Mastectomy Glossary of Terms

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

Abdominal: Relating to the abdomen, the belly, that part of the body that contains all of ...

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Adipose: Fatty. Adipose refers to tissue made up of mainly fat cells such as the yellow la...

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Adjuvant: A substance that helps and enhances the effect of a drug, treatment, or biologic...

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Adjuvant therapy: Treatment that is given in addition to the primary (initial) treatment...

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Analysis: In psychology, a term for conversation-based therapeutic processes used to gain ...

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Anatomy: The study of human or animal form, by observation or examination of the living be...

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

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Anesthesiologist: A physician or, less often, a dentist who is specialized in the practice...

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Anesthetist: A nurse or technician trained to administer anesthetics.

Antibacterial: Anything that destroys bacteria or suppresses their growth or their ability...

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

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Areola: 1. The small darkened area around the nipple of the breast. 2. The colored part of...

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

Autologous: In blood transfusion and transplantation, a situation in which the donor and r...

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Axilla: Armpit.

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Axillary: Pertaining to the armpit, the cavity beneath the junction of the arm and the bod...

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

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Bilateral: Affecting both sides. For example, bilateral arthritis affects joints on both t...

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

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Blood pressure: The blood pressure is the pressure of the blood within the arteries. It is...

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Breast augmentation: Artificial enlargement of the breasts. Breast augmentation may be don...

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

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Breathing: The process of respiration, during which air is inhaled into the lungs through ...

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

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Carcinoma: Cancer that begins in the skin or in tissues that line or cover body organs. Ex...

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

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Chest: The area of the body located between the neck and the abdomen. The chest contains t...

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Contralateral: Of or pertaining to the other side. The opposite of iposilateral (the same ...

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Dissection: The process of cutting apart or separating tissue as, for example, in the stud...

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Donor: The giver of a tissue or an organ, such as a blood donor or kidney donor.

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Drain: A device for removing fluid from a cavity or wound. A drain is typically a tube or ...

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ECG: Electrocardiogram.

Elective: In medicine, something chosen (elected). An elective procedure is one that is ch...

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Electrocardiogram: A recording of the electrical activity of the heart. Abbreviated ECG an...

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Endocrinology: The study of the medical aspects of hormones, including diseases and condit...

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Excise: To cut out entirely. For example, a scalpel or laser beam may be used to excise a ...

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

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Fever: Although a fever technically is any body temperature above the normal of 98.6 degr...

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

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Gynecology: The branch of medicine that is particularly concerned with the health of the f...

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Heart: The muscle that pumps blood received from veins into arteries throughout the body. ...

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Herbal: 1. An adjective, referring to herbs, as in an herbal tea.
2. A...

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

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Incision: A cut through skin or other tissue performed by a health care professional.

Infection: The invasion and multiplication of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, an...

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Injury: Harm or hurt. To harm, hurt, or wound. The word injure may be in physical or emot...

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Irradiation: The use of high-energy radiation from x-rays, gamma rays, neutrons, and other...

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Juncture: In anatomy, a place where two or more structures join; a joint. From the Latin j...

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

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Lumpectomy: The surgical removal of a small tumor, which may be benign or cancerous. In co...

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Lymph: The almost colorless fluid that travels through the lymphatic system, carrying cell...

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Lymph node: One of many small, bean-shaped organs located throughout the lymphatic system....

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Lymphatic: Pertaining to a small, thin channel that is similar to a blood vessel and that ...

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Lymphatic tissue: A part of the body's immune system that helps protect it from bacteria a...

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Lymphedema: A condition in which excess fluid collects in tissue and causes swelling. Lymp...

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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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Mastectomy: A general term for removal of the breast, usually to remove cancerous tissue. ...

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Microscope: An optical instrument that augments the power of the eye to see small objects....

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Muscle: Muscle is the tissue of the body which primarily functions as a source of power. T...

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Necrosis: The death of living cells or tissues. Necrosis can be due, for example, to ische...

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Node: Literally a knot, a node is a collection of tissue. For example a lymph node, is a ...

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Nomenclature: A system of names used in a particular discipline, as in medicine and surger...

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Obstetrics: The art and science of managing pregnancy, labor, and the puerperium (the time...

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Oncologist: A physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. After a ...

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Operating room: A facility that is equipped for performing surgery. Abbreviated OR.

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

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

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Pathologist: A physician who identifies diseases and conditions by studying abnormal cells...

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Pathology: The study of disease. Pathology has been defined as "that branch of medicine...

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Pectoral muscles: Muscles of the "anterior chest" (the front of the chest). Familiarly cal...

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Pharmacy: A location where prescription medications are sold. A pharmacy is constantly sup...

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Plastic surgeon: A surgeon who specializes in reducing scarring or disfigurement that may ...

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Postoperative: After surgery. As opposed to preoperative, before surgery.

Preoperative: Before surgery. As opposed to postoperative, after surgery.

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Prophylactic: A preventive measure. The word comes from the Greek for "an advance guard," ...

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Prosthesis: An artificial replacement of a part of the body, such as a tooth, a facial bon...

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Pulse: The rhythmic dilation of an artery that results from beating of the heart. Pulse is...

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Quadrant: A quarter of an area. For example, the liver is in the right upper quadrant of t...

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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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Radiation therapy: The use of high-energy rays to damage cancer cells, stopping them from ...

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Randomized: The use of chance alone to assign the participants in an experiment or trial t...

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Rectus: Usually refers to the rectus abdominis, a large muscle in the front of the abdomen...

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Recurrence: The return of a sign, symptom, or disease after a remission. The reappearance ...

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Risk of recurrence: The chance that a disease will strike again. In medical genetics, the ...

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Sentinel lymph node: The first lymph node to receive lymphatic drainage from a tumor. The ...

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Sentinel lymph node biopsy: Examination of the first lymph node ("gland") that receives ly...

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

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Staging: stagingDoing exams and tests to learn the extent of a cancer, especially whether ...

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Stress: In a medical or biological context stress is a physical, mental, or emotional fact...

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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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Tattoo: The permanent insertion of ink below the skin, using a sharp instrument. Humans ha...

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

Transverse: In anatomy, a horizontal plane passing through the standing body so that the t...

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Tubes: The "tubes" are medically known as the Fallopian tubes. There are two Fallopian tub...

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

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Urinalysis: A test that is done in order to analyze urine. Because toxins and excess fluid...

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Vital: Necessary to maintain life. For example, breathing is a vital function.

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Medical Dictionary