Language of Cancer:
A mini-dictionary of terms relating to cancer, con't.
treatment that alters a gene; in studies of gene therapy for cancer, researchers are trying to improve the body's natural ability
to fight the disease or to make cancer cells more sensitive to treatment
an indicator based on how abnormal
cancer cells look under a microscope and how quickly the tumor is likely to grow and spread.
treatment in which
body tissue is exposed to high temperatures to damage and kill cancer cells or to make cancer cells more sensitive to radiation and
certain anticancer drugs.
in situ [in SY-too]
in its original place; for example: carcinoma in situ means abnormal cells found in the place where they
first formed and that have not spread.
laser-induced interstitial thermotherapy
a procedure in which a laser at the tip of an optical fiber is inserted into a tumor, raising the temperature of tumor cells, damaging
or destroying them.
loop electrosurgical excision procedure
a surgical procedure that uses a thin, wire loop charged with an electric current to remove cancerous tissue.
lymphatic system [lim-FA-tik SIS-tem]
tissues, fluid and organs -- including the spleen, lymph nodes and bone marrow -- that produce,store and carry white blood cells that
a condition in which extra lymph fluid builds up in tissues and causes swelling; often caused by
damage to lymph vessels during surgery.
cancerous; capable of invading and destroying nearby tissue as well as spreading to other parts of the body.
spread of cancer from one part of the body to another; a tumor formed by cells that have spread is
called a metastatic tumor [plural: metastases (meh-TAS-tuh-sees)].
to spread from one part of the body to another.
monoclonal antibody [MAH-noh-KLOHnul]
AN-tee-BAH-dee): a substance that can locate and bind to cancer cells wherever they are in the body; may be used for cancer
detection or treatment.
a complication of some cancer therapies in which the lining of the digestive system becomes inflamed; may cause sores in the mouth.
neoadjuvant therapy [NEE-oh-A-joo-vant] THAYR-uh-pee)
treatment, such as chemotherapy or radiation, given to shrink a tumor before the main treatment, usually surgery.
abnormal and uncontrolled cell growth.
tumor; a cancerous or non-cancerous mass of tissue that results when cells divide more than they should or do not die when
a condition involving a lower-than-normal number of a type of white blood cells.
a mutated version of the proto-oncogene, a gene that directs cell growth; causes cells to grow and divide too rapidly.
peripheral neuropathy [peh-RIH-feh-rul noor-AH-puh-thee]
a potential side effect of chemotherapy that affects the nervous system, causing numbness, tingling, burning
or weakness, particularly in the hands or feet.
photodynamic therapy [FOH-toh-dy-NAmik THAYR-uh-pee]
treatment with drugs that become active and kill cancer cells when exposed to light primary tumor: the original tumor.
a molecule made up of amino acids that are needed for the body to function properly; proteins are the basis of body structures,
including organs, as well as substances, such as hormones, that regulate the body.
an action plan for a clinical trial; the plan states, step by step, what the study will do, how and why.
a reaction to chemotherapy in which the skin covering an area that has been treated with radiation may turn red,
blister or peel.
cancer that has come back, usually after a period of time when the cancer could not be detected.
a cancer that has spread from the place in which it started to other parts of the body; made up of the same type of cells as those in the original, or primary,
the extent of a cancer in the body; staging is usually based on the size of the tumor, whether lymph nodes contain cancer
and whether the cancer has spread from the original site to other parts of the body.
inflammation or irritation of the mucous membranes in the mouth.
treatment that travels via the bloodstream and affects all cells throughout the body; chemotherapy is a form of
a type of treatment that uses drugs or other substances to identify and attack specific cancer cells without harming
a cancerous or non-cancerous mass of tissue that results when cells divide more than they should or do not die when they should;
also called neoplasm.
tumor suppressor gene
a type of gene that helps control cell growth.
a particle used to carry genetic information to cells during gene therapy; viruses are commonly used as vectors.
National Cancer Institute's glossary
, the most comprehensive guide to understanding terms important to your care.
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