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General Practice 2023

Malignant neoplasm: what é, diagnosis and treatment

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Malignant neoplasm: what é, diagnosis and treatment
Malignant neoplasm: what é, diagnosis and treatment

Malignant neoplasm, cancer or malignant tumor, is characterized by the uncontrolled and abnormal proliferation of cells due to changes in DNA or lifestyle habits, and these cells can spread throughout the body and compromise the body in general.

Although malignant cells proliferate autonomously and uncontrolled, early diagnosis of malignant neoplasm and rapid initiation of treatment can result in cure, improving the person's quality of life.

Why it happens

Malignant neoplasm occurs due to uncontrolled and abnormal proliferation of malignant cells, which can happen due to DNA changes due to genetics or habits, such as smoking, nutritionally poor diet and rich in fried foods, consumption of alcoholic beverages, viral infections and exposure to toxic substances or radiation, for example.Learn more about neoplasms.

Malignant cells multiply quickly and can spread to other organs and tissues, as these cells have an autonomous behavior, characterizing metastasis, which makes treatment and healing more difficult.

Is malignant neoplasm cancer?

Cancer and malignant neoplasm are the same thing, that is, when the exam indicates that there is a malignant neoplasm or that the presence of malignant cells has been observed, it means that the person has cancer.

In these cases, it is extremely important that tests are carried out to confirm the diagnosis and that treatment is started as soon as possible to avoid metastasis and increase the person's chances of healing.

How to identify

The identification of cancer can happen through the observation of some symptoms, such as:

  • Weight loss with no apparent cause;
  • Persistent cough;
  • Fever;
  • Pain when urinating or dark urine;
  • Intense fatigue;
  • Appearance of lumps, especially in the breast, for example;
  • Appearance of spots on the skin.

Symptoms of malignant neoplasm may vary according to the type and location of the cancer, but in the presence of any symptoms indicative of cancer, it is important to go to the general practitioner for the diagnosis. Know other symptoms of malignant neoplasm.

The diagnosis is made based on the symptoms presented by the patient, in addition to imaging and laboratory tests that are recommended by the doctor. Imaging tests, such as resonance or tomography, for example, may be indicated in order to identify the location of the tumor.

Regarding laboratory tests, the physician may request a blood count and biochemical tests, in addition to the measurement of tumor markers, which are substances produced by the cells or by the tumor itself, indicating the presence of a malignant neoplasm.In addition, the doctor may request a histopathological examination, which aims to confirm the malignancy of the cells. Find out which tests identify cancer.

How the treatment is done

Treatment for malignant neoplasm is performed with the aim of decreasing the proliferation rate of malignant cells, preventing metastasis and improving the person's quality of life. Usually, the doctor recommends surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy according to the type of neoplasm and its characteristics.

Surgery may be indicated in cases where metastasis has not yet occurred and where the tumor or part of it can be removed. However, in some cases surgery may not be indicated due to its location and blood supply at the site, and other treatments are indicated by the doctor. Generally, after surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy is recommended in order to eliminate any malignant cells that have not been removed.

Chemotherapy is the most recommended treatment in case of cancer and is done with the use of specific drugs against the tumor that can be administered orally or intravenously. Radiotherapy is also a treatment option for malignant neoplasms and consists of applying radiation to the tumor site, reducing its size and preventing it from spreading to other regions of the body. Learn more about cancer treatment.

Is there a cure for malignant neoplasm?

It is possible to achieve a cure when the malignant neoplasm is identified early and the treatment is started quickly, as it is possible to prevent metastasis from happening, which is the spread of malignant cells to other parts of the body, which makes it difficult the treatment. Understand how metastasis happens.

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