Glossary Terms Breast Cancer
A drug that reduces fever and pain. It is an analgesic
A doctor who specializes in administering drugs, anesthetic and other
agents to prevent pain, relieve pain or put the patient to sleep during
surgery or other procedures.
A substance that causes a loss of awareness or feeling. Local anesthetics
cause loss of sensation in the part of the body it is injected into. General
anesthetics put the patient to sleep
plastic surgery procedure that may involve transferring skin from
another part of the body to the areolar area on the breast (Free grafting)
and shaping in to look like a natural areolar. Depending on the patients
skin tones the area may also be tattooed the pink or brown of the patient's
natural areolar color. Generally this procedure is one of the final stages
For detailed information on Areola
A drug that helps to reduce fever, pain, inflammation and blood clotting.
Aspirin is a nonsteroidal antiinflammatory. Surgery patients must discontinue
the use of aspirin 2 weeks before and after their surgical procedure.
Means taken from the patients' own tissues, DNA or cells. In breast reconstruction
autologous tissue may be used to create a new breast mound.
The armpit or under arm area.
Surgery performed to remove lymph nodes under the arm.
Axillary lymph node
A lymph node in the armpit area which drains the lymph channels from the
Benign tumors are not cancerous. They do not spread to surrounding tissues
or to other parts of the body.
Benign proliferative breast disease
A group of noncancerous conditions ; ductal hyperplasia, lobular hyperplasia,
and papillomas. These groups may increase the risk of developing breast
cancer at a later date.
A noncancerous growth that does not invade or affect other tissue or spread
to other parts of the body.
Both the right and left sides of the body
Bilateral breast cancer
Cancer that occurs in both breasts.
Removal of a tissue sample to examine under a microscope to check for
Tissue removed from the body and examined under a microscope to determine
whether cancer is present
Cancer that has spread from the original location to the brain.
Breasts are the two glandular organs located on the chest wall. The breast
consists of connective tissue, fat, breast tissue and milk ducts that
can produce milk. Breasts are also referred to as mammary glands.
Cancer that starts in the breast or is isolated to one or both breasts.
Dense breasts have less fat than glandular or connective tissue. Breasts
with higher density are harder to interpret on mammograms.
Breast Cancer Diagnosis
The diagnosis given after medical tests determine a patient has breast
Breast cancer in situ
This form of breast cancer has abnormal cells that are confined to the
ducts or lobules in the breast. The two forms are called, lobular carcinoma
in situ (LCIS) and ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS).
Breast Cancer Patient
A Patient diagnosed with Cancer that starts in the breast or is isolated
to one or both breasts.
Breast Cancer Treatment
The four most common treatments for breast cancer are surgery, chemotherapy,
radiation therapy and hormone therapy, alone or in combination.
A manufactured, silicone, rubber sac which is filled with sterile saline
or silicone gel that is used for either breast augmentation or reconstruction.
Surgery to rebuild a breast mound after a mastectomy.
Breast self exam (BSE)
An exam by a man or woman of their breasts to check for lumps or other
A disease in which abnormal cells divide without control. Cancer can be
isolated to one area or it can invade nearby tissues and spread through
the bloodstream and lymphatic system to other parts of the body.
Carcinoma in situ
A cancer that involves only the cells where it began. Cancer that has
not spread to nearby tissues.
An electric current , a laser,a hot instrument or a cauterizer used to
destroy tissue. Cauterizing process may be used to kill small tumors or
to seal off blood vessels to stop bleeding.
A therapy combining immunotherapy and c. Chemotherapy uses certain drugs
to kill or slow the growth of cancer cells; immunotherapy uses treatments
to boost or restore the immune system to fight off cancer.
Cancer treatment combining chemotherapy with radiation therapy. Another
name for chemoradiation is chemo radiotherapy.
The susceptibility of cancer tumor cells to the effects of cancer killing
A series of treatments using drugs that kill cancer cells
The area of the body that make up the area of the body between the neck
and the abdomen.
An xray of the inside the chest. An xray is highenergy radiation that
can go through the body and onto a film that creates pictures of areas
inside the chest.
