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Glossary

June 10, 2008 - 7:30am
 
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Glossary

Previous | Back to Breast Cancer Center | Breast cancer- Understanding treatment options

Anesthesia: Loss of feeling or sensation resulting from the administration of drugs or gases.

Benign: Not cancerous.

Biopsy: Removal of a sample of tissue to see if cancer cells are present.

Chemotherapy: Treatment with drugs to destroy cancer cells. Most often used to supplement surgery or radiation therapy.

Lymph nodes: Part of the lymph system that removes wastes from body tissue and carries the fluids that help the body fight infection. Lymph nodes in the underarm are those most likely to be invaded by cancer cells and are therefore often removed during breast cancer surgery.

Lymphedema: Swelling in the patient's arm caused by excess fluid that collects when the lymph nodes and vessels are removed during surgery or damaged by x-ray. The patient's arm and hand become more prone to infection.

Malignant: Cancerous.

Mastectomy: Surgical removal of the breast.

Pectoral muscles: Muscles that overlay the chest wall and help to support the breasts.

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