Tumor

Tumor

About Tumor

A tumor (or tumour) is commonly used as a synonym for a neoplasm (a solid or fluid-filled [cystic] lesion that may or may not be formed by an abnormal growth of neoplastic cells) that appears enlarged in size. Tumor is not synonymous with cancer. While cancer is by definition malignant, a tumor can be benign, pre-malignant, or malignant, or can represent a lesion without any cancerous potential whatsoever. The terms 'mass' and 'nodule' are often used synonymously with 'tumor'. Generally speaking, however, the term 'tumor' is used generically, without reference to the physical size of the lesion. More specifically, the term 'mass' is often used when the lesion has a maximal diameter of at least 20 millimeters (mm) in greatest direction, while the term 'nodule' is usually used when the size of the lesion is less than 20 mm in its greatest dimension (25.4 mm = 1 inch). The term tumour/tumor is derived from the Latin word for 'swelling' tumor.

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