Clinical breast exam
An examination of the breasts generally performed by a nurse or doctor
to check for lumps and other physical changes in the breasts.
Cancer treatment that uses two or more chemicals are to obtain more effective
When all signs of cancer have disappeared in response to treatment. Complete
remission does does not always mean the cancer has been cured forever.
Cutaneous breast cancer
Cancer that starts in the breast and spreads to the skin.
Delayed Breast Reconstruction
Plastic surgery done post mastectomy.Delayed breast reconstruction is
done for one or several reasons some factors being the size of the tumor,the
timing and type of breast cancer treatments the patient is receiving.
The dermis refers to the lower/inner layer of the two main layers of tissue
that make up the skin.
An xray of the breast used to check for breast cancer after a suspicious
sign ,lump or other unusual symptom of breast cancer has been detected.
The method used to identify a condition or disease.
This flap is used in breast reconstruction. The blood vessels called deep
inferior epigastric perforators (DIEP) along with and the fat and skin
connected to them are transferred from the lower abdomen and used to create
a breast. The muscle is left in tact.
A type of mammogram that uses a computer instead of xray film, to record
xray images of the breasts.
Cancer that continues to spread and or grow.
This is cancer that has spread from the primary tumor location to distant
organs or distant lymph nodes in the body.
Dose dense chemotherapy
Chemotherapy treatment plan in which drugs are given more often with less
time between treatments than the standard chemotherapy treatment.
This cancer starts in the cells that line the milk ducts in the breast.
It is the most common type of breast cancer.
How effective a drug, treatment or surgery has been in producing a desired
A capsule of a thin layer of tissue confined to a specific area. With
breast implants the implants are encapsulated by the body producing a
scar around the breast implant.
This is a thin tube which has a light and camera in which a doctor or
surgeon can use to look at tissues inside the body. Dr. Corbin uses endoscopes
to perform advanced techniques of breast surgery
Is a hormone that promotes the development of female sex characteristics.
Estrogen replacement therapy
(ERT) hormones include estrogen and progesterone, or both. These hormones
are prescribed to postmenopausal women or women who have had their ovaries
removed and can't produce their own hormones naturally.
To excise, cut out or surgically remove.
The surgical procedure used to remove a lump or suspicious area. The excised
tissue is then examined under a microscope for a diagnosis.
This type of radiation therapy uses a high energy machine to shoot radiation
at the cancer. (external beam radiation)
False negative result
A test result that falsely indicates a patient does not have a type of
disease or condition they are being tested for when they actually do have
the disease or condition. Sometimes mammograms or MRI results can be a
false negative test result.
False positive test result
A test result that falsely indicates that a patient has a specific disease
or condition when the patient actually does not have the condition or
Fatty replaced breast tissue
A commonly used term in mammography referring to breasts when the breast
tissue is replaced with fatty tissue. This usually happens naturally as
A benign tumor made up of fibrous and muscular tissue.
Fine needle aspiration (needle biopsy)
A needle is used to remove fluid and or tissue so it can be examined under
the microscope. Also referred to as a needle biopsy.
Appointments to track a patient's progress or health after treatment or
surgery. Follow up may also include keeping track of the health of patients
participating in a clinical study or clinical trial.
Drugs administered by a medical doctor or nurse used in surgery to cause
a loss of feeling or awareness and put the patient to sleep.
Inherited from parents to their children through genes in sperm and egg
Evidence in a patients DNA that may indicate an increased risk of developing
a specific disease or disorder. Patients with a family history of breast
cancer or other high risk groups are sometimes tested for genetic markers
before they develop the actual disease.
The grading systems vary depending on the type of cancer. The grade of
a cancerous tumor depends on how advanced the cancer cells look under
the microscope and how quickly the tumor will possibly grow and spread.
An examination of tissue samples under the microscope
A method of producing pictures of areas inside the body.
