A

Abraxane/ Paclitaxel

A chemotherapy drug belonging to a group called “Taxanes”, used to treat advanced breast cancer, which work by blocking one of the ways cancer cells divide and grow

Absolute risk

A person’s chance of developing a certain disease over a certain time period

AC chemotherapy

Adriamycin (Doxorubicin) combined with Cyclophosphamide

Addiction

A psychological desire to get high or euphoric using drugs

Adjuvant therapy

Treatment given after surgery for breast cancer, such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy and hormone therapy

Advanced Breast Cancer

Breast cancer that has spread from the breast to other parts of the body, commonly bones, liver, lungs and brain. Another term for secondary, metastatic or stage 4 breast cancer.

Adverse event

A harmful or undesired effect resulting from treatment

Alopecia

Hair loss

Alternative therapies

Treatments used instead of conventional cancer treatment, which may claim to cure cancer completely

Amenorrhoea

The absence of periods

Anaemia

Too few red blood cells

Analgesics/ Painkillers

Drugs which relieve pain by working on the peripheral and central nervous systems

Anastrozole/ Arimidex

A hormone therapy belonging to the Aromatase inhibitor group of drugs

Antigen

A substance that causes the body to make an immune response, involving the making of antibodies

Anti-inflammatory drugs

A group of drugs used to relieve inflammation (redness and swelling), reduce pain and lower a raised temperature. Also known as Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS)

Antioxidant

A substance that protects the body from damage by oxidising agents. Antioxidants include beta-carotene and vitamins A, C and E

Antiemetic

A drug to relieve nausea and vomiting

Aromatase inhibitors

Hormone therapy drugs including Anastrozole, Exemestane and Letrozole used to treat post-menopausal women with hormone receptor – positive breast cancer

Aromasin/ Exemestane

A hormone therapy belonging to the Aromatase Inhibitor group

Ascites

The build-up of fluid in the peritoneal cavity – the space between the lining of the abdomen and abdominal organs

Avastin/ Bevacizumab

A targeted therapy used to treat cancer. Also known as a monoclonal antibody

Axilla

The armpit

Axillary lymph node clearance/ dissection

Removal of some or all of the lymph nodes from the armpit to see if cancer has spread beyond the breast

Axillary nodes

Nodes in the armpit which drain lymph vessels from the lateral quadrants of the breast, the walls of the chest and the upper abdomen and upper limbs. There are 20-30 in total

B

Bevacizumab/ Avastin

A targeted therapy used to treat cancer. Also known as a monoclonal antibody

Benign

Non-cancerous

Bilateral prophylactic mastectomy

Surgery to remove both breasts to prevent breast cancer from developing

Biological therapy

A drug which targets specific cancer cells but does not damage normal cells

Biomarkers

A substance found in blood or other body tissues that can be measured to show signs of disease – normal or abnormal. May also be used to monitor response to treatment

Biopsy

Removal of tissue or cells from the body to examine in the laboratory, to determine whether or not they are cancerous

Bisphosphonates

Drugs used to strengthen bones, decrease the risk of fractures and lessen pain

Blood count

Number of red and white cells plus platelets in a blood sample

Body Mass Index/BMI

Height and weight used to calculate body fat

Bone marrow

The spongy material inside the bones, particularly the bones of the pelvis and long bones. Stem cells (blood cells at their earliest stage of development) in the bone marrow develop into red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets

Bone metastasis

Cancer cells that have spread to the bones

Bone scan

A test to check for signs of cancer in the bone using radioactive material injected into a vein

Brachytherapy

A procedure that uses targeted radiation therapy from inside the tumour bed

Brain metastasis

Cancer cells that have spread to the brain

BRCA1 and BRCA2

Inherited faulty genes which may increase the risk of getting breast cancer

Breast density

A measure describing the proportion of fat, glandular (i.e. milk ducts and lobules) and connective tissue in the breasts

Breast calcification

Small deposits of calcium in the breasts. Two types, microcalcifications and macrocalcifications

