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Hyperplasia vs. Neoplasia — What's the Difference?

By Urooj Arif & Maham Liaqat — Updated on April 16, 2024
Hyperplasia involves an increase in cell numbers due to normal physiological processes, whereas neoplasia refers to abnormal, uncontrolled cell growth, often resulting in tumors.
Hyperplasia vs. Neoplasia — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Hyperplasia and Neoplasia


Key Differences

Hyperplasia is the process of cells multiplying to increase tissue size, often as a normal response to a need, such as hormone changes or injury healing. On the other hand, neoplasia is the formation of abnormal tissue growths that proliferate independently of normal regulatory mechanisms, which can lead to cancer.
In hyperplasia, the cell growth remains under the control of the body's regulatory systems, meaning it can stop when the triggering factor is removed or resolved. Whereas neoplasia signifies a loss of regulation, with cells continuing to grow uncontrollably, even in the absence of external stimuli.
Hyperplasia is often a reversible process and typically benign. It can return to normal if the underlying cause is addressed. In contrast, neoplasia can lead to malignant tumors, which are not only irreversible but also capable of invading other tissues and spreading to different parts of the body.
The cells in hyperplasia are usually well-differentiated and maintain the structure of the tissue, whereas neoplastic cells often show varying degrees of differentiation, and can be poorly differentiated, especially in aggressive cancers.
Hyperplasia can occur in various tissues like the skin, blood, or glandular tissue as a normal response to stimuli. Neoplasia, however, can start in any tissue and, due to its malignant potential, is considered more dangerous and often requires medical intervention.

Comparison Chart


Increase in cell number due to normal physiological processes
Abnormal, uncontrolled cell growth leading to tumor formation


Controlled by body’s regulatory mechanisms
Escapes normal regulatory control


Often reversible if underlying cause is resolved
Typically irreversible and can be malignant

Cell Differentiation

Cells remain well-differentiated
Cells may be poorly differentiated


Benign prostatic hyperplasia, skin hyperplasia
Cancer, benign tumors like lipomas

Compare with Definitions


An increase in the number of cells in an organ or tissue, usually in response to a specific demand.
Glandular hyperplasia occurs in the breast during pregnancy.


The process of uncontrolled, abnormal cell growth that forms a neoplasm or tumor.
Neoplasia can occur in the lung cells leading to lung cancer.


Non-cancerous increase in cells.
Hyperplasia in the lining of the uterus is often stimulated by estrogen.


A pathological process that results in the multiplication of cells independently of normal growth signals.
Cervical neoplasia may lead to cervical cancer if not treated.


A normal cellular response to hormones or injury.
Skin hyperplasia around a healing wound.


A condition where cell growth potentially leads to malignancy.
Hepatic neoplasia can evolve into liver cancer.


A reversible enlargement of tissues or organs, driven by external factors.
Hyperplasia of the adrenal glands can be caused by excessive stress.


The formation of new, abnormal tissue growth.
Neoplasia in the colon can develop into polyps.


A physiological process that results in the enlargement of an organ due to cell proliferation.
Benign prostatic hyperplasia is common in older men.


The proliferation of cells that may be benign or malignant.
Neoplasia can result in benign tumors such as fibromas.


Hyperplasia (from ancient Greek ὑπέρ huper 'over' + πλάσις plasis 'formation'), or hypergenesis, is an increase in the amount of organic tissue that results from cell proliferation. It may lead to the gross enlargement of an organ, and the term is sometimes confused with benign neoplasia or benign tumor.Hyperplasia is a common preneoplastic response to stimulus.


Formation of new tissue.


An abnormal increase in the number of cells in a tissue or organ, with consequent enlargement of the part or organ.


Formation of a neoplasm or neoplasms.


(medicine) An increase in the size of a tissue or organ due to increased number of cells.


(biology) The formation of new tissue


An increase in, or excessive growth of, the normal elements of any part.


(medicine) The formation of a neoplasm


Abnormal increase in number of cells


Growth or development of new material; neoplasty.


The pathological process that results in the formation and growth of a tumor

Common Curiosities

What is hyperplasia and how is it triggered?

Hyperplasia is the increase in cell numbers in response to a normal stimulus, such as hormone signaling or cell damage.

What defines neoplasia in medical terms?

Neoplasia refers to new, uncontrolled growth of cells that may form tumors, which can be benign or malignant.

Are there preventive measures for neoplasia?

Preventive measures can include lifestyle changes, regular screenings, and vaccinations (like HPV for cervical cancer).

Is hyperplasia considered a cancer?

No, hyperplasia is not cancerous, though it involves increased cell growth, it is usually controlled and reversible.

How is neoplasia treated?

Treatment for neoplasia can vary from surgical removal, chemotherapy, to radiation therapy, depending on the malignancy and location of the tumor.

Can hyperplasia lead to neoplasia?

While hyperplasia itself is usually benign, certain types of unchecked or atypical hyperplasia can progress to neoplasia.

How is hyperplasia different from neoplasia in terms of cell behavior?

Hyperplasia involves an orderly increase in cell numbers, whereas neoplasia involves chaotic, unregulated growth.

Can neoplasia be benign?

Yes, neoplasia can be benign, meaning the neoplasm does not invade other tissues or spread to other parts of the body.

What are common treatments for hyperplasia?

Treatments may involve addressing the underlying cause, such as hormonal treatment or surgical removal of the hyperplastic tissue.

How does neoplasia affect the body differently than hyperplasia?

Neoplasia can disrupt normal body functions more severely through tissue invasion and metastasis, unlike hyperplasia which generally remains localized and non-invasive.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Urooj Arif
Urooj is a skilled content writer at Ask Difference, known for her exceptional ability to simplify complex topics into engaging and informative content. With a passion for research and a flair for clear, concise writing, she consistently delivers articles that resonate with our diverse audience.
Co-written by
Maham Liaqat

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