 10x Magnification

    Tuberculosis was the primary cause of death among Westerners of all ages during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries when industrialization and urbanization surged, and continues to be a primary contributor to mortality in some parts of the world in modern times. In fact, approximately 3 million people die each year from the disease, and in 1993, the World Health Organization declared tuberculosis a global health emergency. The disease, often referred to simply as TB, is most prevalent in countries where sanitation is poor and living conditions are crowded, but can occur anywhere. Due to improvements in public health and the development of antibiotics in the first half of the 1900s, incidence of TB steadily declined throughout much of the twentieth century in the United States, Great Britain, and other developed countries. However, in the mid-1980s, cases of tuberculosis began to occur with increasing frequency in such nations, an event that has been associated with a decline in public health facilities in some cities, the prevalence of AIDS, and the emergence of drug-resistant strains of the tubercle bacillus that causes the disease.

Uterine Leiomyoma

Uterine leiomyomas are very common, causing symptoms in nearly a quarter of all women of reproductive age. It is widely believed that a much larger proportion of the female population has uterine leiomyomas, but many of them are unaware of the benign tumors because they are asymptomatic.

  • Uterine Leiomyoma at 20x Magnification

    Uterine Leiomyoma at 20x Magnification

    A leiomyoma is a benign tumor that originates in smooth muscle tissue, such as that found in the intestinal walls and the heart. When present in the uterus, leiomyomas are commonly referred to as fibroids, a term that reflects the fact that in addition to smooth muscle, the growths characteristically contain fibrous connective tissue. It is generally believed that this fibrous material is a result of the degeneration of muscle tissue. Leiomyomas tend to be firm to the touch and well circumscribed. When associated with the uterus, which is the organ most commonly affected by the growths, leiomyomas are usually classified as one of several different types based upon their location. Growths positioned just under the uterine serosa are referred to as subserosal leiomyomas, whereas those found just beneath the endometrium are called submucous leiomyomas. Both of these types of tumors may be sessile or extended from a stalk (peduncular). Intramural leiomyomas, however, which are those that predominantly occur in the myometrium, are always attached directly to one or more tissues.
  • Uterine Leiomyoma at 10x Magnification

    Uterine Leiomyoma at 10x Magnification

    Uterine leiomyomas are very common, causing symptoms in nearly a quarter of all women of reproductive age. It is widely believed that a much larger proportion of the female population has uterine leiomyomas, but many of them are unaware of the benign tumors because they are asymptomatic. Studies show that black women are especially prone to developing leiomyomas, the prevalence among them being about 2 to 5 times that of white women. Researchers are not yet able to explain such statistics, for they do not know the cause of leiomyoma formation. Significant evidence does, however, link the growth of the tumors to hormone levels, especially estrogen. Some research also indicates that growth factors and genetics may be involved as well.
  • Uterine Leiomyoma at 20x Magnification

    Uterine Leiomyoma at 20x Magnification

    Symptoms of uterine leiomyomas, when they do occur, may include heavy bleeding, pain or pressure in the pelvic region, frequent urination, abdomen distension, painful bowel movements, and anemia. Women with leiomyomas also frequently have difficulty becoming pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to term. For these reasons, many patients elect to receive treatment for the growths although they are benign. Several different methods of treating leiomyomas are currently available.
  • Uterine Leiomyoma at 40x Magnification

    Uterine Leiomyoma at 40x Magnification

    The least invasive treatment for leiomyoma is hormone therapy to shrink the tumors, which is sometimes used as a first means of attack. Myomectomy, which involves the surgical removal of leiomyomas through an abdominal incision, and hysterectomy (the removal of the uterus) are much more invasive, but are generally more successful means of treatment for a larger proportion of women. The former procedure, however, sometimes results in uterine scarring that can compound fertility problems and the latter necessarily puts an end to fertility. Thus, for individuals who desire to conceive a child, fibroid embolization, which entails blocking blood vessels that nourish the tumor in order to “starve” the growth and causes no trauma to the uterus, is often the preferred type of treatment.

Ulcerative Colitis

The cause of ulcerative colitis has not yet been identified, though many researchers consider it an autoimmune disorder. According to this view, the immune system is in a chronically active state although no bacteria, viruses, or other invaders are present in the body, resulting in the continuous inflammation characteristic of ulcerative colitis.

  • Ulcerative Colitis at 10x Magnification

    Ulcerative Colitis at 10x Magnification

    Ulcerative colitis is a chronic condition characterized by inflammation of the colon. The condition is very similar to Crohn’s disease and the two are commonly referred to collectively as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). IBD should not be confused with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which does not involve intestinal inflammation and is, therefore, considered a significantly less serious condition though it shares some symptoms in common with IBD, such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, and increased passage of mucus. Other common symptoms of ulcerative colitis include loss of appetite, weight loss, fatigue, and bloody stool resulting from irritation of the small ulcers present in inflamed tissues. Frequently, the symptoms of individuals with ulcerative colitis go into remission for months or even years at a time before relapsing.
  • Ulcerative Colitis at 10x Magnification

    Ulcerative Colitis at 10x Magnification

    The possible complications and severity of symptoms experienced by patients with ulcerative colitis are heavily dependent on the scope and magnitude of the inflammation present in the colon. A number of subcategories of the condition are commonly used to more specifically describe various manifestations of the disease. The mildest form of ulcerative colitis is typically ulcerative proctitis, which is localized to the rectum and often precedes the development of more extensive inflammation. In instances of proctosigmoiditis, the inflamed regions of the bowels include both the rectum and the lower segment of the colon known as the sigmoid colon, and in left-sided colitis, involvement extends to a bend in the colon called the splenic flexure. The most serious form of colitis is the pan-ulcerative variety, which affects the entire colon. Serious complications from pan-ulcerative colitis, such as extreme inflammation of the colon that can cause rupture (termed toxic megacolon) and substantial hemorrhaging, are known to occur.
  • Ulcerative Colitis at 40x Magnification

    Ulcerative Colitis at 40x Magnification

    The cause of ulcerative colitis has not yet been identified, though many researchers consider it an autoimmune disorder. According to this view, the immune system is in a chronically active state although no bacteria, viruses, or other invaders are present in the body, resulting in continuous inflammation characteristic of ulcerative colitis. No one knows what incites such abnormal immune system behavior, but there is apparently a genetic component involved. Studies indicate that as many as 20 percent of ulcerative colitis patients are closely related to someone else with an inflammatory bowel disease. Consequently, research is heavily focused upon identifying specific genes related to the onset of ulcerative colitis.
  • Ulcerative Colitis at 40x Magnification

    Ulcerative Colitis at 40x Magnification

    Ulcerative colitis is a chronic condition characterized by inflammation of the colon. The condition is very similar to Crohn’s disease and the two are commonly referred to collectively as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). IBD should not be confused with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which does not involve intestinal inflammation and is, therefore, considered a significantly less serious condition though it shares some symptoms in common with IBD, such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, and increased passage of mucus. Other common symptoms of ulcerative colitis include loss of appetite, weight loss, fatigue, and bloody stool resulting from irritation of the small ulcers present in inflamed tissues. Frequently, the symptoms of individuals with ulcerative colitis go into remission for months or even years at a time before relapsing.
  • Ulcerative Colitis at 20x Magnification

    Ulcerative Colitis at 20x Magnification

    Treatments for ulcerative colitis vary and are based on factors such as the extent of the disease, the severity of the symptoms, and the patient’s general health. The disease cannot be cured with medications, but medications are commonly used to induce and maintain remission, as well as to decrease the severity of symptoms. Drugs that are often utilized in this way include anti-inflammatories, including corticosteroids and compounds with the active ingredient 5-aminosalicylic acid, and immunomodulators. In instances of toxic megacolon, poor response to medications, precancercous changes in colon cells, or other problematic cases of ulcerative colitis, surgery may be considered necessary. Surgery for the condition may entail partial or complete removal of the colon.

Uterine Sarcoma

Approximately 40,000 new cases of uterine cancer are diagnosed in the United States each year. The overwhelming majority of these cases are endometrial cancers, malignancies that originate in the endometrial lining of the uterus. As few as 2 to 4 percent of cancers of the uterus develop in the connective tissues of the organ, in which case they are termed sarcomas.

  • Uterine Sarcoma at 20x Magnification

    Uterine Sarcoma at 20x Magnification

    Approximately 40,000 new cases of uterine cancer are diagnosed in the United States each year. The overwhelming majority of these cases are endometrial cancers, malignancies that originate in the endometrial lining of the uterus. As few as 2 to 4 percent of cancers of the uterus develop in the connective tissues of the organ, in which case they are termed sarcomas. Uterine sarcomas are usually considered to be comprised of three basic types based upon the specific type of connective tissue they originate in. When cancer is initiated in the supportive framework known as the stroma, the tumor is referred to as an endometrial stromal sarcoma. If the muscular wall of the uterus, however, is the site of malignant transformation, the growth is generally classed as a leiomyosarcoma. The third type of sarcoma is usually called a uterine carcinosarcoma, but is also alternatively known as a malignant mixed mesodermal tumor or a malignant mixed müllerian tumor. Though generally grouped with uterine sarcomas, this type of growth begins in the endometrium and exhibits characteristics of both sarcomas and carcinomas.
  • Uterine Sarcoma at 10x Magnification

