The concept of neoplasia may not be common to hear in our daily life and may in fact seem unfamiliar to many, but it refers to a very common reality that causes great concern in the population: we speak of the formation of neoplasms, better known as tumors.
This is why the analysis and study of this type of alteration is of great importance, especially since cancer remains one of the main challenges of medicine and one of the main causes of death. today. In this article we will analyze what a neoplasm is, Its most common classification and possible interventions that can be performed to remove them.
The neoplasm is understood as the formation or uncontrolled growth and certain types of tissue in the body which occurs abnormally, autonomously and aimlessly, uncontrollably and irreversibly. It occurs without regard to other tissues, being independent of them.
This growth generates the presence of a mass, the neoplasm or tumor, which competes with normal tissues and cells. While they sometimes appear due to some stimulation, growth continues despite this stoppage. They can appear in any organ and in virtually anyone, regardless of their age and condition.
In the human body, we can find tissues that have a specific function within an organ and others that act in a fairly long-lasting way in order to allow it to function. In the neoplasm, they are the parenchyma, which they are the set of cells with their own functionThe latter are the ones that grow and reproduce, while the stroma or the set of tissues that serve as a carcass for this purpose (mainly connective tissue and blood vessels) allow the tumor to develop.
The existence of a neoplasm or the formation of a tumor may be asymptomatic (especially if it is benign), but in others it usually generates physical, physiological or even behavioral alterations (for example in brain tumors) which may be linked to its existence. The type of symptoms will vary depending on the location and type of the neoplasm of which it is spoken.
However, it should be borne in mind that while the presence of symptoms which may be possible indicators does not necessarily imply the existence of a neoplasm, but may be due to a wide variety of conditions (not all necessarily clinical), which has been done in many cases are more likely.
Several types of neoplasms can be found, depending on the type of tissue affected, the presence or absence of infiltration. However, the most common are those that take into account their degree of malignancy and / or the type of tissue that is developing.
Types of neoplasms according to benignity or malignancy
Neoplasms can be cataloged and classified into different groups based on various criteria. However, the most common and well-known classification is that which takes into account their degree of malignancy and their ability to infiltrate into other areas, differentiating two large groups of neoplasms.
It is considered as benign any regular and localized neoplasm which self-limits or encapsulates its behavior being a non-infiltrating behavior (that is to say which does not invade the adjacent tissue). Their growth is relatively slow, the cells forming part of the tumor similar to those in the surrounding tissues and being clearly differentiated. The presence of a certain type of benign tumor is quite common throughout life, being frequent polyps, cysts, adenomas, papillomas or fibroids among many others.
In general, benign neoplasms are cell formations which should not cause serious damage to the patient, unless their presence results in pinching or compressing of the blood vessels or organs concerned (especially when they are severed. occur in an enclosed space such as the brain, inside the skull.) or eventually become malignant.
Malignant neoplasms are those in which infiltrating tumors form, which tend to expand and invade the structures around them and are not limited. These are rapid growths that affect adjacent tissues and invade them, not self-limiting and producing metastases. Cell differentiation is lost, the boundaries of the tumor mass are not very demarcated. As it evolves, the fabric looks less like the original structure.
We are talking about what is commonly called cancer. If left untreated, it eventually results in the death of the patient over periods of time that can vary widely, frequently causing bleeding and tissue death. This can cause recurrences, which means that if they are not completely removed, they can grow back despite being removed. The degree of infiltration, as well as its rate of expansion and growth and the extent and degree of differentiation of their cells can become very variable. In this sense, we can find several sub-classifications (which you can observe in this article).
Classification according to neoplastic tissue
Another possible classification is according to the type of tissue in which the neoplasm appears. In this sense, we can find a large number of categories, being able to find both benign and malignant neoplasms in practically all types. The following groups stand out.
1. Connective tissue tumors
This type of tumor occurs in fatty tissue, cartilage, bone, or fibrous tissue. For example, fibroids or osteosarcoma.
2. Tumors derived from the endothelium
These are tumors or neoplasms that they occur in the blood vessels, lymph or meninges. Thus, meningioma or hemangioma are examples.
3. Tumors derived from blood cells
There is an uncontrolled proliferation of blood cells, lymph cells or the immune system. The best known type is leukemia. In this case, they are all bad
4. Tumors derived from epithelial cells
This type of neoplasm occurs either in the skin or in the epithelial tissue that exists in different organs, glands and ducts. Carcinomas (including known melanomas) or papillomas are frequently known to the population.
The exact reasons why some cells start to multiply uncontrollably are not known exactly. And it is that in reality there is not a single cause of appearance of a neoplasm, but that these have a multifactorial origin.
Aspects such as the presence of certain disorders or diseases, Diet, the incorporation of certain pollutants by the body, sedentary lifestyle, exposure to radiation or genetic predisposition are variables that have been linked to its occurrence.
They are also influenced by experiences, styles of coping with stress (some predispose to cancer, such as those which suppress negative emotions and are inhibited) or personality.
However, it should be noted that none of these factors explain the onset of cancer itself. for example although there may be a genetic predisposition, they most often occur sporadically.
There are a large number of possible treatments to be applied in the event of a neoplasm, usually being the removal of the tumor and / or the application of chemo or radiotherapy to destroy either the tumor or the remains that may remain of it.
A large proportion of benign neoplasms are removed surgically, unless their risk level is low and the extraction itself could cause other problems (for example, causing vision damage in an eye tumor). Although the neoplasm detected is benign, regular medical check-ups will still be necessary in order to prevent it from becoming malignant or invasive causing different kinds of discomfort and problems.
For neoplasms or malignant cancers, the procedure is similar. Surgery is usually applied sooner or later, along with chemotherapy and / or radiation therapy to shrink and destroy the tumor or any remaining tumor. The use of immunotherapy or hormone therapy is not uncommon. In some cases, it may be necessary to remove parts of the body at high risk of infiltration, as in breast cancer with mastectomy. Unfortunately, depending on the degree of expansion and the stage of the cancer, treatment may not be used to cure the patient, only slowing its progression or even offering palliative treatments.
It is also advisable, at least when we are talking about cancer or a benign neoplasm that leaves sequelae (such as that which occurs in the brain), to act on the psychological level. It should be borne in mind that the diagnosis of a neoplasm is a blow to those who receive it and to their environment.
The subject may become isolated or isolated, adopt a passive attitude, suffer from anxiety and depression, or deny their condition and not wanting to be treated, among other possibilities. In this way, the use of various types of psychological therapy can be used to facilitate treatment affiliation, improve the patient’s physical and mental condition, Prevent and reduce the effects of possible depressive and anxiety symptoms, promote emotional expression and activity or even desensitize about the secondary symptoms thereof (nausea and vomiting often persist after chemotherapy in reason for the association of food with discomfort). generated by processing).
In cancer, the type of psychological therapy will depend on the stage of the disease and the characteristics of the patient. For example, it usually offers advice and offers information and coping strategies. It also seeks to help improve the sense of symptom control and physical condition with resources such as relaxation techniques, systematic desensitization, visualization therapy, or adjuvant psychological therapy (seeks to bring the patient to have a active adaptation and to improve one’s sense of control for immune response).
It is also essential psychoeducation for the subject with cancer and his environment. Using expressive therapies to reflect their feelings and fears and cognitive restructuring to combat irrational or harmful beliefs can also be great.