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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

  • Thumb avatar default

    What does 1.5 cm mean?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 8 years 1 answer
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      When measuring tumors, physicians measure in centimeters. (meters instead of inches)
      1.5 centimeters = 0.590551181 inches (a little over 1/2 inch) You can "google" conversion tables cm. into inches.

      Comment
  • 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 8 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
  • vicky kayley Profile

    Help, now been told I am triple negative after they retested tumour and am high risk of recurance!

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 8 years 2 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Hi vicky. My mum just has been diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer and I have done so much research on it. Please don't worry - the Internet will always post the negative views but you have to remain positive. A few things I've done...triple neg causes are not known but there are some...

      more

      Hi vicky. My mum just has been diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer and I have done so much research on it. Please don't worry - the Internet will always post the negative views but you have to remain positive. A few things I've done...triple neg causes are not known but there are some things you can do. Meditate, do yoga, acupuncture, reiki. Try to test your body pH - cancer tends to like acidic bodies. Change your diet to the super foods (all organic green leaves, 2 cups of green tea a day, and as much alkaline raw veg as possible). I make my mum carrot and beetroot juice every morning. Drink warm lemon water (using organic unwaxed lemon juice). Try to bring up your pH (test with pH strips), eat superfoods, exercise and do alternative therapies. Most importantly....stay positive!

      Comment
    • Ali S Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      Mine was trip neg too., don't google it. A lot is outdated (even a year or two ago). Chemo killed my tumor and I am cancer free. My surgeon said t would be a surprise if it came back. Plus, you don't have to go on tamoxifen for 5 years! Thinking of you

      Comment
  • susan trego Profile

    Thanks guys, I spoke to the docs and explained what the lump was like. he wants me in first thing tomorrow. why do doctor ask if they hurt xx

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 3 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Benign cysts can be quite painful. Very glad your doctor is seeing you so quickly. Take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • Betti A Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      Somethings can cause pain and others not so they probably wanted to get some ideas before seeing you as to what it could or could not be.

      Comment

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