Glossary
Glossary

Biopsy: A biopsy means that the provider uses a needle or other technique to get a sample of your breast cells to see if there are any cancer cells.

Brachytherapy: A type of radiation therapy that has been used since the 1920s. The clinical trial that is used as an example here is for a new way to use brachytherapy.
Breast conserving surgery.

Breast conserving surgery is sometimes call a lumpectomy: It is the removal of the lump and a small amount of the tissue surrounding the lump, rather than removing the entire breast. Breast conserving surgery leaves most of the breast tissue as it was (conserving = preserving or protecting the undamaged or unaffected portions of the breast). This type of surgery almost always has to include follow-up treatments with radiation.

Evaluation: The providers will check you thoroughly to make certain you dont have cancer. This may include blood tests and taking additional X-ray pictures, MRIs or views of your breasts.

Inflammatory breast cancer: A very aggressive, fast-growing type of cancer. The trials or studies that are designed to treat inflammatory breast cancer are also very aggressive (use high dosages of very potent chemo drugs) to slow down or stop the growth of the disease.

Lymphocytes and lymph nodes: Lymphocytes are infection-fighting white blood cells. They help fight infection and drain or remove infection from the body. The lymphocytes move cancer cells from the tumor into the lymph nodes. Cancer cells are found in the lymph nodes. The surgeon removes lymph nodes that may have these cancer cells.

Metastatic: The cancer has spread to other parts of the body.

Outpatient: You can stay at home. You are not staying in the hospital.

Pilot Study: It is only being done with a small group of patients for a short period of time to see how the program needs to be changed to be more likely to work.

Prevention Trial: Refers to a study of people who are high risk for particular type of cancer, but have not yet been diagnosed with that cancer.

Randomized: You are put into one of two study groups by chance (similar to rolling the dice and if an odd number comes up, you go into group one and if an even number comes up, you go into group two).

Recurrent: You have been treated for this type of cancer before but it has returned.

Recurrent breast cancer: There is a new tumor that has appeared after it seemed that your breast cancer was under control.

Unmanaged cancer pain: This is a trial to try to help patients who have cancer pain that is not responding to current medicines or treatments.





top of page