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Doctor insights on: What Is The Difference Between A Benign Or Malignant Tumor

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What is the difference between a benign or malignant tumor?

What is the difference between a benign or malignant tumor?

Ability to spread: "malignant" generally implies the tumor has the ability to spread through out the body, and is therefore usually a more serious threat to patient. "benign" means unlikely to spread and/or grows slowly (indolent), although it may have the ability to come back (locally recur) after surgical removal or treatment, usually in the same place or near where it started. Less of a threat to patient. ...Read more

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Malignant (Definition)

The term malignant can be used in several medical contexts, but is primarily used to describe cancers. More dangerous and disorderly than the benign growth of cells, malignant cells have developed genetic changes that can allow it to invade other tissues in an unregulated way. These tumors can later spread, or metastasize, to other parts of the body and ...Read more


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What is the main difference between a benign and malignant tumor?

What is the main difference between a benign and malignant tumor?

How they act: Malignant tumors can grow locally and destroy other tissues but can also spread distantly. Benign tumors can grow locally and can cause symptoms if they enlarge but do not spread to distant organs. Hope this helps. ...Read more

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What is the difference between a benign tumor and a malignant tumor in terms of how it looks or feels?

What is the difference between a benign tumor and a malignant tumor in terms of how it looks or feels?

You can't: A tissue biopsy is the best way. The pathologist will look at it and based on its characteristic can differentiate between both. ...Read more

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What is the difference between a benign tumor and a malignant tumor in somebody's brain? Are both deadly?

What is the difference between a benign tumor and a malignant tumor in somebody's brain?  Are both deadly?

Cell type; could be: The brain is a confined space. Therefore, even a benign tumor may cause pressure or grow in a way that it kills a person, even though it is benign. Malignant tumors are usually based on the cell type, the number of cells in division, and the presence of necrosis (cell death). The most common malignant tumor is a glioblastoma multiforme. However, metastatic tumors to the brain are common. ...Read more

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How can you tell the difference between a malignant tumor and a benign tumor?

How can you tell the difference between a malignant tumor and a benign tumor?

H&P important: A lot depends on the location of the tumor, the age of the patient and other factors like how it feels. This is what is called the history and physical and it's why your doctor asks a lot of nosy questions. The h&p will give us answers in 80% of cases but the rest will require testing, like special scans or biopsies. Even then, there are a few cases which are hard to know for sure! ...Read more

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How can you tell the difference between a malignant tumor and a benign tumor when you look at it?

Yes: Malignant cells don't look like normal cells, and these differences can be seen when the biopsy is examined by the pathologist under the microscope. ...Read more

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Difference between dermoid cyst and malignant tumor on ultrasound?

Difference between dermoid cyst and malignant tumor on ultrasound?

No dx on US: • A dermoid cyst is a teratoma presenting as a cystic structire containing an array of developmentally mature tissues.. It is usually benign, growing slowly. In rare instances squamous Ca found in the adult patient. While frequent in ovary other sites can be involved. Removal when inflammed, painful or growing. US can suggest complex cyst but Ca dx by path exam and PET scan. ...Read more

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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


Dr. Barry Rosen
4,121 doctors shared insights

Cancer (Definition)

An uncontrolled cell growth leading to invasion and metastases is what cancer is defined as. It produced abnormal growth of cells which acquire destructive properties causing serious threat to host's life, unless it can be removed or destroyed by ...Read more