Mucinous carcinoma of the colon

Mucinous carcinoma of the colon is a distinct form of colorectal cancer found in 10-15% of patients with colorectal cancer. It differs from the conventional adenocarcinoma in terms of clinical and histopathological characteristics.

For the caecal appendix, please refer to the article on mucinous adenocarcinoma of the appendix

There may be a slightly greater female predilection.

Patients may present with a more advanced stage of the disease.

It is characterised by abundant mucous secretion comprising at least 50% of the tumour volume. 

Mucinous carcinoma may show severe and more eccentric bowel-wall thickening.

Other described features include 3:

  • more frequent presence of intratumoral calcification
  • more common heterogeneous contrast enhancement
  • more areas with hypoattenuation
  • solid portion of mucinous carcinoma may show showed less enhancement than that of nonmucinous carcinoma
  • can produce cystic or calcified hepatic metastases 4
  • can cause widespread intraperitoneal metastases 4

It has long been associated with an inferior response to treatment compared with adenocarcinoma. 

It was first described by the general surgeon Dr Duncan Parham in 1923 2.

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Article information

rID: 54405
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Mucinous carcinoma of the colon
  • Mucinous colorectal cancer

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Cases and figures

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