What Does 'Malignant' Mean?
In medicine, the term malignant usually refers to a medical condition that is considered dangerous or likely to cause death if untreated. Many diseases can be considered malignant when they are fatal if untreated.
What Is Malignant Cancer?
The term malignant is often associated with cancer because many cancers can be life-threatening if left untreated.
Characteristics of malignant tumors include:
- Uncontrolled growth
- Malignant tumors have a higher rate of cell growth than the normal tissues from which the cells came
- Different appearance from the cells from which it came
- Loss of ability to perform the functions of the tissues from which it came
- The cells either function differently, incompletely, or not at all
- Invades and damages healthy cells
- Metastasizes (spreads) to other organs of the body
- Malignant tumors invade and destroy areas far from the original site
What is the Treatment for Malignant Cancer?
Treatment for malignant tumors varies and depends on a number of factors, such as:
- Tumor size
- Stage and grade
- The patient’s overall health
Treatments for malignant tumors may include one or more of the following:
The prognosis for malignant cancer varies and most types are considered fatal. Treatment may help prolong a patient’s life but generally will not cure the cancer.
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