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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

  • Darla Elliott Pruitt Profile

    I completed the AC for IDC breast cancer. 12 treatments of Taxol is next. I Didn't nt want to do taxol. I can't go to the neuropathy in my feet) or chemistry bran or more sore mouth. What is the real risk with 1A breast cancer???

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 3 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Betti A Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      Your doctor has ordered what they feel is right for your cancer. As to those side effects you may or may not experience them as everyone is different. I did a TC regimen and those were listed as possible side effects with it too but I never had any. Talk with your doctor(s) about your concerns.

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      As much as you want answers, we don't have them. If you read through the PDR about any drug on the market, the side effects will blow you over. Just because there are pages of side effect for Taxol, it still does not mean you will suffer those. As Betti says, we are all different. Usually...

      more

      As much as you want answers, we don't have them. If you read through the PDR about any drug on the market, the side effects will blow you over. Just because there are pages of side effect for Taxol, it still does not mean you will suffer those. As Betti says, we are all different. Usually what will happen, if you start developing the more bothersome side effects, they will discontinue the rest of the treatments. Again, we can't tell you the risk of recurrence for your particular type of breast cancer. You are just looking at one part of your diagnosis at a 1A. There are so many more factors that are now available that put the real meaning of your diagnosis in play. There is grade, hormone status, did you have an onco DX test to see what your chances of recurrence really were? If I were you, I would get a second or third opinion. There is nothing wrong with that. It would give you peace of mind to get more information. You need to talk to another oncologist's opinion outside the practice of your present oncologist. It will help you make better decisions. Please keep us posted. Take care, Sharon

      Comment
  • Becky N Profile
  • Yvonne Bechtel Profile

    I've been having pain in my left breast and now it has moved into my under arm area as well as into My back My left breast is very sensitive. No insurance any suggestions for where to get help?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Yvette LeBlanc Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Yvonne,

      Definitely get that checked out! The National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) provides mammograms to women who cannot afford them. Find a list of our partner facilities on the map here: http://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/About-NBCF/Programs.aspx

      If there is not a facility that we...

      more

      Yvonne,

      Definitely get that checked out! The National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) provides mammograms to women who cannot afford them. Find a list of our partner facilities on the map here: http://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/About-NBCF/Programs.aspx

      If there is not a facility that we partner with near you, call your local hospital. Most hospitals have programs in place that help women who cannot afford mammograms.

      Kaye, the breastcancersite.com actually helps raise money to fund NBCF mammograms! Great resource.

      Good luck!

      1 comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Yvonne,

      What both Yvette and Kaye have said I second and third! You can also check with Planned Parenthood, and the Susan G. Komen Foundation. I'd also check with the American Cancer Society chapter in your area. Please get some help as soon as you can for, at least, your own peace of mind. ...

      more

      Yvonne,

      What both Yvette and Kaye have said I second and third! You can also check with Planned Parenthood, and the Susan G. Komen Foundation. I'd also check with the American Cancer Society chapter in your area. Please get some help as soon as you can for, at least, your own peace of mind. This is a terrible weight of worry to be carrying around. You will be happy to know so many of these things turn out to be NOT breast cancer! Please keep in contact with us.... we are here to support any woman if you need us. Hang in there and thankfully, there is help out there for you. Big hugs, Sharon

      Comment
  • Carolyn Todd Profile

    Is it true that you can't survive breast cancer when your lymph nodes are positive?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 3 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Betti A Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      No, it is not true it just means the cancer can go to other areas such as lung, liver, brain, or bone. Please don't be down on things as they are making advancements all the time.

      1 comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      The lymphatic system is how cancer can travel to other parts of the body. Just because lymph nodes are involved does not mean it is already in those distant area's. I had cancer in a lymph node and I am 9 years out from treatment. No sign of cancer anywhere.... feeling great, living a...

      more

      The lymphatic system is how cancer can travel to other parts of the body. Just because lymph nodes are involved does not mean it is already in those distant area's. I had cancer in a lymph node and I am 9 years out from treatment. No sign of cancer anywhere.... feeling great, living a wonderful life. Take care, Sharon

      3 comments

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