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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

  • parva ahdi Profile

    I was diagnosed with Stage 1. What is my survival rate?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 1 Patient
    about 6 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      I 'm stage 3 and am cancer free, right now. Love and live life every minute. Stay good with good at all times. Allow yourself to heal just in case you have to put your warrior panties oon sgain and fight to win

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Parvaneh,
      Sally is SOOOO correct. Doctor's have to work off of mathmatical models.... percentages. They can be way too analytical at times, but they are scientists and that's how they talk. We are LIVING, BREATHING, human's with our own special set of genetics. When I was going through...

      more

      Parvaneh,
      Sally is SOOOO correct. Doctor's have to work off of mathmatical models.... percentages. They can be way too analytical at times, but they are scientists and that's how they talk. We are LIVING, BREATHING, human's with our own special set of genetics. When I was going through treatment, the last thing on my mind was percentages because I was going to live a wonderful life. I am still here and so are all of us on this board.
      I think you have a fabulous chance of growing to be really,really, old. You just march yourself right through your treatment and fight like a girl. You WILL be OK!
      Take care, Sharon

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    is an ultrasound the best way to find anything tgat cant be felt?

    Asked by anonymous

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

      It depends on the consistancy of a tumor. One can't really say which is best... it is a very individual thing case by case. I have an MRI and mammogram yearly to check on my remaining breast. I'd throw in an ultrasound if needed too. Take care, Sharon

      4 comments
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      Not necessarily. I had spots only visible on MRI - they couldn't see them on US.

      Comment
  • billiemae  cobern Profile

    i had a biopsy on 3/27/12~results were cancer ~i have a shooting pain going under my arm is this normal?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 2B Patient
    over 6 years 2 answers
    • Tiffani Warila Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      So sorry to hear about your diagnosis. I am stage 2b hormone positive and HER2 negative, 1 out of 10 nodes positive. Did the surgeon take any lymph nodes during the biopsy? I know after my lumpectomy and sentinel node biopsy, my surgeon said that I may experience "random" shooting pain in my...

      more

      So sorry to hear about your diagnosis. I am stage 2b hormone positive and HER2 negative, 1 out of 10 nodes positive. Did the surgeon take any lymph nodes during the biopsy? I know after my lumpectomy and sentinel node biopsy, my surgeon said that I may experience "random" shooting pain in my arm. That could be what is causing yours? I would call your doctor and double check, just to be on the safe side. Best of luck to you, we are all here to help you on this journey.

      1 comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Dear Billiemae, Never be afraid to call the doctor who did the biopsy and ask a question. If you ask all of us, we would all come up with a different answer regarding discomfort post-biopsy's. If you have a concern, it is important TO YOU. I was also staged at 2B IDC. I don't know if this is...

      more

      Dear Billiemae, Never be afraid to call the doctor who did the biopsy and ask a question. If you ask all of us, we would all come up with a different answer regarding discomfort post-biopsy's. If you have a concern, it is important TO YOU. I was also staged at 2B IDC. I don't know if this is normal or not but contact the doctor's office, especially if you have increased swelling, redness, and pain. Hang in there Billiemae. We've been down this path. Please keep in contact with us, we are here to help all women get through this with love and support. God's blessings.... Sharon

      1 comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    my friend undergoes 3 times lymph removal surgery.recently she is again diagnosed with a swelling in left breast.earlier biopsy results was negative.is it cancer?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 1 year 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Betti A Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      Have they done a biopsy on her lymph nodes to see why they keep swelling? Lymph nodes will swell when there is an infection somewhere in her body to help fight off an infection. has she been sick lately?

      2 comments
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Has she has any other tests like an MRI? If she has had 3 biopsy's, in those places biopsied, there was no cancer found. Can she go someplace else for a second opinion? Swelling doesn't automatically mean cancer, it is just the worst case scenario. They look for that and if it is negative,...

      more

      Has she has any other tests like an MRI? If she has had 3 biopsy's, in those places biopsied, there was no cancer found. Can she go someplace else for a second opinion? Swelling doesn't automatically mean cancer, it is just the worst case scenario. They look for that and if it is negative, they need to look for something different that is causing the swelling.. This could be a hormone related problem. It is difficult for us to say what is causing it and if it is not cancer. We have no idea and since we are not doctor's we are just taking a wild guess. Tell her to get a second opinion. Take care, Sharon

      Comment

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