Immediate Breast Reconstruction
Plastic surgery done to reconstruct the breast mound at the time of a
A silicone or saline filled object that is meant to resemble a natural
breast. The implant can be put in and placed either in front of or behind
the pectoral major muscle. A breast implant may also be referred to as
In situ cancer
An early stage of cancer which has not spread to nearby tissue.
The cut that is made to perform surgery.
The surgical procedure that removes a small portion of a lump or suspicious
tissue to be examined under the microscope for diagnosis.
In medicine an indication refers to the symptoms ,signs or medical condition
that leads to the recommendation of a test, surgery and or treatment.
Redness, pain, swelling and a hot feeling.Inflamation is the body's natural
protective response to irritation, injury, or disease of the tissues.
Inflammatory breast cancer
Breast cancer in which the breast looks red, swollen and feels hot. The
skin on the breasts may also have an irregular texture called peau d orange
(the skin of an orange)
The consent forms that educate and inform the patient on the potential
risks of a surgical procedure or key facts about a clinical trial. These
forms are given to each patient before a treatment, clinical study and
A condition that cannot be treated or corrected with surgery
Institutional review board ( IRB )
A group of doctors, scientists, and consumers at each health care facility
that participates in a clinical trial. IRBs are designed to protect study
participants. They are supposed to gather, review and approve the information
and course for the clinical trial.
Early detection of a precancerous non invasive condition in which abnormal
cells are found in the lining of breast ducts. These abnormal cells have
not spread to other tissues in the breast. In some patients, intraductal
carcinoma may eventually become invasive cancer.
Treated with radiation.
An irregular, thick grotesque scar caused by aggressive healing and excessive
tissue growth at the incision site or wound location. Usually the best
treatment for a keloid scar is excision.
A procedure testing a sample of blood, urine, or other substances. These
tests can help determine the general health of a patient, if a patient
is pregnant,a diagnosis, a treatment, the effectiveness of a treatment
, or to monitor a disease over time. Lab tests for plastic surgery are
done before surgery to determine if a patient is fit for anesthesia and
A numbing drug that causes a temporary loss of feeling in the area of
the body it is injected into. The patient remains awake but cannot feel
the part of the body injected with the local anesthetic. Sometimes local
anesthetic is injected into the surgical site during general anesthesia
so a patient does not feel pain when they wake up from surgery.
An invasive malignant cancer confined entirely to the organ where the
Locally advanced cancer
This describes cancer that has spread only to lymph nodes or tissue. Lumpectomy
A surgical procedure to remove a tumor and small amount of the normal
tissue around it. The surgeon may also remove some of the lymph nodes
under the arm to determine if the cancer has spread.
The round mass of lymphatic tissue which is surrounded by a capsule of
connective tissue. The function of the lymph glands is to filter lymph
(lymphatic fluid), and they also store lymphocytes (white blood cells).
The lymph glands are located along lymphatic vessels otherwise known as
The rounded mass of lymphatic tissue that is surrounded by a capsule of
connective tissue. Lymph nodes filter lymph (lymphatic fluid), and they
also store lymphocytes (white blood cells). The Lymph node is located
along the lymphatic vessels also referred to as a lymph gland.
These are the small bean shaped organs along the channels of the lymphatic
system. The lymph nodes store special cells that help trap cancer cells
and or bacteria flowing through the body in lymph. Clusters or groups
of lymph nodes are found under the arms, in the groin, chest, neck and
abdomen. They are also known as lymph glands.
Lymph node dissection
A surgical procedure that removes lymph nodes so they can be examined
to see if they are cancerous.This procedure is also referred to as a lymphadenectomy.
Lymph node mapping
The use of dyes and radioactive substances to identify lymph nodes that
may contain tumor cells. Also called lymphatic mapping.
A surgical procedure that removes lymph nodes so they can be examined
to see if they are cancerous. A regional lymph node dissection removes
some of the lymph nodes in the area of the tumor area and with a radical
lymph node dissection most or all of the lymph nodes are removed.
