A tumor or cancer is classified as malignant (as opposed to benign), when it exhibits any one or more of three characteristics:

  • Anaplasia - where cells stop being differentiated into functional cells and to start merely replicating without limit.
  • Invasiveness - where the cells invade other tissues and organs, extending their boundaries without limit
  • Metastasis - where cells from the tumor or cancer can travel through the bloodstream or other systems to start growing new tumors.

A malignant tumor or cancer will always result in the death of the patient without treatment, and may be terminal even with aggressive treatment.

Malignancy at Wikipedia

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.