Difference Between a True Cancer and a Benign Tumor

For the patients diagnosed with a tumor, your doctor will first find whether it is benign or malignant. This will change the entire treatment plan. The benign is non-cancerous and malignant is cancerous. Read the given topic, to learn how they are different from each other and how they affect your health.


The tumor is abnormal cell growth. If the tumor cell is normal, then it is benign. This means, something just went wrong which resulted in overgrowth of the cells.

But, when the cells are abnormal and they uncontrollably, then it means the tumor is cancerous or malignant.

When you visit our cancer hospital, the cancer doctor will take sample cells through a biopsy procedure. After that, the biopsy is analyzed under a microscope in the laboratory by the pathologist.

What are Benign Tumors?

These are the cancer cells that are not cancerous. The nearby tissues or organs will not be affected. There is no need to worry, unless it is pressing or invading the nearby nerves, tissues, and blood vessels which can cause further damage. Some of the examples of benign tumors include lipomas or fibroids in the uterus.

To remove these tumors surgery is needed as they can grow extremely dangerous with time. Like, if they occur in the brain it will affect its normal structure. This way the vital organs or channels will get blocked. In most cases, once the benign tumor is removed it won’t occur again. But, even if they do, it occurs in the same place.

What are Malignant Tumors?

Malignant tumors mean it is made of cancer cells and it can affect the nearby tissues. Some of the cancer cells can reach the lymph nodes or bloodstream, from where they get spread to other body parts.

Cancer can occur in any body part like lungs, skin, blood, breast, intestine, and reproductive organ. For Example, breast cancer starts from breast tissues and then spreads to the armpit lymph nodes. Getting cancer caught early will help to treat it. But, if it gets spread further then it can reach the other body parts like bone or livers. The doctor will do a biopsy to understand the features of the breast cancer tumor.

How Benign and Malignant tumors are different from each other?

Features of Benign tumor

  • Do not invade or damage nearby tissue
  • Cells do not spread
  • The tumor grows slowly
  • Do not spread to other parts of the body
  • Tend to have clear boundaries
  • Under a pathologist’s shape, chromosomes, microscope, and DNA of cells appear normal
  • Do not secrete hormones or other substances
  • No need of treatment only if not health-threatening
  • Unlikely to recur if removed or need of further treatment like radiation or chemotherapy

Features of Malignant tumors

  • Grow at a rapid pace.
  • Tumor Cells can spread
  • Reoccur again after removal, sometimes in different body parts.
  • Often reach the basal membrane which has healthy tissue
  • Spread through the bloodstream, lymphatic system, or nearby tissue.
  • Cells have abnormal DNA and chromosomes characterized by dark nuclei, large and abnormal shape
  • It can secrete substances which result in fatigue and weight loss. This is known as a paraneoplastic syndrome.
  • Need latest and updated treatment like radiation, chemotherapy, surgery, and immunotherapy medications.

Discuss your concern with the doctor and get a reliable treatment plan at the right time. Getting the early diagnosis and treatment will treat cancer.


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