Breast Cancer Terms

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There are currently 6 names in this directory beginning with the letter B.
Not cancer. Not malignant. A benign tumor does not invade surrounding tissue or spread to other parts of the body. A benign tumor may grow but it stays put (in the same place).

A human tumor suppressor gene, which produces a protein, called breast cancer type 1 susceptibility protein. It is found in the cells of breast and other tissue, where it helps repair damaged DNA, and destroy the cell when DNA can’t be repaired. If BRCA1 itself is damaged (mutation), the damaged DNA can let the cell duplicate without control, and turn into a cancer. Women who are BRCA1 + (positive) have a mutation in this gene, which disrupts the usually ability to prevent other random mutations during cell growth to evolve into a breast cancer.

A human tumor suppressor gene that normally acts to restrain the growth of cells in the breast and ovary but which, when mutated, may predispose to breast cancer and to ovarian cancer . BRCA2 mutations have also been discovered to be responsible for a significant fraction of early-onset prostate cancer. The first breast cancer genes identified were BRCA1 and BRCA2. Mutations of BRCA1 and BRCA2 account for about half of all cases of inherited breast cancer, but this is still only about 5% of all cases of breast cancer in the US. These tumors tend to occur in young women. BRCA1 and BRCA2 are usually not involved in breast cancer that is not hereditary.

Breast biopsy
A procedure in which a sample of a suspicious breast growth is removed and examined, usually for the presence of cancer. The sample is obtained through a needle or removed surgically.

Breast cancer
Breast cancer is diagnosed with self- and physician-examination of the breasts, mammography, ultrasound testing, and biopsy. There are many types of breast cancer that differ in their capability of spreading to other body tissues (metastasis). Treatment of breast cancer depends on the type and location of the breast cancer, as well as the age and health of the patient. The American Cancer Society recommends that a woman should have a baseline mammogram between the ages of 35 and 40 years. Between 40 and 50 years of age mammograms are recommended every other year. After age 50 years, yearly mammograms are recommended.

Breast lump
A localized swelling, knot, bump, bulge or protuberance in the breast. Breast lumps may appear in both sexes at all ages. In women, the fear is usually of breast cancer but many breast lumps turn out, fortunately, to be due to benign conditions that can be successfully treated such as infection, trauma, fibroadenoma, cyst, or fibrocystic condition of the breast. However, no breast lump should be dismissed as benign until it has been checked by a physician.