Breast Care Nurse Specialist

Specially trained nurses who support women (and men) who have breast cancer

Breast conserving surgery

Surgery to remove breast cancer and a border/ margin around it of healthy tissue. Also known as a lumpectomy or wide local excision

Breast reconstruction

Surgical recreation of a new breast shape to match the remaining breast

C

Calcification

The accumulation of calcium salts in body tissue

Cancer

A condition where cells in a specific part of the body grow and reproduce uncontrollably, invading and destroying healthy tissue

Capecitabine/ Xeloda

A chemotherapy drug taken orally as a tablet

Carcinogen

A substance directly involved in causing cancer

Carcinoma

The medical term for cancer

Chemoembolization

A procedure using a combination of injecting chemotherapy directly into the blood vessel feeding a cancerous tumour (most commonly the liver) and embolization or blocking of the blood vessel

Chemotherapy

Treatment with cytotoxic/ anti-cancer drugs aimed at destroying cancer cells

Chemotherapy/ Oncology nurses

Trained to provide care for cancer patients, including administering chemotherapy

Chest Wall

The rigid structure made up of bone (the rib cage), muscles, skin and connective tissue, providing protection to the organs in the chest (heart, lungs and liver)

Chronic

A health condition or disease that is persistent or long-lasting

Clinical

Observation and treatment of patients as opposed to theoretical or laboratory studies

Clinical Trials

Research studies involving patients to see if a new treatment works better than an existing one

CMF

A combination of Cyclophosphamide, Methotrexate and Fluorocil/ 5FU chemotherapy used to treat breast cancer

Cohort study

Identifies a group of people and follows them over time to see how their exposures affect their outcomes

Cold cap

A method of scalp cooling to help prevent hair loss during chemotherapy

Complementary therapies

Therapies used in conjunction with conventional treatments, such as reflexology, tai chi and art therapy

Core needle biopsy

Sample of tissue removed from the breast using a hollow needle under local anaesthetic

CT/ Computerised Tomography scan

A procedure using multiple x-rays and a computer to provide detailed images of the inside of the body

CAT scan / Computerised axial tomography

Alternative term for CT scan

Cryotherapy/ Cryosurgery

A procedure using extreme cold to destroy cancer cells

Cytotoxic

Drugs that are poisonous to cancer cells

D

Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS)

An early and non-invasive form of breast cancer which is confined to the ducts of the breast

Denosumab/ Xgeva

A type of targeted biological therapy used for preventing fractures and other bone problems in patients whose breast cancer has spread to the bones

Diagnostic Radiographers

Allied health care professionals who are trained to undertake x-rays and scans

DIEP/Deep inferior epigastric perforator flap

A form of breast reconstruction using skin and fat and blood vessels from the lower abdomen and transferred to the chest wall

Docetaxel/ Taxotere

A chemotherapy treatment from the group of drugs known as taxanes, used to treat cancer including advanced breast cancer

Doxorubicin/ Adriamycin

A chemotherapy drug used to treat many cancers, including breast cancer, from the group of drugs known as anthracyclines

Drug resistance

The reduction in the effectiveness of a drug to cure or inhibit a disease or condition

E

Embolism

Blockage to a blood vessel caused by a foreign body such as a blood clot, fat globule or air bubble

ER status

Estrogen (oestrogen) receptors are proteins found inside cells which help to determine the most effective treatment for an individual. ER status is described as either negative/ -ve or positive/+ve

Encapsulated

A complication of breast surgery when an implant has been inserted. Scar tissue may develop resulting in a capsule forming around the implant, causing the breast to feel hard, tight, distorted and painful

Endocrine therapy/hormone therapy

Hormone treatment given to women with ER+ve breast cancer, following on from surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, in order to reduce the risk of it coming back

Endometrial cancer

Cancer of the inner lining of the uterus (womb). Breast cancer may increase the risk of developing endometrial cancer as does taking Tamoxifen

Epidemiology

The science that studies the patterns, causes and effects of health and disease conditions in defined populations

Epirubicin/ Pharmorubicin

A chemotherapy drug from the group known as anthracyclines, used to treat breast and other cancers

Eribulin / Halaven

A chemotherapy drug used to treat advanced breast cancer by blocking the growth of cancer. It is a type of drug called a microtubule inhibitor

Etiology/ Aetiology

The study of the cause or origins of a disease

Everolimus / Afinitor

A drug taken orally, often in combination with Exemestane, known as a biological therapy or signal transduction inhibitor.

