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Breast Cancer

 
Breast Cancer

Chapter: 3 - Breast Cancer

Subchapter: 3 - Types of Tumors

Remember, a tumor is a mass of abnormal tissue. There are two types of tumors: those that are non-cancerous, or ‘benign’, and those that are cancerous, which are ‘malignant’.

Benign Tumors
When a tumor is diagnosed as benign, doctors usually leave it alone rather than remove it. Even though these tumors are not aggressive toward surrounding tissue, they may continue to grow, pressing on organs and causing pain or other problems. In these situations, the tumor is removed, allowing pain or complications to subside.

Malignant Tumors
Malignant tumors are cancerous and aggressive, because they invade and damage surrounding tissue. When a tumor is suspected to be malignant, the doctor will preform a biopsy, a diagnostic procedure which we will cover in Sub–Chapter 4.3, to determine the severity of the tumor.

Metastatic Cancer
Metastatic cancer is when cancer cells of a malignant tumor spread to other parts of the body, usually through the lymph system, and form a secondary tumor.

Tumor Grades
Tumor grading is a system used to classify a malignant tumor based upon the severity of the mutation and the likelihood that it will spread. According to the National Cancer Institutes's tumor grading system, there are four grades: low grade (1), intermediate grade (2) and two types of high grades (3 & 4). Grade 1 tumor cells, for example, are the least aggressive in behavior; they still resemble healthy cells and multiply at a slower rate. Higher grade tumors tend to grow and spread more rapidly than tumors of a lower grade.

Tumor grades are not to be confused with cancer stages, which we will discuss in detail in Chapter 5.

In this chapter, we looked at where cancer usually begins, reasons why it grows, how it spreads, the importance of evaluating the tumor for certain receptors, and the difference between benign and malignant tumors.

Now it’s time to get a better understanding of your diagnosis.

Related Questions

  • Thumb avatar default

    What are chances for survival when spread to the liver?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 5 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Rita Jo Hayes Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2009

      I have been battling and maintaining stage IV with mets to lungs since 2009. To me my survival rate is what I choose it to be, stable healthy blessed and happy. A person has to get a mind set that you are in charge and plan the best journey you can and putting the odds in your corner. Keep a...

      more

      I have been battling and maintaining stage IV with mets to lungs since 2009. To me my survival rate is what I choose it to be, stable healthy blessed and happy. A person has to get a mind set that you are in charge and plan the best journey you can and putting the odds in your corner. Keep a positive out look. I'm not saying it is all peachy, but there is good in everything if you look long and hard. Good luck and strong living

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Nobody has a crystal ball. There are probably statistics but there are so many variables it would be useless to try to figure it out. I always figure, statistics are just numbers. Would it make your life BETTER, if you heard some low number thrown at you? You seek treatment, we have lots of...

      more

      Nobody has a crystal ball. There are probably statistics but there are so many variables it would be useless to try to figure it out. I always figure, statistics are just numbers. Would it make your life BETTER, if you heard some low number thrown at you? You seek treatment, we have lots of women who have mets to bone, lung, liver, and are living a life but consider it a chronic disease. Hang in there, Sharon

      Comment
  • Gina Berger Profile

    I'm 36 & have 2 types of cancer. My surgery is next Friday. But friends are telling me get a 2nd opinion? Should I?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 9 answers
    • View all 9 answers
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      I totally agree with all the ladies. I received so much advice from other people. And was also told about "quick" cures and so much more. In the end..it's your body & life & you must do what's right for you. I'll keep you in my thoughts & prayers. Hugs

      Comment
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      I totally agree with all the ladies. I received so much advice from other people. And was also told about "quick" cures and so much more. In the end..it's your body & life & you must do what's right for you. I'll keep you in my thoughts & prayers. Hugs

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    whilst awaiting my scan in two days av started geting pain in between my breast and armpitt is this associated with either breast cancer or cysts!?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 6 years 1 answer
    • julie s Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2A Patient

      It could be... Might not be. Try to focus on other things until you have results. I know it's hard...

      Comment
  • Sharon Danielson Profile

    I just read an interesting article how well DBT (Digital Breast Tomosynthesis) is at breast cancer diagnosis for dense and non-dense breasts. Here is the link. http://www.auntminnie.com/index.aspx?sec=sup&sub=wom&pag=dis&ItemID=114049

    Asked by anonymous

    Survivor since 2007
    over 2 years 3 answers
    • André Roberts Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 1 Patient

      It's fantastic that there are so many advancements in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer these days. Though there still isn't a cure, it sure isn't the death sentence it once was. We are all testament to that! Thanks for sharing. Prayers to you.

      Comment
    • Betti A Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      Hi Sharon, I tried bringing the link up but it wouldn't allow me to without some type of auntminnie membership and I can't afford another membership right now. It sounds interesting since my 1 remaining breast is still 50-75% dense tissue at age 65.

      Comment

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Breast cancer affects one out of every eight women in their lifetime.

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