What is Neoplasm?

Neoplasm is an abnormal mass of tissue which results from an uncontrolled process of cell division (mitosis). Commonly the answer to What is Neoplasm would be a cancerous tumor. 13 percent of the population or 7.9 billion people die owing to this condition.

Cells in a healthy body would proliferate in a regulated manner and then eventually die to make way for newer healthy cells. But what results in neoplasm is an abnormal and excessive growth of cells, very often affecting the healthy cells and tissues in the neighboring organ. Neoplasm could be benign, pre malignant (carcinoma in situ) or malignant (cancer).


What is Neoplasm?

The answer to this query could be best understood by studying the different types of neoplasm follows:

Benign Neoplasm:

Technically a benign tumor is one which lacks the ability to metastases (grow or spread to the other healthy organs). Common examples would be moles and uterine fibroids (masses or lesions on the lining of the uterus).Because of their non progressive and noninvasive structure they can be termed safe. It is because benign tumors have an external lining of a fibrous sheath which inhibits them from becoming malignant.

However benign neoplasm could cause problems by compressing neighboring healthy tissues, organs and blood vessels. Benign tumors of endocrine tissues (the glands) can cause over or under secretion of hormones and cause problems. Examples would be thyroid or pituitary adenomas.

Pre malignant Neoplasm (Carcinoma in situ):

This form of cancer lacks the ability to spread to the tissues around it. The neoplastic cell grows within the organ they originate in and is manifested mostly as a lesion along the lining of the organ. It is often not a tumor and follows the physiology of the organ it is in like the cervix or the skin. However it could form a tumor in organs like the colon (polyps) or the bladder (Papillary cancer) or the breast (ductal carcinoma). It is a precursor of cancer and if not treated on time could turn into malignancy.

Malignant Neoplasm:

An invasive cancer which progresses on to the surrounding tissues and metastases (spreads to other parts of the body). This is because the cancer cell is genetically muted and contains a stem cell having the malignant phenotype (genetic structure). These cells undergo abnormal cell division and proliferation and have the ability to get in the blood stream and spread to newer organs and retain the same cell physiology as it did in the organ it originated in.


Often the lack of awareness as to what is neoplasm prevents early detection of this killer. Early detection is the key to cancer prognosis and treatment.

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