GLOSSARY

1-(2’-deoxy-2’-fluoro-ß-D-arabinofuranosyl) uracil
A substance being studied in the treatment of advanced solid tumors and lymphomas. It blocks the growth of cells and may cause cancer cells to die. It is a type of uracil analog. Also called FAU.

1-methyl-d-tryptophan
A substance being studied in the treatment of melanoma and many other types of cancer. 1-methyl-d-tryptophan blocks the breakdown of the amino acid tryptophan, which is needed for T cells (a type of immune system cell) to kill tumor cells. Giving 1-methyl-d-tryptophan to patients who have received chemotherapy for cancer may help kill more tumor cells. It is a type of enzyme inhibitor and immunosuppressant. Also called D-1MT.

10-propargyl-10-deazaaminopterin
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called folate analogs.

11C topotecan
A substance being studied in the treatment of certain types of cancer, including ovarian cancer and lung cancer. 11C topotecan is a radioactive form of the anticancer drug topotecan. It builds up in tumor tissues and is detected by positron emission tomography (PET). It may be used to help determine whether treatment with topotecan will work. It is a type of topoisomerase I inhibitor.

12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate
A substance being studied in the treatment of leukemias and lymphomas. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate affects many cell actions and may cause tumor cells to die. It is a type of phorbol ester. Also called tetradecanoylphorbol acetate and TPA.

123I-MIBG
A drug containing a form of radioactive iodine called I 123 that is used to detect certain types of tumors, including pheochromocytomas and neuroblastomas. Radiation from the I 123 may help show where cancer cells are in the body. 123I-MIBG is a type of radioimaging agent and a type of radioconjugate. Also called AdreView, iobenguane I 123, and iodine I 123 metaiodobenzylguanidine.

126–F
A liquid that has been promoted as a treatment for a wide range of diseases, including cancer. The ingredients thought to be in 126–F have been tested, and none of them have been shown to be effective in treating any form of cancer. 126–F is not available in the United States. Also called Cancell, Cantron, Jim’s Juice, JS–101, JS–114, Protocel, and Sheridan’s Formula.

13-cis retinoic acid
A drug that is used in the treatment of acne and psoriasis and is being studied in cancer prevention. It is a type of retinoid. Also called isotretinoin.

131I-MIBG
A drug containing a form of radioactive iodine called I 131 that is used to find or treat certain types of tumors, including pheochromocytomas and neuroblastomas. It is also used to relieve pain caused by cancer that has spread to the bones. Radiation from the I 131 may help kill cancer cells or show where they are in the body. 131I-MIBG is a type of radioimaging agent and a type of radioconjugate. Also called iobenguane I 131 and iodine I 131 metaiodobenzylguanidine.

1572 form
A form that must be filed by an investigator running a clinical trial to study a new drug or agent. The investigator agrees to follow the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Code of Federal Regulations for the clinical trial. The investigator verifies that he or she has the experience and background needed to conduct the trial and that it will be done in a way that is ethical and scientifically sound. Also called Form FDA 1572-Statement of Investigator.

17-AAG
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. It is made from an antibiotic called geldanamycin. 17-AAG helps cause the breakdown of certain proteins in the cell, and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of antineoplastic antibiotic and a type of HSP90 inhibitor. Also called 17-N-allylamino-17-demethoxygeldanamycin and tanespimycin.

17-dimethylaminoethylamino-17-demethoxygeldanamycin
17-DMAG. A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called geldanamycin analogs.

17-N-allylamino-17-demethoxygeldanamycin
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. It is made from an antibiotic called geldanamycin. 17-N-allylamino-17-demethoxygeldanamycin helps cause the breakdown of certain proteins in the cell, and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of antineoplastic antibiotic and a type of HSP90 inhibitor. Also called 17-AAG and tanespimycin.

18F-choline
A radioactive substance being studied in PET imaging to detect certain types of cancer. 18F-choline gets taken up by cells in the body and more of it is taken up by tumor cells than by normal cells. A PET scanner is used to detect which cells in the body have taken up 18F-choline. It is a type of radioimaging agent. Also called 18F-fluoromethylcholine, 18F-FMCH, and fluorine F 18 fluoromethylcholine.

18F-EF5
A substance that is being studied in positron emission tomography (PET) imaging to detect tumor hypoxia (a low level of oxygen in the tumor).This may help predict how the tumor will respond to treatment. It belongs to the family of drugs called radiopharmaceuticals. Also called fluorine F 18 EF5.

18F-FLT
A radioactive substance being studied in the diagnosis of cancer. 18F-FLT is injected into the blood and builds up in cells that are dividing, including cancer cells. The radiation that it gives off as it decays (breaks down) helps make clear pictures of tumors during positron emission tomography (PET) scans. It is a type of radiopharmaceutical. Also called 3’-deoxy-3’-(18F) fluorothymidine and fluorothymidine F 18.

18F-fluoromethylcholine
A radioactive substance being studied in PET imaging to detect certain types of cancer. 18F-fluoromethylcholine gets taken up by cells in the body and more of it is taken up by tumor cells than by normal cells. A PET scanner is used to detect which cells in the body have taken up 18F-fluoromethylcholine. It is a type of radioimaging agent. Also called 18F-choline, 18F-FMCH, and fluorine F 18 fluoromethylcholine.

18F-fluoromisonidazole
A radioactive substance being studied as an imaging agent in head and neck cancers and other types of cancer. It binds to large molecules in tumor cells that have a low level of oxygen. Radiation given off by 18F-fluoromisonidazole is detected by a PET scan. The amount of 18F-fluoromisonidazole in the tumor may help decide the best treatment and help predict whether the cancer will come back after treatment. 18F-fluoromisonidazole is a type of radioimaging agent. Also called 18F-MISO and FMISO.

18F-FMCH
A radioactive substance being studied in PET imaging to detect certain types of cancer. 18F-FMCH gets taken up by cells in the body and more of it is taken up by tumor cells than by normal cells. A PET scanner is used to detect which cells in the body have taken up 18F-FMCH. It is a type of radioimaging agent. Also called 18F-choline, 18F-fluoromethylcholine, and fluorine F 18 fluoromethylcholine.

18F-MISO
A radioactive substance being studied as an imaging agent in head and neck cancers and other types of cancer. It binds to large molecules in tumor cells that have a low level of oxygen. Radiation given off by 18F-MISO is detected by a PET scan. The amount of 18F-MISO in the tumor may help decide the best treatment and help predict whether the cancer will come back after treatment. 18F-MISO is a type of radioimaging agent. Also called 18F-fluoromisonidazole and FMISO.

1H-nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging
A noninvasive imaging method that provides information about cellular activity (metabolic information). It is used along with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) which provides information about the shape and size of the tumor (spatial information). Also called magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging, MRSI, and proton magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging.

2-methoxyestradiol
2ME2. A drug that prevents the formation of new blood vessels that tumors need in order to grow. It is derived from estrogen and belongs to the family of drugs called angiogenesis inhibitors.

21-gene signature
A test that is used to help predict whether breast cancer will spread to other parts of the body or come back. The test looks at the activity of 21 different genes in breast cancer tissue of women who have early-stage breast cancer that is estrogen receptor positive and has not spread to the lymph nodes. If there is a high risk that the cancer will spread or come back, it may be used to help plan treatment with anticancer drugs. Also called Oncotype DX breast cancer assay.

2IT-BAD monoclonal antibody 170
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. It is made by linking a monoclonal antibody called 170, which binds to a protein called MUC-1, to a substance called 2IT-BAD, which binds radioactive substances. 2IT-BAD monoclonal antibody 170 may be used to detect cancer cells and kill them. It is a type of immunoconjugate.

3 Tesla magnetic resonance imaging
A procedure in which radio waves and a powerful magnet linked to a computer are used to make detailed pictures of areas inside the body. These pictures can show the difference between normal and abnormal tissue. 3 Tesla magnetic resonance imaging has a stronger magnet and makes better images of organs and soft tissue than other types of MRI do. It is used to make images of the brain, the spine, the soft tissue of joints, and the inside of bones and blood vessels. Also called 3 Tesla MRI and 3T MRI.

3 Tesla MRI
A procedure in which radio waves and a powerful magnet linked to a computer are used to make detailed pictures of areas inside the body. These pictures can show the difference between normal and abnormal tissue. 3 Tesla MRI has a stronger magnet and makes better images of organs and soft tissue than other types of MRI do. It is used to make images of the brain, the spine, the soft tissue of joints, and the inside of bones and blood vessels. Also called 3 Tesla magnetic resonance imaging and 3T MRI.

3,4-benzpyrene
A chemical that comes from certain substances when they are not burned completely. It is found in car exhaust, smoke from wood fires, tobacco, oil and gas products, charred or grilled foods, and other sources. It may also be found in water and soil. 3,4-Benzpyrene can cause a skin rash, a burning feeling, skin color changes, warts, and bronchitis. It may also cause cancer. It is a type of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon. Also called benzo(a)pyrene.

3-aminopyridine-2-carboxaldehyde thiosemicarbazone
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. It is a type of ribonucleotide reductase inhibitor. Also called 3-AP and Triapine.

3-AP
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. It is a type of ribonucleotide reductase inhibitor. Also called 3-aminopyridine-2-carboxaldehyde thiosemicarbazone and Triapine.

3-D
A graphic display of depth, width, and height. Also called 3-dimensional.

3-dimensiona
A graphic display of depth, width, and height. Also called 3-D.
3-dimensional conformal radiation therapy
A procedure that uses a computer to create a 3-dimensional picture of the tumor. This allows doctors to give the highest possible dose of radiation to the tumor, while sparing the normal tissue as much as possible. Also called 3-dimensional radiation therapy and 3D-CRT.

3-dimensional radiation therapy
A procedure that uses a computer to create a 3-dimensional picture of the tumor. This allows doctors to give the highest possible dose of radiation to the tumor, while sparing the normal tissue as much as possible. Also called 3-dimensional conformal radiation therapy and 3D-CRT.

3D-CRT
A procedure that uses a computer to create a 3-dimensional picture of the tumor. This allows doctors to give the highest possible dose of radiation to the tumor, while sparing the normal tissue as much as possible. Also called 3-dimensional conformal radiation therapy and 3-dimensional radiation therapy.

3F8
A type of monoclonal antibody used in cancer detection or therapy. Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-produced substances that can locate and bind to cancer cells.

3T MRI
A procedure in which radio waves and a powerful magnet linked to a computer are used to make detailed pictures of areas inside the body. These pictures can show the difference between normal and abnormal tissue. 3T MRI has a stronger magnet and makes better images of organs and soft tissue than other types of MRI do. It is used to make images of the brain, the spine, the soft tissue of joints, and the inside of bones and blood vessels. Also called 3 Tesla magnetic resonance imaging and 3 Tesla MRI.

3’-deoxy-3’-(18F) fluorothymidine
A radioactive substance being studied in the diagnosis of cancer. 3’-deoxy-3’-(18F) fluorothymidine is injected into the blood and builds up in cells that are dividing, including cancer cells. The radiation that it gives off as it decays (breaks down) helps make clear pictures of tumors during positron emission tomography (PET) scans. It is a type of radiopharmaceutical. Also called 18F-FLT and fluorothymidine F 18.

4-demethoxydaunorubicin
A drug used with other drugs to treat acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. 4-demethoxydaunorubicin blocks a certain enzyme needed for cell division and DNA repair, and it may kill cancer cells. It is a type of anthracycline antibiotic and a type of topoisomerase inhibitor. Also called Idamycin and idarubicin hydrochloride.

4-hydroxytamoxife
A form of the drug tamoxifen that is made by the body after taking tamoxifen. It can also be made in the laboratory, and may help decrease breast density. A topical form of 4-hydroxytamoxifen is being studied in breast cancer screening.

4-nitroquinoline 1-oxide
A substance that is used in cancer research to cause tumors in laboratory animals. This is done to test new diets, drugs, and procedures for use in cancer prevention and treatment. Also called 4-NQO.

4-NQO
A substance that is used in cancer research to cause tumors in laboratory animals. This is done to test new diets, drugs, and procedures for use in cancer prevention and treatment. Also called 4-nitroquinoline 1-oxide.

45 CFR 46
Laws set by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to protect a person from risks in research studies that any federal agency or department has a part in. Also called 45 Code of Federal Regulations Part 46, human participant protection regulations, and Protection of Human Subjects.

45 Code of Federal Regulations Part 46
Laws set by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to protect a person from risks in research studies that any federal agency or department has a part in. Also called 45 CFR 46, human participant protection regulations, and Protection of Human Subjects.
5-alpha reductase inhibitor
A substance that blocks an enzyme needed by the body to make dihydrotestosterone (a male sex hormone made from testosterone). Dihydrotestosterone can cause the prostate to grow. 5-alpha reductase inhibitors are used to shrink an enlarged prostate gland and to improve the flow of urine in a condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). A 5-alpha reductase inhibitor is a type of enzyme inhibitor.

5-fluoro-2-deoxycytidine
A substance being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. It may prevent the growth of tumors by stopping cancer cells from dividing and by killing them. It is a type of antimetabolite. Also called FdCyd.

5-fluorouracil
A drug used to treat cancers of the breast, stomach, and pancreas, and certain types of colorectal and head and neck cancers. It is also used in a cream to treat basal cell skin cancer and actinic keratosis (a skin condition that may become cancer). It is being studied in the treatment of other conditions and types of cancer. 5-fluorouracil stops cells from making DNA and it may kill cancer cells. It is a type of antimetabolite. Also called 5-FU, Adrucil, Efudex, Fluoroplex, and fluorouracil.

5-FU
A drug used to treat cancers of the breast, stomach, and pancreas, and certain types of colorectal and head and neck cancers. It is also used in a cream to treat basal cell skin cancer and actinic keratosis (a skin condition that may become cancer). It is being studied in the treatment of other conditions and types of cancer. 5-FU stops cells from making DNA and it may kill cancer cells. It is a type of antimetabolite. Also called 5-fluorouracil, Adrucil, Efudex, Fluoroplex, and fluorouracil.

5-HT3 receptor antagonist
A type of drug used to treat certain types of irritable bowel syndrome and relieve nausea and vomiting. It is a type of antiemetic. Also called 5-hydroxytryptamine 3 receptor antagonist and type 3 serotonin receptor antagonist.

5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid
5HIAA. A breakdown product of serotonin that is excreted in the urine. Serotonin is a hormone found at high levels in many body tissues. Serotonin and 5HIAA are produced in excess amounts by carcinoid tumors, and levels of these substances may be measured in the urine to test for carcinoid tumors.

5-hydroxytryptamine
A hormone found in the brain, platelets, digestive tract, and pineal gland. It acts both as a neurotransmitter (a substance that nerves use to send messages to one another) and a vasoconstrictor (a substance that causes blood vessels to narrow). A lack of 5-hydroxytryptamine in the brain is thought to be a cause of depression. Also called serotonin.

5-hydroxytryptamine 3 receptor antagonist
A type of drug used to treat certain types of irritable bowel syndrome and relieve nausea and vomiting. It is a type of antiemetic. Also called 5-HT3 receptor antagonist and type 3 serotonin receptor antagonist.

504 plan
An education plan for students with disabilities or certain health conditions, such as cancer. By law, these students must have the same access to school programs and activities as students without disabilities. A 504 plan may include extra help in the classroom, such as allowing the student more time to take a test or finish an assignment, or to use a computer or tape recorder. It may also include tutoring and other services, such as speech therapy and physical therapy. It is covered under the U.S. law, Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

506U78
A drug used to treat certain types of T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) and T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma (T-LBL). It belongs to the family of drugs called antimetabolites. Also called Arranon and nelarabine.

5FU/LV
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used to treat colorectal cancer. It is also used with radiation therapy to treat esophageal cancer and stomach cancer. It includes the drugs fluorouracil and leucovorin calcium. Also called FU-LV and FU-LV regimen.

5Q minus syndrome
A rare disorder caused by loss of part of the long arm (Q arm) of human chromosome 5. This syndrome affects myeloid (bone marrow) cells, causing treatment-resistant anemia, and myelodysplastic syndromes that may lead to acute myelogenous leukemia. Also called 5Q- syndrome.

5Q- syndrome
A rare disorder caused by loss of part of the long arm (Q arm) of human chromosome 5. This syndrome affects myeloid (bone marrow) cells, causing treatment-resistant anemia, and myelodysplastic syndromes that may lead to acute myelogenous leukemia. Also called 5Q minus syndrome.

6-hydroxymethylacylfulvene
A substance being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. 6-hydroxymethylacylfulvene attaches to the cell’s DNA and may block cancer cell growth. It is a type of alkylating agent. Also called irofulven.

70-gene signature
A test that is used to help predict whether breast cancer has spread to other parts of the body or come back. The test looks at the activity of 70 different genes in breast cancer tissue of women who have early-stage breast cancer that has not spread to the lymph nodes. If there is a high risk that the cancer will spread or come back, it may be used to help plan treatment with anticancer drugs. Also called MammaPrint.

852A
A substance being studied in the treatment of certain adult and childhood blood cancers and other types of cancer. 852A may help the patient’s immune system block tumor growth. It is a type of immune system modulator.

9-cis retinoic acid
A substance being studied in the prevention of cancer. It is a type of retinoid.

90Y-DOTA-biotin
A compound that contains the radioisotope yttrium Y 90 linked to the chemical biotin. Biotin is a molecule that binds strongly to the chemical streptavidin. 90Y-DOTA-biotin will find tumor cells in the body that have been targeted by an antibody linked to streptavidin and kill them. It is being studied together with CC49-streptavidin in the treatment of cancer. Also called yttrium Y 90 DOTA-biotin.

99m-Tc-Dx
A substance being studied as a way to find sentinel lymph nodes in some types of skin cancer and breast cancer. It contains a radioactive substance called technetium linked to a substance called dextran. Dextran helps technetium stay in blood and lymph vessels after it is injected. A machine or probe that detects radioactivity shows which lymph nodes near the tumor have 99m-Tc-Dx in them. It is a type of radiopharmaceutical and a type of radioimaging agent. Also called Tc-99m Dextran and technetium Tc 99m dextran.

9cUAB30
A substance being studied in the treatment and prevention of cancer. It blocks an enzyme that keeps cells alive by adding material to the ends of chromosomes. Blocking this enzyme may cause the cancer cells to die. 9cUAB30 is a type of retinoic acid and a type of telomerase inhibitor.

9p21
A specific part of chromosome 9 called p21, which has a gene that may be involved in stopping tumor cell growth. In some types of cancer cells, including bladder cancer cells, this small part of chromosome 9 may be missing. This may cause cancer cell growth. Checking for 9p21 may help diagnose cancer or find out if cancer has come back. 9p21 is a type of tumor marker.

[18F]-labeled substance P antagonist receptor quantifier
A radiolabeled substance being studied in PET imaging of the brain. It is also being studied as a way to find where cancer cells have spread in patients with pancreatic cancer. It binds to cell receptors for substance P, also known as neurokinin-1, which is found on nerve cells and on some types of cancer cells, such as pancreatic cancer cells. [18F]-labeled substance P antagonist receptor quantifier is a type of PET radioligand and a type of radiolabeled neurokinin-1 receptor antagonist.

[18F]SPA-RQ
A radiolabeled substance being studied in PET imaging of the brain. It is also being studied as a way to find where cancer cells have spread in patients with pancreatic cancer. It binds to cell receptors for substance P.

A33
A type of monoclonal antibody used in cancer detection or therapy. Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-produced substances that can locate and bind to cancer cells.

A6
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. A6 is a small piece of a protein called urokinase (an enzyme that dissolves blood clots or prevents them from forming). It is a type of antiangiogenesis agent and a type of antimetastatic agent. Also called urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA)-derived peptide A6.

AAP
An enzyme that is normally found in healthy kidneys. It may be found at high levels in the urine when there are kidney problems. It is used as a biomarker to detect damage to the kidneys caused by drugs and other agents. It may also be used to diagnose certain kidney and liver disorders. Also called alanine aminopeptidase.

abarelix
A drug used to reduce the amount of testosterone made in patients with advanced symptomatic prostate cancer for which no other treatment options are available. It belongs to the family of drugs called gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) antagonists. Also called Plenaxis.

ABCA1 pathway
Describes a group of proteins in a cell that work together to help remove extra cholesterol and certain fats from tissue in the body. Changes in the ABCA1 pathway may lead to diseases of the heart and blood vessels. Drugs or substances that affect this pathway are being studied in the prevention and treatment of some diseases.

ABCD rating
A staging system for prostate cancer that uses ABCD. “A” and “B” refer to cancer that is confined to the prostate. “C” refers to cancer that has grown out of the prostate but has not spread to lymph nodes or other places in the body. “D” refers to cancer that has spread to lymph nodes or to other places in the body. Also called Jewett staging system and Whitmore-Jewett staging system.

abdomen
The area of the body that contains the pancreas, stomach, intestines, liver, gallbladder, and other organs.

abdominal
Having to do with the abdomen, which is the part of the body between the chest and the hips that contains the pancreas, stomach, intestines, liver, gallbladder, and other organs.

abdominal ultrasound
A procedure used to examine the organs in the abdomen. An ultrasound transducer (probe) is pressed firmly against the skin of the abdomen. High-energy sound waves from the transducer bounce off tissues and create echoes. The echoes are sent to a computer, which makes a picture called a sonogram. Also called transabdominal ultrasound.

abdominal x-ray
An x-ray of the organs inside the abdomen. An x-ray is a type of radiation that can pass through the body and onto film, making pictures of areas inside the body. X-rays may be used to help diagnose disease.

abdominoperineal resection
Surgery to remove the anus, the rectum, and part of the sigmoid colon through an incision made in the abdomen. The end of the intestine is attached to an opening in the surface of the abdomen and body waste is collected in a disposable bag outside of the body. This opening is called a colostomy. Lymph nodes that contain cancer may also be removed during this operation.

Abegrin
A substance being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer and other conditions. Abegrin binds to a protein on the surface of blood vessels and may prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It may also prevent the spread of cancer. It is a type of antiangiogenesis agent, a type of metastasis inhibitor, and a type of monoclonal antibody. Also called etaracizumab, humanized monoclonal antibody MEDI-522, and MEDI-522.

aberrant crypt foci
Clusters of abnormal tube-like glands in the lining of the colon and rectum. Aberrant crypt foci form before colorectal polyps and are one of the earliest changes that can be seen in the colon that may lead to cancer. Also called ACF.

ABI-007
A drug used to treat breast cancer that has come back or spread to other parts of the body. It is also used with carboplatin to treat advanced non-small cell lung cancer in patients who are not able to have surgery or radiation therapy. It is also used with gemcitabine hydrochloride to treat pancreatic cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. It is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. ABI-007 is a form of the anticancer drug paclitaxel and may cause fewer side effects than paclitaxel. It stops cancer cells from growing and dividing, and may kill them. It is a type of mitotic inhibitor and a type of antimicrotubule agent. Also called Abraxane, nanoparticle paclitaxel, paclitaxel albumin-stabilized nanoparticle formulation, and protein-bound paclitaxel.

abiraterone acetate
A drug used with prednisone to treat prostate cancer that has spread to other parts of the body and has not gotten better with other hormone therapy. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Abiraterone acetate lowers the amount of androgens (male hormones), such as testosterone, made by the body. This may stop the growth of cancer cells that need androgens to grow. Abiraterone acetate is a type of antiandrogen. Also called Zytiga.

ablation
In medicine, the removal or destruction of a body part or tissue or its function. Ablation may be performed by surgery, hormones, drugs, radiofrequency, heat, or other methods.

abnormal
Not normal. Describes a state, condition, or behavior that is unusual or different from what is considered normal. An abnormal lesion or growth in or on the body may be benign (not cancer), precancerous or premalignant (likely to become cancer), or malignant (cancer).

ABO blood group system
A system used to group human blood into different types, based on the presence or absence of certain markers on the surface of red blood cells. The four main blood types are A, B, O, and AB. For a blood transfusion, the ABO blood group system is used to match the blood type of the donor and the person receiving the transfusion. People with blood type O can donate blood to anyone and are called universal donors. People with blood type AB can accept blood from all donors and are called universal recipients. People with type A or B can receive matching blood or type O blood.

ABR test
A test used to detect some types of hearing loss, such as hearing loss caused by injury or tumors that affect nerves involved in hearing. Electrodes are placed on the head and certain tones or clicking sounds are made. The electrodes measure nerve signals in the brain when it reacts to the sounds. Also called auditory brain stem response test, BAER test, and brain stem auditory evoked response test.

Abraxane
A drug used to treat breast cancer that has come back or spread to other parts of the body. It is also used with carboplatin to treat advanced non-small cell lung cancer in patients who are not able to have surgery or radiation therapy. It is also used with gemcitabine hydrochloride to treat pancreatic cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. It is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Abraxane is a form of the anticancer drug paclitaxel and may cause fewer side effects than paclitaxel. It stops cancer cells from growing and dividing, and may kill them. It is a type of mitotic inhibitor and a type of antimicrotubule agent. Also called ABI-007, nanoparticle paclitaxel, paclitaxel albumin-stabilized nanoparticle formulation, and protein-bound paclitaxel.

abscess
An enclosed collection of pus in tissues, organs, or confined spaces in the body. An abscess is a sign of infection and is usually swollen and inflamed.

absolute neutrophil count
A measure of the number of neutrophils in the blood. Neutrophils are a type of white blood cell. They help the body fight infection. An absolute neutrophil count may be used to check for infection, inflammation, leukemia, and other conditions. The lower a person’s absolute neutrophil count is, the higher the risk is of getting an infection. Having an absolute neutrophil count of less than 500 means there is a high risk of getting an infection. Cancer treatment, such as chemotherapy, may reduce the absolute neutrophil count. Also called ANC.

absolute risk
A measure of the risk of a certain event happening. In cancer research, it is the likelihood that a person who is free of a specific type of cancer at a given age will develop that cancer over a certain period of time. For example, a woman 35 years of age, with no known risk factors for breast cancer, has an absolute risk of getting breast cancer over a lifetime of 90 years of about 13.5%, meaning one out of every seven women will develop breast cancer.

absorption
The process of taking nutrients from the digestive system into the blood so they can be used in the body.

ABT-263
A substance being studied in the treatment of lymphomas and other types of cancer. It blocks some of the enzymes that keep cancer cells from dying. It is a type of Bcl-2 family inhibitor. Also called navitoclax.

ABT-510
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. It is a type of angiogenesis inhibitor.

ABT-751
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called sulfonamides.

ABT-869
A substance being studied in the treatment of several types of cancer. ABT-869 blocks the action of several growth factors. It may also block the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow and may cause cancer cells to die. It is a type of receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor and a type of angiogensis inhibitor. Also called multitargeted receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor ABT-869.

ABT-888
A substance being studied in the treatment of breast cancers caused by mutations (changes) in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It blocks an enzyme involved in many functions of the cell, including the repair of DNA damage. DNA damage may be caused by normal cell actions, UV light, some anticancer drugs, and radiation used to treat cancer. ABT-888 may cause cancer cells to die. It is a type of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitor. Also called PARP-1 inhibitor ABT-888 and veliparib.

ABVD
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used to treat Hodgkin lymphoma. It includes the drugs doxorubicin hydrochloride (Adriamycin), bleomycin sulfate, vinblastine sulfate, and dacarbazine. Also called ABVD regimen.

ABVD regimen
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used to treat Hodgkin lymphoma. It includes the drugs doxorubicin hydrochloride (Adriamycin), bleomycin sulfate, vinblastine sulfate, and dacarbazine. Also called ABVD.

ABVE
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used with radiation therapy to treat childhood Hodgkin lymphoma. It includes the drugs doxorubicin hydrochloride (Adriamycin), bleomycin sulfate, vincristine sulfate, and etoposide. Also called ABVE regimen, DBVE, and DBVE regimen.

ABVE regimen
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used with radiation therapy to treat childhood Hodgkin lymphoma. It includes the drugs doxorubicin hydrochloride (Adriamycin), bleomycin sulfate, vincristine sulfate, and etoposide. Also called ABVE, DBVE, and DBVE regimen.

ABVE-PC
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used with radiation therapy to treat childhood Hodgkin lymphoma. It includes the drugs doxorubicin hydrochloride (Adriamycin), bleomycin sulfate, vincristine sulfate, etoposide, prednisone, and cyclophosphamide. Also called ABVE-PC regimen, DBVE-PC, and DBVE-PC regimen.

ABVE-PC regimen
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used with radiation therapy to treat childhood Hodgkin lymphoma. It includes the drugs doxorubicin hydrochloride (Adriamycin), bleomycin sulfate, vincristine sulfate, etoposide, prednisone, and cyclophosphamide. Also called ABVE-PC, DBVE-PC, and DBVE-PC regimen.

ABX-EGF
A human monoclonal antibody that is being used to treat colorectal cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. It is used in patients whose disease has not gotten better during or after treatment with other anticancer drugs. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Monoclonal antibodies are made in the laboratory and can locate and bind to substances in the body, including cancer cells. ABX-EGF binds to the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and may block tumor cell growth. Also called panitumumab and Vectibix.

AC
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used with other types of therapy to treat breast cancer, including breast cancer that has spread or come back. It includes the drugs doxorubicin hydrochloride (Adriamycin) and cyclophosphamide. Also called AC regimen.

AC regimen
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used with other types of therapy to treat breast cancer, including breast cancer that has spread or come back. It includes the drugs doxorubicin hydrochloride (Adriamycin) and cyclophosphamide. Also called AC.

AC-T
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used to treat breast cancer. It includes the drugs doxorubicin hydrochloride (Adriamycin) and cyclophosphamide, followed by treatment with paclitaxel (Taxol). Also called AC-T regimen and AC-Taxol regimen.

AC-T regimen
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used to treat breast cancer. It includes the drugs doxorubicin hydrochloride (Adriamycin) and cyclophosphamide, followed by treatment with paclitaxel (Taxol). Also called AC-T and AC-Taxol regimen.

AC-T-T
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used to treat breast cancer. It includes the drugs doxorubicin hydrochloride (Adriamycin) and cyclophosphamide, followed by treatment with paclitaxel (Taxol) and trastuzumab (Herceptin). Also called AC-T-T regimen, AC-TH regimen, and sequential AC/Taxol-Trastuzumab regimen.

AC-T-T regimen
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used to treat breast cancer. It includes the drugs doxorubicin hydrochloride (Adriamycin) and cyclophosphamide, followed by treatment with paclitaxel (Taxol) and trastuzumab (Herceptin). Also called AC-T-T, AC-TH regimen, and sequential AC/Taxol-Trastuzumab regimen.

AC-Taxol regimen
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used to treat breast cancer. It includes the drugs doxorubicin hydrochloride (Adriamycin) and cyclophosphamide, followed by treatment with paclitaxel (Taxol). Also called AC-T and AC-T regimen.

AC-TH regimen
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used to treat breast cancer. It includes the drugs doxorubicin hydrochloride (Adriamycin) and cyclophosphamide, followed by treatment with paclitaxel (Taxol) and trastuzumab (Herceptin). Also called AC-T-T, AC-T-T regimen, and sequential AC/Taxol-Trastuzumab regimen.

ACAPHA
A mixture of six herbs that has been used in China to prevent and treat diseases such as lung and esophageal cancers. It is being studied in the United States and Canada in the prevention of lung cancer in people who used to smoke.

accelerated partial-breast irradiation
A type of radiation therapy given only to the part of the breast that has cancer in it. Accelerated partial-breast irradiation gives a higher dose over a shorter time than is given in standard whole-breast radiation therapy. Accelerated partial-breast irradiation may be given using internal or external sources of radiation. Also called partial-breast irradiation.

accelerated phase chronic myelogenous leukemia
A phase of chronic myelogenous leukemia in which the disease is progressing. In this phase, 10% to 19% of the cells in the blood and bone marrow are blast cells (immature blood cells).

accelerated radiation therapy
Radiation treatment in which the total dose of radiation is given over a shorter period of time (fewer days) compared to standard radiation therapy.

accelerated-fraction radiation therapy
Radiation treatment in which the total dose of radiation is divided into small doses and the treatments are given more than once a day. The total dose of radiation is also given over a shorter period of time (fewer days) compared to standard radiation therapy.

Accolate
A drug used to prevent and treat symptoms of asthma. It blocks substances that cause inflammation in the lungs. It is a type of antiasthmatic agent and a leukotriene receptor antagonist. Also called zafirlukast.

ACE inhibitor
A drug that is used to lower blood pressure. An ACE inhibitor is a type of antihypertensive agent. Also called angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor.

acetaminophen
A drug that reduces pain and fever (but not inflammation). It belongs to the family of drugs called analgesics.

acetate
A form of acetic acid (an acid found in vinegar).

acetic acid
An acid found in vinegar. Acetic acid is also used to dissolve substances needed to make some medicines and other products, such as plastics.

acetone
A chemical substance found naturally in small amounts in plants, trees, volcanoes, and forest fires. Acetone is also made by the body when fats are broken down. It is also found in tobacco smoke, car exhaust, and trash landfills. In industry, acetone is used in some plastics, fibers, medicines, household cleaners, glues, and nail polish removers. Being exposed to high levels of acetone may irritate the skin, eyes, nose, throat, and lungs. It can cause headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, confusion, loss of consciousness, and other health problems.

acetyl group
A small molecule made of two carbon, three hydrogen, and one oxygen atoms. Acetyl groups are added to or removed from other molecules and may affect how the molecules act in the body.

acetyl-L-carnitine
A form of the natural substance carnitine that is being studied as a way to prevent tissue damage caused by chemotherapy. Carnitine is made in muscle and liver tissue and is found in certain foods, such as meat, poultry, fish, and some dairy products. It is used by many cells in the body to make energy from fat. Also called acetyl-L-carnitine hydrochloride and ALCAR.

acetyl-L-carnitine hydrochloride
A form of the natural substance carnitine that is being studied as a way to prevent tissue damage caused by chemotherapy. Carnitine is made in muscle and liver tissue and is found in certain foods, such as meat, poultry, fish, and some dairy products. It is used by many cells in the body to make energy from fat. Also called acetyl-L-carnitine and ALCAR.

acetylation
A chemical reaction in which a small molecule called an acetyl group is added to other molecules. Acetylation of proteins may affect how they act in the body.

acetylcholine
A chemical made by some types of nerve cells. It is used to send messages to other cells, including other nerve cells, muscle cells, and gland cells. It is released from the nerve ending and carries signals to cells on the other side of a synapse (space between nerve cells and other cells). Acetylcholine helps control memory and the action of certain muscles. It is a type of neurotransmitter.

acetylcysteine
A drug usually used to reduce the thickness of mucus and ease its removal. It is also used to reverse the toxicity of high doses of acetaminophen. Also called N-acetyl-L-cysteine and N-acetylcysteine.

ACF
Clusters of abnormal tube-like glands in the lining of the colon and rectum. ACF form before colorectal polyps and are one of the earliest changes that can be seen in the colon that may lead to cancer. Also called aberrant crypt foci.

achlorhydria
A lack of hydrochloric acid in the digestive juices in the stomach. Hydrochloric acid helps digest food.

acid
A chemical that gives off hydrogen ions in water and forms salts by combining with certain metals. Acids have a sour taste and turn certain dyes red. Some acids made by the body, such as gastric acid, can help organs work the way they should. An example of an acid is hydrochloric acid. Acidity is measured on a scale called the pH scale. On this scale, a value of 7 is neutral, and a pH value of less than 7 to 0 shows increasing acidity.

acid-base balance
In medicine, the state of having the right amount of acid and base in the blood and other body fluids. Keeping a normal acid-base balance is important for the body to work the way it should. Also called acid-base equilibrium.

acid-base equilibrium
In medicine, the state of having the right amount of acid and base in the blood and other body fluids. Keeping a normal acid-base equilibrium is important for the body to work the way it should. Also called acid-base balance.

acidification
The process of making or becoming an acid. An acid is a substance that gives off hydrogen ions in water and forms salts by combining with certain metals.

acidity
Describes the amount of acid in a substance. An acid is a chemical that gives off hydrogen ions in water and forms salts by combining with certain metals. Acidity is measured on a scale called the pH scale. On this scale, a pH value of 7 is neutral, and a pH value of less than 7 to 0 shows increasing acidity.

acitretin
A substance that is used in the prevention of cancer and in the treatment of psoriasis. It belongs to the family of drugs called retinoids.

