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Doctor insights on: Benign Vs Cancerous Tumor

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Any statistics relating to the relative frequency of benign kidney nodules vs. cancerous kidney tumors? I have a 'nodule' - seeing urologist next wk

Any statistics relating to the relative frequency of benign kidney nodules vs. cancerous kidney tumors?  I have a 'nodule'  - seeing urologist next wk

It's moot: You either have cancer or you don't. We're going to find out. The radiologist can second-guess; even I can spot the obviously-benign and obviously-malignant ones. So sharing a number would be meaningless, since I don't know what yours looks like. What I can share is that a good majority of those picked up incidentally are very curable if managed appropriate and on time. A week's delay is okay. ...Read more

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Dr. Barry Rosen
4,287 doctors shared insights

Cancer (Definition)

Cancer is a group of diseases that is characterized by uncontrolled cell growth leading to invasion of surrounding tissues that spread to other parts of the body. Cancer can begin anywhere in the body and is usually related to one or more genetic mutations that allow normal cells to become malignant by interfering with internal cellular control mechanisms, such as programmed cell death or by preventing ...Read more


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What does benign mean for a tumor? I thought tumors were cancer.

What does benign mean for a tumor? I thought tumors were cancer.

Not cancer: Tumor is a general term for a mass or swelling. Tumors may be benign or malignant. Benign tumors rarely kill. ...Read more

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What's a tumor that is considered benign? I thought tumors were cancer

What's a tumor that is considered benign? I thought tumors were cancer

Not cancer: Tumor is a general term for a mass or swelling. Tumors may be benign or malignant. Benign tumors rarely kill. ...Read more

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What to do if i know benign means non cancerous, but can the tumor do any harm?

What to do if i know benign means non cancerous, but can the tumor do any harm?

Yep: A tumor may be benign but still can grow and put pressure on vital organs and structures. ...Read more

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Can there be any way to tell if a tumor is benign or cancerous without a biopsy?

Can there be any way to tell if a tumor is benign or cancerous without a biopsy?

Not absolutely: Any surgeon with any experience has been surprised many times by tumors, sometimes in a good way, others in a bad way. You need tissue evaluation of a mass to be absolutely sure. Good luck. ...Read more

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What is the percentage of lung tumors being benign vs cancerous?

What is the percentage of lung tumors being benign vs cancerous?

Details matter: Many lung nodules are benign. This will depend on were you live. Lung nodules can be granulomas, infections, fungal infections, benign growths such as hamartomas, and finally cancerous. It is important to have either serial imaging or a biopsy if a lung nodule is found. There are currently guidelines for this that a pulmonary medicine specialist or thoracic surgeon should follow. ...Read more

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Can a diagnosed benign tumor be found to be cancerous after it's removed?

Yes: When one removes a tumor, it is examined by the pathologists under the microscope. In addition, special stains are performed on the tissue to assess whether the tumor might be malignant. So, in certain instances, something that was thought to be benign, may, in fact, be a malignant cancer. ...Read more

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Hello docs, is a benign tumor considered cancerous?

Hello docs, is a benign tumor considered cancerous?

No: Benign tumor (non-malignant, non-cancerous tumors) can grow at many body sites. Tumors that are benign do not have the ability to spread to other parts of the body. In some instances benign tumors can cause health problems by growing to large sizes and pressing on adjacent structures such as nerves and blood vessels. It would be good to discuss your concerns with a physician. ...Read more

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What is the frequency of benign colon tumors compared to cancerous tumors?

What is the frequency of benign colon tumors compared to cancerous tumors?

Much more: Benign colon tumors, typically adenomas or polyps, are quite common. Some may be pre-cancerous but most are benign. If removed completely, the risk for transformation to colon cancer is avoided. ...Read more

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Possible for benign tumors on the skull turn cancerous?

Possible for benign tumors on the skull turn cancerous?

