A benign tumor is basically a tumor that doesn't come back and doesn't spread to other parts of the body. A tumor is a mass of tissue that serves no useful purpose and generally exists at the expense of healthy tissues.
Benign tumors tend to grow more slowly than malignant tumors and are less likely to cause health problems. But that doesn't mean you can just forget about them. Colon polyps are benign tumors and most colon cancer develops from polyps.
That's one reason why colon cancer screening is so important. A colonoscopy can identify and remove benign tumors growing in your colon or rectum.
- Benign. Merriam-Webster Online. 12 Sep. 2006 [http://m-w.com/dictionary/benign].
- Colon Polyps and Cancer. Jackson Siegelbaum Gastroenterology. 12 Sep. 2006 [http://www.gicare.com/pated/ecdgs01.htm].
- Tumor. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. 16 Aug. 2004. 12 Sep. 2006 [http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001310.htm].