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Distinguish between benign tumors and cancerous tumors

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PT Health Life – Normal cells will grow, divide and replace each other, but when they reproduce too quickly and uncontrollably, they will form both benign and cancerous tumors.

The US National Cancer Institute defines a tumor as an abnormal mass of tissue that forms when cells divide more than normal or do not die when they should. Tumors develop when cells reproduce too quickly and uncontrollably.

There are three main types of tumors: benign, pre-malignant and malignant (cancerous ) . Tumors vary in size from a small nodule to a large mass and can appear anywhere in the body. Some benign tumors can become premalignant and then cancerous. People need to closely monitor tumor growth to rule out cancer.

Normal cells will grow, divide and replace each other, but when they reproduce too quickly and uncontrollably, they will form both benign and cancerous tumors.

1. Benign tumor

These tumors are not cancerous, do not invade nearby tissue or spread to other organs. Most benign tumors are harmless and unlikely to affect other organs. However, they can cause pain and other problems if they compress nerves or blood vessels.

If surgically removed, this type of tumor usually does not recur. Benign tumors can develop due to injury, infection, exposure to environmental toxins or radiation, stress, family history of tumors, and unhealthy diet.

Benign tumors include:

Adenoma: Develops in the glandular epithelium, the thin membrane that covers glands, organs, and other structures in the body. Common adenomas include colon adenoma, breast fibroadenoma, and liver adenoma. Adenomas can change and become adenocarcinomas.

Fibroids: These are tumors that develop on the fibrous or connective tissue of any organ. Commonly, uterine fibroids cause vaginal bleeding, pelvic pain or discomfort when urinating, urinary incontinence…

There are also angiofibromas, which appear as small red bumps on the face, and dermatofibromas that appear on the skin, often on the lower legs. Some fibroids cause symptoms and require surgery, while a few can change and become sarcomas (a type of cancer).

Hemangioma: Forms when blood vessels grow excessively. They can appear as discolored spots on the skin or grow inside the body. Hemangiomas often appear at birth and disappear during childhood. They usually do not require treatment, but surgery may be required if they do not go away.

Lipoma: A type of soft tissue tumor, composed of fat cells. Lipomas usually appear in people aged 40-60 and are unlikely to become cancerous. Most lipomas are small, painless, and tender to the touch. Tumors often appear on the back, shoulders, arms, buttocks and legs.

2. Pre-malignant tumor

These are tumors whose cells are not yet cancerous, but they have a high likelihood of becoming malignant. Pre-malignant tumors include:

Actinic keratosis: This condition, also known as actinic keratosis, consists of thick patches of skin that are scaly and rough. The disease is more likely to affect fair-skinned people, and sun exposure increases the risk of the disease. Sometimes, actinic keratosis turns into squamous cell carcinoma.

Cervical dysplasia: Tumors often occur in the cells lining the cervix caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). The cells can become malignant after 10-30 years, leading to cervical cancer.

Lung metaplasia : Cell growth occurs in the bronchi, the tubes that carry air into the lungs, the lining of which contains glandular cells. They can change and become squamous cell cancer, especially in smokers.

Leukoplakia: Disease that causes thick white patches to form in the mouth. These patches are painless, have irregular shapes, raised edges, and are difficult to remove. Your doctor will use lasers or surgery to remove white patches in your mouth if cancer is suspected.

If surgically removed, this type of tumor usually does not recur. Illustration

3. Malignant tumor

Malignant tumors are cancers that develop when cells proliferate uncontrollably. They can grow quickly and spread to other parts of the body, called metastases, which is life-threatening. Some cancer cells grow much more slowly over time.

Different types of melanoma originate from different types of cells:

Carcinoma : Tumors that form from epithelial cells, which are found in the skin and tissues that cover organs. Common carcinomas occur in the stomach, prostate, pancreas, lungs, liver, colon, and breast.

Sarcoma: Cancer that originates in cells outside the bone marrow, in connective tissue, often occurring in cartilage, bone, fat and nerves.

Germ cell tumor: Cancer that develops in the cells that produce sperm and eggs. They often appear in the ovaries or testicles; metastasis to the brain, abdomen, and chest.

Blastoma: Tumor formed from embryonic tissue or developing cells. The disease is more common in children. They can lead to tumors in the brain, eyes or nervous system.

Meningioma : This is one of the most common types of brain tumors, originating from meningeal cells.

4. Risk factors for developing melanoma

That is :

  • Addicted to smoking.
  • Alcohol abuse.
  • Exposure to cancer-causing chemicals.
  • HPV virus infection.
  • People with a family history of cancer, genetic mutations, and obesity are also at high risk of cancer.
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