Words to Know
blood-brain barrier disruption
The use of medicines to create openings between cells in the blood-brain barrier. The blood-brain barrier is a protective network of blood vessels and tissue that protects the brain from harmful substances, but can also prevent anticancer medicines from reaching the brain. Once the barrier is opened, anticancer medicines may be infused into an artery that goes to the brain, in order to treat brain tumors. Also called BBBD.
A network of blood vessels and tissue that is made up of closely spaced cells and helps keep harmful substances from reaching the brain. The blood-brain barrier lets some substances, such as water, oxygen, carbon dioxide and general anesthetics pass into the brain. It also keeps out bacteria and other substances, such as many anticancer medicines. Also called BBB.
A measure of the amount of minerals, mostly calcium and phosphorous, contained in a certain volume of bone. Bone density measurements are used to diagnose osteoporosis, a condition marked by decreased bone mass, to see how well osteoporosis treatments are working and to predict how likely the bones are to break. Low bone density can occur in individuals treated for cancer. Also called BMD, bone mass and bone mineral density.
bone mineral density scan
An imaging test that measures bone density (the amount of bone mineral contained in a certain volume of bone) by passing X-rays with two different energy levels through the bone. It is used to diagnose osteoporosis (decrease in bone mass and density). Also called BMD scan, DEXA, DEXA scan, dual energy X-ray absorptiometric scan, dual X-ray absorptiometry and DXA.
A computer program that uses statistics to predict whether a person has an inherited mutation, or change, in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. People who have certain mutations in these genes have a higher than normal risk of breast, ovarian, prostate and other types of cancer. The program is based on personal and family medical histories of breast and ovarian cancer.
breast carcinoma in situ
Also called stage 0 breast carcinoma in situ. There are two types of breast carcinoma in situ: ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS). DCIS is a noninvasive condition in which abnormal cells are found in the lining of a breast duct, a tube that carries milk to the nipple. The abnormal cells have not spread outside the duct to other tissues in the breast. In some cases, DCIS may become invasive cancer and spread to other tissues, although it is not known how to predict which lesions will become invasive cancer. LCIS is a condition in which abnormal cells are found in the breast lobules, small sections of tissue involved with making milk. This condition seldom becomes invasive cancer; however, having LCIS in one breast increases the risk of developing breast cancer in either breast.