A tumor also known as a neoplasm is an abnormal growth of tissue or a swelling in the part of the body without any inflammation. A tumor does not necessarily mean cancer. It can be benign, pre-malignant or malignant. The word tumor originates from the Latin word’ tumere’ meaning to swell. Cells divide and grow in the body and are frequently replaced by newer ones. The growth of cells and their division is controlled. When the body fails to replace the damaged cells it disturbs the balance thereby causing a tumor. A tumor is termed as malignant when it is cancerous which means there are several secondary growths that have evolved affecting vital parts of the body.
What is the difference between tumor and cyst?
A cyst is a sac filled with fluids or semisolid substances and can occur anywhere in the body. The outer wall of the cyst is a capsule. It is soft when felt with the hand. A cyst can occur due to clogging of glands or if there is an infection in the body. Cysts rarely pose cancerous danger and are predominantly benign in nature.
A tumor is a mass of tissue and a visible lump inside the body. An ultrasound might be necessary to view it inside the body. A tumor is generally hard when felt with the hand. Tumors can occur due to genetic predisposition also. Tumors can be malignant also and have a higher chance of turning cancerous.
Causes Of Tumor
- Structural changes in hormones, amino acids, changes in DNA instructions and replication
- Negative emotional trauma
- Nutritional deficiency
- Processed food and toxins; processed oils and unsaturated fats breakdown cell membranes
- Alcohol abuse
- Viruses: Types of tumors caused by viruses are human papillomavirus or cervical cancer and hepatitis B virus or hepatocellular carcinoma
- Excessive exposure to sunlight
Symptoms Of Tumor
- Night sweats
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Coughing, shortness of breath and chest pain in case of lung tumors
- Diarrhea, constipation, iron deficiency anemia and blood in stool in case of tumors of the colon
Biopsy A piece of tissue is removed to be examined under a microscope to determine if it is cancerous.
CT scan and MRI scan These are done to ascertain the exact location of the tumor in the body.
Bone marrow biopsy This is done if there is suspicion of leukemia or lymphoma.
Tumor marker tests These are biomarkers which can be found at elevated levels in blood and urine and even body tissue of the patient.
CBC A complete blood count is done to measure types of cells and their abnormalities.
A vast majority of tumours whether benign or malignant will require surgical removal.