ACN53
A substance that has been studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. ACN53 is a weakened adenovirus that carries the p53 gene into tumor cells, causing them to die. It is a type of gene therapy. Also called rAd/p53, recombinant adenovirus-p53, and SCH-58500.

acne
A disorder of the skin in which oil glands and hair glands become inflamed.

acolbifene hydrochloride
A substance being studied in the prevention of breast cancer in women at high risk of breast cancer. Acolbifene hydrochloride binds to estrogen receptors in the body and blocks the effects of estrogen in the breast. It is a type of selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM).

acoustic
Having to do with sound or hearing.

acoustic neurofibromatosis
A genetic condition in which tumors form on the nerves of the inner ear and cause loss of hearing and balance. Tumors may also occur in the brain and on nerves in the skull and spinal cord, and may cause loss of speech, eye movement, and the ability to swallow. Also called neurofibromatosis type 2 and NF2.

acquired immunodeficiency syndrome
A disease caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). People with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome are at an increased risk for developing certain cancers and for infections that usually occur only in individuals with a weak immune system. Also called AIDS.

acquired pure red cell aplasia
A rare disorder in which the bone marrow makes almost no red blood cells. It may be caused by infection or by certain drugs. Patients with this disorder may also have a thymoma (a tumor of the thymus) or an autoimmune condition such as lupus erythematosus or rheumatoid arthritis.

acridine carboxamide
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. It is a type of topoisomerase inhibitor. Also called DACA.

acromegaly
A condition in which the pituitary gland makes too much growth hormone after normal growth of the skeleton is finished. This causes the bones of the hands, feet, head, and face to grow larger than normal. Acromegaly can be caused by a pituitary gland tumor.

acrylonitrile
A substance used to make plastics, rubber, and textiles. Being exposed to acrylonitrile may increase the risk of developing certain cancers, such as lung, brain, or prostate cancer.

ACTH
A hormone made in the pituitary gland. ACTH acts on the outer part of the adrenal gland to control its release of corticosteroid hormones. More ACTH is made during times of stress. Also called adrenocorticotropic hormone and corticotropin.

Actinex
A drug put on the skin to treat growths caused by sun exposure. A form of Actinex that is taken by mouth is being studied in the treatment of prostate cancer. Actinex is an antioxidant, and it may block certain enzymes needed for tumor growth. Also called masoprocol, NDGA, and nordihydroguaiaretic acid.

actinic keratosis
A thick, scaly patch of skin that may become cancer. It usually forms on areas exposed to the sun, such as the face, scalp, back of the hands, or chest. It is most common in people with fair skin. Also called senile keratosis and solar keratosis.

actinomycin D
A drug used to treat Ewing sarcoma, gestational trophoblastic tumor, Wilms tumor, and certain types of testicular cancer. It is also used to treat rhabdomyosarcoma in children. It is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Actinomycin D comes from the bacterium Streptomyces parvulus. It damages the cell’s DNA and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of anticancer antibiotic. Also called Cosmegen and dactinomycin.

action study
In cancer prevention clinical trials, a study that focuses on finding out whether actions people take can prevent cancer.

Activase
A form of tissue plasminogen activator that is made in the laboratory. It helps dissolve blood clots and is used to treat heart attacks, strokes, and clots in the lungs. It is also being studied in the treatment of cancer. It is a type of systemic thrombolytic agent. Also called Alteplase, r-tPA, and recombinant tissue plasminogen activator.
activate
In biology, to stimulate a cell in a resting state to become active. This causes biochemical and functional changes in the activated cell.

active surveillance
A treatment plan that involves closely watching a patient’s condition but not giving any treatment unless there are changes in test results that show the condition is getting worse. Active surveillance may be used to avoid or delay the need for treatments such as radiation therapy or surgery, which can cause side effects or other problems. During active surveillance, certain exams and tests are done on a regular schedule. It may be used in the treatment of certain types of cancer, such as prostate cancer, urethral cancer, and intraocular (eye) melanoma. It is a type of expectant management.

activities of daily living
The tasks of everyday life. These activities include eating, dressing, getting into or out of a bed or chair, taking a bath or shower, and using the toilet. Instrumental activities of daily living are activities related to independent living and include preparing meals, managing money, shopping, doing housework, and using a telephone. Also called ADL.

Actos
A drug that is used to treat type 2 diabetes and is being studied in the prevention of head and neck cancer. It may be able to stop leukoplakia (a condition affecting the mouth ) from developing into cancer. It is a type of thiazolidinedione. Also called pioglitazone.

acupoint
A specific spot on the body where an acupuncture needle may be inserted to control pain and other symptoms. Also called acupuncture point.

acupressure
The application of pressure or localized massage to specific sites on the body to control symptoms such as pain or nausea. It is a type of complementary and alternative medicine.

acupuncture
The technique of inserting thin needles through the skin at specific points on the body to control pain and other symptoms. It is a type of complementary and alternative medicine.

acupuncture needle
A stainless steel needle that is slightly thicker than a human hair. Acupuncture needles are inserted through the skin at specific points on the body to control pain and other symptoms.

acupuncture point
A specific spot on the body where an acupuncture needle may be inserted to control pain and other symptoms. Also called acupoint.

acupuncture point injection
A procedure in which drugs, vitamins, herbal extracts, or other fluids are injected into the body at an acupuncture point using a syringe and needle.

acupuncture-like transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation
A procedure in which mild electric currents are applied to certain acupuncture points (spots on the body where an acupuncture needle may be inserted to control pain and other symptoms) on the skin. It is being studied in the treatment of dry mouth caused by radiation therapy for cancer. Also called ALTENS.

acupuncturist
A person trained in acupuncture (therapy that uses thin needles inserted through the skin at specific points on the body to control pain and other symptoms). Acupuncture is a type of complementary and alternative medicine.

acustimulation
Mild electrical stimulation of acupuncture points to control symptoms such as nausea and vomiting.

acute
Symptoms or signs that begin and worsen quickly; not chronic.

acute bacterial prostatitis
Inflammation of the prostate gland that begins suddenly and gets worse quickly. It is caused by a bacterial infection. Symptoms include fever and chills, body aches, pain in the lower back and genital area, a burning feeling during urination, and problems with emptying the bladder all the way.

acute leukemia
A rapidly progressing cancer that starts in blood-forming tissue such as the bone marrow, and causes large numbers of white blood cells to be produced and enter the blood stream.

acute lymphoblastic leukemia
An aggressive (fast-growing) type of leukemia (blood cancer) in which too many lymphoblasts (immature white blood cells) are found in the blood and bone marrow. Also called acute lymphocytic leukemia and ALL.

acute lymphocytic leukemia
An aggressive (fast-growing) type of leukemia (blood cancer) in which too many lymphoblasts (immature white blood cells) are found in the blood and bone marrow. Also called acute lymphoblastic leukemia and ALL.

acute myeloblastic leukemia
An aggressive (fast-growing) disease in which too many myeloblasts (immature white blood cells that are not lymphoblasts) are found in the bone marrow and blood. Also called acute myelogenous leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia, acute nonlymphocytic leukemia, AML, and ANLL.

acute myelogenous leukemia
An aggressive (fast-growing) disease in which too many myeloblasts (immature white blood cells that are not lymphoblasts) are found in the bone marrow and blood. Also called acute myeloblastic leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia, acute nonlymphocytic leukemia, AML, and ANLL.

acute myeloid leukemia
An aggressive (fast-growing) disease in which too many myeloblasts (immature white blood cells that are not lymphoblasts) are found in the bone marrow and blood. Also called acute myeloblastic leukemia, acute myelogenous leukemia, acute nonlymphocytic leukemia, AML, and ANLL.

acute nonlymphocytic leukemia
An aggressive (fast-growing) disease in which too many myeloblasts (immature white blood cells that are not lymphoblasts) are found in the bone marrow and blood. Also called acute myeloblastic leukemia, acute myelogenous leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia, AML, and ANLL.

acute pain
Pain that comes on quickly, can be severe, but lasts a relatively short time.

acute promyelocytic leukemia
An aggressive (fast-growing) type of acute myeloid leukemia in which there are too many immature blood-forming cells in the blood and bone marrow. It is usually marked by an exchange of parts of chromosomes 15 and 17. Also called APL and promyelocytic leukemia.

acute radiation sickness
Serious illness caused by being exposed to high doses of certain types of radiation, usually over a short period of time. Symptoms of acute radiation sickness usually occur right after exposure but they may happen over time, and they may come and go. Symptoms include nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, headache, dizziness, weakness, fatigue, bleeding, hair loss, swelling, itching, and redness of the skin, and other skin problems. Very large doses of radiation may cause death. Also called acute radiation syndrome, radiation poisoning, radiation sickness, and radiation sickness syndrome.

acute radiation syndrome
Serious illness caused by being exposed to high doses of certain types of radiation, usually over a short period of time. Symptoms of acute radiation syndrome usually occur right after exposure but they may happen over time, and they may come and go. Symptoms include nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, headache, dizziness, weakness, fatigue, bleeding, hair loss, swelling, itching, and redness of the skin, and other skin problems. Very large doses of radiation may cause death. Also called acute radiation sickness, radiation poisoning, radiation sickness, and radiation sickness syndrome.

acyclovir
A substance used to prevent or treat cytomegalovirus and herpes simplex infections that may occur when the body is immunosuppressed. It belongs to the family of drugs called antivirals.

AD 32
A drug used to treat bladder cancer that does not respond to BCG (Bacillus Calmette Guerin). It is an anthracycline and is a type of antitumor antibiotic. Also called valrubicin.

ADCC
A type of immune reaction in which a target cell or microbe is coated with antibodies and killed by certain types of white blood cells. The white blood cells bind to the antibodies and release substances that kill the target cells or microbes. Also called antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity and antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity.

Adcetris
A drug used to treat Hodgkin lymphoma and systemic anaplastic large cell lymphoma that did not get better with other treatment. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of lymphoma. Adcetris is made by combining a monoclonal antibody with an anticancer drug. It binds to a protein called CD30, which is on the surface of some lymphoma cells, and may kill cancer cells. Adcetris is a type of antibody-drug conjugate. Also called brentuximab vedotin and SGN-35.

Adderall
A combination of drugs used as a treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy (a sleep disorder). It is a type of stimulant. Also called dextroamphetamine-amphetamine.

addiction
An uncontrollable craving, seeking, and use of a substance, such as a drug or alcohol.

Addison disease
A rare disorder in which the adrenal glands do not make enough of certain hormones. Symptoms include weight loss, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, muscle weakness, fatigue, low blood sugar, low blood pressure, and patchy or dark skin. Most cases of the disorder are caused by immune system problems, but may also be caused by infection, cancer, or other diseases. Also called adrenal insufficiency.

ADE
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used to treat childhood acute myeloid leukemia (AML). It includes the drugs cytarabine (Ara-C), daunorubicin hydrochloride, and etoposide phosphate. Also called ADE regimen.

ADE regimen
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used to treat childhood acute myeloid leukemia (AML). It includes the drugs cytarabine (Ara-C), daunorubicin hydrochloride, and etoposide phosphate. Also called ADE.

adenine
A chemical compound that is used to make one of the building blocks of DNA and RNA. It is also a part of many substances in the body that give energy to cells. Adenine is a type of purine.

adenocarcinoma
Cancer that begins in glandular (secretory) cells. Glandular cells are found in tissue that lines certain internal organs and makes and releases substances in the body, such as mucus, digestive juices, or other fluids. Most cancers of the breast, pancreas, lung, prostate, and colon are adenocarcinomas.

adenocarcinoma in situ
A condition in which abnormal cells are found in the glandular tissue that lines certain internal organs, such as the uterus, cervix, lung, pancreas, and colon. Adenocarcinoma in situ, which occurs most often in the cervix, may become cancer and spread to nearby normal tissue. Also called AIS.

adenoid cystic carcinoma
A rare type of cancer that usually begins in the salivary glands.

adenoma
A tumor that is not cancer. It starts in gland-like cells of the epithelial tissue (thin layer of tissue that covers organs, glands, and other structures within the body).

adenopathy
Large or swollen lymph glands.

adenosarcoma
A tumor that is a mixture of an adenoma (a tumor that starts in the gland-like cells of epithelial tissue) and a sarcoma (a tumor that starts in bone, cartilage, fat, muscle, blood vessels, or other connective or supportive tissue). An example of an adenosarcoma is Wilms tumor.

adenosine triphosphate
A substance present in all living cells that provides energy for many metabolic processes and is involved in making RNA. Adenosine triphosphate made in the laboratory is being studied in patients with advanced solid tumors to see if it can decrease weight loss and improve muscle strength. Also called ATP.

adenosis
A disease or abnormal change in a gland. Breast adenosis is a benign condition in which the lobules are larger than usual.

adenosquamous carcinoma
A type of cancer that contains two types of cells: squamous cells (thin, flat cells that line certain organs) and gland-like cells.

adenovirus
A member of a family of viruses that can cause infections in the respiratory tract, eye, and gastrointestinal tract. Forms of adenoviruses that do not cause disease are used in gene therapy. They carry genes that may fix defects in cells or kill cancer cells.

ADH
A benign (not cancer) condition in which there are more cells than normal in the lining of breast ducts and the cells look abnormal under a microscope. Having ADH increases the risk of breast cancer. Also called atypical ductal breast hyperplasia and atypical ductal hyperplasia.

ADI-PEG 20
A substance being studied in the treatment of melanoma, liver cancer, and other types of cancer. It breaks down the amino acid arginine and may block the growth of cancer cells that need arginine to grow. It is a type of iminohydrolase. Also called pegylated arginine deiminase.

adjunct agent
In cancer therapy, a drug or substance used in addition to the primary therapy.

adjunct therapy
Another treatment used together with the primary treatment. Its purpose is to assist the primary treatment. Also called adjunctive therapy.

adjunctive therapy
Another treatment used together with the primary treatment. Its purpose is to assist the primary treatment. Also called adjunct therapy.

adjustment disorder
A condition in which a person responds to a stressful event (such as an illness, job loss, or divorce) with extreme emotions and actions that cause problems at work and home.

adjuvant therapy
Additional cancer treatment given after the primary treatment to lower the risk that the cancer will come back. Adjuvant therapy may include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, targeted therapy, or biological therapy.

ADL
Activities of daily living. The tasks of everyday life. Basic ADLs include eating, dressing, getting into or out of a bed or chair, taking a bath or shower, and using the toilet. Instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) are activities related to independent living and include preparing meals, managing money, shopping, doing housework, and using a telephone. Also called activities of daily living.

administration
In medicine, the act of giving a treatment, such as a drug, to a patient. It can also refer to the way it is given, the dose, or how often it is given.

adnexal mass
A lump in tissue near the uterus, usually in the ovary or fallopian tube. Adnexal masses include ovarian cysts, ectopic (tubal) pregnancies, and benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer) tumors.

ado-trastuzumab emtansine
A drug used to treat HER2-positive breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. It is used in patients who have already been treated with the anticancer drug called trastuzumab and a type of drug called a taxane. It may also be used in patients whose cancer has recurred (come back) after adjuvant therapy with these drugs. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Ado-trastuzumab emtansine contains a monoclonal antibody called trastuzumab that binds to a protein called HER2, which is found on some breast cancer cells. It also contains an anticancer drug called DM1, which may help kill cancer cells. Ado-trastuzumab emtansine is a type of antibody-drug conjugate. Also called Kadcyla and T-DM1.

adoptive cellular therapy
A treatment used to help the immune system fight diseases, such as cancer and infections with certain viruses. T cells are collected from a patient and grown in the laboratory. This increases the number of T cells that are able to kill cancer cells or fight infections. These T cells are given back to the patient to help the immune system fight disease. Also called cellular adoptive immunotherapy.

adrenal cancer
Cancer that forms in the tissues of the adrenal glands (two glands located just above the kidneys). The adrenal glands make hormones that control heart rate, blood pressure, and other important body functions. Adrenal cancer that starts in the outside layer of the adrenal gland is called adrenocortical carcinoma. Adrenal cancer that starts in the center of the adrenal gland is called malignant pheochromocytoma.

adrenal cortex
The outer part of the adrenal gland (a small organ on top of each kidney). The adrenal cortex makes androgen and corticosteroid hormones.

adrenal gland
A small gland that makes steroid hormones, adrenaline, and noradrenaline. These hormones help control heart rate, blood pressure, and other important body functions. There are two adrenal glands, one on top of each kidney. Also called suprarenal gland.

adrenal insufficiency
A rare disorder in which the adrenal glands do not make enough of certain hormones. Symptoms include weight loss, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, muscle weakness, fatigue, low blood sugar, low blood pressure, and patchy or dark skin. Most cases of the disorder are caused by immune system problems, but may also be caused by infection, cancer, or other diseases. Also called Addison disease.

adrenal medulla
The inner part of the adrenal gland (a small organ on top of each kidney). The adrenal medulla makes chemicals such as epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine (noradrenaline) which are involved in sending nerve signals.

adrenalectomy
Surgery to remove one or both adrenal glands (a small organ on top of each kidney).

adrenaline
A hormone and neurotransmitter. Also called epinephrine.

adrenocortical
Having to do with or made by the outer layer of the adrenal gland, which produces steroid hormones. There is an adrenal gland on top of each kidney.

adrenocortical cancer
A rare cancer that forms in the outer layer of tissue of the adrenal gland (a small organ on top of each kidney that makes steroid hormones, adrenaline, and noradrenaline to control heart rate, blood pressure, and other body functions). Also called adrenocortical carcinoma and cancer of the adrenal cortex.

adrenocortical carcinoma
A rare cancer that forms in the outer layer of tissue of the adrenal gland (a small organ on top of each kidney that makes steroid hormones, adrenaline, and noradrenaline to control heart rate, blood pressure, and other body functions). Also called adrenocortical cancer and cancer of the adrenal cortex.

adrenocorticotropic hormone
A hormone made in the pituitary gland. Adrenocorticotropic hormone acts on the outer part of the adrenal gland to control its release of corticosteroid hormones. More adrenocorticotropic hormone is made during times of stress. Also called ACTH and corticotropin.

AdreView
A drug containing a form of radioactive iodine called I 123 that is used to detect certain types of tumors, including pheochromocytomas and neuroblastomas. Radiation from the I 123 may help show where cancer cells are in the body. AdreView is a type of radioimaging agent and a type of radioconjugate. Also called 123I-MIBG, iobenguane I 123, and iodine I 123 metaiodobenzylguanidine.

Adriamycin PFS
A brand name for doxorubicin hydrochloride, which is used to treat many types of cancer. Adriamycin PFS brand has been taken off the market and is no longer available.

Adriamycin RDF
A brand name for doxorubicin hydrochloride, which is used to treat many types of cancer. Adriamycin RDF brand has been taken off the market and is no longer available.

Adrucil
A drug used to treat cancers of the breast, stomach, and pancreas, and certain types of colorectal and head and neck cancers. It is also used in a cream to treat basal cell skin cancer and actinic keratosis (a skin condition that may become cancer). It is being studied in the treatment of other conditions and types of cancer. Adrucil stops cells from making DNA and it may kill cancer cells. It is a type of antimetabolite. Also called 5-fluorouracil, 5-FU, Efudex, Fluoroplex, and fluorouracil.

adult progeria
An inherited disorder marked by rapid aging that begins in early adolescence. Patients may be shorter than average, and have health problems such as loss and graying of hair, hardening of the arteries, thinning of the bones, diabetes, and thin, hardened skin. They also have an increased risk of cancer, especially osteosarcoma (a type of bone cancer). Adult progeria is caused by a mutation (change) in a gene involved in cell division. It is a type of autosomal recessive gene disease. Also called Werner syndrome and WS.

adult rickets
A condition in adults in which bones become soft and deformed because they don’t have enough calcium and phosphorus. It is usually caused by not having enough vitamin D in the diet, not getting enough sunlight, or a problem with the way the body uses vitamin D. Symptoms include bone pain and muscle weakness. When the condition occurs in children, it is called rickets. Also called osteomalacia.

adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma
An aggressive (fast-growing) type of T-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma caused by the human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1). It is marked by bone and skin lesions, high calcium levels, and enlarged lymph nodes, spleen, and liver. Also called ATLL.

adulterant
A substance added to a product but not listed as an ingredient, or a substance that ends up in a product by accident when the product is made. Adulterants may be in foods, drugs, and other products. An adulterant may cause a product to be harmful, cheaper to make, or not work as it should.

advance directive
A legal document that states the treatment or care a person wishes to receive or not receive if he or she becomes unable to make medical decisions (for example, due to being unconscious or in a coma). Some types of advance directives are living wills and do-not-resuscitate (DNR) orders.

advanced cancer
Cancer that has spread to other places in the body and usually cannot be cured or controlled with treatment.

advanced practice nurse
A registered nurse who has additional education and training in how to diagnose and treat disease. Advanced practice nurses are licensed at the state level and certified by national nursing organizations. In cancer care, an advanced practice nurse may manage the primary care of patients and their families, based on a practice agreement with a doctor. Also called APN, NP, and nurse practitioner.

adverse effect
An unexpected medical problem that happens during treatment with a drug or other therapy. Adverse effects do not have to be caused by the drug or therapy, and they may be mild, moderate, or severe. Also called adverse event.

adverse event
An unexpected medical problem that happens during treatment with a drug or other therapy. Adverse events do not have to be caused by the drug or therapy, and they may be mild, moderate, or severe. Also called adverse effect.

Advil
A drug used to treat fever, swelling, pain, and redness by preventing the body from making a substance that causes inflammation. It is a type of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Also called ibuprofen and Motrin.

AE-941
A substance made from shark cartilage that is being studied for its ability to prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It is a type of antiangiogenesis agent.

AEE788
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the families of drugs called protein tyrosine kinase inhibitors and angiogenesis inhibitors.

AEG35156
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. AEG35156 may kill cancer cells by blocking the production of a protein called XIAP that helps cells live longer. It also makes cancer cells more sensitive to anticancer drugs. It is a type of antisense oligonucleotide, and a type of chemosensitizing agent. Also called GEM640.

aerobic
In biochemistry, reactions that need oxygen to happen or happen when oxygen is present.

aerobic exercise
Physical activity that increases the heart rate and the body’s use of oxygen. It helps improve a person’s physical fitness.

aerobic metabolism
A chemical process in which oxygen is used to make energy from carbohydrates (sugars). Also called aerobic respiration, cell respiration, and oxidative metabolism.

aerobic respiration
A chemical process in which oxygen is used to make energy from carbohydrates (sugars). Also called aerobic metabolism, cell respiration, and oxidative metabolism.

aerodigestive tract
The combined organs and tissues of the respiratory tract and the upper part of the digestive tract (including the lips, mouth, tongue, nose, throat, vocal cords, and part of the esophagus and windpipe).

aerosolize
In medicine, to turn a liquid drug into a fine mist that can be inhaled.

afatinib dimaleate|
A drug used to treat non-small cell lung cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. It is used in patients with certain mutations (changes) in a cell protein called epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Afatinib dimaleate blocks certain EGFRs, which may help keep cancer cells from growing. It may also prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. Afatinib dimaleate is a type of tyrosine kinase inhibitor and a type of antiangiogenesis agent. Also called Gilotrif.

affinity
In chemistry and biology, the strength of the attaction between two substances, such as two chemicals, or an antigen and an antibody.

affinity reagent
In chemistry and biology, a compound that binds specific substances, such as proteins or nucleic acids. Many affinity reagents are antibodies. They are used to analyze tissue samples to help diagnose diseases.

Afinitor
A drug used with another drug to treat some postmenopausal women with advanced breast cancer that is hormone-receptor positive and HER2 negative. It is also used to treat certain types of pancreatic cancer, a type of advanced kidney cancer, and subependymal giant cell astrocytoma in some patients, including children. Afinitor is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It stops cancer cells from dividing and may prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It also lowers the body’s immune response. It is a type of kinase inhibitor, a type of angiogenesis inhibitor, and a type of immunosuppressant. Also called Afinitor Disperz, everolimus, and RAD001.

Afinitor Disperz
A drug used with another drug to treat some postmenopausal women with advanced breast cancer that is hormone-receptor positive and HER2 negative. It is also used to treat certain types of pancreatic cancer, a type of advanced kidney cancer, and subependymal giant cell astrocytoma in some patients, including children. Afinitor Disperz is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It stops cancer cells from dividing and may prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It also lowers the body’s immune response. It is a type of kinase inhibitor, a type of angiogenesis inhibitor, and a type of immunosuppressant. Also called Afinitor, everolimus, and RAD001.

aflatoxin
A harmful substance made by certain types of mold (Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus) that is often found on poorly stored grains and nuts. Consumption of foods contaminated with aflatoxin is a risk factor for primary liver cancer.

AFP
A protein normally produced by a fetus. AFP levels are usually undetectable in the blood of healthy adult men or women (who are not pregnant). An elevated level of AFP suggests the presence of either a primary liver cancer or germ cell tumor. Also called alpha-fetoprotein.

AFP464
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. AFP464 kills cancer cells or stops them from dividing. It is a type of aminoflavone.

AG-013736
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the families of drugs called angiogenesis inhibitors and protein tyrosine kinase inhibitors.

AG014699
A substance being studied in the treatment of breast cancers caused by mutations (changes) in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It blocks an enzyme involved in many functions of the cell, including the repair of DNA damage. DNA damage may be caused by normal cell actions, UV light, some anticancer drugs, and radiation used to treat cancer. AG014699 may cause cancer cells to die. It is a type of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitor. Also called PARP-1 inhibitor AG014699.

AG2037
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called glycinamide ribonucleotide formyl transferase inhibitors.

AG3340
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It is a matrix metalloproteinase inhibitor and belongs to the family of drugs called angiogenesis inhibitors. Also called prinomastat.

AG337
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of liver cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called thymidylate synthase inhibitors. Also called nolatrexed and Thymitaq.

aganglionic megacolon
A condition in which certain nerve cells are missing from the muscle layers of part of the large intestine. This causes severe constipation or blockage of the large intestine. Constipation is when stool becomes hard, dry, and difficult to pass and bowel movements occur less often than normal. Other symptoms include swollen abdomen, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, gas, lack of energy, and trouble gaining weight. Aganglionic megacolon is present from birth, but the symptoms may not appear until later in a child’s life. This condition has been linked to an increased risk of thyroid cancer and neuroblastoma. Also called Hirschsprung disease.

AGC
A finding of abnormal cells in a Pap test. The glandular cells come from the inner part of the cervix or the lining of the uterus. This finding may be a sign of cancer or other serious condition, and more testing may be needed. Also called atypical glandular cells.

age-related macular degeneration
A condition in which there is a slow breakdown of cells in the center of the retina (the light-sensitive layers of nerve tissue at the back of the eye). This blocks vision in the center of the eye and can cause problems with activities such as reading and driving. Age-related macular degeneration is most often seen in people who are over the age of 50. Also called AMD, ARMD, and macular degeneration.

agent study
In cancer prevention, a clinical trial that studies whether taking certain medicines, vitamins, minerals, or food supplements can prevent cancer. Also called chemoprevention study.

agglutinin
A substance that makes particles (such as bacteria or cells) stick together to form a clump or a mass.

aggravating factor
Something that makes a condition worse. For example, tobacco smoke is an aggravating factor for asthma.

aggressive
In medicine, describes a tumor or disease that forms, grows, or spreads quickly. It may also describe treatment that is more severe or intense than usual.

aggressive lymphoma
A type of lymphoma that grows and spreads quickly and has severe symptoms. Also called high-grade lymphoma and intermediate-grade lymphoma.

agitation
A condition in which a person is unable to relax and be still. The person may be very tense and irritable, and become easily annoyed by small things. He or she may be eager to have an argument, and be unwilling to work with caregivers to make the situation better.

agnogenic myeloid metaplasia
A progressive, chronic disease in which the bone marrow is replaced by fibrous tissue and blood is made in organs such as the liver and the spleen, instead of in the bone marrow. This disease is marked by an enlarged spleen and progressive anemia. Also called chronic idiopathic myelofibrosis, idiopathic myelofibrosis, myelosclerosis with myeloid metaplasia, and primary myelofibrosis.

agonist
A drug or substance that binds to a receptor inside a cell or on its surface and causes the same action as the substance that normally binds to the receptor.

agoraphobia
An intense fear of being in open places or in situations where it may be hard to escape, or where help may not be available. People with agoraphobia are usually very anxious about having a panic attack in a public place. They may also have a fear of being alone or have trouble leaving their home. They usually avoid elevators, bridges, and public places. Agoraphobia is a type of phobia and a type of anxiety disorder.

agranulocyte
A type of white blood cell. Monocytes and lymphocytes are agranulocytes.

AGUS
A term that has been used to describe abnormal cells that come from glands in the walls of the cervix (the lower, narrow end of the uterus). These abnormal cells are found in a small number of Pap smears (a procedure used to detect cervical cancer) and may be a sign of more serious lesions or cancer. The term used now is atypical glandular cells. Also called atypical glandular cells of uncertain significance and atypical glandular cells of undetermined significance.

AHA
One of a group of substances that are found in several types of fruit and in milk. They are used in skin care products to reduce wrinkles and soften the skin. Examples of AHAs are glycolic acid, lactic acid, and citric acid. Also called alpha hydroxyl acid and fruit acid.
Aicardi syndrome
A rare, genetic disorder marked by a lack of tissue connecting the left and right halves of the brain, seizures, lesions on the back of the eye (retina), and other brain and eye abnormalities. Other problems may include unusual facial features, defects of the hands, spine, and ribs, and developmental and gastrointestinal problems. When Aicardi syndrome occurs, it is almost always in a newborn girl. People with Aicardi syndrome have an increased risk of certain tumors, such as hepatoblastoma (a type of liver cancer) and choroid plexus tumors (a rare tumor that forms in the brain).

AIDS
A disease caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). People with AIDS are at an increased risk for developing certain cancers and for infections that usually occur only in individuals with a weak immune system. Also called acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.

AIDS-related cancer
Types of cancer that are more likely to occur in people who are infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The most common AIDS-related cancers are Kaposi sarcoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and cervical cancer. People infected with HIV who develop any one of these cancers are considered to have AIDS. Other less common types of AIDS-related cancers include cancers of the mouth, throat, liver, lung, colon, rectum, anus, testes, and skin.

AIS
A condition in which abnormal cells are found in the glandular tissue that lines certain internal organs, such as the uterus, cervix, lung, pancreas, and colon. AIS, which occurs most often in the cervix, may become cancer and spread to nearby normal tissue. Also called adenocarcinoma in situ.

AJCC staging system
A system to describe the amount and spread of cancer in a patient’s body, using TNM. T describes the size of the tumor and any spread of cancer into nearby tissue; N describes spread of cancer to nearby lymph nodes; and M describes metastasis (spread of cancer to other parts of the body). This system was created and is updated by the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) and the International Union Against Cancer (UICC). The AJCC staging system is used to describe most types of cancer. Also called TNM staging system.

Akt
A group of enzymes involved in several processes related to cell growth and survival. Akt enzymes help to transfer signals inside cells. An Akt enzyme is a type of serine/threonine protein kinase. Also called protein kinase B.

Alagille syndrome
A rare disorder in which there are defects in the small tubes that carry bile (fluid that helps digest fat) out of the liver. These small tubes may be narrow or have an abnormal shape, or there may be fewer of them than normal. This can cause bile to build up in the liver, which may lead to cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) and liver damage. Alagille syndrome can also affect other parts of the body, including the heart, kidneys, blood vessels, eyes, face, and spine. It usually occurs in infants and children and may be inherited.

alanine aminopeptidase
An enzyme that is normally found in healthy kidneys. It may be found at high levels in the urine when there are kidney problems. It is used as a biomarker to detect damage to the kidneys caused by drugs and other agents. It may also be used to diagnose certain kidney and liver disorders. Also called AAP.

alanine transferase
An enzyme found in the liver and other tissues. A high level of alanine transferase released into the blood may be a sign of liver damage, cancer, or other diseases. Also called serum glutamate pyruvate transaminase and SGPT.

alanosine
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called antimetabolites. Also called SDX-102.

albinism
A group of genetic conditions marked by little or none of the pigment melanin in the skin, hair, and/or eyes. People with albinism may have vision problems and white or yellow hair; reddish, violet, blue or brown eyes; and pale skin.

albumin
A type of protein found in blood, egg white, milk, and other substances.

ALCAR
A form of the natural substance carnitine that is being studied as a way to prevent tissue damage caused by chemotherapy. Carnitine is made in muscle and liver tissue and is found in certain foods, such as meat, poultry, fish, and some dairy products. It is used by many cells in the body to make energy from fat. Also called acetyl-L-carnitine and acetyl-L-carnitine hydrochloride.

ALCL
An aggressive (fast-growing) type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that is usually of the T-cell type. The cancer cells express a marker called CD30 or Ki-1 on the surface, and may appear in the lymph nodes, skin, bones, soft tissues, lungs, or liver. Also called anaplastic large cell lymphoma.

alcohol
A chemical substance found in drinks such as beer, wine, and liquor. It is also found in some medicines, mouthwashes, household products, and essential oils (scented liquid taken from certain plants). It is made by a chemical process called fermentation that uses sugars and yeast. There are different types of alcohol. The type used to make alcoholic drinks is called ethyl alcohol (ethanol). Drinking regular or large amounts of alcohol may increase the risk of certain types of cancer, such as cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, breast, liver, colon, and rectum.

alcohol ablation
An injection of ethanol (alcohol) through the skin directly into a tumor to kill cancer cells. Ultrasound or a CT scan is used to guide the needle into the tumor. Also called ethanol ablation, PEI, and percutaneous ethanol injection.

alcohol dependence
A chronic disease in which a person craves drinks that contain alcohol and is unable to control his or her drinking. A person with this disease also needs to drink greater amounts to get the same effect and has withdrawal symptoms after stopping alcohol use. Alcohol dependence affects physical and mental health, and can cause problems with family, friends, and work. Regular heavy alcohol intake increases the risk of several types of cancer. Also called alcoholism.

alcoholism
A chronic disease in which a person craves drinks that contain alcohol and is unable to control his or her drinking. A person with this disease also needs to drink greater amounts to get the same effect and has withdrawal symptoms after stopping alcohol use. Alcoholism affects physical and mental health, and can cause problems with family, friends, and work. Regular heavy alcohol intake increases the risk of several types of cancer. Also called alcohol dependence.

Aldara
A drug used to treat early basal cell skin cancer and certain other skin conditions. It is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Aldara is a type of biological response modifier. Also called imiquimod.

aldehyde
A type of chemical substance made from alcohol. Aldehydes are found in essential oils (scented liquid taken from plants).

aldesleukin
A drug used to treat some types of cancer. It is a form of interleukin-2, a cytokine made by leukocytes (white blood cells), that is made in the laboratory. Aldesleukin increases the activity and growth of white blood cells called T lymphocytes and B lymphocytes. It is a type of biological response modifier. Also called Proleukin and recombinant human interleukin-2.

aldosterone
A steroid hormone made by the adrenal cortex (the outer layer of the adrenal gland). It helps control the balance of water and salts in the kidney by keeping sodium in and releasing potassium from the body. Too much aldosterone can cause high blood pressure and a build-up of fluid in body tissues. Aldosterone is a type of mineralocorticoid hormone.

