What are different types of tumors? Tumors can be a frightening and uncomfortable subject to discuss, but it is certainly one on which we want to stay well-informed. Preventative measures can be taken to decrease the risk of developing malignant tumors, such as leading a healthy lifestyle and being aware of any changes in the body. The medical community has identified three basic types of tumors: benign, pre-malignant, and malignant. This article will explore the three types of tumors, what they mean, and how they are approached from a medical standpoint.
Benign tumors are essentially non-threatening types of tumors. As they cannot spread from one part of the body to another, they pose no serious threat and are considered non-cancerous. Often these tumors require no medical treatment, have little growth, and can be something as minor as a mole on the surface of the skin. However, benign tumors such as fibroids, which typically form in the uterus, or polyps in the colon, can have adverse effects on the body and require surgical procedures in order to remove the mass. Benign tumors can form in numerous regions of the body, developing on nerves, organs, bones, or muscles. As stated, many benign tumors present little problems to the body, though depending on the location of the tumor and the amount of discomfort caused, one may seek out options for treatment and removal.
Pre-malignant tumors are types of tumors considered to be pre-cancerous. Though this term is not used as frequently as benign or malignant tumors, it is nevertheless considered to be a type of tumor. In medical terms, a pre-malignant tumor is one more likely to develop into a malignant tumor; that is, the tumor has a higher risk factor for becoming threatening to the body. Pre-malignant tumors are often monitored closely by medical professionals. One common example of a pre-malignant tumor is solar keratosis, or a lesion on the skin caused by extensive amounts of time spent in the sun without protection, such as sunscreen or shade. In many instances of keratosis, medical professionals wish to perform tests to determine whether the area is indeed cancerous. However, if these types of tumors are found to be non-cancerous after testing, a variety of treatment options are available.
Malignant tumors are types of tumors which are considered life-threatening by medical professionals. Early stage malignant tumors, if caught, may be treated with success, though later stage malignancies are far more severe. These types of tumors have the ability to affect other portions of the body in a process referred to by the medical community as metastasis. Malignant tumors are cancerous tumors, though biopsies of the mass or masses are performed in order to confirm the status of these types of tumors. While treatment is sometimes available for malignant tumors, the effectiveness and range of options are dependent upon the area affected and progression of the malignancy itself. Treatment options can range from surgical removal to radiation therapy to chemotherapy. In some cases, the tumor cannot be treated and is considered fatal.