Glossary: m

macrocalcification (MA-kroh-KAL-sih-fih-KAY-shun)

A small deposit of calcium in the breast that cannot be felt but can be seen on a mammogram. It is usually caused by aging, an old injury, or inflamed tissue and is usually not related to cancer.

magnetic resonance imaging (mag-NEH-tik REH-zuh-nunts IH-muh-jing)

A procedure in which radio waves and a powerful magnet linked to a computer are used to create detailed pictures of areas inside the body. These pictures can show the difference between normal and diseased tissue. Magnetic resonance imaging makes better images of organs and soft tissue than other scanning techniques, such as computed tomography… Read more »

maintenance therapy (MAYN-teh-nunts THAYR-uh-pee)

Treatment that is given to help keep cancer from coming back after it has disappeared following the initial therapy. It may include treatment with drugs, vaccines, or antibodies that kill cancer cells, and it may be given for a long time.

male breast cancer (mayl brest KAN-ser)

Cancer that forms in tissues of the breast in men. Most male breast cancer begins in cells lining the ducts. It is very rare and usually affects older men.

malignancy (muh-LIG-nun-see)

A term for diseases in which abnormal cells divide without control and can invade nearby tissues. Malignant cells can also spread to other parts of the body through the blood and lymph systems. There are several main types of malignancy. Carcinoma is a malignancy that begins in the skin or in tissues that line or… Read more »

malignant (muh-LIG-nunt)

Cancerous. Malignant cells can invade and destroy nearby tissue and spread to other parts of the body.

malnourished (mal-NER-isht)

Describes a condition caused by not getting enough calories or the right amount of key nutrients needed for health. Key nutrients include vitamins and minerals.

malnutrition (mal-noo-TRIH-shun)

A condition caused by not getting enough calories or the right amount of key nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, that are needed for health. Malnutrition may occur when there is a lack of nutrients in the diet or when the body cannot absorb nutrients from food. Cancer and cancer treatment may cause malnutrition.