Words to Know
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.