Diagnosing Tumours

Diagnosing tumours may differ depending on either tumour is benign or malignant.

Benign tumours are non-cancerous. They do not lead to development of cancer and therefore are not dangerous. Such tumours are round and have distinct edge. They may slowly increase in shape. They are not painful.

In rare cases, the main harms they may cause include:

  • Intestinal polyp may result in bowel obstruction
  • Brain tumour – diagnosing is based on neurologic symptoms caused by benign brain tumour pressing on nearby regions of the brain
  • Adrenal gland tumour leads to arterial hypertension due to hormone secretion into the blood

It is easy to diagnose a benign tumour.

Malignant tumour leads to cancer. Diagnosis of malignant tumours requires more accuracy. There are four basic syndromes:

  • Plus-tissue syndrome
  • Organ dysfunction syndrome
  • Pathological discharge syndrome
  • Little sign syndrome

Plus-tissue syndrome

The name refers to growing of new, additional tissue. It is easy to recognise if it is on the surface of the body (skin or muscles). Tumour may be felt under the surface of the skin in abdominal cavity. Special diagnosing imaging equipment – ultrasound screening, x-ray, endoscopy - can precisely detect nature of a tumour. During exam doctor can inspect both tumour and its characteristic symptoms (filling defect in stomach is seen by x-ray after barium sulphate was introduced as contrast).



Filling defect in intestine is seen


Filling defect in stomach is seen


How does filling defect happen? After stomach has been filled with contrast medium (barium sulphate BaSO4) region of tumour stays unfilled and seen on x-ray image.

Organ dysfunction syndrome

Dysfunction of an organ is able be observed. Consequences may be various depending on the location of tumour:

  • bowel obstruction
  • nausea and heartburn in stomach cancer
  • swallowing problems in oesophageal cancer

Pathological discharge syndrome

It is well known that malignant tumours can grow into nearby tissues. They destroy blood vessels. The process may be accompanied by the following manifestations:

  • coughing up blood (in lung cancer)
  • blood in urine (in kidney cancer)
  • stomach bleeding (in stomach cancer)
  • uterine bleeding (in uterine cancer)
  • bloody nipple discharge (in breast cancer)

Little sign syndrome

A set of signs are inexplicable to a patient. They may include:

  • tiredness or fatigue
  • temperature raise without obvious reason
  • loss of weight and appetite (stomach cancer is marked by dislike of meat)
  • anaemia
  • Increased ESR rate, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, in blood test

How benign tumours differ from malignant ones?

In the picture you can see difference between mole and melanoma (malignant tumour).



Principles of Diagnosing Malignant Tumours

Do not delay and get tested in time. There are a few principles of diagnositics:

  • Early diagnosis
  • Oncology alert
  • Hyper-Diagnosis

Preventing Cancer

Preventing exams are needed to diagnose onset of cancer in the early stages. People at risk for cancer are to be examined on regular basis. At-risk groups include:

  • People exposed to cancerogens (radiation, asbestos)
  • People with precancerous conditions (cervical erosion, dyshormonal mammary glands, chronic ulcer)