Exemestane/ Aromasin

A hormonal therapy drug used in post-menopausal women to reduce the risk of cancer recurring. May be used in combination with Everolimus to treat advanced breast cancer

External beam radiation therapy

The use of high-energy x-ray beams to destroy cancer cells in a targeted area

F

False negative

A test result that is incorrect because the test failed to recognize an existing condition

False positive

A test result that indicates a given condition is present when it is not

Faslodex/ Fulvestrant

An injectable hormonal therapy drug used to treat advanced breast cancer in post-menopausal women

FEC

A chemotherapy treatment to treat breast cancer using the drugs Fluorouracil/ 5FU, Epirubicin and Cyclophosphamide

FEC-T

A chemotherapy treatment to treat breast cancer using the drugs Fluorouracil/ 5FU, Epirubicin, Cyclophosphamide and Taxotere (Docetaxol)

Femara/ Letrozole

A hormonal therapy used to treat post-menopausal women after surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, to reduce the risk of the cancer coming back

Fibroadenoma

A benign (non-cancerous) lump in the breast

Filgrastim/Neupogen

An injectable drug used to decrease the chance of infection in people with cancer who are receiving chemotherapy, by stimulating the production of neutrophils thus reducing the risk of neutropenia. It is known as a human granulocyte colony stimulating factor – G-CSF

Fine needle aspiration/FNA

A type of biopsy using a fine needle to collect body fluid or tissue for testing

First degree relative

A parent, sibling or child

FISH test

A test to establish if breast cancer cells are positive or negative to HER2. It stands for Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization

Fractions

The full dose of radiotherapy divided into a number of smaller doses are known as fractions

Fulvestrant/ Faslodex

An injectable hormonal therapy drug used to treat advanced breast cancer in post-menopausal women

G

Gamma knife/ CyberKnife/ Stereotactic radiotherapy

A treatment for brain tumours, which aims very high dose radiation to a very small precise area

Granulocyte colony stimulating factor (G-CSF)

A special type of protein known as a growth factor, which stimulates the bone marrow to make white blood cells

Gemcitabine/ Gemzar

A chemotherapy drug to treat breast and other cancers

Gemzar/ Gemcitabine

A chemotherapy drug to treat breast and other cancers

Generic drug

Drugs that are chemically identical to brand-named drugs, which can only be produced after exclusive marketing rights/ patent have expired

Genetic testing

A screening test for faulty genes BRCA1 and BRCA2, offered to women who may be at higher risk of developing breast cancer, due to family history

Goseralin/ Zoladex

An injectable hormone pellet used to treat women with ER positive advanced breast cancer, to slow and control the cancer. Also used in pre-menopausal women post primary treatment, to reduce the risk of the cancer returning

H

HER2/ Human epidermal growth factor receptor

A protein on the surface of breast cancer cells which stimulates them to grow

Herceptin/Trastuzumab

A targeted drug used to treat HER2 positive cancers. From a group of drugs known as monoclonal antibodies.

