Many tumours in the breast are benign and when this occurs, doctors will usually leave it rather than remove it. While such tumours are usually not aggressive toward surrounding tissue, occasionally they may continue to grow, pressing on organs and causing pain or other problems. In these situations, the tumour is removed, allowing pain or complications to subside. However so-called malignant tumours are cancerous and aggressive because they can invade and damage surrounding tissue. When a tumour is suspected to be malignant, a biopsy will be performed to determine its aggressiveness. Breast cancer surgery involves the surgical removal of a tumour and a portion of the surrounding normal tissue to prevent its spread to the other parts of the body. Metastatic cancer is when cancer cells of a malignant tumour spread to other body parts, and form a secondary tumour.
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