Cells constantly grow, die, and are replaced by new cells. When this process fails, excess cell growth can lead to tumors. Benign tumors are non-cancerous and cannot invade other tissues, but because they can form anywhere, they often scare people. They are quite common: nine out of ten women experience a benign breast mass in their lives. Benign bone tumors are also significantly more common than their malignant counterparts.
A tumor growth on the thin layer of glandular tissue that covers organs such as the stomach, colon, and small intestine is an adenoma. Though benign, adenomas can become malignant in rare situations. Even when benign, however, adenomas can cause serious issues by pressing on other tissues and causing excess hormone secretions. Occasionally, the growths are too small to see macroscopically but still large enough to cause physiological problems. Adenomas grow at different rates based on their location, which enables doctors to easily predict growth.
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