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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

  • Nikol Vega Profile

    Once diagnosed with breast cancer, are you more susceptible to getting sick? (ie colds, ear infections, bronchitis)

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 8 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Myles Digby Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      No. If you have chemotherapy or radiation for breast cancer, those treatments can potentially weaken your immune system. But breast cancer itself will not cause you to get sick more easily.

      1 comment
    • Israel Lopez Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Yes, because your defens are low

      1 comment
  • Unlucky Youth Profile

    Yellow spots on my nipples? Should I be worried?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 3 answers
    • Anne Marie jacintho Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2003

      Your nipples have little pin points pores when you are pregnant and breast feeding the milk comes out from all these pores. If you are not pregnant these pores are not as pronounced and you should not have any drainage from them. If you do have drainage you need to see a doctor ASAP . I read...

      more

      Your nipples have little pin points pores when you are pregnant and breast feeding the milk comes out from all these pores. If you are not pregnant these pores are not as pronounced and you should not have any drainage from them. If you do have drainage you need to see a doctor ASAP . I read your other questions and response being 16 with ovarian cyst and on birth control pills you must have a gynecologist that is following you. Please make an appt to have all your concerns evaluated. Do not wait. The sooner you are examined the sooner your concerns can be addressed if you need treatment it can be started and better yet a reassurance that you are in good health will give you peace of mind and a better understanding of your body. Your doctor would be the best person to answer all your questions after examining you.

      Comment
    • julie s Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2A Patient

      See a doctor anytime you are concerned about anything that doesn't seem normal

      Comment
  • Robin Layman Profile

    What is TS6 fibroadenoma with sclerosis adenosis and focal calcifications?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 8 years 1 answer
    • Lysa Allison Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I would call my doctor and ask him/ her to explain what that is and what that means for you. Good luck!

      Comment
  • Donna Alday Profile

    Hi Ladies, I recently had a mammogram in which the results showed a asymmetrical mass in my right breast, I also have pain near this area and under my arm. I am booked for an ultrasound on 19th and am nervous as my mum, grandma & aunty have all had BC.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 4 years 2 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Donna, many women go through this type of procedure and many of these turn out to be nothing. With your family history, your doctor is being extra cautious. It is completely understandable you are nervous, because it is suggesting this isn't normal tissue. Try to keep busy, get out for some...

      more

      Donna, many women go through this type of procedure and many of these turn out to be nothing. With your family history, your doctor is being extra cautious. It is completely understandable you are nervous, because it is suggesting this isn't normal tissue. Try to keep busy, get out for some exercise, clean a closet or two, just stay busy. When the scary thoughts come up try shoving them out of your mind. Watch a funny movie, read a funny story. You are doing the right thing in getting this checked. Please keep us posted. All women are scared when they have to go through this kind of test. Hang in there and take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • Betti A Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      On my annual exam in 2012 I had what they called an asymmetrical area of breast tissue, not a mass though. I was recalled for additional imaging and an U/S of the area that lead to a biopsy. Take care and try to relax, know that's not easy but try none the less.

      Comment

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

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