Breast CancerBreast Cancer A to Z
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Breast Cancer Glossary




Klinefelter's syndrome
Men with this syndrome have an extra sex chromosome and do not produce enough testosterone. It is a risk factor for breast cancer in men. Also see in Resources -> Male Breast Cancer.


A general term indicating a change in the structure of any body tissue, often used as a synonym for cancer.

Decrease in the white cell count in the blood. White blood cells help to fight infection.

Liver Metastases
Breast cancer can metastasize to the liver, which often presents as being enlarged or tender, and can be diagnosed by a liver scan, ultrasound, CT Scan and alkaline phosphatase tests.

Liver Scan
A radioactive tracer is injected into the bloodstream that enhances the x-ray picture of the liver.

A part of an organ such as the liver, lung, breast, or brain. Each breast contains 15 - 20 lobes.

Lobular Carcinoma In Situ (LCIS)
Abnormal cells found in the lobules of the breast. This condition seldom becomes invasive cancer. Lobular carcinoma in situ increases the risk of developing breast cancer in either breast. Also see -> Stage I Breast Cancer.

A small lobe or subdivision of the lobes of the breast.

Local Therapy
Treatment that affects cells in the tumor and the area close to it.

Removal of a malignant lump with only a small amount of normal breast tissue around it.
Also see in Resources -> Breast Cancer Surgery.

Lung Metastases
Because all the blood is filtered through the lungs, breast cancer also spreads to the lung and pleura surrounding the lung. Shortness of breath and a persistent cough are among the symptoms. Scans and x-ray are commonly used for diagnosis, although sometimes a lung biopsy may be advised for definitive diagnosis.

The almost colorless fluid that travels through the lymphatic system and carries cells that help fight infection and disease.

Lymph Node
A rounded mass of lymphatic tissue that is surrounded by a capsule of connective tissue. Also known as a lymph gland. Lymph nodes are spread out along lymphatic vessels and they contain many lymphocytes, which filter the lymphatic fluid (lymph).

Lymphatic System
The tissues and organs that produce, store, and carry white blood cells that fight infection and other diseases. This system includes the bone marrow, spleen, thymus, and lymph nodes and a network of thin tubes that carry lymph and white blood cells. These tubes branch, like blood vessels, into all the tissues of the body.

A condition in which excess lymph collects in tissue and causes swelling. It may occur in the arm or leg after lymph vessels or lymph nodes in the underarm or groin are removed.
Also see in Resources -> Lymphedema.





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