Generally no: Benign tumors generally do not turn into malignant ones, having said that, there are enough exceptions that it is difficult to be specific without knowing what type of benign tumor on the skull you have in mind. ...Read more

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Can having a benign tumor make you more at risk to have cancer?

Usually no: The word "cancer" means a malignant tumor. Having a benign tumor usually is not associated with malignancy. Rarely, however, a benign tumor may degenerate into a malignant tumor. ...Read more

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If a person has a history of benign cancer, are they more likely to develop malignant tumor?

If a person has a history of benign cancer, are they more likely to develop malignant tumor?

Nomenclature: Confusing! "benign cancer" is a contradiction in terms, but there are benign tumors (can grow huge but can't invade or spread), and there are cancers (like basal cell of the skin or many bladder cancers) that are slow and pose little short-term danger. There are genetic disease with multiple benign & malignant tumors; otherwise, tumors occur depending on risk factors and dumb luck. ...Read more

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If a person has a history of benign cancer, are they more likely to develop malignant tumors?

If a person has a history of benign cancer, are they more likely to develop malignant tumors?

Unclear question: Some benign tumors predispose to malignant tumors, e.g. Colon polyps, and moles. Most benign tumors do not become malignant. There is no such entity as benign cancer. ...Read more

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Do patients with benign nerve sheath tumors in spine or elsewhere have higher rates of cancer of any particular type, or in general?

Do patients with benign nerve sheath tumors in spine or elsewhere have higher rates of cancer of any particular type, or in general?

Depends on associate: There are associated conditions eg neurofibromatosis etc. Which can present with benign nerve sheath rumors and other associated cancers like astrocytomas in brain. However if not associated with any such condition; other cancers are rare. ...Read more

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How do I know if a benign tumor will not turn into malignant cancer in future ?

How do I know if a benign tumor will not turn into malignant cancer in future ?

Unlikely: Not enough info to answer your question. If this is about a lung nodule, it's usually is benign if there are certain characteristics on ct or if it has been stable over 2 years period. If you are at low risk (no family/personal history of cancer & no smoking history), the chance of a benign stable nodule turn into malignancy is very low. ...Read more

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Is it possible to have the symptoms of colon cancer and have a tumor that is benign or non-cancerous?

Is it possible to have the symptoms of colon cancer and have a tumor that is benign or non-cancerous?

Yes: Many conditions such as bacterial and viral colitis, ulcerative colitis, crohn's colitis are benign, and benign colon polyps can cause colon problems. Even something as simple as hemorrhoids can cause bowel changes or bleeding. Need to see a doctor for an examination. ...Read more

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Are nasal tumors rare in people in 30's, both benign and malignant? What are statistics of cancerous ones?

Are nasal tumors rare in people in 30's, both benign and malignant? What are statistics of cancerous ones?

Yes: Nasal tumors are less common but may still occur in younger people. See a medical professional for an examination to determine the cause. Don't jump into statistics about malignancy before you know what is wrong. ...Read more

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Would blood tests show cancerous tumors, or even benign one's in the body? OR Would a regular blood test show indications of cancer / a tumor inside?

Would blood tests show cancerous tumors, or even benign one's in the body? OR Would a regular blood test show indications of cancer / a tumor inside?

Not very helpful: We don't have reliable blood tests to look for the common cancers. Your best bet is cancer surveillance (in your case, I trust you get pap smears if you have ever had someone special), and know the usual warning signs and get seen if they come up. ...Read more

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What would be my cancer risk after having a benign tumor removed along with the ovary it was on?

What would be my cancer risk after having a benign tumor removed along with the ovary it was on?

Probably normal: Depending on what the benign tumor was. It is likely that you are at no increased risk compared to anyone else. ...Read more

Neoplasms (Definition)

"tumor" literally translates as "mass", so even a fresh bruise could be called a "tumor". Doctors use the term "neoplasm" (tranlates literally as new growth) to describe tumors that are abnormal growths of cells. These may be benign or malignant; "malignant" = cancer. In everyday usage, we use "tumor" ...Read more