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NCCN Guidelines for Patients



Breast Cancer – Metastatic (STAGE IV), Version 2.2017


endocrine therapy

Treatment that stops the making or action of hormones in

the body. Also called hormone therapy.


A hormone that develops female body traits.

follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)

A hormone made by the ovaries.


Coded instructions in cells for making new cells and

controlling how cells behave.

genetic counseling

Discussion with a health expert about the risk for a disease

caused by changes in genes.

hereditary breast cancer

Breast cancer caused by faulty, coded information in cells

that was passed down from parent to child.


Chemical in the body that activates cells or organs.

hormone receptor–negative cancer

Cancer cells that don’t use hormones to grow.

hormone receptor–positive cancer

Cancer cells that use hormones to grow.

hot flashes

A health condition of intense body heat and sweat for short


human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)

A protein on the edge of a cell that send signals for the cell

to grow.

human epidermal growth factor receptor 2

(HER2) inhibitor

A cancer drug that stops the effect of a cell protein called


human epidermal growth factor receptor 2


Cancer cells with normal numbers of HER2 receptors.

human epidermal growth factor receptor 2


Cancer cells with too many HER2 receptors.


High levels of calcium in the blood.

imaging test

A test that makes pictures of the insides of the body.

immunohistochemistry (IHC)

A lab test of cancer cells to find specific cell traits involved in

abnormal cell growth.


A method of giving drugs slowly through a needle into a


in situ hybridization (ISH)

A lab test of that counts the number of copies of a gene.

invasive breast cancer

Cancer cells have grown into the supporting tissue of the


kinase inhibitor

A cancer drug that blocks the transfer of phosphase.

liver function test

A test that measures chemicals made or processed by the


lobular carcinoma

A breast cancer that started in cells that line the breast



A gland in the breast that makes breast milk.

luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH)

A hormone in the brain that helps control the making of

estrogen by the ovaries.


A clear fluid containing white blood cells.

lymph node

Small groups of special disease-fighting cells located

throughout the body.

magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

A test that uses a magnetic field and radio waves to make

pictures of the insides of the body.

medical history

All health events and medications taken to date.