This is Version 0.81 of our list of medical abbreviations used in discussions on the Breast-Cancer Discussion List.

A very few omputer abbreviations are listed separately from medical abbreviations, and at the end. No need for many of these here.

Another new feature is abbreviations for well-known hospitals and cancer centers that people use a lot.

A few jokes have crept in over several versions. Actually, the more times I do this list, the weirder my mind gets, and some of the definitions are getting weird with it.

I have omitted much in the way of explanations. This is, after all, supposed to be just an abbreviation list, so it should be somewhat abbreviated as well.


--- B-C List ABBREVIATIONS, v. 0.81 ---

ABMT - Autologous Bone Marrow Transplant
(you get your own bone marrow back after HDC)

ACS - American Cancer Society

adj - adjuvant chemotherapy

Adria - Adriamycin, trade name for doxorubicin, a chemo drug

AMA - American Medical Association

BC - breast cancer

BCS - Breast Conservation surgery

BMT - Bone Marrow Transplant (see HDC and HDC/BMT)

BRCA1 & BRCA2 (pronounced bra-ka one ...) - Genes, prone to multiple
mutations, that are involved in a percentage of the breast cancers

BSE - Breast Self Examination

ca - cancer or carcinoma

CA - cytoxan plus adriamycin (treatment regimen)

CAF - above with 5-FU (fluourocil) (treatment regimen)
(sometimes people write something like CAFx4, which means
4 treatment cycles using CAF)

CAT scan - computerized tomography scan (see CT, below)

CEF - cytoxan plus epirubicin plus 5-FU (treatment regimen)

CMF - cytoxan plus methotrexate plus 5-FU (treatment regimen)

chemo -chemotherapy

CT - computerized tomography scan

DCIS - Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (compare to LCIS, below)

Dx - diagnosis

EIC - extensive intraductal component

ER/PR - estrogen/Progesterone (for example, ER+ is
(for example, PR- is Progesterone negative)

excision, biopsy, - surgery

FAQ - frequently asked questions

FDA - U.S. Food & Drug Administration

FU - reaction of some List members to pushy postings
(joke; see CAF above for real meaning)

GMCSF - some sort of granulocyte macrophage colony
thingamabob kinda factor that stimulates the whities

gugals - combined term for "guys and gals" on the B-C List

HDC - high dose chemotherapy (often used as HDC/BMT)
/PSCT or /PSCR - used with HDC, means with peripheral
stem cell transplant or rescue

HER2 - 1. Human EGF-like Receptor No. 2;
short for HER2-ECD (Extra-Cellular Domain)
(also called Her2/neu) (?)

2. Our dismayed, but supportive, reaction when
another person finds the B-C list seeking help
for herself or a friend or family member.

HRT - Hormone Replacement Therapy

HDC - high dose chemotherapy
/PSCT or /PSCR - used with HDC, means with peripheral
stem cell transplant or rescue

HMO - Health Maintenance Organization

IDC - infiltrating ductal carcinoma (most common BC)

lat flap - latissimus dorsi flap reconstruction

LCIS - Lobular Carcinoma In Situ (compare to DCIS, above)

LN - lymph nodes (used by some instead of "N")

lob - lobular

LPN - licensed practical nurse

mammo - mammogram

MD - muchos diagnoses (just kidding; medical doctor)

mets - metastases

MRI - magnetic resonance imagery

MRM - Modified Radical Mastectomy

MS Cotin - morphine sulphate, time-released morphine pill

M0 or M1 - whether cancer has metastasized
(zero is no, the number 1 is yes)
(see "TNM system," below)

MX - metastasis cannot be, or has not been, assessed

N0, N1, N2, N3 - whether lymph nodes have cancer
N1 - Metastasis to movable ipsilateral axillary lymph node(s)
N2 - Metastasis to ipsilateral axillary lymph node(s)
fixed to one another or to other structures
N3 - Metastasis to ipsilateral internal mammary lymph node(s)
(see "TNM system," below)

NX - lymph nodes cannot be, or have not been, microscopically assessed
(see "TNM system," below)

N=1, N=7, etc. - how many nodes in a sample had cancer,
as used on this list (actually, some on the list omit
the = sign, with possible confusion of a "N1" listing;
does this mean nodes positive, or one node?)
(some write 2/4 LN and such)

NCI - National Cancer Institute (part of NIH)

NIH - National Institutes of Health (started by FDR, as Christopher Reeves
explained at the Democratic Convention)

NLM - National Library of Medicine (part of NIH)

onc, onco, or oncodoc - oncologist

p53 - a certain tumor-suppressor gene (maybe not an abbreviation really)

PDQ - 1. Physician Data Query - information from NCI
2. The speed with which you should seek diagnosis of suspicious lumps

rad - radiotherapy

RD - registered dietician

R2R - Reach to Recovery ACS program

S-phase - proliferative index % of tumor cells actively
dividing at a given time

SPF - S-phase fraction (same as S-phase, I think)

TAM - tamoxifen

T0, T1, T2, T3 (size of tumor)
T0 is no evidence of primary tumor
T1 is <2 cm (less then 2 cm), T2 is 2-5 cm, T3 is >5 cm
(also see "TNM system," below)

TNM system - one of the systems for staging BC at diagnosis,
where T=tumor size (see system above, under "T0"),
N=whether lymph nodes have cancer (no or yes, zero or 1)
M=whether cancer has metastasized to other organs
(no or yes, zero or 1)

TRAM-flap - one type of breast reconstruction

Tx - Treatment

ultra - ultrasound

x4 (or other number) - used when describing number of
chemo treatment cycles, such as CEFx6)

1/4 or 4/16 - 1 node positive out of four or 4 nodes
positive out of 16 (also written 1/4 LN by some)

------ Frequently-mentioned hospitals -------
(a new category created by Ken Herting)

Dana-Farber - Boston
Hutch- Fred Hutchinson, Seattle
MD Anderson, Houston
MSKCC - Memorial Sloan-Kettering, NYC
NCI - Bethesda, MD
Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY
U Minn - Univ of Minnesota


BTW - by the way
FWIW - for what it's worth
HA - headache from reading all these abbreviations!
IMHO - computer e-mail speak for "in my humble opinion"
IMO - in my opinion
ISP- Internet Service Provider
net - 1. a loose sort of term for the Internet or other things
2. What you used to wear on occasion when you had hair
ROTFL - "rolling on the floor laughing"
RTFM - "read the full manual" (but adjective is not really "full")
- used to reveal that the writer deleted something. PLEASE DO THIS.
Web - World Wide Web (data and graphics parts of the Internet)
WWW - World Wide Web (data and graphics parts of the Internet)


Joane's first version was 0.1; Musa's was 0.2. My additions make it 0.3. Laurel's clean up made it 0.4. I posted 0.5, cleaned up and alphabetized. Version 0. 6 included contributions by Gilles and Marianne. Version 0.7 had corrections and contributions by Marianne and Nancy Dyson. Version 0.8 had additions by Ken, Musa, Marianne, and Christina. This is version 0.81, with fill-ins by Bob Stafford.