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Glossary

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Hereditary Transmitted from parents to offspring
Holistic The consideration of the whole person in the treatment of disease
Hormonal therapy (in breast cancer) Reducing the growth of cancer cells by using drugs which act on the body's
hormones. Breast cancers are examined to see whether they have hormone
receptors, which means they are more likely to be sensitive to hormone
influences
Hormone A substance that regulates the function of tissues and organs
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) Hormone treatment given to replace levels of oestrogen in during or after the menopause
Hormone Therapy Breast cancers are examined to see whether they have hormone receptors, which means they are more likely to be sensitive to hormone influences
Hyperplasia Increase the number of normal cells lining the ducts and lobules in the breast (see Atypical Hyperplasia)
Lactation (Breastfeeding) The secretion of milk by the mammary glands of the breast. This process is controlled by hormones. Breastfeeding provides an excellent source of nutrition and protection from infection for a newborn baby, and reduces the risk of breast cancer in the mother. Breastfeeding can cause cracked nipples, inflammation of the breast (mastitis) and infection (abscess). Good advice and help with breastfeeding can help to minimise these problems
Lipoma A harmless cause of lumps in the breast. It is a collection of fat cells and can be
removed if troublesome or diagnosis uncertain
Lumpectomy The surgical removal of a breast lump
Lymphatic system A network of thin-walled vessels which drain fluid, known as lymph, from the
spaces between cells. The lymphatic system collects fluid from all parts of the
body through the lymphatic vessels. The vessels are interrupted by lymph
nodes which filter off bacteria and other foreign particles
Lymph nodes Lymph tissue which is part of the lymph vessels; nodes range from 25mm wide and branch off from the vessels
Lymphoedema After surgery and radiotherapy, arms and hands may swell. Women who have
had their axillary lymph nodes removed are particularly susceptible

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