Benign and Malignant Lesions Essay - Essay Prowess

Benign and Malignant Lesions Essay


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Benign and Malignant Lesions


Lesions can be characterized based on their causes or the fact that they can either cause cancer or not. Benign lesions are non-cancerous while the malignant ones are cancerous. Laboratory tests such as biopsy determine whether a lesion is either malignant or benign. Skin inspection is one of the recommended routine health maintenance examinations by the National cancer Institute to ascertain whether one is in danger of developing cancer out of the lesions. In spite of many lesions being harmless, one can reduce the risk of the lesions developing a malignancy through the removal of suspicious skin lesions and monitoring.

There are several differences that exist between the benign and malignant lesions. Benign lesions are not cancerous and are often removed without coming back. Besides, the lesions cannot spread to the other parts of the body. The lesion is considered a non-spreading abnormal tissue that cannot threaten a person’s health. They grow very slowly. However, it is critical to remove the benign lesions as they are large, and the appearance is not pleasing.

Malignant lesions, on the other hand, are considered cancerous after the performance of a biopsy. The lesions are characterized by a progressive and uncontrolled growth in a similar manner as the malignant tumors. Contrary to the benign lesions, the malignant lesions spread very rapidly (Heilo et al., 2011). The malignant lesions pose great danger and require a surgical removal as the correction therapy.

Several types of benign lesions exist. They include the ephilides, dermatosis papulosa nigra, and the sebaceous hyperplasia. The ephilides are small hyper pigmented and discrete macules that result from sun exposure among the people with fair skin complexions. The lesions increase in summer because of sun exposure and reduce in winter.They increase melanin in the skin. The ephilides can be treated using topical creams (Calonje, 2004).

The sebaceous hyperplasia occurs as a result of enlargement of the sebaceous glands that is caused by the yellow papules on the face. These lesions are common among the organ transplant patients and men (Heilo et al., 2011). However, Cyrotherapy and laser therapy can treat the sebaceous hyperplasia. The other type of benign lesions is the Dermatosis papulosa nigra that causes hyperkeratosis plaques and hyperpigmentation of the skin. The lesions mainly occur on the face and around the neck. They can be treated using curettage, scissor excision or cyrotherapy. All the benign lesions are non-cancerous (Calonje, 2004).

Some of the malignant lesions include actinic keratosis, cutaneous horns, and advanced mole growth. Exposure to excessive sunlight cause small patches that are scaly mainly on the hands, neck, and the face (Actinic keratosis). Although most actinic keratosis patches do not develop into cancer, there is a high risk that the actinic cheilitis will develop into cancer cells. The condition causes a persistent roughness on the lips and scaly patches. Other symptoms include prominent lip lines and swelling of the lips. If not treated early, the lesions can cause invasive squamous cell carcinoma.

Similarly, the cutaneous horns result from excessive sun exposure. They are funnel-shaped growths that extend from a red base on the skin of an adult. The lesions contain compacted keratin thus associated with the acting keratosis. The size of the lesions can vary depending on the affected person. Moreover, in some cases, squamous carcinoma can be present at the base of the skin. The people at risk of this condition are the elderly adults with fair skin.

On the other hand, mole condition is a type of benign lesion but is considered pre-cancerous because of its ability to develop into a cancerous tissue. It is a problem associated with a growth in the melanocytes. The growth can be flat at the beginning but become raised as they advance. Although most mole lesions do not develop into cancer cells, the typical moles develop into melanoma over time.


It is, therefore, evident that there are numerous differences between benign and malignant lesions. However, various forms of benign and malignant lesions exist, and people should take preventive measures to inhibit the occurrence of any form of these cancer lesions.


Calonje, E. (2004). Non-melanocytic lesions mimicking melanocytic lesions. Pathology, 36(5), 387-395. doi:10.1080/00313020412331283833

Heilo, A., Sigstad, E., & Groeholt, K. (2011). Atlas of thyroid lesions. New York: Springer.