Breast CancerBreast Cancer A to Z
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Breast Cancer Glossary




The lowest point in white cell, red cell, and platelet counts following treatment, usually ten days to two weeks following chemotherapy or radiation. Patients are cautioned to be extra careful with exposure to infection and avoiding anything that could cause bleeding during this time. In some cases, growth factors are given to encourage the bone marrow to regenerate cells more rapidly.

Necrosis or Necrotic
Referring to tissue that has died.

Negative Predictive Value
The proportion of cases with a negative test who are found by diagnostic evaluation to not have the disease in question. The higher the negative predictive value, the lower the number of false negative results.

Neoadjuvant Therapy
Any treatment given before the primary treatment. Neoadjuvant therapy can be chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or hormone therapy.

Abnormal new growth of cells.

A new growth of tissue which may be benign or malignant.

See G-CSF.

A doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the nervous system.

A tumor that arises in nerve cells.

A doctor who specializes in surgery on the brain and other parts of the nervous system.

A type of white blood cell.

A low white blood cell count of neutrophils, the cells most crucial in the body's fight against infection. This is often a side effect of chemotherapy drugs. Neutropenia affects as many as one in three patients receiving chemotherapy treatment for cancer. Cancer cells grow and divide very quickly. Chemotherapy works by acting mainly on quickly dividing cells. But these drugs can't tell the difference between a growing tumor and some normal cells, such as neutrophils, the cells in your blood that surround and destroy bacteria in your body, which also divide quickly. Neutrophils are also killed by the chemotherapy. This is a potentially serious complication, and patients should avoid exposure to situations that may put them at risk of infection while their immune system is compromised.  Patients with Neutropenia can develop fever and infections. They may need to be hospitalized and given very strong and costly antibiotics.

Nipple Discharge
Fluid, blood or mucous secretions coming from the nipple.

A group of anticancer drugs that can cross the blood-brain barrier. Carmustine (BCNU) and lomustine (CCNU) are nitrosoureas.

No Evidence of Disease (NED)
Disappearance of the signs and symptoms of cancer. When this happens, the disease is said to be "in remission." A remission may be temporary or permanent.



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