Pathology dictionary -


A tumour is an abnormal growth made up of cells that push the surrounding normal tissue out of way as it grows.


Tumour does not mean the same thing as cancer. A tumour can be either non-cancerous (benign) or a cancer (malignant). 

One of the most important roles that a pathologist plays in your medical medical care is determining whether a tumour is non-cancerous or cancerous. By examining tissue from the tumour under the microscope, pathologists can reliably tell the difference between benign and malignant tumours in most circumstances.


The behavior of a tumour depends on its location in the body, the cells that make up the tumour, and whether the tumour is non-cancerous or cancerous.


Tumours that are made of normal looking cells or cells that are unable to travel (metastasize) to other parts of the body are usually considered non-cancerous (benign). In contrast, tumours that have the potential to spread to other parts of the body or invade nearby tissues, are usually considered a cancer (malignant).

Other words that are similar to tumour

Tumour is often used interchangeably with neoplasia or mass.  

Learn more

The most important pathological features in a cancer report.

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