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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

    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
    over 7 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
  • lisa epstein Profile

    Hi everyone Like I stated before I had uterus cancer and breast cancer .

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 1 Patient
    almost 8 years 3 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Well, dang Lisa, you hit the cancer jackpot! I also must add you really are a winner because these were both caught at early stages!!!! It is always difficult to say what is going to be happening as far as your treatment because it truly depends on your individual cancer cells. You have a lot...

      more

      Well, dang Lisa, you hit the cancer jackpot! I also must add you really are a winner because these were both caught at early stages!!!! It is always difficult to say what is going to be happening as far as your treatment because it truly depends on your individual cancer cells. You have a lot of information right now but your oncologist will lay out your treatment plan and YOU WILL BE OK! It isn't a picnic but as someone said to me, "It's not your mother's chemotherapy." Meaning.... it has been made much more tolerable. We have all been there and know the path you are on right now. We are here to help you through this and are sorry you joined the club. This is the only club were we hate getting new members... sigh. Hang in there Lisa, please keep in touch with us. (That is an adorable pupper-doodle you have!!!) Take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • lisa epstein Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 1 Patient

      Forgot to mention all caught early needed hystrrecty and lumpecty for bc 2.mm. Had radiation and now on arimitrex, was just toldy thyroid is closing down on me. Now I am nervous I have thyroid cancer

      1 comment
  • Mary Anne Babicky-Bouton Profile

    Had an MRI - found another node, same breast on the other side. Ugh. I haven't even started this adventure yet and I'm already overhelmed. I feel like such a loser because everyone is so strong on this site. Thanks for listening! God Bless you all!

    Asked by anonymous

    stage_4 Patient
    over 7 years 10 answers
    • View all 10 answers
    • M M Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2B Patient

      You're not a loser! You're completely normal. I was crying and in the fetal position for almost a week. Once you start treatment and every other step after that you will feel stronger. I promise you this. I've done chemo and a bilateral mastectomy just a month ago. I'm now starting rads and...

      more

      You're not a loser! You're completely normal. I was crying and in the fetal position for almost a week. Once you start treatment and every other step after that you will feel stronger. I promise you this. I've done chemo and a bilateral mastectomy just a month ago. I'm now starting rads and I am nervousness but I know it's just another step. You will gain strength daily Mary Anne and one day you will be lifting others up. Stop kicking yourself, you're on the right track.

      2 comments
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Mary Anne,
      You are TOTALLY NOT a loser! This is all very overwhelming and I thought the diagnosis part was particularly scary. You just don't know exactly where you stand and the -not knowing- is just the worst. You actually do become stronger as time goes on. You find out what your treatment...

      more

      Mary Anne,
      You are TOTALLY NOT a loser! This is all very overwhelming and I thought the diagnosis part was particularly scary. You just don't know exactly where you stand and the -not knowing- is just the worst. You actually do become stronger as time goes on. You find out what your treatment is going to be so at least there is a --finish line-- in a set time. You will get through this, but it is tough and quite a slog through a lot of crud. I got so I looked forward to the treatments because it meant I was working my way to the end. I loved the doctor's, staff, and tech's that helped me, and I found I did much more laughing than I did feeling bad. Oh, I did have my days but there were far less bad days than good. Be sure to keep a sense of humor about the entire experience but always keep in mind you need to be your own best advocate. If something doesn't seem quite right... ASK QUESTIONS! You WILL be ok, you will get through this and do not be tough on yourself. You have never had breast cancer before and I know you will become a warrior just like the rest of us! Hang in there darlin' and great big fuzzy pony hugs to you.
      God's blessings and take care, Sharon

      1 comment
  • nimisha Narendran Profile

    my both breast hv a level differnce is tat breast cancer?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 5 years 1 answer
    • Betti A Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      Level difference-meaning size? Almost every woman has one breast that is a little larger than the other one, just like feet. It doesn't mean it's breast cancer though.

      3 comments

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