In Tumor, a book by Anna Leahy, the author discusses the nouns "tumor" and "cancer":

The word tumor comes from the Latin for swelling. Indeed, a tumor is an overgrowth, a mass of tissue too large or unseemly for the body’s own good. Cells proliferate wildly and clump into something that doesn’t belong. The medical term for such a thing inside the body is neoplasm, which comes from words meaning new growth. A tumor is not necessarily cancer, and cancer is not necessarily a tumor. A tumor is new and different. Sometimes, it seems all the same, only more—much more—but the unfamiliar, the previously untraveled, makes all the difference.

To tell the truth, I can't get the whole meaning of this sentence, though I understand the meaning of each individual word!

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    It's not the bit of sentence you asked about, but the part after the dash is an allusion to the poem "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost. Commented Nov 17, 2021 at 16:13

1 Answer 1


The "only more" is simply referring to that tumors are generally not composed of any novel material, but rather the surrounding bodily tissues, growing without being kept in check. When you develop a bone tumor, the tumorous growth is made of the same cells as the rest of the bone, just growing out of control. As we generally don't expect our bodily tissues grow beyond the scope of the normal plan, it is "the same", but "unfamiliar".

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