Glossary of Terms
Our glossary shows some of the abbreviations that you may see in our chats or in message board posts.
It is not a comprehensive list of terms in this subject area, and we are not attempting to provide full definitions. You can find more information on these and other terms in glossaries provided by the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), Breastcancer.org, and the National Institutes of Health (Medline).
BART stands for BracAnalysis Rearrangement Test. This is an expanded panel looking for mutations in BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 that are not found in Myriad's "comprehensive" Bracanalysis test. BART looks for specific mutations known as large rearrangements. Myriad charges an additional $700 for BART testing.
On both sides of the body. For instance, 'bilateral mastectomies' means the removal of both breasts.
Bilateral mastectomy or Bilateral prophylactic (or preventive) mastectomy.
BRCA, BRCA1, BRCA2
'Breast cancer genes' in which some mutations may be related to elevated risk of breast, ovarian, and/or other kinds of cancer. Sometimes spelled BRAC or BRACA; not always capitalized.
Bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (removal of tubes and ovaries).
A blood test used to detect signs of ovarian cancer or monitor response to treatment.
Clinical breast examination; a breast exam performed by a health-care professional.
Centers for Disease Control.
The use of medications to prevent cancer.
Ductal carcinoma in situ, a noninvasive type of breast cancer.
Diep Inferior Epigastric Perforator: a type of breast flap reconstruction surgery.
Double prophylactic mastectomy (or mastectomies); same as BPM.
Estrogen replacement therapy.
The part of the fallopian tube closest to the ovary.
A type of breast reconstruction using the body's own tissue.
Fine needle aspirate (a technique for sampling breast tissue by placing a needle into the breast and removing cells).
A gene mutation that is found with high frequency in certain ethnicities or descendants of people from specific geographic areas.
Gynecologic-oncologist, an expert in treating gynecologic malignancies.
Hormone replacement therapy.
Hysterectomy, or removal of the uterus.
In Vitro Fertilization: a fertility treatment where the woman's eggs are removed and fertilized in a test tube.
Laparoscopic-assisted vaginal hysterectomy.
Lobular cancer in situ, a noninvasive change in breast tissue that can be a marker for breast cancer risk.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging; a technique for looking for abnormalities such as cancer using magnetic fields. Breast MRI is typically recommended as a screening tool for breast cancer in high-risk women and is often used to follow up on a breast abnormality seen on mammogram.
National Institutes of Health.
Oophorectomy, or removal of the ovaries.
Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis is a medical procedure that allows people who carry a disease-causing hereditary mutation to have children who are free from the specific mutation that causes the disease.
Prophylactic mastectomy (or mastectomies).
'Prophylactic,' or preventive.
Sometimes used as shorthand for 'plastic surgeon.'
Prophylactic salpingo-oophorectomy (removal of tubes and ovaries).
Reconstruction, or reconstructive surgery.
A type of plastic surgery which may be done as a follow-up to an earlier operation.
Removal of the fallopian tubes.
Sentinel Node Biopsy
A procedure to determine whether breast cancer cells have spread beyond the breast tissue. The surgeon injects a blue dye or radioactive tracer (or both) into the breast, to follow the lymph system from the tumor to the sentinel node.
Cancers that arise from solid organs, for example, breast, lung, colon, prostate, ovary, thyroid, pancreas.
Procedures used to determine if and how much the cancer has spread. Cancers are staged from stage 0 (preinvasive cancer) to stage 4 (spread outside the initial tissue).
Therapy that delivers treatments throughout the body. May be intravenous or pill form. Examples include chemotherapy, biologic therapy and hormone therapy.
Total abdominal hysterectomy.
Medications that block the growth of cancer cells by interfering with specific molecules needed for tumor growth rather than by simply interfering with rapidly dividing cells as with traditional chemotherapy.
Transverse rectus abdominous myocutaneous flap: a type of reconstructive surgery where fat and muscle from the abdomen are used to recreate breast tissue.
Triple-Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC)
A type of breast cancer that lacks receptors for estrogen and progesterone and does not overexpress the Her2neu protein.
Total vaginal hysterectomy.
Ultrasound; or ultrasonographic examination.
United States Preventive Services Task Force. A volunteer panel of experts who develop evidence-based guidelines for different areas of preventive medicine.
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