A neoplasm is an abnormal growth of cells in the body, also described as a tumor. The neoplasm can be a small growth, such as a mole, a cancerous or precancerous tumor. In most cases, neoplasms are not dangerous to your health, but they can be dangerous. If you have a tumor, it is important to show it to your doctor.
Recognition of a neoplasm
Visible growth may look exactly like your skin, or have a different color or texture. They are usually painless, but they can hurt or bleed, which is the main thing that distinguishes them from warts . Neoplasms can grow very slowly, and neoplasms rarely grow rapidly.
You may notice small growths on the surface of the skin or in accessible areas of the body, such as the ear canals or nostrils. Neoplasms can also grow inside your body where you cannot see them.
In some cases, internal growths can cause noticeable irregularities, but they are usually well below the surface of the skin and do not cause the changes you might see from the outside.
There are trillions of normal healthy cells in the human body. These cells grow, divide, multiply, die, and replace each other at a controlled rate. However, in the case of a neoplasm, cells can grow faster or survive longer than expected.
Neoplasms can be benign, malignant, or precancerous:
- A benign neoplasm is a neoplasm that does not show cellular signs of cancer or precancerous conditions and is therefore unlikely to become dangerous.
- A precancerous tumor has the characteristics of a malignant tumor, but it has not yet turned into cancer and has not spread .
- Cancer is a neoplasm that can grow, spread, and damage the body quickly. A malignancy is malignant, and a metastatic neoplasm is a malignancy that has spread to nearby or distant parts of the body.
Benign growths are often called moles and can develop in late childhood or adulthood. Benign tumors generally grow slowly, if at all, and are generally not life-threatening. They are caused by limited cell proliferation, usually without a known cause.
Examples of benign growths include:
Just because benign tumors aren't cancers doesn't mean they can't cause problems. For example, fibroids can cause severe pain and bleeding, which may require removal .
A metastatic neoplasm is defined as cancer. Most of the time, this is due to damage to the cell's DNA. This damage leads to genetic mutations, as a result of which abnormal cells lose their normal function, multiply faster, live longer, and invade other cells and tissues.
Certain factors can cause these mutations, including genetics, sun exposure, and toxic substances. Smoking , for example, can increase the risk of lung cancer, and excessive alcohol consumption can lead to liver cancer.
Cancer can grow anywhere in the body and metastasize (spread) to almost any part of the body. A malignancy can start from a physical mass, such as a lump in the breast. It can start with an overproduction of a cell type, such as leukemia , a form of cancer characterized by an overproduction of blood cells.
Pre-cancerous growths are growths that have not spread and have the potential to turn into cancer. This is usually diagnosed on the basis of a microscopic examination of the neoplasm.
Classification of the neoplasm
A neoplasm is considered benign if it cannot spread through the bloodstream or lymphatic system to spread to other parts of the body.
It may be difficult for you to determine if the tumor is benign or not. Often times, your healthcare professional can tell the difference in appearance, texture, and growth history. But when in doubt, a biopsy can help.
The appearance of a benign neoplasm under a microscope is very different from the appearance of a malignant or precancerous neoplasm:
- In a benign neoplasm , there are usually cells that appear normal with a constant distance between them.
- Cancer or precancerous growths usually have cells that appear abnormal in size, shape, or color, with crowded, irregular spaces between the cells and a possible invasion of nearby capillaries (tiny blood vessels).
Get the word of drug information
The term neoplasia is not synonymous with cancer. If you or your healthcare provider find it, it is likely completely harmless. Even if this is not the case, many malignancies can now be treated successfully.
If you ever find an unusual growth on your body, see your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Depending on where the growth is, you may need a physical exam, blood tests, imaging tests, or a tissue biopsy. After that, if something looks suspicious, you will at least have a chance to diagnose and treat it early, when success rates are highest.