Dictionary

  • ABCDE rule
    A memory device for features of skin spots that might be cancer. A = Asymmetry; B = Border; C = Color; D = Diameter; E = Evolving.

    Abdomen
    The belly area between the chest and pelvis.

    Abdominoperineal resection
    An operation that removes the rectum, anus, and part of the colon.

    Ablation
    A treatment that destroys very small tumors with heat, cold, lasers, or chemicals. Also called ablative therapy.

    Abrams needle biopsy
    A procedure that removes the tissue lining around a lung with a cutting needle.

    Accelerated phase
    The second of three phases of chronic myelogenous leukemia.

    Access port
    A small device that is placed under the skin to access veins. Sometimes called a port-a-cath.

    Acral lentiginous melanoma
    A skin cancer that often occurs on the palms, soles, or nails.

    Active myeloma
    A plasma cell cancer that is causing symptoms.

    Active surveillance
    Frequent and ongoing testing to watch for changes in cancer status.

    Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)
    A fast-growing cancer of young white blood cells called lymphoblasts.

    Acute myeloid leukemia (AML)
    A fast-growing cancer of young white blood cells called myeloblasts.

    Adenocarcinoma
    A cancer of cells that line organs and make fluids or hormones.

    Adenoma
    The most common growth from the inner wall of the digestive tract. Also called adenomatous polyp.

    Adenomatous polyp
    The most common growth from the inner wall of the digestive tract. Also called adenoma.

    Adherence
    The extent to which you take your medicine as prescribed by your doctor.

    Adjunctive therapy
    Treatment for symptoms of cancer and its treatment that is given with cancer treatment.

    Adjuvant therapy
    Treatment that is given to lower the chances of the cancer returning.

    Adolescents and young adults (AYAs)
    People who are 15 to 39 years of age.

    Adrenal gland
    A small organ on top of each kidney that makes hormones.

    Advance directive
    Written statements of your wishes for health care should you become unable to make these wishes known.

    Advanced cancer

    1. Cancer that has spread beyond the area near the main tumor.
    2. Cancer that is not likely to be fully treated (ie, cured, in remission).

    Adventitia
    The outer wall layer, in some places, of the digestive tract.

    Aggressive cancer
    A cancer that grows or spreads fast.

    Albumin
    The main protein in the yellow part of blood (plasma).

    Alkaline phosphatase (ALP)
    A protein found in most tissues of the body.

    Alkylating agent
    A drug that damages a cell's DNA by adding a chemical to it.

    Allergic reaction
    An abnormal response by the body to a foreign substance that is harmless.

    Allergy
    A health condition in which your body fights off a foreign substance that is not harmful.

    Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT)
    A cancer treatment that replaces abnormal blood stem cells with healthy donor cells. Also called allogeneic stem cell transplant.

    Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP)
    A protein made that is usually present in babies growing in the womb.

    Alternating electric field therapy
    A cancer treatment that uses low-intensity electromagnetic energy. Also called TTFields (Tumor Treating Fields).

    Alternative medicine
    A treatment used in place of one that is usually given by doctors.

    Alveolar ridge
    The gums around the base of your teeth.

    Alveoli
    The tiny sacs in the lungs where gases are transferred in and out of the blood.

    Amosite asbestos
    A thicker and straighter type of amphibole asbestos. Also called brown asbestos.

    Amphibole asbestos
    A group of asbestos fibers that are straight, needle-like, and brittle.

    Amyloid
    An abnormal protein found among people with myeloma cells.

    Amyloidosis
    A harmful buildup of an abnormal protein called amyloid.

    Anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)
    A type of protein on the edge of a cell that sends signals for cell growth.

    Anaplastic thyroid cancer
    A type of thyroid cancer that worsens fast.

    Androgen
    A hormone that key to sexual development and functioning in males.

    Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT)
    A treatment that removes the testes or stops them from making testosterone.

    Anemia
    A health condition in which the number of red blood cells is low.

    Anesthesia
    A drug-induced loss of feeling in the body for pain relief.

    Anesthetic
    A drug that causes a loss of feeling to relieve pain.

    Angiogenesis
    The growth of new blood vessels.

    Angiogenesis inhibitor
    A drug that prevents the growth of new blood vessels into tumors.

    Angiogram
    A test that uses x-rays to make pictures of blood flow within an artery.

    Angiolymphatic invasion
    The spread of cancer into the lymph vessels or bloodstream.

    Anterior lobe
    The part of the prostate that is above the urine duct (urethra).

    Anterior tongue
    The first two-thirds of your tongue.

    Anterior zone
    The top part of the prostate.

    Anthracycline
    A drug that damages and disrupts the making of DNA.

    Antiandrogen
    A drug that stops the action of the hormone testosterone.

    Antiandrogen withdrawal response
    A drop in prostate-specific antigens (PSA) when an antiandrogen is stopped.

    Antibiotic
    A drug used to treat a disease caused by bacteria.

    Antibody
    A protein in blood that helps fight off infection. Also called an immunoglobulin.

    Anticoagulant
    A drug that thins the blood to prevent blood clots. Also called blood thinner.

    Antiestrogen
    A cancer drug that stops estrogen from attaching to cells.

    Antifungal

    1. A drug that treats a disease caused by fungus.
    2. A drug that treats later stages of prostate cancer.

    Antigen
    Any substance to which your immune system responds.

    Antimetabolite
    A drug that prevents the building blocks of DNA from being used.

    Anus
    The opening at the end of the intestines between the legs through which stool passes out of the body.

    Aortic lymph node
    A small disease-fighting structure that is near the heart and largest artery.

    Apheresis
    A procedure that removes stem cells from blood.

    Apoptosis
    The natural death of cells. Also calledprogrammed cell death.

    Appendix
    A small, pouch-like organ attached at the lower-right corner of the gut.

    Areola
    A darker, round area of skin on the breast around the nipple.

    Aromatase inhibitor
    A drug that lowers the level of estrogen in the body.

    Arsenic
    A very toxic metallic chemical.

    Arterial radioembolization
    A treatment with radiation given through an artery to liver tumors.

    Artery
    A tube-shaped vessel that carries blood from the heart to the body.

    Arthralgias
    Joint pain.

    Arthritis
    Swelling of the bone joints.

    Asbestos
    A group of tiny fibers that can cause cancer.

    Ascending colon
    The first part of the colon along the right side of the body.

    Ascites
    Abnormal buildup of fluid in the belly area.

    Astrocyte
    A cell that maintains the proper balance of chemicals in the nervous system.

    Asymptomatic
    Having no signs or symptoms of a disease.

    Atelectasis
    A collapse of a lung.

    Atypical mole
    A mole that does not look like a common mole.

    Autoimmune disorder
    An attack on the body from its disease-fighting (immune) system.

    Autoimmune hemolytic anemia
    An attack on red blood cells by the disease-fighting (immune) system.

    Autologous stem cell transplant
    A treatment that destroys your marrow then rebuilds it with your healthy stem cells. Also called an HDT/ASCR (high-dose therapy with autologous stem cell rescue).

    Axillary lymph node
    A small disease-fighting structure that is near the armpit.

    Axillary lymph node dissection
    An operation that removes the disease-fighting structures (lymph nodes) near the armpit.

    Azygos vein
    A large vein on the right side of the spine within the chest.

  • B symptoms
    A set of symptoms caused by some B-cell cancers.

    Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG)

    1. A vaccine used to treat some skin cancers.
    2. A vaccine used to prevent tuberculosis.

    Barium enema
    A procedure that makes pictures of the colon using a fluid and x-rays.

    Barium swallow
    A procedure that makes pictures of the esophagus using a fluid and x-rays.

    Barrett's esophagus
    The presence of stomach cells within the inner wall of the esophagus.

    Barrier birth control method
    A device that blocks sperm from the womb.

    Basal cell skin cancer
    The most common type of skin cancer.

    Baseline test
    The first test results to which future test results are compared.

    Basophil
    A type of a white blood cell called a granulocyte.

    B-cell
    A type of a white blood cell called a lymphocyte. Also called B-lymphocyte.

    B-cell ALL
    A fast-growing blood cancer derived from a B-cell within the bone marrow.

    BCR-ABL1gene
    An abnormal set of cell instructions within the Philadelphia chromosome.

    BCR-ABL1protein
    An abnormal cell protein that is made by the BCR-ABL1 gene.

    Bence Jones myeloma
    A cancer of plasma cells that only make the short part of antibodies. Also called light chain myeloma.

    Bence Jones protein
    The smaller of two protein chains of an antibody. Also called a light chain.

    Benign
    Tissue without cancer cells.

    Benign prostatic hypertrophy
    An overgrowth of tissue in the prostate that isn't caused by cancer. Also sometimes calledbenign prostatic hyperplasia.

    Beryllium
    A hard, gray metallic chemical.

    Beta-2 microglobulin
    A small protein made by many types of cells.

    Bilateral diagnostic mammogram
    Pictures of the insides of both breasts that are made from a set of x-rays.

    Bilateral mastectomy
    An operation that removes both breasts.

    Bilateral oophorectomy
    An operation that removes both ovaries.

    Bilateral orchiectomy
    An operation that removes both testicles.

    Bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (BSO)
    An operation that removes both ovaries and both Fallopian tubes.

    Bile
    A yellowish-brown fluid that is made by the liver and helps to digest food.

    Bile duct
    A small tube-shaped structure that drains digestive fluid (bile) from the liver.

    Biliary bypass
    An operation that re-routes the flow of bile into the small intestine.

    Biliary stent
    A small tube used to unblock a bile duct.

    Biliary tree
    A group of structures that drain digestive fluid (bile) from the liver.

    Bilirubin
    A yellow-brown substance that is part of a digestive fluid called bile.

    Biochemical relapse

    1. A rise in biomarkers that signals an increase in cancer cells that were under control.
    2. A rise in CA-125 that signals an increase in ovarian cancer cells that were under control.
    3. A rise in prostate-specific antigen (PSA) that signals an increase in prostate cancer cells that were under control.

    Biochemical test
    A test to measure the level of chemicals in the body.

    Biochemotherapy
    A treatment with both immune-boosting drugs (immunotherapy) and cell-killing drugs (chemotherapy).

    Biomarker
    Any molecule in your body that can be measured to assess your health.

    Biomarker testing
    A lab test of a molecule in your body to assess your health. Also called molecular testing.

    Biopsy
    A procedure that removes fluid or tissue samples to be tested for a disease.

    Biphasic mesothelioma
    Mesothelioma that consists of both epithelioid and sarcomatoid cells. Also called mixed mesothelioma.

    Birth canal
    A hollow structure in women through which babies are born. Also called the vagina.

    Bisphosphonate
    A drug that helps to improve bone strength and prevent loss of bone mass.

    Bladder
    A hollow organ that holds and expels urine from the body.

    Blast cell
    An early form of a blood cell that is unable to function like a mature blood cell. Also called blast.

    Blast phase
    The last of three phases of chronic myelogenous leukemia. Also called blast crisis.

    Blood cell growth factors
    A treatment to increase the number of blood cells.

    Blood clot
    A thickened mass of blood. Also called a thrombosis.

    Blood smear
    A lab test that uses a microscope to assess the features of blood cells.

    Blood stem cell
    A blood-forming cell from which all other types of blood cells are formed. Also called hematopoietic stem cell.

    Blood thinner
    A drug that thins the blood to prevent blood clots. Also called blood thinner.

    Blood urea nitrogen (BUN)
    The amount of urea nitrogena waste productin blood.

    Blood vessel
    A tube-shaped structure that carries blood throughout the body.

    Bloodstream
    Blood that flows throughout the body in small tubes called blood vessels.

    B-lymphocyte
    A type of a white blood cell called a lymphocyte. Also called a B-cell.

    Board certified
    A status for doctors who finished training in a specialized field of medicine.

    Body mass index (BMI)
    A measure of body fat based on height and weight.

    Body plethysmograph
    A test of how much air is in your lungs after inhaling or exhaling.

    Bolus
    A fast injection of a drug.

    Bone densitometry
    A test that uses x-rays to make pictures that show how strong or thin bones are.

    Bone fracture
    A crack or break in a bone.

    Bone lesion
    Abnormal tissue in the bone.

    Bone marrow
    The sponge-like tissue in the center of most bones.

    Bone marrow aspirate
    The fluid removed from bone marrow for testing.

    Bone marrow aspiration
    A procedure that removes a liquid bone marrow sample to test for a disease.

    Bone marrow biopsy
    A procedure that removes bone and solid bone marrow samples to test for a disease.

    Bone marrow cytogenetics
    A lab test of chromosomes within cells from bone marrow.

    Bone metastasis
    The spread of cancer from the first site to the bone.

    Bone mineral density
    A test that measures the strength of bones.

    Bone scan
    A test that makes pictures of bones to assess for health problems.

    Bone survey
    A test that makes pictures of the entire skeleton. Also called skeletal survey.