Aldrich syndrome
An inherited immune disorder that occurs in young boys. It causes eczema (a type of skin inflammation), a decrease in the number of platelets (blood cells that help prevent bleeding), and frequent bacterial infections. People with Aldrich syndrome are at increased risk of developing leukemia and lymphoma. Also called Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome.

alefacept
A drug that is used to treat certain skin conditions and is being studied in the treatment of cutaneous (skin-related) T-cell cancer and T-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Alefacept is made by combining part of an antibody with a protein that blocks the growth some types of T cells. It is a type of fusion protein and a type of immunosuppressant. Also called Amevive.

alemtuzumab
A drug used to treat B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Alemtuzumab binds to a protein called CD52, which is found on some types of immune cells and cancer cells. This may help the immune system kill cancer cells. Alemtuzumab is a type of monoclonal antibody. Also called Campath.

alendronate sodium
A drug used to treat certain bone conditions, such as osteoporosis and Paget disease of the bone. It is also being studied in the treatment of hypercalcemia (high levels of calcium in the blood) and bone pain caused by cancer. Alendronate sodium slows the breakdown of bone and prevents the loss of calcium. It is a type of bisphosphonate. Also called Fosamax.

ALH
A benign (not cancer) condition in which there are more cells than normal in the breast lobules and the cells look abnormal under a microscope. Having ALH increases the risk of breast cancer. Also called atypical lobular breast hyperplasia and atypical lobular hyperplasia.

Alimta
A drug used alone or with another drug to treat certain types of non-small cell lung cancer and malignant pleural mesothelioma. It is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Alimta blocks DNA synthesis and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of folate antagonist. Also called LY231514 and pemetrexed disodium.

ALK gene
A gene that makes a protein called anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK), which may be involved in cell growth. Mutated (changed) forms of the ALK gene and protein have been found in some types of cancer, including neuroblastoma, non-small cell lung cancer, and anaplastic large cell lymphoma. These changes may increase the growth of cancer cells. Checking for changes in the ALK gene in tumor tissue may help to plan cancer treatment. Also called anaplastic lymphoma kinase gene.

alkali
A chemical that can dissolve in water, combine with acids to form salts, and make acids less acidic. Alkalis have a bitter taste and turn certain dyes blue. Some alkalis can help the body work the way it should. An example of an alkali is sodium hydroxide.
alkalinity
Refers to the amount of alkali. An alkali is a chemical that can dissolve in water, combine with acids to form salts, and make acids less acidic.

alkalinization
A process that lowers the amount of acid in a solution. In medicine, an alkali, such as sodium bicarbonate, may be given to patients to lower high levels of acid in the blood or urine that can be caused by certain medicines or conditions.

alkaloid
A member of a large group of substances found in plants and in some fungi. Alkaloids contain nitrogen and can be made in the laboratory. Nicotine, caffeine, codeine, and vincristine are alkaloids. Some alkaloids, such as vincristine, are used to treat cancer.

Alkeran
A drug that is used to treat multiple myeloma and ovarian epithelial cancer and is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called alkylating agents. Also called melphalan.

alkylating agent
A type of drug that is used in the treatment of cancer. It interferes with the cell’s DNA and inhibits cancer cell growth.

ALL
An aggressive (fast-growing) type of leukemia (blood cancer) in which too many lymphoblasts (immature white blood cells) are found in the blood and bone marrow. Also called acute lymphoblastic leukemia and acute lymphocytic leukemia.

all-trans retinoic acid
A nutrient that the body needs in small amounts to function and stay healthy. All-trans retinoic acid is made in the body from vitamin A and helps cells to grow and develop, especially in the embryo. A form of all-trans retinoic acid made in the laboratory is put on the skin to treat conditions such as acne and is taken by mouth to treat acute promyelocytic leukemia (a fast-growing cancer in which there are too many immature blood-forming cells in the blood and bone marrow). All-trans retinoic acid is being studied in the prevention and treatment of other types of cancer. Also called ATRA, retinoic acid, tretinoin, and vitamin A acid.

Allegra
A drug used to treat certain allergy symptoms. It blocks a chemical released during an allergic response that causes itching, sneezing, runny nose, wheezing, and watery eyes. It is a type of antihistamine. Also called fexofenadine.

allergen
A substance that causes an allergic response. Examples include pollen, molds, and certain foods.

allergic response
A hypersensitive immune reaction to a substance that normally is harmless or would not cause an immune response in most people. An allergic response may cause harmful symptoms such as itching or inflammation or tissue injury.

allogeneic
Taken from different individuals of the same species. Also called allogenic.

allogeneic bone marrow transplantation
A procedure in which a person receives stem cells (cells from which all blood cells develop) from a genetically similar, but not identical, donor.

allogeneic stem cell transplantation
A procedure in which a person receives blood-forming stem cells (cells from which all blood cells develop) from a genetically similar, but not identical, donor. This is often a sister or brother, but could be an unrelated donor.

allogenic
Taken from different individuals of the same species. Also called allogeneic.

allograft
The transplant of an organ, tissue, or cells from one individual to another individual of the same species who is not an identical twin.

allopathic medicine
A system in which medical doctors and other healthcare professionals (such as nurses, pharmacists, and therapists) treat symptoms and diseases using drugs, radiation, or surgery. Also called biomedicine, conventional medicine, mainstream medicine, orthodox medicine, and Western medicine.

allopurinol
A drug that lowers high levels of uric acid (a byproduct of metabolism) in the blood caused by some cancer treatments.

Allovectin-7
A substance that is being studied as a gene therapy agent in the treatment of cancer. It increases the ability of the immune system to recognize cancer cells and kill them.

aloe-emodin
A substance found in certain plants, including aloe vera. It belongs to a family of compounds called anthraquinones, which have shown anti-inflammatory and anticancer effects.

alopecia
The lack or loss of hair from areas of the body where hair is usually found. Alopecia can be a side effect of some cancer treatments.

Aloxi
A drug used to prevent nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy. It is also used to prevent nausea and vomiting after surgery. Aloxi blocks the action of the chemical serotonin in the brain, which may help lessen nausea and vomiting. It is a type of serotonin receptor antagonist and a type of antiemetic. Also called palonosetron hydrochloride.

alpha emitter radiation therapy
Therapy that uses a radioactive substance that gives off a type of high-energy radiation called an alpha-particle to kill cancer cells. The radioactive substance is injected into a vein, travels through the blood, and collects in certain tissues in the body, such as areas of bone with cancer. This type of radiation may cause less damage to nearby healthy tissue. Alpha emitter radiation therapy is used to treat prostate cancer that has spread to the bone, and it is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer.

alpha hydroxyl acid
One of a group of substances that are found in several types of fruit and in milk. They are used in skin care products to reduce wrinkles and soften the skin. Examples of alpha hydroxyl acids are glycolic acid, lactic acid, and citric acid. Also called AHA and fruit acid.

alpha-adrenergic antagonist
A substance that relaxes muscle tissue in blood vessels and in the prostate gland, which improves the flow of urine and blood. Alpha-adrenergic antagonists are used to treat the symptoms of many conditions, such as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), high blood pressure, and some blood circulation problems. Also called alpha-blocker.

alpha-blocker
A substance that relaxes muscle tissue in blood vessels and in the prostate gland, which improves the flow of urine and blood. Alpha-blockers are used to treat the symptoms of many conditions, such as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), high blood pressure, and some blood circulation problems. Also called alpha-adrenergic antagonist.

alpha-fetoprotein
A protein normally produced by a fetus. Alpha-fetoprotein levels are usually undetectable in the blood of healthy adult men or women (who are not pregnant). An elevated level of alpha-fetoprotein suggests the presence of either a primary liver cancer or germ cell tumor. Also called AFP.

alpha-lipoic acid
A substance that is being studied for its ability to protect normal cells from the side effects of chemotherapy and prevent peripheral neuropathy (numbness, tingling, burning, and weakness in the hands or feet). Alpha-lipoic acid is made by the body and can be found in foods such as organ meats, spinach, broccoli, peas, brussel sprouts, and rice bran. It can also be made in the laboratory. Alpha-lipoic acid is a type of antioxidant and chemoprotective agent.

alpha-tocopherol
A nutrient that the body needs in small amounts to stay healthy and work the way it should. It is fat-soluble (can dissolve in fats and oils) and is found in seeds, nuts, leafy green vegetables, and vegetable oils. Alpha-tocopherol boosts the immune system and helps keep blood clots from forming. It also helps prevent cell damage caused by free radicals (highly reactive chemicals). Alpha-tocopherol is being studied in the prevention and treatment of some types of cancer. It is a type of antioxidant. Also called vitamin E.

alprazolam
A drug used to treat anxiety disorders and panic attacks. It is being studied in the treatment of nausea and vomiting caused by some cancer treatments. It is a type of benzodiazepine. Also called Xanax.

alprostadil
A drug that is used to treat impotence (inability to have an erection) and is being studied in the treatment of sexual problems in men who have had surgery for prostate cancer. It is a type of vasodilator. Also called PGE1 and prostaglandin E1.

ALTENS
A procedure in which mild electric currents are applied to certain acupuncture points (spots on the body where an acupuncture needle may be inserted to control pain and other symptoms) on the skin. It is being studied in the treatment of dry mouth caused by radiation therapy for cancer. Also called acupuncture-like transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation.

Alteplase
A form of tissue plasminogen activator that is made in the laboratory. It helps dissolve blood clots and is used to treat heart attacks, strokes, and clots in the lungs. It is also being studied in the treatment of cancer. It is a type of systemic thrombolytic agent. Also called Activase, r-tPA, and recombinant tissue plasminogen activator.

alteration
A change resulting in something that is different from the original.

alternative medicine
Treatments that are used instead of standard treatments. Standard treatments are based on the results of scientific research and are currently accepted and widely used. Less research has been done for most types of alternative medicine. Alternative medicine may include special diets, megadose vitamins, herbal preparations, special teas, and magnet therapy. For example, a special diet may be used instead of anticancer drugs as a treatment for cancer.

altretamine
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called alkylating agents.

alum
A chemical substance that contains aluminum sulfate and a second chemical, usually potassium sulfate. It is used to shrink tissues, to stop bleeding, and to boost the immune response to a vaccine.

aluminum
A metallic element that is found combined with other elements in the earth’s crust. It is also found in small amounts in soil, water, and many foods. It is used in medicine and dentistry and in many products such as foil, cans, pots and pans, airplanes, siding, and roofs. High levels of aluminum in the body can be harmful.

ALVAC-CEA vaccine
A cancer vaccine made with a form of the canarypox virus that does not cause disease in people. It is being studied in the treatment of some kinds of cancer. The virus is changed in the laboratory to make a protein called carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), which is a tumor marker. ALVAC-CEA vaccine may help the immune system find and kill cancer cells that make CEA.

alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma
A soft tissue tumor that is most common in older children and teenagers. It begins in embryonic muscle cells (cells that develop into muscles in the body). It can occur at many places in the body, but usually occurs in the trunk, arms, or legs. Also called ARMS.

alveolar soft part sarcoma
A soft tissue tumor that is most common in older children and teenagers. It begins in the soft supporting tissue that connects and surrounds the organs and other tissues. Alveolar soft part sarcoma usually occurs in the legs, but can also occur in the arms, hands, head, or neck. It can cause the growth of new blood vessels that help the tumor grow and spread. Also called ASPS.

alveoli
Tiny air sacs at the end of the bronchioles (tiny branches of air tubes) in the lungs. The alveoli are where the lungs and the bloodstream exchange carbon dioxide and oxygen. Carbon dioxide in the blood passes into the lungs through the alveoli. Oxygen in the lungs passes through the alveoli into the blood.

alvocidib
A substance being studied in the treatment of several types of cancer. It stops cells from dividing and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitor. Also called flavopiridol and HMR 1275.

Alzheimer dementia
A brain disorder that usually starts in late middle age or old age and gets worse over time. Symptoms include loss of memory, confusion, difficulty thinking, and changes in language, behavior, and personality. Also called Alzheimer disease.

Alzheimer disease
A brain disorder that usually starts in late middle age or old age and gets worse over time. Symptoms include loss of memory, confusion, difficulty thinking, and changes in language, behavior, and personality. Also called Alzheimer dementia.

Amanita phalloides
A type of poisonous mushroom that has harmful effects on the kidneys and liver. It is responsible for most fatal cases of mushroom poisoning. Also called death cap.

amantadine hydrochloride
A drug used to treat infections caused by the influenza A virus. It blocks the ability of the virus to infect cells and to make more virus particles. It is also used to treat the symptoms of Parkinson disease. Amantidine hydrochloride is a type of antiviral agent.

amatuximab
A substance being studied in the treatment of mesothelioma. Amatuximab binds to a protein called mesothelin, which is found on some cancer cells. Amatuximab may help the immune system kill cancer cells. It is a type of monoclonal antibody. Also called anti-mesothelin monoclonal antibody MORAb-009 and MORAb-009.

Ambien
A drug used to treat insomnia (inability to sleep), and anxiety. It is a type of imidazopyridine (sedative hypnotic). Also called zolpidem.

AMD
A condition in which there is a slow breakdown of cells in the center of the retina (the light-sensitive layers of nerve tissue at the back of the eye). This blocks vision in the center of the eye and can cause problems with activities such as reading and driving. AMD is most often seen in people who are over the age of 50. Also called age-related macular degeneration, ARMD, and macular degeneration.

AMD 3100
A drug used before autologous stem cell transplantation in patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma or multiple myeloma. AMD 3100 is given together with granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) to help move stem cells from the bone marrow to the blood. The stem cells can then be collected, stored, and given back to the patient. AMD 3100 is a type of chemokine receptor antagonist. Also called Mozobil and plerixafor.

amelanotic melanoma
A type of skin cancer in which the cells do not make the pigment melanin. Skin lesions are often irregular and may be pink, red, or have light brown, tan, or gray at the edges.

amethopterin
A drug used to treat some types of cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and severe skin conditions, such as psoriasis. Amethopterin stops cells from making DNA and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of antimetabolite. Also called methotrexate, MTX, and Rheumatrex.

Amevive
A drug that is used to treat certain skin conditions and is being studied in the treatment of cutaneous (skin-related) T-cell cancer and T-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Amevive is made by combining part of an antibody with a protein that blocks the growth some types of T cells. It is a type of fusion protein and a type of immunosuppressant. Also called alefacept.

AMG 102
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. It binds to a protein called hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), which may cause cancer cells to grow. Blocking this may cause cancer cells to die. AMG 102 is a type of monoclonal antibody. Also called anti-HGF monoclonal antibody AMG 102.

AMG 162
A drug used to prevent or treat certain bone problems. Under the brand name Xgeva, it is used to prevent broken bones and other bone problems caused by solid tumors that have spread to bone. It is also used in certain patients to treat giant cell tumor of the bone that cannot be removed by surgery. Under the brand name Prolia, it is used to treat osteoporosis (a decrease in bone mass and density) in postmenopausal women who have a high risk of breaking bones. AMG 162 is also being studied in the treatment of other conditions and types of cancer. It binds to a protein called RANKL, which keeps RANKL from binding to another protein called RANK on the surface of certain bone cells, including bone cancer cells. This may help keep bone from breaking down and cancer cells from growing. AMG 162 is a type of monoclonal antibody. Also called denosumab, Prolia, and Xgeva.

AMG 531
A drug used to treat patients with immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) who do not get better with other forms of treatment. In ITP, platelets (cells that cause blood clots to form) are destroyed by the immune system. AMG 531 is being studied as a way to treat low platelet counts caused by chemotherapy. It binds to the thrombopoietin receptor and causes the bone marrow to make more platelets. AMG 531 is also being studied in the treatment of myelodysplastic syndromes (a group of diseases in which the bone marrow does not make enough healthy blood cells). It is a type of thrombopoietin agonist. Also called Nplate and romiplostim.

AMG 706
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. It belongs to the families of drugs called angiogenesis inhibitors and protein kinase inhibitors.

amifostine
A drug used as a chemoprotective drug to control some of the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

amikacin
An antibiotic drug used to treat infection. It belongs to the family of drugs called aminoglycoside antibiotics.

amino acid
One of several molecules that join together to form proteins. There are 20 common amino acids found in proteins.

amino acid sequence
The arrangement of amino acids in a protein. Proteins can be made from 20 different kinds of amino acids, and the structure and function of each protein are determined by the kinds of amino acids used to make it and how they are arranged.

aminobenzoic acid
A nutrient in the vitamin B complex that the body needs in small amounts to function and stay healthy. Bacteria that live in the intestines need aminobenzoic acid to survive. Aminobenzoic acid is found in grains and foods from animals. It is being studied as a radiosensitizer (a substance that makes tumor cells more sensitive to radiation therapy) and in the treatment of certain skin disorders. Also called PABA and para-aminobenzoic acid.

aminocamptothecin
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called topoisomerase inhibitors.

aminoglutethimide
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called nonsteroidal aromatase inhibitors. Aminoglutethimide is used to decrease the production of sex hormones (estrogen in women or testosterone in men) and suppress the growth of tumors that need sex hormones to grow.

aminoglycoside antibiotic
A substance that works against many types of bacteria and includes streptomycin, gentamicin, and neomycin. An aminoglycoside antibiotic is used to treat bacterial infections.

aminolevulinic acid
The active ingredient in a drug used to treat actinic keratosis (a skin condition that may become cancer). The drug is also being studied in the treatment of squamous cell and basal cell skin cancers and other types of cancer. When aminolevulinic acid is taken up by cells, including cancer cells, and then exposed to certain types of light, it becomes active and kills the cells. It is a type of photosensitizing agent.

aminolevulinic acid hydrochloride
A drug used to treat actinic keratosis (a skin condition that may become cancer). The drug is also being studied in the treatment of squamous cell and basal cell skin cancers and other types of cancer. When aminolevulinic acid hydrochloride is taken up by cells, including cancer cells, and then exposed to certain types of light, it becomes active and kills the cells. It is a type of photosensitizing agent. Also called Levulan and Levulan Kerastick.

aminopterin
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called antimetabolites.

amiodarone hydrochloride
A drug used to treat certain types of abnormal heart rhythms that have not gotten better with other drugs. Amiodarone hydrochloride affects the electrical activity of the heart. It is a type of antiarrhythmic agent. Also called Corderone.

amitriptyline
A drug that is used to treat depression and may be given to treat anxiety, sleep disorders, and pain. It is also being studied in an oral or gel form in the treatment of nerve pain caused by chemotherapy. Amitriptyline is a type of tricyclic antidepressant. Also called amitriptyline hydrochloride.

amitriptyline hydrochloride
A drug that is used to treat depression and may be given to treat anxiety, sleep disorders, and pain. It is also being studied in an oral or gel form in the treatment of nerve pain caused by chemotherapy. Amitriptyline hydrochloride is a type of tricyclic antidepressant. Also called amitriptyline.

AML
An aggressive (fast-growing) disease in which too many myeloblasts (immature white blood cells that are not lymphoblasts) are found in the bone marrow and blood. Also called acute myeloblastic leukemia, acute myelogenous leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia, acute nonlymphocytic leukemia, and ANLL.

ammonia
A gas made of nitrogen and hydrogen. It has a strong odor and can irritate the skin, eyes, nose, throat, and lungs. Ammonia is made by bacteria and decaying plants and animals and is found in water, soil, and air. Ammonia is also made by the body when proteins break down. In the laboratory, ammonia can be changed to a liquid and used in medicines, fertilizers, household cleaning liquids, and other products. It is also added to cigarettes to increase the effect of nicotine on the body.

ammonium tetrathiomolybdate
A substance being studied in the treatment of many types of cancer. Ammonium tetrathiomolybdate removes extra copper from the body. Removing the copper may prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow and may kill cancer cells. Ammonium tetrathiomolybdate is a type of chelating agent and a type of antiangiogenesis agent.

amonafide
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the families of drugs called topoisomerase inhibitors and intercalating agents.

amoxicillin
A drug used to treat some bacterial infections. Amoxicillin is a form of penicillin that is made in the laboratory. It kills certain types of bacteria. It is a type of antibiotic.

amoxicillin-clavulanate potassium
A drug used to treat bacterial infections. Adding the chemical clavulanate potassium to the antibiotic amoxicillin increases the amount of time the antibiotic stays active in the body. Amoxicillin-clavulanate potassium is a type of combination antibiotic. Also called Augmentin.

amphotericin B
A drug used in the treatment of infections caused by fungi. It is a type of antifungal.

Amplimexon
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer, including pancreatic, lung, breast, prostate, melanoma, and multiple myeloma. It belongs to the family of drugs called cyanoaziridine derivatives. Also called imexon.

ampulla
A sac-like enlargement of a canal or duct.

ampulla of Vater
An enlargement of the ducts from the liver and pancreas at the point where they enter the small intestine.

ampulla of Vater cancer
Cancer that forms in the ampulla of Vater (an enlargement of the ducts from the liver and pancreas where they join and enter the small intestine). Symptoms include jaundice, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and weight loss. Also called ampullary cancer.

ampullary cancer
Cancer that forms in the ampulla of Vater (an enlargement of the ducts from the liver and pancreas where they join and enter the small intestine). Symptoms include jaundice, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and weight loss. Also called ampulla of Vater cancer.

amputation
The removal by surgery of a limb (arm or leg) or other body part because of injury or disease, such as diabetes or cancer.

amrubicin
A substance being studied in the treatment of lung cancer. It is a type of anthracycline analog.

amsacrine
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called topoisomerase inhibitors.

amuvatinib
A substance being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. It may block certain proteins involved in cancer cell growth and DNA repair. Blocking these proteins may make cancer cells more sensitive to anticancer drugs and radiation therapy. Amuvatinib is a type of tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Also called MP470.

amygdalin
A substance found in the pits of many fruits such as apricots and papayas, and in other foods. It has been tried in some countries as a treatment for cancer, but it has not been shown to work in clinical studies. Amygdalin is not approved for use in the United States. Also called laetrile.

amylase
An enzyme that helps the body digest starches.

amyloidosis
A group of diseases in which protein builds up in certain organs (localized amyloidosis) or throughout the body (systemic amyloidosis). Amyloidosis may be either primary (with no known cause), secondary (caused by another disease, including some types of cancer, such as multiple myeloma), or hereditary (passed down from parents to children). Many organs are affected by amyloidosis. The organs affected may depend on whether the amyloidosis is the primary, secondary, or hereditary form.

anabolic steroid
A type of steroid that is used in medicine to repair body tissues and to increase appetite and the growth of muscles. Anabolic steroids are made in the laboratory from testosterone (a male hormone).

anagrelide
A drug that is used to decrease the number of platelets in the blood in order to prevent blood clotting.

anakinra
A substance that is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, and is being studied in the treatment of cancer. Anakinra blocks the action of interleukin 1 (IL-1). It is a type of interleukin receptor antagonist. Also called Kinaret.

anal
Having to do with the anus. The anus is the opening of the rectum (last part of the large intestine) to the outside of the body.

anal cancer
Cancer that forms in tissues of the anus. The anus is the opening of the rectum (last part of the large intestine) to the outside of the body.

anal Pap smear
A procedure in which cells are scraped from the lining of the anus (the opening of the rectum to the outside of the body) and looked at under a microscope. It is used to find cancer and changes in cells that may lead to cancer. An anal Pap smear can also show conditions that are not cancer, such as infection or inflammation. Also called anal Pap test.

anal Pap test
A procedure in which cells are scraped from the lining of the anus (the opening of the rectum to the outside of the body) and looked at under a microscope. It is used to find cancer and changes in cells that may lead to cancer. An anal Pap test can also show conditions that are not cancer, such as infection or inflammation. Also called anal Pap smear.

analgesia
Pain relief.

analgesic
A drug that reduces pain. Analgesics include aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen.

analog
In chemistry, a substance that is similar, but not identical, to another.

analysis
A process in which anything complex is separated into simple or less complex parts.

anaphylactic shock
A severe and sometimes life-threatening immune system reaction to an antigen that a person has been previously exposed to. The reaction may include itchy skin, edema, collapsed blood vessels, fainting, difficulty in breathing, and death.

anaplastic
A term used to describe cancer cells that divide rapidly and have little or no resemblance to normal cells.

anaplastic large cell lymphoma
An aggressive (fast-growing) type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that is usually of the T-cell type. The cancer cells express a marker called CD30 or Ki-1 on the surface, and may appear in the lymph nodes, skin, bones, soft tissues, lungs, or liver. Also called ALCL.

anaplastic lymphoma kinase gene
A gene that makes a protein called anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK), which may be involved in cell growth. Mutated (changed) forms of the ALK gene and protein have been found in some types of cancer, including neuroblastoma, non-small cell lung cancer, and anaplastic large cell lymphoma. These changes may increase the growth of cancer cells. Checking for changes in the anaplastic lymphoma kinase gene in tumor tissue may help to plan cancer treatment. Also called ALK gene.

anaplastic lymphoma receptor tyrosine kinase
A protein that is found on the outside of cells that sends signals into the cells. These signals help control cell growth and division. It is made by the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene, which may be changed in some types of cancer, such as anaplastic large cell lymphoma, neuroblastoma, and non-small cell lung cancer. These changes in the ALK gene can cause the cancer cells to grow and spread.

anaplastic thyroid cancer
A rare, aggressive type of thyroid cancer in which the malignant (cancer) cells look very different from normal thyroid cells.

anastomosis
A procedure to connect healthy sections of tubular structures in the body after the diseased portion has been surgically removed.

anastrozole
An anticancer drug that is used to decrease estrogen production and suppress the growth of tumors that need estrogen to grow. It is a type of nonsteroidal aromatase inhibitor.

anatomic
Having to do with anatomy (the study of the structure of a plant or animal).

anatomist
A person who specializes in anatomy (the study of the structures of animals or plants).

anatomy
The study of the structure of a plant or animal.

ANC
A measure of the number of neutrophils in the blood. Neutrophils are a type of white blood cell. They help the body fight infection. An ANC may be used to check for infection, inflammation, leukemia, and other conditions. The lower a person’s ANC is, the higher the risk is of getting an infection. Having an ANC of less than 500 means there is a high risk of getting an infection. Cancer treatment, such as chemotherapy, may reduce the ANC. Also called absolute neutrophil count.

ancestim
A substance that causes blood stem cells (cells from which other types of cells develop) to change into different types of blood cells and increases the number and actions of these cells in the blood. It is being studied in the treatment of myelodysplasia. Ancestim is a type of recombinant stem cell growth factor. Also called r-metHuSCF, recombinant human methionyl stem cell factor, and Stemgen.

ancillary test
In a clinical trial, a medical test on a patient that is not a part of the original study design.

androblastoma
A rare type of ovarian tumor in which the tumor cells secrete a male sex hormone. This may cause virilization (the appearance of male physical characteristics in females). Also called arrhenoblastoma and Sertoli-Leydig cell tumor of the ovary.

androgen
A type of hormone that promotes the development and maintenance of male sex characteristics.

androgen ablation
Treatment to suppress or block the production or action of male hormones. This is done by having the testicles removed, by taking female sex hormones, or by taking drugs called antiandrogens. Also called androgen deprivation and androgen suppression.

androgen deprivation
Treatment to suppress or block the production or action of male hormones. This is done by having the testicles removed, by taking female sex hormones, or by taking drugs called antiandrogens. Also called androgen ablation and androgen suppression.

androgen receptor
A protein that binds male hormones called androgens. Androgen receptors are found inside the cells of male reproductive tissue, some other types of tissue, and some cancer cells. In prostate cancer, androgens bind to androgen receptors inside the cancer cells, which causes the cancer cells to grow. Also called AR.

androgen receptor positive
Describes cells that have a protein that binds to androgens (male hormones). Cancer cells that are androgen receptor positive may need androgens to grow. These cells may stop growing or die when they are treated with substances that block the binding and actions of androgen hormones. Also called AR+.

androgen suppression
Treatment to suppress or block the production or action of male hormones. This is done by having the testicles removed, by taking female sex hormones, or by taking drugs called antiandrogens. Also called androgen ablation and androgen deprivation.

androgen-independent
Describes the ability of tumor cells to grow in the absence of androgens (hormones that promote the development and maintenance of male sex characteristics). Many early prostate cancers require androgens for growth, but advanced prostate cancers are often androgen-independent.

androstanolone
A hormone made from testosterone in the prostate, testes, and certain other tissues. It is needed to develop and maintain male sex characteristics, such as facial hair, deep voice, and muscle growth. High amounts of androstanolone may increase the growth of prostate cancer and make it harder to treat. Also called DHT and dihydrotestosterone.

anecdotal report
An incomplete description of the medical and treatment history of one or more patients. Anecdotal reports may be published in places other than peer-reviewed, scientific journals.

anemia
A condition in which the number of red blood cells is below normal.

anesthesia
A loss of feeling or awareness caused by drugs or other substances. Anesthesia keeps patients from feeling pain during surgery or other procedures. Local anesthesia is a loss of feeling in one small area of the body. Regional anesthesia is a loss of feeling in a part of the body, such as an arm or leg. General anesthesia is a loss of feeling and a complete loss of awareness that feels like a very deep sleep.

anesthesiologist
A doctor who specializes in giving drugs or other agents to prevent or relieve pain during surgery or other procedures being done in the hospital.

anesthetic
A drug or other substance that causes a loss of feeling or awareness. Local anesthetics cause a loss of feeling in one small area of the body. Regional anesthetics cause a loss of feeling in a part of the body, such as an arm or leg. General anesthetics cause a loss of feeling and a complete loss of awareness that feels like a very deep sleep.

anetholtrithione
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer.

angelica root
The root of any of a group of herbs called Angelica. It has been used in some cultures to treat certain medical problems, including gastrointestinal problems such as loss of appetite, feelings of fullness, and gas.

Angiocept
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. Angiocept may prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 (VEGFR-2) inhibitor and a type of antiangiogenesis agent. Also called CT-322 and VEGFR-2 inhibitor CT-322.

angiofollicular lymph node hyperplasia
A rare disorder in which benign (not cancer) growths form in lymph node tissue. There are two main ways that angiofollicular lymph node hyperplasia occurs: localized (unicentric) and multicentric. Unicentric angiofollicular lymph node hyperplasia affects only one group of lymph nodes in one part of the body, usually in the chest or abdomen. It may not cause symptoms. Multicentric angiofollicular lymph node hyperplasia affects many groups of lymph nodes and lymphoid tissue all through the body. It can weaken the immune system and cause problems such as infection, fever, weight loss, fatigue, night sweats, nerve damage, and anemia. People with angiofollicular lymph node hyperplasia have an increased risk of lymphoma. Also called Castleman disease and giant lymph node hyperplasia.

angiogenesis
Blood vessel formation. Tumor angiogenesis is the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. This process is caused by the release of chemicals by the tumor and by host cells near the tumor.

angiogenesis inhibitor
A drug or substance that keeps new blood vessels from forming. In cancer treatment, angiogenesis inhibitors may prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. Also called antiangiogenesis agent.

angiogram
An x-ray or computer image (CT scan or MRI) of the blood vessels and blood flow in the body. A dye may be injected through a catheter (small tube) into an artery or vein to make the blood vessels easier to see. An angiogram may be used to check for an aneurysm (a bulge in a blood vessel wall), blockages in arteries, blood clots, or other problems, such as a tumor.

angiography
A procedure to x-ray blood vessels. The blood vessels can be seen because of an injection of a dye that shows up in the x-ray.

angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma
An aggressive (fast-growing) type of T-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma marked by enlarged lymph nodes and hypergammaglobulinemia (increased antibodies in the blood). Other symptoms may include a skin rash, fever, weight loss, or night sweats.

angiomyolipoma
A benign (noncancer) tumor of fat and muscle tissue that usually is found in the kidney. Angiomyolipomas rarely cause symptoms, but may bleed or grow large enough to be painful or cause kidney failure. They are common in patients with tuberous sclerosis (a genetic disorder in which benign tumors grow in the kidneys, brain, eyes, heart, lungs, and skin, causing seizures, mental problems, and skin lesions).

angioplasty
A procedure to enlarge the opening in a blood vessel that has become narrowed or blocked by plaque (a buildup of fat and cholesterol on the inner wall of the blood vessel). Examples of angioplasty are balloon angioplasty and laser angioplasty.

angiosarcoma
A type of cancer that begins in the cells that line blood vessels or lymph vessels. Cancer that begins in blood vessels is called hemangiosarcoma. Cancer that begins in lymph vessels is called lymphangiosarcoma.

angiostatin
A protein normally made by the body. It can also be made in the laboratory, and is being studied in the treatment of cancer. Angiostatin may prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It is a type of antiangiogenesis agent.

angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor
A drug that is used to lower blood pressure. An angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor is a type of antihypertensive agent. Also called ACE inhibitor.

Angiozyme
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. Angiozyme is a special type of RNA made in the laboratory. It stops a protein called vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) from being made. This may prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It is a type of angiogenesis inhibitor and a type of ribozyme. Also called RPI.4610.

anhydrovinblastine
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called mitotic inhibitors.

anidulafungin
A drug that is used to treat infections caused by fungi. It belongs to the family of drugs called antifungals.

animal model
An animal with a disease either the same as or like a disease in humans. Animal models are used to study the development and progression of diseases and to test new treatments before they are given to humans. Animals with transplanted human cancers or other tissues are called xenograft models.

animal study
A laboratory experiment using animals to study the development and progression of diseases. Animal studies also test how safe and effective new treatments are before they are tested in people.

animal-assisted therapy
A type of therapy that uses dogs or other pets to improve the physical and mental health of patients with certain acute or chronic diseases. It is being studied as a way to relieve distress in cancer patients undergoing treatment for pain. Also called pet-facilitated therapy.

aniridia
A disorder in which a person is born without part or all of the iris (colored tissue at the front of the eyeball). Aniridia usually affects both eyes and causes other eye problems, including being sensitive to light and loss of vision.

ANLL
An aggressive (fast-growing) disease in which too many myeloblasts (immature white blood cells that are not lymphoblasts) are found in the bone marrow and blood. Also called acute myeloblastic leukemia, acute myelogenous leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia, acute nonlymphocytic leukemia, and AML.

annamycin
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called anthracycline antibiotics.

anorexia
An abnormal loss of the appetite for food. Anorexia can be caused by cancer, AIDS, a mental disorder (i.e., anorexia nervosa), or other diseases.

anorexia nervosa
An eating disorder marked by an intense fear of gaining weight, a refusal to maintain a healthy weight, and a distorted body image. People with anorexia nervosa have an abnormal loss of appetite for food, try to avoid eating, and eat as little as possible.

