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Medical Term Dictionary - D
medical terms

Daughter cell - The products of cell division.

Designer estrogens - A class of drugs such as raloxifene developed to replace traditional estrogen therapy without some of the associated risks.

Detection - The discovery of an abnormality in an asymptomatic or symptomatic person.

Diagnosis - The process of identifying a disease by its characteristic signs, symptoms and laboratory findings. With cancer, the earlier the diagnosis is made, the better the chance for cure.

Diaphanography (DPG) - A non-invasiveprocedure (no cutting) which uses ordinary light as an investigative tool to detect breast masses. Also called transillumination.

Diffuse - Spreading, scattered.

Dilatation and curettage (0 and C) - The technique whereby the cervix is opened using dilators and then the lining of the uterus is scraped using a curette. Such sampling is performed for the removal of incomplete abortions and tumours, to diagnose disease of the uterus or to correct bleeding, etc.

Dimpling - The pulling in of the skin on the surface of the breast, areola or nipple.

Diploid - Having two sets of chromosomes.

Disease - The lack of ease; a pathological condition of the body.

DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) - Genetic material contained in the nucleus of the cell.

Donor site - A part of the body from which tissue is taken and transferred to another part of the body for reconstruction.

Drain - Tubes or suction devices inserted after mastectomy or breast reconstruction to drain the fluids that accumulate postoperatively. Drains may be left in place for several days as needed.

Duct - In the female breast, milk travels through a system of tube like ducts from milk glands to milk reservoirs in the nipple area. The duct is the site of most breast cancers.

Ductal cancer in situ - A cancer encapsulated within the breast ducts.

Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) - Ductal cancer cells that have not grown beyond their site of origin; sometimes referred to as precancerous.

Ductal cell - A cell from the duct of the breast.

Ductal Papillomas - Small, non-cancerous, finger-like growths in the mammary ducts that may cause a bloody nipple discharge. Commonly found in women 45 to 50 years of age.

Ductography - The insertion of a plastic cannula into a milk duct of the breast through the nipple. The duct is injected with a dye by a radiologist. The duct can then be visualized by a radiologist or seen by a surgeon during surgery.