    Boost
    An extra dose of radiation to a specific area of the body.

    Border irregularity
    The edges of a mole that is ragged or notched.

    Borderline epithelial tumor
    A type of ovarian cancer that is slow growing. Also called LMP (low malignant potential) tumor.

    Borderline resectable
    A tumor whose growth makes an operation to remove it uncertain.

    Bowel
    The organ that food passes through after leaving the stomach. Also called the intestine and gut.

    Bowel obstruction
    A blockage of stool in the gut.

    Brachytherapy
    A treatment with radiation from an object placed near or in the tumor. Also called internal radiation.

    BRAF gene
    A set of instructions in a cell for making B-Raf protein.

    Brain metastasis
    Cancer that has spread from the first tumor to the brain.

    BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes

    1. Coded information within cells that helps to prevent tumor growth.
    2. Coded information in cells that is linked to certain cancers when abnormal.

    Breast awareness
    Learning about one's breasts.

    Breast duct
    A tube-shaped structure through which milk travels to the nipple.

    Breast implant
    A small bag filled with salt water, gel, or both that is used to remake breasts.

    Breast lobule
    A gland in the breast that makes milk.

    Breast reconstruction
    An operation that creates new breasts.

    Breast-conserving therapy
    A cancer treatment that includes removing a breast lump and radiation therapy.

    Breslow thickness
    The depth that a cancer of pigment-making cells (melanoma) has grown into the skin.

    Broad-spectrum sunscreen
    A substance that protects the skin from harmful UV (ultraviolet) rays.

    Bronchi
    The two airways extending from the windpipe into the lungs.

    Bronchioli
    Small airways within the lungs.

    Bronchoscope
    A device that is guided down the throat to work inside the airways.

    Bronchoscopy
    A procedure to work inside the airways with a device that is guided down the throat.

    Bronchus
    One of the two main airways that extends into the lungs.

    Buccal mucosa
    The insides of the cheeks.

    Bypass
    An operation to re-route the flow of fluid in the body.

  • C cell
    A cell in the thyroid that makes calcitonin. Also called a parafollicular cell.

    CA 19-9
    A protein made by certain cancer cells and found in blood.

    Cadmium
    A heavy metallic chemical.

    Calcitonin
    A thyroid hormone that helps to control the calcium level in blood.

    Calcium
    A mineral found in body tissues.

    Cancer
    A disease of cells that have an abnormal life cycle and grow or spread into other tissue.

    Cancer antigen 125 (CA-125)
    A protein made by certain cancer cells and found in blood.

    Cancer antigen 19-9 (CA-19-9)
    A protein made by certain cancer cells and found in blood.

    Cancer grade
    A rating of how much the cancer cells look like normal cells

    Cancer regression
    A decrease in tumor size or the spread of cancer.

    Cancer screening
    Routine testing to find cancer before signs of cancer appear.

    Cancer stage
    A rating of the outlook of a cancer based on its growth and spread.

    Capsule
    A thin layer of tissue that covers an organ.

    Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA)

    1. A protein that is present in babies growing in the womb.
    2. A protein that is present when some types of cancer form.

    Carcinoid syndrome
    A group of symptoms that happen when carcinoid tumors release serotonin and other chemicals into the blood.

    Carcinoid tumor
    A neuroendocrine tumor found most commonly in the gastrointestinal tract, and the lungs, bronchi, thymus, and other areas in the body. It may secrete the hormone serotonin and other chemicals.

    Carcinoma
    A cancer of cells that line the inner or outer surfaces of the body.

    Carcinoma in situ

    1. The presence of abnormal cells within a single layer of tissue.
    2. A cancer that has not grown into tissue that would allow it to spread.

    Cardiac stress test
    A test of how well your heart works during exercise.

    Cardiotoxicity
    A harmful effect on the heart.

    Carina
    The supportive tissue at the base of the windpipe.

    Carney-Stratakis syndrome
    A rare health condition that increases the chance of gastrointestinal stromal tumors.

    Castration therapy

    1. An operation that removes the testicles.
    2. Drugs that stop the making of testosterone by the testicles.

    Castration-recurrent prostate cancer (CRPC)
    A worsening of prostate cancer despite treatment that lowered testosterone.

    Cataract
    A health condition in which the lens of the eye becomes cloudy.

    Catheter
    A tube-shaped device that is used to give treatment or drain fluid from the body.

    Cavernous nerve
    A group of nerve fibers that send signals to start penile erections.

    Celiac plexus
    A network of nerve fibers that surrounds the main artery in the abdomen.

    Cell
    The building blocks of tissues in the body.

    Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
    A federal government agency that runs Medicare and Medicaid.

    Central nervous system (CNS)
    The brain and spinal cord.

    Central venous line
    A tube-shaped device that is inserted into a vein to give treatment or withdraw blood. Also called central line.

    Central zone
    The inner part of the prostate around the urine duct (urethra).

    Centroblast
    A type of fast-growing B-cell within lymph structures.

    Centrocyte
    A type of B-cell that is found within lymph structures and has a dent in its edge.

    Cerebrospinal fluid
    The fluid around the brain and spinal cord. Also called spinal fluid.

    Cervical cancer
    A cancer of cells that are in the neck of the womb (cervix).

    Cervical lymph node
    A small disease-fighting structure that is within the neck.

    Cervical pleura
    The tissue lining around the lungs that is within the neck area.

    Cervix
    The lower part of the uterus (womb) that connects to the birth canal.

    Chaplain
    A trained expert in providing spiritual care.

    Chemistry profile
    A lab test of the amount of 8 chemicals in a sample of blood. Also called metabolic panel.

    Chemoembolization
    A cancer treatment with chemotherapy-coated beads that block blood supply to tumors.

    Chemoradiation
    A cancer treatment with both cell-killing drugs and high-energy rays.

    Chemotherapy
    Cancer drugs that stop the cell life cycle so cells don't increase in number.

    Chemotherapy cycle
    A time period that starts with days of cell-killing treatment followed by days of rest.

    Chest wall
    The layer of muscle, bone, and fat that protects the vital organs.

    Chest x-ray
    A test that uses x-rays to make pictures of the inside of the chest.

    Cholangitis
    An infection of the vessels that drain digestive fluid from the liver (bile ducts).

    Cholecystectomy
    An operation to remove the gallbladder.

    Chromium
    A hard, semi-gray metallic chemical.

    Chromogranin A
    A protein that may be at a higher level when a neuroendocrine tumor is present.

    Chromophobe renal cell carcinoma (RCC)
    The third most common type of kidney cancer.

    Chromosome
    The structures within cells that contain coded instructions for cell behavior (genes).

    Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML)
    A blood cancer that causes too many white blood cells called granulocytes to form.

    Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
    Lung damage or too much mucus that makes breathing hard.

    Chronic phase
    The first of three phases of chronic myelogenous leukemia.

    Chrysotile asbestos
    A type of serpentine asbestos. Also called white asbestos.

    Chyle
    A fatty liquid absorbed from the gut into the lymph system.

    Clark level
    A 5-point scale of skin tumor depth.

    Classical Hodgkin lymphoma
    The more common types of Hodgkin lymphoma.

    Clear cell carcinoma

    1. A type of cancer named after its cells that are filled with clear fluid.
    2. One of the four main types of ovarian cancer.
    3. The most common type of kidney cancer.

    Clear margin
    The absence of cancer within the normal-looking tissue around a removed tumor.

    Clinical breast exam
    Touching of a breast by a health expert to feel for diseases.

    Clinical relapse
    A physical signal of an increase in cancer cells that were under control.

    Clinical stage
    The rating of the extent of cancer before treatment is started.

    Clinical trial
    A type of research that assesses health tests or treatments.

    Clonal evolution
    Changes within cells that allow them to survive harmful events.

    CNS-directed therapy
    A treatment to kill cancer cells within the spinal cord and brain.

    Coagulation test
    A lab test of the proteins that cause blood to clot.

    Cognitive impairment
    Problems with memory, concentration, learning, or decision making that affects everyday life.

    Colectomy
    An operation that removes part of the colon.

    Colitis
    Swelling of the colon.

    Collecting duct renal cell carcinoma (RCC)
    The fourth most common type of kidney cancer.

    Colon
    The hollow organ in which eaten food turns from a liquid into a solid form.

    Colonoscope
    A device that is guided through the anus to work inside the colon.

    Colonoscopy
    A procedure to look inside the colon with a device that is guided through the anus.

    Colorectal cancer
    Cancer of cells that line the colon, rectum, or both.

    Colostomy
    An operation that connects the colon to the outside of the abdomen.

    Combination regimen
    A treatment that consists of two or more drugs.

    Combined androgen blockade (CAB)
    A cancer treatment that stops the making and action of testosterone.

    Common bile duct
    A tube-shaped structure through which digestive fluid (bile) drains into the small intestine.

    Complementary medicine
    Treatment that is given along with standard treatment.

    Complete blood count (CBC)
    A lab test that includes the number of blood cells.

    Complete blood count (CBC) with differential
    A lab test of the number of blood cells including each type of white blood cell.

    Complete cytogenetic response (CCyR)

    1. The absence of a key markerPhiladelphia chromosomeafter treatment for chronic myelogenous leukemia.
    2. The absence of the hallmarkt(15;17)after treatment for acute promyelocytic leukemia.

    Complete hematologic response
    The absence of abnormal blood results after treatment for chronic myelogenous leukemia.

    Complete molecular response (CMR)

    1. The absence of a key markerBCR-ABL1geneafter treatment for chronic myelogenous leukemia.
    2. The absence of the PML-RARA gene after treatment for acute promyelocytic leukemia.

    Complete morphologic response
    A large drop in blasts after treatment for acute leukemia.

    Complete remission
    An absence of all signs and symptoms of cancer after treatment. Also called complete response.

    Completion surgery
    An operation that removes the remaining ovary, fallopian tube, uterus and all cancer that can be seen.

    Complex karyotype
    Three or more unrelated defects in chromosomes that occur in more than one cell.

    Comprehensive metabolic panel
    Lab tests of up to 14 chemicals in your blood. Also called comprehensive chemistry panel.

    Compression fracture
    A break in the spinal bones caused by the bones collapsing.

    Computed tomography (CT)
    A test that uses x-rays from many angles to make a picture of the insides of the body.

    Concurrent chemoradiation
    A treatment of cell-killing drugs and high-energy rays that are given during the same time period.

    Conditioning therapy
    A treatment that is given before a hematopoietic cell transplant to kill bone marrow cells.

    Conformal radiation therapy
    Treatment with radiation that uses beams that match the shape of the tumor.

    Connective tissue
    Supporting and binding tissue that surrounds other tissues and organs.

    Consolidation therapy
    A shorter and more intense treatment phase to further reduce the number of cancer cells. Also called intensification therapy and postremission therapy.

    Continuation maintenance
    A treatment phase using one or more first-line drugs to prolong good treatment results.

    Contrast
    A dye put into your body to make clearer pictures during imaging tests.

    Control group
    A group of people in a research study who do receive new treatment or tests.

    Conventional radiation therapy
    Treatment with radiation that uses beams that match the shape of the tumor.

    Conversion therapy
    Medicine that is given to qualify a person for an operation.

    Coombs test
    A lab test that detects if your antibodies are destroying red blood cells.

    Core needle biopsy
    A procedure that removes tissue samples with a hollow needle. Also called core biopsy.

    Corticosteroid

    1. A drug used to reduce redness, swelling, and pain (inflammation). Also called a steroid.
    2. A drug used to treat some types of cancer.

    Cortisol
    A hormone that controls blood sugar, metabolism, and other functions in the body.

    Costal pleura
    The lining of the lungs that has contact with the ribs.

    Cranial irradiation
    Treatment with radiation to the brain.

    Creatinine
    A waste product of muscles that is filtered out of blood into urine by the kidneys.

    Crocidolite asbestos
    A type of amphibole asbestos. Also called blue asbestos.

    Crohn's disease
    A health condition that causes swelling of the bowel wall.

    Cryoablation
    A treatment that kills cancer cells by freezing them. Also called cryosurgery.

    Cryopreservation
    The process of cooling and storing body tissue at very cold temperatures.

    CT-guided core biopsy
    A procedure that removes tissue samples seen on a CT (computed tomography) scan.

    CT-guided FNA biopsy
    A procedure that uses a needle to remove tissue samples seen on a CT (computed tomography) scan.

    Curative therapy
    A medicine that cures health problems.

    Cushing's syndrome
    A condition caused by the release of excess cortisol in the body.

    Cyst
    A closed sac in the body filled with air or fluid.

    Cytogenetic relapse
    A rise in the number of cells with the Philadelphia chromosome after treatment for chronic myelogenous leukemia.

    Cytogenetic response
    A decrease in the number of cells with the Philadelphia chromosome after treatment for chronic myelogenous leukemia.

