Breast CancerBreast Cancer A to Z
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Breast Cancer Glossary




Neupogen, or granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, that helps the white cells recover rapidly following chemotherapy treatments.

Gamma knife
Radiation therapy in which high-energy rays are aimed at a tumor from many angles in a single treatment session.

The fundamental unit of DNA that controls inherited characteristics. Also see in Resources -> Genetics & Breast Cancer

Gene Alteration
Any change or difference in the usual makeup or function of a gene, including a modification in the formation of proteins.

Gene Deletion
The total loss or absence of a gene.

Gene Therapy
Treatment that alters genes (the basic units of heredity found in all cells in the body). In studies of gene therapy for cancer, researchers are trying to improve the body's natural ability to fight the disease or to make the tumor more sensitive to other kinds of therapy.

An organ that produces and releases one or more substances for use in the body. Some glands produce fluids that affect tissues or organs. Others produce hormones or participate in blood production. Breasts are mammary glands which are designed to produce milk, although this function will not be activated unless other hormones are released during pregnancy. Men and women both have mammary glands. Men do not develop milk production because the necesary hormones are not released in the male.


Describes how closely a cancer resembles normal tissue of its same type, and the cancer's probable rate of growth.

A way of describing the aggressiveness of cancer cells. This system for classifying cancer cells sorts them in terms of how malignant or aggressive they appear microscopically. The grading of a tumor indicates how quickly cancer cells are likely to spread and helps your medical team to make accurate treatment decisions.

Growth Factors
See colony-stimulating factors.

An enlargement of the male breast. It may be related to Klinefelter's syndrome, chronic diseases such as heart disease, or a variety of drugs used to treat chronic diseases. Men should be aware of the link between breast cancer and this condition. Also see in Resources -> Male Breast Cancer. Also see related feature -> Men & Breast Cancer.





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