Nuclear Medicine: Tumor/Abscess/Inflammation

A tumor is the name for a swelling or lesion formed by an abnormal growth of cells. The word tumor is not synonymous with cancer. A tumor can be benign, pre-malignant or malignant, whereas cancer is by definition malignant.

An abscess is a defensive reaction of tissue to prevent the spread of infectious matter to other parts of the body.  It accumulates in a cavity formed by the tissue because of the presence of bacteria, parasites or other foreign matter (e.g., splinters, bullet wounds, or injecting needles).

Inflammation is the complex response of blood vessel-containing tissues to harmful influences, such as pathogens, damaged cells, or irritants.  Inflammation is a protective attempt by the body to remove the harmful stimuli and initiate the healing process for the tissue.