Benign tumors and malignant tumors differ significantly in terms of macro to microscopic appearance, external and internal structure, and clinical manifestations and harm to the human body. Doctors generally can correctly distinguish between benign and malignant tumors based on their professional knowledge, clinical experience, and certain special examination methods. However, there are also tumors that are intermediate between benign and malignant, making them difficult to distinguish.
Benign tumors generally grow slowly and can exist in the body for years or even decades.
They expand and have relatively clear boundaries. Benign tumors located in subcutaneous soft tissue can often be slightly pushed by hand. They are usually treated surgically, which is relatively easy to remove. After removal, they generally do not recur or metastasize. The cell morphology of benign tumors is similar to that of normal tissue, with good cell differentiation (maturation). Most benign tumors are wrapped in a layer of fibrotic membranes, usually without invasive (irregularly invasive) expansion, and pose less harm to the human body.
However, if some benign tumors grow in crucial parts of the human body, such as brain tumors, they can also pose a threat to life if not treated in time. For instance, uterine fibroids in women are benign, but when they grow near the endometrium, they can cause vaginal bleeding. If left untreated, they can lead to severe anemia. Moreover, benign smooth muscle tumors in the esophagus can cause difficulty swallowing when they reach a certain size. In some cases, benign tumors can gradually become malignant under certain conditions, so it is important to treat them promptly.
Malignant tumors, also known as cancer, are commonly referred to as poisonous tumors. They usually grow rapidly and their boundaries are not clear.
When malignant tumors are located in shallow areas, they are often difficult to push and have an invasive growth pattern. If not treated promptly, they can cause metastatic cancer. If the treatment is not thorough, recurrence or metastasis is likely.
The shape of malignant cells is very different from normal cells, with incomplete cell differentiation and immaturity. Malignant tumors usually do not have a film covering them, and as they grow, the malignant cells infiltrate and spread around. When they reach a certain size, they can cause ulceration, bleeding, unpleasant discharge, or pain.
Malignant tumor cells can also spread along lymphatic vessels or blood vessels to other organs or tissues in the body, forming metastatic cancer tumors. If this continues to develop, it can endanger a person’s health and life. For malignant tumors, we advocate early detection, early diagnosis, and early treatment, as most early or relatively early cancers can be cured by physicians both domestically and internationally. Treatment at this stage is less expensive, less painful, shorter in duration, and more effective.
In the cell nucleus, there are chromosomes composed of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) etc. Small fragments on the DNA chain are called genes. The genes in malignant tumor cells are different from those in normal cells, with malignant cells showing amplification of certain genes (oncogenes), loss of certain genes (tumor suppressor genes), and gene expression disorder.