Q:

What is a heterogeneous mass?

A:

Quick Answer

According to Genes & Development, a heterogeneous mass in biology is a tumor with both normal cells and neoplastic cells, which are cells of abnormal growth tissue. Heterogeneous masses are called solid tumors and can be cancerous.

Know More
What is a heterogeneous mass?
Credit: Science Photo Library - MOREDUN ANIMAL HEALTH LTD Brand X Pictures Getty Images

Full Answer

Dr. Barry T. Kahn from HealthTap explains that heterogeneous masses can be malignant or benign. Depending on the size, heterogeneous masses need to be removed and examined for malignancy. Some heterogeneous masses on the ovaries resolve on their own.

Wikipedia goes on to explain that the heterogeneity of cancerous masses makes it difficult to treat cancer because the cells have different forms, gene expressions, motility and metabolism. For example, some of the cells in tumors are cancer stem cells, which can in turn form more tumors. Moreover, there are differences in cancer stem cells. These differences in cancer cells occur in part because of mutations, gene instability, impaired DNA and outside or environmental influences. All of these different and varying cells make the tumor itself heterogeneous and difficult to treat. Drug administration, one treatment option for cancer, does not kill all the different kinds of cancerous cells in a tumor.

Cancers that have heterogeneous masses include breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, brain cancer, myeloma and leukemia, Wikipedia states.

Learn more in Biology

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is a dependent variable in biology?

    A:

    A dependent variable in biology is an element that is being tested. It relies on the independent variable, or that aspect of the experiment that the scientist has control over and changes to observe the results on the dependent variable.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How is biology important to society?

    A:

    Biology, which is the study of life, is essential to human society because it gives an understanding of how life is formed and how it works, changes and responds to environmental influences. It influences human health, reproduction, quality of life, nutrition and almost every aspect of human’s everyday life.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is a producer in biology?

    A:

    In biology, producers are organisms that produce organic compounds for the entire ecosystem. These organisms are at the beginning of the food chain; they can produce nutrients and compounds that other organisms can utilize.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is inversion in biology?

    A:

    Inversion in biology is the breaking of a chromosome in two places and the subsequent reordering re-insertion of the chromosome DNA. Inversions are divided into pericentric and paracentric types based on whether the centromere was involved.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore