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H – L Terms

Higher risk (for breast cancer): A measure of the chances of getting breast cancer when factor(s) known to be associated with the disease are present.
Hormone replacement therapy: Hormone-containing medications taken to offset the symptoms and other effects of the hormone loss that accompanies menopause.
Hormones: Chemicals produced by various glands in the body, which produce specific effects on specific target organs and tissues.
Hyperplasia: Excessive growth of cells. Several types of benign breast conditions involve hyperplasia.
Incisional biopsy: The surgical removal of a portion of an abnormal area of tissue, by cutting into (incising) it, for microscopic examination.
Infection: Invasion of body tissues by microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses.
Infiltrating cancer: Cancer that has spread to nearby tissue, lymph nodes under the arm, or other parts of the body.
Inflammation: The body’s protective response to injury (including infection). Inflammation is marked by heat, redness, swelling, pain and loss of function.
Intraductal papilloma: A small wart-like growth that projects into a breast duct.
 Invasive cancer: Cancer that has spread to nearby tissue, lymph nodes under the arm, or other parts of the body.
Laser beam scanning: A technology being studied in research for breast cancer detection that shines a laser beam through the breast and records the image produced, using a special camera.
Lobes, lobules, bulbs: Milk-producing tissues of the breast. Each of the breast’s 15 to 20 lobes branches into smaller lobules and each lobule ends in scores of tiny bulbs. Milk originates in the bulbs and is carried by ducts to the nipple.
Localization biopsy: The use of mammography to locate tissue containing an abnormality that can be detected only on mammograms, so it can be removed for microscopic examination.
Lumpectomy: Surgery to remove only the cancerous breast lump; usually followed by radiation therapy.
Lymphatic system: The tissues and organs that produce, store, and transport cells that fight infection and disease.