Skin and mucosal lesions that do not subside within three weeks should be examined by a specialist.

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Benign or malignant tumours (from Latin “tumor” = swelling or abnormal growth) can develop at any time and in any part of the body, including the oral and facial region.

Benign tumours are frequently characterized by a very slow growth in size (over several years) and by a relatively sharp demarcation between the tumour and adjacent tissue.

To determine whether a tumour is benign or malignant it is necessary to take a tissue sample for histopathological examination by a pathologist.

Malignant tumours (cancer) usually grow faster than benign ones (within weeks or months) and tend to infiltrate adjacent tissue (bones, muscles, mucous membrane and skin). Consequently, in many cases they are difficult to demarcate from their surrounding. Moreover, malignant tumours have the capacity form subsidiary tumours (metastases). These metastases can spread throughout the body via the bloodstream or lymphatic system. So when choosing the therapy modality, the ways in which the tumour can spread to other sites and tissues in the body need to be considered.

Basically, there are three different therapy options for the treatment of malignant tumours: chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery.

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