    Cytogenetic subtype
    A group of cancers based on abnormal changes in the cells' chromosomes.

    Cytogenetics
    The study of chromosomes using a microscope.

    Cytokeratin
    A type of protein found on cells that line the surfaces of the body.

    Cytokine
    A protein that boosts or activates the immune system.

    Cytokine therapy
    A treatment with proteins that help the immune system to fight cancer.

    Cytopenia
    A health condition in which the number of blood cells is low.

    Cytoreductive nephrectomy
    An operation to remove a kidney with cancer so the extent of cancer is less.

    Cytoreductive surgery
    An operation to remove as much cancer as possible. Also called debulking surgery.

    Cytoreductive therapy
    A cancer treatment that reduces the number of cancer cells.

  • Deauville scale
    A rating of the treatment response that is based on radiotracer levels in cancer sites vs. two other sites.

    Debulking surgery
    An operation that removes as much cancer as possible. Also called cytoreductive surgery.

    Deep margin status
    The disease state of the normal-looking tissue under a removed tumor.

    Defective mismatch repair (dMMR)
    An abnormal repair system for DNA errors that are made during the copy process.

    Definitive therapy
    A treatment that is used to try to cure the cancer.

    Del(5q)
    A missing q part in chromosome 5.

    Dental exam
    A study of your teeth and gums.

    Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)
    A chain of chemicals in cells that contains coded instructions for making and controlling cells. Also called the blueprint of life.

    Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) sequencing
    A lab test used to detect abnormal changes in DNA.

    Dermal mitotic rate
    A measure of how many skin cancer cells are growing and dividing.

    Dermatologist
    A doctor whos an expert in diseases of the skin.

    Dermatopathologist
    A doctor whos an expert in testing skin samples for disease.

    Dermis
    The second layer of skin that is beneath the outer layer.

    Desmoid tumor
    A mass of fibrous cells that grows into nearby tissue and rarely spreads to distant sites (often not cancer). It is also known as aggressive fibromatosis.

    Desmoplastic melanoma
    A rare skin cancer derived from pigment-making cells that can grow deep into the skin.

    Diabetes
    A disease that causes high levels of blood sugar.

    Diagnosis
    An identification of an illness based on tests.

    Diagnostic imaging specialist
    A person trained to read pictures of the body made by imaging tests.

    Diaphragm
    A sheet of muscles below the ribs that helps a person to breathe.

    Diesel fumes
    Gases from fuel that is thick, heavy, and made from crude oil.

    Differential
    A lab test of the number of white blood cells for each type.

    Differentiation
    The state of cancer cells looking like normal mature cells.

    Differentiation syndrome
    A group of health signs and symptoms that is caused by leukemia or its treatments.

    Digestive system
    A set of organs that changes food into small parts for the body to use as energy.

    Digital rectal exam (DRE)
    A study of the prostate by feeling it through the wall of the rectum.

    Distal pancreatectomy
    An operation that removes the widest part and narrow end of the pancreas as well as other nearby organs.

    Distant metastasis
    The spread of cancer from the first tumor to a far site.

    Distant recurrence
    The return of cancer in a site far from the first tumor after a cancer-free period.

    Distress
    An unpleasant experience of a mental, physical, social, or spiritual nature.

    Donor
    A person who gives their organs, tissues, or cells to another person.

    Donor lymphocyte infusion (DLI)
    A cancer treatment with white blood cells from the donor of the bone marrow transplant.

    Doublet chemotherapy
    A treatment with two drugs that kill cancer cells.

    Drug interaction
    A change in the action of a drug when combined with another substance.

    Drug intolerance
    A side effect that's severe enough to stop taking a drug.

    Drug resistance
    The growth of cancer despite taking drugs that should treat the cancer.

    Dry orgasm
    A sexual climax without the release of semen.

    Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA)
    A test that uses small amounts of radiation to make a picture of bones. Also called bone densitometry.

    Ductal adenocarcinoma
    A cancer derived from fluid-making cells that line small tube-shaped vessels.

    Ductal carcinoma
    A cancer derived from cells that line small tube-shaped vessels.

    Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)
    A breast cancer that has not grown outside the breast ducts.

    Duodenal bypass
    An operation that connects the stomach to the second part of the small intestine.

    Duodenum
    A part of the digestive tract that receives food from the stomach.

    Dysphagia
    Difficult or painful swallowing.

    Dysplasia
    The presence of cells with an abnormal size, shape, or look.

  • E tumor
    A tumor of Hodgkin cells that are tissue other than lymph nodes.

    Early stage
    A cancer that has had little or no growth into nearby tissues.

    Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance scale
    A rating scale of ones ability to do daily activities.

    Echocardiogram
    A test that uses sound waves to make pictures of the heart.

    EGFR inhibitor
    A drug that blocks the effect of a cell protein called EGFR.

    Ejection fraction
    The amount of blood that is pumped out of the left side of your heart.

    Electrocardiography (ECG) machine
    A machine that measures the electrical activity of the heart during exercise.

    Electrode
    A small device that transmits electricity.

    Electrolyte
    A mineral that carries an electric charge and controls some body functions.

    Electromagnetic
    A force that attracts or repels and is produced by an electric current.

    Embolization
    A treatment that cuts off blood supply to tumors with beads inserted into an artery.

    Endobronchial ultrasound–guided fine-needle aspiration (EBUS-FNA)
    A procedure that removes lung tissue with a needle on an imaging device guided down the windpipe.

    Endobronchial ultrasound–guided transbronchial needle aspiration (EBUS-TBNA)
    A procedure that removes tissue near the lung with a needle on an imaging device guided down the windpipe.

    Endocrine cell
    A type of cell that makes hormones.

    Endocrine system
    The body's glands and their hormones.

    Endocrine therapy
    A cancer treatment that stops the making or action of estrogen. Also called hormone therapy.

    Endocrinologist
    A doctor who's an expert in glands and hormones.

    Endometrium
    The layer of tissue that lines the uterus.

    Endoscope
    A device that is passed through a natural opening to do work inside the body.

    Endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR)
    A procedure to remove an early tumor with a cap or snare on a device that is passed through a natural opening.

    Endoscopic polypectomy
    A procedure to remove growths from the digestive track with a device passed through a natural opening.

    Endoscopic resection
    A procedure that removes an early tumor with a device passed through a natural opening.

    Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
    A procedure to work on pancreatic and bile ducts with an imaging device that is guided down the throat.

    Endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD)
    A procedure that removes an early tumor with a special knife on a device that is passed through a natural opening.

    Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS)
    A procedure that takes detailed pictures of the digestive tract and nearby tissue with a device passed through a natural opening.

    Endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration (EUS-FNA)
    A procedure that removes fluid with a needle on an imaging device guided through a natural opening.

    Endoscopy
    A procedure to work inside the digestive track with a device that is guided through natural openings.

    Enema
    An injection of liquid into the rectum to clear the bowel.

    Enzyme
    A protein that helps to digest food.

    Eosinophil
    A type of a white blood cell called a granulocyte.

    Ependymal cell
    A type of glial cell that makes cerebrospinal fluid.

    Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)
    A protein on the edge of a cell that sends signals to the cell to grow.

    Epidermis
    The outer layer of skin.

    Epididymis
    A tube-shaped structure through which sperm travel after leaving the testicles.

    Epithelial cell
    A type of cell that forms the outer layer of tissue around organs.

    Epithelial ovarian cancer
    A cancer of cells that form the outer layer of tissue around the ovaries.

    Epithelioid pleural mesothelioma
    A cancer of small, square cells from the tissue lining of the lungs.

    Epithelium
    Tissue that lines the inner wall of the digestive tract.

    Erectile dysfunction
    A lack of blood flow into the penis that limits getting or staying hard.

    Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR)
    A blood test that measures how much clear liquid is at the top of a tube after one hour.

    Erythroderma
    A reddening of most or all of the skin.

    Erythromelalgia
    A health condition that turns skin red and may cause painful, burning sensations.

    Erythropoiesis-stimulating agent (ESA)
    A drug that helps bone marrow to make more red blood cells.

    Erythropoietin (EPO)
    A substance that helps bone marrow make more red blood cells.

    Esophagastroduodenoscopy (EGD)
    A procedure to do work in the first parts of the digestive track with a device guided down the throat. Also called an upper GI endoscopy.

    Esophagectomy
    An operation that removes all or part of the esophagus.

    Esophagogastrectomy
    An operation that removes the esophagus and some of the stomach.

    Esophagogastric junction (EGJ)
    The site where the esophagus and stomach join.

    Esophagus
    The tube-shaped organ between the throat and stomach.

    Essential thrombocythemia (ET)
    A cancer of blood-forming cells that causes a high number of platelets.

    Estrogen
    A hormone that causes female body traits.

    Estrogen receptor
    A protein inside of cells that binds to estrogen.

    Estrogen receptor–negative
    A type of breast cancer that doesn't use estrogen to grow.

    Estrogen receptor–positive
    A type of breast cancer that uses estrogen to grow.

    Excision
    An operation that removes a tumor but not too much healthy tissue.

    Excisional biopsy

    1. A procedure that removes an entire tumor to test for cancer cells.
    2. A procedure that removes lymph nodes to test for cancer cells.

    Exocrine cell
    A type of cell that makes proteins that help to digest food.

    External beam radiation therapy (EBRT)
    A cancer treatment with radiation delivered from a machine outside the body.

    Extracapsular extension
    The growth of prostate cancer beyond its outer edge.

    Extracorporeal photopheresis
    A treatment with psoralen- and UVB-exposed white blood cells.

    Extraosseous
    Occurring outside the bone.

    Extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP)
    An operation that removes the lung and its lining, the sheet of muscles below, and sometimes the tissue lining around the heart.

  • Fallopian tube
    One of two structures in women that transport an egg from the ovary to the uterus.

    Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP)
    A health condition passed down in a family that is linked with certain cancers.

    Fascia
    A deep layer of soft tissue.

    Fat pad
    The fat that is just under the skin of the belly area.

    Fatigue
    Severe tiredness despite getting enough sleep that limits ones ability to function.

    Fertility specialist
    An expert who helps people to have babies.

    Fertility-sparing surgery
    An operation that removes only one ovary and fallopian tube.

    Fibrinogen activity
    A lab test of how well a protein called fibrinogen can help form a blood clot.

    Fibrosis
    The scarring of supportive fibers in tissue.

    Fine-needle aspiration
    A procedure that removes tissue samples with a very thin needle.

    First-line therapy
    The first drug or set of drugs given to treat cancer.

    Fistula
    A passage between two organs that should not be joined

    Flap
    Body tissue that is taken from one site and used in another site.

    Flare
    An increase in testosterone after starting treatment to reduce its level.

    Flow cytometry
    A lab test of substances on the surface of cells to identify the type of cells present.

    Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH)
    A lab test that uses special dyes to look for abnormal chromosomes and genes.

    Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG)
    A mix of fluoride and glucose that is used to find cancer on certain imaging tests.

    Fluoropyrimidine-based therapy
    A combined drug treatment with the main drug as 5-FU (5-fluorouracil).

    Fluoroscopy
    A test that uses x-rays to see body parts in real time.

    Folate
    A nutrient in the body that is needed to make red blood cells.

    Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)
    A hormone made in women by the ovaries.

    Follicular thyroid cancer
    The second most common thyroid cancer derived from cells that make iodine-based hormones.

    Folliculotropic mycosis fungoides
    A cancer of white blood cells called lymphocytes that grows around hair.

    Follow-up care
    Health care that starts once treatment has ended and there are no signs of cancer.

    Follow-up test
    A test that is done after the start of treatment to check results.

    Four-dimensional computed tomography (4D-CT)
    A test that uses many x-rays over time to make a movie of the inside of the body.

    Fractionated radiation
    Treatment with radiation that is given once a day for 5 days for about 6 weeks.

    Fracture
    A crack or break in a bone.

    Free light chain
    A detached, short piece of an abnormal antibody. Also called serum free light chain.

    Fusion gene
    A coded instruction in a cell (gene) made from parts of two coded instructions.

  • Gallbladder
    A small organ that holds digestive fluid (bile) from the liver.

    Gardner's syndrome
    A health condition that is passed down in families and increases the odds of getting sarcoma.

    Gas diffusion test
    A test that uses harmless gas to measure how much you can breathe out.

    Gastrectomy
    An operation that removes some or all of the stomach.

    Gastroenterologist
    A doctor whos an expert in digestive diseases.

    Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
    A health condition in which stomach contents often flow back into the esophagus.

    Gastrointestinal (GI) evaluation
    A procedure that makes pictures of the digestive track with an imaging device guided through natural openings.

    Gastrointestinal (GI) tract
    The group of organs through which food passes after being eaten. Also called digestive tract.

    Gemcitabine-based therapy
    A combined cancer drug treatment with the main drug as gemcitabine.

    Gene
    Coded instructions in cells for making new cells and controlling how cells behave.

