8 doctors weighed in:

Is there a difference between cancer and tumor?

8 doctors weighed in
Amanda Xi
General Practice
5 doctors agree

In brief: Yes

While cancers are characterized by tumors, not all tumors are cancerous.
Tumor derives from the latin for a 'mass' (a 'lump' - not all of which can be felt of course). Tumors are a result of an abnormal growth of cells and can be benign, or essentially only grow in one place and cannot spread. Cancer is when a tumor becomes malignant, or is able to spread and invade other tissues.

In brief: Yes

While cancers are characterized by tumors, not all tumors are cancerous.
Tumor derives from the latin for a 'mass' (a 'lump' - not all of which can be felt of course). Tumors are a result of an abnormal growth of cells and can be benign, or essentially only grow in one place and cannot spread. Cancer is when a tumor becomes malignant, or is able to spread and invade other tissues.
Amanda Xi
Amanda Xi
Answer assisted by Amanda Xi, Medical Student
Thank
Dr. Carolyn Messere
Surgery - Colorectal
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Yes and No

Sometimes a tumor is benign (not cancer), but most people mean cancer when they say tumor. It is possible to have benign breast and uterine tumors.
Another word that is often used is mass. Mass usually means we are not sure yet if it is malignant.

In brief: Yes and No

Sometimes a tumor is benign (not cancer), but most people mean cancer when they say tumor. It is possible to have benign breast and uterine tumors.
Another word that is often used is mass. Mass usually means we are not sure yet if it is malignant.
Dr. Carolyn Messere
Dr. Carolyn Messere
Thank
Get help from a real doctor now
Dr. Arnon Rubin
Board Certified, Internal Medicine
21 years in practice
163K people helped
Continue
111,000 doctors available
Read more answers from doctors