Benign Tumors Defined

Dr. Harness explains that a benign tumor is a tumor that is not cancerous. A malignant tumor is the opposite of a benign tumor because a malignant tumor is cancerous. Learn more about these tumors in the video below.

Breast Cancer Answers Ask A Question
Breast Cancer Answers PDF

Jay K. Harness, MD, FACS: The word ‘benign’ means not cancerous. It’s that simple and so we use the term to talk about non-cancerous things. A typical benign tumor of a woman’s breast is called a fibroadenoma. It’s an overgrowth of a tissue not cancerous, not precancerous, and it’s benign.

Lymph nodes that don’t have cancer in them that have been removed — we work at those lymph nodes and say — they are benign. What is the opposite of benign? It’s malignant. What does malignant mean? It means cancer. So we want things to be benign. Benign means not cancerous.

Dr. Jay K. Harness is a board certified surgeon currently treating patients at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, CA. Dr. Harness specializes in complete breast health, breast cancer surgery, oncoplastic reconstruction, genetic screening, management of breast health issues, risk assessment and counseling. Dr. Harness is the medical director for Breast Cancer Answers.com, and guides this first ever social media show’s information by drawing on his former leadership experience as the President of the American Society of Breast Surgeons and Breast Surgery International. Dr. Harness graduated from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 1969 and spent time early on in his career at the University of Michigan Medical Center.

This information should not be relied upon as a substitute for personal medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Use the information provided on this site solely at your own risk.  If you have any concerns about your health, please consult with a physician.