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A 38-year-old female asked:

what does a radiologist mean by "benign or malignant neoplasm" of the liver? hemangiomas have been ruled out.

4 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Charles Cattano
Gastroenterology 39 years experience
Benign vs malignant: Benign tumors /neoplasms of the liver are not cancerous; malignant tumors are. See prior answer regarding differential for benign ones. Malignant tumors include: fibrolamellar carcinoma, hepatoblastoma, cholangiocarcinoma, cystadenocarcinoma, angiosarcoma, undifferentiated sarcomas, epitheliod endothelioma. Metastatic liver tumors originate elsewhere (frequently from stomach, breast, lung, colon).
Dr. D A Steve Griswold
Radiology 30 years experience
A solid liver mass: If so stated, this is not a cyst. There are benign, non-spreading (not malignant) masses such as adenomas or focal nodular hyperplasia. Liver cancer or cancer from other area that is metastatic to the liver remain possibilities not yet exlcuded.
Dr. Ernest Rudman
Diagnostic Radiology 15 years experience
We are not sure: Sometimes imaging can be 100% accurate in diagnosing a liver lesion simply based on its appearance. However, this is not always the case. Some lesions have a non-specific appearance and may need further work up to diagnose. That work up may include more imaging, biopsy, or just continued surveillance (if we think the lesion is most likely benign).
Dr. Michael Gabor
Diagnostic Radiology 33 years experience
Sometimes: liver lesions have a characteristic benign appearance, sometimes a characteristic malignant appearance. Other times the imaging features may overlap between the two, and either one is a possibility. Usually a biopsy will be necessary to make the determination.

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Last updated May 8, 2019
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