Words to Know
Surgical removal of the fallopian tubes and ovaries. This surgery is sometimes recommended to women at high risk of developing ovarian cancer because of a known BRCA mutation, or to stop the creation of estrogen in the body that fuels the growth of estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer.
A radioactive substance used in the treatment of bone cancer and bone metastases (cancers that have spread from the original tumor to the bone). Samarium 153 is a radioactive form of the element samarium. It collects in bone, where it releases radiation that may kill cancer cells. It is a type of radioisotope.
A picture of structures inside the body. Scans often used in diagnosing, staging, and monitoring breast cancer include liver scans, bone scans, and computed tomography (CT) or computerized axial tomography (CAT) scans, positron emission tomograhy (PET) scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. In liver scanning and bone scanning, radioactive substances that are injected into the bloodstream collect in these organs. A scanner that detects the radiation is used to create pictures. In CT scanning, an X-ray machine linked to a computer is used to produce detailed pictures of organs inside the body. MRI scans use a large magnet connected to a computer to create pictures of areas inside the body.
Also called radionuclide scanning. A procedure that produces pictures (scans) of structures inside the body, including areas where there are cancer cells. Scintigraphy is used to diagnose, stage, and monitor disease. A small amount of a radioactive chemical (radionuclide) is injected into a vein or swallowed. Different radionuclides travel through the blood to different organs. A machine with a special camera moves over the person lying on a table and detects the type of radiation given off by the radionuclides. A computer forms an image of the areas where the radionuclide builds up. These areas may contain cancer cells.
Also called Miraluma test and sestamibi breast imaging. A type of breast imaging test that is used to detect cancer cells in the breasts of some women who have had mammograms with cause for follow-up testing, or who have dense breast tissue. It is not used for screening or in place of a mammogram. In this test, a woman receives an injection of a small amount of a radioactive substance called technetium 99, which is taken up by cancer cells, and a gamma camera is used to take pictures of the breasts.
A benign condition in which scar-like tissue is found in a gland, such as the breast lobules. A biopsy may be needed to tell the difference between the unhealthy tissue and a diagnosis of cancer. Women with sclerosing adenosis of the breast may have a slightly increased risk of breast cancer.
X-rays of the breasts taken to check for breast cancer in the absence of signs or symptoms. Results from randomized clinical trials and other studies show that screening mammography can help reduce the number of deaths from breast cancer among women ages 40 to 74. The National Cancer Institute recommends that women age 40 or older should have screening mammograms every 1 to 2 years.
An error in choosing the individuals or groups to take part in a study. Ideally, the subjects in a study should be very similar to one another and to the larger population from which they are drawn (for example, all individuals with the same disease or condition). Some differences between individuals in a study could invalidate the results.