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Medical Term Dictionary - B
medical terms

Baseline mammogram - A woman's first mammogram to use as a standard reference for evaluating changes in future mammograms.

Basement membrane - The separating membrane of the cell that provides a boundary from adjacent tissue.

Benign - A term used most frequently to refer to tumours, meaning not harmful, the opposite of malignant.

Benign Tumor - An abnormal growth that is not cancer and does not spread to other parts of the body.

Bilateral - Involving to both sides of the body. For example, bilateral breast cancer would be on both sides of the body, or in both breasts.

Bilateral mastectomy - Surgical removal of both breasts.

Biopsy - The surgical removal of a small piece of tissue or a small tumor for microscopic examination to determine if cancer cells are present. A biopsy is the most important procedure in diagnosing cancer.

Birthmark or naevus - An agglomeration of dilated blood vessels that creates a malformation of the skin and is present at birth. It may occur as a large port-wine stain, which can now be treated by laser, or a strawberry mark, which commonly fades in early life.

Blood Count - Test to measure the number of red blood cells (RBCs), white blood cells (WBCs) and platelets in a blood sample.

Blue node - The first lymph node that stains blue after injection of blue dye into a tumor and its surrounding tissue.

Bonding - The creation of a link between an infant and its parents, particularly the mother. Factors such as eye to eye contact, soothing noises, etc, are part of the process. breast the mammary gland that produces milk. Each breast has a number of compartments with lobules surrounded by fatty tissue and muscle fibres. Milk formed in the lobules gathers in branching tubes or ducts that together form lactiferous ducts. Near the nipple the ducts form ampullae (small 'reservoirs') from which the ducts discharge through the nipple.

Bone marrow - Soft inner part of large bones that makes blood cells.

Bone marrow rescue - The preservation of the soft organic material that fills the bone cavity; used after administration of high-dose chemotherapy.

Bone scan - Test to determine if there is any sign of cancer in the bones.

Brachial plexus - A bundle of nerves in the underarm area that supply sensation to the arm.

BRCA1 and BRCA2 - Breast cancer genes that have been linked to familial breast Cancer.

Breast cancer - A carcinoma or sarcoma, which is the commonest cancer in women.

Breast Implants - A round or teardrop shaped sac inserted into the body to restore the shape of the breast. May be filled with saline water or synthetic material.

Breast reconstruction - An operation to create or rebuild a natural-looking breast shape after a mastectomy.

Breast screening procedures - Adopted to detect breast cancer as early as possible. In addition to self-examination, there are many formal programmes of screening.

Breast Self-Exam (BSE) - A procedure to examine the breast thoroughly once a month to detect any changes or suspicious lumps. Exams should be practiced at the end of the period or seven days after the start of the period and be performed at the same time each month.

Breast-conserving surgery and irradiation - Treatment option for breast cancer whereby the tumour and axillary lymph nodes are surgically removed. Most of the breast is preserved, and the remaining tissue is then treated using a course of radiation therapy.

Breech presentation - The position of a baby in the uterus whereby it would be delivered buttocks first instead of the usual head-first delivery. The baby, and possibly the mother, may be at risk in such cases.