Anesthesia loss of feeling resulting from the administration of drugs or gases
Areola the brown or darker colored area of the breast around the nipple
Aspiration To remove fluid from a cyst. Done with a small thin needle with ultrasound guidance.
Axillary under the arm, armpit
Benign not cancerous
Biopsy removal of a sample of tissue to see if cancer cells are present.
Brachytherapy high dose radiation to a smaller part of the body. Another word for partial breast irradiation.
CAT Scan Computed Axial Tomography. A special X-ray to get a more specific view of different body parts. Can perform on just about any body part and is useful in breast cancer staging.
CT Scan same as cat scan
Calcifications small flecks of calcium within the breast that can sometimes prompt a breast biopsy. In and of themselves are harmless, but in some circumstances can signify a problem with the surrounding breast tissue.
Catheter a tube that enters the body. Can be used to remove fluids or blood or to give medicines.
Chemotherapy treatment with drugs to destroy cancer cells. Most often used to supplement surgery or radiation therapy.
Cosmesis having to do with how something looks
Cryoablation minimally invasive office procedure which freezes benign breast tumors known as Fibroadenomas. Done under local anesthesia through a small needle stick, this procedure will treat the entire lesion causing it to shrink progressively and finally disappear within 12-18 months. The pain associated with these lesions usually resolves within 1-2 weeks.
Cyst a fluid filled sac
Cystic same as cyst, see above
Cytokeratin staining a specialized stain used by pathologists on sentinel lymph node biopsies to detect even the earliest evidence of cancer spread
Distant metastasis cancer spread to other organs not including the axillary lymph nodes
Edema swelling, fluid retention, see lymphedema
Estrogen and progesterone receptor assay tests a test to see if a cancer cell is sensitive to the effects of the hormones estrogen and progesterone
Fibroadenoma noncancerous, firm, rubbery lump in the breast that is sometimes painful and can become quite large. Very common in young women but can be seen at any age.
GAIL risk model a formula used to determine future risk of developing breast cancer at 5 years and over a lifetime
Hematoma a collection of blood under the skin
Her-2-neu expression a test performed on breast cancer cells to determine if a certain gene is turned on making it slightly more likely for a breast cancer to recur but opening the way to some newer treatment options
Hormonal therapy pills used to block the effects of the hormone estrogen on breast cancer cells
Lymph nodes part of the lymph system that removes wastes from body tissue and carries the fluids that help the body fight infection. Lymph nodes in the underarm are those most likely to be invaded by cancer cells and, therefore, are removed during breast cancer surgery.
Lymphatics part of the immune system to help carry away infectious organisms
Lymphangitis infection of the lymphatics
Lymphedema swelling in the patient's arm caused by excess fluid that collects when the lymph nodes and vessels are removed during surgery or are damaged by x-ray. The patient's arm and hand become more prone to infection.
MRI magnetic resonance imaging. A special type of X-ray using magnets instead of radiation to visualize different body parts. Breast MRI is becoming a useful option in certain types of breast disease.
Mammogram special x-ray of the breasts. Very good screening tool.
Mammographic lesion abnormality seen on mammogram, sometimes requiring a biopsy
Mammotome a breast biopsy device that can sample specific areas in the breast that are seen on mammogram OR ultrasound OR found on your clinical exam. Utilizes a gentle vacuum and a needle. Done in the office with local anesthesia.
Margin surrounding rim of normal breast tissue around a breast cancer seem after lumpectomy
Mastectomy surgical removal of the breast
Melanoma an aggressive form of skin cancer
Metastasis spread of a cancer
PET Scan Positron Emission Tomography; a very specialized X-ray to look for cancer metastasis.
Pathology the results obtained after looking at tissue samples under the microscope
Pectoral muscles muscles that overlay the chest wall and help support the breast
Prophylactic mastectomy removing the breast to prevent the development of breast cancer in that breast
Radioactive tracer radioactive material, injected and then located using a small Geiger counter or a special camera. Used to identify a sentinel lymph node or metastasis to bone.
Radiologic marker a marker that is left in the breast at the site of biopsy or surgery for future mammogram reference
Reconstruction to create a breast after mastectomy using saline or silicone implants or the patients own tissue such as muscle
Sentinel lymph node the first lymph node in a chain of lymph nodes
Stereotactic breast biopsy with this type of biopsy, the mammogram is used as our guide to obtain the specific tissue that we need to sample.
Tumor an abnormal grouping of cells. Can be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).
Ultrasound a type of imaging modality using sound waves to determining whether a breast mass is cystic or solid and used to help guide needle biopsies of masses in the breast that cannot be felt. Done in the office at the same time as an office visit.