May also be called: Cancer; Malignant Tumor; Metastatic Tumor; Carcinoma
A malignant neoplasm (NEE-oh-plaz-um) is a cancerous
tumor, an abnormal growth that can grow uncontrolled and spread to other parts of
More to Know
Tumors, or neoplasms, are groupings of abnormal cells that cluster together to
form a mass or lump. They're formed when cells divide and grow excessively, and they
can be benign (not cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).
A cancerous tumor (malignant neoplasm) can grow unchecked, invade healthy tissue
and metastasize (spread), or spread from the place where it starts to other parts
of the body. If it goes untreated and continues to spread, a malignant neoplasm can
interfere with organ function and become life threatening.
Treatment depends on the type of cancer and how far it has progressed. If the cancer
is limited to one area and hasn't spread, the tumor may be removed through surgery.
Other common treatments include chemotherapy,
which kills cancer cells throughout the body, and radiation
therapy, which kills cancer cells in a specific area of the body.
Keep in Mind
The sooner a malignant neoplasm is detected, the more effectively it can be treated,
so early diagnosis is important. Many types of cancer can be cured. Treatment for
other types can allow people to live for many years with cancer.
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