    Gene mutation
    An abnormal change in the coded instructions within cells.

    Gene mutation
    An abnormal change in the instructions in cells for making and controlling cells.

    Gene rearrangement
    A coded instruction within a cell that is made from parts of other coded instructions.

    General anesthesia
    A drug-induced, sleep-like state for pain relief.

    Genetic assessment
    A lab test of abnormal coded instructions in cells that are passed down within a family.

    Genetic counseling
    Expert guidance on the chance for a disease that is passed down in families.

    Genetic counselor
    An expert in diseases that are passed down in families.

    Genetic test
    A lab test of the coded instructions within cells.

    Germ cell

    1. A type of cell that becomes an egg within a woman's ovary.
    2. A type of cell that becomes sperm within a man's testis.

    Germinal center
    A short-lived site that forms within a lymph structure in response to germs.

    Gerota's fascia
    The outer layer of fibrous tissue that surrounds the kidney.

    Gland
    An organ that makes fluids or chemicals the body needs.

    Gleason grade
    A rating of how much prostate cancer cells look like normal cells.

    Gleason score
    The grading system for prostate cancer.

    Glial cell
    A type of cell that supports nerve cells.

    Glucagon
    A hormone made by the pancreas that works with insulin to control blood sugar levels. Glucagon raises the blood sugar levels.

    Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD)
    An attack on normal cells by blood stem cells from a donor.

    Graft-versus-leukemia (GVL) effect
    An attack on blood cancer cells by blood stem cells from a donor.

    Graft-versus-tumor (GVT) effect
    An attack on cancer cells of solid tumors by blood stem cells from a donor.

    Granulocyte
    One of three main types of white blood cells that help protect the body from illness.

    Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF)
    A substance that helps bone marrow make more white blood cells called neutrophils.

    Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF)
    A substance that helps bone marrow make more of all three types of white blood cells.

    Groin
    The site where the thigh meets the pelvis.

    Gross total resection
    An operation that removes the whole brain tumor.

    Ground-glass opacity
    A small mass of lung cells with low density.

    Growth factor
    A substance that helps new blood cells to be made.

    Growth rate
    A measure of how much the cancer increases over a set period of time.

    Gynecologic oncologist
    A doctor whos an expert in female reproductive cancers.

  • Hürthle cell thyroid cancer
    A rare thyroid cancer of large cells.

    Hadron therapy
    Treatment with proton beams that release their energy mostly within the tumor. Also called proton therapy.

    Hand-foot syndrome
    Redness, pain, swelling or blisters on the palms or soles.

    Haptoglobin
    One of the proteins made by the liver.

    Hard palate
    The bony roof of your mouth.

    Harvest
    The process of removing blood stem cells from a person.

    Heavy chain
    The longer protein strand of an antibody.

    Hematocrit
    The percentage of red blood cells to total blood.

    Hematologist
    A doctor whos an expert in diseases of the blood.

    Hematopoietic cell
    A blood-forming cell from which all blood cells are formed. Also called blood stem cell.

    Hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT)
    A cancer treatment that replaces abnormal blood stem cells with healthy cells. Also called stem cell transplant.

    Hemoglobin
    A protein with iron in red blood cells.

    Hemolysis
    The early death of red blood cells.

    Hepatologist
    A doctor who is an expert in treating diseases of the liver, gallbladder, bile ducts, and pancreas.

    Hereditary
    The quality of being passed down within a family.

    Hereditary cancer
    Cancer that was likely caused by abnormal genes passed down within a family.

    Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC)
    A health condition within families that increases the odds of colorectal and other cancers. Also called Lynch syndrome.

    Hernia
    A health condition in which a hole in a tissue wall allows other tissue to extend out.

    High-dose chemotherapy
    An intense treatment with cell-killing drugs.

    High-dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy
    Treatment with radioactive objects that are removed at the end of the treatment session.

    Higher-risk cancer
    A cancer that is more likely to have poor outcomes.

    High-grade dysplasia (HGD)
    Abnormal cells that are likely to become cancer cells.

    High-intensity chemotherapy
    A treatment with high doses of cell-killing drugs that can cause severe side effects.

    High-intensity therapy
    A treatment that is more likely to cause severe side effects.

    Hilar lymph node
    A disease-fighting structure near the main airways into the lungs.

    Histologic subtype
    Grouping of cancer types based on cancer cell features.

    Histologic typing
    The study of cells to classify disease.

    Histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor
    A drug that blocks the effect of a cell protein called histone deacetylase.

    Hives
    A skin rash caused by your body attacking a foreign substance that is not harmful.

    HLA-DR15
    An immune protein that is found on the surface of some cells.

    Hodgkin lymphoma
    A cancer of white blood cells, including Reed-Sternberg cells, within the lymph system.

    Hormone
    A chemical in the body that triggers a response from cells or organs.

    Hormone receptor–negative breast cancer
    Breast cancer cells that dont use hormones to grow.

    Hormone receptor–positive breast cancer
    Breast cancer that use hormones to grow.

    Hormone therapy
    A cancer treatment that stops the making or action of hormones. Also called endocrine therapy when used for women's cancer. Also called androgen deprivation therapy when used for men's cancers.

    Hospice care
    Health care that is provided toward the end of life.

    Hot flash
    A health condition of intense body heat and often sweat for short periods.

    Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)
    A protein on the edge of a cell that sends signals to the cell to grow.

    Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative
    A cancer of cells with normal numbers of a protein called HER2.

    Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive
    A cancer of cells with a high number of HER2 receptors.

    Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2(HER2) inhibitor
    A drug that stops the effect of a cell protein called HER2.

    Human leukocyte antigen (HLA)
    A cell protein by which your body knows its own cells from foreign cells.

    Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) type
    The set of cell proteins by which your body knows its own cells from foreign cells.

    Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) typing
    A lab test that detects a persons human leukocyte antigen (HLA) type. Also called HLA testing.

    Hypercalcemia
    High levels of calcium in the blood.

    Hyperfractionated radiation
    A treatment with radiation that is given once a day or less for 1 week.

    Hyperplastic polyp
    A fast-growing tissue mass from the inner wall of the digestive tract.

    Hyperthyroidism
    A health condition in which high levels of thyroid hormones are made.

    Hyperviscosity
    A health condition in which blood becomes very thick.

    Hypocellular bone marrow
    A low number of blood cells within the blood-forming tissue of bones.

    Hypothalamus
    A part of the brain that works with the nervous system and glands that make hormones in the body.

    Hysterectomy
    An operation that removes the womb (uterus).

  • Ileum
    The last section of the small intestine.

    Image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT)
    A treatment with radiation that is aimed at tumors using imaging tests during treatment.

    Imaging
    A test that makes pictures (images)of the insides of the body.

    Imiquimod cream
    A drug applied to the skin that boosts the immune system.

    Immune response
    An action of the body to defend against disease.

    Immune system
    The bodys natural defense against infection and disease.

    Immunochemotherapy
    A treatment with cell-killing drugs and immune-boosting drugs.

    Immunoglobulin
    A protein that is made by B-cells to help fight off infection. Also called antibody.

    Immunohistochemistry (IHC)
    A lab test of cancer cells to find specific cell traits involved in abnormal cell growth.

    Immunomodulator
    A cancer drug that modifies some parts of the bodys disease-fighting system.

    Immunophenotype
    The unique set and pattern of proteins on the surface of white blood cells.

    Immunophenotyping
    A lab test that detects the type of cells present based on the cells' surface proteins.

    Immunosuppressive therapy (IST)
    A treatment with drugs that weaken the bodys immune system.

    Immunotherapy
    A treatment with drugs that help the body find and destroy cancer cells.

    Implant

    1. Ovarian cancer cells that have spread and attached to the surface of nearby tissues.
    2. A small bag filled with salt water, gel, or both that is used to remake breasts.

    In situ hybridization (ISH)
    A lab test of the number of a gene.

    Incisional biopsy
    A procedure that removes a tissue sample from a tumor.

    Induction therapy
    The first treatment that is given to greatly reduce the extent of cancer.

    Infection
    An illness caused by germs.

    Inferior pulmonary vein
    A vessel that returns blood to the heart from the lungs.

    Inflammation
    A response by your immune system that results in swelling, redness, heat, or pain.

    Inflammatory bowel disease
    A health condition that causes the gut to swell.

    Inflammatory polyp
    A growth from the inner wall of the digestive tract that often occurs after swelling.

    Infraclavicular lymph node
    A small disease-fighting structure that is right below the collarbone.

    Infusion
    A method of giving drugs slowly through a needle into a vein.

    Insulin
    A chemical that lowers the blood sugar levels.

    Integrative medicine doctor
    An expert in mind-body treatments.

    Intensification therapy
    A shorter and more intense treatment phase to further reduce the number of cancer cells. Also called consolidation therapy and postremission therapy.

    Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)
    Treatment with radiation that uses small beams of different strengths.

    Interferon
    A drug that turns on the bodys disease-fighting ability (immune system).

    Intermittent therapy
    Alternating periods of time on and off treatment.

    Internal mammary lymph node
    A small disease-fighting structure that is near the breastbone.

    Internal radiation
    Treatment with radiation received from an object placed near or in the tumor. Also called brachytherapy.

    International Prognostic Scoring System (IPSS)
    A scale of the likely outcomes of blood stem cell cancers.

    International Scale (IS)
    A scoring method for the number of cells with the BCR-ABL1 gene.

    Interoperative radiation therapy (IORT)
    Treatment with radiation given during an operation.

    Interstitial radiation
    Treatment with radioactive objects placed in the tumor.

    Interventional radiologist
    A doctor who is an expert in imaging tests and using image-guided tools to perform minimally invasive techniques to diagnose or treat disease.

    Intestine
    The organ that food passes through after leaving the stomach.

    In-transit metastasis
    The spread of skin cancer within lymph vessels greater than 2 cm from the first tumor.

    In-transit recurrence
    The return of skin cancer within lymph vessels greater than 2 cm from the first tumor.

    Intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT)
    Treatment with radiation that is given inside the body at the end of an operation.

    Intraperitoneal (IP) chemotherapy
    A treatment with cell-killing drugs that are dripped into the belly through a small tube.

    Intrapulmonary lymph node
    A disease-fighting structure in the lungs near the small airways.

    Intrathecal (IT) chemotherapy
    A treatment with cell-killing drugs that are injected into the brain and spinal fluid.

    Intravenous (IV)
    A method of giving drugs by a needle or tube inserted into a vein.

    Intravenous (IV) chemotherapy
    A treatment with cell-killing drugs that are received through a vein.

    Intravenous (IV) infusion
    A method of giving drugs slowly through a needle into a vein.

    Invasion
    The growth of cancer cells from where it started into another tissue.

    Invasive breast cancer
    The growth of breast cancer into the breast's supporting tissue (stroma).

    Invasive cancer
    The growth of cancer into tissue from which it can spread to distant sites.

    Invasive implant
    Ovarian cancer cells that have spread and grown below the surface of nearby tissues.

    Involved-site radiation therapy (ISRT)
    Treatment with radiation that is delivered to lymph nodes and nearby sites with cancer.

    Iodine

    1. An element the body needs to make thyroid hormones.
    2. An element in certain foods and salt.

    Iron
    A mineral needed to make new red blood cells.

    Iron chelation therapy
    A treatment that removes excess iron from the body.

    Iron overload
    The buildup of excess iron in certain body sites.

    Islet cell
    A cell in the pancreas that makes hormones

    Isolated limb infusion
    A method of giving cancer drugs into the controlled bloodstream of a limb or arm.

    Isolated limb perfusion
    A method of giving cancer drugs and oxygen into the controlled bloodstream of a limb or arm.

  • Jaundice
    Yellow-colored skin or eyes due to a buildup of bilirubin in the body.

    Jejunostomy tube (J-tube)
    A feeding tube that is inserted through a cut into the gut.

    Jejunum
    The middle section of the small intestine.

  • Karnofsky Performance Status (KPS)
    A rating scale of ones ability to do daily activities.

    Karyotype
    A lab test that makes a map of chromosomes to find defects.

    Ki-67
    A protein associated with cell growth.

    Kidney
    One of a pair of organs that filters blood to make urine.

    Kinase inhibitor
    A drug that blocks the transfer of phosphate.

    KIT
    A protein on the edge of a cell that sends signals to the cell to grow.

    Kyphoplasty
    An operation that inserts a balloon-like device and bone cement to support the spine.

  • Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH)
    A protein in blood that helps to make energy in cells.

    Lamina propria
    A layer of connective tissue within the wall of the digestive tract.

    Laparoscope
    A device that is passed through a small cut near the belly button to do work inside.

    Laparoscopic radical prostatectomy
    An operation that removes the prostate with tools passed through small cuts near the belly button.

    Laparoscopic surgery
    An operation with tools that are passed through small cuts in the belly area.

    Laparoscopy
    A procedure that inserts thin tools through small cuts to do work inside the belly area.

