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47

NCCN Guidelines for Patients

®

:

Breast Cancer – Metastatic (STAGE IV), Version 2.2017

Dictionary

Dictionary

abdomen

The belly area between the chest and pelvis.

adrenal gland

A small organ on top of each kidney that makes hormones.

alkylating agent

A cancer drug that damages coded instructions in cells by

adding a chemical to it.

allergic reaction

Symptoms caused when the body is trying to rid itself of

invaders.

anthracycline

A cancer drug that damages and disrupts the making of

DNA.

antiestrogen

A drug that stops estrogen from attaching to cells.

antimetabolite

A cancer drug that prevents the “building blocks” of DNA

from being used.

areola

A darker, circular area of skin on the breast surrounding the

nipple.

aromatase inhibitor

A drug that lowers the level of estrogen in the body.

axillary lymph node

A small group of special disease-fighting cells located near

the armpit.

bilateral oophorectomy

Surgical removal of both ovaries.

biopsy

Removal of small amounts of tissue or fluid to be tested for

disease.

bone mineral density

A test that measures the strength of bones.

bone scan

A test that uses radioactive material to assess for bone

damage.

BRCA1

or

BRCA2

genes

Coded information within cells that helps to prevent tumor

growth by fixing damaged cells and helping cells grow

normally. Abnormal changes within these genes increases

the chances of developing breast and ovarian cancer.

cancer stage

Rating of the growth and spread of tumors.

carcinoma

Cancer that starts in cells that form the lining of organs and

structures in the body.

chemotherapy

Drugs that stop the life cycle of cells so they don’t increase

in number.

chest wall

The layer of muscle, bone, and tissue on the outer part of

the chest.

clinical breast exam

A physical exam of the breasts by a health professional to

feel for disease.

clinical trial

Research on a test or treatment to assess its safety or how

well it works.

complete blood count (CBC)

A test of the number of blood cells.

computed tomography (CT)

A test that uses x-rays from many angles to make a picture

of the inside of the body.

contrast

A dye put into your body to make clearer pictures during

imaging tests.

deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)

A very thin and long molecule that contains genetic code.

Also called the “blueprint of life.”

duct

A tube in the breast that drains breast milk.

ductal carcinoma

A breast cancer that starts in a cell that lines the ducts of the

breast.