Glossary: B

balloon catheter radiation (buh-LOON KA-theh-ter RAY-dee-AY-shun)

A system used to deliver internal radiation therapy to breast cancer patients after surgery to remove their cancer. Balloon catheter radiation targets only the part of the breast where the cancer was found. After a patient has had a lumpectomy to remove the cancer, a small balloon on the end of a catheter (thin tube) is inserted into… Read more »

benign (beh-NINE)

Not cancerous. Benign tumors may grow larger but do not spread to other parts of the body. Also called nonmalignant.

benign breast disease (beh-NINE brest dih-ZEEZ)

A common condition marked by benign (not cancer) changes in breast tissue. These changes may include irregular lumps or cysts, breast discomfort, sensitive nipples, and itching. These symptoms may change throughout the menstrual cycle and usually stop after menopause. Also called fibrocystic breast changes, fibrocystic breast disease, and mammary dysplasia.

best practice (… PRAK-tis)

Treatment that experts agree is appropriate, accepted, and widely used. Also called standard medical care, standard of care, and standard therapy.

beta-hCG (BAY-tuh…)

A hormone found in the blood and urine during pregnancy. It may also be found in higher than normal amounts in patients with some types of cancer, including testicular, ovarian, liver, stomach, and lung cancers, and in other disorders. Measuring the amount of beta-hCG in the blood or urine of cancer patients may help to… Read more »


A method used by radiologists to interpret and report in a standardized manner the results of mammography, ultrasound, and MRI used in breast cancer screening and diagnosis. Also called Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System.