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    Breast Cancer Glossary

    [Index][0-9][A][B][C][D][E][F][G][H][I][K][L][M][N][O][P][R][S][T][U][V][W][X][Z]

     

    R

    Rad
    Unit of measurement that describes a dose or radiation absorbed by a body.

    Radiation Therapy
    The use of high energy radiation from x-rays, neutrons, and other sources to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Radiation may come from a machine outside the body,  external beam radiation therapy, or from material called radioisotopes. Radioisotopes produce radiation and are surgically placed in or near a tumor or near cancer cells. This type of radiation treatment is called internal radiation therapy, implant radiation, or brachytherapy. Systemic radiation therapy uses a radioactive substance, such as a radiolabeled monoclonal antibody, that circulates throughout the body. Also called radiotherapy.

    Radiation Fibrosis
    The formation of scar tissue as a result of radiation therapy to the lung.

    Radiation Oncologist
    A doctor who specializes in using radiation to treat cancer.

    Radical Mastectomy
    This procedure is also called the "Halsted Radical". Removes the breast, chest muscles, all of the lymph nodes under the arm, and some additional fat and skin.
    Also see in Resources -> Breast Cancer Surgery.

    Radionuclide Scanning
    A diagnostic exam that produces pictures (scans) of internal parts of the body. This procedure involves getting an injection or swallowing a small amount of radioactive material. Then a machine, called a scanner, measures the radioactivity in certain organs. Since cancer grows faster than many other cells it uses more energy and needs more fuel. The radioactive material is usually mixed into something, like a simple sugar, that the cells use for fuel. Areas that absorb more of the radioactive material indicate faster growing, possible cancerous, cells.

    Radiosensitizers
    Drugs that make cells more sensitive to radiation.

    Recur
    To occur again. If cancer recurs it is called a recurrence.

    Recurrence
    Return of cancer cells after remission. The cancer cells may reappearance at the same site or in another location.
    Also see in Resources -> Breast Cancer Recurrences.

    Red Blood Cells
    Cells that carry oxygen to all parts of the body, they are also called erythrocytes.

    Regional Chemotherapy
    Treatment with anticancer drugs that affects mainly the cells in the treated area.

    Regression
    Growing smaller or disappearing.

    Relapse
    The return of signs and symptoms of a disease after a period of improvement.

    Remission
    Disappearance of the signs and symptoms of cancer. When this happens, the disease is said to be "in remission." A remission may be temporary or permanent. (See NED)

    Resection
    Surgical removal of part of an organ. This term is not commonly used with breast cancer unless the cancer has spread to another internal organ.

    Respiratory System
    The organs that are involved in breathing. These include the nose, throat, larynx, trachea, bronchi, and lungs.

    Respiratory Therapy
    Exercises and treatments that help patients recover lung function after surgery or if disease or treatments have affected the function of the lungs.

    Risk Factor
    Anything that increases the probability of developing a disease. Risk factors can be genetic or environmental. Also see related article-> Are You at Risk for Breast Cancer?

    RNA (ribonucleic acid)
    One of the nucleic acids found in all cells. The other is DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). The DNA holds the plan for the proteins that the cell needs to grow and function. RNA transfers genetic information from the DNA to the proteins produced by the cell.

     

     

     

     

     

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