ANS
The part of the nervous system that controls muscles of internal organs (such as the heart, blood vessels, lungs, stomach, and intestines) and glands (such as salivary glands and sweat glands). One part of the ANS helps the body rest, relax, and digest food and another part helps a person fight or take flight in an emergency. Also called autonomic nervous system and involuntary nervous system.

ansamycin
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called antineoplastic antibiotics.

antagonist
In medicine, a substance that stops the action or effect of another substance. For example, a drug that blocks the stimulating effect of estrogen on a tumor cell is called an estrogen receptor antagonist.

antenatal
Having to do with the time a female is pregnant, before birth occurs. Also called prenatal.

anterior
In human anatomy, has to do with the front of a structure, or a structure found toward the front of the body.

anterior mediastinotomy
A procedure in which a tube is inserted into the chest to view the tissues and organs in the area between the lungs and between the breastbone and heart. The tube is inserted through an incision next to the breastbone. This procedure is usually used to get a tissue sample from the lymph nodes on the left side of the chest. Also called Chamberlain procedure.

anterior mediastinum
The area in the front part of the chest between the lungs. Also called prevascular space.

anterior pelvic exenteration
Surgery to remove the urethra, lower part of the ureters, uterus, cervix, vagina, and bladder.

anterior urethral cancer
A disease in which malignant (cancer) cells are found in the part of the urethra (the tube through which urine leaves the body) that is closest to the outside of the body.

anthracenedione
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called anticancer antibiotics.

anthracycline
A type of antibiotic that comes from certain types of Streptomyces bacteria. Anthracyclines are used to treat many types of cancer. Anthracyclines damage the DNA in cancer cells, causing them to die. Daunorubicin, doxorubicin, and epirubicin are anthracyclines.

anthraquinone
A type of anticancer drug.

anti-CCR2 monoclonal antibody MLN1202
A substance being studied as a treatment for atherosclerosis (a build-up of fat in the arteries). It is also being studied in the treatment of cancers that spread to the bone. Anti-CCR2 monoclonal antibody MLN1202 binds to a protein called CCR2, which is found on the surface of certain bone cells, white blood cells, and cancer cells. Anti-CCR2 monoclonal antibody MLN1202 blocks the action of a substance that is involved in keeping healthy bone mass. It may help keep the cancer cells from spreading to and growing in the bone. It is a type of monoclonal antibody. Also called MLN1202.

anti-CD19 immunotoxin
A monoclonal antibody linked to a toxic substance. It is being studied in the treatment of some types of B-cell cancer. Anti-CD19 immunotoxin is made in the laboratory. It binds to CD19, a protein on the surface of normal B cells and B-cell tumors, and kills the cells.

anti-CD22 immunotoxin
A monoclonal antibody linked to a toxic substance. It is being studied in the treatment of some types of B-cell cancer. Anti-CD22 immunotoxin is made in the laboratory. It binds to CD22, a protein on the surface of normal B cells and B-cell tumors, and kills the cells.

anti-CD22 immunotoxin CAT-8015
A monoclonal antibody linked to a toxic substance. It is being studied in the treatment of some types of B-cell cancer. Anti-CD22 immunotoxin CAT-8015 is made in the laboratory. It binds to CD22, a protein on the surface of normal B cells and B-cell tumors, and kills the cells. Also called CAT-8015.

anti-CD45 monoclonal antibody
A substance being studied in the treatment of some types of leukemia and lymphoma. Anti-CD45 monoclonal antibody binds to a protein called CD45, which is found on most types of blood cells and some types of leukemia and lymphoma cells. Anti-CD45 monoclonal antibody may help the immune system kill cancer cells. It is a type of monoclonal antibody.

anti-CEA antibody
An antibody against carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), a protein present on certain types of cancer cells.

anti-EpCAM-Pseudomonas-exotoxin fusion protein
A substance being studied in the treatment of certain types of head and neck cancer. Anti-EpCAM-Pseudomonas-exotoxin fusion protein is made by linking a monoclonal antibody fragment to a toxic protein that may kill cancer cells. It binds to EpCAM (a protein on the surface of epithelial cells and some types of cancer cells). Also called Proxinium and VB4-845.

anti-HGF monoclonal antibody AMG 102
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. It binds to a protein called hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), which may cause cancer cells to grow. Blocking this may cause cancer cells to die. Anti-HGF monoclonal antibody AMG 102 is a type of monoclonal antibody. Also called AMG 102.

anti-idiotype vaccine
A vaccine made of antibodies that see other antibodies as the antigen and bind to it. Anti-idiotype vaccines can stimulate the body to produce antibodies against tumor cells.

anti-IGF1R recombinant monoclonal antibody MK-0646
A substance being studied in the treatment of many types of cancer. Anti-IGF1R recombinant monoclonal antibody MK-0646 binds to a protein called insulin-like growth factor receptor (IGFR) on the surface of cells. This may prevent the cells from growing when IGF is present. It may also kill cancer cells. Anti-IGF1R recombinant monoclonal antibody MK-0646 is a type of monoclonal antibody. Also called MK-0646.

anti-IL-6 chimeric monoclonal antibod
A drug used to treat a rare condition called Castleman disease in patients who do not have HIV or human herpesvirus 8. It is also being studied in the treatment of multiple myeloma. Anti-IL-6 chimeric monoclonal antibody binds to a protein called interleukin-6 (IL-6), which is made by some white blood cells and other cells in the body. Anti-IL-6 chimeric monoclonal antibody may help reduce inflammation and stop the growth of cancer cells or abnormal blood cells. It is a type of monoclonal antibody. Also called cCLB8, CNTO 328, siltuximab, and Sylvant.

anti-inflammatory
Having to do with reducing inflammation.

anti-mesothelin monoclonal antibody MORAb-009
A substance being studied in the treatment of mesothelioma. Anti-mesothelin monoclonal antibody MORAb-009 binds to a protein called mesothelin, which is found on some cancer cells. Anti-mesothelin monoclonal antibody MORAb-009 may help the immune system kill cancer cells. It is a type of monoclonal antibody. Also called amatuximab and MORAb-009.

anti-PDGFR alpha monoclonal antibody IMC-3G3
A substance being studied in the treatment of glioblastoma (a type of brain tumor) that has come back. It binds to receptors for a protein called platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF). This keeps PDGF from binding to the cells. This may stop the growth of cancer cells and blood vessels that have the receptors for PDGF. It is a type of monoclonal antibody. Also called anti-platelet-derived growth factor receptor alpha monoclonal antibody IMC-3G3 and IMC-3G3.

anti-platelet-derived growth factor receptor alpha monoclonal antibody IMC-3G3
A substance being studied in the treatment of glioblastoma (a type of brain tumor) that has come back. It binds to receptors for a protein called platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF). This keeps PDGF from binding to the cells. This may stop the growth of cancer cells and blood vessels that have the receptors for PDGF. It is a type of monoclonal antibody. Also called anti-PDGFR alpha monoclonal antibody IMC-3G3 and IMC-3G3.

anti-TGF-beta monoclonal antibody GC1008
A substance being studied in the treatment of breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. It is also being studied in the treatment of other cancers and conditions. Anti-TGF-beta monoclonal antibody GC1008 binds to a protein called transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta), which is found on some cancer cells. Anti-TGF-beta monoclonal antibody GC1008 may help keep cancer cells from growing and prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It is a type of monoclonal antibody and a type of antiangiogenesis agent. Also called fresolimumab and GC1008.

anti-TRAIL R1-mAb
A substance being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. It binds to a protein called TRAIL R1 on the surface of some tumor cells. This may kill the tumor cells. Anti-TRAIL R1-mAb is a type of monoclonal antibody. Also called HGS-ETR1 and mapatumumab.

anti-TRAIL R2 mAb HGS-ETR2
A substance being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. It binds to a protein called TRAIL-R2 on the surface of some tumor cells, which may kill the tumor cells. Anti-TRAIL R2 mAb HGS-ETR2 is a type of monoclonal antibody. Also called HGS-ETR2 and lexatumumab.

anti-VEGFR monoclonal antibody
A substance that binds to receptors for a protein called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), which may be found on some types of cancer cells. This may prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. There are different types of anti-VEGFR monoclonal antibodies being studied in the treatment of cancer. These substances are a type of antiangiogenesis agent and a type of monoclonal antibody.

anti-VEGFR-2 fully human monoclonal antibody IMC-1121B
A drug used with docetaxel to treat non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that has spread to other parts of the body. It is also used alone or with paclitaxel to treat cancer of the stomach or gastroesophageal junction (area where the esophagus connects to the stomach) that is advanced or has spread to other parts of the body. Anti-VEGFR-2 fully human monoclonal antibody IMC-1121B is used in patients whose cancer has gotten worse after treatment with other anticancer drugs. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Anti-VEGFR-2 fully human monoclonal antibody IMC-1121B binds to receptors for a protein called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), which may be found on some types of cancer cells. This may prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. Anti-VEGFR-2 fully human monoclonal antibody IMC-1121B is a type of antiangiogenesis agent and a type of monoclonal antibody. Also called Cyramza, IMC-1121B, and ramucirumab.

antiandrogen
A substance that keeps androgens (male hormones) from binding to proteins called androgen receptors, which can be found in prostate cells and cells of some other tissues. Treatment with antiandrogens may stop prostate cancer cells from growing. Examples of antiandrogens used to treat prostate cancer are flutamide, bicalutamide, enzalutamide, and nilutamide.

antiandrogen therapy
Treatment with drugs used to block production or interfere with the action of male sex hormones.

antiangiogenesis
Prevention of the growth of new blood vessels.

antiangiogenesis agent
A drug or substance that keeps new blood vessels from forming. In cancer treatment, antiangiogenesis agents may prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. Also called angiogenesis inhibitor.

antiangiogenic
Having to do with reducing the growth of new blood vessels.

antianxiety agent
A drug used to treat symptoms of anxiety, such as feelings of fear, dread, uneasiness, and muscle tightness, that may occur as a reaction to stress. Most antianxiety agents block the action of certain chemicals in the nervous system. Also called anxiolytic and anxiolytic agent.

antiapoptotic
Something that prevents apoptosis. Apoptosis is a type of cell death in which a series of molecular steps in a cell leads to its death.

antibacterial
A substance that kills bacteria or stops them from growing and causing disease.

antibiotic
A drug used to treat infections caused by bacteria and other microorganisms.

antibody
A protein made by plasma cells (a type of white blood cell) in response to an antigen (a substance that causes the body to make a specific immune response). Each antibody can bind to only one specific antigen. The purpose of this binding is to help destroy the antigen. Some antibodies destroy antigens directly. Others make it easier for white blood cells to destroy the antigen. An antibody is a type of immunoglobulin.

antibody therapy
Treatment with an antibody, a substance that can directly kill specific tumor cells or stimulate the immune system to kill tumor cells.

antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity
A type of immune reaction in which a target cell or microbe is coated with antibodies and killed by certain types of white blood cells. The white blood cells bind to the antibodies and release substances that kill the target cells or microbes. Also called ADCC and antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity.

antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity
A type of immune reaction in which a target cell or microbe is coated with antibodies and killed by certain types of white blood cells. The white blood cells bind to the antibodies and release substances that kill the target cells or microbes. Also called ADCC and antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity.

anticachexia
Describes a drug or effect that works against cachexia (loss of body weight and muscle mass).

anticancer antibiotic
A type of anticancer drug that blocks cell growth by interfering with DNA, the genetic material in cells. Also called antineoplastic antibiotic and antitumor antibiotic.

anticancer therapy
reatment to stop or prevent cancer.

anticarcinogenic
Having to do with preventing or delaying the development of cancer.

anticoagulant
A substance that is used to prevent and treat blood clots in blood vessels and the heart. Also called blood thinner.

anticonvulsant
A drug or other substance used to prevent or stop seizures or convulsions. Also called antiepileptic.

antidepressant
A drug used to treat depression.

antidiarrheal
A substance used to treat diarrhea (frequent and watery bowel movements).

antiemetic
A drug that prevents or reduces nausea and vomiting.

antiepileptic
A drug or other substance used to prevent or stop seizures or convulsions. Also called anticonvulsant.

antiestrogen
A substance that keeps cells from making or using estrogen (a hormone that plays a role in female sex characteristics, the menstrual cycle, and pregnancy). Antiestrogens may stop some cancer cells from growing and are used to prevent and treat breast cancer. They are also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. An antiestrogen is a type of hormone antagonist. Also called estrogen blocker.

antifolate
A type of drug that stops cells from using folic acid to make DNA and may kill cancer cells. Certain antifolates are used to treat some types of cancer and inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Also called folate antagonist and folic acid antagonist.

antifungal
A drug that treats infections caused by fungi.

antigen
Any substance that causes the body to make an immune response against that substance. Antigens include toxins, chemicals, bacteria, viruses, or other substances that come from outside the body. Body tissues and cells, including cancer cells, also have antigens on them that can cause an immune response. These antigens can also be used as markers in laboratory tests to identify those tissues or cells.

antigen-presenting cell
A type of immune cell that boosts immune responses by showing antigens on its surface to other cells of the immune system. An antigen-presenting cell is a type of phagocyte. Also called APC.

antigen-presenting cell vaccine
A vaccine made of antigens and antigen-presenting cells (APCs). APCs boost an immune response by presenting antigens on their surfaces to other cells of the immune system. Also called APC vaccine.

antiglobulin test
A laboratory test to identify antibodies that can bind to the surface of red blood cells or platelets and destroy them. This test is used to diagnose certain blood disorders in which patients make antibodies to their own red blood cells or platelets. It is also used to determine blood type. Also called Coombs test.

antihistamine
A type of drug that blocks the action of histamines, which can cause fever, itching, sneezing, a runny nose, and watery eyes. Antihistamines are used to prevent fevers in patients receiving blood transfusions and to treat allergies, coughs, and colds.

antihormone therapy
Treatment with drugs, surgery, or radiation in order to block the production or action of a hormone. Antihormone therapy may be used in cancer treatment because certain hormones are able to stimulate the growth of some types of tumors.

antihypertensive agent
A type of drug used to treat high blood pressure. There are many different types of antihypertensive agents, and they work in different ways to lower blood pressure. Some remove extra fluid and salt from the body. Others relax and widen the blood vessels or slow the heartbeat. A person may respond better and have fewer side effects with one drug than with another. Some patients need more than one antihypertensive agent to lower their blood pressure.

antilymphocyte globulin
Serum from blood that contains antibodies that bind to human T cells. Antilymphocyte globulin is given to a patient before a stem cell transplant to kill T cells and lower the risk of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). It is also used to treat GVHD and after a kidney transplant to help keep the body from rejecting the kidney. Also called antithymocyte globulin.

antimetabolite
A drug that is very similar to natural chemicals in a normal biochemical reaction in cells but different enough to interfere with the normal division and functions of cells.

antimicrobial
A substance that kills microorganisms such as bacteria or mold, or stops them from growing and causing disease.

antimicrotubule agent
A type of drug that blocks cell growth by stopping mitosis (cell division). Antimicrotubule agents interfere with microtubules (cellular structures that help move chromosomes during mitosis). They are used to treat cancer.

antimitotic agent
A type of drug that blocks cell growth by stopping mitosis (cell division). They are used to treat cancer. Also called mitotic inhibitor.

antineoplastic
Blocking the formation of neoplasms (growths that may become cancer).

antineoplastic antibiotic
A type of anticancer drug that blocks cell growth by interfering with DNA, the genetic material in cells. Also called anticancer antibiotic and antitumor antibiotic.

antineoplaston
A substance isolated from normal human blood and urine that is being tested as a type of treatment for some tumors and AIDS.

antioncogene
A type of gene that makes a protein called a tumor suppressor protein that helps control cell growth. Mutations (changes in DNA) in antioncogenes may lead to cancer. Also called tumor suppressor gene.

antioxidant
A substance that protects cells from the damage caused by free radicals (unstable molecules made by the process of oxidation during normal metabolism). Free radicals may play a part in cancer, heart disease, stroke, and other diseases of aging. Antioxidants include beta-carotene, lycopene, vitamins A, C, and E, and other natural and manufactured substances.

antiparasitic
A drug used to treat infections caused by bacteria and parasites. It is also used in the treatment of some cancers.

antiprogestin
A substance that prevents cells from making or using progesterone (a hormone that plays a role in the menstrual cycle and pregnancy). Antiprogestins may stop some cancer cells from growing and they are being studied in the treatment of breast cancer. An antiprogestin is a type of hormone antagonist.

antipsychotic
A type of drug used to treat symptoms of psychosis. These include hallucinations (sights, sounds, smells, tastes, or touches that a person believes to be real but are not real), delusions (false beliefs), and dementia (loss of the ability to think, remember, learn, make decisions, and solve problems). Most antipsychotics block the action of certain chemicals in the nervous system. Also called antipsychotic agent and neuroleptic agent.

antipsychotic agent
A type of drug used to treat symptoms of psychosis. These include hallucinations (sights, sounds, smells, tastes, or touches that a person believes to be real but are not real), delusions (false beliefs), and dementia (loss of the ability to think, remember, learn, make decisions, and solve problems). Most antipsychotic agents block the action of certain chemicals in the nervous system. Also called antipsychotic and neuroleptic agent.

antiretroviral therapy
Treatment with drugs that inhibit the ability of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or other types of retroviruses to multiply in the body.

antisense agent
Small pieces of DNA or RNA that can bind to specific molecules of RNA. This blocks the ability of the RNA to make a protein or work in other ways. Antisense agents may be used to block the production of proteins needed for cell growth. They are being studied in the treatment of several types of cancer. Also called antisense oligonucleotide.

antisense c-fos
A substance that has been studied in the treatment of cancer and is being studied in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and certain skin conditions. It blocks the production of a protein called c-fos, which helps control cell growth. This may kill cancer cells that need c-fos to grow. It is a type of antisense oligonucleotide. Also called c-fos antisense oligonucleotide.

antisense DNA
Small pieces of DNA that can bind to specific molecules of RNA and block the cell’s ability to use the RNA to make a protein or work in other ways. Antisense DNA may be used to block the production of proteins needed for cell growth. It is being studied in the treatment of many types of cancer.

antisense oligonucleotide
Small pieces of DNA or RNA that can bind to specific molecules of RNA. This blocks the ability of the RNA to make a protein or work in other ways. Antisense oligonucleotides may be used to block the production of proteins needed for cell growth. They are being studied in the treatment of several types of cancer. Also called antisense agent.

antisense oligonucleotide therapy
Treatment with antisense oligonucleotides. These are small pieces of DNA or RNA that can bind to specific molecules of RNA. This blocks the cell’s ability to use the RNA to make a protein or work in other ways. Antisense oligonucleotides are being studied in the treatment of many types of cancer. Also called antisense therapy.

antisense RNA
Small pieces of RNA that can bind to specific molecules of RNA and block the cell’s ability to use the RNA to make a protein or work in other ways. Antisense RNA may be used to block the production of proteins needed for cell growth. It is being studied in the treatment of many types of cancer.

antisense therapy
Treatment with antisense oligonucleotides. These are small pieces of DNA or RNA that can bind to specific molecules of RNA. This blocks the cell’s ability to use the RNA to make a protein or work in other ways. Antisense oligonucleotides are being studied in the treatment of many types of cancer. Also called antisense oligonucleotide therapy.

antisocial
Describes behavior that ignores the rights of others and the practices and laws of society.

antithymocyte globulin
Serum from blood that contains antibodies that bind to human T cells. Antithymocyte globulin is given to a patient before a stem cell transplant to kill T cells and lower the risk of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). It is also used to treat GVHD and after a kidney transplant to help keep the body from rejecting the kidney. Also called antilymphocyte globulin.

antituberculosis
Describes a drug or effect that works against tuberculosis (a contagious bacterial infection that usually affects the lungs).

antitumor
Having to do with stopping abnormal cell growth.

antitumor antibiotic
A type of anticancer drug that blocks cell growth by interfering with DNA, the genetic material in cells. Also called anticancer antibiotic and antineoplastic antibiotic.

antiviral
A drug used to treat infections caused by viruses.

anus
The opening of the rectum to the outside of the body.

anxiety
Feelings of fear, dread, and uneasiness that may occur as a reaction to stress. A person with anxiety may sweat, feel restless and tense, and have a rapid heart beat. Extreme anxiety that happens often over time may be a sign of an anxiety disorder.

anxiolysis
A level of sedation in which a person is very relaxed and may be awake. The person is able to answer questions and follow instructions. Anxiolysis is caused by special drugs and is used to help relieve anxiety during certain medical or surgical procedures. Also called minimal sedation.

anxiolytic
A drug used to treat symptoms of anxiety, such as feelings of fear, dread, uneasiness, and muscle tightness, that may occur as a reaction to stress. Most anxiolytics block the action of certain chemicals in the nervous system. Also called antianxiety agent and anxiolytic agent.

anxiolytic agent
A drug used to treat symptoms of anxiety, such as feelings of fear, dread, uneasiness, and muscle tightness, that may occur as a reaction to stress. Most anxiolytic agents block the action of certain chemicals in the nervous system. Also called antianxiety agent and anxiolytic.

Anzemet
A drug used to prevent nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy. It is also used to prevent nausea and vomiting after surgery. Anzemet blocks the action of the chemical serotonin, which binds to certain nerves and may trigger nausea and vomiting. Blocking serotonin may help lessen nausea and vomiting. It is a type of serotonin receptor antagonist and a type of antiemetic. Also called dolasetron mesylate.

aorta
The largest artery in the body. It carries oxygen-rich blood away from the heart to vessels that reach the rest of the body.

aortocoronary bypass
Surgery in which a healthy blood vessel taken from another part of the body is used to make a new path for blood around a blocked artery leading to the heart. This restores the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the heart. Also called CAB and coronary artery bypass.

AP23573
A substance being studied in the treatment of soft tissue and bone cancers. It is also being studied in the treatment of other solid tumors and hematologic cancer. AP23573 stops cells from dividing and may cause cancer cells to die. It is a type of mTOR inhibitor. Also called ridaforolimus.

AP5346
A substance being studied in the treatment of head and neck cancer. It may kill cancer cells by carrying an anticancer drug into the tumor. It is a type of platinum compound.

APC
A type of immune cell that boosts immune responses by showing antigens on its surface to other cells of the immune system. An APC is a type of phagocyte. Also called antigen-presenting cell.

APC vaccine
A vaccine made of antigens and antigen-presenting cells (APCs). APCs boost an immune response by presenting antigens on their surfaces to other cells of the immune system. Also called antigen-presenting cell vaccine.

APC8015
A drug used to treat prostate cancer that has spread. It is made from immune system cells collected from a patient with prostate cancer. The cells are treated with a protein that is made by combining a protein found on prostate cancer cells with a growth factor. When the cells are injected back into the patient, they may stimulate T cells to kill prostate cancer cells. APC8015 is a type of vaccine and a type of cellular adoptive immunotherapy. Also called Provenge and sipuleucel-T.

APC8015F
A vaccine made from immune system cells taken from a patient with prostate cancer and frozen for future use. The cells are treated in the laboratory with a growth factor attached to a protein called prostatic-acid phosphatase (PAP), which is found on prostate cancer cells. When APC8015F is injected into the patient, it may cause T cells (a type of white blood cell) to kill tumor cells that have PAP on them.

apheresis
A procedure in which blood is collected, part of the blood such as platelets or white blood cells is taken out, and the rest of the blood is returned to the donor. Also called pheresis.

Apidra
A drug used to control the amount of sugar in the blood of patients with diabetes mellitus. It is a form of the hormone insulin that is made in the laboratory. Apidra gets into the blood faster than insulin when it is injected under the skin before or shortly after a meal. It is a type of therapeutic insulin. Also called insulin glulisine.

APL
An aggressive (fast-growing) type of acute myeloid leukemia in which there are too many immature blood-forming cells in the blood and bone marrow. It is usually marked by an exchange of parts of chromosomes 15 and 17. Also called acute promyelocytic leukemia and promyelocytic leukemia.

aplastic anemia
A condition in which the bone marrow is unable to produce blood cells.

aplidine
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It is obtained from a marine organism.

APN
A registered nurse who has additional education and training in how to diagnose and treat disease. APNs are licensed at the state level and certified by national nursing organizations. In cancer care, an APN may manage the primary care of patients and their families, based on a practice agreement with a doctor. Also called advanced practice nurse, NP, and nurse practitioner.

Apo-2L
A cell protein that can attach to certain molecules in some cancer cells and may kill the cells. Apo-2L is being studied in the treatment of cancer. Also called TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand, TRAIL, and tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand.

apocrine gland
A type of gland that is found in the skin, breast, eyelid, and ear. Apocrine glands in the breast secrete fat droplets into breast milk and those in the ear help form earwax. Apocrine glands in the skin and eyelid are sweat glands. Most apocrine glands in the skin are in the armpits, the groin, and the area around the nipples of the breast. Apocrine glands in the skin are scent glands, and their secretions usually have an odor. Another type of gland (eccrine gland or simple sweat gland) produces most sweat.

apolizumab
A substance being studied in the treatment of hematologic (blood) cancers. Apolizumab binds to a protein called ID10, which is found on the surface of some types of immune cells and cancer cells. It may help the immune system kill cancer cells. It is a type of monoclonal antibody.

apoptosis
A type of cell death in which a series of molecular steps in a cell lead to its death. This is one method the body uses to get rid of unneeded or abnormal cells. The process of apoptosis may be blocked in cancer cells. Also called programmed cell death.

appendage
In medicine, a body part (such as an arm or leg) that is attached to the main part of the body.

appendectomy
Surgery to remove the appendix (small finger-shaped pouch at the end of the first part of the large intestine).

appendix
A small, fingerlike pouch that sticks out from the cecum (the first part of the large intestine near the end of the small intestine).

appetite
A desire to satisfy a physical or mental need, such as for food, sex, or adventure.

aprepitant
A drug used together with other drugs to prevent and control the nausea and vomiting caused by cancer treatment. It is also used to treat nausea and vomiting after surgery. It is a type of antiemetic and a type of substance P/neurokinin 1 receptor antagonist. Also called Emend.

Aptivus
A drug used with another drug, ritonavir, to treat patients who are infected with HIV (the virus that causes AIDS) and have been treated with other anti-HIV drugs. Aptivus blocks the HIV virus from making copies of itself. It is a type of anti-HIV agent and a type of protease inhibitor. Also called tipranavir sodium.

aqueous
Having to do with water.

AR
A protein that binds male hormones called androgens. ARs are found inside the cells of male reproductive tissue, some other types of tissue, and some cancer cells. In prostate cancer, androgens bind to ARs inside the cancer cells, which causes the cancer cells to grow. Also called androgen receptor.

AR+
Describes cells that have a protein that binds to androgens (male hormones). Cancer cells that are AR+ may need androgens to grow. These cells may stop growing or die when they are treated with substances that block the binding and actions of androgen hormones. Also called androgen receptor positive.

arctigenin
A substance found in certain plants, including burdock. It has shown antiviral and anticancer effects. Arctigenin belongs to a group of substances called lignans.

arctiin
A substance found in certain plants, including burdock. It has shown anticancer effects. Arctiin belongs to a group of substances called lignans.

Aredia
A drug used to treat hypercalcemia (high blood levels of calcium) caused by certain types of cancer. It is also used with other anticancer drugs to treat multiple myeloma and breast cancer that has spread to bone. It is also used to treat Paget disease of the bone. Aredia may help keep bone from breaking down and prevent the loss of calcium from the bones. It is a type of bisphosphonate. Also called pamidronate disodium.

areola
The area of dark-colored skin on the breast that surrounds the nipple.

arginine
One of the twenty common amino acids (building blocks of proteins). Arginine is being studied as a nutritional supplement in the treatment and prevention of cancer and other conditions. Also called L-arginine.

arginine butyrate
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer.

argon beam coagulator ablation
A procedure that destroys tissue with an electrical current passed through a stream of argon gas to the tissue. It is used to treat endometriosis and other conditions, and to stop blood loss during surgery.

Arixtra
A drug used to prevent blood clots from forming inside blood vessels in the leg. It is being studied in the prevention of blood clots in some cancer patients, including women having surgery for cancer of the reproductive tract. It is a type of anticoagulant. Also called fondaparinux and fondaparinux sodium.

ARMD
A condition in which there is a slow breakdown of cells in the center of the retina (the light-sensitive layers of nerve tissue at the back of the eye). This blocks vision in the center of the eye and can cause problems with activities such as reading and driving. ARMD is most often seen in people who are over the age of 50. Also called age-related macular degeneration, AMD, and macular degeneration.

armodafinil
A drug that is used to treat certain sleep disorders, such as narcolepsy. It makes patients feel more alert and awake. It is also being studied in the treatment of insomnia and fatigue in patients treated for cancer. Armodafinil acts in a part of the brain that controls sleep and wakefulness. It is a type of wakefulness-promoting agent. Also called Nuvigil.

ARMS
A soft tissue tumor that is most common in older children and teenagers. It begins in embryonic muscle cells (cells that develop into muscles in the body). It can occur at many places in the body, but usually occurs in the trunk, arms, or legs. Also called alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma.

Aromasin
A drug used to treat advanced breast cancer and to prevent recurrent breast cancer in postmenopausal women who have already been treated with tamoxifen. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Aromasin causes a decrease in the amount of estrogen made by the body. It is a type of aromatase inhibitor. Also called exemestane.
aromatase inhibitor
A drug that prevents the formation of estradiol, a female hormone, by interfering with an aromatase enzyme. Aromatase inhibitors are used as a type of hormone therapy for postmenopausal women who have hormone-dependent breast cancer.

aromatherapist
A person who practices a type of complementary medicine called aromatherapy. This therapy uses plant oils that give off strong, pleasant smells to promote relaxation and a sense of well-being. The plant oils are usually inhaled or put on the skin using wet cloths, baths, or massage.

aromatherapy
A type of complementary and alternative medicine that uses plant oils that give off strong pleasant aromas (smells) to promote relaxation, a sense of well-being, and healing.

aromatherapy infusion
The process of heating (without boiling) a mixture of water and an essential oil (scented liquid taken from a plant) to release a pleasant aroma. Aromatherapy infusion may also refer to the process of heating an herb in liquid to release the essential oils. Inhaled oxygen scented by aromatherapy infusion is being studied as a complementary therapy (used in addition to standard treatments) to relieve pain and shorten recovery time in patients undergoing colonoscopy.

aromatherapy massage
A type of complementary and alternative medicine that uses rubbing and kneading of the skin with plant oils that give off strong, pleasant aromas (smells) to promote relaxation, a sense of well-being, and healing.

aromatic
Having an odor, which often is pleasant or spicy.

arousal
The state of being alert and ready to respond, or waking from sleep.

Arranon
A drug used to treat certain types of T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) and T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma (T-LBL). It belongs to the family of drugs called antimetabolites. Also called 506U78 and nelarabine.

arrhenoblastoma
A rare type of ovarian tumor in which the tumor cells secrete a male sex hormone. This may cause virilization (the appearance of male physical characteristics in females). Also called androblastoma and Sertoli-Leydig cell tumor of the ovary.

arsenic
A poisonous chemical used to kill weeds and pests. Also used in cancer therapy.

arsenic trioxide
A drug used to treat acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) that has not gotten better or that has come back after treatment with other anticancer drugs. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Also called Trisenox.

art therapy
Treatment that uses the making of art and the response to art to improve one’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Art therapy is sometimes used together with psychotherapy (talk therapy).

arterial embolization
A procedure in which the blood supply to a tumor or an abnormal area of tissue is blocked. During arterial embolization, a small incision (cut) is made in the inner thigh and a catheter (thin, flexible tube) is inserted and guided into an artery near the tumor or abnormal tissue. Once the catheter is in place, small particles made of tiny gelatin sponges or beads are injected. This blocks the artery and stops the flow of blood to the tumor or abnormal area of tissue. Arterial embolization is used to treat some types of liver cancer, kidney cancer, and neuroendocrine tumors. It may also be used to treat uterine fibroids, aneurysms, and other conditions. Also called TAE and transarterial embolization.

arteriogram
An x-ray of arteries. The person receives an injection of a dye that outlines the vessels on the x-ray.

arteriography
A procedure to x-ray arteries. The arteries can be seen because of an injection of a dye that outlines the vessels on the x-ray.

artery
A blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to tissues and organs in the body.

arthralgia
Joint pain.

arthritis
A disease that causes inflammation and pain in the joints.

artificial pacemaker
An electronic device that is implanted in the body to monitor heart rate and rhythm. It gives the heart electrical stimulation when it does not beat normally. It runs on batteries and has long, thin wires that connect it to the heart. Also called cardiac pacemaker and pacemaker.

Arzerra
A drug used to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) that has not gotten better with other anticancer drugs. It is also used with chlorambucil in patients who have not already been treated and cannot receive certain anticancer drugs. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Arzerra binds to a protein called CD20, which is found on B cells (a type of white blood cell) and some types of leukemia and lymphoma cells. This may help the immune system kill cancer cells. Arzerra is a type of monoclonal antibody. Also called HuMax-CD20 and ofatumumab.

arzoxifene hydrochloride
A substance being studied in the treatment of osteoporosis and breast cancer. Arzoxifene hydrochloride is made in the laboratory and binds to estrogen receptors in the body. It is a type of selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM). Also called LY353381 hydrochloride.

asbestos
A group of minerals that take the form of tiny fibers. Asbestos has been used as insulation against heat and fire in buildings. Loose asbestos fibers breathed into the lungs can cause several serious diseases, including lung cancer and malignant mesothelioma (cancer found in the lining of the lungs, chest, or abdomen). Asbestos that is swallowed may cause cancer of the gastrointestinal tract.

asbestosis
A lung disease caused by breathing in particles of asbestos (a group of minerals that take the form of tiny fibers). Symptoms include coughing, trouble breathing, and chest pain caused by scarring and permanent damage to lung tissue. Asbestosis increases the risk of lung cancer and malignant mesothelioma (cancer found in the lining of the lungs, chest, or abdomen).

ASC-H
A finding of abnormal cells in a Pap test. It means there are abnormal squamous cells in the tissue that lines the outer part of the cervix. ASC-H may be a sign of a high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (HSIL), which may become cervical cancer if untreated. More testing may be needed. Also called atypical squamous cells, cannot exclude a high-grade lesion.

ASC-US
A finding of abnormal cells in the tissue that lines the outer part of the cervix. ASC-US is the most common abnormal finding in a Pap test. It may be a sign of infection with certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV). It may also be a sign of a benign (not cancer) growth, such as a cyst or polyp or, in menopausal women, of low hormone levels. More testing, such as an HPV test, may be needed. Also called ASCUS and atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance.

ascites
Abnormal buildup of fluid in the abdomen that may cause swelling. In late-stage cancer, tumor cells may be found in the fluid in the abdomen. Ascites also occurs in patients with liver disease.

ascorbic acid
A nutrient that the body needs in small amounts to function and stay healthy. Ascorbic acid helps fight infections, heal wounds, and keep tissues healthy. It is an antioxidant that helps prevent cell damage caused by free radicals (highly reactive chemicals). Ascorbic acid is found in all fruits and vegetables, especially citrus fruits, strawberries, cantaloupe, green peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, leafy greens, and potatoes. It is water-soluble (can dissolve in water) and must be taken in every day. Ascorbic acid is being studied in the prevention and treatment of some types of cancer. Also called vitamin C.

ASCUS
A finding of abnormal cells in the tissue that lines the outer part of the cervix. ASCUS is the most common abnormal finding in a Pap test. It may be a sign of infection with certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV). It may also be a sign of a benign (not cancer) growth, such as a cyst or polyp or, in menopausal women, of low hormone levels. More testing, such as an HPV test, may be needed. Also called ASC-US and atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance.

aseptic necrosis
A condition in which there is a loss of blood flow to bone tissue, which causes the bone to die. It is most common in the hips, knees, shoulders, and ankles. It may be caused by long-term use of steroid medicines, alcohol abuse, joint injuries, and certain diseases, such as cancer and arthritis. It may also occur at some point in time after cancer treatment that included methotrexate, bisphosphonates, or corticosteroids. Also called avascular necrosis, ischemic necrosis, and osteonecrosis.

Ashkenazi Jews
One of two major ancestral groups of Jewish individuals. The ancestors of Ashkenazi Jews lived in Central and Eastern Europe (e.g., Germany, Poland, Russia). The other group is called Sephardic Jews and includes those whose ancestors lived in North Africa, the Middle East, and Spain. Most Jews living in the United States are of Ashkenazi descent.

asparaginase
A drug that is used to treat acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and is being studied in the treatment of some other types of cancer. It is an enzyme taken from the bacterium Escherichia coli (E. coli). It breaks down the amino acid asparagine and may block the growth of tumor cells that need asparagine to grow. Also called Elspar and L-asparaginase.

asparaginase Erwinia chrysanthemi
A drug used with other anticancer drugs to treat acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). It is an enzyme that comes from the Erwinia chrysanthemi bacterium. It is used in patients who cannot take a similar drug that comes from the E. coli bacterium. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It breaks down the amino acid asparagine and may block the growth of cancer cells that need asparagine to grow. It may also kill cancer cells. Also called Erwinaze.

aspartate transaminase
An enzyme found in the liver, heart, and other tissues. A high level of aspartate transaminase released into the blood may be a sign of liver or heart damage, cancer, or other diseases. Also called serum glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase and SGOT.

aspergillosis
An infectious fungal disease that occurs most often in the skin, ears, nasal sinuses, and lungs of people with suppressed immune systems.

Aspergillus
Fungi commonly found in soil. Certain types of Aspergillus may cause disease, especially in people who have suppressed immune systems.

aspirate
Aspirate (pronounced AS-pih-rit) refers to fluid, tissue, or other substance that is withdrawn from a body cavity, cyst, or tumor. Aspirate (pronounced AS-pih-rayt) refers to the act of withdrawing the fluid, tissue, or other substance through a needle. It also refers to the accidental breathing in of food or fluid into the lungs. This can cause serious problems, such as pneumonia and other lung problems.

aspiration
Removal of fluid or tissue through a needle. Also, the accidental breathing in of food or fluid into the lungs.

aspirin
A drug that reduces pain, fever, inflammation, and blood clotting. Aspirin belongs to the family of drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents. It is also being studied in cancer prevention.

