Adeno- is a prefix which means "gland". Adenocarcinoma is a cancerous tumor that starts in cells with gland-like properties (i.e. they have a secretory function) that line some internal organs. The majority of all breast, colon, and prostrate cancers are adenocarcinomas. Human pancreatic adenocarcinoma is the most lethal of all common cancers.
Adenocarcinoma is a form of carcinoma that originates in glandular tissue. To be classified as adenocarcinoma, the cells do not necessarily need to be part of a gland, as long as they have secretory properties. This form of carcinoma can occur in some higher mammals, including humans.
The term adenocarcinoma is derived from 'adeno' meaning 'pertaining to a gland' and 'carcinoma', which describes a cancer that has developed in the epithelial cells.
It can first present as an adenoma (a glandular tumor that is benign).
It is frequently associated with cancers such as: