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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

    they say i have stage one really scared

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Nancy Ries Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      You can do this! Everything is so overwhelming to start. Once test results are back and you have a treatment plan, things should seem more manageable. I found an inner strength that I didn't know I had. I came out as a much. Stringer woman. Couldn't have done it without my husband, family and...

      more

      You can do this! Everything is so overwhelming to start. Once test results are back and you have a treatment plan, things should seem more manageable. I found an inner strength that I didn't know I had. I came out as a much. Stringer woman. Couldn't have done it without my husband, family and friends. I was diagnosed stage 1a, estrogen/progesterone positive, HER negative. I just had my second annual post treatment mammogram and walked away being told I was "normal." Who knew that normal could feel so good. You will get there. Everyone here will have words of encouragement and support for you!!! You can do it!

      Comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Getting a cancer diagnoses is scary. I felt like I couldn't breathe. There is good news though you found early. There are a lot of different kinds of breast cancer and the treament is individualized. Consult with the oncologist and he will develop a treatment plan. You will be OK.

      1 comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    I am 18 and I've been feeling pain around the nipples in my right breast. It's been hurting for months. I live away from mom. I don't have the finance to go to a doctor. I get paranoid that it's really cancer.

    Asked by anonymous

    about 5 years 1 answer
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      I don't know where you live or if you even live in the U.S. I googled the question of 18, sick and no insurance. Here is one response to the question. I would also contact your mom or a close relative tell them you need to have a doctor's appointment. One doctor's appointment isn't going...

      more

      I don't know where you live or if you even live in the U.S. I googled the question of 18, sick and no insurance. Here is one response to the question. I would also contact your mom or a close relative tell them you need to have a doctor's appointment. One doctor's appointment isn't going to be unaffordable. You can pay off an appointment charge in regular monthly payments. You can also go to a Planned Parenthood Clinic. They do health screenings and tell you if you need to be referred for treatment. Call your mom. Again, here is what I found. Take care, Sharon. Sick and have no Health Insurance? - Brie Hoffman - HubPages
      brie-hoffman.hubpages.com ›

      4 comments
  • Lady Butterfly Profile

    I have micropapillary breast cancer. The Internet isn't very helpful. My surgeon acts like the diagnosis isn't a big deal, but I had a recurrence less than 1 yr from a double mastectomy. Has anyone else been diagnosed with this?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 7 years 3 answers
    • Marianne R. Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      It sounds like it might be time for a second or third opinion. I would bring peace of mind that you are doing the right thing or the information that you need to change the course of treatment.

      Comment
    • Lady Butterfly Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      My husband and I have decided that if the cancer comes back we have to go somewhere else for treatment. Unfortunately we live in a medium sized city with basically only 3-4 options and my insurance only covers this one group of drs. We will do what it takes to save my life, I just pray it doesn't...

      more

      My husband and I have decided that if the cancer comes back we have to go somewhere else for treatment. Unfortunately we live in a medium sized city with basically only 3-4 options and my insurance only covers this one group of drs. We will do what it takes to save my life, I just pray it doesn't come at the cost of financial ruin. I have enough to feel guilty about as it is! :-)

      2 comments
  • Delyth Richards Profile

    I had a surgical biopsy under general anaesthetic on Dec 18th, and my results still haven't come back, due to a backlog. Is this routine procedure? Is this a good or a bad thing? Really anxious and very stressed with it all!

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 6 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Betti A Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      That doesn't sound like routine procedure to me, backlog or no backlog. I had my biopsy on a Monday and my PCP had the report late on Tuesday afternoon. I can see why you're anxious and stressed. I'd be calling my doctor every day if they don't call you and tell them what you've said here. To...

      more

      That doesn't sound like routine procedure to me, backlog or no backlog. I had my biopsy on a Monday and my PCP had the report late on Tuesday afternoon. I can see why you're anxious and stressed. I'd be calling my doctor every day if they don't call you and tell them what you've said here. To me it wouldn't be acceptable; regardless of the result(s) as stress can really get to you. Take care of yourself, Betti

      2 comments
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Mine took two weeks to come back.

      3 comments

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