Definitions

Definitions are specific to breast cancer where applicable.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Açaí berries
The fruit of açaí palms (Euterpe oleracea and Euterpe precatoria), which are native to the Amazon River basin.
Acetaminophen
An over-the-counter oral pain medication. Tylenol is the most common brand name. Not an NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug).
Adriamycin
Trade name of doxorubicin, an anthracycline chemotherapy drug. Anthracyclines work primarily by inhibiting DNA replication in rapidly growing cancer cells.
Adzuki beans
Vigna angularis or Phaseolus angularis Wight (both are names of the same plant). Small, usually red, beans. Adzuki beans are the main ingredient in the "red bean paste" found in some Asian dishes and sweets.
Aflatoxin
A type of food contaminant produced by several species of mold. Aflatoxins are carcinogenic, mutagenic and immuno-suppressive and can cause birth defects. Aflatoxin B1 has been shown to cause liver cancer, especially in hepatitis B-positive individuals.
African American
U.S. residents with African ancestry. African ancestry influences risk of breast cancer, age of diagnosis, breast cancer type and prognosis.
Air pollution
Motor vehicle emissions such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, airborne particulates such as soot and smoke, and other mostly manmade airborne substances that might influence breast cancer risk and prognosis.
Alcohol
A drink containing ethanol. Alcoholic beverages are produced by fermenting fruit, grain or other plant material, followed by further processing. Examples include wine, beer and hard liquor.
Almond
The nut kernel of the fruit of the sweet almond tree (Prunus amygdalus dulcis).
Alpha-carotene
The second most common carotenoid after beta-carotene. Found primarily in yellow-orange and dark green vegetables. Can be converted to vitamin A in the body.
Alpha-linolenic acid
A short-chain omega-3 fatty acid found in plant-based foods such as walnuts and flaxseed. Alpha-linolenic acid is partially converted in the body to the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
Aluminum (Al)
A metal that is not essential to human health.
Anastrozole
Trade name Arimidex. Anastrozole is an aromatase inhibitor used to treat ER+ breast cancer. Aromatase inhibitors are designed to inhibit the action of the enzyme aromatase, which converts androgens into estrogens within the body.
Anchovies
Small, silvery salt-water fish that are similar to herring. There are dozens of species of anchovies, including Engraulis encrasicolus, Engraulis anchoita, Engraulis mordax and Engraulis japonicus.
Androgens
Steroid hormones that influence the development and maintenance of masculine characteristics by binding to androgen receptors. Examples include testosterone, androstenedione, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), and DHEA sulfate.
Androstenedione
A weak androgen that can be converted into testosterone or estrogen (primarily estrone) in the body.
Angiogenesis
The growth of new blood vessels, without which tumors cannot grow beyond a tiny size. Cancer cells induce angiogenesis during early stages of tumor development — this is a crucial step that separates preinvasive and dormant forms of cancer from invasive and metastatic growth.
Anthocyanins
Plant pigments widely present in red, purple and blue fruits, vegetables and grains, such as blackberries, cherries, pomegranates, black beans, and black rice.
Anthracycline
A type of chemotherapy drug widely used to treat breast cancer. Examples include doxorubicin and epirubicin. Anthracyclines work primarily by inhibiting DNA replication in rapidly growing cancer cells. Anthracyclines also trigger cell death by damaging cell mitochondria.
Antibiotics
Prescription drugs used to treat bacterial infections.
Antidepressants
Prescription drugs used to depression and related disorders.
Apigenin
A flavone found in a variety of leafy plants. Parsley, celery and Chinese cabbage are good sources of apigenin.
Apple
The fruit of the apple tree (Malus domestica).
Apricot
The fruit of the apricot tree (Prunus armeniaca).
Arachidonic acid
A polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acid found primarily in meat. Arachidonic acid is also introduced into the diet through vegetable oils with high linoleic acid content since linoleic acid is metabolized into arachidonic acid.
Arimidex
Trade name of anastrozole, an aromatase inhibitor used to treat ER+ breast cancer. Aromatase inhibitors are designed to inhibit the action of the enzyme aromatase, which converts androgens into estrogens within the body.
Aromasin
Trade name of exemestane, an aromatase inhibitor used to treat ER+ breast cancer. Aromatase inhibitors are designed to inhibit the action of the enzyme aromatase, which converts androgens into estrogens within the body.
Aromatase activity
A process by which androgens are converted to estrogens in the body (transforming androstenedione to estrone and testosterone to estradiol).
Aromatase inhibitors
Drugs designed to inhibit the action of the enzyme aromatase, which converts androgens into estrogens within the body. Aromatase inhibitors are a type of first-line endocrine treatment for estrogen receptor positive (ER+) breast cancer.
Artichoke
Cynara scolymus, a plant in the thistle family. The edible portions include the fleshy lower portions of the involucral bracts and base ("heart") of the artichoke flower.
Arugula
Eruca sativa or Brassica eruca, a salad green of the mustard family. Arugula is a type of cruciferous vegetable.
Asian American
U.S. residents of Asian ancestry. Women with Asian ancestry have different risks of breast cancer, average age of diagnosis, and mix of breast cancer type compared to the general U.S. population.
Asparagus
The edible stalks, scale leaves and upper branches of the asparagus plant (Asparagus officinalis).
Aspirin
An over-the-counter oral pain medication, a type of NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug).
Astragalus root
The dried root of Radix Astragali. A Chinese medicinal herb used to treat many different conditons and diseases, including cancer. Also known as milk vetch root or huang qi.
Australian
Having to do with Australia or Australian populations.
Autophagy
A catabolic process responsible for the degradation and recycling of cell macromolecules and organelles by lysosomes.
Avocado
The fruit of the avocado tree (Persea americana).
Axillary node dissection
Surgical removal of lymph nodes in the armpit area. Sentinel node biopsy eliminates the need for axillary node dissection in patients whose sentinel node is negative for cancer.
Bacon
Cured and smoked or heat processed pork belly meat.
Banana
The fruit of trees of the genus Musa. Most bananas consumed in the U.S. are Cavendish bananas.
Basal or basal-like breast cancer
Most often triple negative (ER-/PR-/HER2-) breast cancer. However, not all basal tumors are triple negative and not all triple negative tumors are basal.
Basil
The culinary herb Ocimum basilicum, a member of the mint family.
Beef
Meat from mature cattle.
Beet
A tuberous root of the beet plant (Beta vulgaris). Beet plants use root tubers for nutrient storage.
Bell pepper
The fruit of the bell pepper plant (Capsicum annuum var. grossum).
Benign breast disease
Refers to a wide variety of noncancerous disorders, including fibrocystic changes, simple cysts, fibroadenomas, intraductal papillomas, radial scars, and fat necrosis. Can be categorized as non-proliferative lesions, proliferative non-atypical lesions, and atypical hyperplasia.
Beta-carotene
A red-orange fruit and vegetable pigment. Beta-carotene is the most common carotenoid. Can be converted to vitamin A in the body.
Beta-cryptoxanthin
A carotenoid closely related to beta-carotene. Beta-cryptoxanthin is a red pigment. Can be converted to vitamin A in the body.
Bilateral breast cancer
Tumors in both breasts. Categorized as synchronous (both breasts diagnosed at the same time) or metachronous (second breast diagnosed within three to six months of the first). Cancer in the second breast diagnosed after this initial period is called contralateral breast cancer.
Biopsy
The removal of a piece of tissue for diagnostic examination. The most common types are needle biopsy and excisional biopsy (surgical removal of a lump or suspicious area).
Birth control
How use of birth control pills, contraceptive injections, implants, IUDs, and similar forms of contraception influence breast cancer risk and survival.
Bisphosphonate
A type of drug used to treat osteoporosis and metastatic bone disease. Fosamax, Actonel, Boniva and Zometa are all bisphosphonates.
Black cohosh root
A herb (Cimicifuga racemosa or Acteae racemosa) used for a variety of gynecological problems and to treat menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes.
Black cumin
A spice made from the seeds of the black cumin plant (Nigella sativa). Black cumin is not related to cumin, which is a member of the parsley family.
Black pepper
The dried and ground fruit of the black pepper plant (Piper nigrum). Black pepper is made by grinding dried, immature berries of Piper nigrum. White pepper is made from dried, mature berries of Piper nigrum from which the outer covering has been removed.
