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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

  • bizuayehu sitotaw Profile

    signs of stage four breast cancer

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      This is almost impossible to say because it depends on the type of breast cancer. Many of the symptoms are invisible because they take place in the lymph system. If the main cancer is in the form of a tumor, it will get larger, but not all breast cancers form lumps. If you are worried, get...

      more

      This is almost impossible to say because it depends on the type of breast cancer. Many of the symptoms are invisible because they take place in the lymph system. If the main cancer is in the form of a tumor, it will get larger, but not all breast cancers form lumps. If you are worried, get your self to a doctor immediately. Breast cancer is a tough disease but the longer you wait, the more intense the treament and the more difficult it will be to win the fight. Take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • Life is Good! Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2003

      Stage 4 Breast Cancer usually spreads to the liver, bones, brain or lungs. It is wise to report any unusual symptoms such as prolonged unexplained pain, persistent cough, shortness of breath, drop in appetite, unintentional weight loss, weakness, prolonged fatigue, or sudden/significant changes...

      more

      Stage 4 Breast Cancer usually spreads to the liver, bones, brain or lungs. It is wise to report any unusual symptoms such as prolonged unexplained pain, persistent cough, shortness of breath, drop in appetite, unintentional weight loss, weakness, prolonged fatigue, or sudden/significant changes in vision to your doctor. Keep the questions coming. We are here for you!!!

      Comment
  • Shauntell Cullen Profile

    Interested in hearing treatments used for stage 4. I am 8 weeks into 12 of taxol and just wondering what might come next?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 4 Patient
    over 7 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • sabrina brown Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Hang in there Shauntell, not how you probably saw your life going and now it's here. Take everything one day at a time and try to look for the positives, sometimes hard to see! And you will make your own path through your journey, we are all here cheering you on! Stay strong Fight like a Girl!

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Hi Shauntell
      Julie said it right.... this is a club no one wants to be a member of. We have several women who are Stage 4. The treatments they receive are probably varied depending on the type of breast cancer they have. It is like any of us, we all have different types of breast cancer,...

      more

      Hi Shauntell
      Julie said it right.... this is a club no one wants to be a member of. We have several women who are Stage 4. The treatments they receive are probably varied depending on the type of breast cancer they have. It is like any of us, we all have different types of breast cancer, different stages, and different grades. We all learn from one another no matter what the differences are between us. We are all in the same boat called the
      USS Breast Cancer. We prop each other up and stick together as "sisters" would do.
      Hang in there Shauntell. Take care, Sharon

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    I recently found a lump so I bought health insurance. Am worried that since I have to wait 3mo before its active, the lump & risks will grow. If I get tested before insurance kicks in, it won't pay for treatment. (if cancerous) Any thoughts?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 8 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      I agree with Lysa

      Comment
    • Natalie Grant Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Go get check... Early detection is key to beating this!!! Forget about how you going to pay. If you don't have insurance there are a lot of resources out there like the cancer society that will help you out. MAKE APPOINTMENT ASAP!!!!

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    I was recently dx w stage 1 IDC..have had mucousy cough for 3 weeks.. Of course my mind wondering if it has spread to my lungs!!??

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 5 years 3 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Talk to your doctor. Have it checked out peace of mind is a wonderful thing.

      Comment
    • Norma  Cook Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2014

      It seems like having cancer makes us worry about every other symptom that pops up. Are you prone to bronchitis, by any chance? For several years I would get that each spring. Lately, it's been strep throat that seems to hit me at the same time every year.

      Has your family doctor checked...

      more

      It seems like having cancer makes us worry about every other symptom that pops up. Are you prone to bronchitis, by any chance? For several years I would get that each spring. Lately, it's been strep throat that seems to hit me at the same time every year.

      Has your family doctor checked your cough yet? That would be the first place to start. Whatever treatment or surgery you eventually have, it would be better to get this cough cleared up.

      If you're like me, the breast cancer diagnosis tends to overshadow everything else; but believe me, there is more to life than breast cancer. Take good care of yourself, and let others take care of you too.

      1 comment

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Breast cancer affects one out of every eight women in their lifetime.

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