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breast-conserving therapy

In treating breast cancer, the removal of only the tumor and not the entire breast. It is a lumpectomy rather than modified radical mastectomy. SYN: breast conservation.

breast density

(brest den’ sit-ē) [″ + L. densitas, thickness] A greater percentage of fibrous and glandular tissue in the breast than fatty tissue. The greater the density of the breast, the lower the sensitivity of a mammogram to detect breast cancer.

image More than 40% of women imaged are categorized as having dense breasts.


(brest′fēd″ing) The giving of mother’s milk to a newborn, infant, or child. Mature mother’s milk and its precursor, colostrum, are considered the most balanced foods available for normal newborns and infants. The World Health Organization and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) encourage health care professionals to promote, protect, and support breastfeeding as the exclusive nourishment for the first 6 months of life, followed by gradual supplementation with iron-rich foods for the next 6 months, with continuation of breast-feeding for as long as the mother and child desire. When breast-feeding must be interrupted for even a short time, the breasts should be pumped every 3 hr for 10 to 15 min to preserve lactation, and the colostrum or milk fed to the infant unless contraindicated. Exclusive breast-feeding for 6 months helps prevent infant ear infections, diarrhea, and other GI problems, and respiratory illness such as asthma and pneumonia. It also may reduce excessive childhood weight gain and obesity and reduce the mother’s risk for breast and ovarian cancer. SYN: nursing (2).

 HEALTH BENEFITS: Breast milk is sterile, easily digested, and nonallergenic. It contains lipids that stimulate early brain development and maternal antibodies that protect against many early childhood illnesses. Suckling by the baby stimulates release of oxytocin, which stimulates uterine contractions and promotes the return of the uterus to a normal nongravid size and state. Breast-feeding may engender or strengthen early bonding. It is also associated with a reduced risk of childhood leukemia.

PATIENT CARE: Prenatal preparations: During the last trimester of pregnancy, techniques that increase the potential for successful breast-feeding are discussed with women who have selected that infant-feeding option. Very little preparation is required for the breast and nipples. During pregnancy, the nipple and aerola thicken, and glands on the aerola, which contain a lubricant to keep the nipple from drying, enlarge. Toughening nipples by vigorous rubbing with a towel or nipple-rolling are no longer recommended. Nipple shells or shields may be recommended for women whose nipples are flat or inverted.

Postpartum breast-feeding: A successful breast-feeding experience is potentiated by assisting the woman to develop confidence, comfort, and skill in using techniques for appropriate infant latch-on, feeding, and disengagement. Basic breast care is described, discussed, and demonstrated ...

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