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My wife’s pathology report is confusing.

CessnaFlyer's picture
Posts: 110
Joined: Aug 2009

My wife had a needle biopsy done for a 1.6 cm nodle in her left, lower lung. The report says “Well differentiated adenocarcinoma, predominantly acinar and focally lepidic.” Does anyone know what this means?



LiveWithCancer's picture
Posts: 5
Joined: Aug 2014

I don't without looking up all of the words. Have you spoken with her doctor yet?

The only word i knew was adenocarcinoma,  which is the cancer that I have.

Has your wife just been diagnosed?


Here's some of what I learn by looking up terms. I hope it helps!

From American Cancer Society:

These terms are used to indicate how aggressive your carcinoma is likely to be (how fast it is likely to grow and spread). They are assigned by a pathologist based on how the cancer cells look under the microscope. Well-differentiated carcinomas tend to grow more slowly, and have a better prognosis (outlook).

Acinar stands for Achromobacter cycloclastes nitrite reductase. The significance of that is too technical for me to really understand except that it appears they did some genomic testing, which is a good thing.

Lepidic seems to refer to the pattern of the tumors (maybe). I saw it referenced in connection with early stage adenocarcinoma,  which is good. 

I am FAR from a doctor or any other kind of medical person, but if it was me trying to figure out what the biopsy meant, i would feel pretty good about it...

Please let us know what you learn from the doctor.


Posts: 844
Joined: Mar 2011

Livewith cancer did a great job.  A well differentiatcar cell still resembles the place of origin and is  indeed a slow growing cancer.  The focally lepidic nature of her disease is a strong indicates that it is adenocarcinoma in situ- formerly known as bronchioalveolar carcinoma.  For this to have gotten so large she has probably had it for a very long time.  

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