    Uterine Sarcoma at 10x Magnification

    As is the case with most forms of cancer, it has not yet been discovered what causes uterine sarcoma. A few factors that may increase the likelihood of developing the disease have, however, been identified, the most notable of which is prior pelvic radiation. Yet, the benefits of radiation treatment, which is typically used to fight other serious types of cancer, usually far outweigh the increased risk of developing uterine sarcoma. Other factors that may increase the risk of sarcoma development in the uterus include age and race. Uterine sarcomas occur more commonly in middle-aged and elderly women, though they can strike at any age, and a subclass of the tumors, leiomyosarcoma, has a higher incidence rate among the black population than among white or Asian peoples.
  • Uterine Sarcoma at 20x Magnification

    Uterine Sarcoma at 20x Magnification

    Uterine sarcomas have often already reached an advanced stage by the time signs or symptoms of the disease become noticeable. Palpable indicators of the disease may include, however, abnormal bleeding, spotting, or discharge, pelvic pain, and one or more conspicuous masses. Currently there is no specific screening test that can detect asymptomatic uterine sarcomas, though the Pap smear can sometimes aid in the early discovery of some of the growths, primarily carcinosarcomas and endometrial stromal sarcomas. It is generally recommended that most women should undergo regular Pap smear testing in order to increase the likelihood that abnormal cells of any type may be detected.
  • Uterine Sarcoma at 40x Magnification

    Uterine Sarcoma at 40x Magnification

    Treatment for uterine sarcoma often involves the surgical removal of part or all of the uterus, but chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or hormone therapy may be employed as well. The most suitable treatment for a particular individual depends upon a number of factors, such as the stage of the disease, tumor type and location, and age, reproductive plans, and general health of the patient. Similarly, the response of various individuals to certain treatments and their prospects for recovery are not always the same. Overall, however, about half of women diagnosed with stage I uterine sarcoma survive for five or more years after they are diagnosed with the disease. Patients who have more advanced cases of the cancer generally have a significantly worse prognosis. Both stage III and IV uterine sarcomas are associated with five-year survival rates of only about ten percent.

Viral Pneumonia

Viral pneumonias are believed to account for nearly half of all pneumonia cases and are usually considered less severe than bacterial varieties. They are most widespread during the winter months and sometimes begin as a common cold that progressively weakens and inflames the lungs. The viruses that can lead to pneumonia include respiratory syncytial, influenza, herpes simplex, and parainfluenza viruses, among others.

  • Viral Pneumonia at 10x Magnification

    Viral Pneumonia at 10x Magnification

    Pneumonia is a serious inflammation of the lungs that can be caused by a wide variety of bacteria, viruses, fungi, mycoplasmas, parasites and other organisms, as well as by a severe allergic response to various substances. Generally the infecting organism is inhaled directly into the lungs, but in some cases it may arrive at the lungs via the blood or from an infection of nearby tissues. In response to the foreign material, the tissues of the lungs become inflamed and produce fluid (exudate) and pus, which causes congestion. The normal functioning of the lungs is hindered by congestion so that most individuals with pneumonia experience shortness of breath, increased sputum production, and a chronic cough. Other symptoms of the illness that frequently appear include headache, muscle aches, fever, fatigue, joint stiffness, loss of appetite, sore throat, chills, and sweating.
  • Viral Pneumonia at 20x Magnification

    Viral Pneumonia at 20x Magnification

    Viral pneumonias are believed to account for nearly half of all pneumonia cases and are usually considered less severe than bacterial varieties. They are most widespread during the winter months and sometimes begin as a common cold that progressively weakens and inflames the lungs. The viruses that can lead to pneumonia include respiratory syncytial, influenza, herpes simplex, and parainfluenza viruses, among others. Of these, influenza viruses tend to result in the most serious cases of pneumonia, epidemics of the illness occurring periodically in the past and causing significant mortality. Other varieties of viral pneumonia tend to clear up on their own over a relatively short period of time and do not involve any adverse after-effects.
  • Viral Pneumonia at 40x Magnification

    Viral Pneumonia at 40x Magnification

    Treatment for pneumonia generally depends upon the invading organism or other cause of the illness, although in some cases the exact agent is never identified. Antibiotics are effective against many bacterial forms of pneumonia and their discovery was key in reducing the number of deaths caused by the illness in the United States, pneumonia dropping from the leading cause of death in the country in the early twentieth century to the sixth most common cause of death today. Viral pneumonias, however, do not respond to antibiotics and few antiviral drugs are available to treat them. Thus, individuals with viral pneumonia are often forced to just let the illness run its course. They can decrease bodily strain and experience some symptomatic relief, however, through bed rest, use of a humidifier, and increased fluid intake. In some instances, administration of oxygen or hospitalization may be necessary.

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