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neoplasm From the Greek ‘new’ and ‘form’: an abnormal growth of tissue, or tumour. A neoplasm can be benign or malignant. The name given to any particular tumour is an indication of the type of tissue from which it arises, plus the ending ‘-oma’. Benign growths range from small warts to huge ovarian cysts; they include fatty lumps (lipomas), bony excrescences (osteomas), and many others. Malignant growths (cancers) are broadly classified according to the type of cells they arise from as either carcinoma, from epithelial sites — body coverings or linings (e.g. skin, breast, colon) — or sarcoma, from deeper tissue (e.g. bone or muscle). Malignant neoplasms are characterized by being locally invasive and by forming metastases — seeding in other parts of the body via lymphatic or blood vessels. A malignant growth may therefore be primary — at the original site — or secondary, metastatic.

Stuart Judge

See also cancer.
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Neoplasm results in the formation of both benign and, more particularly, malignant tumors or cancers. A neoplasm is a mass of new cells, which proliferate without control and serve no useful function. This lack of control is particularly marked in malignant tumors (cancer ). The difference between a benign tumor and a malignant one is that the former remains at its site of origin while the latter acquires the ability to escape from its original location, migrate to another place, and invade and colonize other tissues and organs. This results in the death of the surrounding cells as the neoplasm grows rapidly.

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ne·o·plasm / ˈnēəˌplazəm/ • n. a new and abnormal growth of tissue in some part of the body, esp. as a characteristic of cancer.

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neoplasm (tumour) Any new abnormal growth of cells, forming either a harmless (benign) tumour or a malignant one (see cancer).

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neoplasm (nee-oh-plazm) n. any new and abnormal growth: a benign or malignant tumour.
neoplastic adj.