Black tea
The cured leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. Black tea leaves have been allowed to oxidize, whereas green tea leaves are unoxidized.
Blackberry
The fruit of certain vines of the genus Rubus. There are many blackberry cultivars and hybrids, including marionberries and loganberries.
Blood type
A classification of blood based on the presence or absence of the antigens A and B on the surface of red blood cells. The four main blood groups are A, B, AB and O.
Blueberry
The fruit of the blueberry bush (most commonly Vaccinium corymbosum in the U.S.).
BMI (Body mass index)
Weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters (kg/m2). World Health Organization weight categories: underweight—BMI < 18.5 kg/m2; normal weight—18.5 to <25; overweight—25 to <30; obese—30 to <35; severely obese—35 to <40; and morbidly obese—≥40.
Bok choy
The most common type of Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa pekinensis) sold in the U.S. Bok choy is a cruciferous vegetable.
Bone health
The effects of endocrine treatments, bisphosphonates, vitamin D, and other factors on bone mineral density and susceptibility to bone metastasis.
Boysenberry
A hybrid of blackberry and raspberry.
BPA (bisphenol A)
A chemical used extensively in the manufacture of consumer goods, polycarbonate plastics, and epoxy resins. Present in canned food and canned soda due to leaching from interior coatings. BPA also migrates into water stored in polycarbonate plastic bottles.
Brazil nut
A seed located in the woody fruit of the Brazil nut tree (Bertholletia excelsa).
BRCA1 & BRCA2 mutations
Breast cancer susceptibility gene-1 (BRCA1) and breast cancer susceptibility gene-2 (BRCA2). Mutations in these tumor suppressor genes cause carriers to have relatively high lifetime risks of developing breast, ovarian and other cancers.
Bread
A staple food made by baking a dough consisting of flour, water and other ingredients such as salt and yeast.
Breast cancer risk and prevention news
Recent news concerning breast cancer risk factors and prevention.
Breast cancer risk factors
Articles concerning breast cancer risk factors and prevention.
Breast cancer screening
Diagnostic exams, such as screening mammograms, designed to find breast cancer.
Breast cancer stem cell
A cell that has the ability to divide indefinitely, driving tumor development and metastasis. Breast cancer stem cells are resistant to chemotherapy and radiation treatment. Regular cancer cells are the progeny of cancer stem cells.
Breast cancer type news
Recent news that includes information on breast cancer types and subtypes.
Breast conserving treatment
Breast cancer treatment that avoids removing the entire breast with a mastectomy. Consists at minimum of a lumpectomy plus radiation treatment.
Breast density
Dense breasts have a higher ratio of fibroglandular tissue to fat than normal breasts. Women with dense breasts have far greater risk of breast cancer compared to those with mostly fatty breasts.
Breast ultrasound
A diagnostic breast exam performed with an ultrasound scan, which uses sound waves to create images of breast tissue.
Breastfeeding
Nursing, giving a baby milk directly from the breast.
Broccoli
The edible stalk, small leaves, and flower heads of the broccoli plant (Brassica oleracea italica). A cruciferous vegetable.
Bromelain
A mixture of proteolytic enzymes (enzymes that digest protein) found in the stem and immature fruit of the pineapple plant.
Brussels sprouts
The sprouts (tight buds of modified leaves that grow on the stalk) of the brussels sprout plant (Brassica oleracea gemmifera). A cruciferous vegetable.
Buckwheat
The seeds of the buckwheat plant (Fagopyrum esculentum Moench). Buckwheat, which is related to rhubarb, is not a true grain or cereal.
Butter
A dairy food made by churning milk or cream, which separates the milk fats from the buttermilk. The buttermilk is removed and the milk fats are consolidated into a solid mass (the butter). Normally made from cows' milk.
Cabbage
The densely-leaved head of the cabbage plant, most commonly green (Brassica oleracea capitata), red (Brassica oleracea capitata f. rubra), or savoy (Brassica oleracea sabauda) cabbage. A cruciferous vegetable.
Cadmium (Cd)
A toxic heavy metal with estrogenic properties. Cadmium has no beneficial effect on health and is not essential to life.
Caffeine
A bitter alkaloid compound that acts as a stimulant and mild diuretic. The most common dietary sources of caffeine are coffee, tea, cola and chocolate.
Calcium (Ca)
An earth metal. Calcium, which is essential to health, is stored in bones and teeth.
Calorie restriction
A sustained or intermittent low calorie diet.
Canola oil
A vegetable oil made from the pressed seed of the canola plant (Brassica napus, B. rapa or B. juncea).
Cantaloupe
The fruit of the Cucumis melo vine, a type of melon.
Capsaicin
A compound that gives hot peppers their heat.
Carboplatin
Trade name Paraplatin. A platinum-based chemotherapy drug. Other platinum-based chemotherapy drugs include cisplatin (Platinol) and oxaliplatum (Eloxatin).
Carcinoma
A type of solid malignant tumor consisting of epithelial cells.
Cardiomyopathy
Heart muscle damage that can result in cardiac dysfunction and congestive heart failure. Breast cancer drugs known to induce cardiomyopathy include anthracyclines such as Adriamycin and epirubicin, as well as Herceptin (used to treat HER2+ disease), and other chemotherapy drugs such as 5-fluorouraci
Carotenoid
A group of yellow, orange and red plant pigments. The most abundant carotenoids in the U.S. diet are alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein, lycopene, and zeaxanthin.
Carrot
The taproot of the carrot plant (Daucus carota sativus). Carrot plants use their taproots for nutrient storage.
Cashew
The single seed of the fruit of the cashew tree (Anacardium occidentale).
Cauliflower
The head (crowded white flower buds) of the cauliflower plant (Brassica oleracea botrytis). A cruciferous vegetable.
Caviar
Salted and cured fish roe. True caviar is made from sturgeon (including Beluga sturgeon) roe. Other fish such as salmon, paddlefish, lumpfish, trout and cod are also used to make caviar.
CDK (cyclin-dependent kinase)
A family of enzymes with a crucial role in regulating cell cycle progression in association with specific cyclins. Cellular proliferation, driven by CDKs and their cyclin partners, is deregulated in cancer. Inhibition of CDKs may overcome resistance to endocrine treatment in ER+ breast cancer.
Celery
The stalk of the celery plant (Apium graveolens). The entire plant is edible. Celery root (Apium graveolens rapaceum), also called celeriac, is an edible root vegetable closely related to celery.
Chamomile
The flowers of the chamomile plant (Chamaemelum nobile), an annual. Chamomile is a herb used for various purposes, including as a calming agent. The leaves are also sometimes used.
Cheese
A dairy food made by coagulating milk, then separating out and pressing the solids. Cheese is normally made using cows' milk but can be made from the milk of other mammals such as goats.
Chemo brain
Reduced cognitive functioning caused by chemotherapy. Chemo brain is characterized by reduced verbal ability, impaired decision making, and faulty short-term memory.
Cherry
The fruit of the sweet (Prunus avium) or sour (Prunus cerasus) cherry tree.
Chicken
Meat from domesticated chickens.
Chickpea
The seed or pea of the chickpea plant (Cicer arietinum), a legume. Also known as garbanzo bean.
Chinese
Having to do with China or Chinese populations.
Chocolate
A food made from the cocoa bean, the seed of the cacao tree (Theobroma cacao). The highest levels of bioactive cocoa compounds are found in products with the highest content of cocoa solids (cocoa liquor, cocoa powder and dark chocolate).
Cholesterol
A waxy, fat-like substance that occurs naturally in all parts of the body, including the blood. Total cholesterol consists of high-density lipoprotein (HDL, the "good" cholesterol), low-density lipoprotein (LDL, the "bad" cholesterol), triglycerides and lipoprotein(a) (Lp(a) cholesterol).
Cilantro
The leaves and stem of the coriander plant (coriandrum sativum), a type of parsley. Coriander is a spice consisting of the dried seed of the same plant.
Cinnamon
A spice consisting of the inner bark of the cinnamon tree (Cinnamomum verum or Cinnamomum zeylanicum).
