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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

    can breast cancer be detected with an ultrasound?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 2 answers
    • Laura Cornwell Profile
      anonymous
      Industry Provider

      Ultrasound can usually give doctors a better look at a mass than mammograms, but it is reserved for suspicious findings on physical exam or mammogram. Certain features on the ultrasound can increase or decrease the suspicion that a mass is cancerous. If an ultrasound comes out with suspicious...

      more

      Ultrasound can usually give doctors a better look at a mass than mammograms, but it is reserved for suspicious findings on physical exam or mammogram. Certain features on the ultrasound can increase or decrease the suspicion that a mass is cancerous. If an ultrasound comes out with suspicious findings, only a biopsy (or sample of the tissue) can truly confirm the presence of cancer.

      1 comment
    • Karen Schroeder Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 1 Patient

      In my case a cyst was clear, but my tumor was solid on the ultrasound. When the doctor said the mass was solid I just knew. Anyway that is one of the ways they can decide if a biopsy is needed or not.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    I have invasive ductile carcinoma and a tumor about 4cm. The doctor can't remove it until Nov 2nd. I am afraid that it will grow or spread elsewhere...should I be concerend?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 7 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Trina Kautzmann Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma on 5/17

      Comment
    • Mary Boone Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      That's a normal panic reaction .. When first dx.. Worrying will do more harm.. Think of it like this.. Imagine how long it took for it to grow.. A wk or two is not going to make it spread.. I wish u luck.. And god bless.. Try not to worry..

      Comment
  • Aida Rivera Profile

    I was just diagnosed with breast cancer yesterday - the doc thinks it's stage 2 ... Do people die from this?? Why is everyone being so positive ?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 7 years 43 answers
    • View all 43 answers
    • Sarah Adams Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2010

      People die from car crashes, cancer, or even a common cold (depending on their health). The reason people are so positive is because YOU are NOT going to die from this. You have to find the fight inside you & use the love & support around you to kick some cancer ass. Without a positive attitude,...

      more

      People die from car crashes, cancer, or even a common cold (depending on their health). The reason people are so positive is because YOU are NOT going to die from this. You have to find the fight inside you & use the love & support around you to kick some cancer ass. Without a positive attitude, the ass kicking is not as easy. Cancer & chemo may take your hair, possibly your toenails, & likely your breasts...but it doesn't have to take your life. You've got cancer...it doesn't have you.

      It's scary, I realize. And you have every right to go through phases of sadness or anger or whatever else you feel. But in the end, it comes down to a battle. And cancer is a tricky little bugger, but this is a battle you will win! If ever you need support or just want to vent, know that people like me are here for you, too. Sending love your way!

      26 comments
    • Eleanor Johnson Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I was told in 2003 that I had stage 3 Breast Cancer. Ten years later by the grace of God, i'm still here and doing great.

      3 comments
  • Thumb avatar default

    Are there different types of "aggressive" Breast cancer?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 3 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      The three that I know of are inflammatory, paget's disease, and metaplastic. These are all RARE and aggressive.
      Other types of breast cancer can be thought of as a more aggressive version because of their grade. The grading is either 1, 2, or 3. One, being slower growing where 3, grows and...

      more

      The three that I know of are inflammatory, paget's disease, and metaplastic. These are all RARE and aggressive.
      Other types of breast cancer can be thought of as a more aggressive version because of their grade. The grading is either 1, 2, or 3. One, being slower growing where 3, grows and spreads faster. The other key to breast cancer is early detection. If breast cancer is detected at a later stage, it is more difficult to --corral the bugger.-- NOT impossible, but more difficult. The patient just has to spend more --quality time-- with her oncologist, surgeon, etc.
      The more I learn about breast cancer, the more there is to understand. Science keeps peeling away the layers of the unknown regarding breast cancer. We, as patients benefit from their discoveries.
      Take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • Barbara  Franzen Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Also it makes a difference if your receptors are positive or negative. But, all are treatable. The kind you have and the postive or negative receptors determine the type of treatment you will advised to have. Good luck to you.

      Comment

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