Glossary of Terms

A/C Chemotherapeutic agent combination of Adriamycin and Cytoxan

AC + T Chemotherapeutic drug combination of Adriamycin, Cytoxan and Taxol

Adjuvant Therapy Chemotherapy administered after the removal of cancerous tissue to eradicate any underlying errant cancer cells

Aspirate To remove fluid and cells from a suspicious are using a small needle.

Axillary Located under the arm, this area holds the sac of lymph nodes that are first affected by cancer cells.

Baseline A mammogram that is done at an early age, before any evidence of disease, that can be used to measure breast changes in the future. Recommendation for first baseline is age 30.

Benign Tissue that is not cancerous.

Bilateral Mastectomy A mastectomy performed on both breasts

Biopsy Procedure used on a portion of tissue to determine if it is cancerous

BRCA1 and BRCA2 The genetic mutation found in heredity breast and ovarian cancer

CAF Chemotherapeutic agent drug combination of Cytoxan, Adriamycin, 5-Fu (fluorouracil)

CEF Chemotherapeutic drug combination of Cytoxan, Epirubicin, 5-Fu (fluorouracil)

Chemotherapy Medication designed to target and kill cancer cells throughout the body

Clear margins The portion of tissue that surrounds a tumor field that is not affected by cancer, also known as negative margins

Clinical trial Large scale research conducted within a controlled group to test, understand and develop new therapies

CMF Chemotherapeutic drug combination of Cytoxan, Methotrexate, 5-Fu (fluorouracil)

Core needle biopsy The removal of suspect tissue with a large hollow needle

Cyst A fluid filled lump

Distant recurrence A return of breast cancer to a location other than the breast area, lung, bone, brain, liver, etc.

Drain A plastic tube with a bulbous container at end that drains the excess fluid from a post surgical site, such as the underarm. The tube is inserted during surgery through a tiny opening in the skin

DCIS/ Ductal Carcinoma In Situ Cancer that has remained inside the milk duct. Considered early stage cancer

Estrogen Female hormone

ER+ Cancer that has estrogen receptors and need estrogen to grow

ER- Cancer that does not have estrogen receptors and is not affected by estrogen

Excisional Biopsy The procedure to remove a suspicious area or lump, with the margins that surround it

Hormone Receptor Cells that are fed by hormones and can be treated with hormonal therapy

Incisional biopsy The procedure to remove a portion of tissue from a large lump or suspicious area while leaving the remaining lump or area in tact

In situ A growth or grouping of cells that remains in place, within the ducts or lobules

Invasive Cancer that has grown outside of the point of origin, or broken free of the ducts or lobules.

LCIS/ Lobular cancer in situ An area of pre-cancerous tissue that remains inside the milk Lobule

Local recurrence A return of cancer to the point of origin, such as the scar line or another part of the same breast

Lumpectomy The removal of a cancerous are or tumor along with the surrounding margins

Lymph nodes Glands that filter impurities throughout the body

Lymphatic system Circulatory system that consists of the nodes, lymphatic fluid and blood supply

Malignant A tissue or lump that has been found to have cancer cells

Mastectomy Removal of breast

Metastasis (mets) The spread of cancer to either a local area near the breast or to distant organs or bones

Oncologist (onc) The doctor who specializes in the study of blood and the administration of chemotherapeutic agents

Oophrectomy (ooph) The surgical removal of ovaries

Neo Adjuvant Therapy The administration of Chemotherapeutic agents before surgical removal to shrink the cancerous area

Negative Lymph nodes (node negative) Lymph nodes that are clear of cancer cells

Palpable Can be felt by hand

Pathologist A doctor who examines the cells to determine if they are cancerous

Pathology Laboratory (path lab) Where he works

Pathology Report (path report) The compilation of his findings

Positive lymph nodes Lymph nodes that have cancer cells in them (positive nodes)

Positive margin The tissue surrounding a cancerous area or tumor that also contains cancer cells

Progesterone A female hormone

PR+ Cancer that has Progesterone receptors and needs progesterone to grow

PR- Cancer that does not have Progesterone receptors and is not affected by Progesterone

Prognosis An educated guess or prediction of a patient’s outcome

Prophylactic mastectomy The removal of one or both breasts in order to prevent or reduce the risk of cancer occurring in them

Radiation Oncologist (rad onc) The doctor who specializes in radiation and the administration of Radiotherapy

Sentinel node biopsy (snb) The identification and removal of the first in line lymph node(sentinel) that would be affected by a spread of cancer cells to the lymphatic system

Stereotactic Biopsy A needle biopsy guided by either ultrasound or mammogram

Subcutaneous Mastectomy Also known as the skin sparing procedure, removes all breast tissue but preserve the skin and nipple of the breast

TAC Chemotherapeutic drug combination of Taxotere, Adriamycin and Cytoxan

Ultrasound (sonogram) Device that utilizes sound waves to create images of tissue

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