Benign (beh-NINE): Not cancerous; does not spread to other parts of the body.
Benign calcifications: Tiny deposits of calcium in the breast that cannot be felt but can be detected on a mammogram. These small calcifications are not cancer.
Biopsy (BY-ahp-see): A procedure used to remove cells or tissues in order to look at them under a microscope.
Cancer: A term for diseases in which abnormal cells divide without control. Cancer cells can invade nearby tissues. They can also spread through the bloodstream and lymphatic system to other parts of the body.
Carcinoma (kar-sin-O-ma): Cancer that begins in the skin or in tissues that line or cover internal organs.
Cyst (sist): A sac or capsule filled with fluid.
Diagnostic Mammogram: X-rays of the breast that provide more detailed images of any changes in the breast found during a screening mammogram; they’re also used for women with breast implants or women with a history or symptoms of breast cancer.
Duct (dukt): A tube through which body fluids (milk) pass.
Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DUK-tal kar-sin-O-ma in SYE-too) DCIS: Abnormal cells that involve only the lining of a duct. The cells have not spread outside the duct to other tissues in the breast. Also called intraductal carcinoma.
Estrogens (ES-tro-jins): A family of hormones that affect female sex characteristics.
Fibroadenomas: Small solid nodules that are not cancer.
Hormonal Replacement Therapy: is the replacement of estrogen and progesterone, hormones that naturally decline during perimenopause or menopause. This decline can cause severe symptoms, such as hot flashes, fatigue, vaginal dryness and irritability. Hormone replacement therapy involves supplementing estrogen and progesterone levels to minimize symptoms and ease the transition into menopause. Hormone replacement therapy is not appropriate for everybody, and you should talk to your healthcare provider about whether its right for you.
Hormones: Chemicals produced by glands in the body and circulated in the bloodstream. Hormones control the actions of certain cells or organs.
Lobular Carcinoma In Situ (LOB-yoo-lar kar-sin-O-ma in SYE-too): LCIS. Abnormal cells found in the lobules (small lobes or subdivisions of a lobe) of the breast. This condition does not usually become invasive cancer. However, it does increase one's risk of developing breast cancer in either breast.
Lymph (limf): The almost colorless fluid that travels through the lymphatic system and carries cells that help fight infection and disease.
Lymph Node: A round mass of lymphatic tissue that is surrounded by connective tissue. Also known as a lymph gland. Lymph nodes are spread out along lymphatic vessels and they contain many lymphocytes, which filter the lymphatic fluid (lymph).
Lymphatic System (lim-FAT-ik): The tissues and organs that produce, store, and carry white blood cells. (White blood cells fight infection and other diseases.) This system includes the bone marrow, spleen, thymus, and lymph nodes and a network of thin tubes that carry lymph and white blood cells. These tubes branch, like blood vessels, into all the tissues of the body.
Malignant (ma-LIG-nant): Cancerous; a growth that will invade and destroy nearby tissue and spread to other parts of the body.
Mammogram (MAM-o-gram): An X ray of the breast.
Mammography (mam-OG-ra-fee): An X ray study of the breast.
Nipple Discharge: Fluid coming from the nipple when it shouldn’t be.
Radiation Therapy (ray-dee-AY-shun): The use of high-energy radiation from x-rays, neutrons, and other sources to kill cancer cells and shrink tumours. Radiation may come from a machine outside the body (external-beam radiation therapy) or from material called radioisotopes. Radioisotopes produce radiation and are 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.
Risk Factor: Anything that increases the chance of developing a disease.
Screening: Checking for disease when there are no symptoms.
Screening Mammogram: X-rays of the breast for women who are not experiencing any problems or symptoms with their breasts.
Surgery: A procedure to remove or repair a part of the body or to find out if disease is present.
Tissue (TISH-oo): A group or layer of cells that together perform specific functions.
Tumour (TOO-mer): An abnormal mass of tissue that results from excessive cell division. Tumours perform no useful body function. They may be either benign (not cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).
X Ray: High-energy radiation used in low doses to diagnose diseases and in high doses to treat cancer.
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