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Malignancy

The term "malignancy" refers to the presence of cancerous cells that have the ability to spread to other sites in the body (metastasize) or to invade nearby (locally) and destroy tissues. Malignant cells tend to have fast, uncontrolled growth and do not die normally due to changes in their genetic makeup.

Malignant cells that are resistant to treatment may return after all detectable traces of them have been removed or destroyed.

References

Black AR, Cowan KH. Cancer biology and genetics. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 181.

National Cancer Institute website. NCI dictionary of cancer terms. www.cancer.gov/publications/dictionaries/cancer-terms?cdrid=45771. Accessed August 22, 2018.

    • Lymphoma, malignant - CT scan

      Lymphoma, malignant - CT scan - illustration

      This abdominal CT scan shows tumor masses (malignant lymphomas) in the area behind the peritoneal cavity (retroperitoneal space).

      Lymphoma, malignant - CT scan

      illustration

    • Malignancy

      Malignancy - illustration

      Malignancy refers to cells that are cancerous. Malignant cells may spread from their primary cancer source. This is called metastatic cancer.

      Malignancy

      illustration

      • Lymphoma, malignant - CT scan

        Lymphoma, malignant - CT scan - illustration

        This abdominal CT scan shows tumor masses (malignant lymphomas) in the area behind the peritoneal cavity (retroperitoneal space).

        Lymphoma, malignant - CT scan

        illustration

      • Malignancy

        Malignancy - illustration

        Malignancy refers to cells that are cancerous. Malignant cells may spread from their primary cancer source. This is called metastatic cancer.

        Malignancy

        illustration

      Review Date: 7/26/2018

      Reviewed By: Todd Gersten, MD, Hematology/Oncology, Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute, Wellington, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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