Bladder tumors are interesting only as they are malignant. What, then, is meant by "malignant"?
In the broadest sense, malignancy is that characteristic in a tumor which makes it threaten life unless it is destroyed or excised. The pathologist finds that certain cellular characteristics are associated with varying degrees of malignancy, and he has taught us to appeal to him for a decision as to whether a tumor is benign or malignant, and, if the latter, as to its degree of malignancy.
But malignancy is also a clinical condition, and therefore its diagnosis may not be wholly relegated to the laboratory. There is a clinical malignancy the degrees of which do not run quite parallel to those of cellular malignancy. It is true that some tumors are so excessively malignant that clinic and laboratory find no difficulty in agreeing about them. The melanoma is perhaps the most characteristic of these.
KEYES EL. PRINCIPLES GOVERNING THE LOCAL TREATMENT OF CARCINOMA OF THE BLADDER. JAMA. 1928;90(5):350–352. doi:10.1001/jama.1928.02690320012004
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