What is a mass?

A mass is an abnormal area of tissue that takes up space in the body as it grows. The mass is usually surrounded by normal tissue. Another word for mass is tumour.

The abnormal tissue inside a mass can be non-cancerous or cancerous. For this reason, mass is a descriptive word and not a diagnosis. The condition causing the mass can be determined after the tissue is sent to a pathologist for examination under a microscope.

Examples of non-cancerous conditions that can cause a mass

  • Non-cancerous tumours
  • Infections
  • Immune reaction (such as an allergic reaction)
  • Blood (such as in a large bruise)

Examples of cancers that can cause a mass

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