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Glossary


abscess
AC
Adriamycin (doxorubicin)
Adrucil (5-fluorouracil)
anesthesia
antiemetic
antioxidant
Arimidex (anastrozole)
aspiration
bank blood
bilateral
blood cell count
brachytherapy
breast form
CAF
carbohydrate
carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA)
carcinogen
carcinoma
carcinoma in situ
catheter
cell
chromosome
circulatory system
CMF
colony stimulating factors
combination chemotherapy
cyst
Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide)
DCIS
DNA
donor site
double blind.
doubling time
dose-dense chemotherapy.
drain
ductal carcinoma in situ
edema
estrogen
fibroadenoma
fibroid
5-FU (5-fluorouracil)
flap
general anesthesia
genes
guided imagery
hemoglobin
HER-2/neu
hormone
immune system
immunotherapy
infiltrating ductal carcinoma
LCIS
linear accelerator
lobular carcinoma in situ

margin
metastatic cancer
micro-surgery
mind-body connection
modified radical mastectomy.
myocutaneous flap
needle localization
Nolvadex (tamoxifen)
non-surgical biopsy
oncogene
oncologist
oral chemotherapy
osteoporosis
PDQ
pectoralis muscles
port
precancerous lesions
prednisone - (Deltasone,Orasone)
progesterone
prognosis
prosthesis
protein
radical mastectomy
recurrence
risk counselor
sentinel node
stem cell
stereotactic core needle biopsy
suppressor gene
suture
tamoxifen (Nolvadex)
taxanes
“tummy tuck”
ultrasound
visualization
Xeloda (5-FU)

abscess
A pocket of pus caused by an infection.

AC
Chemotherapy combination of two different drugs: Adriamycin and Cytoxan.

Adriamycin (doxorubicin)
A drug used to kill cancer cells.

Adrucil (5-fluorouracil)
A drug used to kill cancer cells.

anesthesia
Procedure used to make surgery painless, either by local numbing or by putting the patient to sleep. It is usually performed by an anesthesiologist or a nurse anesthetist.

antiemetic
A medicine that relieves nausea (feeling sick to the stomach) and vomiting (throwing up). 

antioxidant
Compounds which slow the deterioration (or oxidation) of cells in the body. Vitamins C and E, as well as beta-carotene are antioxidants.

Arimidex (anastrozole)
A drug for treatment of advanced breast cancer in postmenopausal women.

aspiration
Removal of liquid or tissue cells from a cyst or other structure in the breast, by inserting a needle and drawing (aspirating) fluid into a syringe.

bank blood
Blood that has been donated and stored for later use.

bilateral
Something that is present on both sides of the body. For example, a bilateral mastectomy is a surgery where both breasts are removed.

blood cell count
A test that measures the number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets in a blood sample. This test helps evaluate the effect of chemotherapy on the bone marrow where the blood cells are produced.

brachytherapy
A form of radiation therapy in which the source of the radiation is placed close to, or implanted in, the body.

breast form
Something with the shape and texture of a breast, created with tissue or with a prosthetic.

CAF
Chemotherapy combination of three different drugs: Cytoxan, Adriamycin, and 5-fluorouracil.

carbohydrate
A chemical compound which serves as a basic source of energy. Foods high in carbohydrates include sugars and starches such as bread and pasta.

carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA)
Blood test used to follow women with metastatic breast cancer to help determine if the treatments are working.

carcinogen
Any substance that initiates or promotes the development of cancer.

carcinoma
a form of cancer that develops in the lining of the organs of the body, such as the skin, the uterus, the lungs, or the breast.

carcinoma in situ
A carcinoma that has not spread outside the area where it began.

catheter
A tube used to allow fluid to pass into or out of the body.

cell
The basic building block of all organisms. Individual cells can only be seen when they are magnified through a microscope.

chromosome
One of the many strands of DNA material within the cell that carries genetic information.

circulatory system
The system consisting of the heart and blood vessels which provides blood to all parts of the body.

CMF
Chemotherapy combination of three different drugs: Cytoxan, methotrexate, and 5-fluorouracil.

colony stimulating factors
Chemotherapy additives which stimulate the bone marrow. May be required to maintain adequate blood cell counts during chemotherapy treatment.

combination chemotherapy
Use of two or more chemicals to achieve maximum damage to tumor cells.

cyst
A sac-like structure that contains liquid or semi-solid material.

Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide)
A drug used to kill cancer cells.

DCIS
Abbreviation for ductal carcinoma in situ.

DNA
Material found in the nucleus of all cells. Contains genetic information for cell division and cell growth.

donor site
Part of the body from which tissue is taken for transfer to another part of the body for reconstruction.

double blind
A research study in which neither the participants nor the researchers know which subjects are in the control group and which subjects are in the test group.

doubling time
The time required to double the number of cells in a group of cells or in a tumor. A short doubling time (under 100 days) indicates a fast-growing tumor.

dose-dense chemotherapy
A regimen that uses more frequent administration of chemotherapy.

drain
A plastic tube, usually attached to a bulb, placed into the surgical site to collect any draining blood or fluid for a few days following surgery.

ductal carcinoma in situ
A cancer inside breast ducts that has not grown through the wall of the duct into the surrounding tissues. Also known simply as DCIS.

edema
Excess fluid in a body part. Lymphedema is swelling of the arm as a result of scarring of the lymph ducts after radiation or surgery in the axilla.

estrogen
A female hormone secreted by the ovaries which is essential for menstruation, reproduction, and the development of secondary sex characteristics, such as breasts.

fibroadenoma
A noncancerous, solid tumor most commonly found in breasts of younger women.

fibroid
A tumor composed of fibers or fibrous tissues.