ASPS
A soft tissue tumor that is most common in older children and teenagers. It begins in the soft supporting tissue that connects and surrounds the organs and other tissues. ASPS usually occurs in the legs, but can also occur in the arms, hands, head, or neck. It can cause the growth of new blood vessels that help the tumor grow and spread. Also called alveolar soft part sarcoma.

assay
A laboratory test to find and measure the amount of a specific substance.

assent process
A process that is required by law in which children or adolescents are given easy-to-understand information about a clinical trial to help them decide if they want to take part in the trial. The patient is given a chance to ask questions about what will happen during the trial, why it’s being done, and what they will be asked to do. Formal consent to enter the trial comes from the parent or guardian.

assessment
In healthcare, a process used to learn about a patient’s condition. This may include a complete medical history, medical tests, a physical exam, a test of learning skills, tests to find out if the patient is able to carry out the tasks of daily living, a mental health evaluation, and a review of social support and community resources available to the patient.

assistive device
A tool that helps a person with a disability to do a certain task. Examples are a cane, wheelchair, scooter, walker, hearing aid, or special bed.

assistive technology
Any device or technology that helps a disabled person. Examples are special grips for holding utensils, computer screen monitors to help a person with low vision read more easily, computers controlled by talking, telephones that make the sound louder, and lifters to help a person rise out of a chair.

asthenia
Weakness; lack of energy and strength.

asthma
A chronic disease in which the bronchial airways in the lungs become narrowed and swollen, making it difficult to breathe. Symptoms include wheezing, coughing, tightness in the chest, shortness of breath, and rapid breathing. An asthma attack may be brought on by pet hair, dust, smoke, pollen, mold, exercise, cold air, or stress.

astrocyte
A large, star-shaped cell that holds nerve cells in place and helps them develop and work the way they should. An astrocyte is a type of glial cell.

astrocytoma
A tumor that begins in the brain or spinal cord in small, star-shaped cells called astrocytes.

asymmetry
Lack or absence of balanced proportions between parts of a thing.

asymptomatic
Having no signs or symptoms of disease.

asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis
Inflammation of the prostate gland where the only symptom is the presence of white blood cells in the prostate fluid.

AT/RT
An aggressive cancer of the central nervous system, kidney, or liver that occurs in very young children. Also called ATT/RHT and atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor.

AT7519M
A substance being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. AT7519M blocks enzymes needed for cells to divide. It is a type of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor. Also called CDK inhibitor AT7519M.

AT9283
A substance being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. It blocks enzymes (Aurora kinases) involved in cell division and may kill cancer cells. AT9283 is a type of serine/threonine protein kinase inhibitor. Also called Aurora kinase inhibitor AT9283.

atamestane
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. Atamestane blocks the production of the hormone estrogen in the body. It belongs to the family of drugs called antiestrogens.

ataxia
Loss of muscle coordination.

ataxia-telangiectasia
A rare, inherited, progressive, degenerative disease of childhood that causes loss of muscle control, a weakened immune system, and an increased risk of cancer.

ataxic gait
Awkward, uncoordinated walking.

atelectasis
a blocked airway, a tumor, general anesthesia, pneumonia or other lung infections, lung disease, or long-term bedrest with shallow breathing. Sometimes called a collapsed lung.

athymic nude mouse
A type of laboratory mouse that is hairless, lacks a normal thymus gland, and has a defective immune system because of a genetic mutation. Athymic nude mice are often used in cancer research because they do not reject tumor cells, from mice or other species.

atiprimod
A substance being studied in the treatment of certain multiple myelomas and other advanced cancers. Atiprimod may block the growth of tumors and may prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. Atiprimod is a type of signal transduction inhibitor and a type of antiangiogenesis agent. Also called azaspirane and SK&F106615.

ATLL
An aggressive (fast-growing) type of T-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma caused by the human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1). It is marked by bone and skin lesions, high calcium levels, and enlarged lymph nodes, spleen, and liver. Also called adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma.

ATN-161
A substance being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. ATN-161 may prevent the spread of tumor cells and may prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It is a type of antiangiogenesis agent.

ATN-224
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. It may prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. ATN-224 also blocks enzymes that cells need to divide and grow, and it may kill cancer cells. It is a type of antiangiogenesis agent and a type of superoxide dismutase inhibitor. Also called SOD1 inhibitor ATN-224.

atom
The smallest part of a substance that cannot be broken down chemically. Each atom has a nucleus (center) made up of protons (positive particles) and neutrons (particles with no charge). Electrons (negative particles) move around the nucleus. Atoms of different elements contain different numbers of protons, neutrons, and electrons.

atorvastatin
The active ingredient in a drug used to lower the amount of cholesterol in the blood and to prevent stroke, heart attack, and angina (chest pain). It is also being studied in the prevention and treatment of some types of cancer and other conditions. Atorvastatin blocks an enzyme that helps make cholesterol in the body. It also causes an increase in the breakdown of cholesterol. It is a type of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor and a type of statin.

atorvastatin calcium
A drug used to lower the amount of cholesterol in the blood and to prevent stroke, heart attack, and angina (chest pain). It is also being studied in the prevention and treatment of some types of cancer and other conditions. Atorvastatin calcium blocks an enzyme that helps make cholesterol in the body. It also causes an increase in the breakdown of cholesterol. It is a type of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor and a type of statin. Also called Lipitor.

ATP
A substance present in all living cells that provides energy for many metabolic processes and is involved in making RNA. ATP made in the laboratory is being studied in patients with advanced solid tumors to see if it can decrease weight loss and improve muscle strength. Also called adenosine triphosphate.

ATRA
A nutrient that the body needs in small amounts to function and stay healthy. ATRA is made in the body from vitamin A and helps cells to grow and develop, especially in the embryo. A form of ATRA made in the laboratory is put on the skin to treat conditions such as acne and is taken by mouth to treat acute promyelocytic leukemia (a fast-growing cancer in which there are too many immature blood-forming cells in the blood and bone marrow). ATRA is being studied in the prevention and treatment of other types of cancer. Also called all-trans retinoic acid, retinoic acid, tretinoin, and vitamin A acid.

atrasentan
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called endothelin-1 protein receptor antagonists.

atropine sulfate
A drug used to block nerve stimulation of muscles and glands and relax smooth muscles. It is also used to increase heart rate, reduce secretions, and treat the effects of certain poisons. It is a type of antimuscarinic agent and a type of tropane alkaloid.

atropine suppression test
A test used to help find out if secretion of pancreatic polypeptide (a protein released by the pancreas) is normal or caused by a tumor. A drug called atropine sulfate is injected into the patient’s vein and level of pancreatic polypeptide in the blood is measured. If there is a tumor, the injection will not change the level of pancreatic polypeptide. If there is no tumor, the level of pancreatic polypeptide will drop.

ATT/RHT
An aggressive cancer of the central nervous system, kidney, or liver that occurs in very young children. Also called AT/RT and atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor.

attenuated
Weakened or thinned. Attenuated strains of disease-causing bacteria and viruses are often used as vaccines. The weakened strains are used as vaccines because they stimulate a protective immune response while causing no disease or only mild disease in the person receiving the vaccine.

atypia
is an abnormality in cells in tissue.

atypical ductal breast hyperplasia
A benign (not cancer) condition in which there are more cells than normal in the lining of breast ducts and the cells look abnormal under a microscope. Having atypical ductal breast hyperplasia increases the risk of breast cancer. Also called ADH and atypical ductal hyperplasia.

atypical ductal hyperplasia
A benign (not cancer) condition in which there are more cells than normal in the lining of breast ducts and the cells look abnormal under a microscope. Having atypical ductal hyperplasia increases the risk of breast cancer. Also called ADH and atypical ductal breast hyperplasia.

atypical glandular cells
A finding of abnormal cells in a Pap test. The glandular cells come from the inner part of the cervix or the lining of the uterus. This finding may be a sign of cancer or other serious condition, and more testing may be needed. Also called AGC.

atypical glandular cells of undetermined significance
A term that has been used to describe abnormal cells that come from glands in the walls of the cervix (the lower, narrow end of the uterus). These abnormal cells are found in a small number of Pap smears (a procedure used to detect cervical cancer) and may be a sign of more serious lesions or cancer. The term used now is atypical glandular cells. Also called AGUS and atypical glandular cells of uncertain significance.

atypical glandular cells of uncertain significance
A term that has been used to describe abnormal cells that come from glands in the walls of the cervix (the lower, narrow end of the uterus). These abnormal cells are found in a small number of Pap smears (a procedure used to detect cervical cancer) and may be a sign of more serious lesions or cancer. The term used now is atypical glandular cells. Also called AGUS and atypical glandular cells of undetermined significance.

atypical hyperplasia
A benign (not cancer) condition in which cells look abnormal under a microscope and are increased in number.

atypical lobular breast hyperplasia
A benign (not cancer) condition in which there are more cells than normal in the breast lobules and the cells look abnormal under a microscope. Having atypical lobular breast hyperplasia increases the risk of breast cancer. Also called ALH and atypical lobular hyperplasia.

atypical lobular hyperplasia
A benign (not cancer) condition in which there are more cells than normal in the breast lobules and the cells look abnormal under a microscope. Having atypical lobular hyperplasia increases the risk of breast cancer. Also called ALH and atypical lobular breast hyperplasia.

atypical mole
A type of nevus (mole) that looks different from a common mole. An atypical mole is often larger with borders that are not easy to see. Its color is usually uneven and can range from pink to dark brown. Parts of the mole may be raised above the skin surface. An atypical mole may develop into malignant melanoma (a type of skin cancer). Also called dysplastic nevus.

atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance
A finding of abnormal cells in the tissue that lines the outer part of the cervix. Atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance is the most common abnormal finding in a Pap test. It may be a sign of infection with certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV). It may also be a sign of a benign (not cancer) growth, such as a cyst or polyp or, in menopausal women, of low hormone levels. More testing, such as an HPV test, may be needed. Also called ASC-US and ASCUS.

atypical squamous cells, cannot exclude a high-grade lesion
A finding of abnormal cells in a Pap test. It means there are abnormal squamous cells in the tissue that lines the outer part of the cervix. Atypical squamous cells, cannot exclude a high-grade lesion may be a sign of a high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (HSIL), which may become cervical cancer if untreated. More testing may be needed. Also called ASC-H.

atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor
An aggressive cancer of the central nervous system, kidney, or liver that occurs in very young children. Also called AT/RT and ATT/RHT.

auditory
Having to do with the ear and the sense of hearing.

auditory brain stem response test
A test used to detect some types of hearing loss, such as hearing loss caused by injury or tumors that affect nerves involved in hearing. Electrodes are placed on the head and certain tones or clicking sounds are made. The electrodes measure nerve signals in the brain when it reacts to the sounds. Also called ABR test, BAER test, and brain stem auditory evoked response test.

Augmentin
A drug used to treat bacterial infections. Adding the chemical clavulanate potassium to the antibiotic amoxicillin increases the amount of time the antibiotic stays active in the body. Augmentin is a type of combination antibiotic. Also called amoxicillin-clavulanate potassium.

augmerosen
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. It may kill cancer cells by blocking the production of a protein that makes cancer cells live longer and by making them more sensitive to anticancer drugs. It is a type of antisense oligodeoxyribonucleotide. Also called bcl-2 antisense oligodeoxynucleotide G3139, Genasense, and oblimersen sodium.

auricular
Having to do with the ear.

Aurimmune
A substance being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. Aurimmune is made in the laboratory by binding a cancer-killing protein called tumor necrosis factor (TNF) to the surface of very tiny particles of gold. These TNF-gold particles may kill cancer cells without harming healthy tissue. Also called colloidal gold-bound tumor necrosis factor and TNF-bound colloidal gold.

Aurora B/C kinase inhibitor GSK1070916A
A substance being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. It blocks certain enzymes (Aurora kinases) involved in cell division and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of serine/threonine protein kinase inhibitor. Also called GSK1070916A.

Aurora kinase inhibitor AT9283
A substance being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. It blocks enzymes (Aurora kinases) involved in cell division and may kill cancer cells. Aurora kinase inhibitor AT9283 is a type of serine/threonine protein kinase inhibitor. Also called AT9283.

aurotherapy
A procedure that uses gold salts (a salt form of the metal element gold) to treat diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis. The gold salts stop cells from releasing chemicals that can harm tissues. Also called chrysotherapy and gold therapy.

autoantibody
An antibody made against substances formed by a person’s own body. Autoantibodies can directly destroy cells that have the substances on them or can make it easier for other white blood cells to destroy them. Some autoimmune diseases are caused by autoantibodies.

autoclave
A device that uses steam under high pressure to sterilize medical and laboratory supplies and equipment.

autoclave-resistant factor
A substance found in soybeans that may slow down or stop the spread of cancer. This substance does not break down in an autoclave (a device that uses steam under high pressure to sterilize medical and laboratory supplies and equipment).

autoimmune disease
A condition in which the body recognizes its own tissues as foreign and directs an immune response against them.

autoimmune enteropathy
A rare disease in which certain cells in the intestine are destroyed by a patient’s immune system. It causes severe, chronic, diarrhea and usually occurs in children.

autoimmune hemolytic anemia
A condition in which the body’s immune system stops red blood cells from forming or causes them to clump together. Autoimmune hemolytic anemia can occur in patients who have chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Also called immune complex hemolytic anemia and immunohemolytic anemia.

autoimmune thyroiditis
An autoimmune condition of the thyroid gland (a gland located beneath the larynx). It is caused by the formation of antibodies that attack the thyroid gland and it usually causes hypothyroidism (too little thyroid hormone). Symptoms include fatigue, weight gain, constipation, dry skin, depression, and the inability to exercise. It is more common in females and can run in families. Also called Hashimoto disease and Hashimoto thyroiditis.

autologous
Taken from an individual’s own tissues, cells, or DNA.

autologous bone marrow
In transplantation, refers to a person’s own bone marrow. Bone marrow is the soft, sponge-like tissue in the center of most large bones that produces white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets.

autologous bone marrow transplantation
A procedure in which bone marrow is removed from a person, stored, and then given back to the person after intensive treatment.

autologous expanded mesenchymal stem cells OTI-010
A product that is made of special stem cells taken from a patient’s bone marrow and grown in the laboratory. After a patient’s bone marrow is destroyed by treatment with whole body irradiation or chemotherapy, these cells are injected back into the patient to help rebuild bone marrow. Autologous expanded mesenchymal stem cells OTI-010 has been studied in the prevention of graft-versus-host disease during stem cell transplant in patients receiving treatment for cancer. Autologous expanded mesenchymal stem cells OTI-010 is used in cellular therapy. Also called Stromagen.

autologous lymphocyte
In transplantation, refers to a person’s own white blood cells. Lymphocytes have a number of roles in the immune system, including the production of antibodies and other substances that fight infections and other diseases.

autologous stem cell transplantation
A procedure in which blood-forming stem cells (cells from which all blood cells develop) are removed, stored, and later given back to the same person.

autologous tumor cell
A cancer cell from an individual’s own tumor.

autonomic nervous system
The part of the nervous system that controls muscles of internal organs (such as the heart, blood vessels, lungs, stomach, and intestines) and glands (such as salivary glands and sweat glands). One part of the autonomic nervous system helps the body rest, relax, and digest food and another part helps a person fight or take flight in an emergency. Also called ANS and involuntary nervous system.

autophagy
A normal process in which a cell destroys proteins and other substances in its cytoplasm (the fluid inside the cell membrane but outside the nucleus), which may lead to cell death. Autophagy may prevent normal cells from developing into cancer cells, but it may also protect cancer cells by destroying anticancer drugs or substances taken up by them.

Avage
A drug used on the skin to treat several skin conditions. It is also being studied in the treatment of basal cell skin cancer and basal cell nevus syndrome. Avage is related to vitamin A and is made in the laboratory. It turns on a gene that may help stop the growth of skin cancer cells. Avage is a type of synthetic retinoid. Also called tazarotene and Tazorac.

Avandia
A drug that helps control the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood and is being studied in the prevention and treatment of some types of cancer. Avandia stops cells from growing and may prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It is a type of thiazolidinedione and a type of antiangiogenesis agent. Also called rosiglitazone maleate.

avascular necrosis
A condition in which there is a loss of blood flow to bone tissue, which causes the bone to die. It is most common in the hips, knees, shoulders, and ankles. It may be caused by long-term use of steroid medicines, alcohol abuse, joint injuries, and certain diseases, such as cancer and arthritis. It may also occur at some point in time after cancer treatment that included methotrexate, bisphosphonates, or corticosteroids. Also called aseptic necrosis, ischemic necrosis, and osteonecrosis.

Avastin
A drug used alone or with other drugs to treat certain types of cervical, colorectal, lung, kidney, ovarian, fallopian tube, and primary peritoneal cancer, and glioblastoma (a type of brain cancer). It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Avastin binds to a protein called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). This may prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It is a type of antiangiogenesis agent and a type of monoclonal antibody. Also called bevacizumab.

Avelox
A drug used to treat bacterial infections. It is a type of fluoroquinolone. Also called moxifloxacin and moxifloxacin hydrochloride.

Aventyl
A drug used to treat depression. It may also be used to treat panic or anxiety disorders and certain types of pain, and to help people quit smoking. Aventyl increases the levels of norepinephrine and other natural chemicals in the brain. This helps improve mood and may reduce a person’s craving for nicotine. It is a type of tricyclic antidepressant. Also called nortriptyline and Pamelor.

Avita
A topical preparation of tretinoin that is used to treat acne. Tretinoin is a form of vitamin A.

AVN944
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. It blocks cells from making DNA and RNA and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of inosine monophosphate dehydrogenase (IMPDH) inhibitor.

Avodart
A drug used to treat symptoms of an enlarged prostate gland. It is being studied in the treatment of male hair loss and prostate cancer. Avodart blocks enzymes the body needs to make male sex hormones. It is a type of 5-alpha reductase inhibitor. Also called dutasteride and GG745.

avoidance
The act of staying away from people, places, and thoughts that may cause anxiety, pain, or unpleasant feelings. Some types of cancer-related avoidance include refusing to accept a cancer diagnosis or get treatment, and using alcohol or other drugs to forget about having cancer.

axilla
The underarm or armpit.

axillary
Pertaining to the armpit area, including the lymph nodes that are located there.

axillary dissection
Surgery to remove lymph nodes found in the armpit region. Also called axillary lymph node dissection.

axillary lymph node
A lymph node in the armpit region that drains lymph from the breast and nearby areas.

axillary lymph node dissection
Surgery to remove lymph nodes found in the armpit region. Also called axillary dissection.

axitinib
A drug used to treat advanced renal cell carcinoma (the most common type of kidney cancer). It is used in patients who have not gotten better with other anticancer drugs. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Axitinib blocks the action of proteins called growth factor receptors and may prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It is a type of tyrosine kinase inhibitor and a type of antiangiogenesis agent. Also called Inlyta.

Ayurveda
A medical system from India that has been used for thousands of years. The goal is to cleanse the body and to restore balance to the body, mind, and spirit. It uses diet, herbal medicines, exercise, meditation, breathing, physical therapy, and other methods. It is a type of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) therapy. Also called Ayurvedic medicine.

Ayurvedic medicine
A medical system from India that has been used for thousands of years. The goal is to cleanse the body and to restore balance to the body, mind, and spirit. It uses diet, herbal medicines, exercise, meditation, breathing, physical therapy, and other methods. It is a type of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) therapy. Also called Ayurveda.

azacitidine
A drug that is used to treat myelodysplastic syndromes and is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called antimetabolites. Also called Mylosar and Vidaza.

azaspirane
A substance being studied in the treatment of certain multiple myelomas and other advanced cancers. Azaspirane may block the growth of tumors and may prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. Azaspirane is a type of signal transduction inhibitor and a type of antiangiogenesis agent. Also called atiprimod and SK&F106615.

azathioprine sodium
A drug used to keep a patient from rejecting a transplanted kidney. It is also used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis that does not get better with other types of treatment. Azathioprine sodium blocks the growth of white blood cells and the synthesis of DNA, RNA, and protein. It is a type of immunosuppressant.

AZD0530
A substance being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. AZD0530 blocks enzymes needed for cancer growth. It is a type of tyrosine kinase inhibitor.

AZD2171
A substance being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. AZD2171 may prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of antiangiogenesis agent and a type of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Also called cediranib maleate and Recentin.

AZD2281
A drug used to treat advanced ovarian cancer caused by mutations (changes) in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. It is used in patients who have already received other anticancer drugs. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. AZD2281 blocks an enzyme involved in many cell functions, including the repair of DNA damage. DNA damage may be caused by normal cell actions, UV light, some anticancer drugs, and radiation used to treat cancer. AZD2281 may cause cancer cells to die. It is a type of targeted therapy agent and a type of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitor. Also called Lynparza, olaparib, and PARP inhibitor AZD2281.

AZD6244
A substance being studied in the treatment of several types of cancer. AZD6244 blocks proteins needed for cell growth and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of protein kinase inhibitor. Also called MEK inhibitor AZD6244 and selumetinib.

azoxymethane
A substance that is used in cancer research to cause colon tumors in laboratory animals. This is done to test new diets, drugs, and procedures for use in cancer prevention and treatment.

AZQ
An anticancer drug that is able to cross the blood-brain barrier and kill cancer cells in the central nervous system. Also called diaziquone.

AZT
A drug that inhibits the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS. Also called zidovudine.

B cell
A type of white blood cell that makes antibodies. B cells are part of the immune system and develop from stem cells in the bone marrow. Also called B lymphocyte.

B lymphocyte
A type of white blood cell that makes antibodies. B lymphocytes are part of the immune system and develop from stem cells in the bone marrow. Also called B cell.

B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia
An aggressive (fast-growing) type of leukemia (blood cancer) in which too many B-cell lymphoblasts (immature white blood cells) are found in the bone marrow and blood. It is the most common type of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Also called B-cell acute lymphocytic leukemia and precursor B-lymphoblastic leukemia.

B-cell acute lymphocytic leukemia
An aggressive (fast-growing) type of leukemia (blood cancer) in which too many B-cell lymphoblasts (immature white blood cells) are found in the bone marrow and blood. It is the most common type of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Also called B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia and precursor B-lymphoblastic leukemia.

B-cell leukemia/lymphoma 2 protein
A protein that helps control whether a cell lives or dies by blocking a type of cell death called apoptosis. The gene for the B-cell leukemia/lymphoma 2 protein is found on chromosome 18, and transfer of the B-cell leukemia/lymphoma 2 gene to a different chromosome is seen in many B-cell leukemias and lymphomas. This causes the B-cell leukemia/lymphoma 2 protein to be made in larger amounts, which may keep cancer cells from dying. Also called BCL2.

B-cell lymphoma
A type of cancer that forms in B cells (a type of immune system cell). B-cell lymphomas may be either indolent (slow-growing) or aggressive (fast-growing). Most B-cell lymphomas are non-Hodgkin lymphomas. There are many different types of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas. These include Burkitt lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma (CLL/SLL), diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, follicular lymphoma, and mantle cell lymphoma. Prognosis and treatment depend on type and stage of the cancer.

B3 monoclonal antibody
A substance that binds to a molecule called Lewis Y antigen that is found on many types of tumor cells and some normal cells. It is being studied in the treatment of several types of cancer that express the Lewis Y antigen. It is a type of monoclonal antibody.

B43-PAP immunotoxin
A toxic substance linked to an antibody that attaches to tumor cells and kills them.

B7-1
A protein found on the surface of some immune system cells, including B cells and monocytes. Cells with B7-1 on their surface cause T cells to make substances that help control immune responses. Also called CD80.

bacillus Calmette-Guérin
A weakened form of the bacterium Mycobacterium bovis (bacillus Calmette-Guérin) that does not cause disease. Bacillus Calmette-Guérin is used in a solution to stimulate the immune system in the treatment of bladder cancer and as a vaccine to prevent tuberculosis. Also called BCG.

bacillus Calmette-Guérin solution
A type of biologic therapy used to treat early stage bladder cancer. The solution is made from a weakened form of a bacterium called Mycobacterium bovis (bacillus Calmette-Guérin) that does not cause disease. It is given through a catheter that is placed into the bladder where the solution is held for about two hours. Bacillus Calmette-Guérin solution may help the body’s immune system kill cancer cells. Also called BCG solution.

bacillus Calmette-Guérin vaccine
A vaccine used to prevent tuberculosis (TB) in people who are at a high risk of TB or where TB is common. It is rarely given in the U.S. It is made from a weakened form of a bacterium called Mycobacterium bovis (bacillus Calmette-Guérin), which is similar to the bacteria that cause TB. The vaccine may help the body’s immune system make antibodies to destroy the TB bacteria. It also may help the immune system kill cancer cells and is being studied in the treatment of melanoma. Also called BCG vaccine.

backbone
The bones, muscles, tendons, and other tissues that reach from the base of the skull to the tailbone. The backbone encloses the spinal cord and the fluid surrounding the spinal cord. Also called spinal column, spine, and vertebral column.

baclofen
A drug that is used to treat certain types of muscle spasms and is being studied in the treatment of liver cancer. Baclofen relaxes muscles by blocking certain nerve receptors in the spinal cord. It is a type of antispasmodic. Also called Kemstro and Lioresal.

baclofen/amitriptyline/ketamine gel
A substance being studied in the treatment of peripheral neuropathy (pain, numbness, tingling, burning, or weakness in the hands or feet) caused by chemotherapy. It contains three drugs, baclofen, amitriptyline, and ketamine, that relax muscles by blocking nerve receptors. The gel is applied to the skin of affected areas. It is a type of analgesic. Also called BAK gel.

bacteria
A large group of single-cell microorganisms. Some cause infections and disease in animals and humans. The singular of bacteria is bacterium.

bacterial toxin
A harmful substance made by bacteria that can cause illness. Bacterial toxins can also be made in the laboratory and attached to monoclonal antibodies that bind to cancer cells. These toxins may help kill cancer cells without harming normal cells.

BAER test
A test used to detect some types of hearing loss, such as hearing loss caused by injury or tumors that affect nerves involved in hearing. Electrodes are placed on the head and certain tones or clicking sounds are made. The electrodes measure nerve signals in the brain when it reacts to the sounds. Also called ABR test, auditory brain stem response test, and brain stem auditory evoked response test.

BAK gel
A substance being studied in the treatment of peripheral neuropathy (pain, numbness, tingling, burning, or weakness in the hands or feet) caused by chemotherapy. It contains three drugs, baclofen, amitriptyline, and ketamine, that relax muscles by blocking nerve receptors. The gel is applied to the skin of affected areas. It is a type of analgesic. Also called baclofen/amitriptyline/ketamine gel.

balloon angioplasty
A procedure to enlarge the opening in a blood vessel that has become narrowed or blocked by plaque (a buildup of fat and cholesterol on the inner wall of the blood vessel). A small balloon is filled with air inside the blood vessel to push the plaque against the blood vessel wall and increase the opening.

balloon catheter radiation
A system used to deliver internal radiation therapy to breast cancer patients after surgery to remove their cancer. Balloon catheter radiation targets only the part of the breast where the cancer was found. After a patient has had a lumpectomy to remove the cancer, a small balloon on the end of a catheter (thin tube) is inserted into the empty space left by the surgery. The balloon is then filled with liquid and left in place. Using the catheter, radioactive seeds are put into the balloon twice a day for five days and removed each time. Once treatment has ended, the catheter and balloon are removed. Balloon catheter radiation is a type of intracavitary brachytherapy and partial breast irradiation therapy (PBRT). Also called MammoSite.

barbiturate
A type of drug that causes a decrease in brain activity. Barbiturates may be used to treat insomnia, seizures, and convulsions, and to relieve anxiety and tension before surgery. A barbiturate is a type of central nervous system (CNS) depressant.

barium enema
A procedure in which a liquid that contains barium sulfate is put through the anus into the rectum and colon. Barium sulfate is a silver-white metallic compound that helps show pictures of the colon, rectum, and anus on an x-ray.

barium solution
A liquid that contains barium sulfate (a form of the silver-white metallic element barium). It is used to show pictures of parts of the digestive system in x-rays.

barium sulfate
A silver-white metallic compound made from the mineral barite. It is mixed with water and used in barium swallows and barium enemas to help show parts of the digestive system on an x-ray.

barium swallow
The process of getting x-ray pictures of the esophagus or the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract (esophagus, stomach, and duodenum). The x-ray pictures are taken after the patient drinks a liquid that contains barium sulfate (a form of the silver-white metallic element barium). The barium sulfate coats and outlines the inner walls of the esophagus and the upper GI tract so that they can be seen on the x-ray pictures.

Barrett esophagus
A condition in which the cells lining the lower part of the esophagus have changed or been replaced with abnormal cells that could lead to cancer of the esophagus. The backing up of stomach contents (reflux) may irritate the esophagus and, over time, cause Barrett esophagus.

barrier
Something that blocks, prevents, separates, or limits.

basal cell
A small, round cell found in the lower part (or base) of the epidermis, the outer layer of the skin.

basal cell cancer
Cancer that begins in the lower part of the epidermis (the outer layer of the skin). It may appear as a small white or flesh-colored bump that grows slowly and may bleed. Basal cell cancers are usually found on areas of the body exposed to the sun. Basal cell cancers rarely metastasize (spread) to other parts of the body. They are the most common form of skin cancer. Also called basal cell carcinoma.

basal cell carcinoma
Cancer that begins in the lower part of the epidermis (the outer layer of the skin). It may appear as a small white or flesh-colored bump that grows slowly and may bleed. Basal cell carcinomas are usually found on areas of the body exposed to the sun. Basal cell carcinomas rarely metastasize (spread) to other parts of the body. They are the most common form of skin cancer. Also called basal cell cancer.

basal cell nevus syndrome
A genetic condition that causes unusual facial features and disorders of the skin, bones, nervous system, eyes, and endocrine glands. People with this syndrome have a higher risk of basal cell carcinoma. Also called Gorlin syndrome and nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome.

base
In chemistry, a substance that can accept hydrogen ions in water and can neutralize an acid. Bases feel soapy or slippery on the skin and they can turn certain dyes blue. An example of a base is sodium hydroxide. Basicity is measured on a scale called the pH scale. On this scale, a pH value of 7 is neutral, and a pH value of more than 7 to 14 shows increasing basicity.

base pair
Molecules called nucleotides, on opposite strands of the DNA double helix, that form chemical bonds with one another. These chemical bonds act like rungs in a ladder and help hold the two strands of DNA together. There are four nucleotides, or bases, in DNA: adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G), and thymine (T). These bases form specific pairs (A with T, and G with C).

baseline
An initial measurement that is taken at an early time point to represent a beginning condition, and is used for comparison over time to look for changes. For example, the size of a tumor will be measured before treatment (baseline) and then afterwards to see if the treatment had an effect.

basicity
In chemistry, the quality of being a base (not an acid). A base is a substance that can accept hydrogen ions in water and can neutralize an acid. Basicity is measured on a scale called the pH scale. On this scale, a pH value of 7 is neutral, and a pH value of more than 7 to 14 shows increasing basicity.

basophil 
A type of immune cell that has granules (small particles) with enzymes that are released during allergic reactions and asthma. A basophil is a type of white blood cell and a type of granulocyte.

batimastat
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called angiogenesis inhibitors. Batimastat is a matrix metalloproteinase inhibitor.

batracylin
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. It may kill cancer cells by causing damage to the DNA. Batracylin is a type of heterocyclic aryl amine.

bavituximab
A substance being studied in the treatment of several types of cancer and infections caused by certain viruses. It binds to substances on the surface of tumor cells, certain viruses, and cells infected with a virus. The immune system detects bavituximab on the cells and the viruses and may destroy them. It is a type of monoclonal antibody and a type of targeted therapy agent. Also called Tarvacin.

BAY 12-9566
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called angiogenesis inhibitors.

BAY 43-9006
A drug used to treat advanced kidney cancer and a type of liver cancer that cannot be removed by surgery. It is also used to treat a type of advanced thyroid cancer that did not get better with radioactive iodine treatment. It is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. BAY 43-9006 stops cancer cells from dividing and may prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It is a type of kinase inhibitor and a type of antiangiogenesis agent. Also called Nexavar and sorafenib tosylate.

BAY 56-3722
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called camptothecins.

BAY 59-8862
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called taxanes.

BB-10901
A substance that combines a monoclonal antibody (huN901) with an anticancer drug (DM1), and is being studied in the treatment of certain cancers, including non-small cell lung cancer. Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-produced substances that can locate and bind to cancer cells.

BBB
A network of blood vessels and tissue that is made up of closely spaced cells and helps keep harmful substances from reaching the brain. The BBB lets some substances, such as water, oxygen, carbon dioxide, and general anesthetics, pass into the brain. It also keeps out bacteria and other substances, such as many anticancer drugs. Also called blood-brain barrier.

BBBD
The use of drugs to create openings between cells in the blood-brain barrier. The blood-brain barrier is a protective network of blood vessels and tissue that protects the brain from harmful substances, but can also prevent anticancer drugs from reaching the brain. Once the barrier is opened, anticancer drugs may be infused into an artery that goes to the brain, in order to treat brain tumors. Also called blood-brain barrier disruption.

BBIC
A substance that is made from soybeans and is being studied in the prevention of cancer. It blocks the action of enzymes that are needed for cancer cells to form. It is a type of protease inhibitor. Also called Bowman-Birk inhibitor concentrate.

BBR 2778
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called antitumor antibiotics. Also called pixantrone.

BBR 3464
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the family of platinum-based drugs.

BCG
A weakened form of the bacterium Mycobacterium bovis (bacillus Calmette-Guérin) that does not cause disease. BCG is used in a solution to stimulate the immune system in the treatment of bladder cancer and as a vaccine to prevent tuberculosis. Also called bacillus Calmette-Guérin.

BCG solution
A type of biologic therapy used to treat early stage bladder cancer. The solution is made from a weakened form of a bacterium called Mycobacterium bovis (bacillus Calmette-Guérin) that does not cause disease. It is given through a catheter that is placed into the bladder where the solution is held for about two hours. BCG solution may help the body’s immune system kill cancer cells. Also called bacillus Calmette-Guérin solution.

BCG vaccine
A vaccine used to prevent tuberculosis (TB) in people who are at a high risk of TB or where TB is common. It is rarely given in the U.S. It is made from a weakened form of a bacterium called Mycobacterium bovis (bacillus Calmette-Guérin), which is similar to the bacteria that cause TB. The vaccine may help the body’s immune system make antibodies to destroy the TB bacteria. It also may help the immune system kill cancer cells and is being studied in the treatment of melanoma. Also called bacillus Calmette-Guérin vaccine.

bcl-2 antisense oligodeoxynucleotide G3139
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. It may kill cancer cells by blocking the production of a protein that makes cancer cells live longer and by making them more sensitive to anticancer drugs. It is a type of antisense oligodeoxyribonucleotide. Also called augmerosen, Genasense, and oblimersen sodium.

BCL2
A protein that helps control whether a cell lives or dies by blocking a type of cell death called apoptosis. The gene for BCL2 is found on chromosome 18, and transfer of the BCL2 gene to a different chromosome is seen in many B-cell leukemias and lymphomas. This causes the BCL2 protein to be made in larger amounts, which may keep cancer cells from dying. Also called B-cell leukemia/lymphoma 2 protein.

BCNU
A drug used to treat certain types of brain tumors. It is also used with prednisone to treat multiple myeloma and with other drugs to treat Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma that have not gotten better with other treatment or have come back. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. BCNU damages the cell’s DNA and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of alkylating agent and a type of nitrosourea. Also called BiCNU and carmustine.

BCOP
A licensed pharmacist with special training in how to design, give, monitor, and change chemotherapy for cancer patients. Also called board certified oncology pharmacy specialist and oncology pharmacy specialist.