    Laparotomy
    An operation through a long cut that extends above and below the belly button.

    Large intestine
    The organ that prepares unused food for leaving the body.

    Large-cell lung carcinoma
    A cancer of lung cells that lack features to classify as another type of lung cancer.

    Large-cell transformed mycosis fungoides
    A fast-growing cancer of large T-cells within the skin.

    Laxative
    A drug that clears food out of the gut.

    Lentigo maligna melanoma
    A slow-growing skin cancer of pigment-making cells that often looks like a sunspot.

    Lesion
    Body tissue that has been damaged by disease or injury.

    Leucovorin
    A drug that improves how well certain cancer drugs work.

    Leukemia
    A cancer of white blood cells within the bone marrow.

    Leukemia cell
    A white blood cell within bone marrow that makes too many copies of itself.

    Life expectancy
    The number of years a person is likely to live.

    Li-Fraumeni syndrome
    A health condition passed down in a family that increases the odds of getting sarcoma.

    Light chain
    The shorter protein strand of an antibody.

    Light chain myeloma
    A cancer of plasma cells that make only the short part of antibodies. Also called Bence Jones myeloma.

    Limited metastatic disease
    The spread of cancer to one or a few distant sites.

    Liquid nitrogen
    The chemical, nitrogen, that has been cooled to a non-solid state.

    Liver
    The largest organ and gland in the body with many vital functions.

    Liver function test
    A lab test that measures chemicals made or processed by the liver.

    Lobe
    A clearly seen division in an organ.

    Lobectomy
    An operation that removes a whole lobe of an organ.

    Lobular carcinoma
    A breast cancer that started in cells that line the breast glands (lobules).

    Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS)
    A health condition of abnormal cells within the breast's milk-making gland.

    Lobule
    A very small part of an organ.

    Local anesthesia
    A drug-induced loss of feeling in a small area of the body.

    Local cancer
    Cancer that is confined to the tissue in which it started.

    Local electron beam therapy
    Treatment with radiation to cancer close to the skins surface.

    Local metastasis
    The spread of cancer from the first tumor to a nearby site.

    Local recurrence
    The return of cancer after treatment near to the site of the first tumor.

    Local therapy
    A treatment that is given to a confined area.

    Locally advanced cancer
    Cancer that has spread from the first site to nearby tissue.

    Low anterior resection
    An operation that removes your rectum and part of your colon.

    Low malignant potential (LMP) tumor
    A type of ovarian cancer that is slow growing. Also called a borderline epithelial tumor.

    Low-dose computed tomography (LDCT)
    A test that uses small amounts of radiation to make pictures of the insides of the body.

    Low-dose rate (LDR) brachytherapy
    Treatment with radioactive objects that are placed in the tumor and left to decay.

    Low-intensity chemotherapy
    A treatment with cell-killing drugs that won't likely cause severe side effects.

    Lumbar puncture

    1. A procedure that removes spinal fluid with a needle.
    2. A procedure that injects drugs into the spinal fluid.

    Lumpectomy
    An operation that removes a small breast cancer tumor.

    Lung
    One of a pair of organs that consists of airways and air sacs.

    Lung capacity
    The amount of air the lungs can hold.

    Luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH)

    1. A hormone in the brain that helps control the making of estrogen by the ovaries.
    2. A hormone in the brain that helps control the making of testosterone by the testes.

    Luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) agonist

    1. A drug that acts in the brain to stop the ovaries from making estrogen.
    2. A drug that acts in the brain to stop the testicles from making testosterone.

    Luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) antagonist
    A drug that acts in the brain to stop the testicles from making testosterone.

    Lymph
    A clear fluid containing white blood cells.

    Lymph node
    A small, bean-shaped disease-fighting structure.

    Lymph node dissection
    An operation that removes the disease-fighting structures (lymph nodes) near the tumor.

    Lymph node sampling
    An operation that removes one group of disease-fighting cells from a cluster.

    Lymph vessel
    A small tube-shaped structure through which a fluid called lymph travels.

    Lymphadenectomy
    An operation that removes disease-fighting structures called lymph nodes.

    Lymphatic system
    A network of organs and vessels that collects and transports a fluid called lymph.

    Lymphedema
    Swelling in the body due to a buildup of fluid called lymph.

    Lymphoblast
    A young white blood cell that will become a lymphocyte.

    Lymphoblastic lymphoma
    A fast-growing cancer of white blood cells within the lymph system.

    Lymphocyte
    One of three main types of white blood cells that help protect the body from illness.

    Lymphocyte-predominant cell
    A cancer of white blood cells called lymphocytes that look like popcorn.

    Lymphoma
    A cancer of white blood cells called lymphocytes that are within the lymph system.

    Lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma
    A cancer of B-cells that have features of both lymphocytes and plasma cells.

    Lynch syndrome
    A health condition within families that increases the odds of colorectal and other cancers. It is also called heredity non-polyposis colorectal cancer syndrome (HNPCC).

    Lytic bone lesion
    An area of bone damage that looks like it has been eaten away.

  • Magnetic resonance (MR) perfusion
    A test that makes pictures of blood flow in organs.

    Magnetic resonance (MR) spectroscopy
    A test that measures the chemical make-up of tissue.

    Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP)
    A test that uses radio waves and powerful magnets to make pictures of the pancreas and bile ducts.

    Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
    A test that uses radio waves and powerful magnets to make pictures of the insides of the body.

    Magnetic resonance imaging-ultrasound (MRI-US) fusion biopsy
    A procedure that removes tissue samples with a needle guided with two types of imaging.

    Main pancreatic duct
    A tube-shaped structure that drains digestive fluids from the pancreas.

    Maintenance therapy
    A treatment phase that is given to prolong good treatment results.

    Major molecular response (MMR)
    A large decrease of a key markerBCR-ABL1geneafter treatment for chronic myelogenous leukemia.

    Mammogram
    A picture of the insides of the breast that is made by an x-ray test.

    Mantle cell lymphoma
    A cancer of B-cells that have too many proteins called cyclin D1.

    Mantle zone
    An ring of resting B-cells within disease-fighting structures called lymph nodes.

    Margin status
    The disease state of the normal-looking tissue around a removed tumor.

    Mastectomy
    An operation that removes the whole breast.

    Mediastinal lymph node
    A small disease-fighting structure that is in the middle of the chest.

    Mediastinal pleura
    The tissue lining that covers the inner side of the lung.

    Mediastinoscope
    A device that is guided through a small cut to do work inside the chest.

    Mediastinoscopy
    A procedure to do work in the chest with a device passed through a small cut in the skin.

    Mediastinum
    The area of the chest between the lungs.

    Medical history
    A report of all your health events and medications.

    Medical oncologist
    A doctor whos an expert in cancer drugs.

    Medical skin exam
    A careful study of skin by a doctor to check for disease.

    Medullary thyroid cancer
    A thyroid cancer of C-cells that make calcitonin.

    Megakaryocyte
    A bone marrow cell that makes platelets.

    Melanin
    A substance that gives color to the skin.

    Melanocyte
    A skin cell that makes a substance that gives skin its color.

    Melanoma
    A skin cancer of pigment-making cells.

    Melanoma in situ
    A skin cancer of pigment-making cells that is confined to the top skin layer.

    Menopause
    The point in time when menstrual periods end.

    Menstrual cycle
    Monthly changes in a woman's body to prepare for pregnancy.

    Mesothelioma
    A cancer of cells that form a lining around the heart, lungs, or abdomen.

    Mesothelium
    A single layer of fluid-making cells that form a lining around certain organs.

    Metaplastic carcinoma
    A cancer that changed from one cell type to another.

    Metastasectomy
    An operation that removes cancer that has spread far from the first tumor.

    Metastasis
    The spread of cancer from the first tumor to a new site.

    Metastatic recurrence
    The return of cancer after a cancer-free period in sites distant from the first tumor.

    Methylation analysis
    A lab test that detects chemical tags, called methyl groups, on DNA.

    Microglial cell
    A type of cell that defends the nervous system from disease-causing factors.

    Microsatellite instability (MSI)
    Errors made in small, repeated DNA parts during the copy process because of an abnormal repair system.

    Microsatellite instability-high (MSI-H)
    The presence of 2 or more abnormal DNA parts called microsatellites.

    Microsatellitosis
    Tiny tumors near the first skin tumor (melanoma).

    Microscope
    A device that uses lenses to see things the eyes cant.

    Microscopic metastasis
    The spread and very small growth of cancer within a new site.

    Microtubule inhibitor
    A drug that stops a cell from dividing into two cells.

    Mini transplant
    A treatment that prepares the body with immune-weakening treatment then replaces abnormal blood stem cells with healthy donor cells. Also called a nonmyeloablative allogeneic stem cell transplant.

    Minimal residual disease (MRD)
    The presence of very few cancer cells during or after treatment.

    Minimally invasive esophagectomy
    An operation that removes the esophagus with tools inserted through small cuts into the body.

    Mismatch repair (MMR) protein
    A type of protein that corrects DNA errors that occur when DNA copies are being made.

    Mixed carcinoma
    A cancer that has more than one cell type.

    Mole
    A cluster of pigment-making cells on the surface of skin.

    Molecular testing
    A lab test of any molecule in your body that can be measured to assess your health. Also called biomarker testing.

    Monitoring
    A period of testing for changes in cancer status.

    Monoclonal antibody

    1. A disease-fighting protein that is made by a clone immune cell.
    2. A type of cancer drug that stops growth signals

    Monoclonal B-lymphocytosis (MBL)
    A health condition that causes a high number of B-cells.

    Monocyte
    One of three main types of white blood cells that help protect the body from illness.

    M-protein
    An abnormal antibody made by cancer of plasma cells (multiple myeloma). Also called monoclonal protein.

    MTOR
    A protein in cells that sends chemical signals for cell growth and survival.

    MTOR inhibitor
    A drug that blocks the effect of a cell protein called mTOR.

    Mucinous breast cancer
    A breast cancer that has a lot of mucus around the cells. Also called colloid breast cancer.

    Mucosa
    The inner layer of the wall of the digestive tract.

    Mucus
    A sticky, thick liquid made by mucus or goblet cells.

    Multiagent chemotherapy
    The use of two or more drugs that stop the life cycle of cells.

    Multidisciplinary team
    A group of experts with training in different areas of medicine.

    Multi-gated acquisition (MUGA) scan
    A test that uses radiation to make pictures of the heart.

    Multi-parametric magnetic resonance imaging (mpMRI)
    A test that makes pictures that show many features of body tissue.

    Multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN)
    An inherited syndrome that causes tumors to grow in the glands of the endocrine system. The two main types of this syndrome are MEN1 and MEN2.

    Multiple myeloma
    A cancer of plasma cells that have spread throughout the bone marrow.

    Multiple primary tumors
    One or more unrelated masses of cancer cells.

    Multiple-catheter boost radiation
    Treatment with radioactive seeds that are received through tubes placed in the skin.

    Muscularis mucosae
    A thin strip of muscle within the first layer of the wall of the digestive tract.

    Muscularis propria
    The third layer of the wall of the digestive tract.

    Mutation
    An abnormal change.

    Mutation testing
    A lab test of abnormal changes within the coded instructions in cells.

    Myelodysplastic neoplasm (MDS)
    A cancer of blood-forming cells that causes too few blood cells to form.

    Myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN)
    A cancer of blood-forming cells that causes too many blood cells to form.

    Myometrium
    The muscular outer layer of the uterus.

  • Nasogastric tube
    A feeding tube that is inserted down the nose and into the stomach.

    Natural killer (NK) cell
    A type of a white blood cell called a lymphocyte.

    Navigational bronchoscopy
    A procedure to do work in the smallest airways with a device guided down the windpipe.

    Neck dissection
    An operation that removes lymph nodes and other tissue in the neck area.

    Needle biopsy
    A procedure that removes tissue or fluid samples with a needle.

    Negative margin
    The absence of cancer within the normal-looking tissue around a removed tumor.

    Neoadjuvant therapy
    A treatment that is given before the main treatment to reduce the cancer. Also called preoperative treatment if given before an operation.

    Nephrectomy
    An operation that removes a kidney.

    Nephrogenic systemic sclerosis
    A health condition that causes abnormal thickening and darkening of the skin.

    Nerve-sparing prostatectomy
    An operation that removes the prostate and one or neither cavernous nerve bundles.

    Neuroendocrine tumor
    A tumor that starts in neuroendocrine cells.

    Neuropathologist
    A doctor whos an expert in the cells of the nervous system.

    Neuropathy
    A disease or health condition of the nerves.

    Neurosurgeon
    A doctor whos an expert in operations within the nervous system.

    Neurotropism
    An ability to grow into nerve tissue.

    Neutropenia
    A health condition in which the number of white blood cells called neutrophils is low.

    Neutrophil
    A type of white blood cell called a granulocyte.