The organs and tissues that produce, store, and carry the white blood
cells which fight infections and other diseases in the body. The lymphatic
system includes the , spleen, thymus, lymph nodes, bone marrow and lymphatic
vessels (The network of thin tubes which carry lymph and white blood cells)
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
The method used to create pictures of areas inside the body. This procedure
uses a magnet linked to a computer to produce detailed images. MRI's are
useful in determining if a breast implant has a rupture.
A diagnosis which means cancerous. Malignant tumors can invade and destroy
nearby tissue and spread to other parts of the body.
An xray of the breast. Women with breast implants have to inform the radiologist
prior to this x ray that they have breast implants.
The use of xrays to create a detailed picture of the breast.
The surgery performed to remove the breast or breasts.
The change of life when a woman's menstrual periods stop permanently.
Means to spread from one area of the body to another. Cancer cells can
metastasize and form secondary tumors.
A plastic surgery procedure to recreate the nipple complex on the breast.
This is generally done by free grafting skin from another area of the
patient's body onto the nipple area of the breast. In order to match the
color of the nipple on one or both of the nipples tattooing may be used.
This procedure is usually done in the final stages of breast reconstruction.
A doctor who specializes in the treatment of cancer. Some oncologists
specialize in a specific type of cancer treatment.
The study of cancers.
A physical examination performed manually by pressing on the outer surface
of the body to feel the lump, breast implant,organs or tissues underneath
The substance that gives color to skin, tissue, hair eyes etc, In breast
reconstruction he pigment of the nipple and areolar is color matched and
tattooed on the skin to create the color of natural nipple and areolar.
Positron Emission Tomography (PET Imaging)
Positron emission tomography, also called PET imaging or a PET scan, is
a diagnostic examination that involves the acquisition of physiologic
images based on the detection of radiation from the emission of positrons.
Positrons are tiny particles emitted from a radioactive substance administered
to the patient. The subsequent images of the human body developed with
this technique are used to evaluate a variety of diseases.
A description of a condition that is likely to become cancer. Also referred
to as premalignant.
The overview of a course of a disease the recovery and or its recurrence.
An artificial replacement of a body part. Breast implants are examples
of prosthesis used in breast reconstruction.
The scar formation of tissue caused as a result of radiation therapy
A treatment using high energy rays like xrays to kill cancer cells. Radiation
may also come from outside the body with external radiation or else from
radioactive substances placed in the tumor. This is also called radiotherapy.
A doctor who specializes in creating and then interpreting the pictures
of areas inside the body.
Reconstructive Breast Surgery
Plastic surgery options to recreate a breast or breasts after a mastectomy
or breast deformity. Reconstructive breast surgery may involve one or
more procedures. It may also include the use of prosthetic devices (breast
implants) or transferring a patients own tissue from one part of the body
to the chest area to create a breast mound.
Cancer treatments using anticancer drugs directed specifically to a certain
area of the body
Saline Breast implant
A manufactured, silicone, rubber sac which is filled with sterile saline
that is used for either breast augmentation or reconstruction.
Silicone Breast implant
A manufactured, silicone, rubber sac which is filled with sterile silicone
gel that is used for either breast augmentation or breast reconstruction.
Skin Sparing Mastectomy
A mastectomy performed that limits the amount of skin removed from the
breast as to aid in appearance of the immediate or delayed reconstruction.
The tests and examinations done to determine the extent of the cancer
and if it has spread from one area of the body to other sites.
Stage III Breast Cancer
Cancer confined to one breast that has spread to the lymph nodes, on the
affected side, and no evidence of cancer spread to other areas of the
A treatment using substances which travel through the bloodstream, to
reach affecting cells in other areas of the entire body.
Tram Flap Reconstruction
Transverse Abdominis Myocutaneous Flap or in layman's terms a "tummy
Tuck" Breast Reconstruction
The test using sound waves to bounce off tissues and internal organs that
converts the echoes into pictures known as sonograms.
White blood cells
The cells in the body that help fight infections and diseases. The white
cells development begins in the bone marrow travels to other areas of
A type of highenergy radiation. In high doses it is used to treat cancer
and in low doses, xrays are used to make pictures of the inside of the
body. The x ray images may used to help diagnose a disease.