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Benign Tumors

Common Types of Benign Tumors continued...

Two other types of benign fat tumors are lipoblastomas, which occur in young children, and hibernomas.

Meningiomas are tumors that develop from the membrane surrounding the brain and spinal cord. About nine in 10 are benign. Many grow slowly. Others grow more quickly. Treatment varies depending on the location of the meningioma and the symptoms it causes. Symptoms may include headache and weakness on one side, seizures, personality changes, and visual problems.

Sometimes the doctor will choose to watch the tumor for a time. If surgery is needed, its success depends on your age, the location of the tumor, and whether it is attached to anything. Radiation treatment may be used for tumors that can't be removed.

Myomas are tumors that grow from muscle. Leiomyomas grow from smooth muscle, which is found in internal organs such as the stomach and uterus. They can start in the walls of blood vessels. In the wall of the uterus, leiomyomas are often called fibroids. A rare benign tumor of skeletal muscle is rhabdomyoma. These tumors may be simply watched. To address symptoms, they may be shrunk with medication or removed with surgery.

Nevi (moles) are growths on the skin. They can range in color from pink and tan to brown or black. You may develop new moles until about age 40. Moles that look different than ordinary moles (dysplastic nevi) may be more likely to develop into a type of skin cancer (melanoma). For this reason, it is important to have your skin checked regularly by a health care professional. This is especially true if your moles look unusual, grow or change in shape, have irregular borders, or change in color or in any other way. Sometimes it is necessary to remove a mole like this to check it for signs of cancer.

Neuromas grow from nerves. Two other types of nerve tumors are neurofibromas and schwannomas. These benign nerve tumors can occur almost anywhere in nerves that run throughout the body. Neurofibromas are more common in people with an inherited condition called neurofibromatosis. Surgery is the most common type of treatment for benign nerve tumors.

Osteochondromas are the most common type of benign bone tumor. These tumors usually appear as a painless bump or bumps near the joint such as the knee or shoulder. Often, the doctor will simply watch this benign tumor with X-rays. Surgery may be needed if the tumor causes symptoms such as pain or pressure on nerves or blood vessels.

Papillomas are tumors that grow from epithelial tissue and project in finger-like fronds. They can be benign or malignant. They can grow in the skin, cervix, breast duct, or mucous membrane covering the inside of the eyelid (conjunctiva), for example. These tumors can result from direct contact with an infection such as human papillomavirus (HPV). Some types of papillomas go away on their own. In some cases, surgery is needed to rule out cancer.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Varnada Karriem-Norwood, MD on March 16, 2013
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