Should Benign Tumours Be Resected?

A report from the Hong Kong Cancer Registry recorded the following figures from 2015 – 5,038 incidences of colorectal cancer, 4,748 incidences of lung cancer, 3,920 incidences of breast cancer. Caner is no doubt a terrifying episode, but benign tumours and cancer is often mistaken and mixed up.

Metabolism takes place within our cells constantly regardless of age. The growth of cells and tissue are usually regulated, controlled, and appropriate. But in the aberrant event that cells grow abnormally, a "tumour" is formed. "Benign tumours" grow slowly and do not metastasise; they pose little harm and threat to the human body. However, fast growing cells that invade or spread to other parts of the body are considered "malignant tumours", or commonly known as "cancer".

The size of tumours is irrelevant to its nature, a large tumour can be benign and a small tumour can be malignant. Malignant tumours, or cancer, spread to different body parts through the lymphatic system and worsen the illness. Benign tumours do not spread, thus some patients choose not to undergo treatment. If however the tumour grows near vital organs affecting its functionality, or at dangerous positions such as near the brain or nerves, doctors may advise treatment for the patient.

If a tumour is detected, there is no need to panic, but do seek medical advise promptly for further examination. In the unfortunate event of the tumour being malignant, the sooner it is discovered the higher chance it can be treated. As for the insurance policy, be aware of your policy's coverage on treating benign tumours. In certain cases, the doctor’s suspicion of the tumour’s malignant potential can only be confirmed by resection, followed by examinations to determine the tumour’s benign or malignant nature. If the tumour is diagnosed to be benign, some insurance policies cover an extra claim up to 15% of the original sum insured.

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