Hereditary

Transmitted genetically from a parent to offspring

Homeopathic medicine

A complementary or alternative medicine

Hormone therapy

Drugs used to block the effects of hormones produced in the body on cancer cells. Only used for hormone receptor positive breast cancer

Hospice

The aim of hospice care is to improve the lives of people who have an incurable illness from the moment of diagnosis until the end of their life. Care focusses on medical, physical, emotional, spiritual and practical needs of both patients and their families

Hypercalcaemia

An elevated level of calcium in the blood

Hypocalcaemia

A lower than normal level of calcium in the blood

I

Immune response

How your body recognizes and defends itself against bacteria, viruses and substances that appear foreign and can be harmful

Immunosuppression

A reduction in the efficacy of the immune system and ability to fight infection

Immunotherapy

A cancer treatment designed to boost the body’s natural defences to fight cancer. It uses materials either made by the body or in a laboratory to improve, target or restore immune system function

Incidence

The occurrence, rate or frequency of a disease

Infertility

Inability to conceive

Inflammatory breast cancer/ IBC

A rare type of breast cancer where breast tissue becomes inflamed and block the lymph ducts in the breast

Informed consent

A process for getting permission before conducting a healthcare intervention on an individual

Intramuscular/ IM

Injection directly into a muscle

Intra-thecal/ epidural/ spinal anaesthetic

An injection into the spinal canal used for pain control or administration of treatment

Intravenous/ IV

Injection or infusion of drugs and fluids directly into the blood stream via a cannula inserted into a vein

Invasive lobular breast cancer

Breast cancer that starts in the lobules (milk-producing glands) of the breast and spread into the surrounding breast tissue

K

Kadcyla/ Trastuzumab emtansine

A biological therapy called a monoclonal antibody used to treat HER2 positive advanced breast cancer

L

Lapatinib/ Tyverb

A targeted therapy taken orally to treat advanced breast cancer in patients who are HER2 positive

Letrozole/ Femara

A hormonal therapy used to treat post-menopausal women after surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, to reduce the risk of the cancer coming back

Lifetime risk

The risk of developing a disease over the course of a lifetime, often expressed as a percentage

Linear accelerator/ LINAC

The device most commonly used for external beam radiation treatments for people with cancer

Lumpectomy

An operation to remove cancerous tissue plus a margin of healthy breast tissue. Also known as breast conserving surgery or wide local excision

Lymph nodes/ lymph glands

Found in the armpit and throughout the body filtering and draining lymph fluid, bacteria and cancer cells helping to rid the body of waste materials and fight infection

Lymphatic system

Part of the circulatory system and a vital part of the immune system, comprising a network of lymphatic vessels that carry a clear fluid called lymph towards the heart

Lymphoedema

A condition that sometimes develops when the lymph nodes have been removed, causing swelling in the arm, hand or breast due to lymph fluid not draining properly

Lymphovascular invasion

The spread of cancer to the blood vessels and/or the lymphatic system

M

Macmillan nurse

Clinical Nurse Specialists who provide advice and support with pain and symptom management for people with palliative care needs through to end of life care

Malignant

Refers to cancerous cells that have the ability to spread to other sites in the body or invade nearby and destroy tissues. Malignant cells tend to have fast uncontrolled growth and do not die normally due to changes in their genetic make-up.

Mammogram

A breast x-ray

Margins

The area of normal tissue surgically removed around the area of cancerous tissue

Mastectomy

Removal of the whole breast

Median survival time

The percentage of [people in a study or treatment group who are alive for a given period of time after diagnosis

Medical Oncologist

A doctor who specialises in the treatment of women with breast cancer using chemotherapy, and in managing pain and other symptoms

Menopause

The end of menstruation when a woman’s periods stop

Metastasis

Cancerous cells that have spread from the original cancer site to other parts of the body, for instance the bones, liver, lungs and brain

Metastatic breast cancer

Another term for secondary, advanced or stage 4 breast cancer

Mortality rate

The number of deaths in a given area or period or from a particular cause, usually expressed in units of deaths per 1000 individuals

MRI/ Magnetic resonance imaging scan

A type of scan that uses strong magnetic fields and radio waves to produce detailed images of the inside of the body

Multidisciplinary care

A team of doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals who work together to manage a patient’s treatment and care

Multi-centric tumours

Describes more than one cancerous tumour in the breast which have formed separately and may be in different areas of the breast

