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    Glossary of Breast Health Terms

    • BI-RADS©: A method used by radiologists to interpret and report in a standardized manner the results of mammography, ultrasound, and MRI used in breast cancer screening and diagnosis. It is also called Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System.
    • BRCA1: A gene on chromosome 17 that normally helps to suppress cell growth. A person who inherits certain mutations (changes) in the BRCA1 gene has a higher risk of getting breast, ovarian, prostate, and other types of cancer.
    • BRCA2: A gene on chromosome 13 that normally helps to suppress cell growth. A person who inherits certain mutations (changes) in the BRCA2 gene has a higher risk of getting breast, ovarian, prostate, and other types of cancer.
    • Breast density: A condition in which the breast has more glandular and supportive tissue, and less fatty tissue. Mammograms of breasts with high density are harder to read and interpret than those of less dense breasts, and women with dense breasts are more likely to develop breast cancer.
    • DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ): A noninvasive condition in which abnormal cells are found in the lining of a breast duct. The abnormal cells have not spread outside the duct to other tissues in the breast. In some cases, ductal carcinoma in situ may become invasive cancer and spread to other tissues, although it is not known at this time how to predict which lesions will become invasive. It can be also called intraductal carcinoma.
    • Family history: Having one or more first-degree relatives (mother, sisters, or daughters) who have had breast cancer increases a woman's chances of developing this disease.
    • Invasive breast cancer: Cancer that has spread from where it started in the breast into surrounding, healthy tissue. Most invasive breast cancers start in the ducts (tubes that carry milk from the lobules to the nipple). Invasive breast cancer can spread to other parts of the body through the blood and lymph systems. Also called infiltrating breast cancer.
    • LCIS (lobular carcinoma in situ): A noninvasive condition in which abnormal cells are found in the lobules of the breast. Having LCIS in one breast increases the risk of developing breast cancer in either breast.