Shortcut Navigation:

Glossary of Terms

0-9
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
W
X
Y-Z

PA

Physician assistant. A health professional who is licensed to do certain medical procedures under the guidance of a doctor. A PA may take medical histories, do physical exams, take blood and urine samples, care for wounds, and give injections and immunizations.

paclitaxel

Also called Taxol. A medicine used to treat breast cancer and ovarian cancer. It blocks cell growth by stopping cell division and may kill cancer cells.

paclitaxel albumin-stabilized nanoparticle formulation

A medicine used to treat breast cancer that has spread or that has come back within 6months ofchemotherapy treatment. It is being studied in the treatment of newly diagnosed breast cancers. Also called ABI-007, Abraxane, nanoparticle paclitaxel, protein-bound paclitaxel.

paclitaxel-loaded polymeric micelle

A form of the anticancer agent paclitaxel used to treat breast cancer. Paclitaxel is mixed with very tiny particles of a substance that makes it easier to dissolve in water. This allows higher doses of paclitaxel to be given.

Paget disease of the nipple

A form of breast cancer in which a tumor grows from the ducts beneath the nipple onto the surface of the nipple. Symptoms commonly include itching and burning, redness, and an eczema-like condition around the nipple, and sometimes oozing or bleeding.

pain threshold

The point at which a person becomes aware of pain.

palliation

Relief of symptoms and suffering caused by breast cancer and other life-threatening diseases, such as pain and fatigue. Palliation helps an individual feel more comfortable and improves quality of life, but does not cure the disease. Pain medicine, emotional support services and surgery to remove painful tumors are all forms of palliation.

palliative care

Care given to improve the quality of life of people with serious, long-term or life-threatening diseases. The goal of palliative care is to prevent or treat as early as possible the symptoms of a disease, side effects caused by treatment of a disease, and the psychological, social, and spiritual problems related to a disease or its treatment. Also called comfort care, supportive care, and symptom management. Pain medicine, emotional support services and surgery to remove painful tumors are all forms of palliation. Palliative care is also available through hospice care for end of life, but may be used at any stage of treatment.

palliative therapy

Treatment given to relieve the symptoms and reduce the suffering caused by breast cancer and other long-term or life-threatening diseases. Palliative cancer therapies are given together with other cancer treatments, from the time of diagnosis, through treatment, survivorship, and during recurrent or advanced disease. Palliative therapy is also available through hospice care for end of life, but may be used at any stage of treatment.

palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia

A side effect of some cancer treatments that causes pain, swelling, numbness, tingling, or redness of the hands or feet. Also called hand-foot syndrome.

palonosetron hydrochloride

Also called Aloxi. A medicine used to treat nausea and vomiting caused by cancer treatment. It is a type of serotonin receptor antagonist and a type of antiemetic.

palpable disease

Cancer that can be felt by touch, as you would feel a lump in the breast. These cancers are usually in the lymph nodes, skin, or other organs of the body such as the breast.

palpation

Examination by pressing on the surface of the body to feel the organs or tissues underneath, as in a clinical breast exam (a breast exam performed by hand by your doctor)

palpitation

A rapid or irregular heartbeat that a person can feel.

pamidronate

A type of bisphosphinate, a medicine used to treat hypercalcemia (too much calcium in the blood), as well as cancer that has spread to the bones. It belongs to the family of medicines called bisphosphonates.

panic

Sudden, extreme anxiety or fear that may cause irrational thoughts or actions, include rapid heart rate, flushing (a hot, red face), sweating and trouble breathing.

papillary tumor

A tumor shaped like a small mushroom, with its stem attached to the epithelial layer (inner lining) of an organ.

Paraplatin

Also called carboplatin. A medicine being studied in the treatment of triple-negative breast cancer and that is used to treat advanced ovarian cancer. Paraplatin is a form of the anticancer agent cisplatin and causes fewer side effects. It attaches to DNA in cells and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of platinum compound.

parenteral nutrition

A form of nutrition given by vein, usually in a hospital or clinic setting. It is a way of getting nutrients into the body when the body can't absorb them on its own. These problems can be caused by vomiting, diarrhea, intestinal disease or as a side effect of high-dose chemotherapy, radiation and bone marrow transplants. Also called hyperalimentation, total parenteral nutrition, and TPN.

paroxetine hydrochloride

Also called Paxil. A medicine used to treat depression and anxiety disorders. It is a type of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI).

