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Malignancy (from Latin male "badly" + -gnus "born") is the tendency of a medical condition, especially tumors, to become progressively worse and to potentially result in death. Malignancy in cancers is characterized by anaplasia, invasiveness, and metastasis.[1]

Malignancy is most familiar as a characterization of cancer. A malignant tumor contrasts with a non-cancerous benign tumor in that a malignancy is not self-limited in its growth, is capable of invading into adjacent tissues, and may be capable of spreading to distant tissues. A benign tumor has none of those properties.

Uses of "malignant" in oncology:

Non-oncologic disorders referred to as "malignant":

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Wilkins, E. M. 2009. clinical practice of the dental hygienist tenth edition. lippincott williams and wilkins, a walters kluwer business. Philadelphia, PA.
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