Difference Between Benign and Malignant
Benign vs Malignant
The two terms malignant and benign are medical terms and they are often confused with each other. The fact is that they are poles apart in meaning. Malignant means that the affected cells in the body are cancerous. The tumors which are malignant can attack the tissues lying the surrounding region and spread in the body. On the other hand, benign tumor means that the tumor is not cancerous. It might grow in size but it will not spread to other parts of the body. Therefore we can say that malignant tumors love to grow and conquer the surrounding area while the benign tumors like to stay put.
If you have a malignant tumor in the colon region, it will grow through your colon and go to various other locations. This activity is called metastasizing. The malignant tumors grow faster than the benign tumors and cause major health concerns. The benign tumors are self-contained but this doesn’t mean that a benign tumor is totally painless or doesn’t grow in size. This type of tumor doesn’t destroy the surrounding tissue or will not become malignant with time. For this reason most of the benign growths can be surgically operated upon. In malignant growths doctors suggest cell killing by radiation therapy or chemo therapy.
In malignant tumor the cells start growing in an abnormal manner and they seek the surrounding tissue for consumption. As a matter of fact it will continue to grow as it finds healthy tissue. The pieces from malignant tumor can break from the parent tumor and spread to various other parts of the body. However this is not the case with benign tissues.
There is a condition which falls in the middle of benign and malignant. This means that there are certain tumors which can become malignant but their cells have not started growing abnormally. Some types of moles fall under this category and they are termed as pre-cancerous. So we can say that a pre-cancerous tumor is not really benign but it hasn’t attained the aggressiveness to become malignant. Now this kind of pre-cancerous growth will react well to the surgical intrusion but the doctor may want to observe it for some time to see any chances of malignancy, before declaring it completely normal.
1.A benign tumor doesn’t grow abnormally and is not harmful in the long run.
2.A malignant tumor has cancer cells which are active and grow abnormally.
3.A malignant tumor will require aggressive treatment methods but a benign tumor becomes fine in one surgical intervention.
4.The tumor which is pre-cancerous can have the potential to be malignant but its present state is a matter of concern and observation.
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