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What Is a Solid Neoplasm?

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  • Written By: Laura M. Sands
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 09 December 2016
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A solid neoplasm is a particular type of tumor that can appear anywhere on the body. Different from fluid-filled tumors, these types are solid masses and may be benign or malignant. A solid neoplasm is created by an abundance of neoplastic cells that overproduce and do not die off as they are supposed to. Anyone at any age can be affected by a solid tumor.

Once a solid neoplasm is detected, further testing is required before determining whether or not cancer is present. The discovery of this type of tumor does not necessarily reflect a malignancy, as many end up being diagnosed as a benign tumor. A solid neoplasm that is neither benign nor malignant may be diagnosed as a pre-malignancy, meaning that the tumor may become cancerous if not properly and promptly treated. Such may also be defined as carcinoma in situ, which means that the malignancy has not spread to other tissue or body parts.

There are several different conditions which may cause a neoplasm to form. For some people, such tumors are hereditary and may be caused by a specific genetic mutation. In other people, a solid neoplasm may be caused by a proliferation of cancerous cells or by neoplasia, which is the overgrowth of normal tissue cells.

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Cells found in benign tumors are generally found to be identical to other cells already present in the body. These cells, however, are found to be overabundant and do not serve any purpose from which the body can benefit. As they grow, these neoplasms may intrude upon and affect other parts of the body and their necessary functions. Once discovered, doctors often recommend their removal to avoid their continued growth and possible disruption of nearby organs. In particular, inside the brain, neoplasms may cause the destruction of important brain tissue.

Found in different parts of the body, including the brain and other internal organs, a biopsy and other medical testing is needed to help doctors determine the course of action in treating a neoplasm. If it is cancerous, it is often treated by radiation or chemotherapy. Depending upon its location, however, a solid tumor may also require surgical removal whether it is determined to be a malignant tumor or not, particularly if it threatens the functioning of nearby organs such as the brain or the lungs.

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