PARP

Also called poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase. A type of enzyme that helps repair DNA damage caused by normal cell activity, UV light, anticancer medicines and radiation therapy. It is also involved in many other cell functions. Inhibitors of one enzyme, PARP-1, are being studied in the treatment of breast cancer.

PARP inhibitor

Also called poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitor. A substance that blocks an enzyme that helps repair DNA damage caused by normal cell activity, UV light, anticancer medicines and radiation therapy. PARP inhibitors may cause breast cancer cells to die.

partial mastectomy

Also called segmental mastectomy. The removal of cancer as well as some of the breast tissue around the tumor and the lining over the chest muscles below the tumor. Usually some of the lymph nodes under the arm are also taken out.

partial oophorectomy

Surgery to remove part of one ovary or part of both ovaries.

partial remission or partial response

A decrease in the size of a tumor or in the extent of breast cancer in the body, in response to treatment.

partial-breast irradiation

Also called accelerated partial-breast irradiation. A type of radiation therapy given either internally or externally, to only the part of the breast that has cancer in it. Partial-breast irradiation gives a higher dose over a shorter time than is given in standard whole-breast radiation therapy.

pastoral counselor

A person who is trained to give spiritual and mental health advice.

paternal

Having to do with the father, coming from the father, or related through the father. For example, your paternal grandfather is your grandfather on your father's side of the family.

pathologic fracture

A broken bone caused by disease. For example, those caused by the spread of cancer to the bone.

pathological stage

The stage of breast cancer, or the amount of cancer in the body or extent of the cancer's reach. A determination of how much breast cancer is present or how much it has spread is based on how different the cancer cells look when compared to healthy cells, as viewed under a microscope in samples of tissue.

pathological staging

A method used to find out the stage of breast cancer (the amount or extent of cancer in the body) by removing tissue samples during surgery or a biopsy. The pathological stage is based on how much breast cancer is present and how far it has spread in the body, based on how different the cancer cells look when compared with healthy cells as viewed under a microscope in samples of tissue.

pathologist

A doctor who specializes in identifying the cellular components of tissue and diagnosing specific diseases, such as breast cancer, by examining cells and tissues under a microscope.

pathology report

A document created when you have your first tests after diagnosis. In breast cancer, your pathology report contains information on the stage of disease, the hormonal and HER2 status of the breast cancer, where the cancer is located, and information about what the cells look like under a microscope, as well as how fast they are dividing. Your pathology report becomes part of your medical record, and you are given a copy for yourself.

patient advocate

A trained professional who helps a person work with others who have an effect on his or her health, including doctors, insurance companies, employers, case managers and lawyers. A patient advocate helps resolve issues about health care, medical bills, and job discrimination related to that individual's medical condition.

Paxil

A medicine used to treat depression and anxiety disorders that is sometimes prescribed to help women with breast cancer handle stress and anxiety. It is a type of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). Also called paroxetine hydrochloride.

peau d'orange

A dimpled condition of the skin of the breast that looks like the skin of an orange. It is sometimes found as a symptom of inflammatory breast cancer.

pedigree

A diagram that shows relationships among family members. If you have genetic testing for breast cancer risk, a pedigree shows the pattern of certain genes or diseases within your family and helps a genetic counselor predict whether you may carry a breast cancer-related gene mutation.

peer-review process

The process by which original articles and grants written by researchers are evaluated for technical and scientific quality and correctness by other experts in the same field.

peer-reviewed scientific journal

A publication that contains original articles that have been written by scientists and evaluated for technical and scientific quality and correctness by other experts in the same field.

perfusion magnetic resonance imaging

Also called magnetic resonance perfusion imaging. A special type of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) that uses an injected dye in order to see blood flow through tissues.

perimenopausal

The period of time before a woman begins menopause, but during which she experiences some of its symptoms. During perimenopause you may have irregular periods, hot flashes, mood swings, night sweats, vaginal dryness, trouble concentrating and infertility. This life stage is generally 3 to 5 years before menopause officially starts.

