A papilloma (plural papillomas or papillomata) (papillo- + -oma) is a benign epithelial tumor growing exophytically (outwardly projecting) in nipple-like and often finger-like fronds. In this context, papilla refers to the projection created by the tumor, not a tumor on an already existing papilla (such as the nipple).
|Intraductal papilloma of breast, H&E, 10x|
When used without context, it frequently refers to infections (squamous cell papilloma) caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), such as warts. Human papillomavirus infection is a major cause of cervical cancer, although most HPV infections do not cause cancer. There are, however, a number of other conditions that cause papilloma, as well as many cases in which there is no known cause.
Signs and symptoms
A benign papillomatous tumor is derived from epithelium, with cauliflower-like projections that arise from the mucosal surface. It may appear white or normal colored. It may be pedunculated or sessile. The average size is between 1–5 cm. Neither sex is significantly more likely to develop them. The most common site is the palate-uvula area followed by tongue and lips. Durations range from weeks to 10 years.
Immunoperoxidase stains have identified antigens of the human papillomavirus (HPV) types 6 and 11 in approximately 50% of cases of squamous cell papilloma.
There is no evidence that papillomas are premalignant.
Note: differentiation is done accurately by microscopic examination only.
With conservative surgical excision, recurrence is rare.
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