BreastHealthLink Home Page

Breast Cancer Awareness|Signs of Breast Cancer |Are you at risk |Glossary | Resources | Lifestyle and wellbeing









Male Breast Cancer Only accounts for 0.5 per cent of all breast cancer, but tends to be fairly advanced by the time it is diagnosed
Malignant tumour A lump which has cancer cells in it
Mammogram An X-ray of the breast
Mammogram or Mammography An X-ray examination of the breast. The breast is squashed down between two
plates and X-rays passed throught to give a picture of the breast tissue
Mastectomy Operation to remove all or part of the breast by surgery. It removes breast
tissue with some overlying skin, and usually the nipple. Breast reconstruction
can be done at the same time
Menopause The "change of life" during which the menstrual periods stop due to the changes in hormone levels; in most women, usually occurs between the ages of 45 to 55
Metastases Spread of cancer cells to other parts of the body. Breast cancer cells may spread in the bloodstream to lungs, bones, liver, brain, and may also spread to the opposite breast
Metastasis Growth in a different part of the body from where the original cancer occurred
MRI ( Magnetic Resonance Imaging) A method to produce a three-dimensional picture of a tumour in the body using a safe form of radiation and a large magnet
Oestrogen Hormone that produces female sexual characteristics. One of the group of
steroid hormones that control female sexual development, promoting the growth
and function of the female sex organs and female secondary sexual
characteristics such as breast development
Oncology The branch of medicine that deals with the treatment of cancer
Oophorectomy Removal of the ovaries
Ovarian Suppression A treatment for breast cancer which stops the ovaries producing oestrogen. Done by giving a low dose of radiation to the ovaries, or by surgical removal of the ovaries
Paget's Disease An eczema-like condition overlying the nipple. It can indicate underlying cancer in the breast
Pain in the breast Very common. Hardly ever a sign of cancer
Pathologist Medical specialist who interprets the results of biopsies
Pathology The branch of medicine concerned with the cause of, origin and nature of the disease
PET (Positron Emission Tomography) A method of following chemicals in the body that are labelled with radioactive isotopes. This is used to see tumours in the body and to follow the distribution of drugs
Postmenopausal The phase of life after the menstrual periods have stopped completely
Premenopausal The phase of life before the menopause
Prophylactic Mastectomy An operation to remove the breast as a measure to prevent the occurrence of cancer
Prosthesis A physical substitute for a part of the body, for example a breast form used to fill out a bra after mastectomy
Quadrantectomy Breast conservation surgery is the alternative to mastectomy. It involves removal of the tumour (lump) with surrounding normal tissue (wide local excision or lumpectomy), or a more extensive removal of the quarter of the breast in which the lump is located

Learn more about
  • Resources
  • National Breast Cancer Centre publications

    | Privacy