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Neoplasms in general can be either localized, regionalized, or systematic — all references to the development and progression of cancer.

Localized cancer growth is limited to the organ of origin; regional spread is the spread to a regional chain of lymph nodes; and systemic spread involves distant metastases


Patients with neoplasms can present with primary, secondary, or tertiary symptoms. Primary symptoms are predominantly caused by the mass in the local area of growth. Pain is rare, though there may be pressure on the surrounding structures.

Secondary symptoms are caused by metasatic disease. They can cause ascites or serosal masses.

Tertiary symptoms are the most severe indicators of malignant and systematic disease, resulting from catabolism. They include appetite changes, weight loss, and energy loss.


Surgery is only curative when the disease is limited to organ of origin (e.g., localized). Radiation treatment can still be effective when the disease is regionalized.

Chemotherapy is necessary if the disease is systemic.

Treatment of neoplasms can be either active or palliative.