Adjuvant: Treatment that is given after surgery, with the intent of cure.
Chemotherapy: A medicine used to kill cancer cells throughout the body. It is usually given through an intravenous (IV) drip.
Clinical trial: Research that is testing a new way of treating a disease.
Decision aid: A resource that contains information to help people make a decision about medical treatment.
Early breast cancer: Breast cancer that is only on the breast, or in breast and lymph nodes under the arm on the same side of the body.
Endocrine or hormonal therapy: Tablets that are taken daily for at least 5 years for hormone receptor positive breast cancer, such as tamoxifen, anastrozole (Arimidex®) or letrozole (Femara®). Ovarian function suppression is also a form of hormonal therapy, through either injection of a medication, or surgical removal of the ovaries.
HER2 receptor: A protein on the surface of cells that helps them grow and divide.
HER2 positive (HER2+) breast cancer: A type of breast cancer that has a larger number of HER2 receptors on the cells than usual. It can be treated with drugs such as trastuzumab (Herceptin®).
Hormone receptor: Either the oestrogen receptor or progesterone receptor, which indicates that hormonal treatments such as tamoxifen may be used.
Hormone receptor positive breast cancer (ER+/PR+): A type of breast cancer that has hormone receptors on the cells. These receptors are special proteins that the hormones estrogen and progesterone bind to, causing the cancer to grow. Hormonal therapy can be used for this type of breast cancer.
Inflammatory breast cancer: Breast cancer that affects a large area of the breast, but may not be felt as a distinct lump. It is a less common type of breast cancer; your doctor will be able to tell you if you have this type.
Local therapy: Treatment that affects part of the body, eg. surgery or radiotherapy.
Metastatic (secondary or advanced) breast cancer: Breast cancer that has spread beyond the breast and lymph nodes, to other parts of the body, such as bones, liver or lungs.
Neoadjuvant: Treatment that is given before an operation to remove the breast cancer.
Pathological complete response (pCR): When no cancer can be seen by the pathologist in the breast or lymph nodes that have been surgically removed, after neoadjuvant chemotherapy or hormonal therapy has been given.
Systemic therapy: Treatment that affects the whole body, eg. chemotherapy or hormonal therapy.
Triple negative breast cancer: Breast cancer that does not have oestrogen (ER), progesterone (PR), or HER2 receptors on its surface.