BCR-ABL fusion gene
A gene formed when pieces of chromosomes 9 and 22 break off and trade places. The ABL gene from chromosome 9 joins to the BCR gene on chromosome 22, to form the BCR-ABL fusion gene. The changed chromosome 22 with the fusion gene on it is called the Philadelphia chromosome. The BCR-ABL fusion gene is found in most patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), and in some patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) or acute myelogenous leukemia (AML).

BCR-ABL fusion protein 
A protein made from pieces of two genes that get joined together. It is found in most patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), and in some patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) or acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). Inside the leukemia cells, the ABL gene from chromosome 9 joins to the BCR gene on chromosome 22 to form the BCR-ABL fusion gene, which makes the BCR-ABL fusion protein.

BCX-1777
A substance being studied in the treatment of some types of leukemia and lymphoma. It is a type of purine nucleoside phosphorylase (PNP) inhibitor. Also called forodesine and forodesine hydrochloride.

BDC
A rare type of kidney cancer that grows and spreads quickly. It begins in the duct of Bellini in the kidney. Also called Bellini duct carcinoma.

BEACOPP
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used to treat advanced Hodgkin lymphoma. It includes the drugs bleomycin sulfate, etoposide phosphate, doxorubicin hydrochloride (Adriamycin), cyclophosphamide, vincristine sulfate (Oncovin), procarbazine hydrochloride, and prednisone. Also called BEACOPP regimen.

BEACOPP regimen
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used to treat advanced Hodgkin lymphoma. It includes the drugs bleomycin sulfate, etoposide phosphate, doxorubicin hydrochloride (Adriamycin), cyclophosphamide, vincristine sulfate (Oncovin), procarbazine hydrochloride, and prednisone. Also called BEACOPP.

Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome
A rare, overgrowth disorder in which babies are large at birth and may develop low blood sugar. Other common symptoms are a large tongue, large internal organs, and defects of the abdominal wall near the navel. Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome increases the risk of developing certain cancers, especially Wilms tumor.

beclin 1
A protein involved in autophagy (the process by which a cell destroys proteins and other substances in its cytoplasm). Beclin 1 is found at lower levels in several types of cancer cells than in normal cells. It is a type of tumor suppressor.

beclomethasone 
A drug being studied in the treatment of graft-versus-host disease. It belongs to a family of drugs called corticosteroids.

behavior modification 
A technique used to help people change the way they react to certain triggers in the environment that cause a negative reaction. In cancer treatment, behavior modification may be used to help patients who have become nauseous during previous cancer treatments cope with nausea they feel when they enter the therapy room to begin a new round of treatment.

Behcet disease
A rare disorder that causes the blood vessels to become inflamed. Symptoms include sores in the mouth and on the sex organs and other skin problems, inflammation in parts of the eye, and pain, swelling, and stiffness of the joints. Other serious symptoms include blood clots, blindness, and inflammation of the brain, spinal cord, and digestive system. The symptoms may come and go on their own. Behcet disease is most common in young adults and its cause is unknown. Also called Behcet syndrome.

Behcet syndrome
A rare disorder that causes the blood vessels to become inflamed. Symptoms include sores in the mouth and on the sex organs and other skin problems, inflammation in parts of the eye, and pain, swelling, and stiffness of the joints. Other serious symptoms include blood clots, blindness, and inflammation of the brain, spinal cord, and digestive system. The symptoms may come and go on their own. Behcet syndrome is most common in young adults and its cause is unknown. Also called Behcet disease.

Beleodaq
A drug used to treat peripheral T-cell lymphoma that has come back or has not gotten better with other treatment. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Beleodaq blocks certain enzymes needed for cell division and may kill cancer cells. It may also prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow and may help make cancer cells easier to kill with other anticancer drugs. It is a type of histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor, a type of angiogenesis inhibitor, and a type of chemosensitizer. Also called belinostat and PXD101.

belinostat
A drug used to treat peripheral T-cell lymphoma that has come back or has not gotten better with other treatment. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Belinostat blocks certain enzymes needed for cell division and may kill cancer cells. It may also prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow and may help make cancer cells easier to kill with other anticancer drugs. It is a type of histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor, a type of angiogenesis inhibitor, and a type of chemosensitizer. Also called Beleodaq and PXD101.

Bellini duct carcinoma
A rare type of kidney cancer that grows and spreads quickly. It begins in the duct of Bellini in the kidney. Also called BDC.

belotecan
The active ingredient in a substance being studied in the treatment of small cell lung cancer and other types of cancer. It blocks certain enzymes needed for cell division and DNA repair, and it may kill cancer cells. It is a type of camptothecin analog and a type of topoisomerase inhibitor.

belotecan hydrochloride
A substance being studied in the treatment of small cell lung cancer and other types of cancer. It blocks certain enzymes needed for cell division and DNA repair, and it may kill cancer cells. It is a type of camptothecin analog and a type of topoisomerase inhibitor.

Bence Jones protein
A small protein made by plasma cells (white blood cells that produce antibodies). It is found in the urine of most people with multiple myeloma (cancer that begins in plasma cells).

bench-to-bedside
A term used to describe the process by which the results of research done in the laboratory are directly used to develop new ways to treat patients.

bendamustine
The active ingredient in a drug that is used to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), to treat slow-growing B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) that has gotten worse within 6 months of treatment with other anticancer drugs, and is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Bendamustine may damage the DNA in cancer cells and cause them to die. It is a type of alkylating agent and a type of antimetabolite.

bendamustine hydrochloride
A drug used to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). It is also used to treat slow-growing B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) that has gotten worse within 6 months of treatment with other anticancer drugs. It is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Bendamustine hydrochloride may damage the DNA in cancer cells and cause them to die. It is a type of alkylating agent and a type of antimetabolite. Also called Treanda.

benign
Not cancerous. Benign tumors may grow larger but do not spread to other parts of the body. Also called nonmalignant.

benign breast disease
A common condition marked by benign (not cancer) changes in breast tissue. These changes may include irregular lumps or cysts, breast discomfort, sensitive nipples, and itching. These symptoms may change throughout the menstrual cycle and usually stop after menopause. Also called fibrocystic breast changes, fibrocystic breast disease, and mammary dysplasia.

benign proliferative breast disease
A group of noncancerous conditions marked by an increase in the growth of certain cells in the breast. Having one of these conditions may increase the risk of breast cancer. Examples include ductal hyperplasia, lobular hyperplasia, and papillomas.

benign prostatic hyperplasia
A benign (not cancer) condition in which an overgrowth of prostate tissue pushes against the urethra and the bladder, blocking the flow of urine. Also called benign prostatic hypertrophy and BPH.

benign prostatic hypertrophy
A benign (not cancer) condition in which an overgrowth of prostate tissue pushes against the urethra and the bladder, blocking the flow of urine. Also called benign prostatic hyperplasia and BPH.

benign tumor
A growth that is not cancer. It does not invade nearby tissue or spread to other parts of the body.

benzaldehyde       (ben-ZAL-deh-hide)
A chemical used in flavorings and in some dyes, perfumes, and medicines. It is found in essential oils made from almonds and peach pits and in other foods. It can also be made in the laboratory.

benzene
A chemical that is used widely by the chemical industry, and is also found in tobacco smoke, vehicle emissions, and gasoline fumes. Exposure to benzene may increase the risk of developing leukemia.

benzo(a)pyrene
A chemical that comes from certain substances when they are not burned completely. It is found in car exhaust, smoke from wood fires, tobacco, oil and gas products, charred or grilled foods, and other sources. It may also be found in water and soil. Benzo(a)pyrene can cause a skin rash, a burning feeling, skin color changes, warts, and bronchitis. It may also cause cancer. It is a type of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon. Also called 3,4-benzpyrene.

benzodiazepine
A type of drug used to relieve anxiety and insomnia (trouble sleeping). Benzodiazepines are also used to relax muscles and prevent seizures. They increase the effect of a chemical in the brain called GABA, which is a neurotransmitter (a substance that nerves use to send messages to one another). This causes brain activity to slow down. Benzodiazepines are a type of CNS depressant.

benzoylphenylurea
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. It is a type of antitubulin agent. Also called BPU.

benzydamine
A substance being studied as a mouth rinse treatment for oral mucositis (painful mouth sores) caused by cancer therapy. It is a type of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).

BEP
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used to treat ovarian and testicular germ cell tumors. It includes the drugs bleomycin sulfate, etoposide phosphate, and cisplatin (Platinol). Also called BEP regimen.

BEP regimen
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used to treat ovarian and testicular germ cell tumors. It includes the drugs bleomycin sulfate, etoposide phosphate, and cisplatin (Platinol). Also called BEP.

bereavement
A state of sadness, grief, and mourning after the loss of a loved one.

bergamot
A type of orange tree grown in Italy. The essential oil from the peel of this orange is used in perfume, to get rid of insects, and to flavor tea. Bergamot oil is also used in aromatherapy for depression, anxiety, and poor digestion. The scientific name for the bergamot orange tree is Citrus bergamia.

best practice
Treatment that is accepted by medical experts as a proper treatment for a certain type of disease and that is widely used by healthcare professionals. Also called standard medical care, standard of care, and standard therapy.

beta alethine 
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to a family of chemicals called disulfides.

beta carotene
A substance found in yellow and orange fruits and vegetables and in dark green, leafy vegetables. The body can make vitamin A from beta carotene. Beta carotene is being studied in the prevention of some types of cancer. It is a type of antioxidant.

beta cell neoplasm
An abnormal mass that grows in the beta cells of the pancreas that make insulin. Beta cell neoplasms are usually benign (not cancer). They secrete insulin and are the most common cause of low blood sugar caused by having too much insulin in the body. Also called beta cell tumor of the pancreas, insulinoma, and pancreatic insulin-producing tumor.

beta cell tumor of the pancreas
An abnormal mass that grows in the beta cells of the pancreas that make insulin. Beta cell tumors of the pancreas are usually benign (not cancer). They secrete insulin and are the most common cause of low blood sugar caused by having too much insulin in the body. Also called beta cell neoplasm, insulinoma, and pancreatic insulin-producing tumor.

beta hemolytic streptococcus group B
A type of bacterium often found in the vagina. It can cause systemic infections in people with suppressed immune systems.

beta-2-microglobulin
A small protein normally found on the surface of many cells, including lymphocytes, and in small amounts in the blood and urine. An increased amount in the blood or urine may be a sign of certain diseases, including some types of cancer, such as multiple myeloma or lymphoma.

beta-endorphin
A substance produced in the brain, especially in the pituitary gland, that blocks the sensation of pain. It is produced in response to pain, exercise, and other forms of stress. It is a type of polypeptide hormone.

beta-glucan
A substance found in bacteria, plants, and certain foods, such as baker’s yeast, cereal grains, and mushrooms. It is a type of polysaccharide that is made of a string of glucose (sugar) molecules joined together. Beta-glucan may stimulate the immune system and help kill cancer cells. It is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It is a type of biological response modifier.

beta-hCG
A hormone found in the blood and urine during pregnancy. It may also be found in higher than normal amounts in patients with some types of cancer, including testicular, ovarian, liver, stomach, and lung cancers, and in other disorders. Measuring the amount of beta-hCG in the blood or urine of cancer patients may help to diagnose cancer and find out how well cancer treatment is working. Beta-hCG is a type of tumor marker. Also called beta-human chorionic gonadotropin.

beta-human chorionic gonadotropin
A hormone found in the blood and urine during pregnancy. It may also be found in higher than normal amounts in patients with some types of cancer, including testicular, ovarian, liver, stomach, and lung cancers, and in other disorders. Measuring the amount of beta-human chorionic gonadotropin in the blood or urine of cancer patients may help to diagnose cancer and find out how well cancer treatment is working. Beta-human chorionic gonadotropin is a type of tumor marker. Also called beta-hCG.

betel quid with tobacco
A type of smokeless tobacco that is made in India and is widely used throughout Asia. It is a mixture of tobacco, crushed areca nut (also called betel nut), spices, and other ingredients. It is used like chewing tobacco and is placed in the mouth, usually between the gum and cheek. Betel quid with tobacco contains nicotine and many harmful, cancer-causing chemicals. Using it can lead to nicotine addiction and can cause cancers of the lip, mouth, tongue, throat, and esophagus. Also called gutka.

bevacizumab
A drug used alone or with other drugs to treat certain types of cervical, colorectal, lung, kidney, ovarian, fallopian tube, and primary peritoneal cancer, and glioblastoma (a type of brain cancer). It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Bevacizumab binds to a protein called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). This may prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It is a type of antiangiogenesis agent and a type of monoclonal antibody. Also called Avastin.

bexarotene
A drug used to treat skin problems caused by cutaneous T-cell lymphoma that have not gotten better after other treatment. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Bexarotene is a type of retinoid. Also called LGD1069 and Targretin.

Bexxar
A combination of drugs used to treat certain types of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Bexxar is made up of a monoclonal antibody called tositumomab and a form of tositumomab that is linked to a radioactive substance called iodine I 131. It is a type of radioimmunoconjugate. Also called Bexxar regimen and tositumomab and iodine I 131 tositumomab.

Bexxar regimen
A combination of drugs used to treat certain types of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Bexxar regimen is made up of a monoclonal antibody called tositumomab and a form of tositumomab that is linked to a radioactive substance called iodine I 131. It is a type of radioimmunoconjugate. Also called Bexxar and tositumomab and iodine I 131 tositumomab.

BG00001
A gene therapy agent that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called biological response modifiers.

BI 2536
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. It prevents cells from dividing and may block the growth of some tumors. It is a type of mitotic inhibitor.

BI-RADS
A method used by radiologists to interpret and report in a standardized manner the results of mammography, ultrasound, and MRI used in breast cancer screening and diagnosis. Also called Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System.

Biafine cream
A substance that is put on the skin to help repair damaged skin. It may be used on certain wounds and burns, and to treat the redness, burning, and peeling caused by radiation therapy.

bias
In a scientific research study or clinical trial, a flaw in the study design or the method of collecting or interpreting information. Biases can lead to incorrect conclusions about what the study or clinical trial showed.

BIBF 1120
A substance being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. BIBF 1120 blocks enzymes needed for cells to grow, and may prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It is a type of tyrosine kinase inhibitor and a type of antiangiogenesis agent. Also called tyrosine kinase inhibitor BIBF 1120.

BIBX 1382
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitors.

bicalutamide
A drug used with another drug to treat prostate cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. Bicalutamide binds to proteins called androgen receptors, which are found in some prostate cancer cells. These proteins bind to androgens (male hormones) and may cause cancer cells to grow. Bicalutamide blocks these proteins and may keep cancer cells from growing. It is a type of antiandrogen. Also called Casodex.

BiCNU
A drug used to treat certain types of brain tumors. It is also used with prednisone to treat multiple myeloma and with other drugs to treat Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma that have not gotten better with other treatment or have come back. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. BiCNU damages the cell’s DNA and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of alkylating agent and a type of nitrosourea. Also called BCNU and carmustine.

bidi
A cigarette made by rolling tobacco by hand in a dried leaf from the tendu tree (a member of the ebony family). Most bidis are made in India, and they come in different flavors.

bilateral
Affecting both the right and left sides of the body.

bilateral cancer
Cancer that occurs in both of a pair of organs, such as both breasts, ovaries, eyes, lungs, kidneys, or adrenal glands, at the same time.

bilateral nephrectomy
Surgery to remove both kidneys.

bilateral prophylactic mastectomy
Surgery to remove both breasts in order to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer.

bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy
Surgery to remove both ovaries and both fallopian tubes.

bile
A fluid made by the liver and stored in the gallbladder. Bile is excreted into the small intestine, where it helps digest fat.

bile duct
A tube through which bile passes in and out of the liver.

bile duct cancer 
Cancer that forms in a bile duct. A bile duct is a tube that carries bile (fluid made by the liver that helps digest fat) between the liver and gallbladder and the intestine. Bile ducts include the common hepatic, cystic, and common bile ducts. Bile duct cancer may be found inside the liver (intrahepatic) or outside the liver (extrahepatic).

bile duct carcinoma
A rare type of cancer that begins in cells that line the bile ducts. A bile duct is a tube that carries fluid called bile from the liver and the gallbladder to the small intestine. Bile duct carcinoma may be found in the bile ducts inside the liver (intrahepatic) or outside the liver (extrahepatic). Cancer that forms in the area where the right and left bile ducts meet outside the liver is called Klatskin tumor. It is the most common type of bile duct carcinoma. Also called cholangiocarcinoma.

biliary
Having to do with the liver, bile ducts, and/or gallbladder.

biliary cirrhosis
A type of chronic liver disease in which the tubes that carry bile (fluid that helps digest fat) out of the liver become damaged or blocked over time. This can cause bile and toxic substances to build up in the liver, which may lead to cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) and liver failure. It may also increase the risk of liver cancer. Biliary cirrhosis may be caused by gallstones, injury to the bile ducts, autoimmune disorders, and certain other conditions.

biliary system
The organs and ducts that make and store bile (a fluid made by the liver that helps digest fat), and release it into the small intestine. The biliary system includes the gallbladder and bile ducts inside and outside the liver. Also called biliary tract.

biliary tract
The organs and ducts that make and store bile (a fluid made by the liver that helps digest fat), and release it into the small intestine. The biliary tract includes the gallbladder and bile ducts inside and outside the liver. Also called biliary system.

bilirubin
Substance formed when red blood cells are broken down. Bilirubin is part of the bile, which is made in the liver and is stored in the gallbladder. The abnormal buildup of bilirubin causes jaundice.

bimatoprost
A drug used under the name Latisse to increase the length, thickness, and darkness of eyelashes. It is being studied as a way to increase the growth of eyelashes and eyebrows in patients given chemotherapy for cancer. Bimatoprost is also used under the name Lumigan to treat glaucoma (a build-up of fluid in the eye). It lowers pressure in the eye by increasing the flow of natural eye fluids out of the eye. It is a type of prostaglandin analog.

binding agent 
A substance that makes a loose mixture stick together. For example, binding agents can be used to make solid pills from loose powders.

bioactive compound
A type of chemical found in small amounts in plants and certain foods (such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, oils, and whole grains). Bioactive compounds have actions in the body that may promote good health. They are being studied in the prevention of cancer, heart disease, and other diseases. Examples of bioactive compounds include lycopene, resveratrol, lignan, tannins, and indoles.

bioavailable
The ability of a drug or other substance to be absorbed and used by the body. Orally bioavailable means that a drug or other substance that is taken by mouth can be absorbed and used by the body.

biochanin A
An isoflavone found in soy products. Soy isoflavones (estrogen-like substances made by some plants) are being studied to see if they help prevent cancer.

biochemical reactions
In living cells, chemical reactions that help sustain life and allow cells to grow.

biochemical recurrence
A rise in the blood level of PSA (prostate-specific antigen) in prostate cancer patients after treatment with surgery or radiation. Biochemical recurrence may occur in patients who do not have symptoms. It may mean that the cancer has come back. Also called biochemical relapse and PSA failure.

biochemical relapse
A rise in the blood level of PSA (prostate-specific antigen) in prostate cancer patients after treatment with surgery or radiation. Biochemical relapse may occur in patients who do not have symptoms. It may mean that the cancer has come back. Also called biochemical recurrence and PSA failure.

biochemist
A scientist who has special training in the study of the chemicals and processes that occur in all living things.

biofeedback
A method of learning to voluntarily control certain body functions such as heartbeat, blood pressure, and muscle tension with the help of a special machine. This method can help control pain.

biofilm
A layer of bacteria or other microbes that grows on and sticks to the surface of a structure. A biofilm may cover natural surfaces, such as teeth. They may also grow in or on medical devices, such as catheters or artificial joints. Bacteria growing as a biofilm are hard to treat with antibiotics.

bioinformatics 
The science of using computers, databases, and math to organize and analyze large amounts of biological, medical, and health information. Information may come from many sources, including patient statistics, tissue specimens, genetics research, and clinical trials.

biologic agent
A substance that is made from a living organism or its products and is used in the prevention, diagnosis, or treatment of cancer and other diseases. Biologic agents include antibodies, interleukins, and vaccines. Also called biological agent and biological drug.

biological
Pertaining to biology or to life and living things. In medicine, refers to a substance made from a living organism or its products. Biologicals may be used to prevent, diagnose, treat or relieve of symptoms of a disease. For example, antibodies, interleukins, and vaccines are biologicals. Biological also refers to parents and children who are related by blood.

biological agent
A substance that is made from a living organism or its products and is used in the prevention, diagnosis, or treatment of cancer and other diseases. Biological agents include antibodies, interleukins, and vaccines. Also called biologic agent and biological drug.

biological drug
A substance that is made from a living organism or its products and is used in the prevention, diagnosis, or treatment of cancer and other diseases. Biological drugs include antibodies, interleukins, and vaccines. Also called biologic agent and biological agent.

biological profile
A summary of the biological actions of a substance. A biological profile may come from patient data or from tests done in the laboratory or in animals.

biological response modifier therapy 
A type of treatment that uses substances made from living organisms to treat disease. These substances may occur naturally in the body or may be made in the laboratory. Some biological response modifier therapies stimulate or suppress the immune system to help the body fight cancer, infection, and other diseases. Other biological response modifier therapies attack specific cancer cells, which may help keep them from growing or kill them. They may also lessen certain side effects caused by some cancer treatments. Types of biological response modifier therapy include immunotherapy (such as vaccines, cytokines, and some antibodies), gene therapy, and some targeted therapies. Also called biological therapy, biotherapy, and BRM therapy.

biological therapy
A type of treatment that uses substances made from living organisms to treat disease. These substances may occur naturally in the body or may be made in the laboratory. Some biological therapies stimulate or suppress the immune system to help the body fight cancer, infection, and other diseases. Other biological therapies attack specific cancer cells, which may help keep them from growing or kill them. They may also lessen certain side effects caused by some cancer treatments. Types of biological therapy include immunotherapy (such as vaccines, cytokines, and some antibodies), gene therapy, and some targeted therapies. Also called biological response modifier therapy, biotherapy, and BRM therapy.

biomarker
A biological molecule found in blood, other body fluids, or tissues that is a sign of a normal or abnormal process, or of a condition or disease. A biomarker may be used to see how well the body responds to a treatment for a disease or condition. Also called molecular marker and signature molecule.

Biomed 101
A substance that is being studied for its ability to decrease the side effects of interleukin-2 (IL-2).

biomedicine
A system in which medical doctors and other healthcare professionals (such as nurses, pharmacists, and therapists) treat symptoms and diseases using drugs, radiation, or surgery. Also called allopathic medicine, conventional medicine, mainstream medicine, orthodox medicine, and Western medicine.

biometrics
The science of collecting and analyzing biologic or health data using statistical methods. Biometrics may be used to help learn the possible causes of a cancer or how often a cancer occurs in a certain group of people. Also called biometry and biostatistics.

biometry
The science of collecting and analyzing biologic or health data using statistical methods. Biometry may be used to help learn the possible causes of a cancer or how often a cancer occurs in a certain group of people. Also called biometrics and biostatistics.

biopsy
The removal of cells or tissues for examination by a pathologist. The pathologist may study the tissue under a microscope or perform other tests on the cells or tissue. There are many different types of biopsy procedures. The most common types include: (1) incisional biopsy, in which only a sample of tissue is removed; (2) excisional biopsy, in which an entire lump or suspicious area is removed; and (3) needle biopsy, in which a sample of tissue or fluid is removed with a needle. When a wide needle is used, the procedure is called a core biopsy. When a thin needle is used, the procedure is called a fine-needle aspiration biopsy.

biopsy specimen
Tissue removed from the body and examined under a microscope to determine whether disease is present.

biorepository
A facility that collects, catalogs, and stores samples of biological material, such as urine, blood, tissue, cells, DNA, RNA, and protein, from humans, animals, or plants for laboratory research. If the samples are from people, medical information may also be stored along with a written consent to use the samples in laboratory studies.

biospecimen
Samples of material, such as urine, blood, tissue, cells, DNA, RNA, and protein from humans, animals, or plants. Biospecimens are stored in a biorepository and are used for laboratory research. If the samples are from people, medical information may also be stored along with a written consent to use the samples in laboratory studies.

biostatistics
The science of collecting and analyzing biologic or health data using statistical methods. Biostatistics may be used to help learn the possible causes of a cancer or how often a cancer occurs in a certain group of people. Also called biometrics and biometry.

biotherapy
A type of treatment that uses substances made from living organisms to treat disease. These substances may occur naturally in the body or may be made in the laboratory. Some biotherapies stimulate or suppress the immune system to help the body fight cancer, infection, and other diseases. Other biotherapies attack specific cancer cells, which may help keep them from growing or kill them. They may also lessen certain side effects caused by some cancer treatments. Types of biotherapy include immunotherapy (such as vaccines, cytokines, and some antibodies), gene therapy, and some targeted therapies. Also called biological response modifier therapy, biological therapy, and BRM therapy.

biotin
A nutrient in the vitamin B complex that the body needs in small amounts to function and stay healthy. Biotin helps some enzymes break down substances in the body for energy and helps tissues develop. It is found in yeast, whole milk, egg yolks, and organ meats. Biotin is water-soluble (can dissolve in water) and must be taken in every day. Not enough biotin can cause skin, nerve, and eye disorders. Biotin is present in larger amounts in some cancer tissue than in normal tissue. Attaching biotin to substances used to treat some types of cancer helps them find cancer cells. Also called vitamin H.

Birt-Hogg-Dube syndrome
An inherited condition in which benign tumors develop in hair follicles on the head, chest, back, and arms. People who have this disorder may be at increased risk of developing colon or kidney cancer.

birth canal
The muscular canal that goes from the uterus to the outside of the body. During birth, the baby passes through the birth canal. Also called vagina.

birth control pill
A pill used to prevent pregnancy. It contains hormones that block the release of eggs from the ovaries. Most birth control pills include estrogen and progestin. Also called oral contraceptive pill.

bismuth
A silver-white metal used in medicines and other products. Certain forms of bismuth are used to treat diarrhea, heartburn, and upset stomach. Bismuth is also used with certain other drugs to treat stomach ulcers.

bispecific antibody
A type of antibody that can bind to two different antigens at the same time. Bispecific antibodies are being studied in the imaging and treatment of cancer. They are made in the laboratory.

bispecific monoclonal antibody
An antibody that can bind to two different antigens at the same time. Bispecific monoclonal antibodies are being studied in the imaging and treatment of cancer. They are made in the laboratory.

bisphosphonate
A drug or substance used to treat hypercalcemia (abnormally high blood calcium) and bone pain caused by some types of cancer. Forms of bisphosphonates are also used to treat osteoporosis and for bone imaging. Bisphosphonates inhibit a type of bone cell that breaks down bone. Also called diphosphonate.

bisphosphonate-associated osteonecrosis
The necrosis (death) of bone tissue caused by treatment with a bisphosphonate (a drug or substance used to treat osteoporosis, bone pain caused by some types of cancer, and high blood calcium). It commonly occurs in the jaw bones. There may be pain, swelling and infection in the areas of necrosis. Also called BON.

bivalent vaccine
A vaccine that works by stimulating an immune response against two different antigens, such as two different viruses or other microorganisms. For example, Cervarix is a bivalent vaccine that helps protect the body against infection with human papillomaviruses (HPV) types 16 and 18. HPV types 16 and 18 cause most cases of cervical cancer and can cause other types of cancer.

bizelesin
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called alkylating agents. It is also an antitumor antibiotic.

BL22 immunotoxin
A bacterial toxic substance linked to an antibody that attaches to cancer cells and kills them. It belongs to the family of drugs called bacterial immunotoxins.

black cohosh
An eastern North American perennial herb. A substance obtained from the root of the plant has been used in some cultures to treat a number of medical problems. It is being studied in the treatment of hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause. The scientific name is Cimicifuga racemosa. Also called black snakeroot, bugbane, bugwort, and rattlesnake root.

black snakeroot
An eastern North American perennial herb. A substance obtained from the root of the plant has been used in some cultures to treat a number of medical problems. It is being studied in the treatment of hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause. The scientific name is Cimicifuga racemosa. Also called black cohosh, bugbane, bugwort, and rattlesnake root.

Blackfan–Diamond anemia
A very rare disorder in which the bone marrow doesn’t make enough red blood cells. It is usually seen in the first year of life. Patients may have deformed thumbs and other physical problems. They also have an increased risk of leukemia and sarcoma, especially osteosarcoma (bone cancer). Patients with Blackfan–Diamond anemia may have a mutation (change) in one of the genes that make proteins found in the cell’s ribosomes. Also called congenital hypoplastic anemia, congenital pure red cell aplasia, DBA, Diamond-Blackfan anemia, erythrogenesis imperfecta, and inherited erythroblastopenia.

bladder
The organ that stores urine.

bladder cancer
Cancer that forms in tissues of the bladder (the organ that stores urine). Most bladder cancers are transitional cell carcinomas (cancer that begins in cells that normally make up the inner lining of the bladder). Other types include squamous cell carcinoma (cancer that begins in thin, flat cells) and adenocarcinoma (cancer that begins in cells that make and release mucus and other fluids). The cells that form squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma develop in the inner lining of the bladder as a result of chronic irritation and inflammation.

blast
An immature blood cell.

blast crisis
A phase of chronic myelogenous leukemia in which tiredness, fever, and an enlarged spleen occur during the blastic phase, when more than 30% of the cells in the blood or bone marrow are blast cells (immature blood cells).

blastic phase chronic myelogenous leukemia
A phase of chronic myelogenous leukemia in which 20% or more of the cells in the blood or bone marrow are blast cells (immature blood cells). When tiredness, fever, and an enlarged spleen occur during the blastic phase, it is called blast crisis.

Blenoxane
A drug that is used to treat many types of cancer and is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It comes from the bacterium Streptomyces verticillus. Blenoxane damages DNA and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of antineoplastic antibiotic. Also called bleomycin sulfate.

bleomycin
The active ingredient in a drug that is used to treat many types of cancer and is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It comes from the bacterium Streptomyces verticillus. Bleomycin damages DNA and may kill rapidly growing cancer cells. It is a type of antineoplastic antibiotic.

bleomycin sulfate
A drug that is used to treat many types of cancer and is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It comes from the bacterium Streptomyces verticillus. Bleomycin sulfate damages DNA and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of antineoplastic antibiotic. Also called Blenoxane.

blessed thistle
A plant whose leaves, stems, and flowers have been used in some cultures to treat certain medical problems. Blessed thistle may have anti-inflammatory and anticancer effects. The scientific name is Cnicus benedictus. Also called cardin, holy thistle, spotted thistle, and St. Benedict’s thistle.

blinatumomab
A drug used to treat B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia that is Philadelphia chromosome negative and has come back or has not gotten better with other anticancer treatment. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Blinatumomab binds to a protein called CD19, which is found on most B cells (a type of white blood cell) and some types of leukemia cells. It also binds to a protein called CD3, which is found on T cells (a type of white blood cell). This may help the immune system kill cancer cells. Blinatumomab is a type of monoclonal antibody. Also called Blincyto.

Blincyto
A drug used to treat B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia that is Philadelphia chromosome negative and has come back or has not gotten better with other anticancer treatment. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Blincyto binds to a protein called CD19, which is found on most B cells (a type of white blood cell) and some types of leukemia cells. It also binds to a protein called CD3, which is found on T cells (a type of white blood cell). This may help the immune system kill cancer cells. Blincyto is a type of monoclonal antibody. Also called blinatumomab.

blinded study
A type of study in which the patients (single-blinded) or the patients and their doctors (double-blinded) do not know which drug or treatment is being given. The opposite of a blinded study is an open label study.

blister
A fluid-filled sac in the outer layer of skin. It can be caused by rubbing, heat, or diseases of the skin. Also called skin vesicle.

bloating
A swelling or feeling of fullness in the abdomen. Bloating is usually the result of gas in the intestines and can be caused by many things, including overeating, lactose intolerance, and constipation. Bloating can also be a side effect of cancer or cancer treatment.

blood
A tissue with red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and other substances suspended in fluid called plasma. Blood takes oxygen and nutrients to the tissues, and carries away wastes.

blood cancer
Cancer that begins in blood-forming tissue, such as the bone marrow, or in the cells of the immune system. Examples of blood cancer are leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma. Also called hematologic cancer.

blood cell count
A measure of the number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets in the blood. The amount of hemoglobin (substance in the blood that carries oxygen) and the hematocrit (the amount of whole blood that is made up of red blood cells) are also measured. A blood cell count is used to help diagnose and monitor many conditions. Also called CBC, complete blood count, and full blood count.

blood cell count with differential 
A measure of the number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets in the blood, including the different types of white blood cells (neutrophils, lymphocytes, monocytes, basophils, and eosinophils). The amount of hemoglobin (substance in the blood that carries oxygen) and the hematocrit (the amount of whole blood that is made up of red blood cells) are also measured. A blood cell count with differential is used to help diagnose and monitor many different conditions, including anemia and infection. Also called CBC with differential.

blood chemistry study
A procedure in which a sample of blood is examined to measure the amounts of certain substances made in the body. An abnormal amount of a substance can be a sign of disease in the organ or tissue that produces it.

blood clot
A mass of blood that forms when blood platelets, proteins, and cells stick together. When a blood clot is attached to the wall of a blood vessel, it is called a thrombus. When it moves through the bloodstream and blocks the flow of blood in another part of the body, it is called an embolus.

blood culture
A laboratory test to check for bacteria, yeast, fungi, or other microorganisms in the blood. Blood cultures can help identify the type of microorganism that is causing an infection. This helps determine the best treatment. They may be used to help diagnose septicemia (a serious blood infection) and other conditions.

blood poisoning
Disease caused by the spread of bacteria and their toxins in the bloodstream. Also called septicemia and toxemia.

blood pressure
The force of circulating blood on the walls of the arteries. Blood pressure is taken using two measurements: systolic (measured when the heart beats, when blood pressure is at its highest) and diastolic (measured between heart beats, when blood pressure is at its lowest). Blood pressure is written with the systolic blood pressure first, followed by the diastolic blood pressure (for example 120/80).

blood stasis
In traditional Chinese medicine, a condition described as slowing or pooling of blood, which may cause pain or other symptoms.

blood stem cell
An immature cell that can develop into all types of blood cells, including white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. Blood stem cells are found in the peripheral blood and the bone marrow. Also called hematopoietic stem cell.

blood sugar
Glucose (a type of sugar) found in the blood. Also called glycemia.

blood test
A test done on a sample of blood to measure the amount of certain substances in the blood or to count different types of blood cells. Blood tests may be done to look for signs of disease or agents that cause disease, to check for antibodies or tumor markers, or to see how well treatments are working.

blood thinner
A substance that is used to prevent and treat blood clots in blood vessels and the heart. Also called anticoagulant.

blood transfusion
A procedure in which a person is given an infusion of whole blood or parts of blood. The blood may be donated by another person, or it may have been taken from the patient earlier and stored until needed. Also called transfusion.

blood urea nitrogen
Nitrogen in the blood that comes from urea (a substance formed by the breakdown of protein in the liver). The kidneys filter urea out of the blood and into the urine. A high level of urea nitrogen in the blood may be a sign of a kidney problem. Also called BUN and urea nitrogen.

blood vessel 
A tube through which the blood circulates in the body. Blood vessels include a network of arteries, arterioles, capillaries, venules, and veins.

blood-brain barrier
A network of blood vessels and tissue that is made up of closely spaced cells and helps keep harmful substances from reaching the brain. The blood-brain barrier lets some substances, such as water, oxygen, carbon dioxide, and general anesthetics, pass into the brain. It also keeps out bacteria and other substances, such as many anticancer drugs. Also called BBB.

blood-brain barrier disruption
The use of drugs to create openings between cells in the blood-brain barrier. The blood-brain barrier is a protective network of blood vessels and tissue that protects the brain from harmful substances, but can also prevent anticancer drugs from reaching the brain. Once the barrier is opened, anticancer drugs may be infused into an artery that goes to the brain, in order to treat brain tumors. Also called BBBD.

