CECIL H. FOX / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY. CECIL H. FOX / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY.
False-colour light micrograph of a malignant tumour showing cancerous cells breaking away & migrating (metastasis) from the site. A tumour arises through the transformation of a normal cell into one that escapes the usual controls of growth & differentiation. Instead the cell is large, divides rapidly & shows evidence of nuclear & chromosomal abnormality. The rate of growth, division & abnormality is greater among malignant cells than benign, but the distinguishing factor is the ability of malignant cells to invade surrounding tissue & colonize sites far distant from the original tumour (metastasis).
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