Words to Know
Also called Herceptin. A monoclonal antibody that binds to HER2 (human epidermal growth factor receptor 2), and can kill HER2-positive breast cancer cells. Monoclonal antibodies are made in the laboratory and can locate and bind to substances in the body, including cancer cells. Trastuzumab is used to treat breast cancer that is HER2-positive and has spread after treatment with other medicines. It is also used with other anticancer medicines to treat HER2-positive breast cancer after surgery. Trastuzumab is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer.
triple-negative breast cancer
Describes breast cancer cells that do not have estrogen receptors, progesterone receptors, or large amounts of HER2/neu protein. Also called ER-negative PR-negative HER2/neu-negative and ER-PR-HER2/neu-. Studies are underway to find additional treatments for triple-negative breast cancer.
A type of surgery to remove the breast. The breast is injected with a liquid mixture of salts and small amounts of two medicines. These medicines are lidocaine, to numb the area, and epinephrine, to narrow blood vessels and reduce bleeding. Tumescent mastectomy is usually used to treat elderly women affected with breast cancer.
tumor board review
A treatment planning approach in which a number of doctors who are experts in different specialties (disciplines) review and discuss the medical condition and treatment options of an individual. In cancer treatment, a tumor board review may include that of a medical oncologist (who provides cancer treatment with medicines) a surgical oncologist (who provides cancer treatment with surgery), and a radiation oncologist (who provides cancer treatment with radiation). Also called multidisciplinary opinion.
A substance that may be found in tumor tissue or released from a tumor into the blood or other body fluids. A high level of a tumor marker may mean that a certain type of cancer is in the body. Examples of tumor markers include CA 15-3 (in breast cancer) and CEA (in ovarian, lung, breast, pancreas, and gastrointestinal tract cancers).