periodic neutropenia

Also called cyclic neutropenia. A chronic condition that affects neutrophils (a type of white blood cell). In periodic neutropenia, the number of neutrophils in the blood goes in cycles from a healthy level, to low, and back to a healthy level again. Symptoms include fever, inflamed mucous membranes in the mouth, and infections. Periodic neutropenia is sometimes caused by cancer treatments like radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

perioperative

Around the time of surgery. This usually lasts from the time the individual goes into the hospital or doctor's office for surgery until the time the individual goes home.

peripheral neuropathy

Also called neuropathy. A nerve problem that causes pain, numbness, tingling, swelling, or muscle weakness in different parts of the body. It usually begins in the hands or feet and can be caused by certain breast cancer medicines.

peripheral venous catheter

A small, flexible tube used to deliver fluids into the body. A needle is used to insert the catheter into a vein, usually in the back of the hand or in the forearm. The tubing is then taped to the skin to hold it in place. These catheters are commonly used if you need an IV for treatment.

personal health record

A collection of information about a person's health. It may include information about allergies, illnesses and surgeries, and dates and results of physical exams, tests, screenings, and immunizations. It may also include information about medicines taken and about diet and exercise. Also called personal history and personal medical history.

personal medical history

A collection of information about a person's health. It may include information about allergies, illnesses and surgeries, and dates and results of physical exams, tests, screenings and immunizations. It may also include information about medicines taken, and about diet and exercise. Also called personal health record and personal history.

personalized medicine

A form of medicine that uses information about a person's genes, proteins, and environment to prevent, diagnose and treat disease.

Pertuzumab

A monoclonal antibody that is FDA approved for the treatment of metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer and for early-stage breast cancer as neoadjuvant therapy (pre-surgery medicine). It is given together with trastuzumab and docetaxel. Monoclonal antibodies are produced in the lab and can locate and bind to breast cancer cells.

PET scan

Positron emission tomography scan. A procedure in which a small amount of radioactive glucose (sugar) is injected into a vein, and a scanner is used to make detailed, computerized pictures of areas inside the body where the glucose is used. Because breast cancer cells often use more glucose than healthy cells, the pictures can be used to find cancer cells in the body.

pharmacist

A person licensed to prepare and dispense (give out) prescription drugs and who has been taught how they work, how to use them, and their side effects.

phase I trial

The first step in testing a new treatment in humans. These studies test the best way to give a new treatment (for example, by mouth, intravenous infusion, or injection) and the best dose. The dose is usually increased a little at a time in order to find the highest dose that does not cause harmful side effects. Because little is known about the possible risks and benefits of the treatments being tested, phase I trials usually include only a small number of individuals who have not been helped by other treatments.

phase I/II trial

A trial to study the safety, dosage levels and response to a new treatment.

phase II trial

A study to test whether a new treatment has an anticancer effect (for example, whether it shrinks a breast tumor or improves blood test results), and whether it works against a certain type of cancer.

phase II/III trial

A trial to study the cancer's response to a new treatment and the effectiveness of the treatment compared with the standard treatment regimen.

phase III trial

A study to compare the results of people taking a new treatment with the results of people taking the standard treatment: for example, which group has better survival rates or fewer side effects. In most cases, studies move into phase III only after a treatment seems to work in phases I and II. Phase III trials may include hundreds or thousands of people.

phase IV trial

After a treatment has been approved and is being marketed, it is studied in a phase IV trial to evaluate side effects that were not apparent in the phase III trial. Thousands of people are involved in a phase IV trial.

phlebotomy

Also called venipuncture. The puncture of a vein with a needle for the purpose of drawing blood.

photon beam radiation therapy

A type of radiation therapy that uses X-rays or gamma rays that come from a special machine called a linear accelerator (linac). The radiation dose is delivered at the surface of the body and goes into the tumor and through the body. Photon beam radiation therapy is different from proton beam therapy.

