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What is a Tumour?

A tumour is an abnormal growth of body tissue. Tumours can be cancerous (malignant) or non-cancerous (benign).


The cause of a tumour is when the cells divide excessively in the body. Typically, cell division is strictly controlled and new cells are created to replace the older ones or to perform other new functions. New cells are created and replaced in place of the damaged or no longer needed cells they die and make room for new cells.

A tumour is formed with the balance of cell division and death is disturbed

If the balance of cell division and death is disturbed, a tumour may form.

If the immunity level is low this also can lead to tumours. Tobacco is the main killer of cancer and more deaths are caused by it, than any other environmental substance. The other causes lead to:

  • Benzene and other chemicals and toxins
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Environmental toxins, such as certain poisonous mushrooms and a type of poison that can grow on peanut plants (antitoxins)
  • Exposure to sun a lot
  • Genetic problems
  • Obesity
  • Radiation


Types of tumours known to be caused by viruses are:

  • Cervical cancer (human papillomavirus)
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma (hepatitis B virus)

Tumours are more common in one gender than the other, other common among children or the elderly. Others are related to diet environment,and also family history

Exams and Tests

Signs & symptoms of tumours vary and are based on their site and type. Some tumours are obvious, such as skin cancer, however , most cancers cannot be seen during an exam because they are deep inside the body.

When the tumour is found, a biopsy is done to detect if the tumour is non-cancerous(benign) or cancerous (malignant).This depends on the location of the tumour, the biopsy may be a simple procedure or a serious operation.

Patients with tumours, usually have a CT or an MRI scan to detect the exact location of the tumour and how far it has spread. It is common now that more PET scans are used to find and locate where the tumour is., and there types.

Other tests include:
  • Biopsy of the tumour
  • Blood tests(to look for chemicals such as tumour markers)
  • Bone marrow biopsy (most often for lymphoma or leukaemia)
  • Chest x-ray
  • Complete blood count (CBC)
Treatment varies based on:
  • The type of tumour
  • Whether it is non-cancerous or cancerous
  • Its location
  • If the tumour is non-cancerous(benign) meaning it does not have the potential to spread, and it is located in a "safe" area where it will not cause symptoms or affects the function of the organs, sometimes no treatment is needed. Benign tumours sometimes would be removed for cosmetic reasons, however benign tumours of the brain may be removed because of their location or harmful effect the surrounding normal brain tissue.
  • If the tumors is cancerous, possible treatments include:
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation
  • Surgery
  • A combination of these methods
  • If the cancer is resting in one location , the goal or outcome of the treatment is to remove the tumour with surgery. If the tumour has spread to local lymph nodes only,sometimes these can be remove. If all the cancer cannot be removed with surgery, then the options for the treatment, which include radiation and chemotherapy, or both. Some patients needs a combination of surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.
  • Lymphoma (cancer of the lymph glands) is rarely treated with surgery. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are most often used for treating lymphoma.