Tumors: cancer's dangerous little cousin
Just because you have a benign tumor does not mean you are out of danger. In fact, some benign tumors are just as much trouble as their cancerous counterparts.
You don't have to have a diagnosis of cancer in order for an abnormal growth to cause you problems. Many benign, or non-cancerous, growths can affect the normal function of your body, cause disease states and even cause death. Sometimes you might mistake a normal growth, such as a mole on your skin, as nothing, but in reality, it is a potential cancerous lesion. Tumors, whether benign or cancerous, are not something to take lightly.
Thar ain't enough room in that thar cranium: brain tumors
Your brain sits in a case that is just big enough to hold it, some fluid and not much else. Any growths, bleeds or tumors put pressure on the brain and this causes symptoms of neurological impairment to occur. For instance, some symptoms of a brain tumor are headaches, changes to taste and smell, changes to mental status, seizures, paralysis or weakness to one side of the body and a whole host of other debilitating signs, according to PubMed Health. The ability to treat and, therefore, recover from a brain tumor depends on its size and location. A large tumor located deep in the brain that is growing rapidly has a decidedly negatively outlook compared to a smaller tumor on the periphery. Even if the growth is consider benign, its placement and size could still impact your ability to function and threaten your life.
Not cancer, but enough to cause you trouble: uterine tumors
Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous tumors of the uterus that almost never increase a woman's chance of getting uterine cancer. Yet, even though they are benign, they still come with problems of their own. A woman with fibroids can experience anemia from heavy blood loss during her periods and certain types of fibroids can block the implantation of an embryo, making pregnancy difficult, according to the Mayo Clinic. However, most fibroids do not cause any noticeable problems at all. Most uterine fibroids are carefully watched, but if they are bad enough to cause heavy bleeding, medications are available to regulate your hormones and control your periods. For many fibroids or particularly aggressive ones, surgery, such as a hysterectomy, is an alternative.
Does this look normal to you? Analyzing skin tumors
You have to approach skin tumors with caution because it is easy to ignore a mole that may turn out to be cancer in the end. For basal cell carcinoma, look for a waxy bump or a flat, brown, scar-like lesion, according to the Mayo Clinic. With squamous cell carcinoma, you will see a firm, red nodule or a flat mark with crusting and scaling. Melanoma can present a few different ways and can occur on skin that has not been exposed to the sun. One type of lesion is a large brown spot with darker speckles within it. Another type is any mole that changes in color, size or feel. Also, if a mole bleeds, you need to have your doctor look at it. Small lesions with irregular borders are suspicious, especially if the mole appears red, white, blue or blue-black. Finally, any dark lesion appearing on the soles of your feet, the palms of your hands, fingertips, toes, in your mouth, nose, anus or vagina are all suspicious for skin cancer. These are not normal skin tumors and need to have a professional evaluation for skin cancer.
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