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Benign Tumor: Causes, Types, Symptoms, and Treatment

Aug 24, 2023

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Cause Of Benign Tumor

Types of Benign Tumors

Symptoms Of Benign Tumor

Benign Brain tumor

Benign Breast Tumor

Benign Bone Tumor

Diagnosis Of Benign Tumor

Treatment Of Benign Tumor

Benign Tumor: Causes, Types, Symptoms, Diagnosis, And Treatment

The term "benign tumor" refers to bodily growths that are not malignant. They can appear anywhere on the body, grow slowly, and have distinct borders. They do not spread to other bodily parts like malignant tumors do.

You could presume it's a cancerous tumor right away if you find a lump or mass in your body that can be felt from the outside. For instance, women who discover lumps in their breasts while performing self-examinations frequently become concerned. The majority of breast growths, meanwhile, are benign. In actuality, the majority of growths throughout the body are benign.

More than 90% of changes in breast tissue are benign growths. Similar to other cancers, benign bone tumors are more common than malignant ones.

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Cause Of Benign Tumor

A benign tumor's specific cause is frequently unknown. It appears when the body's cells divide and grow too quickly. The body usually manages to maintain a balance between cell division and growth. When a cell dies or becomes damaged, new, healthy cells are created in its place. Tumors are growths that are made of dead cells that are still present.

The same processes govern the growth of cancer cells. Cancerous cells can invade neighboring tissue and spread to different sections of the body, in contrast to the cells in benign tumors.

Although the exact cause of benign tumor development is unknown, there are certain theories. These incorporate:

  • environmental elements like poisons, radiation, or chemicals
  • inflammation or illness
  • diet
  • Local trauma or injury
  • stress
  • genetics

Despite the fact that people are more prone to have them as they age, benign tumors can happen to anyone, even youngsters.

Also Read: Hirsutism: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention and Complications

Types of Benign Tumors

Numerous benign tumors can develop in different parts of the body.

Benign tumors are divided into groups based on where they grow. For instance, lipomas form from fat cells while myomas form from muscle. Numerous varieties of benign tumors are included in the list below:

  • Adenomas

A thin layer of tissue called epithelial tissue, which covers glands, organs, and other internal systems, is where adenomas develop. The development of colonic polyps and liver tumors are two examples. Thyroid, pituitary, and adrenal glands can all produce adenomas.

These tumors are prone to developing malignancy. In fact, one in ten colon adenomas develop into cancer.

  • Lipomas

The most prevalent kind of benign tumors are lipomas, which develop from fat cells. A lipoma will appear once every 1,000 people in their lifetime. They frequently appear on the neck, back, shoulders, and arms. They can be somewhat manipulated under the skin and are typically spherical and velvety.

Treatment for lipomas might not be necessary unless they are painful or developing quickly. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, they also seldom get cancer. Lipomas can develop at any age, however, they are most prevalent in persons between the ages of 40 and 60.

  • Myomas

Muscle or blood vessel walls are the sources of myomas. They can also develop in smooth muscle, such as that which lines the gastrointestinal tract, stomach, and other organs. A uterine fibroid is another name for a myoma that forms in the uterus.

  • Fibroids

Any organ, tendon, or ligament can develop fibroids, also known as fibromas, in the fibrous or connective tissue. They are called uterine fibroids and are most prevalent in the uterus. Other names for uterine fibroids include uterine myomas and leiomyomas.

Heavy vaginal bleeding, back or pelvic pain, and abdominal pressure are just a few signs that a woman may have uterine fibroids. Although they are not frequently malignant, fibroid surgery may be required to treat the symptoms.

  • Nevi

Nevi are also referred to as moles. These are typical skin growths that range in color from tan or brown to pink and black and are not malignant.

Skin cancer is more prone to develop from some nevi forms, such as dysplastic nevi. To detect these changes, routine skin exams are important.

Some skin growths, such as skin tags, are regarded as benign skin neoplasms. Similar to moles, these odd growths need to be monitored for cancerous developments.

  • Hemangiomas

Hemangiomas are benign tumors that develop from blood vessels. The skin and internal organs including the liver and colon might develop an accumulation of blood vessel cells. You might notice a red or bluish mark on the skin when it happens. These frequently show up on the head, neck, or trunk. They frequently disappear on their own and are seen as birthmarks by some people.

If hemangiomas are located close to the eyes or ears, they may impair vision or hearing. They may also bleed or get ulcers. Some people need medical care or laser therapy. Surgery may be required in some cases.

  • Meningiomas

Meningiomas are benign tumors that grow in the membrane that covers the brain and spinal cord, or the meninges. These tumors might not present any symptoms, but they may do so if they enlarge significantly or put pressure on the brain or spinal column. These signs include a headache, a seizure, side weakness, and eyesight issues.

These tumors can sporadically develop cancer. Meningiomas can develop into malignant brain tumors in 1 to 3 percent of cases, according to research.

