A benign tumor growing on the outermost layer of cells of the skin or of a mucous membrane, commonly as a mass on a stalk. Papillomas, which include growths such as warts and polyps, are found most often in the mucous membranes that line the intestinal and urinary tracts. Only rarely do they become malignant.

Papillomas may occur on any part of the skin and are especially common in the elderly. Usually they remain small, but occasionally they reach the size of an egg or an orange. Papillomas normally are treated by cautery; the larger ones can be removed surgically by cutting through the supporting stalk.

Intestinal papillomas are most common in the colon and rectum, where they sometimes bleed. They may be single (of unknown cause) or multiple---a condition known as familial polyposis coli, which is inherited. The latter form must be regarded as premalignant, since malignant change in this type of papilloma is quite common. Single papillomas can often be removed by using a proctosigmoidoscope a special instrument inserted into the lower part of the large intestine via the rectum; multiple polyps are best treated by surgical removal of the affected portion of the bowel.

In the urinary tract, papillomas are most common in the bladder, though they can occur anywhere from the kidney to the urethra (the passage through which urine is voided). The cause common in persons who have worked in the rubber industry and in persons who smoke. These papillomas are all potentially malignant, and thus should be removed. In the bladder this is usually done through a cystoscope (a special instrument for examining the interior of the urinary bladder). Recurrence is common, and life-long regular cystoscopy usually is necessary once the diagnosis is made.

Pap`il*lo"ma (?), n.; pl. Papillomata (#). [NL. See Papilla, and -Oma.] Med.

A tumor formed by hypertrophy of the papillae of the skin or mucous membrane, as a corn or a wart.

Quain.

 

© Webster 1913.

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