Multi-focal tumours

Describes more than one cancerous tumour in the breast usually in the same section of the breast, which have developed from the same tumour

N

Neo-adjuvant

Treatment such as chemotherapy or hormone therapy given before surgery, in an attempt to shrink the tumour

Neoplasm

A new and abnormal growth

Nerve pain

Known as neuropathic pain. Caused by cancer growths pressing on nerves or some cancer treatments. Often described as tingling, prickling, burning pain

Neupogen/ Filrastim

An injectable drug used to reduce the risk of infection due to abnormally low white blood cells caused by chemotherapy. Stimulates the bone marrow to produce white blood cells

Neuropathy

Damage to nerves caused by cancer treatments, cancer pressing on nerves or damage caused by surgery or radiotherapy. Commonest is peripheral neuropathy affecting the hands, feet and lower legs

Neutropenia

An abnormally low number of neutrophils, which are the white blood cells primarily defending the body against infection

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence/ NICE

A public body, independent of the government, set up to provide national guidance and advice to improve health and social care by producing evidence-based guidance, developing quality standards and providing a range of information for health and social care practitioners

Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs/ NSAIDS

Drugs, such as Ibuprofen, Diclofenac and Naproxen, reduce pain, inflammation and raised temperature

O

Occupational Therapist/ OT

An allied healthcare professional trained to assess and offer advice on maintaining independence with everyday activities; supply aids for the home and recommending changes that might make life easier

Oestrogen

A female hormone

Oligometastatic disease

Cancer that has spread but only to one or a small number of sites

Oncologist

A doctor who specialises in the treatment of people with cancer. A medical Oncologist is a specialist in chemotherapy. A Clinical Oncologist is a specialist in both chemotherapy and radiotherapy

Oncoplastic surgeon

A surgeon trained in plastic surgery techniques specific to breast cancer surgery without compromising local control of the disease. An expert in the removal of cancerous tumours with clear margins; immediate reconstruction and symmetry with the other breast

Oophorectomy

Surgical removal of the ovaries

Opiate

A drug containing opium, used in medicine to relieve pain and induce sleep

Opioid

A synthetic powerful medication resembling the effects of opium, used to relieve severe pain

Osteopenia

A condition in which bone mineral density is lower than normal. Often viewed as a precursor to osteoporosis

Osteoporosis

A condition affecting the bones making them fragile and more likely to break

Ovarian suppression

Drug therapy or surgery to prevent the ovaries from making oestrogen

Overall survival rate

The percentage of people in a study or treatment group who are alive for a given period of time after diagnosis

P

Paclitaxel/ Taxol

A chemotherapy drug belonging to a group called “Taxanes”, used to treat advanced breast cancer, which work by blocking one of the ways cancer cells divide and grow

Painkillers/ Analgesics

A drug for relieving pain

Palliative care

A multidisciplinary approach for people with serious illnesses, focussing on relief from symptoms, pain, physical and mental stress

Palliative treatment

Aims to relieve symptoms and improve the quality of life for people suffering from an incurable, life-limiting illness

Partial mastectomy

Another term for breast conserving surgery

Pathology

A branch of medicine that looks at how disease affects the cells and tissues from samples taken by biopsy. A report is written by a pathologist

Perimenopause

A natural transition period, often lasting several years, referring to time during which oestrogen production declines until stopping altogether at the menopause, when egg production ceases

Perjeta/ Pertuzumab

A treatment for HER2 positive breast cancer. A type of monoclonal antibody drug

PET scan/ Positron emission tomography)

A scan used to produce three-dimensional images of the inside of the body

PICC line/ Peripherally inserted central catheter line

A long catheter/tube inserted into the vein just above the bend in the elbow into a large vein in the chest just above the heart. It is used to administer chemotherapy and other fluids and medicines

Physiotherapist

Allied healthcare professionals trained to help patients regain independence and function following surgery or injury, advise on exercise and assess the need for aids to help with for example, walking . Physiotherapists are also trained in the management of lymphoedema

