All about breast cancer tumors
As with all tumors, breast tumors can be classified into two categories: benign and malignant. Benign tumors are non-cancerous and are not life-threatening, whereas malignant tumors are cancerous and require medical treatment in most cases.
It's vital that all breast tumors be investigated by a medical professional to determine their classification. If you notice a lump in your breasts while performing a monthly self exam, consult your doctor to have it examined. It's frightening to find a lump, but it doesn't necessarily mean that you have breast cancer.
Benign Breast Tumors
There are three different types of benign breast tumors. The most common type is called fibrocystic lumps. These are breast lumps -- perhaps breast cysts is a better description -- that are typically caused by the hormones that are released by the ovaries when a woman is ovulating. Food and drinks that contain caffeine (such as chocolate and coffee) can also play a role in causing the growth of fibrocystic lumps. Statistics show that between 30 and 40 percent of women will be affected by fibrocystic breast disease at some point in their lives.
Fibroadenomas are the second type of benign breast tumor. Fibroadenomas most commonly affect women under the age of 25. They are solid lumps that feel like they can be rolled around underneath the breast skin. Fibroadenomas can appear alone or in small groups.
The final type of benign breast tumor is papillomas. They are found near the nipple, inside the milk ducts. They can cause the nipple to discharge a bloody substance.
Malignant Breast Tumors
There are four different types of malignant breast tumors, commonly known as breast cancer tumors. The four types are called luminal A, luminal B, HER2 type and basal type. Each of the four types is life-threatening if left untreated.
Luminal A and luminal B tumors are slow-growing and generally respond very well to treatment. HER2-positive tumors are fast-growing but can respond well to targeted treatments. Basal type tumors are the fastest-growing malignant breast tumors and are the toughest to treat. As such, they are considered to be high-risk breast tumors.