phyllodes tumor

Also called CSP and cystosarcoma phyllodes. A rare type of tumor found in breast or prostate tissue that grows quickly and can become very large. Phyllodes tumors can be benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer), but are usually removed whether they are cancerous or not. Malignant phyllodes tumors are treated with surgery (mastectomy or lumpectomy) and sometimes with radiation therapy. Malignant phyllodes tumors can spread to other parts of the body.

physical examination

An exam of the body to check for general signs of disease, usually performed by your general practicioner (GP) or family doctor.

physical therapist

A health professional who teaches exercises and physical activities that help condition muscles and restore strength and movement. Some doctors recommend an appointment with a physical therapist after breast cancer surgery, with the goal of preventing or preparing to manage a condition called lymphedema. Lymphedema is a condition that may include the swelling of the arms, due to the buildup of lymph fluid. It can occur after breast cancer surgery.

physical therapy

The use of exercises and physical activities to help condition muscles and restore strength and movement. For example, physical therapy can be used to restore arm and shoulder movement and build back strength after breast cancer surgery.

physician

Medical doctor.

physician assistant

Also called PA. A health professional who is licensed to do certain medical procedures under the guidance of a doctor. A physician assistant may take medical histories, do physical exams, take blood and urine samples, care for wounds, and give injections and immunizations.

physiologic

Having to do with the functions of the body. When used in the phrase 'physiologic age,' it refers to an age assigned by general health, as opposed to calendar age.

PI3 kinase inhibitor

PI3 kinase inhibitors, a family of medicines under study in clinical trials, aim to lower levels of PI3 kinase. PI3 kinase is a type of enzyme that transmits signals in cells and helps control cell growth. Some breast cancers have higher than normal levels of PI3 kinase.

pilocarpine

A medicine used to increase salivation in people who have dry-mouth caused by opioids or radiation therapy. Pilocarpine belongs to the family of medicines called alkaloids.

pilot study

The initial study examining a new method or treatment. Pilot studies can be phase 0 or phase I.

placebo

During a clinical trial, the group of participants not taking the trial medicine are often given a placebo, or inactive substance, that looks the same and is taken the same way as the trial medicine. Giving a placebo prevents the participants and the doctors in the trial from knowing which participants are taking the trial medicine and which participants are not. These kinds of trails are called double-blind. Keeping the participant from knowing whether they are on the new medicine or not is a way for researchers to better test the effect of the medicine, because the participant won't think they feel better simply because they know they are taking it, which is known as placebo effect.

placebo-controlled

Refers to a clinical study in which the individuals in the control group receive a placebo. A placebo is an inactive substance or treatment that looks the same and is administered in the same way as an active medicine or treatment, usually during a clinical trial intended to test a not-yet-approved medicine for its ability to treat a specific illness or medical condition.

plastic surgeon

In breast cancer treatment, a plastic surgeon helps with reconstruction after mastectomy or lumpectomy. Some plastic surgeons specialize in the various types of reconstruction surgeries. Plastic surgeons may also perform surgeries to reduce scarring or disfigurement caused by accidents, birth defects, or other disease treatments.

plastic surgery

An operation that restores or improves the appearance of body structures, such as reconstructive surgery after breast cancer.

population study

A study of a group of individuals taken from the general population who share a common characteristic, such as age, sex or health condition. This group may be studied for different reasons, such as their response to a medicine or risk of getting a disease.

positive axillary lymph node

A lymph node in the area of the armpit (axilla) to which cancer has spread. This spread is determined by surgically removing some of the lymph nodes and examining them under a microscope to see whether breast cancer cells are present.

positive test result

A test result that reveals the presence of a specific disease or condition for which the test is being done.

positron emission tomography scan

Also called PET scan. A procedure in which a small amount of radioactive glucose (sugar) is injected into a vein, and a scanner is used to make detailed, computerized pictures of areas inside the body where the glucose is used. Because cancer cells often use more glucose than normal cells, the pictures can be used to find cancer cells in the body.

post-traumatic stress disorder

An anxiety disorder that develops in reaction to physical injury or severe mental or emotional distress, such as military combat, violent assault, natural disaster, or other life-threatening events. Symptoms interfere with day-to-day living and include reliving the event in nightmares or flashbacks; avoiding people, places, and things connected to the event; feeling alone and losing interest in daily activities; and having trouble concentrating and sleeping. Having cancer may also lead to post-traumatic stress disorder. Also called PTSD.