    Nickel
    A silvery-white metal.

    Nipple replacement
    The rebuilding of a breast nipple.

    No response
    A lack of meaningful change in cancer status after treatment.

    Nodal basin
    A group of disease-fighting structures (lymph nodes) that receive lymph from the same source.

    Node-negative
    The absence of cancer within small disease-fighting structures called lymph nodes.

    Node-positive
    The presence of cancer within small disease-fighting structures called lymph nodes.

    Nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin lymphoma
    A rare cancer of popcorn-looking white blood cells within the lymph system.

    Nodular melanoma
    A cancer of pigment-making skin cells that have a dome shape.

    Nodule
    A small mass of tissue.

    Nomogram
    A graphic tool that uses health information to predict an outcome.

    Non-clear cell renal cell carcinoma (RCC)
    A group of rare types of kidney cancer.

    Noninvasive cancer
    Cancer that has not grown into tissue from which it can spread.

    Noninvasive implant
    Ovarian cancer cells that have spread and grown only on the surface of nearby tissues.

    Non-melanoma skin cancer
    Cancer of skin cells other than pigment-making cells.

    Nonmetastatic recurrence
    The return of cancer after a cancer-free period in sites near to the first tumor.

    Nonmyeloablative allogeneic stem cell transplant
    A treatment that prepares the body with immune-weakening treatment then replaces abnormal blood stem cells with healthy donor cells. Also called a mini transplant.

    Non-small cell lung cancer
    A cancer of lung cells that are not small.

    Non-solid nodule
    A small tissue mass of low density.

    Normal range
    A set of values that is based on test results of healthy people.

    Nuclear medicine specialist
    A doctor whos an expert in tests that use radioactive substances.

    Nutritionist
    A healthcare worker who completed education in food and diet.

  • Observation
    A period of testing for changes in cancer status while not receiving treatment.

    Occupational therapist
    An expert in helping people live life unaided.

    Oligodendrocyte
    A type of cell that makes a fatty membrane called myelin.

    Oligosecretory myeloma
    A cancer of plasma cells that make very few or no abnormal antibodies. Also called nonsecretory myeloma.

    Omentum
    The layer of fatty tissue that covers organs in the belly space.

    Oncologist
    A doctor whos an expert in the treatment of cancer.

    Oncology surgeon
    A doctor whos an expert in operations that remove cancer.

    Open biopsy
    A procedure that removes tissue samples through a large cut.

    Open radical prostatectomy
    An operation that removes the prostate through one large made in one of two places.

    Open surgery
    An operation that removes tissue through a large cut.

    Orthopedic surgeon
    A doctor whos an expert in operations of the bones.

    Osseous
    The quality of being bone.

    Osteonecrosis
    The death of bone cells.

    Ovarian ablation
    A treatment that lowers the amount of hormones made by the ovaries. Ovarian ablation with cancer drugs is also called ovarian suppression.

    Ovary
    One of a pair of organs in women that produce eggs and hormones.

    Overflow incontinence
    Leakage of urine due to an overly full bladder.

    Oxygen
    A gas in the air that the body needs to live.

  • Pack years
    The number of cigarette packs smoked a day multiplied by the number of years a person has smoked.

    Palliative care
    Health care that includes symptom relief but not cancer treatment. Also sometimes called supportive care.

    Palliative surgery
    An operation to relieve symptoms caused by the cancer.

    Palliative therapy
    Health care that includes symptom relief but not cancer treatment. Also sometimes called supportive care.

    Pancreas
    An organ that makes fluids that help digest food and hormones that control blood sugar.

    Pancreatic duct
    A tube-shaped structure in the pancreas through which digestive fluids pass.

    Pancreatic protocol computed tomography (CT)
    A test that uses x-rays from many angles to make a picture of the pancreas.

    Pancreatic protocol magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
    A test that uses radio waves and powerful magnets to make pictures of the pancreas.

    Pancreatoduodenectomy
    An operation that removes the widest part of the pancreas and other nearby tissue. Also called Whipple procedure.

    Panorex x-ray
    A test that makes a picture of the insides of the entire mouth.

    Papillary renal cell carcinoma (RCC)
    The second most common type of kidney cancer.

    Papillary thyroid cancer
    The most common thyroid cancer derived from cells that make iodine-based hormones.

    Papule
    A red bump that is by a hair follicle.

    Parathyroid gland
    One of four organs near the thyroid that makes the parathyroid hormone.

    Parietal peritoneum
    The outer layer of the tissue lining that is around most organs in the belly area.

    Parietal pleura
    The outer layer of the tissue lining around the lungs.

    Partial breast irradiation
    Treatment with radiation that is received at the site of the removed breast tumor.

    Partial hysterectomy
    An operation that removes the uterus (not including the cervix).

    Partial nephrectomy
    An operation that removes a small part of the kidney with the tumor.

    Partial response
    A decrease in cancer signs and symptoms after treatment.

    Partial thromboplastin time
    A lab test that assesses clotting factors from two of three pathways.

    Part-solid nodule
    A small tissue mass with areas of low and high density.

    Patch
    An area of scaly skin that is flat and may be discolored.

    Pathologic stage
    A rating of the extent of cancer based on tests given after treatment.

    Pathologist
    A doctor whos an expert in testing cells and tissue to find disease.

    Pathology report
    A record of lab test results.

    Pediatric protocol
    A detailed plan of health care for children.

    Pediatric regimen
    A plan for the dose, schedule, and length of treatment for a child.

    Pediatric-inspired
    The quality of being based on work with children.

    Pedunculated polyp
    A mushroom-shaped growth from the inner wall of the digestive tract.

    Pelvic exam
    A study in which your doctor will feel and look at your organs between the hip bones.

    Pelvic lymph node dissection (PLND)
    An operation that removes lymph nodes between the hip bones.

    Pelvis
    The body area between the hipbones.

    Peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT)
    A procedure that uses a radiopharmaceutical drug to target and treat certain neuroendocrine tumors.

    Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG)
    A procedure that inserts a feeding tube into the stomach through a small cut in the skin.

    Percutaneous needle biopsy
    A procedure that removes tissue with a needle guided through the skin.

    Percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography (PTC)
    A procedure to view the biliary tract with an x-ray and possibly place a catheter to drain fluid from the biliary tract.

    Performance status
    A rating of ones ability to do daily activities.

    Perfusion scanning
    A test that assesses blood flow in and out of the lungs.

    Peribronchial lymph node
    A disease-fighting structure in the lung near the main airway.

    Pericardial effusion
    An excess of fluid between the two tissue layers of the hearts lining.

    Pericardiocentesis
    A procedure that removes fluid from around the heart with a needle.

    Pericardium
    The tissue lining around the heart.

    Perimetrium
    The thin, outer lining of the uterus.

    Perineum

    1. The body region in men between the scrotum and anus.
    2. The body region in women between the vagina and anus.

    Perineural invasion
    The spread of cancer into nearby nerves.

    Periodontal disease
    An abnormal condition of the gums in the mouth.

    Peripheral margin status
    The disease state of the normal-looking tissue around the sides of a removed tumor.

    Peritoneal cavity
    The inner belly space that is covered by tissue lining.

    Peritoneal washing
    A procedure that injects liquid into the belly space and removes it to test for cancer cells.

    Peritoneum
    The tissue lining of the belly.

    Persistent cancer

    1. Cancer that is not fully treated.
    2. Melanoma that is found near the scar where the first melanoma was removed. Also called true local scar recurrence.

    Philadelphia chromosome
    An abnormal chromosome 22 that is formed when it switches parts with chromosome 9. Also called Ph chromosome.

    Phlebotomy
    A procedure that withdraws blood.

    Ph-negative acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)
    The absence of the Philadelphia chromosome within blood cancer (ALL) cells.

    Photodynamic ablation
    A treatment with a laser that turns on a drug inside the tumor.

    Phototherapy
    A treatment with UV (ultraviolet) rays.

    Ph-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)
    The presence of the Philadelphia chromosome within blood cancer (ALL) cells.

    Phrenic nerve
    A bundle of fibers that sends signals between the spine and breathing muscles.

    Physical exam
    A study of the body by a health expert for signs of disease.

    Physical therapist
    An expert in helping people move better.

    Pineal gland
    A small gland in the cerebrum of the brain.

    Pituitary gland
    An organ in the brain that controls certain body functions and other hormone glands. Also called the master gland.

    Plain radiograph
    A test that uses small amounts of radiation to make pictures of the insides of the body. Also called an x-ray.

    Plaque
    A thickened patch of skin that is raised or hard.

    Plasma
    The yellow-colored part of blood.

    Plasma cell
    A type of white blood cell that makes germ-fighting proteins called antibodies.

    Plasma cell proliferation
    A lab test that shows how many myeloma cells are making new cells.

    Plasmacytoma
    One mass of myeloma cells.

    Plasmapheresis
    A procedure that removes excess proteins from the blood.

    Plastic surgeon
    A doctor whos an expert in operations to improve function and appearance.

    Platelet
    A type of blood cell that forms clots to control bleeding. Also called thrombocyte.

    Platelet transfusion
    A treatment with blood cells called platelets that are slowly injected into a vein.

    Platelet-derived growth factor receptor alpha (PDGFRA)
    A protein on the edge of a cell that sends signals to the cell to grow.

    Plateletpheresis
    A procedure that removes blood cells called platelets from your blood.

    Platinum agent
    A drug made with the chemical, platinum, which damages DNA in cells.

    Platinum-based chemotherapy
    A treatment with two cell-killing drugs, one of which contains the chemical platinum.

    Platinum-doublet chemotherapy
    A treatment with two cell-killing drugs, one of which contains the chemical platinum.

    Platinum-resistant
    The growth of cancer despite taking drugs made of the chemical platinum.

    Platinum-sensitive
    The control of cancer with drugs made of the chemical platinum.

    Pleomorphic lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS)
    A health condition of very abnormal-looking cells within the breast's milk-making gland.

    Pleura
    The two layers of tissue lining around the lungs.

    Pleural biopsy
    A procedure to remove a sample of the lung's tissue lining.

    Pleural catheter
    A tube-shaped device that is used to drain fluid from around a lung.

    Pleural cavity
    The space between the two layers of tissue lining around the lungs.

    Pleural effusion
    An excess of fluid between the two layers of tissue lining around the lungs.

    Pleural fluid
    The liquid in the space between the two layers of the tissue lining the lungs.

    Pleural mesothelioma
    A cancer of cells that form the tissue lining around the lungs.

    Pleural mesothelium
    A single layer of fluid-making cells within the tissue lining around the lungs.

    Pleural plaque
    A buildup of glass-like hard protein (collagen) in the tissue lining the lungs.

    Pleural thickening
    Widespread scarring of the tissue lining the lungs.

    Pleurectomy/decortication (P/D)
    An operation that removes a lung tumor and part of lung's tissue lining.

    Pneumonectomy
    An operation that removes the entire lung.

    Pneumonia
    An infection that causes the lung's air sacs to swell.

    Pneumonitis
    The swelling of air sacs in a lung.

    Poly ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP)
    A protein that helps repair damaged DNA in cells.

    Polycythemia vera
    A cancer of blood-forming cells that causes too many red blood cells.

    Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)
    A lab process in which copies of a DNA part are made.

    Polyp
    A growth from the inner wall of the digestive tract.

    Portal vein embolization
    A treatment that blocks the blood vessel to the liver tumor.

    Positive margin
    The presence of cancer within the rim of normal-looking tissue around a removed tumor.

    Positron emission tomography (PET)
    A test that uses radioactive material to see the shape and function of body parts.

    Positron emission tomography (PET)/computed tomography (CT) scan
    A test that uses two picture-making methods to show the shape and function of tissue.

    Post-ET myelofibrosis
    An advanced cancer of blood-forming cells that causes a high number of platelets and scarring in the bone marrow.

    Postmenopause
    The state of having no more menstrual periods.

    Post-PV myelofibrosis
    An advanced cancer of blood-forming cells that causes too many red blood cells and scarring in the bone marrow.

    Postremission therapy
    A shorter and more intense treatment phase to further reduce the number of cancer cells. Also called consolidation therapy and intensification therapy.

    Premenopause
    The state of having regular menstrual periods.

    Primary chemotherapy
    One or more cell-killing drugs that are used to rid the body of cancer.

    Primary grade
    The most common pattern of how prostate cancer cells look.

    Primary myelofibrosis (PMF)
    A disease that directly causes too many blood cells in and scarring of bone marrow.

    Primary therapy
    The main treatment used to rid the body of cancer.

    Primary tumor
    The first mass of cancer cells.

    Progesterone

    1. A hormone in women that is involved in sexual development, periods, and pregnancy.
    2. A hormone in men that is involved in the making of sperm and testosterone.

    Prognosis
    The likely course and outcome of a disease based on tests.

    Prognostic factor
    Something that affects the likely course and outcome of a disease.

