Words to Know
Also called tamoxifen citrate. A medicine used to treat certain types of breast cancer in women and men. It is also used to prevent breast cancer in women who have had ductal carcinoma in situ (abnormal cells in the ducts of the breast), and in women who are at a high risk of developing breast cancer. Tamoxifen is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It blocks the effects of the hormone estrogen in the breast. Tamoxifen is a type of antiestrogen.
Tc 99m sulfur colloid
A substance used to find sentinel lymph nodes in breast cancer. It is also being studied as a way to find cancer in the body. It contains a radioactive substance called technetium linked to a substance called sulfur colloid. Sulfer colloid is taken up by special cells in lymph tissue, and in the liver, spleen, and bone marrow after it is injected. A machine or probe that detects radioactivity is used to find where the Tc 99m sulfur colloid is in the body.
Also called healing touch. A form of complementary and integrative medicine based on the belief that vital energy flows through the human body. This energy is said to be balanced or made stronger by practitioners who pass their hands over, or gently touch, a person's body. Therapeutic touch is being studied in individuals receiving cancer therapy to find out if it can improve quality of life, boost the immune system, or reduce side effects. Therapeutic touch is a type of energy therapy.
Having to do with treating disease and helping healing take place. In vaccine therapy, a therapeutic vaccine is intended for individuals already affected with an illness, while prophylactic (preventative) vaccines are intended to prevent the illness. Some therapeutic vaccines are being studied in the treatment of breast cancer.
In medicine, a procedure in which a heat-sensing infrared camera is used to record the surface heat produced by different parts of the body. Abnormal tissue growth can cause temperature changes, which may show up on the thermogram. Thermography may be used to diagnose breast cancer and other tumors.
Also called candidiasis, candidosis. A condition in which Candida albicans, a type of yeast, grows out of control in moist skin areas of the body. It is usually a result of a weakened immune system, but can be a side effect of chemotherapy or treatment with antibiotics or corticosteroid medicine. Thrush usually affects the mouth (oral thrush). Rarely, it spreads throughout the entire body.
A disorder in which a person hears noises such as buzzing, ringing, clicking, or the sound of a pulse, when no outside sound is causing them. Tinnitus may have many different causes, and may be a symptom of another disease or condition. It may be caused by certain tumors and anticancer medicines.
tissue flap reconstruction
A type of breast reconstruction in which a flap of tissue is surgically moved from another area of the body to the chest, and formed into a new breast mound. The different types of tissue flap surgery are named for the area of the body they are taken from: TRAM (transverse rectus abdominis muscle) flap; Latissimus dorsi (LD) flap; and DIEP (deep inferior epigastric artery perforator) flap.
TNM staging system
Also called AJCC staging system. A system developed by the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) that uses 'TNM' to describe the extent of cancer in a individual's body. 'T' describes the size of the tumor and whether it has invaded nearby tissue. 'N' describes whether cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes, and 'M' describes whether cancer has metastasized (spread to distant parts of the body). The TNM staging system is used to describe most types of cancer, including breast cancer.
Also called helical tomotherapy. A therapy that is being studied in the treatment of breast cancer in which radiation is aimed at a tumor from many different directions. The individual lays on a table and is moved through a donut-shaped machine. The radiation source in the machine rotates around the individual in a spiral pattern. Before radiation, a 3-dimensional (3-D) image of the tumor is taken. This helps doctors find the highest dose of radiation that can be used to kill tumor cells while causing less damage to nearby tissue. Tomotherapy is a type of intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT).
total parenteral nutrition
Also called hyperalimentation, parenteral nutrition, TPN. A form of nutrition that is delivered into a vein. Total parenteral nutrition does not use the digestive system. It may be given to people who are unable to absorb nutrients through the intestinal tract because of vomiting that won't stop, severe diarrhea or intestinal disease. It may also be given to those undergoing high-dose chemotherapy or radiation and bone marrow transplantation. It is possible to give all of the protein, calories, vitamins and minerals a person needs using total parenteral nutrition.
Also called five element acupuncture. An ancient form of acupuncture based on the principle that there are five universal elements (wood, fire, earth, metal and water) that affect a person's emotions, personality, health and response to treatment. Each person is affected by one element more than the others.
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).