NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

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The NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms features 7,798 terms related to cancer and medicine.

Browse the dictionary by selecting a letter of the alphabet or by entering a cancer-related word or phrase in the search box.

partial mastectomy
(PAR-shul ma-STEK-toh-mee)
An operation to remove the cancer and some normal tissue around it, but not the breast itself. Some lymph nodes under the arm may be removed for biopsy. Part of the chest wall lining may also be removed if the cancer is near it. Also called breast-conserving surgery, breast-sparing surgery, lumpectomy, quadrantectomy, and segmental mastectomy.

EnlargeBreast-conserving surgery; the drawing on the left shows removal of the tumor and some of the normal tissue around it. The drawing on the right shows removal of some of the lymph nodes under the arm and removal of the tumor and part of the chest wall lining near the tumor. Also shown, is fatty tissue.

Breast-conserving surgery. The tumor and some normal tissue around it are removed, but not the breast itself. Some lymph nodes under the arm may be removed. Part of the chest wall lining may also be removed if the cancer is near it.