Words to Know
Deposits of calcium in the tissues. Calcification in the breast can be seen on a mammogram, but cannot be detected by touch. There are two types of breast calcification, macrocalcification and microcalcification. Macrocalcifications are large deposits and are usually not related to cancer. Microcalcifications are specks of calcium that may be found in an area of rapidly dividing cells. Many microcalcifications clustered together may be a sign of cancer.
Also called candidosis and thrush. A condition in which Candida albicans, a type of yeast, grows out of control in moist skin. It is usually a result of a weakened immune system, but can be a side effect of chemotherapy or treatment with antibiotics. Candidiasis usually affects the mouth (oral candidiasis). Rarely, it spreads throughout the entire body.
Also called Xeloda. A medicine used to treat metastatic breast cancer that has not improved after treatment with certain other anticancer medicines. It is taken up by cancer cells and breaks down into 5-fluorouracil, a substance that kills tumor cells. Capecitabine is a type of antimetabolite.
Also called Paraplatin. A medicine used to treat advanced ovarian cancer that has never been treated, or ovarian cancer that has come back after treatment with other anticancer agents. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer, including breast cancer. Carboplatin is a form of the anticancer agent cisplatin and causes fewer side effects in individuals. It attaches to DNA in cells and may kill cancer cells.
A serious problem in which cancer cells spread from the original (primary) tumor to the meninges (thin layers of tissue that cover and protect the brain and spinal cord). It can happen in many types of cancer, but is the most common in melanoma, breast, lung and gastrointestinal cancer. The cancer may cause the meninges to be inflamed. Also called leptomeningeal carcinoma, leptomeningeal metastasis, meningeal carcinomatosis, meningeal metastasis, and neoplastic meningitis.
A group or series of case reports involving individuals who were given similar treatment. Reports of case series usually contain detailed information about the individuals who have received treatment. This includes demographic information (for example, age, gender and ethnic origin) and information on diagnosis, treatment, response to treatment and follow-up after treatment.
Also called retrospective study. A study that compares two groups of people: those with the disease or condition under study (cases) and a very similar group of people who do not have the disease or condition (controls). Researchers study the medical and lifestyle histories of the people in each group to learn what factors may be associated with the disease or condition. For example, one group may have been exposed to a particular substance that the other was not.