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
Treatment and prognosis
It has long been associated with an inferior response to treatment compared with adenocarcinoma.
History and etymology
It was first described by the general surgeon Dr Duncan Parham in 1923 2.
- 1. Okuno M, Ikehara T, Nagayama M, Kato Y, Yui S, Umeyama K. Mucinous colorectal carcinoma: clinical pathology and prognosis. The American surgeon. 54 (11): 681-5. Pubmed
- 2. Green JB, Timmcke AE, Mitchell WT, Hicks TC, Gathright JB, Ray JE. Mucinous carcinoma--just another colon cancer?. Diseases of the colon and rectum. 36 (1): 49-54. Pubmed
- 3. Ko EY, Ha HK, Kim AY, Yoon KH, Yoo CS, Kim HC, Kim JC. CT differentiation of mucinous and nonmucinous colorectal carcinoma. AJR. American journal of roentgenology. 188 (3): 785-91. doi:10.2214/AJR.06.0476 - Pubmed
- 4. Horton KM, Abrams RA, Fishman EK. Spiral CT of colon cancer: imaging features and role in management. Radiographics : a review publication of the Radiological Society of North America, Inc. 20 (2): 419-30. doi:10.1148/radiographics.20.2.g00mc14419 - Pubmed