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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

  • carol butler Profile

    just told that i have invasive lobular breast cancer and it is involving my whole breast - see surgeon next week - Does this mean that it definitely would have metastasized ?

    Asked by anonymous

    Patient
    about 5 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Marianne R. Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      No I'm invasive lobular known as ILC on all the sites. I'm stage 3 with a 7.3 cm mass. Here is the good mews I had clean nodes and cancer no where else. I though everything in the book at it and I am 2 1/2 years cancer free. It isn't a death sentence! It's a tough but doable journey. God Bless...

      more

      No I'm invasive lobular known as ILC on all the sites. I'm stage 3 with a 7.3 cm mass. Here is the good mews I had clean nodes and cancer no where else. I though everything in the book at it and I am 2 1/2 years cancer free. It isn't a death sentence! It's a tough but doable journey. God Bless you journey.

      2 comments
    • sharon s Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I am sorry that you have joined us. Surgery often confirms a diagnosis in my case it bumped the stage up.

      You won't know the extent of it until
      Surgery and additional scans. I hope they are all done quickly and the results go your way.

      Cancer to some extent becomes a full
      Time in until you...

      more

      I am sorry that you have joined us. Surgery often confirms a diagnosis in my case it bumped the stage up.

      You won't know the extent of it until
      Surgery and additional scans. I hope they are all done quickly and the results go your way.

      Cancer to some extent becomes a full
      Time in until you know where it isn't. I'm sorry you have this worry. Breath be brave be smart and be decisive Read cry and read again.

      1 comment
  • Elizabeth Dycus Profile

    Can you find any signs of breast cancer in your bra?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 7 years Answer
  • Katherine Ehrlich Profile

    How important do you all think it is to get a 2nd opinion?? I don't know if I have the patience to wait to see another doctor!

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 6 years 13 answers
    • View all 13 answers
    • L Parker Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I did not get a second opinion because I felt comfortable with what the plan was: surgery, radiation and now Armidex. I think it depends on your type, stage, etc. to decide what is right for you. Just try to take a deep breath and take one step at a time.

      Comment
    • Betsy Chapin Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2010

      I did get a second opinion for my own peace of mind. I live in a small community with a very good small hospital nearby where I was diagnosed. They asked if I wanted a second opinion and scheduled it for me at Dana Farber in Boston. Although I was anxious to get going with treatment, I was to...

      more

      I did get a second opinion for my own peace of mind. I live in a small community with a very good small hospital nearby where I was diagnosed. They asked if I wanted a second opinion and scheduled it for me at Dana Farber in Boston. Although I was anxious to get going with treatment, I was to glad to have as many eyes looking at my case as possible. The only thing the two hospitals saw differently in the pathology report was my grade of cancer. In the end, I stayed with my local hospital so I could have less of a commute to chemotherapy. I also had discussions with both oncologists about how many cycles of chemo was necessary and the option of being in a clinical trial. Getting all this information delayed my treatment, but I did feel it was worth it because I was given choices in treatment and I needed that time to get more information so I could be at peace with the decisions I made.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    I just received my diagnosis two days ago but won't have specifics until Monday when I see my surgical oncologist. I'm wondering how others have coped with initial diagnosis?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 6 years 14 answers
    • View all 14 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      I was in shock and hysterical. Thankfully, I had a friend who used to be an RN in a breast diagnostic clinc. She gave me answers, answer, and more answers. I always say, she is the one who "dragged me back from the edge of the cliff." Honestly, I started to develop a will of stainless steel...

      more

      I was in shock and hysterical. Thankfully, I had a friend who used to be an RN in a breast diagnostic clinc. She gave me answers, answer, and more answers. I always say, she is the one who "dragged me back from the edge of the cliff." Honestly, I started to develop a will of stainless steel and would make it through everything with humor and a positive attitude. I run a horse community email bulletin and since the horse people here are 95% women, I wanted to share my experience with them. I was able to show them, a breast cancer diagnosis was NOT a death sentence. I did not hide by diagnosis but wanted people to know this was the bald-headed-look-of-somebody-LIVING-with-and-beating breast cancer. You will develop your own unique way of coping. I made some great friends, my dear husband stood by me through thick and thin, God also shoved me along the way. I think every woman has to find their path which gives them comfort and peace. When things got really tough, I turned to my beautiful Arabian mare Kharrie. Her mane soaked up a lot of my tears and shared her gentle nature to help me during some pretty tough times. You will find your way.... we are just sharing a look at ours. Hang in there, you will make it. Take care.... and God's blessings. Sharon.

      Comment
    • Marianne R. Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      First I told my husband that was hard but telling my mom was the hardest part of this entire journey. Then I went into my room and did some praying and decided I could give myself a 24 hour pity party after that after it was time to go to war and kick cancer out of my body. 1 bubble bath and 2...

      more

      First I told my husband that was hard but telling my mom was the hardest part of this entire journey. Then I went into my room and did some praying and decided I could give myself a 24 hour pity party after that after it was time to go to war and kick cancer out of my body. 1 bubble bath and 2 beers later I set my jaw a never looked back. Today cancer I'm cancer free!!!!

      Comment

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