Even though there are several different types of breast tumors, they are all placed under two categories. They are either benign breast tumors, meaning they are noncancerous and not life-threatening, or malignant breast tumors, meaning they are cancerous. The many different types of breast tumors that are discovered are always either benign or malignant.
When a lump is found in the breast, a biopsy is often performed to detect any cancer that may need treated. The majority of lumps found in the breast end up being benign tumors and usually require no further treatment. Occasionally they require surgical removal in order for the breast to function normally.
There are three different types of breast tumors that are benign. The most common noncancerous breast lumps found inside the breast are called fibrocystic lumps. These lumps can appear as small cyst-like bumps and can be painful. When hormones are released from the ovaries during ovulation, an overreaction of the mammary glands or fibrous breast tissue can create these small lumps. Consuming products with caffeine can stimulate the growth of fibrocystic lumps.
Another type of a benign breast tumor is called fibroadenomas. These lumps are solid but can be rolled around inside the breast when pressed on by the fingers. They generally occur in younger women under the age of 25 and do not feel tender when pushed.
Papillomas are the third type of benign breast tumor. These tumors appear inside the mammary ducts close to the nipple. They tend to remain very small in size and can cause a discharge to occur from the nipple that may appear clear or bloody.
Malignant breast tumors are life-threatening. If a cancerous tumor is not detected in the breast through routine breast examinations, the tumor continues to grow. The malignant tumor will then spread into the lymph nodes and bloodstream, dropping the chance of a woman's survival significantly.
Breast cancer has been divided into four different types of breast tumors. These four different types are called luminal A, luminal B, HER2 type and basal type. These cancers have been named because of their differences in appearance and molecular features.
Luminal A and luminal B type tumors tend to grow slowly. Luminal A cancer has a better prognosis than luminal B because the luminal B type grows slightly faster. Both of these type of breast cancers are estrogen receptor-positive.
While the HER2 type of breast cancer grows quickly and shows extra HER2 genes, undergoing a series of targeted treatments can be quite successful. Basal type breast cancer grows the fastest of any other type and has the worst prognosis. Different tests can be performed to determine which type of cancer has been found, the aggressiveness of that particular cancer, and which treatment may be the best option with the best prognosis.