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Diseases » Breast Cancer » Glossary

Glossary for Breast Cancer

  • Abscess: General name for any pus-filled lump or swelling
  • Adenoid cystic carcionoma: Adenoid cystic carcinoma of the breast is a rare neoplasm. It has a biological course of slow progression and near absence of Iymph node metastasis.
  • Aging: The medical conditions from getting older.
  • Angiosarcoma of the breast: A rare type of cancer that starts in the lining of blood vessels in the breast. It is generally an aggressive tumor which often metastasizes.
  • Basal type breast cancer: Most of these cancers are of the so-called "triple negative" type -- that is, they lack estrogen or progesterone receptors and have normal amounts of HER2. T
  • Breast Cancer: Cancer of the breast.
  • Breast abscess: Pus-filled abscess in the breast
  • Breast cancer stages: 0, I, II, III, IV: Cancer stage is based on the size of the tumor, whether the cancer is invasive or non-invasive, whether lymph nodes are involved, and whether the cancer has spread beyond the breast.

    Stage 0- is used to describe non-invasive breast cancers, such as DCIS and LCIS. In stage 0, there is no evidence of cancer cells or non-cancerous abnormal cells breaking out of the part of the breast in which they started, or of getting through to or invading neighboring normal tissue.

    Stage 1- describes invasive breast cancer (cancer cells are breaking through to or invading neighboring normal tissue) in which the tumor measures up to 2 centimeters and no lymph nodes are involved.

    Stage 2- Stage 2 is divided into subcategories known as 2A and 2B.

    Stage 2A- No tumor can be found in the breast, but cancer cells are found in the axillary lymph nodes (the lymph nodes under the arm).

    Stage 2B- the tumor is larger than 2 but no larger than 5 centimeters and has spread to the axillary lymph nodes.

    Stage 3- Stage III is divided into subcategories known as IIIA, IIIB, and IIIC.

    Stage 3A- no tumor is found in the breast. Cancer is found in axillary lymph nodes that are clumped together or sticking to other structures, or cancer may have spread to lymph nodes near the breastbone.

    Stage 3B- the tumor may be any size and has spread to the chest wall and/or skin of the breast

    Stage 3C- there may be no sign of cancer in the breast or, if there is a tumor, it may be any size and may have spread to the chest wall and/or the skin of the breast, and the cancer has spread to lymph nodes above or below the collarbone.

    Stage 4- the cancer has spread to other organs of the body -- usually the lungs, liver, bone, or brain.

  • Breast carcinoma: Carcinoma occurring in breast tissue.
  • Breast conditions: Any condition affecting the breast
  • Breast fibroadenoma: Benign tumour of the breast characterized by glandular and stromal elements.
  • Breast lump: Any type of lump in the breast
  • Cachexia: physical wasting with loss of weight and muscle mass caused by disease
  • Cancer: Abnormal overgrowth of body cells.
  • Colorectal cancer: Cancer of the colon (bowel) or rectum.
  • Cyst: Lump produced by over-secreting gland
  • Diethylstilbestrol: A synthetic nonsteroidal estrogen
  • Fibroadenoma: Benign tumor containing fibrous tissues and glands (common in breasts)
  • Fibrocystic breast disease: A condition characterized by the formation of fibrocystic lesion in the breasts
  • Fibrocystic breasts: The development of benign fluid-filled cysts in the breasts as well as scar-like tissue. The cysts can make breast cancer examinations more difficult.
  • Galactocele: A milk filled cyst caused by a blocked mammary duct.
  • Gynecomastia: Enlarged male breasts
  • Hemangioma: A condition which is characterized by a benign tumour cause by newly formed blood vessels
  • Hodgkin's Disease: A form of cancer that affects the lymphatic system.
  • Human carcinogen -Tamoxifen: Tamoxifen is a drug used to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer but is also deemed to be carcinogenic to humans as it increases the risk of developing other cancers. The carcinogenicity of the substance may be influenced by the duration and level of exposure. Tamoxifen exposure is associated mainly with an increased risk of developing uterine cancer.
  • Inflammatory breast cancer: Inflammatory breast cancer is a rare and aggressive form of invasive breast cancer, where the skin of the breast becomes red, inflamed and pitted in appearance.
  • Invasive breast cancer: Invasive breast cancers usually are epithelial tumors of ductal or lobular origin. Features such as size, status of surgical margin, estrogen receptors (ER) and progesterone receptors (PR), nuclear and histologic grade, DNA content, S-phase fraction, vascular invasion, tumor necrosis, and quantity of intraductal component are all important in deciding on a course of treatment for any breast tumor.
  • Invasive ductal carcinoma: Invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC), sometimes called infiltrating ductal carcinoma, is the most common type of breast cancer. About 80% of all breast cancers are invasive ductal carcinomas.
  • Klinefelter syndrome variant:
  • Klinefelter syndrome, variants: A genetic condition where males have at least one extra X chromosome or extra copies of both the X and Y chromosomes in each cell. Normally male cells contain one X and one Y chromosome in each cell. The condition is not inherited but is a result of problems during cell division.
  • Li-Fraumeni syndrome: A rare inherited disorder characterized by tumor development by young adulthood.
  • Lipoma: Tumor of fat cells usually just under the skin
  • Locally advanced breast cancer:
  • Lymphangiomas: A form of angioma caused by lymph vessels
  • Lymphoma of the breast: Lymphomas of the breast are rare, accounting for 1.7% to 2.2% of extranodal lymphomas and 0.38% to 0.7% of all non-Hodgkin lymphomas. Although secondary breast lymphomas are also rare, they represent the largest group of metastatic tumors of the breast.
  • Mastalgia: Generalized breast pain or tenderness
  • Mastitis: Infected breast common in nursing mothers
  • Menopause: The end of female menstruation and fertility.
  • Metaplastic carcinoma: Metaplastic carcinoma of the breast is a rare neoplasm containing a mixture of epithelial and mesenchymal elements.
  • Metastatic breast cancer: Metastatic breast cancer is the term used to describe cancer that has spread from the original site in the breast to other organs or tissues in the body.
  • Micropapillary carcinoma: Invasive micropapillary carcinoma (IMPC) is a rare subtype of epithelial tumor of the breast. It has a high incidence of axillary lymph node metastasis, in keeping with an angioinvasive phenotype. IMPC was considered an aggressive subtype of breast carcinoma.
  • Neurofibroma: A benign tumor that originates from nerve cells. The tumors usually arise from nerves in the skin or just under the skin.
  • Nipple discharge: Discharge of fluid or milk from one or both breasts
  • Nipple symptoms: Any symptom affecting the nipple.
  • No symptoms: The absence of noticable symptoms.
  • Obesity: An increase in the body weight greater than that required for normal function that is characterised by the accumulation of excessive fat
  • Osteosarcoma of the breast: Primary osteosarcoma of the breast is extremely rare and represents 12.5% of mammary sarcomas.
  • Ovarian Cancer: Cancer of the ovaries.
  • PTEN Hamartoma Tumor Syndrome: PTEN Hamartoma Tumor Syndrome is a group of conditions caused by a mutation in the PTEN gene. The primary characteristic of the condition is the development of multiple hamartomas (tumor-like growth) in virtually any part of the body. The growths are generally not cancerous but patients often have an increased risk of developing various cancers. Specific conditions covered by this term are Cowden syndrome, BAnnayan-Riley-Ruvalcaba Syndrome and Proteus syndrome.
  • Paget's Disease: Breast carcinoma involving nipple and areola.
  • Papilloma: A benign tumour that is located in the epithelium
  • Peutz-Jeghers Syndrome: A rare genetic disorder characterized by the development of numerous benign nodules on the inside lining of the intestinal wall as well as excess skin pigmentation usually around the lips and inner lining of the mouth.
  • Phyllodes tumor: Phyllodes tumour are typically large, fast growing masses that form from the periductal stromal cells of the breast. They account for less than 1% of all breast neoplasms.
  • Pleural effusion: Fluid in the pleural spaces.
  • Pre-invasive breast cancer:
  • Pregnancy: The condition of supporting a fetus from conception till birth.
  • Sarcoma: A malignant carcinoma that is located in connective tissue
  • Secondary Bone Cancer: Tumour development in bone as a result of spread from a primary malignant tumour from another body site (usually lung bronchus, breast and prostate)
  • Soft tissue tumors: Any tumor of the soft tissues (e.g. muscles, cartilage), including cancer and benign tumors.
  • Tubular carcinoma: Tubular carcinoma is a rare type of invasive ductal carcinoma of the breast. It takes its name from its microscopic appearance, in which the cancer cells resemble small tubes. Tubular carcinomas tend to be small, estrogen-receptor positive, HER2/neu negative. In some cases, tubular cancer cells are mixed with ductal or lobular cancer cells, giving a mixed-tumor diagnosis.
  • Underarm lump: Lump in the armpit or underarm region
  • Wegener's granulomatosis: A rare disease involving blood vessel inflammation which can affect the blood flow to various tissues and organs and hence cause damage. The respiratory system and the kidneys are the main systems affected.
  • Womens health conditions: Medical conditions related to women's health.


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