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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

  • Evelyn Heilbrunn Profile

    It was a cyst, my friends.

    Asked by anonymous

    Survivor since 2012
    about 7 years 30 answers
    • View all 30 answers
    • Evelyn Heilbrunn Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      You guys are awesome. I can't believe how scared I was. I totally fell apart in the ultrasound room. When I get really stressed my Parkinson's goes nuts, so I was shaking and wiggling all over the place. (Normally, you wouldn't know I have the disease.)

      On this site we've talked about the...

      more

      You guys are awesome. I can't believe how scared I was. I totally fell apart in the ultrasound room. When I get really stressed my Parkinson's goes nuts, so I was shaking and wiggling all over the place. (Normally, you wouldn't know I have the disease.)

      On this site we've talked about the fear. Some of you know I'm doing a video chronicle of my preparation and trip to Everest in the fall, and that I did a video on fear. I've done a follow up and I'll share it with you when it's done. Like Sharon said, we all share the fear that never really goes away. It waxes, it wanes, but it never goes away.

      We all continue to survive. We're warriors and we have the battle scars to show for it. Thank you all for your compassion and support. I'll pay it forward tenfold.

      3 comments
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Stage 2A Patient

      That's the best news ever. Whew! I hope you have a restful and peaceful day...do something special for yourself to celebrate!

      Comment
  • 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
    over 6 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

    What does positive for CK AE 1/3, but negative for CD-68, ER and PR. They are suspicious for adenocarcinoma. What does all that mean?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 3 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      If this diagnosis is for yourself, contact your oncologist, radiologist, surgeon and ask them to translate this for you. If not for you but for a friend or relative, I would say the same thing. I don't have a clue and wouldn't even take much of a guess. "The patient" needs to have a face to...

      more

      If this diagnosis is for yourself, contact your oncologist, radiologist, surgeon and ask them to translate this for you. If not for you but for a friend or relative, I would say the same thing. I don't have a clue and wouldn't even take much of a guess. "The patient" needs to have a face to face appointment to have questions answered. This sounds like a complicated lab report and you need some translation. I am suprised when patients receive this kind of technical report and are left hanging. Hopefully, you or the patient will get some answers soon. I'd be standing on their doorstep to be the first one in line for an appointment. Take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • Mary Foti Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2010

      It is so frustrating to get reports like this, isn't it? I took my path report to another surgeon and an oncologist to get 2nd opinion and a "translation." I was an English major for crying out loud! Anyway, call your oncologist and ask for an appointment to review these results. Typically that...

      more

      It is so frustrating to get reports like this, isn't it? I took my path report to another surgeon and an oncologist to get 2nd opinion and a "translation." I was an English major for crying out loud! Anyway, call your oncologist and ask for an appointment to review these results. Typically that is an appointment that is done anyway, after surgery. Your oncologist will help you interpret these crazy numbers and letters and recommend an appropriate and effective treatment for your stage, type and grade of cancer. If he/she does not explain it to your understanding and/or if you are not comfortable with that oncologist or the recommended treatment, find anther oncologist. Best wishes and please let us know what all of that means when you find out!

      Comment
  • 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
    almost 8 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

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