Words to Know
magnetic resonance imaging
Also called MRI, NMRI and nuclear magnetic resonance imaging. A procedure in which radio waves and a powerful magnet linked to a computer are used to create detailed pictures of areas inside the body, such as the breast. These pictures can show the difference between normal and diseased tissue. Magnetic resonance imaging creates higher quality images of organs and soft tissue than other scanning techniques, such as computed tomography (CT) or X-ray. It is especially useful for imaging the brain, the spine, the soft tissue of joints and the inside of bones.
A system in which medical doctors and other healthcare professionals (such as nurses, pharmacists and therapists) treat symptoms and diseases using medicines, radiation or surgery. Also called allopathic medicine, biomedicine, conventional medicine, orthodox medicine and Western medicine.
Treatment that is given to help keep breast cancer from coming back after it has disappeared following initial therapy. It may include treatment with medicines, vaccines or antibodies that kill cancer cells, and it may be given for a long time. Tamoxifen and exemestane (brand name, Aromasin) are two examples of maintenance therapy for preventing breast cancer recurrence.
A condition caused by not getting enough calories or the right amount of key nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, needed for good health. Malnutrition may occur when there is a lack of nutrients in the diet, or when the body cannot absorb nutrients from food. Cancer and cancer treatment may cause malnutrition.
Also called benign breast disease, fibrocystic breast changes, and fibrocystic breast disease. A common condition marked by benign (noncancerous) changes in breast tissue. These changes may include irregular lumps or cysts, breast discomfort, sensitive nipples and itching. Symptoms may change throughout the menstrual cycle and usually stop after menopause.
Also called balloon catheter radiation. A system used to deliver internal radiation therapy after breast cancer surgery, in order to remove the cancer. MammoSite targets only the part of the breast where the cancer was found. After an individual has had a lumpectomy to remove the cancer, a small balloon on the end of a catheter (thin tube) is inserted into the empty space left by the surgery. The balloon is then filled with liquid and left in place. Using the catheter, radioactive seeds are put into the balloon twice a day for five days and removed each time. Once treatment has ended, the catheter and balloon are removed. MammoSite is a type of intracavitary brachytherapy and partial breast irradiation therapy (PBRT).