Gene expression and cancer

Benign vs malignant tumours

Size & growth: benign = large but slow, malignant = large and rapid.

Nucleus: benign = normal, malignant = larger, darker, abundance of DNA.

Appearance: benign and malignant = discolouration.

Differentiation: benign = remains specialised, malignant = may become unspecialised.

Adhesion: benign = can produce adhesion molecules - stick together so remains a primary tumour, malignant = no adhesion molecules - forms secondary tumours (metastasis).

Capsule: benign = surrounded by dense tissue>remains compact, malignant = no capsule>tumour grows finger - like projections into surrounding tissue.

Threat to life: benign = not high although may disrupt function of vital organ, malignant = often.

Location of effects: benign = localised, malignant = often systemic.

Surgery?: benign = yes, malignant = surgery+chemotherapy+radiotherapy.

Reoccurrence?: benign = rare, malignant = frequent.

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