Term Glossary

Aesthetic flat closure:(or “flat closure”) is post-mastectomy chest wall reconstruction. After the mastectomy to remove the breast tissue, additional work is often required to smooth out any lumps and bumps and trim any excess skin to restore an optimal chest wall contour with a clean symmetric incision closure.

Pigmented skin surrounding the nipple

Breast Cancer

Affecting both the right and left sides of the body.

Bilateral mastectomy or Bilateral prophylactic (preventative) mastectomy.

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BRCA Genes

BRCA1 and BRCA2 are two genes that are important to fighting cancer. They are tumor suppressor genes. When they work normally, these genes help keep breast, ovarian, and other types of cells from growing and dividing too rapidly or in an uncontrolled way.

Sometimes a change or mutation occurs in the BRCA genes that prevent them from working normally. This raises a person’s risk for breast, ovarian and other cancers. Learn more about BRCA gene mutations.

Breast augmentation — also known as augmentation mammoplasty — is surgery to increase breast size. It involves placing breast implants under breast tissue or chest muscles. For some women, breast augmentation is a way to feel more confident.

A surgical procedure in which both of the ovaries and the fallopian tubes are removed. This surgery is usually performed during a hysterectomy, in which a woman’s uterus is removed, but not always.

The formation of a “capsule” of scar tissue around any kind of implant (medical or cosmetic) is a normal part of the healing process. The body automatically reacts to any foreign object it detects within it and attempts to isolate said object by creating a barrier of scar tissue around it.

CA 125 test measures the amount of the protein CA 125 (cancer antigen 125) in your blood. A CA 125 test may be used to monitor certain cancers during and after treatment. In some cases, a CA 125 test may be used to look for early signs of ovarian cancer in people with a very high risk of the disease.

A physical exam of the breast performed by a health care provider to check for lumps or other changes.

The use of drugs, vitamins, or other agents to try to reduce the risk of, or delay the development or recurrence of, cancer.

Contralateral prophylactic mastectomy (CPM), defined as the removal of a healthy breast in a patient undergoing mastectomy for ipsilateral cancer, is increasing.

DIEP (deep inferior epigastric perforators) flap surgery is a cutting-edge breast reconstruction procedure that uses a flap of complete tissue – blood vessels (perforators), skin and fat – from a woman’s lower abdomen as donor tissue.

An area of your body where the surgeon harvests skin, muscle and fat to reconstruct your breast – commonly located in less exposed areas of the body such as the back, abdomen or buttocks

Estrogen replacement therapy

Surgical techniques used to reposition your own skin, muscle and fat to reconstruct or cover your breast

Fine needle aspirate (a tchnique for sampling breast tissue by placing a needle into the breast and removing cells)

An area of your body where the surgeon harvests skin, muscle and fat to reconstruct your breast – commonly located in less exposed areas of the body such as the back, abdomen or buttocks

Anesthesia that affects the whole body and usually induces a loss of consciousness.

A gynecologic oncologist is a specialty gynecologist trained in oncology (the medical field that deals with tumors and cancer), who diagnoses, treats and performs surgery on cancers of the female reproductive organs.

Hematoma is generally defined as a collection of blood outside of blood vessels. Most commonly, hematomas are caused by an injury to the wall of a blood vessel, prompting blood to seep out of the blood vessel into the surrounding tissues.

A surgical operation to remove all or part of the uterus.

A medical procedure whereby an egg is fertilized by sperm in a test tube or elsewhere outside the body.

Latissimus dorsi flap procedure, an oval flap of skin, fat, muscle, and blood vessels from your upper back is used to reconstruct the breast. … This flap is moved under your skin around to your chest to rebuild your breast.

Laparoscopic Assisted Vaginal Hysterectomy (LAVH) is an operation to remove the uterus (womb) and cervix through the vagina, with the aid of a small operating telescope, called a laparoscope.

A condition in which abnormal cells are found in the lobules of the breast. This condition seldom becomes invasive cancer. However, having LCIS in one breast increases the risk of developing breast cancer in either breast. Also called lobular carcinoma in situ.

A temporary loss of feeling in one small area of the body caused by special drugs called anesthetics. The patient stays awake but has no feeling in the area of the body treated with the anesthetic. Local anesthetics may be injected or put on the skin to lessen pain during medical, surgical, or dental procedures.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a type of scan that uses strong magnetic fields and radio waves to produce detailed images of the inside of the body.

A surgical operation to remove a breast

An image obtained by mammography.

The death of most or all of the cells in an organ or tissue due to disease, injury, or failure of the blood supply.

A medicine or course of action used to prevent disease.

Cancer previvors are individuals who have a predisposition to cancer but who haven’t yet had the disease. This group includes people who carry a proven inherited mutation, have a family history of cancer that defines them as high risk, or have another predisposing factor.
A previvor is someone who has an elevated predisposition to being diagnosed with cancer due to a risk running through their family.
A previvor is someone who has an elevated predisposition to being diagnosed with cancer due to a risk running through their family.
A previvor is someone who has an elevated predisposition to being diagnosed with cancer due to a risk running through their family.
A previvor is someone who has an elevated predisposition to being diagnosed with cancer due to a risk running through their family.

Bilateral prophylactic mastectomy is the removal of both breasts to prevent breast cancer. Bilateral prophylactic mastectomy lowers the risk of breast cancer in women at high risk by at least 90 percent

Surgical removal of the fallopian tubes.

Breast revision is a surgical procedure designed to correct unsatisfactory results from a previous breast enhancement surgery. This revision surgery can improve the shape, size, projection, and symmetry of the breasts.

A sentinel node biopsy is a diagnostic procedure to test if cancer has spread beyond the original tumor. During the procedure, healthcare providers remove small organs called sentinel nodes and send them to a lab to test for cancer cells. The results help providers determine the most appropriate treatments.
A sentinel node biopsy is a diagnostic procedure to test if cancer has spread beyond the original tumor. During the procedure, healthcare providers remove small organs called sentinel nodes and send them to a lab to test for cancer cells. The results help providers determine the most appropriate treatments
A sentinel node biopsy is a diagnostic procedure to test if cancer has spread beyond the original tumor. During the procedure, healthcare providers remove small organs called sentinel nodes and send them to a lab to test for cancer cells. The results help providers determine the most appropriate treatments
A sentinel node biopsy is a diagnostic procedure to test if cancer has spread beyond the original tumor. During the procedure, healthcare providers remove small organs called sentinel nodes and send them to a lab to test for cancer cells. The results help providers determine the most appropriate treatments
A sentinel node biopsy is a diagnostic procedure to test if cancer has spread beyond the original tumor. During the procedure, healthcare providers remove small organs called sentinel nodes and send them to a lab to test for cancer cells. The results help providers determine the most appropriate treatments

TRAM stands for transverse rectus abdominis, a muscle in your lower abdomen between your waist and your pubic bone. A flap of this skin, fat, and all or part of the underlying rectus abdominus (“6-pack”) muscle are used to reconstruct the breast in a TRAM flap procedure.

A tissue expander is an empty breast implant that your surgeon will fill with normal saline over about 6 to 8 weeks until it reaches the breast size that you and your surgeon decided on.

A transaxillary incision is made in the armpit, in the natural fold that exists there.

A total vaginal hysterectomy is a surgical procedure during which a woman’s uterus and cervix are removed through the vagina.

A transvaginal ultrasound, or endovaginal ultrasound, is a safe and straightforward procedure that doctors use to examine the internal organs in the female pelvic region.

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