Term Glossary

Areola: pigmented skin surrounding the nipple
BB:  Bosom Buddy
BC:  Breast Cancer
Bilateral:  on both sides of the body (i.e.: bilateral mastectomy means the removal of both breasts)
BM, BPM:  Bilateral mastectomy or Bilateral prophylactic (preventative) 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.
Breast Augmentation: also known as augmentation mammaplasty; breast enlargement by surgery
BSO:  Bilateral salphingo-oophorectomy (removal of tubes and ovaries)
CA-125:  a blood test used to detect signs of ovarian cancer or monitor response treatment
Capsular Contracture: a complication of breast implant surgery which occurs when scar tissue that normally forms around the implant tightens and squeezes the implant and becomes firm
CBE:  clinical breast examination; a breast exam performed by a health professional
Chemo Prevention:  the use of medications to prevent cancer
Contralateral Prophylactic Mastectomy: when a woman has breast cancer in one breast and opts to have both the affected breast and the healthy breast removed at the same time
DIEP Flap: Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator flap which takes tissue from the abdomen
Donor Site: 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
ERT:  estrogen replacement therapy
Flap Techniques: surgical techniques used to reposition your own skin, muscle and fat to reconstruct or cover your breast
FNA:  fine needle aspirate (a technique for sampling breast tissue by placing a needle into the breast and removing cells)
Founder Mutation:  A gene mutation that is found with high frequency in certain ethnicities or descendants of people from specific geographic areas
General Anesthesia: drugs and/or gases used during an operation to relieve pain and alter consciousness
Grafting: a surgical technique to recreate your nipple and areola
GYN/ONC:  gynecologic-oncologist, an expert in treating gynecologic malignancies
Hematoma: blood pooling beneath the skin
HRT:  hormone replacement therapy
Hyst:  hysterectomy, or removal of the uterus
Intravenous Sedation: sedatives administered by injection into a vein to help you relax
IVF:  in Vitro Fertiliation:  a fertility treatment where the woman's eggs are removed and fertilized in a test tube
Latissimus Dorsi Flap Technique: a surgical technique that uses muscle, fat and skin tunneled under the skin and tissue of a woman's back to the reconstructed breast and remains attached to its donor site, leaving blood supply intact
LAVH:  Laparoscopic-assisted vaginal hysterectomy
LCIS:  lobular cancer in situ, a noninvasive change in breast tissue that can be a marker for breast cancer risk
Local Anesthesia: a drug injected directly to the site of an incision during an operation to relieve pain
Mammo:  mammogram
Mastectomy: the removal of the whole breast, typically to rid the body of cancer
MRI:  magneteic 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 a mammogram
Necrosis:  death of body tissue occurring when there is not enough blood flowing to the tissue, whether from injury, radiation or chemicals
Previvor:  predisposition (or increased risk) for a disease such as cancer
Prophylactic:  preventative measure
Prophylactic Double Mastectomy:  the removal of both healthy breasts as an elective in order to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer
Revision:  a type of plastic surgery which may be done as a follow-up to an earlier operation
Salpingectomy:  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
SGAP Flap: Superior Gluteal Artery Perforator flap which takes tissue from the buttock
Tissue Expansion: a surgical technique to stretch your own healthy tissue and create new skin to provide coverage for a breast implant
TRAM Flap: also known as Transverse Rectus Abdominus Musculocutaneous flap, a surgical technique that uses muscle, fat and skin from your own abdomen to reconstruct the breast
Transaxillary Incision: an incision made in the underarm area
TVH:  Total vaginal hysterectomy
TVU:  Transvaginal ultrasound

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