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definitions - Tumor

tumor (n.)

1.(American)an abnormal new mass of tissue that serves no purpose

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Merriam Webster

TumorTu"mor (tū"mẽr), n. [L., fr. tumere to swell: cf. F. tumeúr. See Tumid.]
1. (Med.) A morbid swelling, prominence, or growth, on any part of the body; especially, a growth produced by deposition of new tissue; a neoplasm.

2. Affected pomp; bombast; swelling words or expressions; false magnificence or sublimity. [R.]

Better, however, to be a flippant, than, by a revolting form of tumor and perplexity, to lead men into habits of intellect such as result from the modern vice of English style. De Quincey.

Encysted tumor, a tumor which is inclosed in a membrane called a cyst, connected with the surrounding parts by the neighboring cellular substance. -- Fatty tumor. See under Fatty. -- Innocent tumor, or Benign tumor, one which does not of itself threaten life, and does not usually tend to recur after extirpation; a tumor which has not metastesized. -- Malignant tumor, a tumor which tends continually to spread, to become generalized in different parts of the body, and to recur after extirpation, and which, if left to itself, causes death.

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definition (more)

definition of Wikipedia

synonyms - Tumor

tumor (n.)

growth, tumour

tumor (n.) (American)

growth, neoplasm, tumour  (British)

see also - Tumor


-ARF tumor suppressor • Abrikossoff's tumor • Ackerman tumor • Adenomatoid odontogenic tumor • Adenomatoid tumor • Adrenal tumor • Adult Brain Tumor • American Brain Tumor Association • Aniridia-Wilms tumor syndrome • Aniridia-Wilms' tumor syndrome • Autologous patient specific tumor antigen response • Autologous tumor cell • Benign mixed epithelial stromal tumor • Benign tumor • Bone tumor • Brain Tumor Foundation • Brain Tumor Funders' Collaborative • Brain Tumor Society • Brain stem tumor • Brain tumor • Brown tumor • Buschke–Löwenstein tumor • CA 242 (tumor marker) • Calcifying epithelial odontogenic tumor • Cancerous tumor • Canine transmissible venereal tumor • Cartilage tumor • Childhood tumor syndrome • Children's Tumor Foundation • Choroid plexus tumor • Circulating Tumor Cell • Clear cell tumor (endometrium) • Clear-cell ovarian tumor • Clear-cell tumor • Complex and mixed tumor • Dabska tumor • Dermal duct tumor • Desmoplastic small round cell tumor • Dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumor • Endodermal sinus tumor • Endometrioid tumor • Ependymal tumor • Functioning tumor • Gastrointestinal stromal tumor • Germ cell tumor • German Brain Tumor Association • Giant cell bone tumor • Giant cell tumor of bone • Giant cell tumor of the tendon sheath • Glial tumor • Glomus tumor • Granular cell nerve sheath tumor • Granular cell tumor • Granulosa theca cell tumor • Granulosa-theca cell tumor • Hormone receptor positive tumor • Hypoxic tumor • Interstitial cell tumor • Intracranial tumor • Juvenile granulosa cell tumor • Juxtaglomerular cell tumor • Keratocystic odontogenic tumor • Kidney tumor • Klatskin tumor • Koenen's tumor • Krukenberg tumor • Leydig cell tumor • Leydig tumor • Liver tumor • Malignant brain tumor • Malignant mixed tumor • Malignant nerve sheath tumor • Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor • Malignant triton tumor • Mammary tumor • Mediastinal germ cell tumor • Mediastinal tumor • Melanotic neuroectodermal tumor of infancy • Metastatic tumor of jaws • Mixed Müllerian tumor • Mixed epithelial stromal tumor • Mixed tumor • Mouse mammary tumor virus • Mucinous tumor • Musculoskeletal Tumor Surgery • National Wilms Tumor Study Group • Nerve sheath tumor • Neuroectodermal tumor • Neuroendocrine tumor • Non islet hypoglycemic cell tumor • Odontogenic tumor • Oligodendroglial tumor • Optic nerve tumor • PEC tumor • Pancoast tumor • Papillary tumor • Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation • Pelvic tumor • Perianal gland tumor • Peripheral malignant nerve sheath tumor • Peripheral nerve sheath tumor • Perivascular epithelioid cell tumor • Phyllodes tumor • Pigmented spindle cell tumor of Reed • Pindborg tumor • Plasma cell tumor • Plexiform fibrohistiocytic tumor • Pott's puffy tumor • Pregnancy tumor • Primary tumor • Primitive neuroectodermal tumor • Pulmonary sulcus tumor • Renal epithelial stromal tumor • Renal tumor • Reye tumor • Schwann cell tumor • Sertoli cell tumor • Skin tumor • Solitary nerve sheath tumor • Spinal tumor • Squamous odontogenic tumor • Sternomastoid tumor of infancy • Stromal tumor • Surface epithelial-stromal tumor • Testicular interstitial cell tumor • Theca cell tumor • Tumor Bank • Tumor Circus (album) • Tumor M2-PK • Tumor alopecia • Tumor antigen • Tumor antigen vaccine • Tumor board review • Tumor cell • Tumor cells • Tumor hypoxia • Tumor infiltrating lymphocyte • Tumor initiation • Tumor lysis syndrome • Tumor marker • Tumor metabolome • Tumor necrosis factor • Tumor necrosis factor receptor • Tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily • Tumor necrosis factor-alpha • Tumor necrosis factors • Tumor of the follicular infundibulum • Tumor promotion • Tumor suppressor gene • Tumor-associated calcium signal transducer • Tumor-induced osteomalacia • Vascular tumor • Vestibular tumor • Von Hippel–Lindau tumor suppressor • Warthin tumor • Warthin's tumor • Wilm's tumor • Wilms tumor-aniridia • Wilms tumor-aniridia-genitourinary anomalies-mental retardation syndrome • Wilms' tumor • Wilms’ tumor • Wound tumor virus

analogical dictionary



  Neoplastic tumor of the cheek skin, here a benign neoplasm of the sweat glands called Hidradenoma, which is not solid but is fluid-filled.

