For members not diagnosed with breast cancer, but waiting for test results: Biopsy, mammogram, ultrasound, or other screening tests. Waiting is VERY difficult but remember...
"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength." -- Corrie Ten Boom
Posted on: Jun 15, 2009 05:34PM
Posts 1 - 6 (6 total)
Jun 16, 2009 05:12AM , edited Jun 16, 2009 05:27AM by leaf
FYI: the line between normal cells and cancerous cells is sometimes NOT a line in the sand.
Cancer by definition means 'uncontrolled growth'. There can be controversy whether 'uncontrolled' means penetration of the basement membrane (that is beneath the lobules and ducts).
There are clearly benign cells, and there are other cells that are clearly cancerous.
But there can be controversy over cells that are 'in between' or 'part of the way there'. For example, atypical (meaning they are oddly shaped) hyperplastic (meaning there are a lot of cells growing there) cells are thought to be in the middle. For example, most oncologists consider LCIS (lobular carcinoma in situ) is benign (in spite of the name). There can be controversy whether DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ) and LCIS are considered cancer. Some people feel 'cancer' should be restricted to invasive types. (Invasive meaning the cancer has extended beyond the basement membranes.) Some people consider DCIS and LCIS 'pre-cancer'. Other people consider DCIS (in particular) cancer. (I'm not certain how many experts feel that DCIS is cancer or benign.) DCIS definitely needs to be treated.
From what I've heard, its usually easy for the pathologist to tell if cancerous cells have penetrated the basement membrane.
So, normally you can't be diagnosed with cancer before they take a biopsy of a piece of tissue and look at it under the microscope.
Jun 16, 2009 07:40AM mawhinney wrote:
Is there a name of the tumor rating systems? I would like to find more info on the various ratings. I know I've seen it but can't find any information that describes the rating system.
Jun 16, 2009 07:58AM , edited Jun 16, 2009 08:09AM by leaf
There are 2 things that come to mind - not sure if I'm answering your question.
One rating system is designed for mammograms (but I believe is also used for other imaging): The BIRADS system
(midway down this webpage) http://www.cancer.org/docroot/CRI/content/CRI_2_6X_Mammography_and_other_Breast_Imaging_Procedures_5.asp
This rating applies to imaging both before and after diagnosis. Imaging does NOT give you a diagnosis of breast cancer.
If someone is actually diagnosed with breast cancer, the stages are on this webpage and
the pages following. www.breastcancer.org/treatment...