Breast Lumps Can Be Cancerous or Non Cancerous
Benign breast tumors are noncancerous masses of cells that can be removed and will not lead to further harm. Malignant tumors refer to tumors that are composed of cancer cells. Malignant tumors have the ability to spread to other tissues, in a process known as metastasis. What separates benign from malignant tumors is the ability of the cells to spread outside of their structure.
Breast Cancer Identified by Type
The “type” refers to the area in which the cancer cells originate. While most breast cancer arises from the superficial epithelial cells, some originate in the deeper connective tissue in the breast.
The four most common types of breast cancer are carcinomas (originating the epithelial cells)
- DSIC, or Ductal Carcinoma In Situ
- Breast cancer that remains inside the milk ducts.
- LCIS, or Lobular Carcinoma In Situ
- A large growth of cells that remain inside the milk lobules.
- IDC, or Invasive Ductal Carcinoma
- Invasive cancer that has spread from the milk ducts to the surround normal breast tissue and is the most common form of breast cancer.
- ILC, or Invasive Lobular Carcinoma
- Invasive cancer that begins in the milk lobules but grows into the surrounding normal breast tissue.
Sarcoma breast cancer is the rare form of breast cancer that occurs in the connective tissues of the breast
Cancer is Also Classified by Grade
. The grades represent the changes the cancer cells present with as they continue to grow. The higher the grade the less the cancer cells look like normal or healthy cells.
- Grade 1 cancer cells have only a few small exterior manifestations that make them appear slightly abnormal.
- Grade 2 cells are considered an intermediate grade and contain many more abnormalities compared to normal cells. Additionally, they grow slightly faster than the normal breast cells.
- Grade 3 cells appear extremely malformed and grow much faster than that of normal breast cells.
Generally, the size of the cancerous tumor is measured in centimeters. However, it is important to not confuse size with severity. Sometimes very large tumors can be slow-growing and contained inside a single tissue or breast, while smaller tumors can grow rapidly and quickly begin invading the surrounding tissues.
Grades 1 and 2 have almost full survival rates, with Grade 1 being near 100% and Grade 2 being over 90%. Grade III, on the other hand, is much harder to treat and has around 70% survival rate. Catching cancer early on