Benign

Definition

The term “benign” refers to a condition, tumor, or growth that is NOT cancerous. This means that it does not spread to other parts of the body or invade and destroy nearby tissue. Benign tumors usually grow slowly.

In general, a benign tumor or condition is not harmful. However, this is not always the case. If a benign tumor is big enough, its size and weight can press on nearby blood vessels, nerves, or organs, or otherwise cause problems.

The opposite of benign is malignant.

Johns Hopkins patient information

Last revised: December 8, 2012
by Brenda A. Kuper, M.D.

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