Words to Know
Brand name, Tykerb. A medicine used with another anticancer agent to treat breast cancer that is HER2 positive and has advanced or metastasized (spread to other parts of the body) after treatment with other medicines. Lapatinib is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Also called GW572016, and lapatinib ditosylate.
A device that forms light into intense, narrow beams that may be used to cut or destroy tissue, such as cancer tissue. It may also be used to reduce lymphedema (swelling caused by a buildup of lymph fluid in tissue) after breast cancer surgery. Lasers are used in microsurgery, photodynamic therapy and many other procedures to diagnose and treat disease.
levels of evidence
A ranking system used to describe the strength of the results measured in a clinical trial or research study. The design of the study (such as a case report for an individual participant or a randomized double-blinded controlled clinical trial) and the endpoints measured (such as survival or quality of life) affect the strength of the evidence.
A type of legal advance directive in which a person describes specific treatment guidelines that are to be followed by healthcare providers if he or she becomes terminally ill and cannot communicate. A living will usually has instructions about whether to use aggressive medical treatment to keep a person alive, such as CPR, artificial nutrition, use of a respirator.
Cancer that begins in the lobules (the glands that make milk) of the breast. Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) is a condition in which abnormal cells are found only in the lobules. When cancer has spread from the lobules to surrounding tissues, it is invasive lobular carcinoma. LCIS does not become invasive lobular carcinoma very often, but having LCIS in one breast increases the risk of developing invasive cancer in either breast.
luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone agonist
Also called LH-RH agonist. A medicine that inhibits the secretion of sex hormones. In men, luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone agonist causes testosterone levels to fall. In women, luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone agonist causes the levels of estrogen and other sex hormones to fall.
lymph node dissection
Also called lymphadenectomy. A surgical procedure in which the lymph nodes are removed and a sample of tissue is checked under a microscope for signs of breast cancer. For a regional lymph node dissection, some of the lymph nodes in the tumor area are removed; for a radical lymph node dissection, most or all of the lymph nodes in the tumor area are removed.
Also called lymph node dissection. A surgical procedure in which the lymph nodes are removed and a sample of tissue is checked under a microscope for signs of breast cancer. For a regional lymphadenectomy, some of the lymph nodes in the tumor area are removed; for a radical lymphadenectomy, most or all of the lymph nodes in the tumor area are removed.
A group of lymph nodes that receives and filters lymph that flows from a certain area of the body. Special dyes may be used to stain and identify the lymphatic basin in the tissues around a tumor, so that lymph nodes that may contain cancer can be removed and checked by a pathologist.
The tissues and organs that produce, store, and carry white blood cells that fight infections and other diseases. This system includes the bone marrow, spleen, thymus, lymph nodes, and lymphatic vessels (a network of thin tubes that carry lymph and white blood cells). Lymphatic vessels branch, like blood vessels, into all the tissues of the body.
A condition in which extra lymph fluid builds up, causing swelling in tissues under the skin of the hand, arm, breast or torso, on the same side that breast cancer occurs. Lymphedema may occur in an arm or leg if lymph vessels are blocked, damaged, or removed by surgery. It can occur at any time after breast cancer treatment. Physical therapy treatment after breast cancer surgery may help prevent or manage lymphedema.
A method used to check the lymph system for disease. A radioactive substance that flows through the lymph ducts and can be taken up by lymph nodes is injected into the body. A scanner or probe is used to follow the movement of this substance on a computer screen. Lymphoscintigraphy is used to find the sentinel lymph node (the first node to receive lymph from a tumor), which may be removed and checked for tumor cells. Lymphoscintigraphy is also used to diagnose certain diseases or conditions, such as lymphoma or lymphedema.
Also called pregabalin. A medicine used to treat nerve pain caused by diabetes or herpes zoster (shingles) infection and certain types of seizures. It is being studied in the prevention and treatment of nerve pain in the hands and feet of cancer individuals given chemotherapy. Lyrica is a type of anticonvulsant.