What is the difference between a benign tumor and a malignant one?

Hearing that you have a tumor can be very frightening. And, when the doctors use terms like benign or malignant, it can be worse because you might not know what they mean.

Malignant means cancerous. If you have a malignant tumor, you have cancer. Benign, on the other hand, means it's not cancerous. Many people say "B"enign is "B"etter. However, benign tumor can and do cause problems in many people. They can grow and cause pressure on organs or nerves, causing illness or pain so often they are removed with surgery.


Vassilios S. Nikolaou, MD, PhD, et al. Giant Osteochondroma of the Posterior Cavity of the Knee. In Orthopaedics. November 2008. Vol. 31. Pp. 1142


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