Benign vs. Malignant: Definition, Characteristics & Differences


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When looking under the microscope, you notice a collection of cells undergoing a high rate of division that are also abnormal in shape and size, and have multiple nuclei. What assumption would you make based on this observation?

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1. A patient comes into your room and complains that there is a lump on his leg that has doubled in size over the last year. As you feel around you notice that this hard lump moves very freely. What would you likely suspect about the lump?

2. What is a common characteristic of a malignant tumor that is not generally seen in a benign one?

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About This Quiz & Worksheet

This quiz/worksheet combo will test you on examples of the differences between benign and malignant tumors. You'll learn about tumor characteristics and what they look like under a microscope.

Quiz & Worksheet Goals

In these assessments, you'll be tested on:

  • Characteristics of benign and malignant tumors
  • Examples of benign and malignant tumors
  • How benign and malignant tumors appear and operate on the microscopic level

Skills Practiced

This quiz and worksheet allow students to test the following skills:

  • Distinguishing differences - compare and contrast topics from the lesson, such as characteristics of benign and malignant tumors
  • Interpreting information - verify that you can read information regarding the effects of malignant tumors and interpret it correctly
  • Defining key concepts - ensure that you can accurately define main phrases, such as the Mitotic Index

Additional Learning

To learn more about benign and malignant tumors, review the accompanying lesson. This lesson covers the following objectives:

  • Identify the differences between benign and malignant tumors
  • Understand the role the Mitotic Index plays in determining if a tumor is cancerous
  • Differentiate between microscopic and macroscopic traits of different tumors