Medical Dictionary: Benign Neoplasm

Introduction: Neoplasm is a medical term that refers to a new growth of cells. Whereas "neo" means new and "plasm" refers to cells, the word refers to abnormal overgrowth of cells rather than healthy new cell growth. It is often used interchangeably with words such as tumor and cancer. The main use of the term neoplasm is in medical statistics that categorize deaths or other events, in which case neoplasm is typically the category that includes cancer statistics. A "benign neoplasm" usually refers to a benign tumor (non-cancerous$), whereas a "malignant neoplasm" usually refers to a cancerous tumor (i.e. cancer).
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Benign Neoplasm: Another name for Benign Tumors.
Benign Neoplasm (condition): A tumor or growth that remains localized; not always harmless.
Benign Neoplasm (condition): A benign tumor is one that does not spread or "metastasize" to other parts of the body; a "malignant tumor" is one that does. A benign tumor is caused by cell overgrowth, and thus is different from a cyst or an abcess,

Although benign is better news than malignant for a cancer biopsy, it does not always mean "harmless", though many are almost harmless. A benign tumor may still grow, and this growth may cause damage to any organs, tissues, or nerves in its vicinity. Hence, a benign tumor can still cause serious illness and death if it presses on important areas. Benign tumors cause more than 13,000 annual deaths in the USA, compared to more than 500,000 annual deaths from cancer (i.e. from malignant tumors).

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