Malignant disease

Cancers of the tongue and mouth begin with a small hard lump, and sometimes with a little sore; both of which are attended with pricking pains, and they spread in the same manner with cancerous sores in other parts. It is so great an evil, that the slightest suspicion of it occasions very great uneasiness.

William Heberden (1701-1801)

The terms malignancy, cancer and neoplasia are usually used interchangeably. The differences between a malignant tumour and a benign tumour are summarised in Table 23.1 .

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