What are malignant tumor cells?

Malignant tumor cells or malignant neoplasm, is a group of diseases involving abnormal cell growth with the potential to invade or spread to other parts of the body. Not all tumors are cancerous; benign tumors do not spread to other parts of the body. Possible signs and symptoms include, a new lump, abnormal bleeding, a prolonged cough, unexplained weight loss, and a change in bowel movements among others. While these symptoms may indicate cancer, they may also occur due to other health related issues.

There are many characteristics of malignant tumor cells (which differ from benign tumors), these include the following; Invasion of nearby tissues, which means that malignant tumors have poor boundaries. Unlike benign tumors which can press on nearby structures, malignant tumors can penetrate into nearby structures. They also have the ability to spread or metastasize. Unlike benign tumors, malignant tumor cells have the ability to break away from the tumor and travel, either locally, or through the bloodstream or lymphatic system.  Most deaths from cancer occur due to this ability of malignant tumors to spread. There are many important differences between cancer cells and the cells found in a benign tumor.  Cancer cells differ in their stickiness (attachment to surrounding cells) in the communication that occurs between cells, their growth, and in immortality. The likelihood and location of recurrence is another important factor related to malignant tumor cells. Benign tumors may recur after removal, in the region where they were first located.  In contrast, malignant tumors recur more often, and frequently in regions of the body that are distant to the original tumor.

However there are also many characteristics that both malignant tumor cells and benign tumors share. Such as that of size. Both benign and malignant tumors can grow to be quite large.  For example, uterine fibroids, a benign tumor, can grow to become as large as a basketball. The malignant tumor cells and benign tumor cells both have local recurrence in the body. Both benign and malignant tumors may come back after they are treated.  The difference is that malignant tumors may come back in different regions of the body to which they have spread. And finally both these tumor cells have the ability to cause damage to the organism affected by them. When benign tumors occur in the closed space of the brain, they can be very damaging, even though they do not spread to other regions of the body.


Why measure the level of malignant tumor cells?

Measuring the level of malignant tumor cells, helps us diagnose patients that may have them, and help slow down the rate at which they affect the cells of the body. Urine is used in the diagnostic test to identify malignant tumor cells present in the body. This test is performed by the operative unit of pathology.


Information for the collection and delivery of urine to search for malignant tumor cells:

The patient is asked to perform the directions given below:

  • Withdraw the three boxes available for free at the withdrawals points in Humanitas.
  • Withdraw three containers containing ethyl alcohol that is diluted to 50% in water and is available free of charge from the sampling points.
  • Label the three containers with progressive numbers (1, 2, 3), corresponding to the days of collection
  • Collect the urine in the three consecutive days, filling a container per day with the second urine of the day, (never fill the containers with your first urination of the day), in quantities approximately equal to the volume of alcohol present.
  • Store samples collected in a cool area, and never leave the containers in the refrigerator until the moment of delivery.


Notes for delivery of samples:

  • Samples do not deliver on Saturdays.
  • Take the coupon “DELIVERY SAMPLES” in case you need to deliver the single sample
  • Take the coupon “WITHDRAW NHS” in case you need to also perform a blood test.