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 anonymousPatient
Asked by anonymous
I would get it checked out since this is something new. Only a doctor can tell you what it is. The likelihood is that it probably is not cancer, but you need to know.Comment 0
It probably isn't cancer but my rule of thumb is always....if something isn't gone or looking better in a week, I get myself to the doctor. It really sounds like a pimple.Comment 0
Asked by anonymousStage 1 Patient
Asked by anonymous
Have you received any more about the diagnosis other than the type? You are pretty much in a spot of knowing you have breast cancer and not knowing anything about your treatment or where you go from here. This is a scary place to be because your mind imagines the worst. You need to get a...
Have you received any more about the diagnosis other than the type? You are pretty much in a spot of knowing you have breast cancer and not knowing anything about your treatment or where you go from here. This is a scary place to be because your mind imagines the worst. You need to get a consultation and take a friend, or family member with you to take note and "help you listen" to what is being said. You have been diagnosed with the most common form of breast cancer so it is not something rare. There are tried and true treatments for this type of cancer. It is the type I had eight years ago. Don't go wandering around the internet scaring yourself. In the next few days you will get more information. Please keep in touch with us as you go through your treatment...we've been there! Don't be afraid to ask your doctor anything you don't understand, especially about your diagnosis. Hang in there and take care, Sharon
The nausea and soreness were not something I experienced following my diagnosis, but the up-and-down emotions are very common. Your life has taken a sudden detour and the road ahead has many twists and turns. The support of family and friends is so important as you face this journey. Your next...
The nausea and soreness were not something I experienced following my diagnosis, but the up-and-down emotions are very common. Your life has taken a sudden detour and the road ahead has many twists and turns. The support of family and friends is so important as you face this journey. Your next step will probably be a referral from your family doctor to see a surgeon and/or an oncologist for a consultation. My surgeon gave me an information packet and told me to read only what applied to me. My treatment plan for IDC during this past year has involved lumpectomy, radiation and tamoxifen, which seems to be typical. However, each case is unique and your medical team will recommend what is best for you.
“Breast cancer affects one out of every eight women in their lifetime.”spread the word