Benign can refer to any medical condition which, untreated or with symptomatic therapy, will not become life-threatening. It is used in particular in relation to tumors, which may be benign or malignant. Benign tumors do not invade surrounding tissues and do not metastasize to other parts of the body. The word is slightly imprecise, as some benign tumors can, due to mass effect, cause life-threatening complications. The term therefore applies mainly to their biological behaviour. In medicine, a disease is symptomatic when it is at a stage when the patient is experiencing symptoms. ... See the article about cancer for the main article about malignant tumors. ... When normal cells are damaged or old they undergo apoptosis; cancer cells, however, avoid apoptosis. ... Metastasis (Greek: change of the state) is the spread of cancer from its primary site to other places in the body. ...
Tumors may be benign but at risk for degeneration into malignancy. These are termed "premalignant". A premalignant condition is a disease, syndrome, or finding that, if left untreated, may lead to cancer. ...
Benign can also mean something, such as a substance, practice or policy, that is not considered harmful.
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