Medical Dictionary: Malignant Neoplasm


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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 neoplasm 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).
Medical dictionaries: Medical dictionary, Medical malpractice dictionary, Medical Acronymns/Abbreviations
Malignant Neoplasm: Another name for Cancer.
Malignant Neoplasm (condition): Abnormal overgrowth of body cells.
Malignant Neoplasm (condition): Cancer is caused by an abnormal overgrowth of cells with more than 100 cancer subtypes depending on which cell grows. In many cancers, the cells clump together to form solid tumors, but in some the cells are dispersed around the blood stream (leukemia) or the lymphatic system (lymphoma).

Prognosis of cancer has improved greatly in modern times owing to treatment advances and early detection programs. However, although survival rates have improved, cancer still remains the 2nd top cause of death, second only to heart disese in the USA.

Misdiagnosis of cancer is naturally possible but not common if professional medical advice is sought, because physicians will usually perform comprehensive diagnostic testing if cancer is a possibility. Diagnostic tests have also improved in accuracy including newer tumor marker blood tests. Self-diagnosis of cancer is usually incorrect and quite common is for people to fear that they have cancer based on a symptom (e.g. weight loss, persistent cough, lumps, or frequent urination), only to find out they have other less severe conditions. On the other hand, sadly common is for people to have cancer but be unaware of it, because many types have a slow insidious onset without early symptoms. For this reason, regular screening for particular types of cancer is valuable in preventing severe cancer cases.

Malignant Neoplasm: Cancer is a group of more than 100 different diseases. Cancer occurs when cells become abnormal and keep dividing and forming more cells without order or control. All organs of the body are made up of cells. Normally, cells divide to produce more cells only when the body needs them. If cells divide when new ones are not needed, they form a mass of excess tissue called a tumor. Tumors can be benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer). The cells in malignant tumors can invade and damage nearby tissues and organs. Cancer cells can also break away from a malignant tumor and travel through the bloodstream or the lymphatic system to form new tumors in other parts of the body. The spread of cancer is called metastasis. 1

More information on medical condition: Cancer:



Footnotes:
1. excerpt from Cancer: NWHIC

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