The following are terms you may hear or read while educating
yourself about breast health or dealing with breast cancer.
This is not a complete list of medical terms. If you have
any questions about terms not listed here, ask your health-care
A female hormone produced primarily by the ovaries, and in
small amounts by the adrenal gland. Estrogen may promote the
growth of cancer cells.
biopsy: surgery to remove a tumor or mass which is then
studied under a microscope to see if cancer cells are present.
a type of benign breast tumor composed of fibrous and glandular
tissue. These usually occur in young women.
breast: a term used to describe various benign breast
needle aspiration: a type of biopsy in which cells are
removed using a needle and syringe. The cells are studied
under a microscope to see if cancer is present.
risk counseling and testing: a method to determine an
individuals risk of disease by examining the history
and genetic material of the family. Genetic testing may involve
giving a blood sample.
team: a group of different health professionals who provide
care and service to the patient.
a gene that produces a type of receptor that helps cell growth.
Breast cancer cells with too many Her-2/neu receptors tend
to be fast growing.
therapy: treatment of cancer by removing, blocking or
supportive care not to extend life, but to control symptoms
and improve the quality of life of a patient in the end stages
of their disease. Hospice care is usually provided in patients
abnormal increase in the number of cells in tissue. It is
a benign condition.
technology to produce pictures of the inside of the body,
including mammogram, ultra-sound, CAT scan, MRI and X ray.
a silicone or saline- filled sac inserted under the chest
muscle to restore breast shape after mastectomy.
breast cancer: an aggressive form of breast cancer that
causes the breast to appear reddened and swollen, resembling
a rash or infection. Accounts for only 1% of
Invasive cancer: cancer that has spread from the duct
or lobe into surrounding tissue in the breast.