Plastic surgeon

Doctor specialising in repairing or reconstructing missing or damaged tissue due to illness, surgery, accident or birth abnormality. It is a different specialty form cosmetic surgery

Predispose

To be more likely or susceptible to a disease or condition due to risk factors or behaviour

Prevalence rate

The proportion of a population found to have a disease, condition or risk factor

Primary breast cancer

Breast cancer that has not spread beyond the breast or lymph nodes

PowerPort

A device implanted under local anaesthetic into the anterior chest wall, for delivery of cancer treatments, taking blood samples and injecting contrasts for scans

Progesterone

A type of female hormone

Progesterone receptors

Proteins that bind to the hormone progesterone, within cancer cells

Prognosis

The likely outcome of a disease, the likelihood of it being cured and the individual’s life expectancy

Prophylactic (Preventative) mastectomy

The removal of one or both breasts to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer

Prosthesis

Temporary or permanent artificial breast forms worn after mastectomy, to replicate the shape of the breast.

Protocol

A document containing medical or clinical guidelines with the aim of guiding decisions and criteria regarding diagnosis, management and treatment in specific areas of healthcare

Proton Pump Inhibitor/ PPI

Drugs, such as Omeprazole and Lansoprazole, are often used alongside some cancer treatments, to reduce the amount of acid made by your stomach

Q

Quality of life

A term describing an individual’s overall well-being including mental health; physical health; ability to perform daily tasks; sexual function; absence of symptoms such as pain and fatigue

R

Radiofrequency ablation/ RFA

The use of heat using a probe and guided by CT scan or ultrasound, to destroy cancer cells, typically advanced breast cancer that has spread to the liver

Radiotherapy

The use of high energy x-rays targeted at a particular area of the body, to destroy cancer cells

Radiotherapist/ Therapy radiographers

Allied health care professionals highly trained in the field of radiation oncology.

Radiation Oncologist

A specialist physician who makes decisions about treating cancer with radiation

Radiographer

An allied healthcare professional trained to use x-ray, ultrasound and other forms of imaging equipment to acquire the images necessary to interpret diseases. They may report on some of the images

Radiologist

A medical specialty using images to diagnose and treat diseases in the body

Regional recurrence

This is when breast cancer comes back in the same breast

Remission

A term used by doctors meaning that after treatment there is no sign of the cancer. Complete remission means the cancer cannot be detected by blood tests or scans. Partial remission means the cancer can still be seen on scans but has reduced and does not appear to be growing

Referred pain

Pain from an organ or one part of the body may be felt in another part of the body, due to pressure on nerves

Risk-benefit ratio

The ratio of the risk of an action or treatment to its potential benefits

Risk factor

Any characteristic, attribute or exposure of an individual that increases the likelihood of developing a disease

S

Scalp cooling

A procedure, using a special cold cap or cooling system, which aims to cool and contract the blood vessels to the scalp to reduce the amount of chemotherapy drugs reaching the hair follicles, in an attempt to reduce hair loss.

Screening

A way of identifying apparently healthy people who may have an increased risk of a particular condition

Secondary breast cancer

Breast cancer that has spread through the blood and lymphatic system to other parts of the body, commonly bones, liver, lungs and brain. Also known as advanced, metastatic and stage 4 breast cancer

Sentinel node biopsy/ SNB

Identification and removal of the first lymph node to which the breast cancer may have spread, for testing by a pathologist

Selective internal radiation therapy/ SIRT

A process for treating secondary liver cancer by the insertion of high dose radioactive beads into the blood vessels of the liver. Healthy tissue only receives a small dose of radiation

Seroma

Fluid that collects under a wound after surgery

Side effect

An unwanted effect directly caused by a drug or medical treatment

Sonographer

A specialised healthcare worker who performs diagnostic medical sonography or ultrasound

