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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

  • Asma Boubekri Profile

    My mom found a 4cm lump in her breast. Do you think it's cancer? (keep her in your prayers please)

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 8 years 1 answer
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Hi Asma, finding a lump can be very scary. Lumps can be cancerous or non-cancerous. Every lump should be checked out ASAP. Has your Mom been to her Dr? If not, make sure she goes and have all the proper tests done. Eighty percent of lumps end up being benign but they should always be checked out...

      more

      Hi Asma, finding a lump can be very scary. Lumps can be cancerous or non-cancerous. Every lump should be checked out ASAP. Has your Mom been to her Dr? If not, make sure she goes and have all the proper tests done. Eighty percent of lumps end up being benign but they should always be checked out soon! Early detection is key!! I pray that your Mom will be o.k. Hugs

      7 comments
  • Mrs. Collins Profile

    I am married, my hubby is great, but this is new & "scary" for him.. Any suggestions?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 6 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Life is Good! Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2003

      It is so kind of you to be so concerned about your husband, while going through this! Enjoy some "cancer free" time with your husband. Cancer is consuming for everyone in the family, and it is good to keep some routines and normalcy. Express specifically what he can do for you and compliment...

      more

      It is so kind of you to be so concerned about your husband, while going through this! Enjoy some "cancer free" time with your husband. Cancer is consuming for everyone in the family, and it is good to keep some routines and normalcy. Express specifically what he can do for you and compliment and thank him often. My husband weAsk someone other than your husband to help communicate with family and friends. It can be exhausting to answer phone calls and emails and keep rehashing everything with everyone. He may need some alone time occasionally to process things. Keep us posted on your journey. We care about you!

      2 comments
    • Jo Rogers Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Sorry that you are going our "club", but know that it gets better once there is a plan in place and moving forward.
      My hubby was great through the whole process. He went to all the Drs
      appointments and every chemo appointment. He was also there for the surgeries and was wonderful. I think being...

      more

      Sorry that you are going our "club", but know that it gets better once there is a plan in place and moving forward.
      My hubby was great through the whole process. He went to all the Drs
      appointments and every chemo appointment. He was also there for the surgeries and was wonderful. I think being there at the appointments helped him ( and me )
      Understand exactly what was going on and the plan to beat this. He was also able to ask questions we had discussed and I forgot, or didn't think of.
      We also brought a digital recorder to
      all of the appointments so if we needed to we could replay the discussions when we had questions about " what did he say about
      ___".
      Hope this helps and know that we
      will answer any questions that you have and we will be there for you.
      God bless.

      Comment
  • Mary Webb Profile
  • Lydia Bujanda Profile

    I was dx with dcis and opted for unilateral mastectomy. Final path report showed a small .4mm invasive tumor that had spread to breast and was triple negative. Now my onc wants to do chemo, isn't this too aggressive since I did have mastectomy?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      So true Blair. I'm also triple negative. Did chemo then surgery and soon I'll begin rad therapy. Goal is to make sure there isn't even one of those horrible cells. Jayme

      Comment
    • Mary Foti Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2010

      Your oncologist is not being aggressive -- he/she is being thorough. There is no follow up treatment after surgery, radiation and chemo if you have triple negative breast cancer. Medications like tamoxifen and Arimidex and herceptin don't affect triple negative; therefore your oncologist is wise...

      more

      Your oncologist is not being aggressive -- he/she is being thorough. There is no follow up treatment after surgery, radiation and chemo if you have triple negative breast cancer. Medications like tamoxifen and Arimidex and herceptin don't affect triple negative; therefore your oncologist is wise to suggest chemo because there is a very small chance the cancer may have already spread beyond the breast and the chemo should work to kill any of those before they get a chance to set up shop somewhere else in your body. A mastectomy is a wise move also, but it can't always prevent a recurrence by itself.

      Comment

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