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’.
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 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 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 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.
Asked by anonymousLearning About Breast Cancer
Not knowing and worrying is worse than knowing. 80% of lumps are not cancer, but please make an appointment with your doctor to get it checked as soon as possible. Good luck and please keep us posted.2 comments 5
Please have it evaluated by your doctor.Comment 1
Asked by anonymousFamily Member or Loved One
Yes, but having implants makes it more difficult to detect lumps when performing a self-exam.Comment 3
Yes. I was diagnosed October 26th with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. My surgery is November 28th. Plan A right now is a lumpectomy and radiation and estrogen therapy. I had breast augmentation in 2008.Comment 0
Asked by anonymousStage 0 Patient
Hi Cynthia, have you spoken to your Breast Surgeon about their opinion? That's very good news you don't have either of the BRACA genes. I will have my test performed this week. That's a tough decision, whether to remove both breasts. I have Stage IIIc IDC. It's a later stage plus my...
Hi Cynthia, have you spoken to your Breast Surgeon about their opinion? That's very good news you don't have either of the BRACA genes. I will have my test performed this week. That's a tough decision, whether to remove both breasts. I have Stage IIIc IDC. It's a later stage plus my non-cancerous breast has several calcifications and a fluid filled cyst. Trouble brewing there. So I've chosen to have both removed. It's such a personal choice I can only relate my story to you. A good medical site to go to with fact based research is breastcancer.org. Or the book "Dr Susan Love's Breast Book". both has so much helpful info. Thinking of you on your journey,
I just had a bilateral mastectomy one week ago. I have cancer in one breast only. I choose a bilateral because it made more sense to me to have two breasts that could look as similar as could be.Comment 0
Asked by anonymous
This is my understanding of the 2 but I'm not a doctor. Triple negative means the tumor is negative for Estrogen, Progesterone, and the HER2 factors. Metastatic BC means it has spread outside the breast to other areas of the body. There are some great videos on this site that explain things in...
This is my understanding of the 2 but I'm not a doctor. Triple negative means the tumor is negative for Estrogen, Progesterone, and the HER2 factors. Metastatic BC means it has spread outside the breast to other areas of the body. There are some great videos on this site that explain things in easy to understand phrases, etc.
The negative is assessment of how it feeds. The other assesses location beyond the breast. Lymph node involvement though is not considered this.
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