Circadian rhythms
Changes that follow 24-hour cycles. Circadian rhythms are popularly thought of as being driven by the master clock in the brain, which receives information concerning light-dark conditions through the eyes. However, individual cells in other organs also have clocks.
Circulating tumor cell
A disseminated cancer cell found in the blood of a patient with a solid tumor, representing a cell shed into the vasculature from a primary tumor or metastasis.
Cisplatin
Trade name Platinol, a platinum-based chemotherapy drug. Other platinum-based chemotherapy drugs include carboplatin (Paraplatin) and oxaliplatum (Eloxatin).
CLA (conjugated linoleic acid)
A mixture of isomers of the omega-6 fatty acid linoleic acid. CLA is found naturally primarily in dairy foods and meat derived from ruminants such as cattle.
Coconut
The fruit of the coconut palm (Cocos nucifera).
Coffee
A beverage made from the roasted beans (the seeds) of the coffee tree (typically, Coffea arabica or Coffea canephora).
Contralateral breast cancer
A tumor in the originally untreated, or opposite, breast. A new tumor in the contralateral breast is either a metastasis of the original cancer or a new primary tumor. Tumors that arise in the contralateral breast at least two years after the first diagnosis are assumed to be new primary tumors.
Copper (Cu)
A heavy metal that is essential to human health, but toxic at significant levels.
CoQ10 (coenzyme Q10)
An antioxidant benzoquinone compound synthesized naturally in the human body. CoQ10 is used by cells in multiple processes, including aerobic metabolism and cellular energy production.
Corn oil
A vegetable oil produced from the germ of corn (Dracaena fragrans), a cereal grain.
Cranberry
The fruit of the cranberry bush or vine (most commonly, Vaccinium macrocarpon).
CRP (C-reactive protein)
A protein made by the liver which is released into the blood as a result of inflammation.
Cucumber
The fruit of the cucumber vine (Cucumis sativus). Like watermelon, pumpkin, zucchini and other types of squash, cucumber belongs to the cucurbitaceae (gourd) family.
Cumin
A spice made from the small dried fruit (the cumin seeds) of the cumin plant (Cuminum cyminum). Cumin is a member of the parsley family and is not related to curcumin.
Curcumin
The plant pigment that gives turmeric, an Indian spice, its yellow color.
Cyanidin-3-glucoside
An anthocyanin found in a variety of red and purple fruits such as blackberries, cherries, and black currants, as well as black rice.
Cyclophosphamide
Trade name Cytoxan, a chemotherapy drug. Cyclophosphamide is an alkylating agent frequently used in combination with anthracyclines (Adriamycin, epirubicin) and/or taxanes (Taxol, Taxotere).
Cytoxan
Trade name of cyclophosphamide, a chemotherapy drug. Cytoxan is an alkylating agent frequently used in combination with anthracyclines (Adriamycin, epirubicin) and/or taxanes (Taxol, Taxotere).
D-limonene
A terpene found in citrus fruit, especially the rind. D-limonene, which has a lemonlike odor, is metabolized into perillic acid, dihydroperillic acid, and other compounds.
Daidzein
An isoflavone found primarily in soybeans. Genistein is the other main soy isoflavone.
DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ)
A non-invasive form of breast cancer in which the cancer cells are confined to milk ducts and have not spread beyond the duct walls to invade the surrounding tissue.
Delphinidin
An anthocyanin found in a variety of blue and red fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, black currants, and cranberries.
Diagnosis
Having to do with the diagnosis of breast cancer, including breast cancer symptoms, screening, timing of diagnosis, imaging, and biopsy.
Dill
The culinary herb Anethum graveolens, a member of the carrot family. "Dill" normally refers to the seeds whereas "dill weed" refers to the lacy foliage of the plant.
DIM (3,3'-diindolylmethane)
A metabolic product of indole-3-carbinol (I3C), a compound found in cruciferous vegetables.
Discordance
A circumstance under which the estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), and/or HER2 status of a metastasis differs from that of its corresponding primary tumor.
DNA methylation
The addition of a methyl group to DNA, which is considered an epigenetic mark since it does not alter the DNA sequence.
Docetaxel
Trade name Taxotere. A taxane chemotherapy drug. Taxanes work primarily by inhibiting cell division by suppressing microtubule dynamics.
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
An omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid found primarily in seafood, especially cold water fatty fish. The other main omega-3 marine fatty acid is eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).
Doxorubicin
Trade name Adriamycin. An anthracycline chemotherapy drug. Anthracyclines work primarily by inhibiting DNA replication in rapidly growing cancer cells.
Dry beans
One of many varieties of dried seeds of the Phaseolus vulgaris plant, a legume. Black beans, kidney beans, navy beans, pinto beans, pink beans, red beans and white beans are dry beans. Adzuki beans, black-eyed peas, chickpeas, fava beans, lentils, lima beans, and mung beans are not.
Ductal breast cancer
Articles concerning invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC).
Ductal breast cancer (invasive ductal carcinoma)
Invasive breast cancer that develops in the milk ducts of the breasts.
Eastern Europe
Having to do with Eastern Europe or Eastern European populations.
EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate)
A plant polyphenol found primarily in green tea.
EGFR (epidermal growth factor receptor)
A cell surface protein that binds to members of the epidermal growth factor family of extracellular protein ligands. Binding of the protein to an EGF ligand leads to cell proliferation.
Egg
For purposes of this website, refers to the egg of the domestic chicken.
EicosapentaenoicAcid (EPA)
An omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid found primarily in seafood, especially cold water fatty fish. The other main omega-3 marine fatty acid is docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
Ellagic acid
A polyphenol found in numerous berries, pomegranates, walnuts, and other fruits and nuts.
Ellence
Trade name of epirubicin, an anthracycline chemotherapy drug. Anthracyclines work primarily by inhibiting DNA replication in rapidly growing cancer cells.
Endocrine disruptors
Chemicals that interfere with hormone systems in the body. Most endocrine disruptors suspected of causing breast cancer have estrogenic properties, in other words, they mimic estrogen.
Endometrial cancer
Invasive cancer that develops in the lining of the womb (uterus). A type of uterine cancer.
Enterolactone
A phytoestrogen produced by intestinal microflora in the upper part of the colon from lignans in flaxseed, whole rye, whole wheat, and a variety of fruits and vegetables.
Epigenetic changes
Heritable but potentially reversible modifications in gene expression not caused by changes in the underlying DNA sequence. Epigenetic changes can be induced by dietary and environmental factors. Cumulative genetic and epigenetic alterations can transform normal breast cells into cancer cells.
Epirubicin
Trade name Ellence. An anthracycline chemotherapy drug. Anthracyclines work primarily by inhibiting DNA replication in rapidly growing cancer cells.
Equol
A metabolite of soy isoflavones. Equol has been hypothesized to be largely responsible for the estrogen-like activities of soy and its isoflavones. However, only 25% to 35% of the U.S. Caucasian population is capable of converting daidzein to equol.
ER+/PR- breast cancer
Breast cancer that is estrogen receptor positive (ER+) and progesterone receptor negative (PR-). A type of mixed hormone receptor status (the other is ER-/PR+).
ER-/PR+ breast cancer
Breast cancer that is estrogen receptor negative (ER-) and progesterone receptor positive (PR+). A type of mixed hormone receptor status (the other is ER+/PR-).
Escargot
Land snails (Helix pomatia) normally served as an appetizer.
Estradiol (E2)
The most important estrogen. Estradiol influences the development and maintenance of feminine characteristics by binding to estrogen receptors. Also known as 17β-estradiol. Testosterone can be converted to estradiol through aromatase activity.
Estrone (E1)
A type of estrogen. Estrone is secreted by fat tissue in addition to the ovaries. Estrone can be converted in the body to estrone sulfate and subsequently to estradiol. In this way, the body has a reserve of estrogen (estradiol) in an inactive form and the active form becomes available as needed.
Estrone sulfate
The sulfate-conjugated form of estrone. Estrone sulfate is the most abundant estrogen found in the blood. It acts as a reservoir that can be converted as needed to the more biologically active estrogen, estradiol.
Exemestane
Trade name Aromasin. Exemestane is an aromatase inhibitor used to treat ER+ breast cancer. Aromatase inhibitors are designed to inhibit the action of the enzyme aromatase, which converts androgens into estrogens within the body.
