Difference between tumor and cancer
Tumor vs cancer:
Tumor and cancer are two of the most dreaded words heard of in the medical history because of the fact that both these conditions are fatal conditions that cause panic at the mere mention of them. The fact that there is no definite cure for cancer or tumor intensifies the kind of tension that exists around these two words. However, it is very common to mistake a tumor for a cancer and cancer for a tumor because of the ignorance of the people with regards to these two fatal illnesses. A brief description about these conditions and the many differences that exist among them may perhaps shed some light upon the confusion created by the similarities of these two conditions.
A tumor, often found to be synonymous with neoplasm, is derived from the Latin word “tumor” that translates in to “swelling”. Tumors could be benign, pre-malignant or malignant and are not necessarily always fatal without any canceristic tendencies. Tumor is however, is a term that is used to refer to abnormal swellings of the flesh and is often found to be synonymous with “mass” and “nodule”. A tumor can be caused by an abnormal proliferation of tissues, which can result due to genetic mutations and yet, it must be said that not all neoplasm are causes for tumorous overgrowth of tissues. One can point out leukemia or carcinoma in situ as examples in where tumors are not observed as part and parcel of the condition. The Roman medical encyclopedist Celsus has stated the four signs of tumor as swelling, pain, increased heat, and redness in his book, “De Medicina”.
A cancer refers to a broad group of various diseases that encourage unregulated cell growth and is more generally known as a malignant neoplasm. Cancer cells are known to divide and grow rapidly, invading other healthy parts of the body as well, thereby resulting in malignant tumors all over the system. Causes for cancers are still very much complex to define as factors such as tobacco use, certain infections, radiation, lack of physical activity, poor diet, obesity and environmental pollutants are all known to be potential causes for cancer. However, it must also be said that five to ten percent of cancers are entirely hereditary. It is not easy to detect signs and symptoms of cancer as they only appear when the mass continues to grow. Several types of cancer exist all displaying different symptoms unique to each of them. For example, esophageal cancer can result in the narrowing of the esophagus making it difficult or painful to swallow while lung cancer can cause blockage of the bronchus resulting in cough or pneumonia. Other more general symptoms of cancer may include unintentional weight loss, fever, being excessively tired and also, changes to the skin.
What is the difference between cancer and tumor?
While cancers and tumors are definitely interrelated, it must be said that tumors are not necessarily synonymous with cancers. A tumor is defined as an abnormal growth causing a lesion or a lump to grow in any part of the body whereas a cancer is a disease where cancer cells divide and grow rapidly, spreading and infecting other parts of the body as well. It is a degenerative disease where the cellular growth is seen as uncontrollable. Tumors, however, do not divide and spread like cancers.
Tumors are not always malignant or fatal but cancers are almost always fatal and most certainly, malignant. However, certain tumors do have the potential to develop in to a cancer. Therefore, a malignant tumor is referred to as a cancer. However, not all cancers bear symptoms of tumor growth. For example, blood cancer does not involve any sort of a tumor or a lump. Therefore, it is always wise to be vigilant of the symptoms and maintain a healthy life style as cancers are known to be results of unhealthy lifestyles and environmental pollution. A tumor on the other hand occurs due to the abnormal proliferation of tissues, which can be caused by genetic mutations. It is also said that while environmental pollutants play a great part in cancer, 5-10% of cancers are entirely hereditary.
Tumors can be easily removed through surgery and no repercussions or repetitions of the same tumor are known to recur. Cancers on the other hand, even if removed through surgery, has a fair chance of resurfacing, because of which the treatments for cancer will be prolonged with surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Although not considered as fatal, it must be said that tumors, just like cancers should be addressed immediately and given the proper medical attention as soon as possible. This is so that one could unearth the disease early and thus by doing so, both the conditions can be cured completely.
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