Medical Glossary
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Barium enema An x-ray of the lower abdomen, taken after the patient is given an enema of barium, a substance used to highlight the lower part of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
Barium swallow An x-ray taken after the patient drinks barium, a milky liquid to help highlight the upper part of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
Basal Cell Carcinoma The most common form of skin cancer.
Benign An abnormal growth of cells which form a tumor but the tumor remains in one spot. Unlike a cancerous tumor, a benign tumor does not spread. Most often, surgery is used to remove the benign tumor and nothing else is required.
BID A Latin abbreviation used on prescriptions to indicate that the medication should be taken twice a day.
Bilateral On both sides of the body.
Biological Therapy A treatment to boost the immune system’s power to fight infections and other diseases. It can also be used to lessen side effects of some treatments. Also called immunotherapy, biotherapy, or biological response modifier (BRM) therapy.
Biopsy A sampling of tissue to diagnose if the abnormality is cancerous (malignant) or not (benign) by review of the pathologist.
Blood Count The number of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets in a sample of blood.
Blood Draw A sample of blood taken from your arm or your catheter.
Board-Certified A designation that a health care provider has met the professional requirements of the specialty which usually means the individual has passed a board-certifying examination.
Bone Marrow A spongy tissue inside the bones. The "factory" where blood cells are made.
Bone Marrow Biopsy A bone marrow biopsy is a procedure where a needle is passed into the middle of your back hip bone to withdraw a sample of the liquid bone marrow to evaluate the function and health of your white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets. This test is also used to detect any tumor cells in your bone marrow.
Bone Marrow Harvest A stem cell transplant process of collecting stem cells from the inside of the back hip bones.
Bone Marrow Suppression A decrease in the number of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets from a cancer treatment, medication or disease.
Bone Marrow Transplant Another name for Stem Cell Transplant. There are three types of Stem Cell Transplants: Allogeneic - the transfer of stem cells from a related or unrelated donor to another. Autologous - the transfer of one's own stem cells taken out before chemotherapy, frozen and put back into yourself after the chemotherapy. Syngeneic - a bone marrow transfer between identical twins.
Bone Scan A scan using radioactive dye specifically looking for any areas in the bone that may be involved with cancer.
Bone Survey or Skeletal Survey Plain x-rays taken of all of the bones of the body.
BRACA Mutations BRACA 1 and BRACA 2 are two major susceptibility genes that have been identified. Breast Cancer genetic testing is testing for these two gene mutations.
Brachytherapy A type of radiation treatment that is placed inside the body, directly into or next to the tumor.
Breast Cancer A cancer that starts in the breast. Breast cancer is a highly complex disease and each person’s breast cancer has unique set of characteristics which require a unique treatment plan.
Breast Reconstruction Surgery which involves rebuilding the breast after a mastectomy. There are several ways in which this can be done. This process can start at the time of the mastectomy or later down the road however it is best to consult with a Plastic Surgeon prior to the mastectomy to discuss the options for reconstruction.
Breast Self Exam (BSE) A manual examination of the breasts done on a monthly basis.
Bronchogenic Carcinoma A cancer arising from within the lung or airway.
Bronchoscopy A procedure done under sedation where a lung specialist will pass a lighted scope into the lungs for the purpose to biopsy a suspicious area.