What is Cancer?
- A neoplasm is an abnormal mass of tissue which shows uncoordinated growth and serves no useful purpose. The word is often used synonymously with the word tumour, which simply means a swelling.
- Benign neoplasms usually have a slow rate of growth and remain confined to their site of origin. Benign neoplasms usually run an innocuous course but can be dangerous if they compress vital nearby structures or if the neoplasm secretes hormones uncontrollably.
- Malignant neoplasms have capacity to spread or metastasize to distant sites and produce secondary tumours called metastases,which can grow independently from the primary tumour.
- Cancer is a broad term for any malignant neoplasm.