axillary node-negative:

lymph nodes in the armpit (axillary nodes) that do not show evidence of cancer.


benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH):

a noncancerous enlargement of the prostate gland that produces bothersome lower urinary tract symptoms in aging men.

biologic response modifiers:

naturally occurring substance produced by cells that stimulate or modulate the growth and function of multiple cells, including immune cells, bone marrow cells, and tumor cells; examples include interferon, interleukin, colony-stimulating factors, and monoclonal antibodies.

bone marrow:

the inner, spongy core of bone that produces blood cells.

bone scan:

picture of the bones using a radioactive dye that shows injury, disease, or healing; may be used to determine if cancer has spread to the bone, if anticancer therapy is successful, and if affected areas are healing.


radiotherapy in which the source of irraditaion is placed close to the surface of the body or within a body cavity; e.g., application of radium to the cervix.


gene located on the short arm of chromosome 17; when damaged (mutated), a woman is at greater risk of developing breast and/or ovarian cancer compared to women who do not have the mutation.


mutation of this gene, located on chromosome 13, is associated with increased risk of breast cancer.

breast-conserving surgery:

surgery to remove a breast cancer and a small amount of tissue around the cancer, but without removing the entire breast or surrounding tissues.


case mix:

the characteristics of a health care facility's patient population for a given period of time, classified by such factors as individual sociodemographic characteristics, disease, diagnostic or therapeutic procedures performed, method of payment, duration of hospitalization, and intensity and type of services provided.

census tract level:

geographic unit used by the census bureau to designate areas within a county.


a chemotherapy agent containing platinum with antitumor activity; binds DNA and interferes with DNA synthesis.


examination of the vagina and cervix by means of an endoscope; generally takes place after an abnormal Pap smear.

conformal radiation therapy:

this technique uses conventional linear accelerators equipped with computer-controlled collimators to produce a high-dose radiation volume that conforms to the tumor with great precision.


an operation on the cranium; incision into the cranium.


the use of a special cold probe as a surgical instrument; it is used to destroy cancer tissues by freezing it.


inflammation of the urinary bladder.



procedure to remove as much of the cancer as possible; reducing the "bulk" of the cancer.

ductal carcinoma:

a very early form of breast cancer confined to cells lining the breast ducts, as opposed to the glandular tissue of the breast.

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