Bloom syndrome
A rare, inherited disorder marked by height that is shorter than average, a narrow face with redness and a rash, a high-pitched voice, and fertility problems. Patients with this disorder have an increased risk of cancer, especially leukemia and osteosarcoma (bone cancer). Bloom syndrome is caused by changes in a protein that normally helps cells make copies of the DNA. Changes in this protein cause many breaks, rearrangements, and other mutations in the DNA. It is a type of autosomal recessive genetic disease. Also called Bloom-Torre-Machacek syndrome.

Bloom-Torre-Machacek syndrome
A rare, inherited disorder marked by height that is shorter than average, a narrow face with redness and a rash, a high-pitched voice, and fertility problems. Patients with this disorder have an increased risk of cancer, especially leukemia and osteosarcoma (bone cancer). Bloom-Torre-Machacek syndrome is caused by changes in a protein that normally helps cells make copies of the DNA. Changes in this protein cause many breaks, rearrangements, and other mutations in the DNA. It is a type of autosomal recessive genetic disease. Also called Bloom syndrome.

BMD
A measure of the amount of minerals (mostly calcium and phosphorous) contained in a certain volume of bone. BMD measurements are used to diagnose osteoporosis (a condition marked by decreased bone mass), to see how well osteoporosis treatments are working, and to predict how likely the bones are to break. Low BMD can occur in patients treated for cancer. Also called bone density, bone mass, and bone mineral density.

BMD scan
An imaging test that measures bone density (the amount of bone mineral contained in a certain volume of bone) by passing x-rays with two different energy levels through the bone. It is used to diagnose osteoporosis (decrease in bone mass and density). Also called bone mineral density scan, DEXA, DEXA scan, dual energy x-ray absorptiometric scan, dual x-ray absorptiometry, and DXA.

BMI
Body mass index. A measure that relates body weight to height. BMI is sometimes used to measure total body fat and whether a person is a healthy weight. Excess body fat is linked to an increased risk of some diseases including heart disease and some cancers. Also called body mass index.

BMS-182751
A substance being studied in the treatment of prostate and other types of cancer. It contains the metal platinum and may kill cancer cells by damaging their DNA and stopping them from dividing. It is a type of alkylating agent. Also called JM 216 and satraplatin.

BMS-184476
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called mitotic inhibitors.

BMS-188797
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called taxane analogs.

BMS-214662
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called farnesyltransferase inhibitors.

BMS-247550
A drug used to treat metastatic or locally advanced breast cancer that has not improved after treatment with certain other anticancer drugs. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. BMS-247550 stops the growth of tumor cells by blocking cell division. It is a type of epothilone analog. Also called ixabepilone and Ixempra.

BMS-275291
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called matrix metalloproteinase inhibitors (MMPIs).

BMS-354825
A drug used to treat certain types of chronic myeloid leukemia and acute lymphoblastic leukemia. BMS-354825 is also being studied in the treatment of certain other blood diseases and types of cancer. BMS-354825 binds to and blocks BCR-ABL and other proteins that help cancer cells grow. It is a type of tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Also called dasatinib and Sprycel.

BMS-599626
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called protein tyrosine kinase inhibitors.

BNCT
A type of radiation therapy. A substance that contains boron is injected into a blood vessel. The boron collects in tumor cells. The patient then receives radiation therapy with atomic particles called neutrons. The neutrons react with the boron to kill the tumor cells without harming normal cells. BNCT is being studied as a treatment for glioblastoma multiforme and recurrent head and neck cancer. Also called boron neutron capture therapy.

board certified oncology pharmacy specialist
A licensed pharmacist with special training in how to design, give, monitor, and change chemotherapy for cancer patients. Also called BCOP and oncology pharmacy specialist.

body image
The way a person thinks about his or her body and how it looks to others.

body mass index
A measure that relates body weight to height. BMI is sometimes used to measure total body fat and whether a person is a healthy weight. Excess body fat is linked to an increased risk of some diseases including heart disease and some cancers. Also called BMI.

bolus dose
A single dose of a drug or other substance given over a short period of time. It is usually given by infusion or injection into a blood vessel. It may also be given by mouth.

bombesin 
A peptide (small protein) found in the brain, gastrointestinal tract, and lungs. It causes the release of certain hormones and enzymes. It also causes smooth muscles to contract. Bombesin is found at high levels on small cell lung cancer cells and on other types of cancer cells. It is a type of neuropeptide and a type of hormone.

BON
The necrosis (death) of bone tissue caused by treatment with a bisphosphonate (a drug or substance used to treat osteoporosis, bone pain caused by some types of cancer, and high blood calcium). It commonly occurs in the jaw bones. There may be pain, swelling and infection in the areas of necrosis. Also called bisphosphonate-associated osteonecrosis.

bone cancer
Primary bone cancer is cancer that forms in cells of the bone. Some types of primary bone cancer are osteosarcoma, Ewing sarcoma, malignant fibrous histiocytoma, and chondrosarcoma. Secondary bone cancer is cancer that spreads to the bone from another part of the body (such as the prostate, breast, or lung).

bone density
A measure of the amount of minerals (mostly calcium and phosphorous) contained in a certain volume of bone. Bone density measurements are used to diagnose osteoporosis (a condition marked by decreased bone mass), to see how well osteoporosis treatments are working, and to predict how likely the bones are to break. Low bone density can occur in patients treated for cancer. Also called BMD, bone mass, and bone mineral density.

bone marrow
The soft, sponge-like tissue in the center of most bones. It produces white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets.

bone marrow ablation 
A procedure to destroy bone marrow using radiation or high doses of anticancer drugs. It is done before a bone marrow or blood stem cell transplant to kill cancer cells and bone marrow cells. This makes room for healthy stem cells.

bone marrow aspiration 
A procedure in which a small sample of bone marrow is removed, usually from the hip bone, breastbone, or thigh bone. A small area of skin and the surface of the bone underneath are numbed with an anesthetic. Then, a special wide needle is pushed into the bone. A sample of liquid bone marrow is removed with a syringe attached to the needle. The bone marrow is sent to a laboratory to be looked at under a microscope. This procedure may be done at the same time as a bone marrow biopsy.

bone marrow aspiration and biopsy
A procedure in which a small sample of bone marrow (soft, sponge-like tissue in the center of most bones) and bone is removed. A small area of skin and the surface of the bone underneath are numbed with an anesthetic. Then a special wide needle is pushed into the bone. A sample of liquid bone marrow is removed with a syringe attached to the needle. The syringe is then removed and the needle is rotated to remove a sample of the bone and the bone marrow. Both the bone marrow and bone samples are sent to a laboratory to be looked at under a microscope.

bone marrow biopsy
A procedure in which a small sample of bone with bone marrow inside it is removed, usually from the hip bone. A small area of skin and the surface of the bone underneath are numbed with an anesthetic. Then, a special, wide needle is pushed into the bone and rotated to remove a sample of bone with the bone marrow inside it. The sample is sent to a laboratory to be looked at under a microscope. This procedure may be done at the same time as a bone marrow aspiration.

bone marrow cancer 
Cancer that forms in the blood-forming stem cells of the bone marrow (soft sponge-like tissue in the center of most bones). Bone marrow cancer includes leukemias and multiple myeloma.

bone marrow metastasis
Cancer that has spread from the original (primary) tumor to the bone marrow.

bone marrow transplantation
A procedure to replace bone marrow that has been destroyed by treatment with high doses of anticancer drugs or radiation. Transplantation may be autologous (an individual’s own marrow saved before treatment), allogeneic (marrow donated by someone else), or syngeneic (marrow donated by an identical twin).

bone mass
A measure of the amount of minerals (mostly calcium and phosphorous) contained in a certain volume of bone. Bone mass measurements are used to diagnose osteoporosis (a condition marked by decreased bone mass), to see how well osteoporosis treatments are working, and to predict how likely the bones are to break. Low bone mass can occur in patients treated for cancer. Also called BMD, bone density, and bone mineral density.

bone metastasis
Cancer that has spread from the original (primary) tumor to the bone.

bone mineral density
A measure of the amount of minerals (mostly calcium and phosphorous) contained in a certain volume of bone. Bone mineral density measurements are used to diagnose osteoporosis (a condition marked by decreased bone mass), to see how well osteoporosis treatments are working, and to predict how likely the bones are to break. Low bone mineral density can occur in patients treated for cancer. Also called BMD, bone density, and bone mass.

bone mineral density scan
An imaging test that measures bone density (the amount of bone mineral contained in a certain volume of bone) by passing x-rays with two different energy levels through the bone. It is used to diagnose osteoporosis (decrease in bone mass and density). Also called BMD scan, DEXA, DEXA scan, dual energy x-ray absorptiometric scan, dual x-ray absorptiometry, and DXA.

bone scan
A procedure to check for abnormal areas or damage in the bones. A very small amount of radioactive material is injected into a vein and travels through the blood. The radioactive material collects in the bones and is detected by a scanner (a special camera that takes pictures of the inside of the body). A bone scan may be used to diagnose bone tumors or cancer that has spread to the bone. It may also be used to help diagnose fractures, bone infections, or other bone problems.

bone-seeking radioisotope 
A radioactive substance that is given through a vein, and collects in bone cells and in tumor cells that have spread to the bone. It kills cancer cells by giving off low-level radiation.

booster
In medicine, refers to a vaccination given after a previous vaccination. A booster helps maintain or increase a protective immune response.

borderline personality disorder
A serious mental illness marked by unstable moods and impulsive behavior. People with BPD have problems with relationships, family and work life, long-term planning, and self-identity. Symptoms include intense bouts of anger, depression, and anxiety that may lead to self-injury or suicide, drug or alcohol abuse, excessive spending, binge eating, or risky sex. A person with BPD who is diagnosed with cancer may be at an increased risk of suicide. Also called BPD.

boron neutron capture therapy
A type of radiation therapy. A substance that contains boron is injected into a blood vessel. The boron collects in tumor cells. The patient then receives radiation therapy with atomic particles called neutrons. The neutrons react with the boron to kill the tumor cells without harming normal cells. Boron neutron capture therapy is being studied as a treatment for glioblastoma multiforme and recurrent head and neck cancer. Also called BNCT.

boron phenylalanine
A substance used in a type of radiation therapy called boron neutron capture therapy. Boron phenylalanine is injected into a blood vessel and collects in tumor cells. The patient then receives radiation therapy with atomic particles called neutrons. The neutrons react with boron phenylalanine to kill the tumor cells without harming normal cells. Also called BPA.

boronophenylalanine-fructose complex
A substance used in a type of radiation therapy called boron neutron capture therapy. Boronophenylalanine-fructose complex is injected into a blood vessel and collects in tumor cells. The patient then receives radiation therapy with atomic particles called neutrons. The neutrons react with the boron in boronophenylalanine-fructose complex, producing radioactive particles that kill the tumor cells without harming normal cells. Also called BPA-F.

bortezomib
A drug used to treat multiple myeloma. It is also used to treat mantle cell lymphoma in patients who have already received at least one other type of treatment and is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Bortezomib blocks several molecular pathways in a cell and may cause cancer cells to die. It is a type of proteasome inhibitor and a type of dipeptidyl boronic acid. Also called PS-341 and velcade.

Bosulif
A drug used to treat chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). It is used in patients who cannot be treated with or have not gotten better with other treatment. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Bosulif blocks the action of BCR-ABL and other proteins, which may help keep cancer cells from growing and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Also called bosutinib.

bosutinib
A drug used to treat chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). It is used in patients who cannot be treated with or have not gotten better with other treatment. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Bosutinib blocks the action of BCR-ABL and other proteins, which may help keep cancer cells from growing and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Also called Bosulif.

Boswellia serrata
A tree that belongs to the incense tree family. The tree’s amber-colored resin is used in incense. The resin has anti-inflammatory effects and has been used to treat arthritis, asthma, and ulcerative colitis. It is also being studied in the treatment of brain tumors. Also called frankincense tree.

botanical
Having to do with, or derived from, plants.

Botox
A toxin made by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. It can cause food poisoning. The drug Botox is a form of the toxin that can be used in small amounts to treat certain medical conditions. These include severe underarm sweating and severe muscle spasms in the neck and shoulders. Botox is also used to smooth wrinkles on the face. It is being studied in the treatment of pain in patients with skin leiomyomas (benign smooth muscle tumors) and other conditions. Also called botulinum toxin A and botulinum toxin type A.

botulinum toxin A 
A toxin made by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. It can cause food poisoning. The drug Botox is a form of the toxin that can be used in small amounts to treat certain medical conditions. These include severe underarm sweating and severe muscle spasms in the neck and shoulders. Botulinum toxin A is also used to smooth wrinkles on the face. It is being studied in the treatment of pain in patients with skin leiomyomas (benign smooth muscle tumors) and other conditions. Also called Botox and botulinum toxin type A.

botulinum toxin type A
A toxin made by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. It can cause food poisoning. The drug Botox is a form of the toxin that can be used in small amounts to treat certain medical conditions. These include severe underarm sweating and severe muscle spasms in the neck and shoulders. Botulinum toxin type A is also used to smooth wrinkles on the face. It is being studied in the treatment of pain in patients with skin leiomyomas (benign smooth muscle tumors) and other conditions. Also called Botox and botulinum toxin A.

bowel
The long, tube-shaped organ in the abdomen that completes the process of digestion. The bowel has two parts, the small bowel and the large bowel. Also called intestine.

bowel function
The way the intestines work in terms of how often there are bowel movements, the ability to control when to have a bowel movement, and whether the stools are hard and dry as in constipation or watery as in diarrhea.

bowel movement
Movement of feces (undigested food, bacteria, mucus, and cells from the lining of the intestines) through the bowel and out the anus. Also called defecation.

Bowen disease
A skin disease marked by scaly or thickened patches on the skin and often caused by prolonged exposure to arsenic. The patches often occur on sun-exposed areas of the skin and in older white men. These patches may become malignant (cancer). Also called precancerous dermatitis and precancerous dermatosis.

Bowman-Birk inhibitor concentrate
A substance that is made from soybeans and is being studied in the prevention of cancer. It blocks the action of enzymes that are needed for cancer cells to form. It is a type of protease inhibitor. Also called BBIC.

BPA
A substance used in a type of radiation therapy called boron neutron capture therapy. BPA is injected into a blood vessel and collects in tumor cells. The patient then receives radiation therapy with atomic particles called neutrons. The neutrons react with BPA to kill the tumor cells without harming normal cells. Also called boron phenylalanine.

BPA-F
A substance used in a type of radiation therapy called boron neutron capture therapy. BPA-F is injected into a blood vessel and collects in tumor cells. The patient then receives radiation therapy with atomic particles called neutrons. The neutrons react with the boron in BPA-F, producing radioactive particles that kill the tumor cells without harming normal cells. Also called boronophenylalanine-fructose complex.

BPD
Borderline personality disorder. A serious mental illness marked by unstable moods and impulsive behavior. People with BPD have problems with relationships, family and work life, long-term planning, and self-identity. Symptoms include intense bouts of anger, depression, and anxiety that may lead to self-injury or suicide, drug or alcohol abuse, excessive spending, binge eating, or risky sex. A person with BPD who is diagnosed with cancer may be at an increased risk of suicide. Also called borderline personality disorder.

BPH
A benign (not cancer) condition in which an overgrowth of prostate tissue pushes against the urethra and the bladder, blocking the flow of urine. Also called benign prostatic hyperplasia and benign prostatic hypertrophy.

BPU
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. It is a type of antitubulin agent. Also called benzoylphenylurea.

brachial plexopathy 
A condition marked by numbness, tingling, pain, weakness, or limited movement in the arm or hand. It is caused by an impairment of the brachial plexus, a network of nerves that affect the arm and hand.

brachial plexus 
A network of nerves that sends signals from the spine to the arm and hand.

brachytherapy
A type of radiation therapy in which radioactive material sealed in needles, seeds, wires, or catheters is placed directly into or near a tumor. Also called implant radiation therapy, internal radiation therapy, and radiation brachytherapy.

BRAF (V600E) kinase inhibitor RO5185426
A drug used to treat advanced melanoma that has a mutated (changed) form of a cell protein called BRAF. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. BRAF (V600E) kinase inhibitor RO5185426 blocks this mutated protein, which may stop the growth of cancer cells. It is a type of kinase inhibitor and a type of targeted therapy agent. Also called PLX4032, RG7204, vemurafenib, and Zelboraf.

BRAF (V600E) mutation
A specific mutation (change) in the BRAF gene, which makes a protein that is involved in sending signals in cells and in cell growth. This BRAF gene mutation may be found in some types of cancer, including melanoma and colorectal cancer. It may increase the growth and spread of cancer cells. Checking for this BRAF mutation in tumor tissue may help to plan cancer treatment.

BRAF gene
A gene that makes a protein called B-RAF, which is involved in sending signals in cells and in cell growth. This gene may be mutated (changed) in many types of cancer, which causes a change in the B-RAF protein. This can increase the growth and spread of cancer cells.

BRAF kinase inhibitor
A substance that blocks a protein called BRAF. BRAF is a kinase enzyme that helps control cell growth and signaling. It may be found in a mutated (changed) form in some types of cancer, including melanoma and colorectal cancer. Blocking mutated BRAF kinase proteins may help keep cancer cells from growing. Some BRAF kinase inhibitors are used to treat cancer.

brain metastasis
Cancer that has spread from the original (primary) tumor to the brain.

brain stem
The part of the brain that is connected to the spinal cord.

brain stem auditory evoked response test
A test used to detect some types of hearing loss, such as hearing loss caused by injury or tumors that affect nerves involved in hearing. Electrodes are placed on the head and certain tones or clicking sounds are made. The electrodes measure nerve signals in the brain when it reacts to the sounds. Also called ABR test, auditory brain stem response test, and BAER test.

brain stem glioma
A tumor located in the part of the brain that connects to the spinal cord (the brain stem). It may grow rapidly or slowly, depending on the grade of the tumor.

brain stem tumor
A tumor in the part of the brain that connects to the spinal cord (the brain stem).

brain tumor
The growth of abnormal cells in the tissues of the brain. Brain tumors can be benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer).

Brassica vegetable
A member of the family of vegetables that includes broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, and turnips. These vegetables contain substances that may protect against cancer. Also called cruciferous vegetable.

BRCA1
A gene on chromosome 17 that normally helps to suppress cell growth. A person who inherits certain mutations (changes) in a BRCA1 gene has a higher risk of getting breast, ovarian, prostate, and other types of cancer.

BRCA2
A gene on chromosome 13 that normally helps to suppress cell growth. A person who inherits certain mutations (changes) in a BRCA2 gene has a higher risk of getting breast, ovarian, prostate, and other types of cancer.

BRCAPro
A computer program that uses statistics to predict whether a person has an inherited mutation (change) in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. People who have certain mutations in these genes have a higher than normal risk of breast, ovarian, prostate, and other types of cancer. The program is based on personal and family medical histories of breast and ovarian cancer.

breakthrough pain
Intense increases in pain that occur with rapid onset even when pain-control medication is being used. Breakthrough pain can occur spontaneously or in relation to a specific activity.

breast
Glandular organ located on the chest. The breast is made up of connective tissue, fat, and breast tissue that contains the glands that can make milk. Also called mammary gland.

breast cancer
Cancer that forms in tissues of the breast. The most common type of breast cancer is ductal carcinoma, which begins in the lining of the milk ducts (thin tubes that carry milk from the lobules of the breast to the nipple). Another type of breast cancer is lobular carcinoma, which begins in the lobules (milk glands) of the breast. Invasive breast cancer is breast cancer that has spread from where it began in the breast ducts or lobules to surrounding normal tissue. Breast cancer occurs in both men and women, although male breast cancer is rare.

breast carcinoma in situ
There are 3 types of breast carcinoma in situ: ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS), and Paget disease of the nipple. DCIS is a noninvasive condition in which abnormal cells are found in the lining of a breast duct. The abnormal cells have not spread outside the duct to other tissues in the breast. In some cases, DCIS may become invasive cancer and spread to other tissues. At this time, there is no way to know which lesions could become invasive. LCIS is a condition in which abnormal cells are found in the lobules of the breast. This condition seldom becomes invasive cancer. However, having LCIS in one breast increases the risk of developing breast cancer in either breast. Paget disease of the nipple is a condition in which abnormal cells are found in the nipple only. Also called stage 0 breast carcinoma in situ.

breast density
Describes the relative amount of different tissues present in the breast. A dense breast has less fat than glandular and connective tissue. Mammogram films of breasts with higher density are harder to read and interpret than those of less dense breasts.

breast duct
A thin tube in the breast that carries milk from the breast lobules to the nipple. Also called milk duct.

breast duct endoscopy
A method used to examine the lining of the breast ducts to look for abnormal tissue. A very thin, flexible, lighted tube attached to a camera is inserted through the nipple, and threaded into the breast ducts deep in the breast. Tissue and fluid samples may be removed during the procedure.

Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System
A method used by radiologists to interpret and report in a standardized manner the results of mammography, ultrasound, and MRI used in breast cancer screening and diagnosis. Also called BI-RADS.

breast implant
A silicone gel-filled or saline-filled sac placed under the chest muscle to restore breast shape.

breast lobe 
A section of the breast that contains the lobules (the glands that make milk).

breast lobule
A small part of a lobe in the breast. A breast lobule is a gland that makes milk.

breast reconstruction
Surgery to rebuild the shape of the breast after a mastectomy.

breast self-exam
An exam by a woman of her breasts to check for lumps or other changes.

breast-conserving surgery
An operation to remove the breast cancer but not the breast itself. Types of breast-conserving surgery include lumpectomy (removal of the lump), quadrantectomy (removal of one quarter, or quadrant, of the breast), and segmental mastectomy (removal of the cancer as well as some of the breast tissue around the tumor and the lining over the chest muscles below the tumor). Also called breast-sparing surgery.

breast-sparing surgery
An operation to remove the breast cancer but not the breast itself. Types of breast-sparing surgery include lumpectomy (removal of the lump), quadrantectomy (removal of one quarter, or quadrant, of the breast), and segmental mastectomy (removal of the cancer as well as some of the breast tissue around the tumor and the lining over the chest muscles below the tumor). Also called breast-conserving surgery.

breastbone
The long flat bone that forms the center front of the chest wall. The breastbone is attached to the collarbone and the first seven ribs. Also called sternum.

brentuximab vedotin
A drug used to treat Hodgkin lymphoma and systemic anaplastic large cell lymphoma that did not get better with other treatment. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of lymphoma. Brentuximab vedotin is made by combining a monoclonal antibody with an anticancer drug. It binds to a protein called CD30, which is on the surface of some lymphoma cells, and may kill cancer cells. Brentuximab vedotin is a type of antibody-drug conjugate. Also called Adcetris and SGN-35.

Breslow depth
A measure of how deeply a melanoma tumor has grown into the skin. The tumor thickness (depth) is usually measured from the top of the tumor to the deepest tumor cells. If the tumor is ulcerated (the skin is broken), it is measured from the base of the ulcer to the deepest tumor cells. Breslow depth is used to help determine the stage of cancer. Thicker tumors are linked with lower survival rates. Also called Breslow thickness.

Breslow thickness
A measure of how deeply a melanoma tumor has grown into the skin. The tumor thickness (depth) is usually measured from the top of the tumor to the deepest tumor cells. If the tumor is ulcerated (the skin is broken), it is measured from the base of the ulcer to the deepest tumor cells. Breslow thickness is used to help determine the stage of cancer. Thicker tumors are linked with lower survival rates. Also called Breslow depth.

Brief Pain Inventory
A questionnaire used to measure pain.

brivanib
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. Brivanib may prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 inhibitor and a type of antiangiogenesis agent.

brivanib alaninate
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. Brivanib alaninate may prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 inhibitor and a type of antiangiogenesis agent.

brivudine
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of infections caused by herpesvirus, including herpes-zoster (shingles). It belongs to the family of drugs called antivirals.

BRM therapy
A type of treatment that uses substances made from living organisms to treat disease. These substances may occur naturally in the body or may be made in the laboratory. Some BRM therapies stimulate or suppress the immune system to help the body fight cancer, infection, and other diseases. Other BRM therapies attack specific cancer cells, which may help keep them from growing or kill them. They may also lessen certain side effects caused by some cancer treatments. Types of BRM therapy include immunotherapy (such as vaccines, cytokines, and some antibodies), gene therapy, and some targeted therapies. Also called biological response modifier therapy, biological therapy, and biotherapy.

broccoli sprout extract
A substance being studied in the prevention of cancer. Broccoli sprout extract comes from newly sprouted broccoli. It causes cells to make enzymes that may protect them against cancer-causing toxins in the body, and it may also block the growth of cancer cells.

bromelain 
An enzyme found in pineapples that breaks down other proteins, such as collagen and muscle fiber, and has anti-inflammatory properties. It is used as a meat tenderizer in the food industry.

bronchi
The large air passages that lead from the trachea (windpipe) to the lungs.

bronchial
Having to do with the bronchi, which are the larger air passages of the lungs, including those that lead from the trachea (windpipe) to the lungs and those within the lungs.

bronchial adenoma
Cancer that forms in tissues of the bronchi (large air passages in the lungs including those that lead to the lungs from the windpipe).

bronchial brush biopsy
A procedure in which cells are taken from the inside of the airways that lead to the lungs. A bronchoscope (a thin, tube-like instrument with a light and a lens for viewing) is inserted through the nose or mouth into the lungs. A small brush is then used to remove cells from the airways. These cells are then looked at under a microscope. A bronchial brush biopsy is used to find cancer and changes in cells that may lead to cancer. It is also used to help diagnose other lung conditions. Also called bronchial brushing.

bronchial brushing 
A procedure in which cells are taken from the inside of the airways that lead to the lungs. A bronchoscope (a thin, tube-like instrument with a light and a lens for viewing) is inserted through the nose or mouth into the lungs. A small brush is then used to remove cells from the airways. These cells are then looked at under a microscope. A bronchial brushing is used to find cancer and changes in cells that may lead to cancer. It is also used to help diagnose other lung conditions. Also called bronchial brush biopsy.

bronchial washing
A procedure in which cells are taken from the inside of the airways that lead to the lungs. A bronchoscope (a thin, tube-like instrument with a light and a lens for viewing) is inserted through the nose or mouth into the lungs. A mild salt solution is washed over the surface of the airways to collect cells, which are then looked at under a microscope. Bronchial washing is used to find infections. It may also help find cancer or changes in cells that may lead to cancer.

bronchiole
A tiny branch of air tubes in the lungs.

bronchiolitis obliterans
A condition in which the bronchioles (tiny branches of air tubes in the lungs) become inflamed and blocked. It may be caused by breathing in gases or particles that irritate the bronchioles. This irritation causes scar tissue to form, and makes breathing difficult. Bronchiolitis olbiterans may be caused by other factors, and can also occur after a transplant with an organ or stem cells from a matched donor.

bronchitis
Inflammation (swelling and reddening) of the bronchi.

bronchodilator
A type of drug that causes small airways in the lungs to open up. Bronchodilators are inhaled and are used to treat breathing disorders, such as asthma or emphysema.

bronchogenic carcinoma
Cancer that begins in the tissue that lines or covers the airways of the lungs, including small cell and non-small cell lung cancer.

bronchoscope
A thin, tube-like instrument used to examine the inside of the trachea, bronchi (air passages that lead to the lungs), and lungs. A bronchoscope has a light and a lens for viewing, and may have a tool to remove tissue.

bronchoscopy
A procedure that uses a bronchoscope to examine the inside of the trachea, bronchi (air passages that lead to the lungs), and lungs. A bronchoscope is a thin, tube-like instrument with a light and a lens for viewing. It may also have a tool to remove tissue to be checked under a microscope for signs of disease. The bronchoscope is inserted through the nose or mouth. Bronchoscopy may be used to detect cancer or to perform some treatment procedures.

bronchus
A large airway that leads from the trachea (windpipe) to a lung. The plural of bronchus is bronchi.

brostallicin hydrochloride
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. Brostallicin hydrochloride binds to DNA and may kill cancer cells. It may also help other drugs kill cancer cells. It is a type of DNA minor groove binding agent.

broxuridine
A drug that makes cancer cells more sensitive to radiation and is also used as a diagnostic agent to determine how fast cancer cells grow.

bryostatin 1
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer and certain brain conditions such as Alzheimer disease and stroke. It binds to an enzyme involved in cell growth and it may help anticancer drugs work better. Bryostatin 1 comes from a marine organism. It is a type of protein kinase C modulator.

BSH
A substance used in a type of radiation therapy called boron neutron capture therapy. BSH is injected into a vein and becomes concentrated in tumor cells. The patient then receives radiation treatment with atomic particles called neutrons. The neutrons react with the boron in BSH and make radioactive particles that kill the tumor cells without harming normal cells. Also called sodium borocaptate.

BSI-201
A substance being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. BSI-201 may kill cancer cells. Also called iniparib.

buccal mucosa
The inner lining of the cheeks.

budesonide
A drug used in the treatment of asthma and rhinitis. It is also being studied in the treatment of cancer. Budesonide belongs to the family of drugs called steroids.

bugbane
An eastern North American perennial herb. A substance obtained from the root of the plant has been used in some cultures to treat a number of medical problems. It is being studied in the treatment of hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause. The scientific name is Cimicifuga racemosa. Also called black cohosh, black snakeroot, bugwort, and rattlesnake root.

bugwort
An eastern North American perennial herb. A substance obtained from the root of the plant has been used in some cultures to treat a number of medical problems. It is being studied in the treatment of hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause. The scientific name is Cimicifuga racemosa. Also called black cohosh, black snakeroot, bugbane, and rattlesnake root.

bulk-forming agent
A substance, such as fiber in food, that adds bulk and water to stools so that they can pass more easily through the intestines (lower part of the digestive tract).

BUN
Nitrogen in the blood that comes from urea (a substance formed by the breakdown of protein in the liver). The kidneys filter urea out of the blood and into the urine. A high level of urea nitrogen in the blood may be a sign of a kidney problem. Also called blood urea nitrogen and urea nitrogen.

bupivacaine
A drug used to relieve pain by blocking signals at nerve endings. It is being studied in the relief of pain following surgery for cancer. It is a type of local anesthetic. Also called bupivacaine hydrochloride, Marcaine, and Sensorcaine.

bupivacaine hydrochloride
A drug used to relieve pain by blocking signals at nerve endings. It is being studied in the relief of pain following surgery for cancer. It is a type of local anesthetic. Also called bupivacaine, Marcaine, and Sensorcaine.

bupropion hydrochloride
A drug used to treat depression and certain other disorders. It is also used to help people stop smoking. Bupropion hydrochloride increases the levels of the chemicals dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine in the brain. This helps improve mood and can lessen cravings for nicotine. It is a type of antidepressant and a type of nicotine receptor antagonist. Also called Wellbutrin and Zyban.

burdock
A plant whose seeds and root have been used in some cultures to treat certain medical problems. It may have antioxidant effects. The scientific name is Arctium lappa. Also called happy major and lappa.

Burkitt leukemia
A rare, fast-growing type of leukemia (blood cancer) in which too many white blood cells called B lymphocytes form in the blood and bone marrow. It may start in the lymph nodes as Burkitt lymphoma and then spread to the blood and bone marrow, or it may start in the blood and bone marrow without involvement of the lymph nodes. Both Burkitt leukemia and Burkitt lymphoma have been linked to infection with the Epstein-Barr virus.

Burkitt lymphoma
An aggressive (fast-growing) type of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma that occurs most often in children and young adults. The disease may affect the jaw, central nervous system, bowel, kidneys, ovaries, or other organs. There are three main types of Burkitt lymphoma (sporadic, endemic, and immunodeficiency related). Sporadic Burkitt lymphoma occurs throughout the world, and endemic Burkitt lymphoma occurs in Africa. Immunodeficiency-related Burkitt lymphoma is most often seen in AIDS patients.

burr hole
A small opening in the skull made with a surgical drill.

bursitis
Inflammation (swelling, pain, and warmth) of a bursa. A bursa is a flat, fluid-filled sac found between a bone and a tendon or muscle. It forms a cushion to help the tendon or muscle slide smoothly over the bone. Bursitis may be caused by long-term overuse, trauma, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, or infection. It usually affects the shoulder, knee, elbow, hip, or foot.

buserelin
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called gonadotropin-releasing hormones. In prostate cancer therapy, buserelin blocks the production of testosterone in the testicles.

buspirone
A drug that is used to treat certain anxiety disorders. It belongs to the family of drugs called antianxiety agents.

busulfan
A drug used to treat chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). It is also used with other drugs to prepare patients with CML for a stem cell transplant. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Busulfan attaches to DNA in cells and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of alkylating agent. Also called Busulfex and Myleran.

Busulfex
A drug used to treat chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). It is also used with other drugs to prepare patients with CML for a stem cell transplant. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Busulfex attaches to DNA in cells and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of alkylating agent. Also called busulfan and Myleran.

butane
A colorless gas that catches fire easily and is used as fuel. It is found in gasoline, lighter fluid, and some aerosol sprays. Butane is also one of many harmful chemicals found in tobacco smoke.

buthionine sulfoximine
A drug that may help prevent resistance to some anticancer drugs.

bypass
A surgical procedure in which the doctor creates a new pathway for the flow of body fluids.

C cell
a type of cell in the thyroid. C cells make calcitonin, a hormone that helps control the calcium level in the blood.

C-11 choline
a radioactive substance being studied in pet imaging to detect certain types of cancer. C-11 choline gets taken up by cells in the body and more of it is taken up by tumor cells than by normal cells. A pet scanner is used to detect which cells in the body have taken up c-11 choline. It is a type of radioimaging agent.

C-11 choline pet-ct scan
a procedure in which a small amount of c-11 choline (a radioactive form of the vitamin choline) is injected into a vein. A scanner and a computer are used to make detailed pictures of areas inside the body where the c-11 choline collects. Cancer cells take up more c-11 choline than normal cells, so the pictures can be used to find cancer cells in the body. Also called carbon-11 choline pet-ct scan.

C-abl
an enzyme that is involved in many cell processes, such as cell division. The gene for c-abl is on chromosome 9. In most patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia (cml), the part of chromosome 9 with c-abl has broken off and traded places with part of chromosome 22 to form the bcr-abl fusion gene.

C-erbb-2
a protein involved in normal cell growth. It is found on some types of cancer cells, including breast and ovarian. Cancer cells removed from the body may be tested for the presence of c-erbb-2 to help decide the best type of treatment. C-erbb-2 is a type of receptor tyrosine kinase. Also called her2/neu, human egf receptor 2, and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2.

C-erbb-2 positive
describes cancer cells that have too much of a protein called her2 on their surface. In normal cells, her2 helps to control cell growth. When it is made in larger than normal amounts by cancer cells, the cells may grow more quickly and be more likely to spread to other parts of the body. Checking to see if a cancer is c-erbb-2 positive may help plan treatment, which may include drugs that kill c-erbb-2 positive cancer cells. Cancers that may be c-erbb-2 positive include breast, bladder, pancreatic, ovarian, and stomach cancers. Also called her2 positive and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 positive.

C-fos antisense oligonucleotide
a substance that has been studied in the treatment of cancer and is being studied in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and certain skin conditions. It blocks the production of a protein called c-fos, which helps control cell growth. This may kill cancer cells that need c-fos to grow. It is a type of antisense oligonucleotide. Also called antisense c-fos.

C-kit
a protein found on the surface of many different types of cells. It binds to a substance called stem cell factor (scf), which causes certain types of blood cells to grow. C-kit may also be found in higher than normal amounts, or in a changed form, on some types of cancer cells, including gastrointestinal stromal tumors and melanoma. Measuring the amount of c-kit in tumor tissue may help diagnose cancer and plan treatment. C-kit is a type of receptor tyrosine kinase and a type of tumor marker. Also called cd117 and stem cell factor receptor.

C-peptide
a substance made by the pancreas. C-peptide and insulin are both part of a larger molecule that gets split apart before being released into the blood. Abnormal blood levels of c-peptide may occur in certain diseases, such as diabetes or cancer. Also called connecting peptide.

