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Medical Glossary

An alphabetical listing of medical terms and items.
secondary lymphedema - The form of lymphedema that is caused by the cancer treatment, burns, or injuries that result in damage to the lymphatic system; SLE.
self-massage - A form of Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) that is performed by the patient, or a helper, between lymphedema treatments.
sentinel node - The closest lymph node to the tumor through which any cancer cells would first pass as the cancer spreads metastasis to other areas of the body; also spelled as sentinel-node.
sentinel-node - The closest lymph node to the tumor through which any cancer cells would first pass as the cancer spreads metastasis to other areas of the body; also spelled as sentinel node.
sentinel-node biopsy - In breast cancer, a procedure designed to analyze whether any cancer is present in the sentinel node. Sentinel-node biopsy involves injection of a colored dye and/or radioactive isotope into the breast near the tumor. If no cancer is found in the sentinel node, it is an indication that cancer has not spread to other lymph nodes.
shotty lymph nodes - Clusters of small swollen lymph nodes that may occur when the immune system is reacting to an infection. These nodes are so named because they feel like buckshot under the skin.
stage 0 - The stage when swelling is not evident despite impaired lymph transport. This stage can exist for many months or years before the swelling becomes evident; also known as subclinical lymphedema.
stage 1 - Lymphedema in which the edema consists of protein-rich fluid and the tissues are soft to the touch. Pressure leaves an indentation that is known as pitting edema.
stage 2 - Lymphedema in which edema and fibrosis of the tissues are present. The tissues are no longer soft to the touch and pressure leaves only a light indentation.
stage 3 - Lymphedema in which there is a major increase in the amount of swelling and the tissues hang in folds as the skin begins breaking down. Fibrosis becomes more extensive and the amount of fat tissue increases.