Benign And Malignant

The mass of abnormal cells formed when cells start dividing uncontrollably is called a tumor. There are two types of tumors: benign and malignant.

Benign tumors contain cells that are not able to spread to a different site in the body. This means they are not cancerous. They are generally contained within a covering of normal cells. They usually grow slowly and are often harmless, not requiring any treatment. However, if they grow large and begin to encroach on the space of surrounding organs, they can cause problems. In this circumstance they do require treatment.

Malignant tumors contain cells that are capable of spreading beyond the original tumor to another part of the body. This can be dangerous because as the cells invade surrounding tissues, they can damage them and stop them from working properly. This type of tumor is cancerous. Doctors can tell whether a tumor is benign or malignant by examining a small sample of cells from the tumor under the microscope. The removal of tissues or cells from the body for examination is called a biopsy.

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