The Difference Between Benign and Malignant Tumors
posted by Oncology | May 18, 2017
Tumors are swollen masses in parts of the body caused by an abnormal growth of tissue. Certain tumors, such as “solid tumors” (a tumor that doesn’t contain any liquid or cysts, and includes sarcomas, carcinomas and lymphomas), can be either benign or malignant. Do you know the difference?
Malignant tumors are cancerous. They divide without control and invade other tissues nearby. They can also spread to other parts of the body through the blood and lymph systems. Forms of malignant cancer include:
A benign tumor is a non-cancerous tumor. This means the tumor does not invade nearby tissue or spread in the body, and is therefore much less risky. However, certain benign tumors can still pose health risks and require treatment.
There are several types of benign tumors:
Causes of benign tumors include:
Many cases of benign tumors don’t require treatment, and doctors will monitor the tumor to make sure it doesn’t cause problems. If symptoms are becoming an issue or threatening other organs, surgery may be required to remove the tumor. In some cases, medications or radiation therapy might be used as well. Your doctor will help determine the best course of action for you.
*Note: No two cancer cases are alike. None of the statements herein are designed to suggest a “one size fits all” approach, and each case will be evaluated individually.
“‘Malignancy’ definition.” National Cancer Institute Dictionary of Cancer Terms. https://www.cancer.gov/publications/dictionaries/cancer-terms?cdrid=45771
“‘Solid tumor’ definition.” National Cancer Institute Dictionary of Cancer Terms. https://www.cancer.gov/publications/dictionaries/cancer-terms?cdrid=45301
“Benign Tumors.” WebMD. http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/benign-tumors-causes-treatments#1
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.