Exercise
Voluntary physical activity such as walking or running. Almost any non-sedentary activity involves some physical exercise.
Familial breast cancer
Having a family history of breast cancer. The degree of extra breast cancer risk varies according to whether breast cancer was diagnosed among a first degree relative, second degree relative, or multiple family members. Sporadic breast cancer occurs in women without a family history.
Family history
Articles concerning familial breast cancer.
Family history news
News concerning familial breast cancer.
Fatigue
The nature and causes of fatigue as a side effect of breast cancer treatment.
Femara
Trade name of letrozole, an aromatase inhibitor used to treat ER+ breast cancer. Aromatase inhibitors are designed to inhibit the action of the enzyme aromatase, which converts androgens into estrogens within the body.
Fennel
A perennial herbaceous plant (Foeniculum vulgare) with an anise flavor. All parts of fennel, which is a member of the carrot family, are edible.
Fermented Milk
A beverage produced by adding lactic acid-producing bacteria to milk. Normally made with cows' milk, but can also be made with other types of milk. Kefir is a type of fermented milk.
Fiber
Edible portions of plant-based foods that are resistant to digestion. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and forms a gel, which slows digestion. Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water; it adds bulk to the diet and speeds up the passage of food and waste.
Fig
The fruit of the fig tree (Ficus carica), a flowering large shrub or tree in the mulberry family.
Fisetin
A flavonol found in fruits and vegetables, most abundantly in strawberries and apples.
Fish oil
Oil obtained from the tissues (typically the livers) of fatty fish such as anchovy or salmon. Commercial fish oil supplements are designed to deliver concentrated doses of the marine omega-3 fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).
Flavone
Flavones are colorless crystalline copigments (parent compounds) of several white or yellow pigments that play a variety of roles in plant adaptation to stress. A type of flavonoid. Examples include apigenin, luteolin, tangeretin and tricin.
Flavonoid
Flavonoids are pigments found in a wide variety of plants. They can be divided into six major groups: flavones, flavonols, anthocyanins, isoflavones, flavan-3-ols, and flavanones. Apigenin, daidzein, EGCG, genistein, kaempferol, luteolin, quercetin, and the anthocyanins are important flavonoids.
Flaxseed
The seeds of the flax plant (Linum usitatissimum).
Fluorouracil (5-fluorouracil, 5-FU)
A fluoropyrimidine chemotherapy drug that acts by blocking DNA replication.
Folate (folic acid)
A vital water-soluble B vitamin found in a variety of foods, including leafy green vegetables and dry beans. Folic acid is a synthetic form of folate found in supplements and fortified foods.
Food and supplement news
News stories concerning diet or supplements and breast cancer.
Food and supplements
Articles concerning diet and supplements and breast cancer.
Free estradiol
The fraction of estradiol (E2) that is not bound to plasma proteins.
Fucoidan
A sulfated polysaccharide found primarily in brown seaweeds such as kelp, limu moui, mozuku, and hijiki. A form of fucoidan is also found in sea cucumber.
Garlic
The bulb of the garlic plant (Allium sativum).
Genistein
An isoflavone found primarily in soybeans. Daidzein is the other main soy isoflavone.
German
Having to do with Germany or German populations.
Ginger
The fresh or dried rhizome (underground stem) of the ginger plant (Zingiber officinale).
GLA (gamma-linolenic acid)
An omega-6 fatty acid. In the diet, GLA is derived primarily from high linoleic acid vegetable oils (corn oil, safflower oil, soybean oil). GLA is also found in some plant-based oils such as evening primrose oil and black currant seed oil, which are sometimes used to relieve menopausal symptoms.
Glycemic index and glycemic load
The glycemic index ranks foods based on their immediate effect on blood sugar levels. Glucose ranks 100 and other foods are ranked in relation to glucose. The glycemic load of a diet is calculated by multiplying the glycemic index, carbohydrate content, and intake frequency of individual foods.
Grape
The fruit of vines of the genus Vitis — most commonly, Vitis labrusca (red grape).
Grape seed
The seed of grapes, typically seeds left over from the wine-making process.
Grapefruit
The fruit of the grapefruit tree (Citrus × paradisi).
Green bean
The unripe pod of the common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris), a legume. Also know as string bean.
Green tea
The cured leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. Green tea leaves are unoxidized, whereas black tea leaves have been allowed to oxidize.
Greens
The leaves of certain brassica plants. Included are collard greens (Brassica oleracea viridis), mustard greens (Brassica juncea) and turnip greens (Brassica rapa). Such greens are normally eaten cooked. Arugla (Brassica eruca) is a salad green. Greens are cruciferous vegetables.
Halibut
A large flatfish found in the North Pacific and North Atlantic Oceans. Most halibut sold to U.S. consumers is Pacific halibut, which has less than one-quarter of the omega-3 fat content as wild salmon.
HER2 positive breast cancer
Articles concerning HER2/neu overexpressing (HER2+) breast cancer.
Her2+ breast cancer
Breast cancer that overexpresses the HER2/neu gene.
Herceptin (trastuzumab)
A monoclonal antibody used to treat HER2/neu overexpressing (HER2+) breast cancer. Herceptin works by binding to the HER2/neu receptor, thereby reducing the effects of overexpression of HER2.
Herring
Small fish found near the cost or around fishing banks in shallow, temperate waters. Herring are often consumed as sardines in the U.S. A good source of omega-3 fatty acids.
Hesperetin
The predominant flavonoid in oranges and lemons (in the form of its flavanone glycoside, hesperidin).
Heterocyclic amines (HCAs)
Carcinogenic compounds formed in meat and fish as a result of cooking at high temperatures (especially if charred), for example by pan frying at high heat, deep frying, flame broiling, or grilling.
Holy basil
Ocimum sanctum, a medicinal herb in the mint family that is closely related to common basil.
Honey
A food produced by bees from flower nectar.
Hormone receptor negative (ER-/PR-)
Breast cancer that is estrogen receptor negative (ER-) and progesterone receptor negative (PR-).
Hormone receptor positive
Articles concerning hormone receptor positive (ER+/PR+) breast cancer.
Hormone receptor positive (ER+/PR+)
Breast cancer that is estrogen receptor positive (ER+) and progesterone receptor positive (PR+). Some researchers classify mixed hormone receptor disease such as ER+/PR- as hormone receptor positive.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
Drug therapy designed to replace female hormones whose levels drop as a result of menopause. Most U.S. women are prescribed combination or combined HRT, which consists of estrogen plus progestin, rather than estrogen-only HRT.
Horseradish
The taproot of the horseradish plant (Armoracia rusticana). Horseradish is a cruciferous vegetable.
Hot flash
One or more of the following symptoms: a feeling of warmth; flushed appearance; increased perspiration; rapid heartbeat. Hot flashes can vary greatly in number and intensity. They are a side effect of a reduction in circulating estrogen due to menopause or breast cancer treatment.
Hot pepper
The fruit of one of the hot varieties of pepper plant species such as Capsicum annuum and Capsicum frutescens. Examples include cayenne, jalapeño, serrano, chili and tabasco peppers.
HPV (human papillomavirus)
A virus that is the cause of most cases of cervical cancer and also has been found in breast cancer tissue.
I3C (indole-3-carbinol)
A glucosinolate derived from cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, greens, and kale. DIM is a metabolic product of I3C.
IBC (inflammatory breast cancer)
A type of breast cancer characterized by involvement of the skin and the lack of a solid tumor mass. The breast may become painful, red, swollen, itchy and/or warm.
Ibuprofen
An over-the-counter oral pain medication. Advil and Motrin are the most common brand names. Ibuprofen is a type of NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug).
Indian
Having to do with the country of India or Indian populations.
Infant formula
A substitute for human breast milk. Most baby formula is made from cow's milk or soy protein.
Inflammation
Refers to systemic inflammation, a persistent state of inflammation that involves the chronic activation of the immune system, resulting in the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines from immune system-related cells.
Insulin
A hormone produced by beta cells of the pancreas. Insulin is required to metabolize glucose.
Insulin like growth factor (IGF)
Insulin-like growth factors (primarily IGF-I and IGF-II) are peptide hormones with growth promoting and other activities. IGFs are secreted from many types of cells. IGF-1 is required for mammary development at puberty and has been implicated in increased breast cancer risk.
