Cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide.second only to ischemic heart disease, a group of pathologies resulting from arterial obstruction that prevent proper blood flow to certain organs. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that one out of every six deaths is caused by malignant neoplasms, that is, almost 9 million deaths per year are triggered by cancerous processes.
Although these figures are truly staggering, they must be put into perspective: one third of cancers are due to personal choices that are to some extent avoidable, such as tobacco smoking, alcoholism, obesity, lack of physical activity and inadequate dietary intake. Lung cancer is the most common of all cancers and, moreover, the most deadly: without going any further, almost 1,800,000 patients died of this pathology in 2020.
On the other side of the coin, it is also worth noting that cancer can also be caused by bad luck, for example, by being in the wrong place at the wrong time (exposure to certain types of radiation greatly favors its appearance). In addition, up to 10% of cancers run in families, as some inherited genetic mutations greatly predispose patients to suffer from them.
When we talk about tumors, every fiber of our body shudders, and no wonder: cancer is sadness, pain, suffering, overcoming and, in the worst cases, metastasis. In any case, not all tumors are cancerous, not all tumors are cancerous and not all cancers present themselves in tumorous forms.. To record this variability, today we tell you about the 7 types of tumors and their characteristics.
How are tumors classified?
A tumor is an abnormal mass of body tissue, as indicated by the National Library of Medicine.as stated by the National Library of Medicine of the United States. However, an even broader definition of the term defines it as “any tissue alteration that causes it to increase in volume”. Thus, body swellings include any inflammatory process, such as edema (fluid accumulation) and any other lump that occurs in response to a specific event.
We are going to circumscribe the subject to the more specific definition of the term, as we see the interest in collecting the typical types of tumors, that is, those that correspond to accumulated cells and not to any type of substance. With this premise in mind, we will tell you quickly and easily the 7 types of tumors.
1. Malignant tumors
We start with the most unpleasant and, unfortunately, the most well-known. A malignant tumor is composed of a mass of cancerous cells that can spread to other organs and tissues, while a benign tumor is composed of cancerous cells that can spread to other organs and tissues.whereas a benign tumor does not grow disproportionately and cannot invade adjacent structures.
Cancer is not just one disease, but encompasses a group of pathologies. However, they all have one thing in common: the cells do not grow as they should. When a cell line suffers a series of specific mutations, it does not respond to the normal patterns of division and apoptosis (death) and, therefore, the cells can multiply and generate tumors that are very harmful to the organism. Within this event, we find two types of tumor masses.
1.1 Primary tumor
This term is used to designate the primordial tumor growth, i.e. the first to appear in the body of the patient, the first to appear in the patient’s body. For example, if a woman presents with localized breast cancer, we are talking about a primary breast tumor.
1.2 Secondary tumor
Secondary tumors are those that grow in another part of the patient’s bodybut whose cell lineage that triggers the malignant neoplasm is the same as that present in the primary tumor.
Continuing with the example given above, a breast tumor can spread to the lung, but this is not lung cancer per se: we are talking about a secondary cancer. If a cell is isolated from both tissues, it can be shown that they are the same in both types of malignant neoplasm. This dreaded event is known as metastasis.
It should be noted that sometimes the primary tumor is not found in the body and only evidence of metastasis is found. This condition is known clinically as “cancer of unknown primary origin” or occult.
Primary and secondary cancerous tumors arise from normal dividing cells in tissues, i.e. somatic lines. The teratoma is exceptional as far as tumors are concerned, since it is a tumor of embryonic origin. it is a tumor of embryonic origin formed by the accumulation of different cell lines..
The teratoma is formed by tissues that come from the 3 germ lines present in the embryo, that is, the ectoderm, mesoderm and endoderm. Based on this premise, these tumefactions acquire a truly atypical and frightening appearance and can show hairs, bones, teeth and even primordia of limbs and malformed eyeballs.
3. Benign tumors
As previously mentioned, benign tumors differ from cancer in that they can only grow in one part of the body. they can only grow in one part of the body, do not invade other areas and do not develop in a disproportionate and aggressive manner.. They are always associated with a better prognosis than cancer, but sometimes they can also be dangerous, especially if they press on the patient’s vital organs (such as the brain or lungs).
This condition is primarily self-limiting and non-progressive and therefore does not usually pose a threat. Finally, here are some common examples of benign tumors, but keep in mind that there will be almost as many as there are cell lines that divide (just as in the case of cancer).
Papillomas are small, wart-like, protruding masses on the skin.. They are caused by human papillomaviruses (HPV), which can cause warts to appear on various parts of the skin. Unfortunately, HPV 16 and 18 are relatively dangerous (among some of the most potentially oncogenic), as they are associated with the development of cervical cancer (CCU) in a small percentage of affected women.
Lipomas are benign tumors of the adipose tissue very common in society, but people are often frightened when they notice them, since they are, after all, lumps under the skin. However, unlike malignant tumors, lipomas look like fat droplets, are not painful, are located on the superficial part of the skin and can move when touched. The vast majority of them are harmless and do not pose any problems.
An adenoma is a type of non-cancerous tumor that grows on the skin.whose internal structure resembles that of a gland. They arise in many organs of a glandular nature and, unfortunately, can drastically affect the functioning of the body, as they can change the secretion of certain hormones and other substances. For example, nodules in the thyroid can cause hyperthyroidism, despite their benign condition.
Osteoma is a type of benign tumor that grows in the bone.. Such tumors occur mostly in children and young people, usually in the lower extremities or spine. They represent 5% of all bone tumefactions. They are not as dangerous as cancer, but cause patients a lot of pain and can drastically limit their autonomy. Therefore, a surgical procedure is necessary.
As you have seen, not all tumors are cancerous and, moreover, not all cancers present themselves in the form of a tumor (as is the case with leukemia). After all, for a cancer to be a cancer, a cell of any strain must be able to reproduce in an exaggerated and uncontrolled manner, regardless of whether it generates a swelling along the way or not.
On the other hand, benign tumors grow locally and are not invasive. However, as you have seen, this does not mean that they do not require treatmentSome are harmless, but others are painful and disabling. Depending on their site of presentation and the organs they involve, benign tumors can also be relatively dangerous.