A tumor that is benign is an abnormal growth of cells that serves no purpose in the body, but is also non-cancerous. Benign tumors don’t cause cancers but malignant tumors might. Benign tumors have a very good outlook as they don’t spread to other parts of the body, though they can be serious if they press on the nerves or blood vessels. Many tumors can be left alone while others will need to be surgically removed.
Causes of Benign Tumors
Benign tumors don’t usually have a known cause though there are several risk factors and situations which might increase the risk of getting a tumor. These factors include exposure to environmental toxins such as radiation, genetics (family members with tumors), poor diet, extreme stress, a trauma or injury near the site of the tumor, infection, or inflammation of the area where the tumor forms.
Treating Benign Tumors
Most benign tumors don’t need treatment aside from monitoring and careful watching to be sure it doesn’t get bigger or cause complications. Since the tumor is benign, there isn’t a risk of it causing cancer. However if it gets bigger, it can cause discomfort, pain, or other complications in which it should be surgically removed. Treatment includes surgery to remove the tumor as well as medication or radiation.
Types of Benign Tumors
There are many different types of tumors defined as benign, but there are 5 main types of benign tumors you should be aware of.
Adenomas – This type of benign tumor can grow in the colon, liver, or the pituitary, thyroid, or adrenal gland. It begins in the tissue of a gland or gland-like structure. Adenomas don’t need to be removed unless they are malignant.
Fibromas – Fibromas, also called fibroids, are benign tumors that can grow in any of your body’s organs. They are common in women where they grow in the uterus and may cause complications like pelvic pain, bladder issues, or vaginal bleeding.
Hemangiomas – This tumor is a buildup of blood vessel cells in the internal organs or skin and are a type of birthmark. They only need treatment if they are effecting vision, eating, or hearing.
Lipomas – Another common type of benign tumor is a lipoma which grows from fat cells. They are more common in adults and often found in the back, shoulders, arms, or neck.
Meningiomas – Lastly, there is the meningioma which develops from the brain and spinal cord membranes. They can grow fast or slow and the treatment depends on other complications they cause.