Benign Tumors

Potentially Not So Benign


When you first find out that you have a brain tumor, it can be a devastating experience. You automatically start to worry about the future and whether there is any likelihood that you will die from the condition. For many, they do fear the worst, but what you need to remember is that even though you have a tumor, it does not necessarily mean that it is a cancerous one.

Benign tumors are basically non-cancerous tumors. They do not pose a threat like a malignant tumor does, but it is important to note that they can still be damaging to your health.

Understanding Benign Tumors

One thing which you may be wondering is just what causes a tumor, benign or malignant, to grow? All tumors are the result of extra cells combined together. Our bodies function by replacing old cells every so often. Sometimes however, new cells are developed before the old ones have died and that is when problems start to arise. The mass that is created by the old and new cells combined is a tumor.

benign tumor scanOne of the main differences between a benign tumor and a malignant one is that the benign tumor only grows within one place in the brain. Malignant tumors spread quickly into the rest of your body and they basically invade the healthy cells and take them over. A benign tumor stays in the same place and it will never spread to a different part of the body. However, despite the fact that they do not spread, they do still pose a risk to your health and treatment is still needed to remove the tumor.

There are two reasons why the so-called benign tumor may be harmful to your health. The first is that if it continues to grow it could press down on the brain. As the brain controls absolutely everything that we do, if it becomes damaged in any way because of extra pressure on it, it could have a serious affect on our lives and our health. The second reason why it is potentially dangerous is because a tumor can cause a certain hormone to overproduce. It is also possible for a benign tumor to turn into a malignant tumor if it is left alone. So obviously the sooner the problem is treated, the better off you will be.

Benign Tumor Symptoms

The symptoms of a benign tumor can actually be the exact same as a malignant tumor. All tumors are different and different people will have differing symptoms. However the most common symptoms:

  • Headaches
  • Itchiness
  • Anaemia
  • Hormonal Syndromes

Generally headaches are the most common symptom which people experience. A headache which is the result of a brain tumor can occur whether the tumor is malignant or benign. That is why when a tumor is first found, it is not apparent straight away whether it is benign or not. Tests will have to be carried out and once it has been determined that it is benign, treatment will be discussed.

There are some benign tumors which do not need to be treated at all. However, if it is causing problems then it is likely that the tumor will be removed. Giving chemotherapy or radiation therapy to a person with such a tumor will not help them as the tumor will not respond to it. Despite not being cancerous these tumors can still cause problems. So most of the time it is beneficial if the tumor is removed as soon as possible.


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