    Progression
    The growth or spread of cancer after being tested or treated.

    Progressive disease
    The worsening of an illness.

    Prostate
    A male gland that makes fluid, which protects sperm from the acid in the vagina.

    Prostate-specific antigen (PSA)
    A protein made by the prostate.

    Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) density
    The level of PSAa prostate-made proteinin relation to the size of the prostate.

    Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) doubling time
    The time during which the level of PSAa prostate-made proteindoubles.

    Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level
    The number of nanograms per milliliter of PSAa prostate-made protein.

    Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) velocity
    How much the level of PSAa prostate-made proteinchanges over time.

    Prosthodontic exam
    A study of your mouth to prepare for restoring its look and function.

    Protein
    A chain of small chemical compounds.

    Protein kinase
    A molecule that moves chemicals, called phosphates, from one molecule to another.

    Prothrombin time
    A lab test of how well all clotting factors work together.

    Protocol
    A detailed plan of a health study, treatment, or procedure.

    Proton therapy
    Treatment with proton beams that release their energy mostly within the tumor. Also called hadron therapy.

    Pruritus
    Itchy skin.

    Psoralen and UVA (PUVA)
    A treatment with long-wave ultraviolet rays to psoralen-exposed skin.

    Psychiatrist
    A medical doctor whos an expert in mental health.

    Psychologist
    A trained expert in the human mind and behavior.

    Puberty
    The time when teens sexually develop.

    Pulmonary fibrosis
    Major scarring of lung tissue.

    Pulmonary function tests
    A set of breathing tests to test the strength of the lungs.

    Pulmonologist
    A doctor whos an expert in lung diseases.

    Punch biopsy
    A procedure that removes tissue samples using a hollow knife.

    Pure red cell aplasia
    A health condition in which the number of young red blood cells is very low.

    Purine analog
    A drug that prevents the DNA building blocks labeled A and G from being used.

  • Quantitative immunoglobulin 
    A lab test that measures the amount of different types of antibodies in the blood.

    Quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (QPCR)
    A lab test that detects even a few cells with the BCR-ABL1gene.

  • Radial endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) bronchoscopy
    A procedure to do work inside the lung with an imaging device guided down the windpipe.

    Radiation oncologist
    A doctor whos an expert in treating cancer with radiation.

    Radiation therapy
    A treatment that uses intense energy to kill cancer cells.

    Radical hysterectomy
    An operation that removes the uterus, the cervix, and part of the vagina.

    Radical nephrectomy
    An operation that removes a kidney, nearby fatty tissue, and sometimes the adrenal gland and lymph nodes.

    Radical perineal prostatectomy
    An operation that removes the prostate through one cut made between the scrotum and anus.

    Radical retropubic prostatectomy
    An operation that removes the prostate through one large cut made below the belly button.

    Radioactive iodine (RAI) imaging
    A test that uses low-dose radioactive iodine to make pictures of thyroid cells. Also called I-123 imaging and thyroid scan.

    Radioactive iodine (RAI) therapy
    A treatment with large doses of radioactive iodine to kill thyroid cancer cells. Also called I-131 therapy.

    Radiofrequency ablation
    Treatment that destroys very small tumors with heat.

    Radiographic relapse
    Signs of the return of cancer seen in pictures made by imaging tests.

    Radioimmunotherapy
    A treatment with a drug that attaches to cancer cells then releases radiation.

    Radiologist
    A doctor who is an expert in reading imaging tests.

    Radiopharmaceutical
    A drug that contains a radioactive substance.

    Radiotracer
    A substance that releases energy, which is seen in tissue with a special camera.

    Radon
    A gas without odor, taste, or color that is made from uranium as it decays.

    Rai staging system
    A rating scale of the outlook of chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

    Receptor
    A cell protein to which substances can attach.

    Recovery
    A period of time without treatment to allow blood cell counts to return to normal.

    Rectum
    An organ that holds stool until expelled from the body.

    Recurrence
    The return of cancer after a cancer-free period.

    Recurrence therapy
    Treatment for cancer that has returned after a cancer-free period.

    Recurrent laryngeal nerve
    A bundle of fibers that sends signals between the spine and voice box.

    Red blood cell
    A type of blood cell that carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body.

    Red blood cell growth factor
    A substance that causes new red blood cells to grow.

    Red blood cell transfusion
    A treatment with red blood cells that are slowly injected into a vein.

    Reduced-intensity conditioning
    A treatment that weakens the body's disease-fighting (immune) system before a marrow transplant.

    Reed-Sternberg cell
    A type of cancer cell found in classical types of Hodgkin lymphoma.

    Refractory cancer
    A cancer that does not improve with treatment.

    Regimen
    A plan for the dose, schedule, and length of treatment.

    Regional anesthesia
    A drug-induced loss of feeling in a part of the body to relieve pain.

    Regional cancer
    A cancer that has spread to nearby tissue but not to distant sites.

    Regional lymph node
    A disease-fighting structure that is near a tumor.

    Regional therapy
    A cancer treatment that works within a confined area near a tumor.

    Registered dietician
    A nationally-credentialed expert in food and diet.

    Relapse
    The return or worsening of cancer after a period of improvement.

    Remission
    The absence of cancer signs and symptoms after treatment.

    Renal artery
    The blood vessel that carries blood into the kidney.

    Renal cell carcinoma (RCC)
    A cancer of cells that line the tiny tube-shaped structures in the kidneys.

    Renal pelvis
    The middle space in the kidneys that stores urine until it is released

    Renal sarcoma
    A cancer of cells from the blood vessels or connective tissue of the kidneys.

    Renal tubules
    The tiny tube-shaped structures in the kidneys that filter waste out of blood.

    Renal vein
    The blood vessel that carries clean blood out of the kidney.

    Reproductive system
    The group of organs that work together to make a baby.

    Resectable
    Body tissue that can be removed by surgery.

    Respiratory system
    The group of organs that transfers gases in and out of the body.

    Reticulocyte
    A young red blood cell that is formed in bone marrow and present briefly in blood.

    Retinoid
    A drug derived from vitamin A.

    Retractor
    A device that holds back the edges of a surgical cut.

    Retromolar trigone
    The gums behind your wisdom teeth.

    Retroperitoneum
    The body space in front of the spine in the lower trunk.

    Revised International Prognostic Scoring System (IPSS-R)
    A newer scale of the likely outcomes of blood stem cell cancers.

    Rheumatoid arthritis
    An autoimmune disorder that causes pain, swelling, and stiffness in the joints.

    Richter's transformation
    A change from a slow-growing lymphoma (CLL or SLL) into a fast-growing lymphoma. Also called Richter's Syndrome.

    Ring sideroblast
    An abnormal young red blood cell with a ring of iron around its nucleus.

    Risk evaluation and mitigation strategy (REMS)
    A program to reduce serious health risks of treatment.

    Risk factor
    Anything that increases the chance of an event.

    Risk group
    A set of people who will likely the same outcome.

    Risk score
    A rating that predicts an outcome.

    Robotic-assisted radical prostatectomy
    An operation that removes the prostate with a machine controlled by the surgeon.

    Robotic-assisted thoracic surgery (RATS)
    An operation in the chest with a machine controlled by the surgeon.

    ROS1
    A type of protein on the edge of a cell that sends signals for cell growth.

  • Sézary cell
    A cancerous T-cell.

    Sézary syndrome
    A cancer of T-cells that are present in the skin and blood.

    Sarcoma
    A cancer of bone or soft tissue cells.

    Sarcomatoid mesothelioma
    The least common type of cancer that starts in the tissue lining around the lungs.

    Satellite metastasis
    The spread of skin cancer within lymph vessels 2 cm or less from the first tumor.

    Satellite recurrence
    The return of skin cancer within or just outside the surgical scar.

    Scalene lymph node
    A disease-fighting structure in the neck.

    Scar
    A lasting mark on the skin after an injury or surgery.

    Scar tissue
    Supportive fibers that have formed to heal a wound.

    Screening tool
    A short assessment for a health condition.

    Secondary grade
    The second most common pattern of how prostate cancer cells look.

    Secondary resistance
    The lack of an effect by a medicine after it had worked for a period of time.

    Secondary tumor
    A mass of cancer cells that formed from the first mass of cancer cells.

    Second-hand smoke
    Inhaled smoke from a lit smoking product or that was exhaled from a smoker.

    Second-line therapy
    The second drug or set of drugs given when the first treatment fails.

    Sedative
    A drug that helps a person to relax or go to sleep.

    Segmentectomy
    An operation that removes a large part of a lobe.

    Selective estrogen receptor down-regulator (SERD)
    A drug that blocks the effect of estrogen inside of cells.

    Selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERM)
    A drug that blocks the effect of estrogen inside of cells.

    Self-exam of skin
    A careful study of your own skin for look for disease.

    Seminal vesicle
    One of two male glands that makes fluid used by sperm for energy.

    Sentinel lymph node
    The first lymph node to which cancer cells spread after leaving a tumor.

    Sentinel lymph node biopsy
    An operation to remove the disease-fighting structures (lymph nodes) to which cancer first spreads. Also called sentinel lymph node dissection.

    Sequential chemoradiation
    A treatment of cell-killing drugs and high-energy rays that are given one after the other.

    Serosa
    The outer wall layer, in some places, of the digestive tract. Also called the visceral peritoneum.

    Serous ovarian cancer
    The most common cancer of cells that form the outer tissue layer around the ovaries.

    Serpentine asbestos
    A group of asbestos fibers that are long and curly.

    Serum
    The yellow-colored part of blood without any clotting proteins.

    Serum free light chain (FLC) assay
    A lab test that measures the detached, short piece of abnormal antibodies in blood.

    Serum immunofixation electrophoresis (SIFE)
    A lab test that detects the type of M-proteins in blood.

    Serum protein electrophoresis (SPEP)
    A lab test that measures how many types of antibodies are in blood.

    Serum quantitative immunoglobulins
    A lab test that measures the amount of each type of antibody in blood.

    Serum viscosity
    A lab test that measures the thickness of blood.

    Sessile polyp
    A flat growth from the inner wall of the digestive tract.

    Shave biopsy
    A procedure that removes a thin tissue sample from the top of a tumor.

    Side effect
    An unhealthy or unpleasant physical or emotional response to treatment.

    Sigmoid colon
    The last part of the hollow organ in which eaten food turns from a liquid into a solid form.

    Silica
    A natural mineral mostly found in sand.

    Simulation
    The steps needed to prepare for treatment with radiation.

    Single agent
    One drug.

    Skin biopsy
    A procedure to remove a skin sample to test for disease.

    Skin exam
    A careful study of the skin to check for disease.

    Skin-sparing mastectomy
    An operation that removes all breast tissue but saves as much breast skin as possible.

    Sleeve lobectomy
    An operation to remove an entire lobe and part of the bronchus.

    Small cell lung cancer
    A cancer of small, round lung cells.

    Small intestine
    A digestive organ that absorbs nutrients from eaten food.

    Smoldering (asymptomatic) myeloma
    A cancer of plasma cells that isnt causing symptoms.

    Social worker
    An expert in meeting peoples social and emotional needs.

    Soft tissue sarcoma
    A cancer of cells that support, connect, and surround parts of your body.

    Solid nodule
    A small mass of tissue with high density.

    Solitary plasmacytoma
    One cancer mass of plasma (myeloma) cells.

    Soluble mesothelin-related peptide (SMRP)
    A protein in cells that form the tissue lining around the lungs.

    Somatostatin receptor
    A receptor on hormone or tumor cells that attach to the hormone somatostatin.

    Somatostatin receptor scintigraphy
    A type of imaging scan used to assess carcinoid tumors that have somatostatin receptors.

    Spinal cord
    The bundle of nerves within the spine.

    Spinal fluid
    The liquid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. Also called cerebrospinal fluid.

    Spine
    The long chain of bones, muscle, and other tissue in your back. Also called backbone.

    Spirometry
    A test that uses a tube to measure how fast you breathe.

    Spleen
    An organ to the left of the stomach that helps protect the body from disease.

    Splint
    A device that is used to support a broken bone.

    Squamous cell carcinoma
    A type of cancer derived from thin and flat cells that line the surface of organs.

    Stable disease
    A cancer that is not getting worse or better.

    Staging
    The process of rating the extent of cancer.

    Standard open esophagectomy
    An operation to remove the esophagus through large cuts made into the body.

    Stem cell transplant (SCT)
    A cancer treatment that replaces abnormal blood stem cells with healthy cells. Also called hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT).

    Stent
    A small, tube-shaped device that is used to unblock a duct.

    Stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR)
    Treatment with high-dose radiation within one or a few sessions. Also called stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT).

    Stereotactic biopsy
    A procedure to remove tissue with a probe that is guided by computer mapping.

    Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT)
    Treatment with high-dose radiation within one or a few sessions. Also called stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR).

    Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS)
    Treatment of a brain tumor with high-dose radiation within one or a few sessions.

    Sternum
    A flat bone in the center of the chest. Also called the breastbone.

    Steroid

    1. A drug used to reduce redness, swelling, and pain. Also called corticosteroid.
    2. A drug used to kill some types of cancer cells.

    Stomach
    An organ of the digestive system that turns solid food into a more liquid form.

    Stool
    Unused food that is passed out of the body. Also called feces.

    Stress incontinence
    Leakage of urine when pressure is placed on the bladder.

    Stroma
    A type of body tissue that supports and connect other tissue.

    Stromal cell
    A type of cell that provides support, structure, and connection to body tissue.

    Subcarinal lymph node
    A disease-fighting structure that is below the windpipe.

    Subcutaneous
    Below the skin.

    Submucosa
    The second layer of the wall of the digestive tract.

    Subserosa
    A thin fluid-making layer, in some places, of the wall of the digestive tract.

    Substance use disorder
    The repeated use of alcohol, drugs, or tobacco that causes major life problems.

    Subtotal resection
    An operation that removes a large but not whole piece of tissue.

    Subtype
    A smaller group within a type of cancer that is based on certain cell features.

    Succinate dehydrogenase (SDH)
    A protein within cells.

    Sun protection factor (SPF)
    A rating of protection against ultraviolet rays.

    Superficial spreading melanoma
    The most common cancer of pigment-making skin cells.

    Superior mesenteric artery
    The large, tube-shaped vessel that carries blood from the heart to the gut.

    Superior mesenteric vein
    The large, tube-shaped vessel that returns blood to the heart from the gut.

    Superior sulcus tumor
    A mass of cancer cells at the top of the lung that grows into the chest wall.

    Supportive care
    Health care that includes symptom relief but not cancer treatment. Also called palliative care.

    Supraclavicular lymph node
    A disease-fighting structure that is above the collarbone.

    Surface receptor
    A protein within the cell membrane to which substances can attach.

    Surgeon
    A doctor whos an expert in operations to remove or repair a part of the body.

    Surgery
    An operation to remove or repair a part of the body.

    Surgical exploration
    An operation to assess the extent or type of disease.

    Surgical margin
    The normal-looking tissue around a tumor that was removed during an operation.

    Surgical staging
    The process of assessing the extent of cancer during an operation.

    Surgical treatment
    An operation to remove or repair a part of the body.

    Surveillance
    Testing that is done after treatment ends to look for new tumors.

    Switch maintenance
    A treatment phase with a new drug that is given to prolong good treatment results.

    Symptom
    A body sensation that may be caused by a disease.

    Systemic therapy
    A type of treatment that works throughout the body.

  • Talc pleurodesis
    A procedure that seals the tissue lining around the lung with powder.

    Tamoxifen
    A drug that lowers the amount of estrogen in the body.

    Tandem stem cell transplant
    Two rounds of treatment that destroys your marrow then rebuilds it with your healthy stem cells.

    Targeted therapy
    A drug treatment that impedes the growth process specific to cancer cells.

    Taxane
    A drug that stops chromosomes from moving and forming two cells.

    T-cell
    A type of a white blood cell called a lymphocyte. Also called T-lymphocyte.

    T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)
    A fast-growing cancer of young white blood cells called T-lymphoblasts.

    Testicle
    One of a pair of egg-shaped glands found inside the sac between the legs of a man.

    Testosterone
    A hormone that helps the sexual organs in men to work.

    Thermal ablation
    A treatment that destroys very small tumors with heat.

    Thoracentesis
    A procedure that removes the fluid around the lungs with a needle inserted between the ribs.

    Thoracic inlet
    The center of a ring of bones at the top of the ribcage.

    Thoracic radiologist
    A doctor whos an expert in reading imaging tests of the chest.

    Thoracic surgeon
    A doctor whos an expert in operating on organs inside the chest.

    Thoracoscope
    A device that is passed through a small cut in the skin to do work inside the chest.

    Thoracoscopy
    A procedure to do work in the chest with a device passed through a small cut in the skin. Also called VATS.

    Thoracotomy
    An operation that removes all or part of the lungs through one large cut into the chest.

    Three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy (3D-CRT)
    A treatment with radiation that uses beams matched to the shape of the tumor.

    Thrombocytopenia
    A health condition in which the number of blood platelets is low.

    Thymus
    A gland that is behind the breastbone.

    Thyroglobulin (Tg)
    A protein made by the thyroid.

    Thyroid
    A gland located in the throat, just beneath the voice box.

    Thyroid isthmus
    A thin part of the thyroid that connects the left and right sides.

    Thyroid replacement hormone therapy
    Treatment with lab-made thyroid hormones.

    Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH)
    A hormone made in the brain that controls the making of thyroid hormones.

    Thyroidectomy
    An operation that removes the whole thyroid.

    Tissue biopsy
    A procedure that removes a tissue sample to test for a disease.

    Tissue fluid
    The liquid that surrounds cells. Also called interstitial fluid.

    T-lymphocyte
    A type of a white blood cell called a lymphocyte. Also called T-cell.

    Tomotherapy
    Treatment with radiation from a machine that takes pictures of the treatment site and treats tumors slice-by-slice.

    Tonsil
    A group of tissue within the throat that fights germs that enter the mouth and nose.

    Total colonoscopy
    A procedure to work inside the entire colon with a device guided into the anus.

    Total lymphoid irradiation (TLI)
    Treatment with radiation that is given to all lymph tissue in the body.

    Total mastectomy
    An operation that removes the entire breast but no chest muscles. Also called simple mastectomy.

    Total mesorectal excision
    An operation that removes the rectum and nearby tissue in one piece.

    Total pancreatectomy
    An operation to remove the whole pancreas and nearby tissue.

    Total protein (urine)
    A lab test that measures the amount and type of protein in 24-hour urine samples

    Total skin electron beam therapy (TSEBT)
    Treatment with radiation given to widespread lymphoma within the skin surface.

    TP53
    An abnormal change in cells ' coded instructions that causes Li-Fraumeni syndrome.

    Trachea
    The airway between the throat and airway into the lungs. Also called the windpipe.

    Transabdominal excision
    An operation that removes tissue through cuts into the belly area.

    Transanal excision
    An operation that removes tissue through the anus.

    Transdermal
    Through the skin.

    Transfusion
    A slow injection of whole blood or parts of blood into a vein.

    Transitional cell carcinoma (TCC)
    A cancer of shape-changing cells that line the inner kidney, bladder, and urine vessels.

    Translocation
    The switching of parts between chromosomes.

    Transrectal ultrasound (TRUS)
    A test that sends sound waves through the rectum to make pictures of the prostate.

    Transthoracic needle aspiration (TTNA)
    A procedure that removes tissue samples with a thin needle guided through the ribs.

    Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP)
    A procedure that removes prostate tissue samples through the urethra.

    Treatment plan
    A written course of action through cancer treatment and beyond.

    Treatment resistance
    The lack of an effect by a medicine.

    Treatment response
    An outcome or improvement related to treatment.

    Triple androgen blockade
    A treatment that stops the making and action of testosterone with three methods.

    Triple-negative breast cancer
    A breast cancer that does not use hormones or the HER2 protein to grow.

    True local scar recurrence
    Melanoma that is found near the scar where the first melanoma was removed. Also called persistent cancer.

    Tubular breast cancer
    A breast cancer of tube-shaped cells.

    Tumor
    A mass formed by the overgrowth of cells.

    Tumor budding
    A group of 5 or fewer cancer cells that aren't part of the main tumor.

    Tumor burden
    The amount or extent of cancer in the body.

    Tumor deposit
    The presence of tiny tumors where the lymph drains from the tumor.

    Tumor lysis syndrome (TLS)
    A health condition caused by the rapid death of many cancer cells by treatment.

    Tumor lysis syndrome (TLS) panel
    A lab test that measures certain blood chemicals that are released when cancer cells die.

    Tumor marker
    A substance found in body tissue or fluid that may be a sign of cancer.

    Tumor regression
    A decrease in the size of the tumor.

    Tyrosine kinase
    A type of protein in cells that sends growth signals to the command center (nucleus).

    Tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI)
    A drug that blocks the transfer of phosphate.

  • U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
    A federal government agency that regulates drugs and food.

    Ulcerated melanoma
    A cancer of pigment-making skin cells that is shedding dead cells at its center.

    Ulceration
    The shedding of dead tissue.

    Ulcerative colitis
    A health condition in which the inner lining of the gut stays inflamed and may tear.

    Ultrasound
    A test that uses sound waves to take pictures of the inside of the body.

    Ultraviolet (UV) ray
    A type of light energy that can't be seen.

    Ultraviolet-A (UVA) ray
    A long-wave light energy that can't be seen.

    Ultraviolet-B (UVB) ray
    A short-wave light energy that can't be seen.

    Undifferentiated cell
    A cell that does not look like a normal cell.

    Unilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (USO)
    An operation that removes one ovary and the attached fallopian tube.

    Unresectable
    A disease that cant be removed by an operation.

    Upper gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy
    A procedure to do work in the first parts of the digestive track with a device guided down the throat. Also called an esophagastroduodenoscopy (EGD).

    Upstage
    A change in the rating of the extent of cancer in the body to a higher stage.

    Uranium
    A silvery-white metallic chemical.

    Urea
    A waste product made by the liver and filtered out of blood by the kidneys.

    Ureter
    A long, tube-shaped structure that carries urine from the kidney to the bladder.

    Urethra

    1. A tube-shaped structure that carries urine from the bladder to outside the body.
    2. A tube-shaped structure that expels semen in men.

    Urge incontinence
    A health condition in which urine is leaked during a sudden, strong need to urinate.

    Uric acid
    A chemical that is made when cells and certain eaten food break down.

    Urinalysis
    A lab test of the content of urine.

    Urinary incontinence
    A health condition in which the release of urine can't be controlled.

    Urinary retention
    A health condition in which urine can't be released the bladder.

    Urinary system
    The group of organs that removes waste from the body in the form of urine.

    Urine immunofixation electrophoresis (UIFE)
    A lab test that detects which type of antibody is present in the urine.

    Urine protein electrophoresis (UPEP)
    A lab test that detects the types and amounts of proteins in the urine.

    Urologist
    A doctor who's an expert in treating diseases of the urine system and (in men) sex organs.

    Uterus
    The female organ in which babies grow until birth. Also called womb.

    UVB phototherapy
    A treatment with UVB rays to treat confined areas of skin cancer.

  • Vaccine
    A dead or weak germ that is inserted into the body to prevent a disease.

    Vaccine therapy
    A treatment that helps the body find and destroy cancer cells.

    Vagina
    The hollow structure in women through which babies are born.

    Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)
    A molecule that triggers the growth of blood vessels.

    Vein
    A tube-shaped vessel that carries blood to the heart.

    Vena cava
    The main, large vein that carries blood back to the heart.

    Vertebrae
    The chain of 33 back bones that protect a vital group of nerves.

    Vertebroplasty
    A procedure to strengthen bones in the spine with bone cement.

    Vertical growth phase
    A downward growth of a skin cancer.

    Video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS)
    A procedure to do work in the chest with a device passed through a small cut in the skin. Also called thoracoscopy.

    Villous polyp
    A ruffled-shaped growth from the inner wall of the digestive tract.

    Visceral disease
    The spread of cancer from the first tumor to the organs within the belly.

    Visceral pleura
    The inner layer of tissue lining around the lungs.

    Vitamin B12
    A nutrient in the body that is needed to make red blood cells.

    Volume displacement
    A method to shift breast tissue during an operation to fill a gap.

    Vomiting
    Throwing up what is in your stomach. Also called emesis.

    Vulva
    The outer female organs that are between the legs.

  • Washings
    A procedure that injects fluid into the belly space then removes it to test for cancer.

    Wedge resection
    An operation that removes a small part of a lobe.

    Wheezing
    A coarse, whistling sound while breathing.

    Whipple procedure
    An operation that removes the head of the pancreas and parts of other nearby organs. Also called pancreatoduodenectomy.

    White blood cell
    A type of blood cell that fights disease and infection.

    White blood cell growth factor
    A substance that causes new white blood cells to grow in the bone marrow.

    WHO classification-based Prognostic Scoring System (WPSS)
    A rating system of the outlook of a blood cancer called myelodysplastic syndromes.

    Whole brain radiation therapy (WBRT)
    Treatment with small amounts of radiation to the whole brain.

    Whole breast radiation
    Treatment with radiation of the entire breast.

    Wide excision
    An operation that removes a tumor and some normal-looking tissue around its edge.

    Widespread metastatic disease
    The spread of cancer from the first tumor to many new sites.

    Wilms tumor
    A rare type of kidney cancer that almost only occurs in young children.

  • X-ray
    A test that uses small amounts of radiation to make pictures of the insides of the body. Also called a plain radiograph.