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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

  • Rachael Leslie Profile

    My girlfriend was diagnosed with breast cancer yesterday. The appointment with the surgeon is next week to get specific answers. I want to do anything and everything I can to help her through this. Any advice is very much needed and appreciated!

    Asked by anonymous

    Family Member or Loved One
    about 7 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Rachael,
      How wonderful your dear friend has you standing by her side. She is probably going through the depths of the most terrifying hell right now. I agree with what Anne Marie has said. When I was diagnosed, my friends left me.... which was a horrendous shock. What she will need is your...

      more

      Rachael,
      How wonderful your dear friend has you standing by her side. She is probably going through the depths of the most terrifying hell right now. I agree with what Anne Marie has said. When I was diagnosed, my friends left me.... which was a horrendous shock. What she will need is your support. Go with her to her appointments.... the diagnostic ones will be particularly important. She will need someone to --take notes-- as she will never be able to remember most of what is being said. This is a step by step process. Try to keep her from going to the really dark side. There are a ton of positive stories and outcomes to this lousy diagnosis. We, here, are living proof. Some of the journey's have been very tough but these strong women are here to share their struggles and outcomes. You are a dear friend to want to help her through this battle. Please stay in touch with us, we are here to help you and her along her path. Take care, Sharon

      1 comment
    • Anne Marie jacintho Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2003

      My heart goes out to you and your girlfriend cancer affects not only the patient but the loved ones also. The best thing you can do for your girlfriend is to be at her side offer to go to all her doctor appts with her be her second set of ears ask those questions that she forgot to ask because...

      more

      My heart goes out to you and your girlfriend cancer affects not only the patient but the loved ones also. The best thing you can do for your girlfriend is to be at her side offer to go to all her doctor appts with her be her second set of ears ask those questions that she forgot to ask because when you are with the doctor we patients go blank I don't know how many times I was going to ask this that or the other thing and get into the office and I go blank my husband would just chime in for me Be patient with your girlfriend she will be on a whirlwind of emotions. Hold her tell her it's okay to talk about it all with you let her know your feelings also. My husband and I held each other up luckily one was always stronger then the other on those bad days. I have a link on my profile to my story of my personal experience with breast cancer in 2003. I take you from the initial diagnosis the biopsy surgery and recovery with a reflection a year later. Even though my type of breast cancer or choice of treatment may be different I hope by sharing my experience it will help other women and there family. http://home.roadrunner.com/~amj/

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    I posted a few days ago about my sentinel node and lumpectomy. I had the surgery yesterday which took four hours instead of one and a half. The doctor found lymph node involvement. How does this affect my chance of survival?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 2A Patient
    about 7 years 3 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      The same thing happened to me. I don't ponder my chance of survival because NO ONE can predict your life span. My surgery was 5 years ago, I am still alive, obviously, and try not worry. I leave the worrying up to my team of doctors. My job is to live the life I have to the fullest.... which...

      more

      The same thing happened to me. I don't ponder my chance of survival because NO ONE can predict your life span. My surgery was 5 years ago, I am still alive, obviously, and try not worry. I leave the worrying up to my team of doctors. My job is to live the life I have to the fullest.... which I am doing. Doctor's talk in percentages because that is how they set out your treatment plan. My doctor said even though I had a lymph node that was positive, it did not change my treatment plan at all. I went from a 2A to a 2B. Worrying about your demise is a destructive behavior. Focus on getting through your treatment, in the most positive way you can. Worrying, is not going to change anything anyway, it will just make you miserable. Again.... only God knows how long we have here.... there are plenty of women who have long outlived a "statistic". We are not numbers.... we are living, breathing, wonderful women! Positive thinking and affirming statements are what you need... not predictions of the end of your life. Hang in there, you will make it.
      Take care, Sharon

      2 comments
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      Hi, Please don't begin to worry about survival rates. You've begun the journey to good health and life. There will be soooo many factors to consider in the coming days that will determine your special plan and your doctors will guide you through each level of that treatment. Make a list of every...

      more

      Hi, Please don't begin to worry about survival rates. You've begun the journey to good health and life. There will be soooo many factors to consider in the coming days that will determine your special plan and your doctors will guide you through each level of that treatment. Make a list of every question-small, large, odd, and profound-they are eager to answer them and will be much more open if they see you're a patient hungry for info. You will be the most valuable partner in this quest to a rich and long life. Breathe and lean on those around you and be amazed at the strength that will carry you through ONE DAY AT A TIME. Hugs and waiting for you on the path to healing. :-D Jo

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    I'm 28 years old and have had intraductal papilloma twice! I have a large lump (2 inches)! The ultrasound almost looked like broken up (possibly)around the ducts? I just want to know if this could be anything other than intraductal carcinoma?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 5 years 2 answers
    • Lou Cam Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      Breastcancer.org has discussions about papillomas. If you go there, you can click on search, and then put in papilloma. It looks like there is a current discussion. I think our group here is much smaller, and it is possible that no one on here has experienced this.

      1 comment
    • Betti A Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      We aren't doctors so don't have an answer for you. What has your doctor(s) told you? It would probably take a biopsy to determine what it is or isn't.

      5 comments
  • Friday Sosibo Profile

    #Urgent_question...how quickly breast cancer spreads?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 5 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Brandi Mixon Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      Unfortunately, we can't answer this question. There are so many different types of BC and they all have different ways they act. It would be best to contact your doctor for this type of question. God Bless.

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Friday,

      Brandi is right. With every type of breast cancer it depends on many factors as to how aggressive the cells are. If you or a loved one is having a lump or other types of changes in breast tissue, they should have it checked immediately. Breast cancer is a very treatable disease when...

      more

      Friday,

      Brandi is right. With every type of breast cancer it depends on many factors as to how aggressive the cells are. If you or a loved one is having a lump or other types of changes in breast tissue, they should have it checked immediately. Breast cancer is a very treatable disease when caught in early stages. It would be a shame to let it go to a point when the treatment has to be a lot more intensive. The diagnosis of breast cancer is not a death sentence! There are many, many, women who are alive and living perfectly wonderful lives after being treated for breast cancer. The key is getting to the doctor and having your breasts checked if you feel a lump or have other symptoms happening. . Take care, Sharon

      Comment

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