Insulin resistance
A condition in which the body's cells become resistant to the effects of insulin and fail to respond normally to it. Insulin resistance normally results in excess levels of insulin in the blood.
Interval breast cancer
Breast cancer discovered during the time interval between regular screening mammograms. In other words, the tumor was not detected during the previous routine screening.
Iodine (I)
A chemical element that is needed for the production of thyroid hormone and normal metabolism of cells.
Iron (Fe)
A heavy metal that is essential to human health, but unhealthful at high levels.
Isoflavones
Phytoestrogenic compounds found primarily in soybeans. A type of flavonoid. Examples include genistein, daidzein, biochanin A, glycitein, and formononetin.
Isolated tumor cell
A solitary cancer cell found in an axillary lymph node, bone marrow, or other biopsied location. Solitary cancer cells are the smallest type of micrometastases, which are metastases of 2 mm or less, cancer cell clusters, or isolated tumor cells.
Isothiocyanates
A class of compounds derived from glucosinolates (sulfur-containing compounds) found primarily in cruciferous vegetables. Sulforaphane, phenethyl isothiocyanate, allyl isothiocyanate, 1-naphthyl isothiocyanate, phenethyl isothiocyanate, benzyl isothiocyanate and erucin all are isothiocyanates.
Japanese
Having to do with Japan or Japanese populations.
Jewish
Having to do with Jewish populations.
Kaempferol
A yellow flavonol found in a variety of foods such as kale, broccoli, chives, dill, saffron, and turnip greens.
Kale
The leaves of the kale plant (Brassica oleracea acephala). A cruciferous vegetable.
Kefir
A fermented milk drink produced by inoculating milk with kefir grains, which consist of a complex living culture of yeasts and bacteria. Normally made with cows' milk.
Ki-67
An antigen used as a measure of the proliferative activity of cancer cells. Ki-67 (or Ki67) is found only in growing, dividing cells (and not in cells in the resting phase of the cell growth cycle).
Kimchi
A Korean condiment made primarily from fermented vegetables (typically, Chinese cabbage) and a mix of seasonings, often including chili pepper.
Kinase
A protein that serves as a catalyst for the addition of a phosphate group to another molecule. Kinases are essential to most signal transduction pathways, in which a signaling molecule attaches to a cell surface receptor and the signal is transmitted into the cell.
Kiwifruit
The fruit of the kiwifruit vine (Actinidia deliciosa or Actinidia chinensis).
Korean
Having to do with Korea or Korean populations.
Lake trout
A fish found primarily in U.S. and Canadian lakes such as the Great Lakes. A good source of omega-3 fatty acids.
Lamb
Meat from lambs up to one year in age. Mutton is produced from older sheep.
Lantus insulin
Insulin glargine, a long-acting insulin analog used by both type 1 and type 2 diabetics to help control blood sugar throughout the day.
Late recurrence
Breast cancer relapse that takes place at least five to seven years after the initial breast cancer diagnosis. All breast cancer survivors are at risk for late recurrence, but it is more likely among those with hormone receptor positive disease.
Latina
Women originating from Mexico, Central or South America, or the Caribbean who have at least some Native American, indigenous Mesoamerican, Native South American, or Native Caribbean ancestry.
Lavender
An aromatic herb consisting of the dried flowers (buds) of the lavender plant (Lavandula angustifolia).
LCIS (lobular carcinoma in situ)
A precancerous condition in which abnormal cells fill the milk-producing glands (lobules) of the breast.
Lectin
A family of proteins that bind to certain sugar molecules (glycoproteins and glycolipids) on the surface of cells.
Lemon
The fruit of the lemon tree (Citrus limon).
Lentil
The seed of the lentil plant (Lens culinaris), a legume.
Leptin
A hormone secreted primarily by fat cells. Leptin has a role in regulating appetite and metabolism by signaling the degree of energy sufficiency to the brain.
Letrozole
Trade name Femara. Letrozole is an aromatase inhibitor used to treat ER+ breast cancer. Aromatase inhibitors are designed to inhibit the action of the enzyme aromatase, which converts androgens into estrogens within the body.
Lettuce
The leaves of the lettuce plant (Lactuca sativa).
Lignan
A type of phytoestrogen found mainly in the woody or fibrous tissues of a variety of foods, including seeds, whole grain products, and some fruits and vegetables. Examples of lignans include secoisolariciresinol, matairesinol, pinoresinol, and lariciresinol.
Lima bean
The seed of the lima bean plant (Phaseolus lunatus), a legume.
Linoleic acid
An omega-6 fatty acid found in abundance in vegetable oils such as corn oil, safflower oil, soybean oil, and sunflower oil.
Lobular breast cancer
Articles concerning invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC).
Lobular breast cancer (invasive lobular carcinoma)
Invasive breast cancer that develops in the cells that line the milk-producing glands (lobules) of the breast.
Locoregional recurrence
Recurrence of breast cancer in the breast, chest wall, or lymph nodes.
Luminal A breast cancer
Breast cancer that is strongly estrogen receptor positive (ER+) and progesterone receptor positive (PR+) and not HER2 overexpressing, with low tumor grade and low proliferation (Ki-67 < 15%).
Luminal B breast cancer
Breast cancer that is weakly to moderately ER+ and PR+. Can be HER2- or HER2+. May have low tumor grade, but with higher proliferation and DNA instability than luminal A. ER+/PR- and ER-/PR+ tumors are normally luminal B.
Lumpectomy
Breast conserving surgery in which a tumor is completely removed, along with a margin of disease-free tissue. The surgery might leave a dimple or dent in the breast, but is not as disfiguring as a partial mastectomy in which a quarter to a third of the breast may be removed.
Lutein
A yellow plant pigment that can appear orange-red at high concentrations. However, the most abundant dietary sources are dark green leafy vegetables. A type of carotenoid.
Luteolin
A flavone found in abundance in parsley and celery. Luteolin is also found in sweet and hot peppers, carrots, artichokes, and olives, as well as some culinary herbs.
Lycopene
A red plant pigment found in a variety of red fruits and vegetables. A type of carotenoid.
Lymph node status
Axillary lymph nodes examined during breast surgery are classified as positive if they contain small metastases or cancer cell clusters and negative if they do not. Lymph nodes are filters in the lymphatic system designed to trap and eliminate cancer cells, bacteria and other harmful particles.
Lymphedema
Fluid buildup caused by damage to the lymph system that results in improper tissue drainage. Arm lymphedema can result from breast surgery, as well as subsequent radiation treatment and chemotherapy. Symptoms include swelling, heaviness, pain, numbness, and limited range of motion.
Macadamia nut
The kernel of the fruit of the macadamia nut tree (primarily, Macadamia integrifolia and Macadamia tetraphylla).
Mackerel
Mostly medium-sized fatty fish living primarily along the coasts of the Americas and in the Pacific. There are many species of mackerel. King mackerel and other mackerel from the Gulf of Mexico have been found to have high levels of mercury and should be avoided.
Maitake mushroom
Grifola frondosa, a soft-fleshed polypore mushroom. Also known as "hen of the woods."
Male breast cancer
Breast cancer in men. Most male breast cancer appears to resemble female postmenopausal hormone receptor positive (ER+/PR+) breast cancer. Rates of male breast cancer have been increasing along with exposure to estrogen in our diets and from various industrial and environmental sources.
Mammogram
A type of x-ray designed detect breast cancer in which the breast is compressed between two clear plates. Film-screen mammography is being replaced by digital mammography, which can be more accurate.
Mango
The fruit of the mango tree (Mangifera indica).
Mastectomy
The surgical removal of a breast. The amount of tissue removed depends on the location of the tumor, whether breast reconstruction is planned, and other factors. Skin sparing mastectomy is designed to leave as much skin as possible in order to accommodate reconstruction.
Medullary breast cancer
A subtype of ductal breast cancer that also starts in the milk ducts, however the tumor cells resemble the medulla (gray matter) of the brain.
Melatonin
A hormone secreted by the pineal gland in the brain that communicates information concerning environmental light conditions to various parts of the body. Melatonin plays a central role in the synchronization of circadian rhythms.
