An Adenocarcinoma is a cancer in which the glandular structure is to a great extent preserved, but the epithelium has taken on a proliferative growth. It either breaks through the basement membrane or else fills up the acini with numerous layers of cells. It is commonly found in the stomach, intestines, and uterus. Grows rapidly, gives metastasis, and quickly proves fatal.

The development of carcinoma differs greatly in different people. In some cases a continued mild irritation may precede. The growth may be very slow, but if for some reason there is an increase in the nutrition, as in the pregnant uterus, it may suddenly become rapid.

If the growth is rapid and metastasis extensive, the health of the patient suffers and cachexia develops. This may be the result of pain, of suppurative conditions, or from the absorption of toxic substances resulting from the disturbance of metabolism.

The etiology of carcinoma is still obscure. Heredity is apparently clear in many cases as a predisposing cause.

Age is of importance, the majority of cases appearing after thirty-five, a time when the resisting power of the tissues is beginning to diminish.