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Medical Term Dictionary - T
medical terms

Tamoxifen - An anti-estrogen drug that may be given to women with estrogen receptive tumors to block estrogen from entering the breast tissues. May produce menopause-like symptoms, including hot flashes and vaginal dryness. Currently being used with high-risk women in clinical trials to prevent breast cancer, and with women who have had breast cancer to prevent recurrence.

Testicle or testis (pl testes) - One of the pair of male sex organs that are situated within the scrotum and produce sperm and secrete the hormone testosterone. The testicles develop within the abdomen of the foetus but descend around the time of birth into the scrotum. Each testicle has an outer double membrane layer, known as the tunica vaginalis. The tunica vaginalis contains an inner fibrous layer, called the tunica albuginea, which protects the testicle. The bulk of the testicle consists of numerous fine, convoluted tubules called seminiferous tubules, which are lined with cells that produce the sperm. In addition, other cells, known as sertoli cells, occur, which provide support and possibly nourishment for the developing sperm. The tubules are supported by connective tissue containing nerves and blood vessels and also the cells of Leydig, which are responsible for hormone production. The tubules connect with another highly folded tube, called the epididymis, which is about 7m long and connects with the vas deferens, which leads to the urethra. The spermatozoa are passed by passive movement along the epididymis, completing their development as they go, and are stored in the lower part until ejaculation.

Testosterone - The male sex hormone secreted by the testes.

Thrush - An infection caused by the fungus Candida albicans, which affects the mucous membranes of the mouth and vagina, producing white patches. It is a popular name given to a group of infections known as candidiasis.

Tissue - A collection of similar cells. There are four basic types of tissues in the body: epithelial, connective, muscle and nerve.

Tissue expander - An adjustable implant that can be inflated with saltwater to stretch the tissues at the mastectomy site.

Tissue transfer - Breast reconstruction by removing tissue from other parts of the body and replacing it in the breast.

Toremifene (Fareston) - An anti-estrogen (estrogen blocker) drug used in hormonal therapy for breast cancer. Toremifene is prescribed as an alternative to chemotherapy in postmenopausal women.

Total mastectomy with axillary dissection - A mastectomy in which the breast tissue and most of the axillary lymph nodes are removed. Another name for modified radical mastectomy.

Toxicity - The extent or degree of being poisonous.

TRAM flap breast reconstruction - Breast reconstruction operation that uses a flap of the patient's own lower abdominal tissue (transverse rectus abdominis musculocutaneous flap) to build a breast. The TRAM flap can be a pedicle flap in which the tissue is moved while still attached to its blood supply, or it can be a free flap in which the flap is totally separated from its donor site and moved to its new location and the vessels reattached micro surgically.

Transient - Of brief duration.

Transient menopause - Rapid onset of menopause caused by chemotherapy.

Transilhmfination - The inspection of an organ by passing a light through the tissues. Transmission of the light varies with different tissue densities.

Trauma - Injury to the breast.

Treatment arm - A selected treatment group.

Tubular cancer - A slow growing, rare type of ductal cancer.

Tumor - An abnormal tissue, swelling or mass; may be either benign or malignant.

Tumour markers - Substances released by the tumour or in response to the presence of a tumour. They are studied as potential diagnostic and prognostic tools.

Two-step procedure - Breast biopsy and breast cancer treatment performed as two steps, allowing diagnosis of cancer and treatment to be separated by hours, days, or even longer periods of time.