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What Is the Treatment for a Benign Neoplasm?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
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Appropriate treatment for a benign neoplasm can depend on the symptoms associated with the growth and any concerns about the potential for it to become cancerous. The most conservative approach involves waiting and watching the tumor to see if it becomes a problem. More aggressively, a doctor might recommend surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation as part of a treatment plan to remove the growth. Patients may find it helpful to consult several medical providers to get advice on how to handle the growth if they aren’t sure about how they want to proceed with treatment.

Such growths occur when cells begin dividing and proliferating abnormally, but unlike malignant neoplasms, they will not spread. A benign neoplasm can get very large, but will not invade neighboring lymph nodes or travel through the body like a cancer. It can still cause symptoms by putting pressure on vital organs or bones. Patients could experience pain and soreness as well as organ dysfunction; a benign neoplasm in the brain, for instance, might lead to dizziness, blurred vision, and confusion.

The first step in evaluating a patient with a benign neoplasm is to confirm it is benign. This may involve medical imaging studies, biopsy, and blood tests to check for tumor markers in the blood. In some cases, testing is inconclusive or a growth is a type that is considered precancerous, meaning it could develop malignancy later. A doctor may recommend that the patient have the growth removed to be on the safe side.

Surgery to remove a benign neoplasm and a small margin of the surrounding tissue can be a basic treatment. This may be recommended if there are doubts about the growth or it is causing symptoms for the patient. A pathologist can examine the tumor to confirm it is benign and make additional treatment recommendations, if necessary, and the growth shouldn’t grow back once removed. Chemotherapy or radiation treatments may be necessary in some cases to kill the tumor.

Another option is to take a wait-and-see approach. A doctor can monitor a benign neoplasm for changes that might indicate it is becoming malignant or creating problems for the patient, while patients can report on any changes in their condition. If a patient has a benign neoplasm of the bowel and starts experiencing constipation and abdominal pain, for example, these are warning signs that the growth is large enough to obstruct the bowel and interfere with its function. It may be necessary to have surgery to remove the growth and resolve the symptoms.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGeek researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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