Sometimes a cell starts to grow without regard for the normal balance between cell growth and death, and a small, harmless (or benign), lump of cells will form. A benign growth can occur in any part of the body, including the prostate, skin, or intestine.
In other cases, a cell may grow and divide with complete disregard for the needs and limitations of the body. Cells that have this aggressive behaviour are called malignant. They have the potential to grow into large masses or spread to other areas of the body. More commonly, a mass of such cells is called a cancer. When clumps of these cells spread to other parts of the body, they are metastases. A cancer that continues to grow can eventually overwhelm and destroy the part of the body or particular organ where it is located.
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(Accessed on 10/05/12)