full screen background image

Benign Tumors

Tumor formation

A tumor or a neoplasm is the abnormal formation of a mass of tissue which results out of the uncontrolled cell division of cells. The cells are the basic unit of human body and are regulated by certain genetically formulated set of rules. That means it is essential for a cell to behave normally for normal body growth and thriving life sustainability. Normally the production of new cells is a subject to their requirement which primarily arises in order to replenish the old dying cells (which is quite normal), similarly the age of cells is also genetically pre determined.

So any unwanted production of cells could result in formation of abnormal masses of tissue. The cause of this abnormal behavior or the unbalanced division of cells is associated with impaired DNA properties.

Benign Tumors

The benign tumors commonly known as non cancerous tumors usually grow at a slower rate and do not spread to other parts of the body. However such tumors do threaten the growth of surrounding tissues and cells. They are more threatening in case they are located close to vital organs and due to their abnormal size exert pressure on such parts. The pressure applied by the tumors to the vital organs, blood vessels and nerves of the body can result in serious illness or even death. For example myoma or a benign tumor in the uterus, may grow as small as a grapefruit or may become as large as a full-term pregnancy. The tumor tends to compress other organs, such as the bladder, which leads to urinary problems.

Usually the doctors adopt a ?wait and watch? policy on benign tumors, but they do advice treatment subject to the location and size of the tumor.

What causes Benign Tumors

What causes a benign tumor to form is unknown. But the growth of a benign tumor can be linked to:

  • Environmental pollutants , such as exposure to radiation
  • Genetic disorders
  • Unhealthy Diet
  • Stress Levels
  • Local trauma or injury
  • Inflammation or infection

Treatment of Benign Tumors

In most cases, benign tumors do not need any treatment. Treatment however may be needed if symptoms persist with aggravated problems. The most common type of treatment for benign tumors is surgery, where the tumor is completely removed without damaging the surrounding tissues. Other types of treatment may include medication or even radiation.

Common Types of Benign Tumors

Out of the many different types of benign tumors following are some of the most common types of benign tumors:

Adenomas: These benign tumors start in the epithelial tissue of a gland. The epithelial tissue relates to the thin layer of tissue covering organs, glands, and other structures. Polyp a common type of adenoma originates in the colon, adenomas may grow in the liver or the adrenal, pituitary, or thyroid gland.

In most cases, adenomas can be removed with surgery. There is a rare chance of adenomas becoming malignant.

Fibromas (or fibroids): These fibrous or connective tissues can grow in any organ but commonly grow in the uterus. These are not cancerous, uterine fibroids may lead to heavy vaginal bleeding, bladder problems, or pelvic pain.

As fibrous tissue tumors can cause problems by growing into nearby tissues they may need to be removed with surgery.

Hemangiomas: An accumulation of blood vessel cells in the skin or internal organs. These are a common type of birthmarks and often appear in the head, neck, or trunk. They may appear red or bluish in color, they may go away on their own. Only those that interfere with vision, hearing, or eating may require treatment with medication.

Lipomas: They are the most common benign tumor in adults growing out of fat cells, often found in the neck, shoulders, back, or arms. Lipomas are slow in growth, usually round and soft to the touch. They can be hereditary and sometimes they might result from an injury. Treatment may be considered if a lipoma is painful or overgrow. The treatment can be removal through surgery or liposuction.

In young children two other types of benign fat tumors are lipoblastomas and hibernomas.

Meningiomas: Tumors that develop in the membrane surrounding the brain and spinal cord. These may grow slowly and about nine in 10 are benign. Treatment depends on their location ans the symptoms caused by them. Symptoms may include headaches, weakness on one side, seizures, personality changes, and visual problems.

The doctors might choose to watch the tumor for some time or might go for surgery if needed, for tumors hard to remove by surgery radiation is an option.

Myomas: These tumors grow from muscle. The tumors growing from smooth muscles of stomach and uterus are known as leiomyomas. They can start in the walls of blood vessels or in the wall of the uterus, leiomyomas are often referred to as fibroids. A rare benign tumor of skeletal muscle is known as rhabdomyoma. These tumors may be simply watched or if the symptoms persist they may be shrunk with medication or removed with surgery.

Nevi: They growths on the skin. They can be pink, tan to brown or black. You may develop new moles until about age 40. If moles look unusual, grow in shape, or change in color (dysplastic nevi) they may be more likely to develop into a type of skin cancer (melanoma). It is important to have your skin checked regularly, sometimes it may be necessary to remove a mole like this to check it for signs of cancer.

Neuromas: These relate to tumors of nerves. The other two other types of nerve tumors are neurofibromas and schwannomas. These benign nerve tumors can develop almost anywhere in nerves that run throughout the body. Neurofibromas are mostly found in people with an inherited state called neurofibromatosis. Surgery is the most common treatment for benign nerve tumors.

Osteochondromas: These are the most common type of benign bone tumor. These tumors usually develop as a painless bump or bumps close to a joint such as the knee or shoulder. Mostly these are simply watched but surgery may be needed if the tumor cause pain or pressure on nerves or blood vessels.

Papillomas: These are tumors that develop from epithelial tissue and form finger-like projections. They can be both benign or malignant. They can develop in the skin, cervix, breast duct, or mucous membrane covering the inside of the eyelid (conjunctiva), for example. These tumors can result from direct contact with an infection such as human papillomavirus (HPV). Some types of papillomas may go away on their own in others surgery might be needed to rule out cancer.