postmenopausal

The time after a woman's menstrual periods stop permanently. Menopause happens naturally with age, but may also be caused by some anticancer treatments or surgeries.

postoperative

After surgery.

postremission therapy

Also called consolidation therapy and intensification therapy. Treatment that is given after breast cancer has disappeared following the initial therapy. Postremission therapy is used to kill any cancer cells that may be left in the body. It may include radiation therapy, a stem cell transplant, or treatment with medicines that kill cancer cells.

potentiation

In medicine, the effect of increasing the potency or effectiveness of a medicine or other treatment.

power of attorney

PR

Progesterone receptor. A protein found inside the cells of the female reproductive tissue, some other types of tissue, and some breast cancer cells. The hormone progesterone will bind to the receptors inside the cells and may cause the cells to grow.

PR+

Progesterone receptor-positive. Describes breast cancer cells that have a protein to which the hormone progesterone will bind. Cancer cells that are PR+ need progesterone to grow and will usually stop growing when treated with hormones that block progesterone from binding.

PR-

Progesterone receptor-negative. Describes breast cancer cells that do not have a protein to which the hormone progesterone will bind. Cancer cells that are PR- do not need progesterone to grow, and usually do not stop growing when treated with hormones that block progesterone from binding.

practitioner

A person who works in a specific profession. For example, a doctor or nurse is a healthcare practitioner.

precancerous

Also called premalignant. A term used to describe a condition that may (or is likely to) become cancer.

preclinical study

Research using animals to find out if a medicine, procedure, or treatment is likely to be useful. Preclinical studies take place before any testing in humans is done.

predictive factor

A condition or finding that can be used to help predict whether a person's cancer will respond to a specific treatment. Predictive factor may also describe something that increases a person's risk of developing a condition or disease.

pregabalin

Also called Lyrica. A medicine being studied in the prevention and treatment of nerve pain in the hands and feet of individuals being treated with chemotherapy, and for use in post-operative pain for those who have undergone a breast cancer surgery called axillary lymph node dissection. It is currently used to treat nerve pain caused by diabetes or herpes zoster infection and certain types of seizures. Pregabalin is a type of anticonvulsant.

premalignant

Also called precancerous. A term used to describe a condition that may (or is likely to) become cancer.

premature menopause

A condition in which the ovaries stop working and menstrual periods stop before age 40. Natural menopause usually occurs around age 50. A woman is said to be in menopause when she hasn't had a period for 12 months in a row. Symptoms of menopause include hot flashes, mood swings, night sweats, vaginal dryness, trouble concentrating and infertility. Premature menopause can be caused by some cancer treatments, surgery to remove the ovaries, and certain diseases or genetic conditions. Also called early menopause, premature ovarian failure, and primary ovarian insufficiency.

premenopausal

Having to do with the time before menopause. Menopause is the time of life when a woman's menstrual periods stop permanently.

prescription

A doctor's order for medicine or another intervention.

prevention

In medicine, action taken to decrease the chance of getting a disease or condition. For example, cancer prevention includes avoiding risk factors (such as smoking, obesity, lack of exercise, and radiation exposure) and increasing protective factors (such as getting regular physical activity, staying at a healthy weight, and having a healthy diet).

preventive

Used to prevent disease.

preventive mastectomy

Also called prophylactic mastectomy. Surgery to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer by removing one or both breasts before disease develops.

primary care

Health services that meet most basic health care needs over time. Primary care includes physical exams, treatment of common medical conditions, and preventive care such as immunizations and screenings. Primary care doctors are usually the first health professionals an individual will see for basic medical care. Primary care doctors may refer to a specialist, if treatment for breast cancer is needed.

primary care doctor

A doctor who manages a person's health care over time. A primary care doctor is able to give a wide range of care, including prevention and treatment, can discuss cancer treatment choices, and can refer to a specialist.

primary endpoint

The main result that is measured at the end of a study to see if a given treatment worked: e.g., the number of deaths or the difference in survival between the treatment group and the control group. What the primary endpoint will be is decided before the study begins.

