Mammogram Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Mammogram article.

Abnormal: Outside the expected norm, or uncharacteristic of a particular patient.

Aging: The process of becoming older, a process that is genetically determined and environ...

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Anesthesia: Loss of feeling or awareness, as when an anesthetic is administered before sur...

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Anxiety: A feeling of apprehension and fear, characterized by physical symptoms such as pa...

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Arms: An appendage in anatomy and in clinical trials. See: Arm.

Aspiration: Removal of a sample of fluid and cells through a needle. Aspiration also re...

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Atypical: Unusual, or not fitting a single diagnostic
category.

Baseline: Information or data gathered at the beginning of a period from which variations ...

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Benign: Not malignant. A benign tumor is one that does not invade surrounding tissue or sp...

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Biopsy: The removal of a sample of tissue for examination under a microscope to check for ...

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BRCA2: A gene that normally acts to restrain the growth of cells in the breast and ovary b...

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Breast biopsy: A procedure in which a sample of a suspicious breast growth is removed and ...

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Breast cancer: Breast cancer is diagnosed with self- and physician-examination of the brea...

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Breast lump: A localized swelling, knot, bump, bulge or protuberance in the breast. Breast...

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Breast pain: Pain in the breast or mammary gland, known medically as mastalgia. From the G...

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Breastfeeding: Feeding a child human breast milk. According to the American Academy of Ped...

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Caffeine: A stimulant compound found naturally in coffee, tea, cocoa (chocolate), and kola...

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Calcium: A mineral found mainly in the hard part of bones, where it is stored. Calcium is ...

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Cancer: An abnormal growth of cells which tend to proliferate in an uncontrolled way and, ...

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Chemotherapy: 1. In the original sense, a chemical that binds to and specifically k...

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Clinical trials: Trials to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of medications or medical...

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Collarbone: A horizontal bone above the first rib that makes up the front part of the shou...

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Compression: 1. The act of pressing together. As in a compression fracture, nerve c...

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Curable: Amenable to a cure, capable of being cured, to being healed and made well. From ...

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Cure: 1. To heal, to make well, to restore to good health. 2. A time withou...

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Cuts: Severed skin. Washing a cut or scrape with soap and water and keeping it clean and d...

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Cyst: A closed sac or capsule, usually filled with fluid or semisolid material.

Cysts: Cysts are abnormal, closed sac-like structures within a tissue that contain a liqui...

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Diagnosis: 1 The nature of a disease; the identification of an illness. 2 A ...

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Discharge: 1.The flow of fluid from part of the body, such as from the nose or vag...

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Duct: A walled passageway, such as a lymph duct, that carries fluid from one place to anot...

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Estrogen: A female steroid hormone that is produced by the ovaries and, in lesser amounts,...

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Family history: The family structure and relationships within the family, including inform...

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Fasting: : going without food or drink. Patients may be advised to fast for a certain peri...

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Gene: The basic biological unit of heredity. A segment of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) need...

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Genes: The basic biological units of heredity. Segments of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) nee...

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Genetics: The scientific study of heredity. Genetics pertains to humans and all other orga...

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Gland: A group of cells that secrete a substance for use in the body. For example, the thy...

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Hormone: A chemical substance produced in the body that controls and regulates the activit...

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Hormone therapy: Treatment of disease or symptoms with synthetic or naturally derived horm...

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Hyperplasia: An increase in the number of normal cells in a tissue or an organ. Hyperplasi...

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Implant: 1. To embed; to set in firmly. In embryology, the fertilized egg implants ...

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Indicate: In medicine, to make a treatment or procedure advisable because of a particular ...

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Laboratory: A place for doing tests and research procedures, and for preparing chemicals a...

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Lesion: An area of abnormal tissue change. Lesions vary in severity from harmless to serio...

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Malignant: 1. Tending to be severe and become progressively worse, as in malignant ...

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Mammogram: An X-ray of the breast that is taken with a device that compresses and flattens...

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Medical history: 1. In clinical medicine, the patient's past and present which may ...

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Menopause: The time in a woman's life when menstrual periods permanently stop; it is also...

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Menstrual: Pertaining to menstruation (the menses), as in last menstrual period, menstrua...

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Menstrual cycle: The monthly cycle of changes in the ovaries and the lining of the uteru...

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Menstruation: The periodic blood that flows as a discharge from the uterus. Also called me...

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Microscopic: So small it cannot be seen without the aid of microscope. As opposed to macro...

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MRI: Magnetic resonance imaging.

Neck: The part of the body joining the head to the shoulders. Also, any narrow or constric...

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Obesity: The state of being well above one's normal weight.

Onset: In medicine, the first appearance of the signs or symptoms of an illness as, for ex...

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Operation: In medicine, a surgical procedure. Many operations are named after persons. The...

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Oral contraceptive: A birth control pill taken by mouth. Most oral contraceptives include...

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Overweight: The term "overweight" is used in two different ways. In one sense it is a way ...

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P53: A specific protein with a mass of 53 kilodaltons that is produced by a tumor-suppress...

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Pain: An unpleasant sensation that can range from mild, localized discomfort to agony. Pa...

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PET scan: The popular name (and abbreviation) of Positron Emission To...

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Positron emission tomography: PET. A highly specialized imaging technique that uses short-...

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Pregnancy: The state of carrying a developing embryo or fetus within the female body. Thi...

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Pregnant: The state of carrying a developing fetus within the body.

Premenstrual: Just before the start of menstruation. As in a premenstrual headache.

Primary care: A patient's main source for regular medical care, ideally providing continui...

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Progesterone: A female hormone, the principal hormone that prepares the uterus to receive ...

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Radiation: 1. Rays of energy. Gamma rays and X-rays are two of the types of energy ...

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Radiologic: Having to do with radiology.

Radiologist: A physician specialized in radiology, the branch of medicine that uses ionizi...

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Radiology: The medical specialty concerned with radiation for the diagnosis and treatment ...

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Radiotherapy: The treatment of disease with ionizing radiation. Also called radiation ther...

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Rupture: A break or tear in any organ (such as the spleen) or soft tissue (such as the ach...

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Scan: As a noun, the data or image obtained from the examination of organs or regions of...

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Screening mammogram: A mammogram (an X-ray of the breast) in women who have no signs of br...

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Stage: As regards cancer, the extent of a cancer, especially whether the disease has spre...

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Stereotactic: Referring to precise positioning in three-dimensional space. For example, bi...

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Surgeon: A physician who treats disease, injury, or deformity via operative or manual meth...

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Surgery: The branch of medicine that employs operations in the treatment of disease or inj...

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Talc: A very soft, soapy-feeling mineral that is a silicate of magnesium, sometimes with s...

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Therapeutic: Relating to therapeutics, the branch of medicine that is concerned specifical...

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Therapy: The treatment of disease. Therapy is synonymous with treatment.

Tomography: The process for generating a tomogram, a two-dimensional image of a slice or s...

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Tumor: An abnormal mass of tissue. Tumors are a classic sign of inflammation, and can be ...

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Ultrasound: High-frequency sound waves. Ultra-sound waves can be bounced off tissues by us...

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X-ray: High-energy radiation with waves shorter than those of visible light. X-ray is used...

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