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Tumors : Symptoms, Causes, Treatment and Prevention

When hearing the word tumor, many people suspect that this disease must be deadly. But this assumption is not entirely appropriate because tumors are divided into two categories, namely benign tumors and malignant tumors.

Benign tumors only grow on one part of the body and do not spread or attack other parts. Whereas malignant tumors or often called cancers are tumors that can attack the surrounding tissue, enter blood vessels, and spread to other parts of the body.

Benign tumors also usually will not grow again after being removed, while malignant tumors have the possibility to relapse. Under normal conditions, new cells will grow and develop according to the needs of the body to replace the old cells that die. This process occurs in a controlled manner. But if the addition of new cells occurs excessively, the tumor will form.

Tumor Symptoms

But each tumor has different symptoms, depending on the type and location of its growth. For example, brain cancer that can cause headache symptoms is unbearable, sudden vomiting, and convulsions.

While the symptoms of lung cancer can be a sustained and worsening cough that eventually becomes coughing up blood, shortness of breath, chest pain and fatigue. There are also types of malignant tumors that don't even cause symptoms until they reach an advanced stage, such as cervical cancer and liver cancer.

In general, symptoms that can indicate tumors include:

  • Often feel unwell.
  • Extreme fatigue.
  • Fever and chills
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Weight loss without obvious reasons.
  • Sweating at night.

Immediately consult a doctor if the symptoms appear above, because it could indicate a malignant tumor in the body.

Tumors that appear from the outside also need to be consulted by a doctor, especially if the shape changes or the size continues to grow.

Causes of Tumors

Tumors are formed due to an imbalance between the number of new cells that grow with the number of old cells that die. This condition can occur if new cells form excessively, or old cells that should die remain alive.

The cause of this imbalance can vary in each type of tumor, but generally the cause is not yet known. Even so, some of the things below are thought to be related to tumor growth:

  • Heredity factors and genetic disorders.
  • Excessive consumption of liquor.
  • Abnormalities in the immune system.
  • Overweight or obese.
  • Exposure to air pollution.
  • Excessive exposure to sunlight.
  • Radiation exposure.

Tumor Diagnosis

In diagnosing a lump, the doctor will conduct a series of examinations to determine whether the lump is benign or malignant. Examinations carried out include tracing symptoms through question and answer during consultations, physical examinations, and investigations which consist of:

  • Urine test or blood test, to identify abnormal conditions. An example is a complete blood test to see the number and type of blood cells that have a disorder in patients with leukemia.
  • Ultrasound, CT scan, MRI, or PET scan, to find out the location, size, and spread of the tumor.
  • Biopsy, which is taking tumor tissue samples to be examined in the laboratory. From this examination, you can find out the type of tumor and whether the tumor is malignant or benign.

After knowing the type, size, location and nature of the tumor, the doctor can determine the appropriate treatment.

Tumor Treatment

If a positive diagnosis of a tumor is diagnosed, the doctor will help the tumor sufferer to determine the appropriate treatment steps. The method of handling tumors that will be undertaken depends on the type, location and malignancy of the tumor. Some methods of treatment for treating malignant tumors include surgical removal, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. People with tumors generally need a combination of these three methods. The earlier the tumor is detected, the higher the chance of recovery.

If the cancer or malignant tumor is still in one location and has not spread, the cancer will generally be removed surgically. Benign tumors are also generally removed unless the tumor does not interfere with the organ's performance and does not adversely affect health at all. However, all tumors (malignant or benign) should be diagnosed and treated immediately because they have the potential to cause various health complications if left unchecked.

Healing of patients with tumors depends on benign or malignant tumors. Benign tumors have a higher chance of recovery after treatment, compared to malignant tumors. Opportunities for healing malignant tumors depend on the level of malignancy or stage of the cancer. The higher the stage, especially if it has spread to other organs (stage 4), the more difficult it is to cure.

Prevention of Tumors

There is no prevention method that can provide total protection from the appearance of tumors. But there are a few simple steps we can take to reduce the risk of cancer, namely:

  • Quit smoking.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Applying a healthy and balanced diet.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Limit consumption of liquor.
  • Avoid exposure to sunlight, for example by using sunscreen.
  • Minimizing exposure to toxic chemicals, for example by wearing a mask when using public transportation.
  • Minimizing exposure to radiation.
  • Underwent regular health checks.

In addition to the above, some types of cancer can also be prevented by immunization. The cancer in question is liver cancer which can be prevented by the hepatitis B vaccine, and cervical cancer which can be prevented by the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine.



1. NIH (2018). National Cancer Institute. Cancer Prevention Overview.

2. NIH (2018). Medline Plus. Tumor.

2. Gotter, et al. Healthline (2016). Benign Tumors.

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Is a health and wellness enthusiast. In him free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.