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The information contained on this page is provided as general health information and is not intended to substitute as medical advice and direction from your physician or health care provider. Please direct any questions related to your health care provider. In an emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency center.


Malignancy

Definition

The term "malignancy" refers to the presence of cancerous cells that have the ability to spread to other sites in the body (metastasize) or to invade nearby (locally) and destroy tissues. Malignant cells tend to have fast, uncontrolled growth and DO NOT die normally due to changes in their genetic makeup.

Malignant cells that are resistant to treatment may return after all detectable traces of them have been removed or destroyed.

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Lymphoma, malignant - CT scanMalignancy

References

Black AR, Cowan KH. Cancer biology and genetics. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 181.

National Cancer Institute. NCI dictionary of cancer terms. Cancer.gov Web site. www.cancer.gov/publications/dictionaries/cancer-terms?cdrid=45771. Accessed October 19, 2016.