Adjuvant therapy
Therapy after surgery to lower the risk of tumour recurrence
to draw out by suction. See also fine needle aspiration biopsy
The armpit
A tumour that is not cancerous
Affecting both the right and left sides of the body
Removing a piece of organ or tumour for microscopic examination to determine if the site is cancerous
Drugs that inhibit the absorption of the bone. Used to treat osteoporosis, hypocalcaemia due to cancer, and for relief of bone pain metastases.
Bone scan
A technique to create images of bones on a computer screen or on film. A small amount of radioactive material is injected into a blood vessel and travels through the bloodstream; it collects in the bones and is detected by a scanner.
A group of diseases where normal cells change into abnormal cells that grow out of control, invade surrounding tissues and organs, and may spread to distant sites in the body (metastases)
CAT scan (CT scan)
A test using computers and x-rays to create images of various parts of the body.
Cancer that begins in the skin or in tissues lining or covering internal organs.
The use of drugs to destroy cancer cells. A person on chemotherapy may take one drug or a combination of drugs. Most often these drugs are given by vein using intravenous infusion. Some can be taken by mouth or given in a shot.
Clinical trials
The goal of clinical trials is to find better treatments to fight cancer. These treatments may work better or be safer than current therapies, or both.
Chemotherapy can be given in a variety of time arrangements, such as daily, weekly, or monthly. Chemotherapy is generally given in cycles. A cycle can last 1 or more days but usually lasts 2, 3, or 4 weeks.
Identification of a condition or disease based on the signs and symptoms, laboratory tests, procedures, history, and physical examination of the patient.
Complete removal
Removal by cutting
Fatigue means feeling tired, weak, sleepy, forgetful, or worn out, and having no energy to go about your daily routine. Fatigue is commonly caused by cancer treatments, but can also result from the disease itself. Fatigue is also often present in patients with anemia
Fine – Needle Aspiration
A method to detect the presence of cancerous cells in the breast
Genetic Testing 
Tests performed to see if a person has certain gene changes known to increase cancer risk.
Grade is the measurement of a cancer, reflecting how abnormal the cells look under a microscope. There are several grading systems for cancer, but all divide cancers into those with:
Classifying cancer cells to provide information about probable growth rate of the tumor and its tendency to spread. Grading plays a role in treatment decisions.
Growth factors
A substance that is normally produced in the body that is involved in cell division, maturation, or survival. Growth factors may also be produced in a laboratory to mimic the growth factors naturally produced by the body. These synthetic growth factors may be used as biologic therapy to stimulate the immune system.
HER 2 
human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 — A protein that is involved in growth and replication of a normal cell. Some cancers have abnormal HER-2/neu proteins, which are believed to be involved in the unregulated growth of cancer cells.
The study of tissues and cells under a microscope
Hormonal therapy
A type of cancer treatment that affects hormones in the body, such as drugs that block hormone production or change the way hormones work.
A process of delivering medications, fluids, or blood products into the body through the bloodstream. A needle is used to gain access through a vein, and a catheter with tubing is used to deliver the fluid.
Intravenous (IV)
Into a vein. An intravenous medication is delivered into the body through a vein.
 Invasive Cancer 
Cancer that has spread beyond the layer of cells where it started to nearby tissues.
An area that is diseased or wounded
Cancer that begins in the cells of blood-forming tissue (eg, bone marrow).
Local therapy
Cancer treatment that only affects a tumor and the area close to it.
Surgical removal of the breast lump, without removing the whole breast.
Lymph nodes
Lymph nodes are small, oval glands found throughout the body. They act as filters and fight infection. Cancer cells often spread to other parts of the body through the lymphatic system.
Abnormal collection of fluid under the skin
Cancer that begins in cells of the immune system.
Malignant means that a tissue has cancer cells in it that come from a different site in the body; it also refers to a cancerous disease.
A diagnostic indication that disease may develop.
Surgical removal of the breast
A cancer of the pigment-forming cells of the skin or the retina in the eye.