  • Neuromas

Neuromas are benign brain tumors that develop inside of nerves. They can happen practically everywhere in the body. In the peripheral nervous system, schwannomas grow on the nerve sheaths. Neurofibromas grow on nerve tissue and can appear on the skin, beneath it, or even deeper in the body, such as in the bladder.

  • Osteomas

Exostosis, another name for osteomas, is an abnormal but benign development of new bone over preexisting bone. Any bone in the body could experience this. An osteochondroma is a growth of bone that is cartilage-covered.

Some growths may be painless and not require treatment. Others, though, can cause discomfort and may require surgical removal. They have no possibility of developing into cancer.

Also Read: Xerostomia (Dry Mouth): Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment and Complications

Symptoms Of Benign Tumor

Depending on where they are forming, some benign tumors may produce particular symptoms. These incorporate:

Benign Brain tumor

You can encounter the following symptoms if you have a benign brain tumor:

  • headaches 
  •  difficulty seeing
  • confused memory
  • seizures

These symptoms appear as a result of a tumor or meningioma pressing against the brain or spinal column. Your daily life may be impacted by symptoms, which may necessitate medical attention.

Benign Breast Tumor

Although the majority of breast tissue changes are benign, some tumors may still be large enough to be felt by hand. These noncancerous breast growths present with the following symptoms:

  • raised lump on or beneath the skin
  • large enough to feel, if it's close to the skin
  • may move when you press it.

Benign Bone Tumor

Although bone tumors like osteomas and osteochondromas are often painless, they might produce symptoms if they are large or located close to joints. These signs include:

  • pain, especially in the muscles or joints
  • strain on the nerves or the bones
  • limited ability to move fully
  • One limb is shorter than the other.

Also Read: Pectus Excavatum: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis Of Benign Tumor

Different methods are used by doctors to identify benign tumors. Finding out if a tumor is benign or malignant is important for diagnosis. This can only be definitively determined by laboratory tests.

The physical examination and gathering of your medical history may be the first steps taken by your doctor. You'll be questioned about your symptoms as well.

If you don't currently have a primary care physician, you can use the Healthline FindCare service to look up physicians in your neighborhood.

Imaging scans can detect and localize a wide variety of internal benign tumors, including:

  • A CT scan
  • Mammograms 
  •  MRI scans
  • ultrasounds
  • X-rays

It is frequently possible to see a protective sac border around benign tumors, which aids in the diagnosis. Blood tests may also be prescribed by your doctor to look for cancer indicators.

To assess if a tumor is benign or malignant, doctors may perform a biopsy in some circumstances.

 Depending on where the tumor is, the biopsy may or may not be invasive. While colon polyps, for instance, might necessitate a colonoscopy and a stomach tumor could necessitate an endoscopy, skin tumors are straightforward to remove and simply call for a local anesthetic.

Not all benign tumors require medical intervention.

Benign tumors will frequently be closely watched. For instance, colon polyps or non-cancerous moles may eventually develop into cancer. However, they might never need help.

Other issues could arise from some internal benign tumor types. Some internal tumors may obstruct a blood artery or inflict discomfort by pressing on a nerve, while uterine fibroids can cause irregular bleeding and pelvic pain.

Also Read: Gastroparesis: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment and Complications

Treatment Of Benign Tumor

If your doctor decides to proceed with therapy, the particular course of action will depend on where the tumor is located. If it's on the face or neck, for instance, it might be removed for cosmetic reasons. Surgery is frequently used to remove further tumors that compromise blood vessels, organs, or nerves in order to stop further complications.

  • Watch-and-wait: Your doctor might advise utilizing a watch-and-wait strategy if your tumor is small and not producing any symptoms. Treatment in these circumstances might carry a higher risk than leaving the tumor alone. Some tumors won't ever require therapy.
  • Medication: Medicated gels or lotions, such as those used to treat hemangiomas, may help shrink some tumors. Additionally, some tumors that are generating symptoms like discomfort or pressure may be reduced or shrunk by steroids.
  • Surgery: Endoscopic procedures, in which the instruments are housed in tube-like devices, are frequently used in tumor surgery. This procedure necessitates fewer, smaller surgical incisions and speeds up recuperation. For instance, there is typically no need for recovery time following upper endoscopies or colonoscopies.
  • Basic recovery techniques, such as changing the bandage and keeping it covered, are necessary for the few weeks it takes for skin tumor biopsies to heal completely.
  • Radiation therapy may be recommended by your doctor if a tumor cannot be safely accessed by surgery in order to help shrink it or stop it from spreading.
  • A longer period of recovery will be required the more intrusive the therapy. It may require longer to recover from the removal of a benign brain tumor, for instance. Even after the tumor has been removed, you may require speech therapy, occupational therapy, or physical therapy to address any issues it left behind.

There are no natural or alternative treatments for benign tumors on their own, despite the fact that leading a healthy lifestyle, working out regularly, and eating a balanced diet can help avoid health issues, including some types of cancer.

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