Basic Histology -- Cancer Nuclei Next Home Back

When the genome is damaged and chromosomes begin assorting improperly during mitosis, there is selection for cells with extra chromosomes.

This ultimately results in some very large nuclei. Since the nucleus does not know exactly how to pack the extra chromosomes, the nuclear membrane usually shows some wrinkles, like an overpacked suitcase.

Also as a result of problems with packing, and/or from having an excess of genes that aren't really doing anything, cancer nuclei tend to have big clumpy blocks of heterochromatin.

As a general rule, the more bizarre the nuclei, the more aggressive the cancer.

This is a cancer arising from glandular cells. Most of the nuclei are at least somewhat abnormal.

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Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences