Glossary of Terms

Radiologist: A doctor who performs and interprets imaging studies, such as mammograms, X-rays, ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and bone scans.

Radiotherapist: A doctor who specialises in the use of X-rays to treat cancer.

Radiotherapy: The treatment of cancer cells using X-rays.

Reduction mammoplasty: The surgical reduction of breast size.

Sentinel node biopsy: A technique that uses a tracer (e.g. a blue dye), injected into the breast prior to surgery, to identify the glands (two on average) that drain the tumour. If the sentinel node biopsy is positive for cancer, then all of the armpit glands should be removed. If it is negative for cancer, all the sentinel nodes (two on average) are removed. The technique is 95% successful in expert hands.

Seroma: A collection of lymph fluid, usually in the armpit.

Tamoxifen: A drug that blocks the action of oestrogen (on breast cancer cells), used in the treatment of breast cancer.

Ultrasound scan: The use of sound waves to assess a lump or an organ.

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