A tumor or tumour is commonly used as a synonym for a neoplasm [a solid or fluid-filled (cystic) lesion that may or may not be formed by an abnormal growth of neoplastic cells] that appears enlarged in size.[1] Tumor is not synonymous with cancer. While cancer is by definition malignant, a tumor can be benign, pre-malignant, or malignant, or can represent a lesion without any cancerous potential whatsoever.

In many sources, the terms "mass" and "nodule" are often used synonymously with "tumor". Generally speaking, however, the term "tumor" is used generically, without reference to the physical size of the lesion. More specifically, the term "mass" is often used when the lesion has a maximal diameter of at least 20 millimeters (mm) in greatest direction, while the term "nodule" is usually used when the size of the lesion is less than 20 mm in its greatest dimension (also note that 25.4 mm = 1 inch).



The term tumour/tumor is derived from the Latin word for "swelling" -- tumor. It is similar to the Old French tumour (contemporary French: tumeur). In the Commonwealth the spelling "tumour" is commonly used, whereas in the U.S. it is usually spelled "tumor".

In its medical sense it has traditionally meant an abnormal swelling of the flesh. The Roman medical encyclopedist Celsus (ca 30 BC–38 AD) described the four cardinal signs of acute inflammation as tumor, dolor, calor, and rubor (swelling, pain, increased heat, and redness). His treatise, De Medicina, was the first medical book printed in 1478 following the invention of the movable-type printing press.

In contemporary English, the word tumor is often used as a synonym for a cystic (liquid-filled) growth or solid neoplasm (cancerous or non-cancerous),[2] with other forms of swelling often referred to merely as swellings.[3]

Related terms are common in the medical literature, where the nouns tumefaction and tumescence (derived from the adjective tumefied), are current medical terms for non-neoplastic swelling. This type of swelling is most often caused by inflammation caused by trauma, infection, and other factors.

Tumors may be caused by conditions other than an overgrowth of neoplastic cells, however. Cysts (such as sebaceous cysts) are also referred to as tumors, even though they have no neoplastic cells. This is standard in medical billing terminology (especially when billing for a growth whose pathology has yet to be determined).


A neoplasm can be caused by an abnormal proliferation of tissues, which can be caused by genetic mutations. Not all types of neoplasms cause a tumorous overgrowth of tissue, however (such as leukemia or carcinoma in situ).

Recently, tumor growth has been studied using mathematics and continuum mechanics. Vascular tumors are thus looked at as being amalgams of a solid skeleton formed by sticky cells and an organic liquid filling the spaces in which cells can grow.[4] Under this type of model, mechanical stresses and strains can be dealt with and their influence on the growth of the tumor and the surrounding tissue and vasculature elucidated. Recent findings from experiments that use this model show, among other things, that active growth of the tumor is restricted to the outer edges of the tumor, and that stiffening of the underlying normal tissue inhibits tumor growth as well.[5]

Benign conditions that are not associated with an abnormal proliferation of tissue (such as sebaceous cysts) can also present as tumors, however, but have no malignant potential. Breast cysts (as occur commonly during pregnancy and at other times) are another example, as are other encapsulated glandular swellings (thyroid, adrenal gland, pancreas).

Encapsulated hematomas, encapsulated necrotic tissue (from an insect bite, foreign body, or other noxious mechanism), and keloids (discrete overgrowths of scar tissue) and granulomas may also present as tumors.

Discrete localized enlargements of normal structures (ureters, blood vessels, intrahepatic or extrahepatic biliary ducts, pulmonary inclusions, or gastrointestinal duplications) due to outflow obstructions or narrowings, or abnormal connections, may also present as a tumor. Examples are arteriovenous fistulae or aneurysms (with or without thrombosis), biliary fistulae or aneurysms, sclerosing cholangitis, cysticercosis or hydatid cysts, intestinal duplications, and pulmonary inclusions as seen with cystic fibrosis. It can be dangerous to biopsy a number of types of tumor in which the leakage of their contents would potentially be catastrophic. When such types of tumors are encountered, diagnostic modalities such as ultrasound, CT scans, MRI, angiograms, and nuclear medicine scans are employed prior to (or during) biopsy and/or surgical exploration/excision in an attempt to avoid such severe complications.

The nature of a tumor is determined by imaging, by surgical exploration, and/or by a pathologist after examination of the tissue from a biopsy or a surgical specimen.

  See also


  1. ^ "Tumor" at Dorland's Medical Dictionary
  2. ^ Tumor in MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia
  3. ^ Swelling in MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia
  4. ^ . http://ezproxy.stanford.edu:2167/10.1016/S0020-7225(02)00014-9. 
  5. ^ . DOI:10.1016/j.actbio.2006.04.002. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1742706106000432. 

  External links



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