Difference Between Polyp and Tumor (With Table)

There is growth in our body, and the cells are constantly regenerating. The old cells get replaced by new ones, which is an ongoing process. Sometimes an abnormal growth interferes with the functioning of the body. The polyp and tumor are such growths in the body. These growths can be cancerous.

Polyp vs Tumor

The main difference between polyp and tumor is that polyp is an abnormal tissue growth, and they differ in size and looks. Polyp causes heavy bleeding and causes anemia. A tumor indicates swelling of a body part, and it is due to abnormal growth of neoplastic cells. The tumor can be fatal

A polyp is a tissue growth that looks more or less like a mushroom. It is usually small and less than half an inch in width. Most polyps are not cancerous as caused due to abnormal growth. They may become cancerous. Uterine and colon polyp are the commonly found polyp.

A tumor is abnormal cell growth and forms a solid mass of tissue. It affects the bones, skin, tissue, organ, and glands and can be life-threatening even if benign. The benign tumor’s growth affects the other parts by exerting pressure on the organs. It is even called neoplasm.

Comparison Table Between Polyp and Tumor

Parameters of Comparison




There is an extensive classification.

It is benign.


There is a lot of bleeding that causes anemia.

It is not associated with bleeding.


It is nonmalignant.

It is highly malignant.


It is irregular growth of tissue.

It means swelling.


Dimensions and shape greatly differ.

Not much of a change in the outward appearance.

What is a Polyp?

The polyp is growth in the tissue that looks like a small hump or tiny stem, which resembles a mushroom. The polyp is tiny and around half an inch in width. 

Most polyps are benign, which implies they are noncancerous. Since they are abnormal cell growth, they may eventually become malignant or cancerous. The polyp may cause heavy bleeding that could lead to anemia. Conducting a biopsy will help in detecting cancerous cells.

What causes polyp:

Research suggests certain polyps develop due to genetic changes or family history. Other causes of polys are:

  • inflammation
  • foreign object
  • tumor or cyst
  • chronic stomach inflammation
  • excess estrogen

A polyp that looks like a fig is called a pedunculated polyp. The polyp which looks like a fig without a stem is called a sessile polyp. A polyp gets found in the colon, nasal mucosa, stomach, and urinary bladder. The polyp can get arranged as digestive, colorectal, cervical, nasal, and urinary polyps.

How are polyps diagnosed:

The doctor conducts the physical examination and confirms the symptoms. After that, the doctor diagnoses the medical history of the patient. If they suspect polyp, an ultrasound or CT scan becomes compulsory to determine the location and size of the polyp. 

Depending on the polyp, the treatment is determined. Some polyp like throat polyp gets treated with rest and therapy. If the polyp is cancerous and large-sized, there is serious medical intervention.

What is a Tumor?

A tumor is swelling in any body part caused by abnormal tissue growth, and it could cause a burning sensation and may be benign or malignant. It can affect bones, skin, tissue, organs, and glands. The cancerous or malignant tumor is life-threatening and must get treated immediately. 

Types of Tumor:

  • Cancerous Tumor-The cancerous tumor spreads to the nearby glands, tissue, and other parts of the body. This tumor can relapse even after treatment and is life-threatening.
  • Noncancerous Tumor-The benign or noncancerous tumor does not affect the nearby tissues or glands and does not spread. As it is an additional growth, it bears down into other body parts, causing a strain and needs medical intervention.
  • Precancerous Tumor-These is noncancerous tumors that might become cancerous if not treated.

What causes tumor:

The cells are constantly regenerating themselves in our bodies. Sometimes the old cells don’t die off, and the new cells multiple at a much faster rate, and these cells pile up to cause a tumor. The tumor affects people of all age groups, including children.

Symptoms of tumor:

The symptoms of a tumor may vary based on being cancerous or benign. the most chronic indications are as follows:

  • Fatigue
  • Chills or fever
  • Lack of appetite or unexplained weight loss
  • Night sweats or pain

A biopsy can determine the type of tumor, the cell sample gets taken, and diagnosis to understand its property. Treatment of tumor gets based on the fact if benign or malignant and its location. 

Even if the tumor is benign, a tumor in the brain may affect the functioning of healthy tissues, which could affect vision or speech. Hence medical intervention is compulsory. There are various methodologies utilized to take care of tumors. The complication could be the tumor may grow, causing complications, and cancerous tumors spread rapidly and are a challenge to treat.

Main Differences Between Polyp and Tumor

  1. Polyp leads to bleeding and anemia. A tumor does not lead to bleeding or tumor.
  2. Polyp comes in different sizes and has a variation in appearance. There is not much difference in dimension.
  3. A polyp is generally benign( does not spread), Adenomatous polyp is malignant. The tumor is usually cancerous.
  4. A polyp is an unusual development of tissue from mucous layers. A Tumor is swelling of any body part.
  5. There is an extensive classification of a polyp. A tumor gets classified as cancerous or benign. 


Both polyp and tumor are abnormal growth in the body and cause issues in the regular functioning. A polyp can get classified as a type of tumor. The surface may be smooth, irregular, or twisted, and the most common polyp is in the nasal passage, urinary bladder, or intestinal tract.

A benign polyp does not affect the nearby tissue. A tumor described as swelling get caused by the abnormal growth of new tissue and classifies ad benign or malignant. The benign tumor grows that causes issues to the healthy tissues or organs. A tumor is a considerably more serious issue when compared to a polyp.


  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0165460893900703
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S000292700002431X