Spinal cord compression

Cancer that is in or near the spine can press on the spinal cord and nerves causing pain, numbness, bladder or bowel problems. It is a medical emergency

Stable disease

The cancer has stayed the same size or grown very little

Stage of cancer

There are 4 stages of breast cancer. Staging considers the size of the tumour; whether cancerous cells have spread to lymph nodes and whether the cancer has spread to any other part of the body (metastasised)

Stereotactic radiotherapy/ radiosurgery

A treatment targeting tumours in the brain very precisely with radiotherapy in divided doses or fractions. 1 – 5 fractions/doses of radiotherapy is called radiosurgery

Steroids/ Corticosteroids

Steroids are made naturally by the body to control many functions such as the immune system, blood pressure and metabolism. Steroids are used during cancer treatment to reduce inflammation; treat the cancer itself; relieve sickness caused by chemotherapy and to boost the appetite

Subcutaneous injection

An injection given into the fat layer between muscle and skin

Surgical Oncologist

A doctor who specialises in the surgical management of cancers

Systemic treatment

Drugs that treat the whole body such as chemotherapy, hormonal therapy and targeted therapy

T

Tamoxifen

A hormonal therapy drug taken orally to block the hormones oestrogen and progesterone from reaching cancer cells, thus slowing or stopping the growth of cancer altogether. Used for women with ER positive breast cancer

Targeted biological therapies

Drugs that target cancer cells directly, without harming normal cells. Examples are Herceptin and Tyverb

Taxol/ Paclitaxel

A chemotherapy drug used to treat advanced breast cancer, by blocking the growth of the cancer

Taxotere/ Docetaxel

An intravenous chemotherapy treatment from the group of drugs known as taxanes, used to treat cancer including advanced breast cancer

Terminal illness

A disease that cannot be cured or adequately treated and that is expected to result in the death of an individual within a short period of time

Trastuzumab / Herceptin

A targeted, also known as a monoclonal antibody drug, used to treat breast cancer that is HER2 positive

Trastuzumab emtansine / Kadcyla

A biological therapy called a monoclonal antibody used to treat HER2 positive advanced breast cancer

Triple negative breast cancer

Breast cancer without any oestrogen, progesterone or HER2 receptors

Tumour

An abnormal growth of tissue forming a lump or mass

Tumour grade

The grade of a cancer depends on what the cells look like under the microscope and determines how fast or aggressively the cancer is growing. Breast cancer is graded from 1 to 111

Tumour markers

These are proteins produced by the body in small amounts in response to certain non-cancerous conditions. Cancerous conditions produce tumour markers at much higher levels and are used by some, but not all, Oncologists to monitor response to treatment in advanced breast cancer, the tumour marker most commonly used for breast cancer is CA15-3

Tyverb/ Tykerb/ Lapatinib

A targeted therapy taken orally to treat advanced breast cancer in patients who are HER2 positive

U

Ultrasound scan/ Sonogram

Painless procedure using high-frequency sound waves to create an image of part of the inside of the body

V

Vinorelbine/ Navelbine

An oral chemotherapy drug used to treat advanced breast cancer

W

Wide local excision/ WLE/ Breast conserving surgery

Removal of the cancerous breast tissue plus some of the normal-looking tissue (margin) around it

Wire localisation

A technique to mark the location of a breast abnormality that is quite small, to be used as a guide for the surgeon prior to breast biopsy or lumpectomy

X

Xeloda/ Capecitabine

An oral chemotherapy tablet used to treat advanced breast cancer

Z

Zoladex/ Goseralin

An injectable hormone pellet used to treat women with ER positive advanced breast cancer, to slow and control the growth of the cancer. Also used in pre-menopausal women post primary treatment, to reduce the risk of the cancer returning

Zometa/ Zoledronic acid

A bisphosphonate drug used to treat advanced breast cancer in the bone by slowing down or preventing bone damage and reducing the risk of fractures. They also lower calcium levels in the blood

For General Enquiries

info@secondhope.org.uk