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2. Neoplasia part 2: Differences between benign and malignant neoplasms

Video

2. Neoplasia part 2: Differences between benign and malignant neoplasms
Part 2 of this series of videos on neoplasms - outlining:

Differences between benign and malignant neoplasms
Examples of instances where benign tumours can actually be harmful.

Benign and malignant neoplasms differ in 4 key areas:

1. Differentiation: malignant neoplasms tend to be less well differentiated.

2. Rate of growth: Malignant neoplasms tend to be faster growing.

3. Local invasion: malignant neoplasms invade surrounding tissue - benign neoplasms do not.

4. Metastasis: malignant neoplasms have the ability to form separate tumours in other parts of the body by spreading through the bloodstream, lymphatics or body cavities.  Benign tumours never metastasise. 

Even though benign tumours are usually not harmful, there are some instances when they can cause problems. 

Examples include an adenoma- a benign tumour of glandular tissues that releases hormones; polyps - which can undergo transformation and become malignant; and brain tumours - which can compress structures around them and stop them from functioning (even though they are not actually invading the tissue).

References
Kumar, V., & Robbins, S. L. 1. (2007). Robbins basic pathology (8th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Saunders/Elsevier 

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