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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

  • Robin Hero Profile

    Has anyone had a 3D mammogram detect inflammatory cancer? I have a diagnostic mammogram scheduled tomorrow and was just offered the option of also having 3D mammography done at same time.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 5 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Betti A Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      3D mammography is a pretty new modality. I imagine not many places have the capibility of doing them yet if it's anything like when digital machines first came out. They generally are quite pricey pieces of equipment. I would say, "go for it" if given the opportunity, I know I would.

      6 comments
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Stage 3C Patient

      If your insurance pays, go for it!

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    Why is chemotherapy still needed if breast cancer has been caught early? I have grade 3 cancer & although the tumor (28mm) was removed & the lymph node showed clear, I have to have chemo

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • jaspal kaur Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      My lumpectomy was performed at a similar stage at yours(stage2a, N0,M0), tumour size 27mm, lymph nodes negative, ER/PR positive, Her2 negative. Doc has suggested oncodyte dx, if it came as low risk, then the chemotherapy can be avoided. But m not taking any chances,and made the mind for...

      more

      My lumpectomy was performed at a similar stage at yours(stage2a, N0,M0), tumour size 27mm, lymph nodes negative, ER/PR positive, Her2 negative. Doc has suggested oncodyte dx, if it came as low risk, then the chemotherapy can be avoided. But m not taking any chances,and made the mind for chemotherapy and to avoid any risk in future. 5 months of treatment(chemotherapy radio) adds few more assurance to my life.

      Comment
    • Elise Merchant Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Because it's to ensure that there aren't any straggling cells. :-) Good luck!

      Comment
  • Robin Layman Profile

    What is TS6 fibroadenoma with sclerosis adenosis and focal calcifications?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 7 years 1 answer
    • Lysa Allison Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I would call my doctor and ask him/ her to explain what that is and what that means for you. Good luck!

      Comment
  • Jessica Tundel Profile

    How do you make it through the weeks of testing and biopsies without a diagnosis? I am having a hard time focusing on anything but the anticipation of bad news. What can I do while waiting for more test results?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 2B Patient
    about 5 years 11 answers
    • View all 11 answers
    • Claudia Craig Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Jessica, your story sounds so much like mine. 2 mammos, ultrasound, trips to the gyno, then the surgeon, MRI, oncologist, PET scans (2) and then the biopsy. The whole process took close to 2 months. I was a nervous wreck. BUT the good part is that by the time all those tests were completed, my...

      more

      Jessica, your story sounds so much like mine. 2 mammos, ultrasound, trips to the gyno, then the surgeon, MRI, oncologist, PET scans (2) and then the biopsy. The whole process took close to 2 months. I was a nervous wreck. BUT the good part is that by the time all those tests were completed, my surgeon and oncologist had a very good treatment plan worked out for me. Waiting is the hardest--you just want to get on with getting that stuff OUT of you! But more information is always good. Eat healthy, exercise, pay attention to your spiritual life, decide to live--you are starting the fight of your life--use this time to get ready for it! I am more than a year on the other side now--you will be too.

      Comment
    • Jessica Tundel Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2B Patient

      Thank you for your answers. I am so scared and confused. I seem to sit and read and read as much as I can about this and my husband feels that it is doing more harm than good. My visit this week was upsetting for me, I was supposed to get the results of my biopsies but instead I was just told...

      more

      Thank you for your answers. I am so scared and confused. I seem to sit and read and read as much as I can about this and my husband feels that it is doing more harm than good. My visit this week was upsetting for me, I was supposed to get the results of my biopsies but instead I was just told that I need an MRI and get results next week. They told me that the lymph node contained breast tissue and they need to verify whether the second lump is breast tissue or lymph node. I already had an ultrasound and a mammogram, I feel discouraged. But I am really working on trying to boost my spirits and not think about it. God bless you guys for being here for those of us going through this.

      5 comments

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