Neoplastic disease is a disease condition that causes an abnormal growth of cells. These growths form a mass commonly known as tumor and these abnormal growths are medically termed Neoplasm.
The word neoplasm, meaning ‘(neo) new (plasia) growth’ in Greek can occur in any part of the body, tumor growth can also occur in the gastrointestinal system which is termed gastrointestinal neoplasm among others.
A neoplasm is characterized by a gradual, excessive and an uncoordinated growth with that of the surrounding tissues, persistent in growing abnormally even if the original trigger cell is removed.
Neoplastic disease also refers medically to both malignant cancers; a disease where abnormal cells divide uncontrollably and destroy body tissues (all type of cancers are found here) and benign tumor growths; another condition where the abnormal cells do not divide nor invade nearby tissue or spread to other parts of the body like malignant.
All categories or type of cancer fall under malignant neoplastic disease, however benign neoplastic disease or tumors can also be detrimental to health if the tumors press against vital structures such as blood vessels or nerves and they can leave skeletal evidence similar to that of malignant growth.
Cancer is the second most common cause of death after heart disease. It is responsible for about 25% of all deaths in the US. However, the incidence of cancer outbreak is decreasing in both men and women.
The five leading sites for neoplastic disease in the world in both male and female as of 2009 include:
- Urinary Bladder
- Skin melanoma
- Uterine Corpus
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
Cellular Basis for Neoplastic Disease
The healthy body cells grow and reproduce by a process of division, the process occur throughout the body in a coordinated and systematic fashion throughout life.
Injured and even dead cells must be replaced and also many particular special cells must increase in number and activity in response to environmental changes.
In a cancerous situation or occurrence, the division of affected cells occurs in a dysfunction and unorganized fashion resulting in an uncontrolled growth and possible start spreading.
These growth, multiplication and containment of these cells are controlled by the DNA of the cells. The estimated number of human protein coding gene is about 25000.
The body cells divide only when they receive the proper growth factor signal, either from the blood stream or signals from an adjacent cell.
Once this signal is received, the cell goes through a complicated ‘cell cycle’ process and begins to divide. However, if a defect or an error occurs during the division process, a cell may become cancerous.
Causes of Neoplastic Disease
All cases that cause tumor growth in the body tissues are not yet known as research are still been carried out to ascertain the causes.
As earlier mentioned in this article, neoplasm is only as a result of DNA mutation in the cells. When DNA changes within you’re the body cells, they do not function properly.
There are a few contributing factors can initiate mutations in DNA and cause a benign or malignant tumor growth.
- Hormonal changes
- Immune disorders
- Certain Virus infection
- Chemical toxins
- Excess sun exposure or overexposure of radiation
Other disease conditions can lead to growth and formation of neoplasm, such as:
- Lymphoma including Hodgkin’s disease and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
- Thyroid mass mediastinal (generally causes a benign growth but I can sometimes a cancerous).
- Thymoma and thymic cyst (a tumor of the thymus)
- Lympgadenopathy mediastinal or enlargement of the lymph nodes.
- Bronchogenic cyst (a benign growth that begins in the respiratory system).
- Tracheal tumors (usually benign growths)
- Vascular complications like swelling of the aorta.
Symptoms of Neoplastic Disease
Regardless of the site affected by the neoplastic disease, there are some common symptoms of neoplastic disease that reveals from the onset of the disease.
The symptoms include:
- Loss of appetite
- Shortness of breath
- Abdominal pain
- Persistent fatigue
- Blood stools
- Skin masse
While other symptoms are peculiar to the location of the neoplasm:
- Skin: Neoplastic disease affects the skins in some cases resulting in skin cancer. Some common symptoms associated with skin cancer include; bumps, lesions, open sores, bleeding moles, itchy or painful rashes.
- Breast: In breast cancer, the most common symptom is a mass or lump. If a mass is discovered on the breast during a self-examination, it is advisable not to self-diagnose as not all masses are cancerous. A cancerous breast neoplasm exhibit symptom like; pain, swelling, tenderness, redness, discharges and change in breast shape.
- Lymph nodes: A cancerous neoplasm in the lymph node or tissue is medically termed lymphoma. Just like in breast cancer, swelling or formation of a mass in the affected area may be observed. Other symptoms of lymphoma include: fever, increased swelling in the neck, armpits or groin, unintentional weight loss, fatigue, persistent itching of the skin at the site of lymphoma or all over the body, feeling of breathlessness and night sweats.
Diagnosis of Neoplastic Disease
For your physician or to properly diagnose the neoplastic disease, your doctor must first determine if the neoplasms (tumor) are malignant (cancerous) or benign (non-cancerous).
The doctor then conducts a thorough examination of your medical history, blood tests will also be conducted and lastly, a biopsy on the masses.
Some other tests that can be used to determine and diagnose neoplastic diseases include:
- Position Emission Tomography (PET) scan: Is an imaging test that allow a doctor to check for the disease in the body system by measuring blood flow, oxygen use, body sugar utilization and much more.
- Computerized Tomography (CT) scan: uses computers and rotating X-ray machines to create a cross section of the body tissue for diagnosing infections, muscle disorders, pinpoint location of masses and tumors.
- Mammograms: a type of X-ray that is done on the breast.
- Ultrasound scan
- Endoscopy: a medical procedure in which a doctor uses specialized instruments to view and operate on the internal organs and vessels of the body. It allows doctors to examine problems without making large incisions
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan: scan that uses magnetic interference to view imaging of the internal organs especially viewing through a bone to detect tumors like brain tumors.
Treatments of Neoplastic Disease
Treatment of neoplastic disease and neoplasms greatly depends on the sites and location on the body. These treatments will be determined by the doctor overseeing the case.
Surgery is often used first to remove the tumor, chemotherapy or radiation therapy may subsequently be used to destroy remaining cancer cells.
When you notice any usual growths, moles, mass or skin rash, it is advisable to schedule a visit with a doctor and not self-diagnose. Early diagnosis will expose an individual to the best treatment options for a condition. Neoplasms are typically malignant(cancerous) and benign (non-cancerous). Affected adults are usually between the ages of 30 and 50.
- Chapter 14 – Neoplastic Disease; http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780120749034500170
- Neoplastic Disease: Part I; http://www.reviewofoptometry.com/article/neoplastic-disease-part-i
- Neoplastic Disease; http://www.stelvio-oncology.com/blog/2017/5/2/what-is-the-meaning-of-neoplastic-disease