What is a Tumor?
A tumor refers to any abnormality in the growth of tissues which can occur in any part of the body. It is commonly referred to as a “neoplasm” since the abnormal growth involves neoplastic cells. Tumors may be classified into benign types and malignant or cancerous types.
Tumors may form as a result of tissue proliferation. This tissue activity results from abnormal growth and overgrowth of some cells leading to the formation of masses and tumors. Usually, basic cell division is impaired when a tumor is formed. In normal conditions, when cells die, new cells are produced for replacement and for the performance of certain tasks and functions in the body. When this system is disrupted by some genetic mutation for example, proliferation of cells may result, and thus producing abnormalities in tissue growth.
But aside from abnormal tissue and/or cellular activity secondary to gene mutation, tumors may also arise from a variety of other conditions. Like in the case of cervical cancer, tumors may exist because of HPV or the human papilloma virus. Some tumors are also formed as a result of the body’s immune system response to some environmental agent. Like in the case of cigarettes, tumors may be formed in the lungs due to the prolonged use/abuse of these items. Other people also have tumors because of genetic factors.
Symptoms experienced by those with abnormal tissue growth or tumors depend on the type of tumor, location in the body, and severity of the underlying medical condition. Some will have pain or tenderness in the tumor itself while others may not have any symptom at all. Those with tumors in the lungs may present with respiratory problems like coughing and breathing difficulties. Other people experience weight loss, body weakness, and loss of appetite.
If a tumor is suspected, it is best advise to have it checked by doctors immediately to have better treatment options, if necessary.