Melon
The fruit of one of a variety of melon vines, e.g., cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelon.
Metabolic syndrome
A combination of insulin resistance, high waist-to-hip ratio, obesity, high triglyceride level, low HDL cholesterol, above normal fasting glucose, high blood pressure, and polycystic ovarian syndrome. Not all of these factors have to be present for a diagnosis of metabolic syndrome.
Metalloestrogen
A metal or metallic compound that activates the estrogen receptor in the absence of estradiol. Examples include the elements cadmium, copper, lead and mercury, as well as compounds such as arsenite, nitrite, and selenite.
Metastasis
Cancer recurrence away from the site of the original tumor. In metastasis, a tumor cell must detach from its tumor and acquire migratory and invasive capabilities. Once the cell starts to divide, the new tumor must establish a blood supply through angiogenesis in order to grow beyond a tiny size.
Metformin
An oral drug widely used to treat type 2 diabetes. Metformin requires the presence of insulin to be effective. Metformin appears to improve glucose status by suppressing glucose production by the liver and increasing insulin-mediated glucose utilization in peripheral tissues.
Methylation
The addition of a methyl group to DNA, a protein, or other molecule. DNA methylation is an important regulator of gene transcription. Alterations in DNA methylation are common in a variety of tumors and in their development.
Micrometastases
Generally defined as metastases of 2 mm or less in diameter. Includes tiny tumors, isolated tumor cell clusters, and isolated tumor cells.
Middle Eastern
Having to do with the Middle East or Middle Eastern populations.
Milk
The white fluid produced by the mammary glands of mammals as nourishment for their young. Cows' milk is a dairy food.
Mint
The culinary herb Mentha piperita (peppermint), a member of the mint family.
Mixed hormone receptor
Articles on mixed hormone receptor (ER+/PR- or ER-/PR+) breast cancer.
Molasses
A byproduct of sugar production from sugar cane or sugar beets, consisting of the thick liquid remaining after the sucrose has crystallized out. Blackstrap molasses is a concentrated form of cane molasses.
Morphine
An opioid drug used to treat moderate to severe pain.
MRI (Magnetic resonance imaging)
A type of imaging designed to detect breast cancer that uses magnets and radio waves rather than radiation (mammogram) or sound waves (ultrasound). MRIs are more capable of detecting breast cancer in women with dense breasts than mammograms.
Mucinous breast cancer
A rare histological type of invasive breast cancer in which the tumor cells are poorly defined and produce mucus.
Multicentric breast cancer
The presence of two or more invasive tumors within different quadrants of the same breast. (Multifocal breast cancer is the presence of two or more invasive tumors within the same quadrant of the breast.)
Multifocal breast cancer
The presence of two or more invasive tumors within the same quadrant of the breast. (Multicentric breast cancer is the presence of two or more invasive tumors within different quadrants of the same breast.)
Multivitamins
Dietary supplements containing vitamins and other micronutrients, most often essential minerals.
Mung bean
The seed of the mung bean plant (most commonly, Vigna radiata), a legume.
Mushroom
A type of fleshy fungus of the phyla Basidiomycota. Many edible mushrooms take the form of a domed cap on a stalk with gills on the underside of the cap.
Mustard
A condiment made from the ground seeds of mustard plants and other ingredients such as vinegar, salt and turmeric. Mustard greens are a type of cruciferous vegetable.
Myricetin
A flavonol found in fruits and vegetables, most abundantly in blackberries, fennel and parsley.
Naringenin
A flavanone found in primarily in grapefruit. Oranges, rosemary, tomatoes, and grapes are also sources of naringenin.
Netherlands
Having to do with the Netherlands or Dutch populations.
Neutropenia
A blood disorder characterized by a decrease in circulating neutrophils, the most important type of white blood cell.
NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug)
A type of pain medication that acts by blocking the action of COX enzymes, which produce prostaglandins that promote inflammation, pain, and fever. Over-the-counter NSAIDs include aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve). The best known prescription NSAID is celecoxib (Celebrex).
Oats
The seeds of the oat plant (Avena sativa), a cereal grain.
Occupation
Having to with careers and jobs that appear to be linked to increased breast cancer risk.
Old age
Breast cancer risk, diagnosis, treatment and outcomes in women over 70 years of age.
Oleic acid
An omega-9 monounsaturated fatty acid that is the predominant fatty acid in olive oil. Oleic acid is also found in canola oil, peanut oil, lard, sesame oil, butterfat and numerous other oils and fats.
Olive
The fruit of the olive tree (Olea europaea).
Omega-3 (n-3)
A type of essential polyunsaturated fatty acid. Includes the marine fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and the plant-based alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is found in walnuts, flaxseed and some other plants and meat.
Omega-6 (n-6)
A type of essential polyunsaturated fatty acid. Vegetable oils high in linoleic acid (corn oil, safflower oil, soybean oil) are the most abundant source of omega-6 fatty acids. However, omega-6 fats are also found in nuts and seeds, whole grains, certain vegetables and meat.
Oncogene
A gene that can be activated by mutation to increase the selective growth advantage of the cell in which it is found.
Onion
The common onion is the bulb of the onion plant (Allium cepa). Onions come in a wide variety, including shallots, chives, and green onions or scallions. The Allium genus also includes leeks.
Oophorectomy
The surgical removal of one or both ovaries. Prophylactic bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (voluntary removal of the ovaries and fallopian tubes) can reduce the likelihood of ovarian and breast cancers in very high-risk women such as BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation carriers.
Orange
The fruit of the orange tree (Citrus sinensis).
Other breast cancer
Articles concerning other breast cancer types and patient groups.
Other topics
Other topics relating to breast cancer.
Ovarian cancer
Invasive cancer that develops in the ovary.
Overall diet
How overall dietary patterns and lifestyle choices influence breast cancer risk and prognosis.
P53
A tumor suppressor protein whose activation results either in cell death or DNA repair. Normally, p53 prevents the progression of cells with incorrect numbers of chromosomes toward cancer. However, p53 mutations can endow p53 with new functions that promote, instead of inhibit, cancer formation.
Paclitaxel
Trade name Taxol. A taxane chemotherapy drug. Taxanes work primarily by inhibiting cell division by suppressing microtubule dynamics.
PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons)
Chemicals that are formed during the incomplete burning of coal, oil and gas, garbage, food and other organic substances. PAHs are found in well-done meat and fish, as well as vehicle exhaust. The PAH benzo[a]pyrene is routinely used in animal studies to promote breast cancer development.
Papaya
The fruit of the papaya tree (Carica papaya).
Paprika
A spice ground from the pods of a variety of aromatic sweet red pepper (Capsicum annuum).
Parabens
A class of chemical compounds widely used as preservatives in cosmetics and personal care products (including some intended for children), as well as in pharmaceuticals and some processed foods.
Paraplatin
Trade name of carboplatin, a platinum-based chemotherapy drug. Other platinum-based chemotherapy drugs include cisplatin (Platinol) and oxaliplatum (Eloxatin).
Parity
The number of times a women has given birth. A woman who has never given birth is nulliparous, whereas a woman who has ever given birth is parous.
Parsley
The culinary herb Petroselinum crispum, a member of the carrot family.
Passion fruit
The fruit of the passion fruit vine (Passiflora edulis).
Pathological complete response
No remaining microscopic evidence of viable cancer cells in tissue biopsied after breast cancer treatment.
PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls)
Synthetic hydrocarbon compounds widely used in the electronics and similar industries beginning in the 1930s. Most PCBs were restricted or banned during the 1970s and 1980s. However PCBs persist in the environment as a result of their resistance to decomposition and long half-life.
Pea
The seed or pea of the common pea plant (Pisum sativum), a legume. Peas are also known as sweet peas or green peas.
Peach
The fruit of the peach tree (Prunus persica).
Peanut
One of two or three kernels in the pod of the peanut plant (Arachis hypogaea). The peanut is a legume rather than a true nut.
Pear
The fruit of the pear tree (most commonly, Pyrus communis).
Perillyl alcohol
A cyclic monoterpene found in foods such as tart cherries, celery, lemons, mint, sage and lavender.
Personal care products
How use of personal care products influences breast cancer risk, characteristics, and outcomes. Included are products such as hair care preparations and dyes, cosmetics, shampoos, soaps, toothpaste, creams, lotions, deodorants, and vaginal douches.
Pertuzumab
Trade name Perjeta. A monoclonal antibody that has been approved to treat metastatic HER/neu overexpressing (HER2+) breast cancer in combination with other drugs.
Phloretin
A dihydrochalcone flavonoid found primarily in apples and, to a lesser extent, pears.
Phthalate
A class of chemicals commonly used as plasticizers of polyvinyl chloride and as additives in personal care products. Food packaging, body lotions, and face creams are the main sources of phthalate exposure for most people.
Phyllodes tumor of the breast
A rare type of breast tumor that forms in the connective tissue of the breast. May be benign, malignant or borderline (in between noncancerous and cancerous).
Phytoestrogens
Nonsteroidal plant molecules that are structurally and functionally similar to mammalian estrogens and can bind to estrogen receptors. Examples include apigenin, coumestrol, enterolactone, genistein, quercetin, and resveratrol.
Pineapple
The fruit of the pineapple plant (Ananas comosus).
Pistachio nut
The kernel of the fruit of the pistachio shrub or tree (Pistacia vera).
Plantain
The fruit of the plantain tree (Musa paradisiaca).
Plum
The fruit of the plum tree (most commonly, Prunus domestica).
Pomegranate
The fruit of the pomegranate tree (Punica granatum).
Pork
Uncured meat from domestic pigs.
Potato
A tuber of the potato (Solanum tuberosum) plant. Potato plants use stem tubers (underground stems) for nutrient storage.
Pregnancy
How pregnancy influences breast cancer risk, diagnosis, treatment and outcomes.
Prenatal exposure
How exposure to the mother's diet and other factors in the womb influences breast cancer risk, characteristics, and outcomes in adulthood.
Primary tumor
The original tumor in the breast where tumor growth was initiated.
Proanthocyanidins
Naturally occurring plant metabolites (in the form of condensed tannins) present in most berries, as well as in apples, red grapes, black currants, persimmons, cinnamon, purple rice, and certain nuts.
Processed meat
Salted, cured, smoked or preserved meat. Examples include bacon, hot dogs, sausage, ham, bologna and other luncheon meats, pâtés, pepperoni, and beef jerky.
Progesterone
A steriod hormone that stimulates the uterus to prepare for pregnancy by increasing the thickness of the lining (endometrium). Progesterone is produced by the ovaries during ovulation and by the adrenal glands; it is also stored in fat tissue. Progesterone binds to progesterone receptors.
Progestin
A synthetic progesterone-like chemical used in hormone replacement therapy (HRT), birth control pills and other forms of hormonal contraception, and to prevent endometrial hyperplasia.
Prognosis
Articles and news concerning breast cancer prognosis.
Proliferation
An increase in the number of cells as a result of cell division. However, breast cancer proliferation normally refers to the proportion of dividing cells. Ki-67 is a proliferation index commonly used as a measure of the proliferative activity of breast cancer cells.
Prophylactic mastectomy
Surgical removal of one or more disease-free breasts in order to reduce risk of breast cancer.
Protecting our children from breast cancer
Childhood diet and other factors that influence breast cancer risk, characteristics, and outcomes in adulthood.
Psychological & stress
Psychological and stress-related factors and breast cancer.
Pterostilbene
A dimethylated derivative of resveratrol found in foods such as red grapes and blueberries.
Pumpkin
The fruit of a type of winter squash vine (Cucurbita maxima). Like watermelon, cucumber, zucchini and other types of squash, pumpkin belongs to the cucurbitaceae (gourd) family.
Quercetin
A flavonol found in numerous fruits and vegetables, including cranberries, hot peppers, kale and tea.
Radiation exposure
Exposure to ionizing radiation. Female airline cabin crews, radiologic technologists, and orthopedic surgeons have been reported to have increased risk of breast cancer due to their elevated exposure to radiation.
Radiation treatment (radiotherapy)
Five to six weeks of whole breast external beam radiotherapy is the most common type of radiation treatment. Treatments in which radiation is delivered to a smaller area include accelerated partial breast irradiation, targeted intraoperative radiotherapy, and radioactive implants (brachytherapy).
Radioprotective
Possessing the ability to protect cells against the harmful effects of radiation. Some radioprotective foods and compounds might enable breast cancer cells to survive radiation.
Radiosensitizer
A compound that makes cells more senisitve to radiation, thereby potentially increasing the treatment effects of radiotherapy.
Raspberry
The fruit of certain vines of the genus Rubus — most commonly, Rubus idaeus (red raspberry) or Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry).
Red clover
A herb (Trifolium pratense) used for a variety of conditions, including menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes. Isoflavones are the most important active compounds in red clover, which is a legume.
Red meat
For purposes of this website, refers to meat from cattle, calves, pigs, sheep or lambs. Chicken and turkey are white meats.
Reishi mushroom
Ganoderma lucidum, a medicinal mushroom normally used as tea or else taken in capsule or liquid extract form since the mushroom is considered too bitter and tough to be eaten as food.
Resveratrol
Resveratrol is a trihydroxy stilbene derivative found in foods such as red grapes, blueberries and cranberries.
Rhubarb
The red or green stalk of the rhubarb plant (Rheum rhabarbarum). Rhubarb leaves are poisonous and should not be eaten.
Rice
The seeds of the rice plant (Oryza sativa), a cereal grain.
Rosemary
The culinary herb Rosmarinus officinalis, a member of the mint family.
Rye
The seeds of the rye plant (Secale cereale), a cereal grass.
Safflower oil
A vegetable oil extracted from the seeds of the safflower (Carthamus tinctorius).
Saffron
A spice consisting of the dried stigmas of the Crocus sativus flower.
Sage
The culinary herb Salvia officinalis, a member of the mint family.
Salmon
A relatively large migratory fish found along the northern coasts of both the Atlantic and Pacific. Wild salmon is a very good source of omega-3 fatty acids. However, most salmon sold in the U.S. is farmed salmon, which has a less favorable fatty acid profile.
Salt (NaCl)
Sodium chloride, common table salt.
Sardine
Young herring or other small fish that are members of the herring family. A good source of omega-3 fatty acids.
Scandinavian
Having to do with Scandinavia or Scandinavian populations.
Seaweed
Ocean vegetables such as edible seaweed and algae. Examples include kelp, nori, dulse, sea lettuce, and red marine algae.
Selenium (Se)
An element that is essential to human health, but toxic at significant levels.
Sentinel lymph node
Surgery during which the first lymph node or nodes to which cancer is likely to spread from the primary breast tumor are removed for biopsy. Determining the lymph node status helps to stage breast cancer.
Serotonin
A neurotransmitter that plays an important role in the regulation of mood, sleep and other functions. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as Paxil and Prozac are designed to treat an imbalance in serotonin levels that has led to depression.
Sesame
The seeds of the sesame plant (Sesamum indicum) .
Sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG)
A glycoprotein that binds to estradiol and testosterone, thereby potentially reducing breast cancer risk.
Shellfish
Edible crustaceans and bivalves, including abalone, clams, crab, crawfish, lobster, mussels, oysters, prawns, scampi, scallops and shrimp.
Side effects
The side effects of breast cancer treatment.
Silibinin
A flavonolignan found in artichokes and milk thistle.
Smoking
The influence of cigarette smoking on breast cancer risk, treatment and prognosis.
Southern Europe
Having to do with Southern Europe or Southern European populations.
Soy protein isolate
A processed food ingredient made by removing most of the fats and carbohydrates from defatted soy flour. Soybeans have a protein content of approximately 40%, whereas soy protein isolate has a protein content of 90% or higher.
Soybean
The seed of the soybean plant (Glycine max), a legume.
Soybean oil
A vegetable oil produced from the seeds of the soybean.
Soybean paste
A fermented bean paste made using soybeans. Soybean paste is used as a condiment in Asia to flavor dishes.
Spinach
The leaves of the spinach plant (Spinacia oleracea).
Squash
The fruit of one of a great variety of squash vines. Like watermelon, cucumber, and pumpkin, squash belongs to the cucurbitaceae (gourd) family.
