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  • B-Cells - A major class of lymphocytes (white blood cells) whose main function is to produce and secrete antibodies when they have been activated.
  • Basal Cells - Small, round cells found in the innermost layer of the epidermis. These cells divide to produce new skin cells, replacing those that die and slough off the surface of the skin.
  • Basal Layer - The innermost layer of the epidermis.
  • Basal-Cell Carcinoma - One of the 2 most-common kinds of nonmelanoma cancer. It almost never metastasizes and is made up of the cells at the bottom layer of the epidermis that give rise to keratinocytes.
  • Benign - Noncancerous.
  • Biochemotherapy - The combination of chemotherapy and immunotherapy being investigated as a treatment approach for advanced melanoma and as an adjuvant treatment for high-risk melanoma.
  • Biological Therapy (Biotherapy) - The use of natural and manufactured substances derived from the body in order to fight cancer. Biological therapies include immunotherapy, antiangiogenesis therapy, gene therapy, and hormonal therapy.
  • Biopsy - Removing a sample of tissue so that it can be evaluated under a microscope for purposes of diagnosis.
  • Biotherapy - See Biological Therapy
  • Bleomycin - A chemotherapeutic agent currently under investigation in combination with other chemotherapeutic agents for the treatment of metastatic melanoma.
  • Blood Count - The number of red blood cells, white cells, and platelets in a given blood sample.
  • Blood Smear - A blood test that provides information about the number and shape of blood cells by visual inspection.
  • Board Certified - Refers to a physician who is certified by 1 of the American Boards of Medical Specialties or Subspecialties. To be board certified, a physician must complete years of a specialized residency training program and then pass rigorous testing. A board-certified oncologist is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and Oncology. A board-certified dermatologist is certified by the American Board of Dermatology. A board-certified surgeon is certified by the American Board of Surgery
  • Bone Marrow Biopsy - The bone marrow is a soft tissue that is inside some of the larger bones. The bone marrow produces the red and white blood cells as well as platelets, which help the blood clot. A biopsy is a method of removing a small tissue sample from the body to have it examined under a microscope and possibly analyzed by other tests.
  • Bone Scan - Used to determine if the bone is damaged, either from cancer or from some other cause. A radioactive tracer is injected into a person's body. If the bone is damaged, the tracer will concentrate in the bone.
  • Brachytherapy - See Internal Radiation Tharapy
  • Breslow Depth (Thickness) - A method, described by Alexander Breslow in 1975, of measuring how deeply a primary melanoma tumor has penetrated the skin, regardless of anatomic layer. Tumor penetration is measured in millimeters from the outermost layer of living cells to the deepest extent of the melanoma. Clark Level, an older measure of tumor invasion, was replaced by Breslow thickness, tumor ulceration, and mitotic count, as the most important factors in determining the prognosis of a primary melanoma by the 2010 AJCC guidelines.
  • Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen - A sunscreen that offers protection against both UVA and UVB radiation from the sun's rays.