October 05, 2010

USMLE 1 Question 6

A 52 year old woman notices a lump in her subcutaneous tissue in her arm. The lesion is removed. She is very relieved to learn that the lesion is benign.

Which of the following characteristics in the histology of this lesion would tend to point towards a benign neoplasm rather than a malignant one?

a) infiltration of the surrounding tissues
b) metastasis
c) prominent mitotic figures
d) anaplasia
e) well defined encapsulation

The correct answer is E


A well defined, well demarcated lesion is more characteristic of a benign neoplasm than an malignant neoplasm. Infiltration of the surrounding tissues (choice a) is seen with malignant lesions.

Metastasis (choice b) occurs with malignant neoplasms. Prominent mitotic figures (choice c) are seen with a malignancy. Anaplasia (choice d) refers to the characteristic of malignant cells to be poorly differentiated or resemble immature forms.

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