5-FU (5-fluorouracil)
A drug used to kill cancer cells. Also available in pill form under the name of Xeloda.

flap
A portion of tissue with its blood supply moved from one part of the body to another. Flaps of muscle, fat, and skin are frequently used to provide tissue for reconstructing breasts.

general anesthesia
Anesthesia which puts your whole body to sleep. Usually given through injection or gases.

enes
Areas on chromosomes that contain hereditary information that is transferred from cell to cell.

guided imagery
Using directed mental images to provide relaxation, mental healing, or higher levels of consciousness.

hemoglobin
A protein in blood which carries oxygen.

HER-2/neu
An oncogene which may help determine resistance to hormone and chemotherapy.

hormone
Chemical substance that helps regulate growth, metabolism, and reproduction.

immune system
System by which the body protects itself from outside invaders or internal defects.

immunotherapy
Therapy that works by enhancing the body’s own defense system.
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infiltrating ductal carcinoma
A cancer that began in a milk duct and has spread to areas outside the duct.

LCIS
Abbreviation for lobular carcinoma in situ.

linear accelerator
A machine that produces high energy X-ray beams to destroy cancer cells during radiation therapy.

lobular carcinoma in situ
A tumor confined to the milk-producing lobules of the breast (LCIS).

margin
The area of normal tissue surrounding a tumor when it is surgically removed.

metastatic cancer
Cancer which has spread beyond the breast to other parts of the body.
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micro-surgery
Sewing together almost hair-thin blood vessels with the aid of a microscope.

mind-body connection
A philosophical theory that states that the mind can control bodily functions.

modified radical mastectomy
The most common type of mastectomy. Breast skin, nipple, areola, and some of the underarm lymph nodes are removed. The chest muscles are saved.

myocutaneous flap
A section of muscle, fat, and skin transferred for reconstruction of the breast.

needle localization
A procedure in which a radiologist inserts a thin wire into the breast. Later, a surgeon will follow this wire to find the tumor.

Nolvadex (tamoxifen)
An anti-estrogen drug that may be given to women with estrogen receptor positive tumors.

non-surgical biopsy
A biopsy where samples of a lump or tumor are removed with a needle under local anesthesia.

oncogene
A gene that contributes to the malignant transformation of a cell.

oncologist
A physician who specializes in oncology—a specialty dealing with cancer treatment.

oral chemotherapy
Chemotherapy taken in pill form instead of by intravenous injection.

osteoporosis
Increased bone fragility that occurs with age, often due to lack of the female hormone estrogen.

PDQ
A source of information published by the National Cancer Institute which lists all clinical and experimental trials currently underway.

pectoralis muscles
Muscles located under the breast and attached to the front of the chest wall and extending to the upper arms.

port
A device surgically inserted under the skin of the chest, and connected to a very large vein, so that chemotherapy can be injected.

precancerous lesions
Abnormal cellular changes that are potentially capable of becoming cancer.

prednisone - (Deltasone,Orasone)
A steroid used to decrease inflammation; also used in combination with cytotoxic drugs.

progesterone
A female hormone produced by the ovaries during a specific time in the menstrual cycle that causes the breasts to prepare to produce milk.

prognosis
A prediction of the course of the disease; future prospect for the patient.

prosthesis
An artificial breast form worn inside a bra after a mastectomy.

protein
Complex compounds which hold amino acids essential for growth and repair of tissues.

radical mastectomy
Removal of entire breast, as well as underlying muscles, causing
significant deformity. No longer performed today.

recurrence
Reappearance of cancer after a period of remission.

risk counselor
A trained healthcare professional who can advise a woman on her risk of developing breast cancer.

saline
A salt water solution, 1. given intravenously during surgery to maintain proper body functioning, or 2. used to fill a synthetic implant for breast reconstruction.

sentinel node
The single axillary lymph node that can be examined to determine if cancer has spread beyond the breast to other lymph nodes.

stem cell
Cells which will eventually become blood cell producers in the bone marrow.

stereotactic core needle biopsy
A biopsy performed using two mammographic views to pinpoint the site of the tumor.

suppressor gene
A gene that can reverse the effect of a specific type of mutation in other genes.

suture
A surgeon’s stitch.

tamoxifen (Nolvadex)
An anti-estrogen drug that may be given to women with estrogen receptor positive tumors to block tumor cell growth.

taxanes
Taxol and Taxotere, drugs used for treatment of breast cancer.

“tummy tuck”
A procedure in which a portion of fat and skin is removed from the abdomen, reducing the size of one’s “tummy.”

ultrasound
High frequency sound waves used to locate a tumor inside the body. Helps determine if a breast lump is solid or filled with fluid.

visualization
Forming a mental image of something not present to the sight. This technique can be used for relaxation or to help your body fight cancer.

Xeloda (5-FU)
A drug for treatment of advanced breast cancer. Xeloda is taken by mouth in pill form, rather than by intravenous injection.

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