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Patient Education(16) Glossary



  • ADJUVANT THERAPY—a treatment method used in addition to the primary surgical therapy, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and hormone therapy are often used as adjuvants to surgery.
  • ANESTHESIA—a procedure in which a patient receives medications that block out pain. May be general or local.
  • ASPIRATION—withdrawal of fluid from a cyst with a hypodermic needle.
  • BENIGN TUMOR—a growth that is not a cancer and does not spread to other parts of the body.
  • BIOPSY—the removal and microscopic examination of tissue for diagnosis.
  • BREAST IMPLANT—a round or teardrop-shaped sac inserted in the body to restore a breast form.
  • CANCER—a general term for more than 100 diseases characterized by uncontrolled, abnormal growth of cells that can invade and destroy healthy tissues.
  • CHEMOTHERAPY—treatment with anticancer drugs.
  • HORMONES—substances made by the body that regulate the activity of certain cells or organs. They are largely responsible for sexual function and the aspects of appearance (such as facial hair) that distinguish the sexes.
  • LUMP—any kind of mass in the breast or elsewhere in the body.
  • LYMPHEDEMA—swelling of the arm on the mastectomy or axillary dissection side caused by malfunctioning lymphatic drainage.
  • LYMPH NODES—parts of the lymphatic system that remove wastes from body tissues and carry fluids that help the body fight infection.
  • MALIGNANT—cancerous
  • MAMMOGRAPHY—a diagnostic form of X-ray of the breast. It is designed to show tumors in the breast before they can be felt.
  • MASTECTOMY—surgical removal of the breast.
  • METASTASIS—the spread of a cancer from one part of the body to another; cells in the new cancer are the same cell type as the original cancer.
  • ONCOLOGIST—a doctor who is a specialist in the treatment of cancers.
  • PALPATION—examining with the hand
  • PATHOLOGIST—a doctor specially trained to examine cells and tissues to find changes caused by disease
  • PROSTHESIS—an artificial breast form.
  • RADIATION ONCOLOGIST—a doctor who specializes in using radiation to treat cancer.
  • RADIATION THERAPY—the use of high-energy penetrating rays to treat disease; sources of radiation include X-ray, cobalt, and radium.
  • RADIOLOGIST—a physician with special training in reading diagnostic X-rays.
  • RECURRENCE—reappearance of cancer at the same site (local), near the initial site (regional), or in other areas of the body (metastatic)
  • TUMOR—an abnormal mass of tissue that results from excessive cell division and performs no useful body function; tumors are either benign or malignant.
  • X-RAY—a type of radiation that can be used at low levels to diagnose disease, or in its high-energy form, to treat cancer.

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