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March 26, 2016
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1 Introduction



Malignancy (from the Latin roots mal- = "bad" and -ignis = "fire") is the tendency of a medical condition, especially tumors, to become progressively worse and to potentially result in death. It is characterized by the properties of anaplasia, invasiveness, and metastasis. Malignant is a corresponding adjectival medical term used to describe a severe and progressively worsening disease. The term is most familiar as a description of cancer. A malignant tumor may be contrasted 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 ( metastasizing ), while a benign tumor has none of those properties. Malignant tumor is synonymous with cancer.

Uses of "malignant" in oncology:

  • Malignancy , malignant neoplasm, and malignant tumor are synonymous with cancer

  • Malignant ascites

  • Malignant transformation

Non-oncologic disorders referred to as "malignant":

  • Malignant hypertension

  • Malignant hyperthermia

  • Malignant otitis externa
  • Malignant tertian malaria (Malaria caused specifically by Plasmodium falciparum)

  • Neuroleptic malignant syndrome

  • Benignity (the opposite of malignancy)

  • Malignant narcissism

  • Premalignant

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "malignant".

Last Modified:   2010-11-25

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