Glossary of terms used on this site
A group or layer of cells that work together to perform a specific function.
|TNM staging system||
A system for describing the extent of cancer in a patient’s body. T describes the size of the tumor and whether it has invaded nearby tissue, N describes any lymph nodes that are involved, and M describes metastasis (spread of cancer from one body part to another).
Radiation therapy to the entire body. It is usually followed by bone marrow or peripheral stem cell transplantation.
Having to do with poison or something harmful to the body. Toxic substances usually cause unwanted side effects.
A form of nutrition that is delivered into a vein. Parenteral nutrition does not use the digestive system. It may be given to people who are unable to absorb nutrients through the intestinal tract because of vomiting that won't stop, severe diarrhea, or intestinal disease. It may also be given to those undergoing high-dose chemotherapy or radiation and bone marrow transplantation. It is possible to give all of the protein, calories, vitamins and minerals a person needs using parenteral nutrition. Also called hyperalimentation, total parenteral nutrition, and parenteral nutrition.
Aliases (separate with |): Total parenteral nutrition, hyperalimentation, parenteral nutrition
The airway that leads from the larynx (voice box) to the bronchi (large airways that lead to the lungs). Also called windpipe.
Aliases (separate with |): windpipe
Absorbed through the unbroken skin.
The infusion of components of blood or whole blood into the bloodstream. The blood may be donated from another person, or it may have been taken from the person earlier and stored until needed.
The replacement of tissue with tissue from the person’s own body or from another person.
Surgery performed with a special instrument inserted through the urethra. Also called TUR.
A procedure used to examine the vagina, uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, and bladder. An instrument is inserted into the vagina that causes sound waves to bounce off organs inside the pelvis. These sound waves create echoes that are sent to a computer, which creates a picture called a sonogram. Also called transvaginal sonography and TVS.
An abnormal mass of tissue that results when cells divide more than they should or do not die when they should. Tumors may be benign (not cancerous), or malignant (cancerous). Also called neoplasm.
Refers to the number of cancer cells, the size of a tumor, or the amount of cancer in the body. Also called tumor load.
Surgical removal of as much of a tumor as possible. Tumor debulking may increase the chance that chemotherapy or radiation therapy will kill all the tumor cells. It may also be done to relieve symptoms or help the patient live longer. Also called debulking.
A substance that may be found in tumor tissue or released from a tumor into the blood or other body fluids. A high level of a tumor marker may mean that a certain type of cancer is in the body. Examples of tumor markers include CA 125 (in ovarian cancer), CA 15-3 (in breast cancer), CEA (in ovarian, lung, breast, pancreas, and gastrointestinal tract cancers), and PSA (in prostate cancer).