The spread of cancer from one part of the body to another.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging, a non- invasive diagnostic technique using radio waves near a magnetic field to obtain detailed digital images.
Any change in DNA.
Neoadjuvant chemotherapy
Chemotherapy given before surgery in order to shrink the tumor.
Neutropenia occurs if there is a lower-than-normal number of neutrophils (infection-fighting white blood cells) in the blood. It is a common side effect of chemotherapy treatment. Neutrophils fight infection, so a person with a low neutrophil count will be more at risk for developing infection. Doctors check the number of neutrophils when they measure the white blood cell count; the result is often referred to as the ANC, or absolute neutrophil count.
The most common type of white blood cell. Neutrophils help the body fight infection. Since the most common type of white blood cell is the neutrophil, a low white blood cell count usually indicates that the neutrophil count is low. It is easier to get an infection and harder to recover from an infection when the number of neutrophils in the bloodstream is low.
A type of growth or procedure which does not invade or destroy nearby tissue.
A physician who specializes in the treatment of cancer.
Palliative care
Palliative care focuses on controlling symptoms and improving quality of life for patients who have incurable diseases.
The study of the causes and characteristics of disease.
Peripheral neuropathy
A possible side effect of some chemotherapy, characterized by numbness, tingling, or burning in the hands and feet.
One of the three types of cells made in the bone marrow. The main function of platelets is to aid in clotting the blood following an injury.
A small disc inserted below the skin to which a tube is connected and inserted into the bloodstream. Fluids, medicines, and blood products can be administered through the port.
Primary Site
The place where cancer begins. Primary cancer is usually named after the organ in which it starts. For example, cancer that starts in the breast is always breast cancer even if it spreads (metastasizes) to other organs, such as bones or lungs.
A prediction of the likely outcome of a disease based on the current health of the patient and the usual course of the disease.
An artificial substitute for a missing body part or an attachment to the body as an aid.
Radiation therapy
A cancer treatment that involves the use of x-rays, gamma rays, and other types of radiation to kill cancer cells, either by directly damaging their DNA or inhibiting their ability to proliferate.
A specialised protein that can bind with a specific hormone such as oestrogen
The return of signs and symptoms of cancer after a period of improvement.
The disappearance of a cancer, as determined by clinical evaluation, resolution of symptoms, or both. Complete remission is the disappearance of all signs of cancer after treatment. Partial remission is a notable decrease in cancer cells, but not their complete disappearance, in response to therapy.
Cancer of the bone, cartilage, fat, muscle, blood vessels, or other connective or supportive tissue.
Examination of the body, or part of the body, using ultrasound, CT or MRI
Sentinel node Biopsy
Removal of the primary lymph node involved in the spread of cancer to the lymphatic system. If this sentineel node is clear of cancer cells, more distant nodes will be clear as well.
Staging is a method of determining the extent of the cancer, or how far the disease has spread. The stage is determined after performing a series of diagnostic tests, which may include x-rays, CT/CAT scans, and sometimes surgery. Knowing the stage of the cancer will help your doctor decide the best treatment course.
TNM staging system
A system for describing the extent of cancer in a patient’s body. T describes the size of the tumor and whether it has invaded nearby tissue, N describes any lymph nodes that are involved, and M describes metastasis (spread of cancer from one body part to another).
An intravenous infusion of blood or blood components.
A collection of cells that appears as a lump, mass, or swelling.
Tumor markers
Substances in the blood or urine that are associated with particular kinds of cancer. These chemicals can be measured to help doctors diagnose cancer and evaluate the effectiveness of a cancer treatment. A rise in the level of a marker could mean the cancer is growing; a drop in the level could indicate the treatment regimen is effective.
White blood cell
A white blood cell is one of the three main types of blood cells. White blood cells are responsible for fighting infection. There are several kinds of white blood cells, including monocytes, lymphocytes, neutrophils, eosinophils, and basophils.