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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

  • Lisa Cushing Profile

    I was just diagnoised with IDC. I don't know the stage yet. I have my MRI 12/21/2011 and see my surgeon the same day. What should I expect? Will I have to have chemo, radiation or what? Any info would be great!

    Asked by anonymous

    Survivor since 2012
    almost 8 years 2 answers
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      I'm sorry to hear that Lisa. I know how hard it is learning you have breast cancer. I was diagnosed with IDC as well in May of this year. Your treatment will be determined after all your testing results are in. Usually a PET or CT scan is performed to see if the cancer has spread to anywhere...

      more

      I'm sorry to hear that Lisa. I know how hard it is learning you have breast cancer. I was diagnosed with IDC as well in May of this year. Your treatment will be determined after all your testing results are in. Usually a PET or CT scan is performed to see if the cancer has spread to anywhere other than your breast. Your Dr will look at the results from your scan and biopsy. That will show your hormone receptor status (ER & PR), stage, and HER status. All of those things will determine your treatment. It's all so overwhelming at first. Make sure someone is with you...and that person brings a notebook. Write down any questions you have before you go. Learn all you can about your type of cancer. Knowledge is power! Be careful about the things you read online. Some info is good...some isn't. One good book is "The Breast Book" by Susan Love.   Breastcancer.org is a great site and also has a good discussion group with other women in our shoes. The American Cancer Society is a great source for all kinds of info!! Join a support group if you can. It's helped me so much. The thought of going through treatment is scary....but it's doable!! You'll be in my prayers. Let us know how you are. 

      Comment
    • Carla Villa Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      To Diana Foster:

      2 comments
  • Kandace Eichhorst Profile

    I've had small pus filled bumps on my breast for a while now, could it be breast cancer?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 5 years 3 answers
    • Mary Chase Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      We are not physicians and cannot answer that question. But with any change that is unusual with your body you should have it checked by your doctor.

      Comment
    • Betti A Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      Any changes to one's body should be checked by a doctor, you need to make an appointment and be seen to see what it may or may not be.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    Is shoulder pain with a lump above clavicle with an abnormal mammogram a sign of breast cancer?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 6 years 3 answers
    • julie s Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2A Patient

      It could be, but it could be any number of other things. Further testing should be done. Do you have a biopsy scheduled?

      1 comment
    • Betti A Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      Waiting is the hard part, try to relax (know that isn't easy).

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    What is the meaning of suspected right hilar lymph nodes? Does that indicate metastasis?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 2 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      They are identifying a lymph node (the right hilar lymph node) that looks suspicious. You NEED to call the radiologist, surgeon, or oncologist to explain what this means and show you on your diagnostic tests. This is all very scary because you don't have all the information you need. I don't...

      more

      They are identifying a lymph node (the right hilar lymph node) that looks suspicious. You NEED to call the radiologist, surgeon, or oncologist to explain what this means and show you on your diagnostic tests. This is all very scary because you don't have all the information you need. I don't know where this lymph node is located. I will tell you, I had a lymph node in my chest that also looked suspicious but it turned out to be just my lymph node. It was JUST large but not cancerous.

      Please contact your doctor ASAP so you can get the entire story and what this means. Take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • sally fakih Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Thats exactly what is written in my report '' there are mildly prominent retrocaval , precarinal , retrosternal and suspected right hilar lymph nodes shwing homogeneous hypodensity .. No matted or amalgamated nodes are demonstrated

      Comment

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