What is Tumor?

A tumor is an abnormal growth of body tissue. Tumors can be cancerous (malignant) or noncancerous (benign).

Causes

In general, tumors occur when cells divide excessively in the body. Typically, cell division is strictly controlled. New cells are created to replace older ones or to perform new functions. Cells that are damaged or no longer needed die to make room for healthy replacements. If the balance of cell division and death is disturbed, a tumor may form.

Types:

  • Malignant, cancerous
  • Benign, noncancerous
  • Brain Tumor, Adult
  • Bronchial Tumors, Childhood
  • Carcinoid Tumor, Childhood
  • Embryonal Tumors
  • Germ Cell Tumor
  • Islet Cell Tumors
  • Ovarian Low Malignant Potential Tumor
  • Pineal Parenchymal Tumors
  • Pituitary Tumor
  • Sarcoma
  • Supratentorial Primitive Neuroectodermal Tumors
  • Trophoblastic Tumor
  • Wilms Tumor

Symptoms:
Symptoms depend on the type and location of the tumor.

  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Malaise
  • Night sweats
  • Weight loss
  • Yellowing of skin or eyes
  • Vomiting
  • Urine discoloration
  • Stool discoloration

Treatment:

  • Chemotherapy:
    Chemotherapy involves the treatment of cancer with drugs that can destroy cancerous (malignant) cells. Healthy cells grow and die in a controlled fashion. Cancer causes cells in the body to continuously divide and form more cells at an abnormal and rapid pace. Anticancer drugs destroy cancer cells by retarding their growth and proliferation. As a side-effect, healthy cells may also be damaged. Healthy cells normally revive after chemotherapy is suspended or stopped.
  • Radiation Therapy:
    Radiation therapy (also called radiotherapy, x-ray therapy, or irradiation) is a treatment approach that uses radiation to destroy cancer cells. Although radiation damages both cancer cells and normal cells, most normal cells can recover from the effects of radiation and function properly. The goal of radiation therapy is to damage as many cancer cells as possible, while limiting harm to nearby healthy tissue. Unfortunately, rapidly dividing healthy cells can also be killed by this process. Skin and hair are some of the tissues affected by radiation treatment, resulting in skin lesions, burning, hair loss, etc.
  • Surgery:
    The doctor needs to decide if surgery should be done at all. Because cancers spread (metastasize) to normal tissues, sometimes at the other end of the body, the ability of surgery to cure must be addressed at the outset. As long as the cancer is localized, the initial presumption is that cure should be attempted by removing it as soon as possible. Once surgical removal has been decided, an oncologic surgeon will remove the tumor whole, taking with it a large section of the surrounding normal tissue. The healthy tissue is removed to minimize the risk of possible seeding.