primary therapy

Initial treatment used to reduce a cancer. Primary therapy is followed by other treatments, such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and hormone therapy to get rid of cancer that remains. Also called first-line therapy, induction therapy, primary treatment.

primary treatment

Initial treatment used to reduce a cancer. Primary treatment is followed by other treatments, such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and hormone therapy to get rid of cancer that remains. Also called first-line therapy, induction therapy, primary therapy.

primary tumor

The original tumor, which determines how doctors will refer to the illness and what medicines they'll use to treat it. For example, when the original tumor is found in the breast, the cancer is referred to as 'breast cancer.' Specific medicines are considered standard for treatment of the various types of breast cancer.

Principal investigator

Researcher in charge of a clinical trial.

prochlorperazine

A medicine used to prevent or reduce nausea and vomiting. It belongs to the family of medicines called antiemetics.

progesterone

A type of hormone made by the body that plays a role in the menstrual cycle and pregnancy. Progesterone can also be made in the lab. It may be used as a type of birth control and to treat menstrual disorders, infertility, symptoms of menopause and other conditions.

progesterone receptor

Also called PR. A protein found inside the cells of the female reproductive tissue, some other types of tissue, and some cancer cells. The hormone progesterone will bind to the receptors inside the cells and may cause the cells to grow.

progesterone receptor-negative

Also called PR-. Describes cells that do not have a protein to which the hormone progesterone will bind. Breast cancer cells that are progesterone receptor negative do not need progesterone to grow, and usually do not stop growing when treated with hormones that block progesterone from binding.

progesterone receptor-positive

Also called PR+. Describes cells that have a protein to which the hormone progesterone will bind. Breast cancer cells that are progesterone receptor positive need progesterone to grow and will usually stop growing when treated with hormones that block progesterone from binding.

progesterone receptor test

A lab test to find out if cancer cells have progesterone receptors (proteins to which the hormone progesterone will bind). If the cells have progesterone receptors, they may need progesterone to grow, and this can affect how breast cancer is treated.

progestin

Any natural or lab-made substance that has some or all of the biologic effects of progesterone, a female hormone.

prognosis

The likely outcome or course of a disease. Also, the chance of recovery or recurrence.

prognostic factor

A situation or condition, or a characteristic of an individual, that can be used to estimate the chance of recovery from a disease or the chance of the disease recurring (coming back).

progression

In medicine, the course of a disease such as breast cancer as it becomes worse or spreads in the body.

progression-free survival

The length of time during and after treatment in which an individual is living with a disease that does not get worse. Progression-free survival may be used in a clinical study or trial to help find out how well a new treatment works.

progressive disease

Breast cancer that is growing, spreading or getting worse.

Prolia

Also called denosumab and Xgeva. Under the brand name Xgeva, the medicine is used to prevent broken bones and other bone problems caused by solid tumors that have metastasized (spread) to bone. Under the brand name Prolia, it is used to treat osteoporosis (a decrease in bone mass and density) in postmenopausal women who have a high risk of breaking bones. Prolia binds to a protein called RANKL, which keeps RANKL from binding to another protein called RANK on the surface of certain bone cells. This may help keep bone from breaking down. Prolia is a type of monoclonal antibody.

proliferative index

A measure of the number of cells in a breast tumor that are dividing (proliferating). It can describe how fast a tumor is growing.

promegapoietin

A medicine given during chemotherapy to increase blood cell regeneration. Promegapoietin is a colony-stimulating factor that stimulates the production of blood cells, especially platelets. It is a cytokine and belongs to the family of medicines called hematopoietic (blood-forming) agents.

prophylactic

In medicine, something that prevents or protects.

prophylactic mastectomy

Also called preventive mastectomy. Surgery to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer by removing one or both breasts before disease develops. Women at high risk for breast cancer, such as BRCA (breast cancer) gene mutation carriers, are sometimes advised to undergo a prophylactic mastectomy surgery.

prophylactic oophorectomy

Surgery intended to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer by removing the ovaries before disease develops. Women at high risk for breast cancer, such as BRCA (breast cancer) gene mutation carriers, are sometimes advised to undergo a prophylactic oophorectomy.

