Acoustic neuroma: A benign, generally slow-growing tumor that forms on the nerve that connects the ear to the brain
Adducts: DNA that has been modified by the addition of molecules from another compound
Adjuvant: Treatment given in addition to surgery and radiation to treat breast cancer that may have spread to other parts of the body. It may include chemotherapy, targeted therapy and/or hormone therapy
Amino acids: Building blocks of proteins, incuding enzymes. Amino acids are broken down from food and reassembled into proteins coded in gene
Angiosarcoma: A form of cancer that starts from cells that line blood vessels or lymph vessels
Ano-genital distance: The distance from the anus to the genitalia, which reflects the length of the perineum. The perineum is longer in males than females, so ano-genital distance serves as a sensitive indicator of endocrine disruption, especially of androgen (testosterone, dihydrotestosterone) function.
Backscatter: Low-level X-rays used to create a two-sided image by reflecting the waves in the direction in which they originated
Backscatter technology: Low level x-rays used to create a two sided image by reflecting the waves in the direction in which they originated
Body mass index: A measure that relates body weight to height
Carcinogenesis: The production of cancer
Cell-signal transduction: Hormones and other compounds interact with cell receptors, which then leads to a cascade of cellular responses
Chemical cell pathway regulators: Chemicals and receptors that facilitate communication within and between cells
Chlorination levels: Chlorine is an element that combines with other elements to create chemical compounds. Compounds with more chlorine molecules have higher chlorination levels.
Circadian rhythm: Physical, mental and behavioral changes that occur in a daily cycle
Computed tomography (CT): A series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body taken from different angles. The pictures are created by a computer linked to an X-ray machine. Also called CAT scan, computerized axial tomography scan, computerized tomography, and CT scan
Confounding factors: A factor that may co-occur with both an exposure of concern and a health outcome. In research on population-based health, confounding factors make it difficult to determine if the cause of a health outcome is the cause under study or related factors. Study design and statistics can help clarify these issues.
Contralateral breast cancer: Following original diagnosis of breast cancer in one breast, a secondary cancer is found in the other breast
CT angiography: A procedure that uses X-rays to create a series of detailed pictures of the blood vessels and blood flow inside the body
Endometrium: The inner membrane lining the uterus
Epithelial branches: Branches of the membrane tissue in the mammary system that form milk ducts
Epithelium: In the mammary gland, a thin layer of cells (including stem, stroma and myoepithelial cells) all of which constitute the outer structure of the ducts
Estrogen-like form: The form of a molecule that can mimic estrogen
Expression: In genetics, "expression" refers to whether a gene is "turned on" and therefore producing proteins and shaping physiology.
Fluoroscopy: An X-ray procedure that makes it possible to see internal organs in motion
Genomics: The mapping of DNA sequences, including genes, for understanding both structural and functional properties of the sequences
Genotoxic: Factors that are damaging to genetic material
Half-life: The amount of time required for a given substance to lose half of its toxicity or effectiveness
High-throughput assays: Roboticized chemical tests that rapidly assess numerous characteristics of numerous individual chemicals
Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma: Cancers of the lymphatic system, a network of thin vessels and nodes throughout the body that serves as part of the immune system
Homeostasis: The maintenance of a stable state in the body even when external conditions change, e.g., the maintenance of body temperature in mammals
Hormone composites: Combinations of different hormones in pharmaceutical use
Isolates: Purified or separated forms of a component of a mixture. For example, phytoestrogrens like genestein may be isolated (forming an isolate) from whole soy.
Lumpectomy: Surgery to remove a breast lump and a small amount of surrounding tissue
Lymphatic system: Glands (nodes) and vessels in the body that help defend against foreign invaders like bacteria and other foreign substances
MCF-10A cells: A specific line of human breast cells that have been cultivated from breast tissue and immortalized for use in experiments
MCF-7 cells: A specific line of human breast cancer cells that have been cultivated from breast tumors and immortalized for use in experiments
Mechanism: The underlying process through which a chemical exposure or physiological change exerts an effect on the body
Mediated: When a middle factor lies between an initial cause and the final effect
Mediating: A process that occurs between an initial cause and final effect
Mediator: An agent that occurs between the initial cause and final effect
Meta-analysis: sophisticated statistical analyses of a large number of studies, taken together
Metabolite: A product of the breakdown of natural or synthetic chemicals by the cells of the body
Metabolites: A product of the breakdown of natural or synthetic chemicals by the cells the body
Millimeter wave screening: Millimeter wave radio frequency reflect energy back from the body to create a three-dimensional image
Mitochondrial: Mitochondria are organelles within the cell that generate energy in the cell. Mitochondria have unique genetic characteristics that are passed down exlusively from the mother, and that can effect gene expression.
Neural: Having to do with nerves or the nervous system, including the brain and the spinal cord
NHANES: The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey: Studies designed to assess the health and nutritional status of adults and children in the United States, based upon a representative sample of residents. The study includes a biomonitoring component to measure environmental chemicals in people.
Non-genomic: Effects at the cellular level that are not exerted by genes
p53 tumor suppressor gene: A tumor-suppressor gene that normally inhibits the growth of tumors. This gene is altered in many types of cancer.
PAH-DNA adduct: Chemical compounds formed by interactions between PAH compounds and DNA that indicate an increased likelihood of cancer formation in the tissue
Pectoralis muscle: Muscles attached to the front of the chest wall and upper arms
Perfusion: Bathing an organ or tissue with a fluid. In regional perfusion, a specific area of the body (usually an arm or a leg) receives high doses of anticancer drugs through a blood vessel.
Population-based case-control study: A study of a group of individuals taken from the general population who share common characteristic or health condition. Those with the health condition are considered "cases" and they are studied in comparison to individuals without the condition, or "controls," who are similar in other ways (age, gender, ethnicity).
Profile: The pattern of genetic variations a person has that shapes characteristics, including disease susceptibility
Proliferation: Growth and reproduction of cells
Prospective cohort: A study that follows groups that differ on characteristics (cohorts) over time, typically before the development of a disease or health outcome
Prospective Cohort Study: A research study that follows over time groups of individuals who are alike in many ways but differ by a certain characteristic (for example, female nurses who smoke and those who do not smoke) and compares them for a particular outcome (such as lung cancer)
Prospective studies: A study that begins prior to the onset of disease or a health effect
Quiescence: A period of rest or dormancy
Radionucleotides: Building blocks of DNA that are labeled with radioactivity so they can be traced
Randomized clinical trial: Studies in which a specified patient population is randomly assigned to different treatment groups. Studies can test new treatments compared to old treatments or new treatments compared to no treatments.
Scoliosis: A condition marked by a side-to-side curve of the backbone
Tamoxifen: A drug that modifies the actions of estrogen
The yeast assay: A test that uses yeast cells that respond to estrogen to evaluate the degree to which a compound mimics or blocks estrogen
Tyrosine: An amino acid that is used to synthesize proteins and as a building block for some neurotransmitters