Structure: Cancerous Tumours

A cancerous (malignant) tumour is a collection of many abnormal cells, most of which divide uncontrollably. Cancerous tumours infiltrate neighbouring tissues by forcing their way between normal cells and can spread to distant body parts through blood or lymph vessels. Cancerous cells are extremely irregular in shape and size and often bear little resemblance to the cells from which they arose. This characteristic irregular appearance of cancerous cells is often used to help diagnose cancer.

Migration of cancerous cells

In this magnified image, cancerous cells are migrating after separating from a tumour. Some of these cells will settle at new sites and divide to form tumours.

Structure: Noncancerous Tumours

From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.

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