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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

    My mom is currently diagnosed with breast cancer probably stage 2b. My problem now is she does not want to undergo surgery (mastectomy). What should I do?

    Asked by anonymous

    over 3 years 9 answers
    • View all 9 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Karen, I think that is perfectly reasonable. She is terrified yet she doesn't have enough information to get her on board with treatment. She needs to let her fears come to the surface and out her mouth so she can gets those questions answered. Go with her to her consultation appointments. SHe...

      more

      Karen, I think that is perfectly reasonable. She is terrified yet she doesn't have enough information to get her on board with treatment. She needs to let her fears come to the surface and out her mouth so she can gets those questions answered. Go with her to her consultation appointments. SHe may be dealing with a mental picture of the surgery, itself, the fear of pain, the disfigurment. Most of the time, a lumpectomy can be performed and she can keep her breast. She needs more information and support. I did have a mastectomy and for me, it was very easy. She can also have reconstruction too. Hang in there and take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • Keri Underwood Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I had 2b and went thru chemo rads and lumpectomy. Cancer free 2 years. Tell her to research options and pray about it

      Comment
  • sally fakih Profile

    My LDH enzyme still high after two rounds of chemotherapy what does that mean ??

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 2 answers
    • Laura Cornwell Profile
      anonymous
      Industry Provider

      LDH is an enzyme that is found in cells throughout the body. The LDH value is elevated whenever there is any sort of cell damage/turnover. This means there are many situations in which an elevated LDH is totally normal. For example, older women who are undergoing bone loss from lack of...

      more

      LDH is an enzyme that is found in cells throughout the body. The LDH value is elevated whenever there is any sort of cell damage/turnover. This means there are many situations in which an elevated LDH is totally normal. For example, older women who are undergoing bone loss from lack of estrogen, or children who are growing have normal high LDH. In cancer the LDH is of interest because a high LDH can typically indicate cell death that is cancer cell death, whether from chemo or tumor necrosis.

      Comment
    • Bonnie Irwin Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Are you getting the neulasta shot as well? I was reading that can cause LDH to go up. It will go down when you are done taking it.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    Where does breast cancer usually spread to first if it spreads?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 2 answers
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      The most common places breast cancer can spread to are the lymph nodes, the muscle tissues in the chest wall, etc, the bones, bone marrow, lungs, liver, & brain.

      Comment
    • Ali S Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      It has to break out of duct first, but sentinel nodes are the first places it likes to go

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    Should a focal asymmetry always require an ultrasound? What is the risk percentage of it turning into cancer?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 1 answer
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Who knows what clicks cells over from being normal to abnormal? When in doubt, I would fall on to the side of having an extra test to MAKE SURE, those cells haven't gone to "The Dark Side." I was misdiagnosed for 7 months because a doctor said I didn't meet the criteria for the extra testing. ...

      more

      Who knows what clicks cells over from being normal to abnormal? When in doubt, I would fall on to the side of having an extra test to MAKE SURE, those cells haven't gone to "The Dark Side." I was misdiagnosed for 7 months because a doctor said I didn't meet the criteria for the extra testing. If you do end up with breast cancer, you want to catch it as soon as possible. Take care, Sharon

      1 comment

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