A tumor is a mass or lump of tissue in an organ. In a healthy body, cells grow, divide, and are replaced by new cells. In the case of a tumor, the rate of cell multiplication is more than cell destruction. The word tumor is often associated with cancer; however, not all tumors are cancerous. Tumors can vary in size from a tiny nodule to a large mass, depending on their type. They can appear almost anywhere on the body. All tumors need to be evaluated by a doctor, even if it does not look serious. This would help in early diagnosis and treatment, increasing the chances of complete cure.
These tumors are not cancerous. They are localized with well-defined markings. Most of them are harmless and may not need immediate intervention. They grow slowly and do not spread to other sites. However, they can produce pressure symptoms, which can cause discomfort, or they can be unappealing cosmetically. They can be locally invasive or apply pressure on surrounding structures. Once surgically removed, they generally do not recur at the same place. Rarely, benign tumors may turn malignant.
Common benign tumors include:
- Adenomas: Adenomas develop from glandular epithelial tissue that covers the glands, organs, and other structures in the body. Examples include polyps in the colon, fiber adenoma in the breast, hepatic (liver) adenoma. There is a small risk of some adenomas becoming cancerous; this is called adenocarcinoma.
- Fibroids or fibromas: These are benign tumors that arise from fibrous or connective tissue anywhere in the body. Examples include uterine fibroids in the uterus and angiofibroma (appear as small red bumps on the face). Fibroids may need to be surgically removed if they cause symptoms. Rarely, fibroids can become cancerous; this is called fibrosarcoma.
- Hemangiomas: Hemangiomas are benign tumors that arise when blood vessels grow excessively. They can develop inside the body or on the skin. They usually appear as red “strawberry marks” on the skin. They are often present at birth and may disappear with age. Laser surgery may be done if they don’t disappear on their own.
- Lipomas: Lipomas are quite common benign tumors commonly affecting people aged 40-60 years but can occur at any age. Lipomas are painless, rubbery, soft to the touch, and movable. They can vary in size but are generally small and may be seen in different parts of the body. They are commonly seen on the back, shoulders, arms, buttocks, and thighs. There are different types of lipoma, such as fibrolipoma (contain fat cells and fibrous connective tissue) and angiolipomas (appear under the skin).
Premalignant lesions or tumors
These are tumors that have not turned cancerous but have the potential to become cancerous/malignant. It requires close monitoring and treatment to prevent malignancy.
Common premalignant tumors include:
- Actinic keratosis or solar keratosis: This growth involves patches of crusty, scaly, and thick skin. It is mostly seen on the scalp or sun-exposed areas. Actinic keratosis can transform into squamous cell carcinoma.
- Cervical dysplasia: These changes occur in the lining of the cervix (mouth of the womb). It can cause cervical cancer.
- Metaplasia of the lung: These are growths in the bronchi (tubes that carry air into the lungs). These are seen in smokers and can become cancer.
- Leukoplakia: This presents with thick, white patches in the mouth that can lead to oral cancer.
Malignant tumors are cancerous. The tumor grows rapidly, invades surrounding structures, and can spread to other parts of the body (metastasis).
- Carcinoma: These tumors arise from epithelial cells, which are present in the skin and the lining of the body’s organs. They are the most common type of malignant tumor.
- Sarcoma: These tumors arise from connective tissue, such as cartilage, bones (but not the bone marrow), fat, and nerves.
- Germ cell tumor: These tumors develop in the cells that produce sperm and eggs. Hence, they are commonly seen in the ovaries and testicles.
- Blastoma: These tumors arise from the developing cells. They are more common in children than in adults. They occur in the eyes, brain, or nervous system.
Latest Health and Living News
Daily Health News
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). What is Cancer? https://www.cancer.net/navigating-cancer-care/cancer-basics/what-cancer
Top Is Tumor a Cancer? Related Articles
Brain Tumor: Warning Symptoms, Types, Causes, Treatments, and CureA brain tumor can be either non-cancerous (benign) or cancerous (malignant), primary, or secondary. Common symptoms of a primary brain tumor are headaches, seizures, memory problems, personality changes, and nausea and vomiting. Causes and risk factors include age, gender, family history, and exposure to chemicals. Treatment is depends upon the tumor type, grade, and location.
Is Metaplasia the Same as Dysplasia?What is the difference between dysplasia and metaplasia? Learn the symptoms of both conditions to better understand and treat them.
Pancreatic Cancer Tumor PictureThis is a gross section of a malignant tumor of the pancreas resected from the pancreatic body and tail. See a picture of Pancreatic Cancer Tumor and learn more about the health topic.
Prolactinoma (Pituitary Tumor)Prolactinoma is an adenoma (benign tumor) of the pituitary gland. Causes of many prolactinomas are unknown. Symptoms in women include:
- changes in menstruation and infertility,
- decreased libido, or
- painful intercourse due to vaginal dryness.
Pseudotumor Cerebri (Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension)Pseudotumor Cerebri (intracranial hypertension) is a condition where there is an increase in pressure of fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord (cerebrospinal fluid or CSF) mimicing a brain tumor. The cause is unknown. The most common symptom is headache but also include eye-pain, vision loss and double vision. Pseudotumor cerebri is diagnosed with MRI or CAT scans and treated by discontinuing offending medications (if applicable), weight loss and diuretic medications. The condition can also be helped by repeated drainage of spinal fluid using the lumbar puncture.
Uterine Fibroids (Benign Tumors of the Uterus)Uterine fibroids are benign (non-cancerous) tumors in the womb (uterus). Most uterine fibroids do not cause symptoms; however, if the fibroid is large enough and in the right location, it may cause symptoms of pelvic pain, abnormal vaginal bleeding, and pressure on the bladder or rectum. Uterine fibroids that remain small and do not grow usually do not need treatment; however, surgery to remove the fibroid may be necessary. Uterine fibroids do not cause cancer; however, there is a rare, fast-growing cancerous called leiomyosarcoma.
Breast Cancer: Visual Guide to Male Breast CancerBreast cancer isn't just a woman's disease. Learn about the symptoms and treatment of male breast cancer, and find out what can put you at risk for this cancer.
What Are the Symptoms of a Tumor in the Abdomen?An abdominal mass related to a stomach tumor is most often found during a routine physical exam. Symptoms of a tumor in the abdomen may include indigestion and stomach discomfort, bloating after eating, nausea, loss of appetite and heartburn.
Yondelis (trabectedin)Yondelis (trabectedin) is a prescription medicine used to treat people with liposarcoma (cancer of the fat cells) or leiomyosarcoma (cancer of smooth muscle tissue) that cannot be treated with surgery or has spread to other areas of the body, and who have received treatment with certain other medicines. Serious side effects include severe infections due to decreased white blood cells, severe muscle problems (rhabdomyolysis), liver problems, heart muscle problems, leakage of Yondelis out of your vein during the infusion, allergic reactions, and capillary leak syndrome.