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WHO Classification of Tumours
Mucinous adenocarcinoma


Cutaneous mucinous carcinoma (MC) is a rare, slow-growing, invasive adenocarcinoma characterized by large pools of mucin, which are compartmentalized by fibrous septa and contain small clusters of neoplastic epithelial cells. The neoplastic cells are cuboidal, round or oval and contain abundant cytoplasm and small nuclei with very little atypia. MC arises in the dermis and the subcutaneous fat, most frequently on the head (particularly on scalp, face and eyelids), and may extend into the subcutis or deeper. It presents as a solitary, nodular, well-circumscribed, unencapsulated lesion of tan, grey, or reddish colour. Tumour size ranges from 1 to >8 cm. On excision, the tumour appears fixed to the adjacent dermis; the cut surface is gelatinous. Tumour satellites may be observed at some distance from the main tumour. Histological differentiation between primary cutaneous MC and metastatic mucinous carcinoma to the skin may be impossible.
Mucinous adenocarcinoma develops mainly between the 5th and 7th decades of life (age range: 8-84 years) and is slightly more common in men. In contrast to most other sweat gland carcinomas and despite a destructive local growth pattern, MC generally follows an indolent course and has only a low metastatic potential. The tumour tends to persist, and multiple local recurrences are not uncommon, but death from MC is exceptional

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LeBoit PE, Burg G, Weedon D, Sarasin A (Eds.)
World Health Organization Classification of Tumours. Pathology and Genetics of Skin Tumours
3rd Edition
IARC Press: Lyon 2005