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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

  • anonymous Profile

    i was just diagnosed with high grade DCIS. what are the chances that it has become invasive?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 6 years 2 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      Hi A, I believe if you have been diagnosed insitu that it is not invasive but must be treated so that it does not become invasive. Be sure to ask your doctor ALL of your questions. Jo

      1 comment
    • Anne Marie jacintho Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2003

      From my own personal experience was diagnosed with DCIS with mico invasive cells after final pathology report. So it is possible to have DCIS with invasive cells

      Comment
  • jhili dutta Profile

    i have pain in my right breast around the niple since 3days.sometime it stops n again starts.my mensturation date is 10 days leter.i cant feel any lump in my breast.this is 1st time i m having this pain.what can b the causes?i m 22yr

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 4 years 2 answers
    • Betti A Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      We aren't doctors here and that sounds like a doctor question as any changes to one's body should be checked by a doctor.

      Comment
    • Mary Navarro Profile
      anonymous
      Patient

      Make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible.

      Comment
  • Mary George Profile

    Just diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, left breast and one node. No details about size or grade until next week. Looking for light at the end of the tunnel. Would appreciate any info on length of treatment and surgery choices made by others.

    Asked by anonymous

    Patient
    almost 5 years 12 answers
    • View all 12 answers
    • Lisa Gainey Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Hi Mary! Just take a minute and breathe! There are so many options and treatments available. Your onc will discuss what they feel is the best treatment for you. I have stage 4, and have undergone radiation and currently am undergoing chemo weekly. We refer to it as my "wkly maintenance and...

      more

      Hi Mary! Just take a minute and breathe! There are so many options and treatments available. Your onc will discuss what they feel is the best treatment for you. I have stage 4, and have undergone radiation and currently am undergoing chemo weekly. We refer to it as my "wkly maintenance and tune up". I am not a candidate for surgery yet, but my day will come. Keep a positive outlook and know that there are many of us fighting this together. Keep smiling!

      Comment
    • Life is Good! Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2003

      Welcome to the Pink Sister Club.. They are an amazing group. Glad you are reaching out. I had the same exact diagnosis - mastectomy, reconstruction with expander then saline implant, 4 rounds of AC, 2 years Tamoxifen and 5 years of Arimidex. 10 years after my bc diagnosis, I am doing great!...

      more

      Welcome to the Pink Sister Club.. They are an amazing group. Glad you are reaching out. I had the same exact diagnosis - mastectomy, reconstruction with expander then saline implant, 4 rounds of AC, 2 years Tamoxifen and 5 years of Arimidex. 10 years after my bc diagnosis, I am doing great! Thank God! It will be a grueling year... take one day at a time, do things that bring your joy, allow others to do things for you, cry in the shower when you need to and you will get through this! Keep the questions coming! We care about you!!!

      1 comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    Mammogram found 2 cm lump in right breast and an abnormal lymph node. I can't have a biopsy until the 30th. My mom had breast cancer 7 yrs ago. A little nerve racking....waiting for diagnosis.

    Asked by anonymous

    Family Member or Loved One
    almost 5 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Mimi Carroll Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Sharon I love your advice -for Kimberly ... Clean the house!!!! Real clean... Organizing just makes every thing feel better! Kimberly I just can't believe they told you about lump and node and then made you wait until 30th. I got called back from mamo for recheck on a Friday and scheduled...

      more

      Sharon I love your advice -for Kimberly ... Clean the house!!!! Real clean... Organizing just makes every thing feel better! Kimberly I just can't believe they told you about lump and node and then made you wait until 30th. I got called back from mamo for recheck on a Friday and scheduled appointment for Monday am. I had a feeling something was wrong- but everyone convinced me 80 percent of call backs are nothing. I was told. Needed two hour appointment in case I needed a biopsy. I was again told by friends that they had long appointments and they jus mapped area of concern or they had biopsies that were nothing. I went to the appointment before work and didn't bring anyone with me. I got the new mamo, and then told I needed ultra sound... radiologist told me I was not part of that 80 percent , it was cancer and he did a core biopsy of tumor and node right then. Can you feel the node or mass? It would be lovely if it we're nothing or some infection. The odds are still 80 percent it is something else.... I still would bring someone with you... And fill the time waiting with lots if things to let you happily busy... Whatever it is don't make yourself. Crazy. If it is nothing you will celebrate, if it is cancer like all of us you will deal with it. We are here if you need us.

      1 comment
    • sharon s Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Hang in there. It could be nothing or something. Following up is being brave and smart. So now be in charge and relax until you know to move into action

      Nothing in the meantime prevents you from cleaning your house. Cleaning out drawers or going to funny movies. Throw a BBQ. Distract...

      more

      Hang in there. It could be nothing or something. Following up is being brave and smart. So now be in charge and relax until you know to move into action

      Nothing in the meantime prevents you from cleaning your house. Cleaning out drawers or going to funny movies. Throw a BBQ. Distract yourself from the worry.

      Hope it's good news after the 30th.

      1 comment

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