Listed below are some common terms that are often used when discussing breast cancer:
Adjuvant Therapy – Treatment that is added to increase the effectiveness of a primary/therapy.
Auxiliary Dissection – A surgical procedure in which the lymph nodes are removed and examined to find out if the cancer has spread to the nodes.
Bilateral – Both sides.
Biopsy – A procedure done by a needle or surgery in which tissue samples are removed from the body and examined under microscope to test for cancer.
Breast Self Exam – (BSE) A technique for checking one’s own breasts for lumps or serious changes that is recommended for all women over age 50.
Calcification – Tiny calcium deposits that are found by mammography that may be monitored by additional mammography.
Cancer Cell – A cell that divides and reproduces abnormally.
Carcinogen – Any substance that causes or helps cancer grow.
Carcinoma-in-situ – Early stages of cancer, highly curable.
Fibrocystic changes – Benign changes in the breast with symptoms like breast swelling or pain.
Lobes – Groups of glands, in the breast, that provide milk.
Lumpectomy – Surgery to remove the tumor and small amount of surrounding normal tissue.
Lymphoma – Tumor made up of tissue that represents Lymphatic nodes which remove waste and act as filters for the body.
Metastasis – The spread of cancer cells to distant areas of the body by way of the lymph system or the bloodstream.
Needle Aspiration – Removal of fluid from a cyst or cells from a tumor for biopsy analysis.
Nodule – A small solid collection of tissue that can be located by touch.
Node – Lymph gland.
Precancerous / Premalignant – Abnormal changes in cells the may, but not always become cancer.
Ultrasound – Painless method to detect if a mass is solid or liquid. It’s useful in young women with dense breasts.