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This article is about medical terminology. Malignancy_sentence_0

For other uses, see Malignancy (disambiguation). Malignancy_sentence_1

"Malignant" redirects here. Malignancy_sentence_2

For other uses, see Malignant (disambiguation). Malignancy_sentence_3

Malignancy (from Latin male 'badly', and -gnus 'born') is the tendency of a medical condition to become progressively worse. Malignancy_sentence_4

Malignancy is most familiar as a characterization of cancer. Malignancy_sentence_5

A malignant tumor contrasts with a non-cancerous benign tumor in that a malignancy is not self-limited in its growth, is capable of invading into adjacent tissues, and may be capable of spreading to distant tissues. Malignancy_sentence_6

A benign tumor has none of those properties. Malignancy_sentence_7

Malignancy in cancers is characterized by anaplasia, invasiveness, and metastasis. Malignancy_sentence_8

Malignant tumors are also characterized by genome instability, so that cancers, as assessed by whole genome sequencing, frequently have between 10,000 and 100,000 mutations in their entire genomes. Malignancy_sentence_9

Cancers usually show tumour heterogeneity, containing multiple subclones. Malignancy_sentence_10

They also frequently have reduced expression of DNA repair enzymes due to epigenetic methylation of DNA repair genes or altered microRNAs that control DNA repair gene expression. Malignancy_sentence_11

Uses of "malignant" in oncology: Malignancy_sentence_12


  • Malignancy, malignant neoplasm and malignant tumor are synonymous with cancerMalignancy_item_0_0
  • MalignantMalignancy_item_0_1
  • Malignant transformationMalignancy_item_0_2

Non-oncologic disorders referred to as "malignant": Malignancy_sentence_13


See also Malignancy_section_0


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