Benign refers to
a condition that will not become life threatening in
the absence of treatment. The term is most often contrasted
with malignant and in reference to tumors and cancer.
Benign prostatic hyperplasia is an enlargement of the
prostate gland. Without treatment, BPH can become unpleasant
and painful, however, will not threaten life. Prostate
cancer on the other hand is a growth of a tumor on the
prostate gland and is life threatening without treatment.
Unlike benign tissue, prostate cancer can spread and
metastasize into other areas of the body such as the
bones and the lymph nodes.