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Epithelial Tissue


Updated: September 8, 2006

This epithelial tissue picture was derived from a photo by Dr. Edwin P. Ewing Jr., CDC.

Picture of Epithelial Tissue

Donna Myers 2006

There are two main types of epithelial tissue: lining and glandular. You can develop colorectal cancer in both of them. Cancer of epithelial tissue is called a carcinoma.

Lining Epithelial Tissue

This type of epithelial tissue does what it sounds like it does: lines things. What structures it lines depends on whether the lining is simple or stratified.

Simple epithelium is one layer thick and lines the respiratory tract, blood vessels, and glands in the digestive tract, including glands in the large intestine.

Stratified epithelium is several layers thick and lines the skin, mouth, and anal canal. Squamous cell carcinoma is an example of a cancer that develops from lining epithelium.

Glandular Epithelial Tissue

Glandular epithelium forms glands. Glands secrete things and are classified as endocrine or exocrine. Endocrine glands secrete things into the bloodstream, like hormones. Exocrine glands secrete things that go outside of the body, like mucus and sweat. Cancer of a gland is called adenocarcinoma.

  1. Dictionary of Cancer Terms: Squamous Cell Carcinoma. National Cancer Institute. 8 Sep. 2006 [http://www.nci.nih.gov/Templates/db_alpha.aspx?CdrID=46595].
  2. Kang, H. and O'Connell, J. "Rare Tumors of the Colon and Rectum: A National View." International Journal of Colorectal Disease (Jul. 2006): published online ahead of print. PubMed. 8 Sep. 2006 [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=AbstractPlus&list_uids=16845516&query_hl=5&itool=pubmed_docsum].
  3. Petrelli, N. and Valle, A. "Adenosquamous Carcinoma of the Colon and Rectum." Diseases of the Colon and Rectum 39.11 (Nov. 1996):1265-1268. PubMed. 8 Sep. 2006 [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?itool=abstractplus&db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=abstractplus&list_uids=8918436].
Also Known As: epithelium

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