prophylactic surgery

Surgery to remove an organ or gland that shows no signs of cancer, in an attempt to prevent development of cancer of that organ or gland. Prophylactic surgery is sometimes chosen by people who know they are at high risk for developing cancer. Preventative mastectomy and oophorectomy in BRCA (breast cancer) gene mutation carriers are examples of prophylactic surgeries.

prophylaxis

An attempt to prevent disease.

prospective

In medicine, a study or clinical trial in which participants are identified and then followed forward in time.

prospective cohort study

A research study that follows over time groups of individuals who are alike in many ways but differ by a certain characteristic (for example, female nurses who smoke and those who do not smoke) and compares them for a particular outcome (such as breast cancer).

prosthesis

An artificial device that replaces a portion of the body such as a breast form, worn under clothing, that is used to replace a breast removed by mastectomy.

protective factor

Something that may decrease the chance of getting a certain disease. Some examples of protective factors for breast cancer are getting regular physical activity, staying at a healthy weight, and having a healthy diet.

protein

A molecule made up of amino acids that are needed for the body to function properly. Proteins are the basis of body structures such as skin and hair and of substances such as enzymes, cytokines and antibodies.

protein expression

Refers to the amount of a protein made in a cell. The study of protein expression in cancer cells may give information about a specific type of cancer, the best treatment to use, and how well a treatment works.

protein expression profile

Also called protein signature and proteomic profile. Information about all proteins that are made at certain times in blood, other body fluids, or tissues. A protein expression profile may be used to find and diagnose a disease or condition, and to see how well the body responds to treatment.

protein-bound paclitaxel

A medicine used to treat breast cancer that has spread or come back within 6 months after chemotherapy ends. It is also being studied in the treatment of newly diagnosed breast cancer and other types of cancer. Protein-bound paclitaxel is a type of mitotic inhibitor. Also called ABI-007, Abraxane, nanoparticle paclitaxel, and paclitaxel albumin-stabilized nanoparticle formulation.

protocol

A detailed plan of a scientific or medical experiment, treatment or procedure. In clinical trials, it states what the study will do, how it will be done, and why it is being done. It explains how many people will be in the study, who is eligible to take part in it, what study medicines or other interventions will be given, what tests will be done and how often, and what information will be collected.

proton

A small particle of matter with a positive charge, found in the atoms of all elements. Streams of protons generated by special equipment can be used for radiation treatment.

proton magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging

A noninvasive imaging method that provides information about cellular activity (metabolic information). It is used along with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) which provides information about the shape and size of the tumor (spatial information). Also called 1H-nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging, magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging, MRSI.

pruritus

Itching. Severe itching may be a side effect of some cancer treatments and a symptom of some types of cancers, including inflammatory breast cancer.

psychiatrist

A medical doctor who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of mental, emotional and behavioral disorders.

psychological

Having to do with how the mind works and how thoughts and feelings affect behavior.

psychologist

A specialist who can talk with individuals and their families about emotional and personal matters, and can help them make decisions.

psychosocial

In medicine, describes the psychological (emotional) and social parts of a disease and its treatment. Some of the psychosocial parts of breast cancer are its effects on an individual's feelings, moods, beliefs, the way they cope, and relationships with family, friends and co-workers.

psychotherapy

Also called talk therapy. Treatment of mental, emotional, personality and behavioral disorders using methods such as discussion, listening and counseling.

PTSD

An anxiety disorder that develops in reaction to physical injury or severe mental or emotional distress, such as military combat, violent assault, natural disaster, or other life-threatening events. Having cancer may also lead to PTSD. Symptoms interfere with day-to-day living and include reliving the event in nightmares or flashbacks; avoiding people, places, and things connected to the event; feeling alone and losing interest in daily activities; and having trouble concentrating and sleeping. Also called post-traumatic stress disorder.

pump

A device that is used to give a controlled amount of a liquid at a specific rate. For example, pumps are used to give medicines (such as chemotherapy or pain medicine) or nutrients.

punch biopsy

Removal of a small, circular sample of tissue using a sharp, hollow device. The tissue is then examined under a microscope.

Denver, CO  ·  September 13, 2014

Join Your Community for Yoga on the Steps!

Close
close