Stage III breast cancer
Breast cancer with at least one of the following characteristics: (1) large tumor size (> 5 cm) and at least 1 positive axillary lymph node; (2) at least 4 positive lymph nodes or has spread to internal mammary or clavicular lymph nodes; (3) tumor has grown into the chest wall or skin.
Stage IV breast cancer
Metastatic breast cancer, in which the cancer has spread to at least one distant organ such as the bone, lung, brain or liver.
Statin
Drugs used to treat high cholesterol. Statins are classified either as lipophilic (Lipitor, Zocor, Mevacor, Lescol) or hydrophilic (Crestor, Pravachol), depending on the compound. Lipophilic statins are also known as hydrophobic statins.
Strawberry
The fruit of the strawberry plant (Fragaria x ananassa).
Sugar
By sugar, we mean ordinary table sugar (sucrose). Sugar is normally extracted from sugarcane or sugar beets.
Sulforaphane
An isothiocyanate found primarily in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli sprouts, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and cabbage.
Sunflower oil
A vegetable oil extracted from the seeds of the sunflower (Helianthus annuus).
Supplements
Concentrated preparations of vitamins, other micronutrients, or herbs designed to support good health, or to treat a deficiency or disease condition.
Surgery
Having to do with breast cancer surgery types and outcomes.
Surgical margins
A disease-free border around a tumor that has been surgically removed. Surgical margins are considered to be positive if the pathologist finds cancer cells right up to the edge of the excised tissue.
Sweet potato
A tuberous root of the sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) plant. Sweet potato plants use root tubers for nutrient storage.
Tamoxifen
A type of endocrine treatment that interferes with a tumor's ability to use estrogen. Tamoxifen is prescribed for both premenopausal and postmenopausal women with estrogen receptor positive (ER+) breast cancer or at high risk for it.
Tamoxifen-resistant
Breast cancer that no longer responds to treatment with tamoxifen. A significant fraction of ER+ tumors have minimal or no initial response to tamoxifen or eventually develop resistance to it.
Tangeretin
A citrus flavone found primarily in tangerine and orange peels.
Taxane
A type of chemotherapy drug that inhibits cancer cell division (mitosis). Examples include paclitaxel and docetaxel. Taxanes interfere with the functioning of microtubules, which help move chromosomes during mitosis.
Taxol
Trade name of paclitaxel, a taxane chemotherapy drug. Taxanes work primarily by inhibiting cell division by suppressing microtubule dynamics.
Taxotere
Trade name of docetaxel, a taxane chemotherapy drug. Taxanes work primarily by inhibiting cell division by suppressing microtubule dynamics.
Testosterone
The most important androgen.Testosterone is secreted by the ovaries and to some extent by the adrenal glands in women, in whom it acts to maintain libido, bone strength, and muscle mass. Testosterone can be converted to estradiol by aromatase activity.
Thymoquinone
The primary bioactive compound in black cumin (Nigella sativa) seeds.
Thyroid
A butterfly-shaped endocrine gland found in the neck that produces thyroid hormones which regulate several bodily functions, including the rate of energy use.
Tofu
A soybean-based food produced by coagulating soy milk and forming the curds into blocks.
Tomato
The fruit of the tomato plant (Solanum lycopersicum).
Trastuzumab (Herceptin)
A monoclonal antibody used to treat HER2/neu overexpressing (HER2+) breast cancer. Trastuzumab works by binding to the HER2/neu receptor, thereby reducing the effects of overexpression of HER2
Treatment
Articles concerning breast cancer treatment.
Treatment delays
Explanations for and consequences of delays in breast cancer treatment.
Treatment news
Recent news concerning various types of breast cancer treatment.
Tricin
A flavone found primarily in brown rice.
Triple negative (ER-/PR-/HER2-)
Articles concerning triple negative (TN) breast cancer.
Triple negative breast cancer
Breast cancer that is estrogen receptor negative (ER+), progesterone receptor negative (PR-), and HER2 negative (HER2+).
Tumor marker
A chemical that might be found in the blood or urine or be significantly elevated when cancer is present. Breast cancer markers include CA 27.29, CA 15-3, CEA (carcinoembryonic antigen) and alkaline phosphotase.
Tumor size
How tumor size influences breast cancer diagnosis, treatment and outcomes.
Tumor suppressor gene
A gene that normally protects against cancer, but which can increase the selective growth advantage of the cell in which it is found if inactivated by mutation.
Tuna
Large saltwater fish found primarily in tropical and temperate waters. Wild-caught fresh tuna is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids but can contain high levels of mercury and other heavy metals.
Turmeric
A bright yellow spice made by grinding the dried rhizome (underground stem) of the turmeric plant (Curcuma longa).
Turnip
The taproot of the turnip plant (Brassica rapa). Turnip plants use their taproots for nutrient storage.
Type 2 diabetes
A disease in which there are high levels of blood glucose. Insulin is necessary for cells to use glucose for energy. Type 2 diabetes involves insulin insensitivity (cells ignore insulin to some extent). Over time, the body also fails to produce enough insulin to process the glucose in the diet.
United Kingdom
Having to do with the United Kingdom or U.K. populations.
Ursolic acid
A pentacyclic triterpene that forms the waxy coating of fruits such as apples and cranberries. Also found in herbs such as rosemary, thyme and oregano.
VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor)
A key molecule in promoting angiogenesis. Tumors must induce angiogenesis, the growth of new blood vessels, in order to grow beyond a very small size.
Vinegar
A liquid made by fermenting wine or another source of ethanol, resulting in an acidic liquid containing acetic acid. Unless distilled, vinegar usually contains other bioactive compounds, depending on the fruit or grain from which it was made.
Virus
How viruses influence breast cancer risk or might be used for treatment.
Vitamin A (retinol)
A vital nutrient found in animal food sources such as liver, dairy products, eggs, and fatty fish. In addition, provitamin A carotenoids (alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, gamma-carotene) can be converted to vitamin A in the body. High doses of vitamin A are toxic.
Vitamin B6
A vital water-soluble vitamin found in a variety of foods, including dry beans, fatty fish, bananas, starchy vegetables, whole grains, beef, and poultry.
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)
A vital water-soluble vitamin found in a variety of fruits and vegetables, including bell peppers, strawberries, broccoli, pineapple, and oranges.
Vitamin D
A vital fat-soluble vitamin generated by exposing the skin to sunlight. Vitamin D is also found in some foods, including fatty fish and eggs, as well as fortified milk and orange juice. Vitamin D is most commonly found as vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol).
Vitamin E
The collective name for a group of eight fat-soluble vitamins, the most important of which is alpha-tocopherol. Vitamin E is found in a variety of foods, including wheat germ, sunflower seeds, spinach, broccoli, greens, and various nuts.
Walnut
The seed of the walnut tree (most commonly, Juglans regia).
Watercress
The stem and leaves of the watercress plant (Nasturtium officinale). A cruciferous vegetable.
Watermelon
The fruit of the Citrullus vulgaris vine, a type of melon.
Well done meat
Meat or fish that is cooked at high temperature, possibly developing a char on the exterior even if the center is not well done. This includes meat that is pan fried at high heat, roasted at high heat, deep fried, grilled, or barbecued.
Wheat bran
The hard outer layer of wheat grain. Both the wheat bran and the wheat germ are removed during milling in the production of refined flour.
Wine
An alcoholic beverage produced by fermentation of the juice of grapes or other fruit.
Yerba maté
A South American tea made from the dried leaves of the yerba maté tree (Ilex paraguariensis).
Yogurt
A dairy product produced by inoculating milk with bacteria (yogurt cultures) that produce lactic acid. The lactic acid acts on the milk protein casein to produce yogurt's texture and sourness.
Young age
Having to do with those under 45 years of age at breast cancer diagnosis. Very young age is defined as 35 and younger for purposes of this website.
Zeaxanthin
A yellow plant pigment that can appear orange-red at high concentrations. The most abundant sources of zeaxanthin are dark green leafy vegetables. A type of carotenoid.
Zinc (Zn)
A heavy metal that is essential to human health, but unhealthful at substantial levels.
Zucchini
The fruit of the zucchini vine (Cucurbita pepo Zucchini). Like watermelon, pumpkin, cucumber, and other types of squash, zucchini belong to the cucurbitaceae (gourd) family.



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