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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

    Lately my back & chest are getting really warm (hot) I don't feel a lump. Is this related to menopause & hot flashes?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 6 years 1 answer
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      You don't say how old you are, or if you have some concerns about having breast cancer. The best way to find out where you are in the perimenopause, menopause world is to have your doctor take a blood test to check your hormone levels. That will tell the tale. You can be in perimenopause in...

      more

      You don't say how old you are, or if you have some concerns about having breast cancer. The best way to find out where you are in the perimenopause, menopause world is to have your doctor take a blood test to check your hormone levels. That will tell the tale. You can be in perimenopause in your late 30's. It can start off by waking you up at night and having to throw off the blankets ( you wonder who turned up the freaking-furnace???) While you are at your doctor's office have him/her do a breast exam too. Take care, Sharon

      Comment
  • Summer Glen Profile

    whats the difference between getting a mamo or an ultra sound?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 5 years 3 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Mammogram is, basically, an x-ray of your breast. It looks at the internal structure of breasts. An ultrasound uses sound waves to check whether a suspicious area is fluid filled or solid. Depending on what is seen, the doctor may order a needle biopsy.
      You can also "google" "What is a...

      more

      Mammogram is, basically, an x-ray of your breast. It looks at the internal structure of breasts. An ultrasound uses sound waves to check whether a suspicious area is fluid filled or solid. Depending on what is seen, the doctor may order a needle biopsy.
      You can also "google" "What is a mammogram?" and "What does an Ultrasound show in breast tissue?" You will get a ba-zillion answers. Mine is very simplistic. Take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • Betti A Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      If you're fairly young most places start with an U/S as it doesn't use radiation to see things. If need be they then may go ahead with a mammogram. That's how we did things when I was doing them anyway.

      2 comments
  • Leslie Triks Profile

    Should I try to see another surgeon sooner than 5 days from now? I was diagnosed yesterday and my pathology report showed a Nottingham score of 8 (aggressive cancer).

    Asked by anonymous

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

      Leslie,

      I wouldn't push to try to get a quicker date. You have enough on your plate so don't put more stres on yourself as this little time really doesn't make a difference. Compared to lots of surgeries, this is quick. Hang in there and please keep us posted. We are here to help and...

      more

      Leslie,

      I wouldn't push to try to get a quicker date. You have enough on your plate so don't put more stres on yourself as this little time really doesn't make a difference. Compared to lots of surgeries, this is quick. Hang in there and please keep us posted. We are here to help and support you through this process. Blessings and take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      It was a six week wait for me before I had my surgery. Partly because I was traveling and thousands of klm away from home and the other was the two week wait to see the surgeon. Of course I was worried but tried not to think about it. I was told that it wouldn't make any difference. I am sure...

      more

      It was a six week wait for me before I had my surgery. Partly because I was traveling and thousands of klm away from home and the other was the two week wait to see the surgeon. Of course I was worried but tried not to think about it. I was told that it wouldn't make any difference. I am sure that your surgeon will act as fast as he needs to once you see him. Good luck and don't worry, just put your trust in your medical team.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    cancers found on a mamogram but not on a ultra sound

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 4 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      That happens where you can see --something-- on one test and not on another. You need a biopsy. Take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      It is the biopsy that gives you 100% answer.

      1 comment

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