Resonance Imaging (MRI)
A state of extreme tiredness and lack of well-being.
Cancerous - a growth with a tendency to destroy nearby tissue and
spread to other parts of the body.
An x-ray of the breast. Also
see related article -> How
to Prepare for a Mammogram.
An x-ray study of the breast.
Surgery to remove as much of the breast tissue as necessary to insure
that all cancer cells are eliminated.
A doctor who specializes in treating cancer. Some oncologists specialize
in a particular type of cancer treatment. For example, a radiation
oncologist specializes in treating cancer with radiation. Also see
in Resources -> Finding
The national health program through which certain medical and hospital
expenses are paid for from Federal (mainly social security) funds.
The program is open to individuals over the age of 65 and individuals
with permanent disabilities.
The hormonal phase in women when estrogen production decreases.
It is marked by a woman's menstrual cycle stopping for at least
a year. This may also be called "change of life." Also see related
article -> Hormones
- Turning Down the Heat on Hot Flashes.
The monthly cycle of hormonal changes from the
beginning of one menstrual period to the beginning of the next.
A drug used to relieve pain and anxiety (Demerol®).
Also referred to as invasive or infiltrating, it is breast cancer
that has spread to other sites in the body.
Cancer that travels from one part of the body to another. Cancer
cells metastasize and form secondary growths. The cells in the metastatic
tumor will be the same type as the primary tumor. That is why breast
cancer that has metastasized to the bone or liver is still breast
cancer. If you are questioning the spelling -- the plural
To spread from one part of the body to another. When cancer cells
metastasize and form secondary tumors, the cells in the metastatic
tumor are like those in the original (primary) tumor. Thirty to
forty percent of treated primary breast cancers will return in another
spot. Most often the spread is to the liver, lungs and bone.
Tiny deposits of calcium in the breast that
cannot be felt but can be detected on a mammogram. A cluster of
these very small specks of calcium may indicate that cancer is present.
Surgical procedure which removes the breast,
the lymph nodes under the arm, and the lining over the chest muscles
(but leaves the muscles). Also
see in Resources -> Breast
A relatively new field of scientific investigation
where the basic structure and metabolism of the cancer cell is being
An antibody produced by making multiple copies
of a single cell in a laboratory. Usually drawn to cancer cells
specifically, they are used to target treatments. An example is
the HER-2/neu monoclonal antibody. Trastuzumab (Herceptin) deactivates
Her-2/neu at the genetic level and does not produce the toxic side
effects of chemotherapy.
(Magnetic Resonance Imaging)
A computerized diagnostic process, using radio
waves and powerful magnets to provide three dimensional images of
the body. It is higher definition than a CT Scan and considered
safer, because it does not use radiation or contrast dyes.
Multiple-gated acquisition (MUGA) scan is a a non-invasive test
that uses a radioactive isotope called technetium to evaluate the
functioning of the heart's ventricles.
Changes in genes caused by an inherited defect (such as BRCA) or
exposure to environmental toxins. Genes control the way cells function
or develop and if they malfunction or are missing it may lead to