Questions About Cancer? 1-800-4-CANCER

Understanding Cancer Series

  • Posted: 01/28/2005
  • Reviewed: 09/30/2009

Slide 9

:

Malignant versus Benign Tumors

Depending on whether or not they can spread by invasion and metastasis, tumors are classified as being either benign or malignant. Benign tumors are tumors that cannot spread by invasion or metastasis; hence, they only grow locally. Malignant tumors are tumors that are capable of spreading by invasion and metastasis. By definition, the term "cancer" applies only to malignant tumors.

Malignant versus Benign Tumors