C-peptide suppression test
a test used to help diagnose a type of pancreatic tumor called an insulinoma. After fasting, the patient receives an injection of insulin and the level of c-peptide (a substance released with insulin by the pancreas) in the blood is measured. In patients who have an insulinoma, the level of c-peptide is higher than normal.

Ca 15-3
a protein found on epithelial cells that is part of a larger protein called muc 1. Ca 15-3 may be found in higher than normal amounts in patients with some types of cancer, including breast cancer. Measuring the amount of ca 15-3 in the blood may be useful in checking how well cancer treatment is working or if cancer has come back. Ca 15-3 is a type of tumor marker.

Ca 19-9
a substance released into the bloodstream by both cancer cells and normal cells. Too much ca 19-9 in the blood can be a sign of pancreatic cancer or other types of cancer or conditions. The amount of ca 19-9 in the blood can be used to help keep track of how well cancer treatments are working or if cancer has come back. It is a type of tumor marker.

Ca 19-9 assay
a laboratory test that measures the level of ca 19-9 in the blood. Ca 19-9 is a substance released into the blood by both cancer cells and normal cells. Higher than normal amounts of ca 19-9 in the blood can be a sign of pancreatic or other types of cancer or other conditions. The amount of ca 19-9 in the blood can be used to help keep track of how well cancer treatments are working or if cancer has come back. Ca 19-9 is a type of tumor marker.

Ca 27.29
a protein found on epithelial cells, which line the inside and outside surfaces of the body. It is part of a larger protein called muc 1. Ca 27.29 may be found in higher than normal amounts in patients with some types of cancer, including breast cancer. Measuring the amount of ca 27.29 in the blood may help to find out how well cancer treatment is working or if cancer has come back. Ca 27.29 is a type of tumor marker.

Ca-125
a substance that may be found in high amounts in the blood of patients with certain types of cancer, including ovarian cancer. Ca-125 levels may also help monitor how well cancer treatments are working or if cancer has come back. Also called cancer antigen 125.

Cab
in medicine, a group of non-scientist volunteers that serves as a link between a community and clinical trial researchers. A cab may review and monitor clinical trials and help teach the community about the trials. Also called community advisory board.

Cab
surgery in which a healthy blood vessel taken from another part of the body is used to make a new path for blood around a blocked artery leading to the heart. This restores the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the heart. Also called aortocoronary bypass and coronary artery bypass.

Cabazitaxel
a drug used with prednisone to treat hormone-resistant prostate cancer that has spread and that had been treated with docetaxel. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Cabazitaxel blocks cell growth by stopping cell division and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of antimitotic agent. Also called jevtana and taxoid xrp6258.

Cabozantinib-s-malate
a drug used to treat progressive medullary thyroid cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Cabozantinib-s-malate blocks certain proteins, which may help keep cancer cells from growing. It may also prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It is a type of tyrosine kinase inhibitor and a type of angiogenesis inhibitor. Also called cometriq.

Cachexia
loss of body weight and muscle mass, and weakness that may occur in patients with cancer, aids, or other chronic diseases.

Cad
a disease in which there is a narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries (blood vessels that carry blood and oxygen to the heart). Cad is usually caused by atherosclerosis (a buildup of fatty material and plaque inside the coronary arteries). The disease may cause chest pain, shortness of breath during exercise, and heart attacks. The risk of cad is increased by having a family history of cad before age 50, older age, smoking tobacco, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, lack of exercise, and obesity. Also called coronary artery disease and coronary heart disease.

Cadmium
a metallic element that occurs naturally in tiny amounts in air, water, soil, and food. It is a byproduct of zinc refining and is used to make batteries, pigments, plastics, alloys, and electroplate. It is also found in tobacco and tobacco smoke. Exposure to high levels of cadmium may cause certain cancers and other health problems.

Caf
an abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used alone or together with other therapies to treat breast cancer. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It includes the drugs cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin hydrochloride (adriamycin), and fluorouracil. Also called caf regimen.

Caf regimen
an abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used alone or together with other therapies to treat breast cancer. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It includes the drugs cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin hydrochloride (adriamycin), and fluorouracil. Also called caf.

Caffeine
a substance found in the leaves and beans of the coffee tree, in tea, yerba mate, guarana berries, and in small amounts in cocoa. It can also be made in the laboratory, and is added to some soft drinks, foods, and medicines. Caffeine increases brain activity, alertness, attention, and energy. It may also increase blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, and the loss of water from the body in urine.

Calbindin
a group of proteins that bind calcium and move it into cells. Calbindins are found in many different tissues in the body.

Calcification
deposits of calcium in the tissues. Calcification in the breast can be seen on a mammogram, but cannot be detected by touch. There are two types of breast calcification, macrocalcification and microcalcification. Macrocalcifications are large deposits and are usually not related to cancer. Microcalcifications are specks of calcium that may be found in an area of rapidly dividing cells. Many microcalcifications clustered together may be a sign of cancer.

Calcinosis
a condition in which abnormal amounts of calcium salts are found in soft tissue, such as muscle.

Calcitonin
a hormone formed by the c cells of the thyroid gland. It helps maintain a healthy level of calcium in the blood. When the calcium level is too high, calcitonin lowers it.

Calcitriol
the active form of vitamin d. Calcitriol is formed in the kidneys or made in the laboratory. It is used as a drug to increase calcium levels in the body in order to treat skeletal and tissue-related calcium deficiencies caused by kidney or thyroid disorders.

Calcium
a mineral needed for healthy teeth, bones, and other body tissues. It is the most common mineral in the body. A deposit of calcium in body tissues, such as breast tissue, may be a sign of disease.

Calcium antagonist
a type of drug that keeps calcium from entering the muscle cells of the heart and blood vessels. This causes the blood vessels to relax and widen, which allows the blood to flow more easily and lowers blood pressure. Some calcium antagonists may also slow the heartbeat. Calcium antagonists are used to treat high blood pressure, chest pain (angina), abnormal heartbeat (arrhythmia), and several other conditions. Also called calcium channel blocker.

Calcium carbonate
a form of the mineral calcium that is used to prevent or treat osteoporosis (a decrease in bone mass and density) and to treat heartburn and upset stomach. It is also being studied in the prevention of bone problems in people with cancer. It is a type of dietary supplement.

Calcium channel blocker
a type of drug that keeps calcium from entering the muscle cells of the heart and blood vessels. This causes the blood vessels to relax and widen, which allows the blood to flow more easily and lowers blood pressure. Some calcium channel blockers may also slow the heartbeat. Calcium channel blockers are used to treat high blood pressure, chest pain (angina), abnormal heartbeat (arrhythmia), and several other conditions. Also called calcium antagonist.

Calcium gluconate
the mineral calcium combined with a form of the sugar glucose. It is used to prevent and treat osteoporosis (a decrease in bone mass and density). It is also being studied in the treatment of bone loss and nerve damage caused by chemotherapy. It is a type of dietary supplement.

Calcium infusion test
a test used to help diagnose a type of pancreatic islet cell tumor called a gastrinoma. The patient receives a 3-hour infusion of a substance called calcium gluconate and the amount of gastrin in the blood is measured. An increase in the level of gastrin in the blood after the infusion may be a sign of a gastrinoma.

Calcium levoleucovorin
a drug used to lessen the toxic effects of substances that block the action of folic acid, especially the anticancer drug methotrexate. Calcium levoleucovorin is used to treat some types of anemia and is also used with fluorouracil to treat colorectal cancer. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer and other conditions. Calcium levoleucovorin is a form of folic acid. It is a type of chemoprotective agent and a type of chemosensitizing agent. Also called citrovorum factor, leucovorin calcium, and wellcovorin.

Calcium-41 (41ca) chloride aqueous solution
a substance used to diagnose and monitor cancer that has spread to the bones. It is also used to study the turnover of bone tissue and to diagnose other conditions that affect the bones, such as osteoporosis. Calcium-41 (41ca) is a form of calcium that gives off radiation. It is passed from the body in the urine.

Calcium-46 (46ca) chloride aqueous solution
a substance used to study the turnover of bone tissue in certain diseases, such as osteoporosis or cancer that has spread to the bone. Calcium-46 (46ca) is a form of calcium. It is passed from the body in the urine.

Calendula ointment
a substance made from the flower of the marigold plant calendula officinalis. Calendula-based skin products have been used to treat minor cuts, burns, and skin irritation. The products that are available in the united states may not contain the same amount or mixture of ingredients and may not be effective. Another product, calendula ointment, is being studied in france in the prevention of dermatitis in patients having radiation therapy for breast cancer. The ointment being studied is not available in the united states.

Calgranulin a
a protein that is made by many different types of cells and is involved in processes that take place both inside and outside of the cell. It is made in larger amounts in inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, and in some types of cancer. It is being studied as a biomarker for breast cancer. Also called s100 calcium binding protein a8.

Calgranulin b
a protein that is made by many different types of cells and is involved in processes that take place both inside and outside of the cell. It is made in larger amounts in inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, and in some types of cancer. It is being studied as a biomarker for breast cancer. Also called s100 calcium binding protein a9.

Caloric intake
refers to the number of calories (energy content) consumed.

Calorie
a measurement of the energy content of food. The body needs calories as to perform its functions, such as breathing, circulating the blood, and physical activity. When a person is sick, their body may need extra calories to fight fever or other problems.

Cam
forms of treatment that are used in addition to (complementary) or instead of (alternative) standard treatments. These practices generally are not considered standard medical approaches. Standard treatments go through a long and careful research process to prove they are safe and effective, but less is known about most types of cam. Cam may include dietary supplements, megadose vitamins, herbal preparations, special teas, acupuncture, massage therapy, magnet therapy, spiritual healing, and meditation. Also called complementary and alternative medicine.

Campath
a drug used to treat b-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Campath binds to a protein called cd52, which is found on some types of immune cells and cancer cells. This may help the immune system kill cancer cells. Campath is a type of monoclonal antibody. Also called alemtuzumab.

Camphor
a substance that comes from the wood and bark of the camphor tree or is made in the laboratory. It has a very unique smell and taste and is used in commercial products (for example, mothballs). Camphor is used in topical anti-infective and anti-pruritic (anti-itching) agents.

Camptosar
a drug used alone or with other drugs to treat colon cancer or rectal cancer that has spread to other parts of the body or has come back after treatment with fluorouracil. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Camptosar blocks certain enzymes needed for cell division and dna repair, and it may kill cancer cells. It is a type of topoisomerase inhibitor and a type of camptothecin analog. Also called cpt 11 and irinotecan hydrochloride.

Camptothecin
an anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called topoisomerase inhibitors.

Camptothecin analog
an anticancer drug related in structure to camptothecin, a topoisomerase inhibitor. One such drug is aminocamptothecin.

Cancell
a liquid that has been promoted as a treatment for a wide range of diseases, including cancer. The ingredients thought to be in cancell have been tested, and none of them have been shown to be effective in treating any form of cancer. Cancell is not available in the united states. Also called 126–f, cantron, jim’s juice, js–101, js–114, protocel, and sheridan’s formula.

Cancer
a term for diseases in which abnormal cells divide without control and can invade nearby tissues. Cancer cells can also spread to other parts of the body through the blood and lymph systems. There are several main types of cancer. Carcinoma is a cancer that begins in the skin or in tissues that line or cover internal organs. Sarcoma is a cancer that begins in bone, cartilage, fat, muscle, blood vessels, or other connective or supportive tissue. Leukemia is a cancer that starts in blood-forming tissue, such as the bone marrow, and causes large numbers of abnormal blood cells to be produced and enter the blood. Lymphoma and multiple myeloma are cancers that begin in the cells of the immune system. Central nervous system cancers are cancers that begin in the tissues of the brain and spinal cord. Also called malignancy.

Cancer antigen 125
a substance that may be found in high amounts in the blood of patients with certain types of cancer, including ovarian cancer. Cancer antigen 125 levels may also help monitor how well cancer treatments are working or if cancer has come back. Also called ca-125.

Cancer cell line
cancer cells that keep dividing and growing over time, under certain conditions in a laboratory. Cancer cell lines are used in research to study the biology of cancer and to test cancer treatments.

Cancer cluster
the occurrence of a larger-than-expected number of cases of cancer within a group of people in a geographic area over a period of time.

Cancer information service
the cancer information service is the national cancer institute’s link to the public, interpreting and explaining research findings in a clear and understandable manner, and providing personalized responses to specific questions about cancer. Access the cis by calling 1-800-4-cancer (1-800-422-6237), or by using the livehelp instant-messaging service at https://livehelp.cancer.gov. Also called cis.

Cancer intervention and surveillance modeling network
a group of researchers supported by the national cancer institute (nci) who use statistical models to help understand how cancer prevention, screening, and treatment programs can affect the number of new cases of cancer diagnosed each year and the number of deaths from cancer each year. The cancer intervention and surveillance modeling network is now studying breast, colorectal, esophageal, lung, and prostate cancers. The models they create help guide future cancer control strategies, research priorities, policies, and decision making. Also called cisnet.

Cancer of the adrenal cortex
a rare cancer that forms in the outer layer of tissue of the adrenal gland (a small organ on top of each kidney that makes steroid hormones, adrenaline, and noradrenaline to control heart rate, blood pressure, and other body functions). Also called adrenocortical cancer and adrenocortical carcinoma.

Cancer of unknown primary origin
a case in which cancer cells are found in the body, but the place where the cells first started growing (the origin or primary site) cannot be determined. Also called carcinoma of unknown primary and cup.

Cancer subtype
describes the smaller groups that a type of cancer can be divided into, based on certain characteristics of the cancer cells. These characteristics include how the cancer cells look under a microscope and whether there are certain substances in or on the cells or certain changes to the dna of the cells. It is important to know the subtype of a cancer in order to plan treatment and determine prognosis.

Cancer treatment vaccine
a type of vaccine that is usually made from a patient’s own tumor cells or from substances taken from tumor cells. A cancer vaccine may help the immune system kill cancer cells. Also called cancer vaccine.

Cancer vaccine
a type of vaccine that is usually made from a patient’s own tumor cells or from substances taken from tumor cells. A cancer vaccine may help the immune system kill cancer cells. Also called cancer treatment vaccine.

Candidiasis
a condition in which candida albicans, a type of yeast, grows out of control in moist skin areas of the body. It is usually a result of a weakened immune system, but can be a side effect of chemotherapy or treatment with antibiotics. Candidiasis usually affects the mouth (oral candidiasis); however, rarely, it spreads throughout the entire body. Also called candidosis and thrush.

Candidosis 
a condition in which candida albicans, a type of yeast, grows out of control in moist skin areas of the body. It is usually a result of a weakened immune system, but can be a side effect of chemotherapy or treatment with antibiotics. Candidosis usually affects the mouth (oral candidosis); however, rarely, it spreads throughout the entire body. Also called candidiasis and thrush.

Canertinib
a substance being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. Canertinib blocks the action of proteins called epidermal growth factor receptors, and may cause cancer cells to die. It is a type of tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Also called canertinib dihydrochloride and ci-1033.

Canertinib dihydrochloride
a substance being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. Canertinib dihydrochloride blocks the action of proteins called epidermal growth factor receptors, and may cause cancer cells to die. It is a type of tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Also called canertinib and ci-1033.

Cannabinoid
a type of chemical in marijuana that causes drug-like effects all through the body, including the central nervous system and the immune system. The main active cannabinoid in marijuana is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (thc). Cannabinoids may help treat the symptoms of cancer or the side effects of cancer treatment.

Cannabis
the dried leaves and flowering tops of the cannabis sativa or cannabis indica plant. Cannabis contains active chemicals called cannabinoids that cause drug-like effects all through the body, including the central nervous system and the immune system. Cannabis may help treat the symptoms of cancer or the side effects of cancer treatment, such as nausea and vomiting, pain, and cachexia (loss of body weight and muscle mass). Also called marijuana.

Cantron
a liquid that has been promoted as a treatment for a wide range of diseases, including cancer. The ingredients thought to be in cantron have been tested, and none of them have been shown to be effective in treating any form of cancer. Cantron is not available in the united states. Also called 126–f, cancell, jim’s juice, js–101, js–114, protocel, and sheridan’s formula.

Cap-1
a small piece of a tumor marker called carcinoembryonic antigen (cea). Cea may be found in the blood of people who have colon cancer, other types of cancer or diseases, or who smoke tobacco. Cap-1 is used to make a vaccine that may help stimulate the body’s immune system to kill cancer cells. Also called carcinoembryonic antigen peptide-1 and cea peptide-1.

Capecitabine
a drug used to treat stage iii colon cancer in patients who had surgery to remove the cancer. It is also used to treat metastatic breast cancer that has not improved after treatment with certain other anticancer drugs. Capecitabine is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It is taken up by cancer cells and breaks down into 5-fluorouracil, a substance that kills tumor cells. Capecitabine is a type of antimetabolite. Also called xeloda.

Capillary 
the smallest type of blood vessel. A capillary connects an arteriole (small artery) to a venule (small vein) to form a network of blood vessels in almost all parts of the body. The wall of a capillary is thin and leaky, and capillaries are involved in the exchange of fluids and gases between tissues and the blood.

Capillary leak syndrome
a condition in which fluid and proteins leak out of tiny blood vessels and flow into surrounding tissues, resulting in dangerously low blood pressure. Capillary leak syndrome may lead to multiple organ failure and shock.

Capiri
an abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used to treat colorectal cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. It is also used to treat esophageal cancer and stomach cancer that are advanced or have spread to other parts of the body. It includes the drugs capecitabine (xeloda) and irinotecan hydrochloride. Also called capiri regimen, xeliri, and xeliri regimen.

Capiri regimen
an abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used to treat colorectal cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. It is also used to treat esophageal cancer and stomach cancer that are advanced or have spread to other parts of the body. It includes the drugs capecitabine (xeloda) and irinotecan hydrochloride. Also called capiri, xeliri, and xeliri regimen.

Capox
an abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used to treat advanced colorectal cancer. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It includes the drugs capecitabine and oxaliplatin. Also called capox regimen.

Capox regimen
an abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used to treat advanced colorectal cancer. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It includes the drugs capecitabine and oxaliplatin. Also called capox.

Caprelsa
a drug used to treat medullary thyroid cancer that has spread to other parts of the body and cannot be treated by surgery. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Caprelsa prevents the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It also blocks enzymes needed for cell growth and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of antiangiogenesis agent and a type of tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Also called vandetanib and zd6474.

Capromab pendetide
a substance used to detect prostate cancer. It contains a monoclonal antibody that binds to prostate cells, linked to a substance that can bind radioisotopes. Capromab pendetide is combined with indium 111 and injected into the body. A gamma camera (a special camera that detects radioactivity) is used to find prostate cancer cells in the body. Capromab pendetide is a type of immunoconjugate. Also called prostascint.

Capsaicin 
a component of certain plants, including cayenne and red pepper, used topically for peripheral nerve pain. It is also being studied for controlling mucositis pain after chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Capsule
in medicine, a sac of tissue and blood vessels that surrounds an organ, joint, or tumor. A capsule is also a form for medicine that is taken by mouth. It usually has a shell made of gelatin with the medicine inside.

Capsule endoscope
a device used to look at the inside of the intestines and other parts of the digestive tract. It is a capsule that is about the size of a large pill, with a lens, a light, a camera, a radio transmitter, and a battery inside. The patient swallows the capsule and it takes pictures as it travels through the digestive tract. The pictures are sent to a small recorder that is worn on the patient’s waist or shoulder. The pictures are then viewed on a computer by the doctor to check for signs of disease. The capsule endoscope passes out of the body during a bowel movement. Also called wireless capsule endoscope.

Capsule endoscopy
a procedure used to look at the inside of the intestines and other parts of the digestive tract. The patient swallows a capsule about the size of a large pill. The capsule contains a tiny wireless camera that travels through the digestive tract. It takes pictures of the inside of the digestive tract and sends them to a small recorder that is worn on the patient’s waist or shoulder. The pictures are then viewed on a computer by the doctor to check for signs of disease. The capsule passes out of the body during a bowel movement.

Captopril
a drug used to treat high blood pressure that is also being studied in the prevention of side effects caused by radiation therapy used in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called ace inhibitors.

Carbamideh
a substance formed by the breakdown of protein in the liver. The kidneys filter carbamide out of the blood and into the urine. Carbamide can also be made in the laboratory. A topical form of carbamide is being studied in the treatment of hand-foot syndrome (pain, swelling, numbness, tingling, or redness of the hands or feet that may occur as a side effect of certain anticancer drugs). Also called urea.

Carbendazim
an anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called antifungal agents.

Carbo-tax regimen
a chemotherapy combination used to treat endometrial, ovarian, and head and neck cancers, and non-small cell lung cancer that has spread. It includes the drugs carboplatin and paclitaxel (taxol). Also called carboplatin-taxol, carboplatin-taxol regimen, cat regimen, and pc regimen.

Carbogen
an inhaled form of oxygen and carbon dioxide that has more oxygen than air has. It is being studied in the treatment of cancer and other conditions. It may increase the amount of oxygen in cancer cells, which may make them easier to kill with radiation therapy. Carbogen is a type of radiosensitizing agent.

Carbohydrate
a sugar molecule. Carbohydrates can be small and simple (for example, glucose) or they can be large and complex (for example, polysaccharides such as starch, chitin or cellulose).

Carbolic acid
a very poisonous chemical substance made from tar and also found in some plants and essential oils (scented liquid taken from plants). Carbolic acid is used to make plastics, nylon, epoxy, medicines, and to kill germs. Also called phenol.

Carbon dioxide
a colorless, odorless gas. It is a waste product made by the body. Carbon dioxide travels in the blood from the body’s tissues to the lungs. Breathing out clears carbon dioxide from the lungs.

Carbon monoxide
a poisonous gas that has no color or odor. It is given off by burning fuel (as in exhaust from cars or household heaters) and tobacco products. Carbon monoxide prevents red blood cells from carrying enough oxygen for cells and tissues to live.

Carbon-11 acetate
a radioactive form of carbon that is used in positron emission tomography (pet) scanning.

Carbon-11 choline pet-ct scan
a procedure in which a small amount of carbon-11 choline (a radioactive form of the vitamin choline) is injected into a vein. A scanner and a computer are used to make detailed pictures of areas inside the body where the carbon-11 choline collects. Cancer cells take up more carbon-11 choline than normal cells, so the pictures can be used to find cancer cells in the body. Also called c-11 choline pet-ct scan.

Carboplatin
a drug that is used to treat advanced ovarian cancer that has never been treated or symptoms of ovarian cancer that has come back after treatment with other anticancer drugs. It is also used with other drugs to treat advanced, metastatic, or recurrent non-small cell lung cancer and is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Carboplatin is a form of the anticancer drug cisplatin and causes fewer side effects in patients. It attaches to dna in cells and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of platinum compound. Also called paraplatin.

Carboplatin-paclitaxel-bevacizumab regimen
a chemotherapy combination used to treat advanced, nonsquamous non-small cell lung cancer. It includes the drugs carboplatin, paclitaxel (taxol), and bevacizumab. Also called carboplatin-taxol-bevacizumab regimen.

Carboplatin-taxol
a chemotherapy combination used to treat endometrial, ovarian, and head and neck cancers, and non-small cell lung cancer that has spread. It includes the drugs carboplatin and paclitaxel (taxol). Also called carbo-tax regimen, carboplatin-taxol regimen, cat regimen, and pc regimen.

Carboplatin-taxol regimen
a chemotherapy combination used to treat endometrial, ovarian, and head and neck cancers, and non-small cell lung cancer that has spread. It includes the drugs carboplatin and paclitaxel (taxol). Also called carbo-tax regimen, carboplatin-taxol, cat regimen, and pc regimen.

Carboplatin-taxol-bevacizumab regimen
a chemotherapy combination used to treat advanced, nonsquamous non-small cell lung cancer. It includes the drugs carboplatin, paclitaxel (taxol), and bevacizumab. Also called carboplatin-paclitaxel-bevacizumab regimen.

Carboxyamidotriazole
an anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called angiogenesis inhibitors.

Carboxypeptidase-g2
a drug used to treat toxic levels of methotrexate (an anticancer drug) in the blood of patients with kidney problems. It is a bacterial enzyme that breaks down proteins and other substances, such as methotrexate. Carboxypeptidase-g2 may also help certain drugs kill cancer cells. It is a type of chemoprotective agent and a type of prodrug activator. Also called glucarpidase and voraxaze.

Carcinoembryonic antigen
a substance that may be found in the blood of people who have colon cancer, other types of cancer or diseases, or who smoke tobacco. Carcinoembryonic antigen levels may help keep track of how well cancer treatments are working or if cancer has come back. It is a type of tumor marker. Also called cea.

Carcinoembryonic antigen assay
a laboratory test that measures the level of carcinoembryonic antigen (cea) in the blood. An increased amount of cea may be found in the blood of people who have colon cancer or other types of cancer, certain other diseases, or who smoke. The amount of cea in the blood may also help keep track of how well cancer treatments are working or if cancer has come back. Cea is a type of tumor marker. Also called cea assay.

Carcinoembryonic antigen peptide-1
a small piece of a tumor marker called carcinoembryonic antigen (cea). Cea may be found in the blood of people who have colon cancer, other types of cancer or diseases, or who smoke tobacco. Carcinoembryonic antigen peptide-1 is used to make a vaccine that may help stimulate the body’s immune system to kill cancer cells. Also called cap-1 and cea peptide-1.

Carcinogen
any substance that causes cancer.

Carcinogenesis
the process by which normal cells are transformed into cancer cells.

Carcinoid
a slow-growing type of tumor usually found in the gastrointestinal system (most often in the appendix), and sometimes in the lungs or other sites. Carcinoid tumors may spread to the liver or other sites in the body, and they may secrete substances such as serotonin or prostaglandins, causing carcinoid syndrome.

Carcinoid syndrome
a combination of symptoms caused by the release of serotonin and other substances from carcinoid tumors of the gastrointestinal tract. Symptoms may include flushing of the face, flat angiomas (small collections of dilated blood vessels) of the skin, diarrhea, bronchial spasms, rapid pulse, and sudden drops in blood pressure.

Carcinoma
cancer that begins in the skin or in tissues that line or cover internal organs.

Carcinoma in situ
a group of abnormal cells that remain in the place where they first formed. They have not spread. These abnormal cells may become cancer and spread into nearby normal tissue. Also called stage 0 disease.

Carcinoma of unknown primary
a case in which cancer cells are found in the body, but the place where the cells first started growing (the origin or primary site) cannot be determined. Also called cancer of unknown primary origin and cup.

Carcinomatosis
a condition in which cancer is spread widely throughout the body, or, in some cases, to a relatively large region of the body. Also called carcinosis.

Carcinomatous lymphangitis
a condition in which cancer cells spread from the original (primary) tumor and invade lymph vessels (thin tubes that carry lymph and white blood cells through the body’s lymph system). The invaded lymph vessels then fill up with cancer cells and become blocked. Although carcinomatous lymphangitis can occur anywhere in the body, it commonly happens in the lungs. It can happen in many types of cancer but is most common in breast, lung, colon, stomach, pancreatic, and prostate cancer. Also called lymphangitic carcinomatosis.

Carcinomatous meningitis
a serious problem that may occur in cancer in which cancer cells spread from the original (primary) tumor to the meninges (thin layers of tissue that cover and protect the brain and spinal cord). It can happen in many types of cancer, but is the most common in melanoma, breast, lung, and gastrointestinal cancer. The cancer may cause the meninges to be inflamed. Also called leptomeningeal carcinoma, leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, leptomeningeal metastasis, meningeal carcinomatosis, meningeal metastasis, and neoplastic meningitis.

Carcinosarcoma
a malignant tumor that is a mixture of carcinoma (cancer of epithelial tissue, which is skin and tissue that lines or covers the internal organs) and sarcoma (cancer of connective tissue, such as bone, cartilage, and fat).

Carcinosis
a condition in which cancer is spread widely throughout the body, or, in some cases, to a relatively large region of the body. Also called carcinomatosis.

Carcinostatic
pertaining to slowing or stopping the growth of cancer.

Cardiac
having to do with the heart.

Cardiac pacemaker
an electronic device that is implanted in the body to monitor heart rate and rhythm. It gives the heart electrical stimulation when it does not beat normally. It runs on batteries and has long, thin wires that connect it to the heart. Also called artificial pacemaker and pacemaker.

Cardiac sarcoma
a rare cancer that develops in tissues of the heart. Also called heart cancer.

Cardin
a plant whose leaves, stems, and flowers have been used in some cultures to treat certain medical problems. Cardin may have anti-inflammatory and anticancer effects. The scientific name is cnicus benedictus. Also called blessed thistle, holy thistle, spotted thistle, and st. Benedict’s thistle.

Cardiology
a branch of medicine that specializes in diagnosing and treating diseases of the heart, blood vessels, and circulatory system. These diseases include coronary artery disease, heart rhythm problems, and heart failure.

Cardiopulmonary
having to do with the heart and lungs.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation
an emergency procedure used to restart a person’s heartbeat and breathing after one or both have stopped. It involves giving strong, rapid pushes to the chest to keep blood moving through the body. Usually, it also involves blowing air into the person’s mouth to help with breathing and send oxygen to the lungs. Also called cpr.

Cardiotoxicity
toxicity that affects the heart.

Cardiovascular
having to do with the heart and blood vessels.

Cardiovascular disease
a type of disease that affects the heart or blood vessels. The risk of certain cardiovascular diseases may be increased by smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, and obesity. The most common cardiovascular disease is coronary artery disease (narrow or blocked coronary arteries), which can lead to chest pain, heart attacks, or stroke. Other cardiovascular diseases include congestive heart failure, heart rhythm problems, congenital heart disease (heart disease at birth), and endocarditis (inflamed inner layer of the heart). Also called heart disease.

Cardura
a drug used to treat high blood pressure and urinary problems caused by an enlarged prostate. It relaxes muscle tissue in blood vessels and in the prostate. Cardura is a type of alpha blocker. Also called doxazosin and doxazosin mesylate.

Caregiver
a person who gives care to people who need help taking care of themselves. Examples include children, the elderly, or patients who have chronic illnesses or are disabled. Caregivers may be health professionals, family members, friends, social workers, or members of the clergy. They may give care at home or in a hospital or other health care setting.

Carfilzomib
a drug used to treat multiple myeloma that has not gotten better with other anticancer drugs. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Carfilzomib blocks the action of enzymes called proteasomes, and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of proteasome inhibitor. Also called kyprolis.

Carina of trachea
a ridge at the base of the trachea (windpipe) that separates the openings of the right and left main bronchi (the large air passages that lead from the trachea to the lungs). Also called tracheal carina.

Carmustine
a drug used to treat certain types of brain tumors. It is also used with prednisone to treat multiple myeloma and with other drugs to treat hodgkin lymphoma and non-hodgkin lymphoma that have not gotten better with other treatment or have come back. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Carmustine damages the cell’s dna and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of alkylating agent and a type of nitrosourea. Also called bcnu and bicnu.

Carmustine implant
a biodegradable wafer that is used to deliver the anticancer drug carmustine directly into a brain tumor site after the tumor has been removed by surgery. Also called gliadel wafer and polifeprosan 20 carmustine implant.

Carney complex
a rare, inherited disorder marked by dark spots on the skin and tumors in the heart, endocrine glands, skin, and nerves. There are two types of carney complex, which are caused by mutations (changes) in different genes. Also called carney syndrome.

Carney dyad
a rare, inherited disorder marked by tumors of the gastrointestinal tract and tumors that form in embryonic nervous tissue in the head, neck, and torso. Also called carney-stratakis dyad and carney-stratakis syndrome.

Carney syndrome
a rare, inherited disorder marked by dark spots on the skin and tumors in the heart, endocrine glands, skin, and nerves. There are two types of carney syndrome, which are caused by mutations (changes) in different genes. Also called carney complex.

Carney triad
a very rare disorder marked by tumors of the gastrointestinal tract (usually the stomach), tumors that form in embryonic nervous tissue in the head, neck, and torso, and tumors that form in cartilage in the lungs. Sometimes tumors also form in the adrenal glands and esophagus. Carney triad is most common in young females.

Carney-stratakis dyad
a rare, inherited disorder marked by tumors of the gastrointestinal tract and tumors that form in embryonic nervous tissue in the head, neck, and torso. Also called carney dyad and carney-stratakis syndrome.

Carney-stratakis syndrome
a rare, inherited disorder marked by tumors of the gastrointestinal tract and tumors that form in embryonic nervous tissue in the head, neck, and torso. Also called carney dyad and carney-stratakis dyad.

Carnitine
a substance made in the muscle and liver tissue and found in certain foods, such as meat, poultry, fish, and some dairy products. It is used by many cells in the body to make energy from fatty acids.

Carnitor
a form of carnitine, which is a substance made in muscle and liver tissue and found in certain foods, such as meat, poultry, fish, and some dairy products. Carnitor is also a drug that is used to treat patients who do not make enough carnitine and is being studied as a way to prevent tissue damage caused by chemotherapy. Carnitine is a type of dietary supplement. Also called l-carnitine and levocarnitine.

Carotenoid
a yellow, red, or orange substance found mostly in plants, including carrots, sweet potatoes, dark green leafy vegetables, and many fruits, grains, and oils. Some carotenoids are changed into vitamin a in the body and some are being studied in the prevention of cancer. A carotenoid is a type of antioxidant and a type of provitamin.

Carotid artery
a major artery that carries blood from the heart to the head. There is a carotid artery on each side of the neck, and each one splits into two branches. The interior branch carries blood to the brain and eyes, and the exterior branch carries blood to the face, tongue, and outside parts of the head.

Carrier oil
an oil with little or no scent that is used to dilute or “carry” essential oils (scented liquid taken from plants).

Cartilage
a tough, flexible tissue that lines joints and gives structure to the nose, ears, larynx, and other parts of the body.

Carvedilol phosphate
a drug used to treat high blood pressure and certain heart problems. It is also being studied in the prevention and treatment of side effects caused by some anticancer drugs. Carvedilol phosphate blocks certain receptors on nerve cells and causes blood vessels to dilate (widen). It is a type of antihypertensive agent and a type of antianginal agent. Also called coreg.

Carzelesin
an anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called alkylating agents.

Case management nurse
a registered nurse who has special training in how to plan, manage, and evaluate all aspects of patient care, especially for patients who get treatment over a long time. Also called nurse case manager.

Case report
a detailed report of the diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up of an individual patient. Case reports also contain some demographic information about the patient (for example, age, gender, ethnic origin).

Case series
a group or series of case reports involving patients who were given similar treatment. Reports of case series usually contain detailed information about the individual patients. This includes demographic information (for example, age, gender, ethnic origin) and information on diagnosis, treatment, response to treatment, and follow-up after treatment.

Case-control study
a study that compares two groups of people: those with the disease or condition under study (cases) and a very similar group of people who do not have the disease or condition (controls). Researchers study the medical and lifestyle histories of the people in each group to learn what factors may be associated with the disease or condition. For example, one group may have been exposed to a particular substance that the other was not. Also called retrospective study.

Casodex
a drug used with another drug to treat prostate cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. Casodex binds to proteins called androgen receptors, which are found in some prostate cancer cells. These proteins bind to androgens (male hormones) and may cause cancer cells to grow. Casodex blocks these proteins and may keep cancer cells from growing. It is a type of antiandrogen. Also called bicalutamide.

Caspofungin acetate
a drug used to prevent or treat infections caused by a fungus (a type of microorganism). It belongs to the family of drugs called antifungal agents.

Castleman disease
a rare disorder in which benign (not cancer) growths form in lymph node tissue. There are two main ways that castleman disease occurs: localized (unicentric) and multicentric. Unicentric castleman disease affects only one group of lymph nodes in one part of the body, usually in the chest or abdomen. It may not cause symptoms. Multicentric castleman disease affects many groups of lymph nodes and lymphoid tissue all through the body. It can weaken the immune system and cause problems such as infection, fever, weight loss, fatigue, night sweats, nerve damage, and anemia. People with castleman disease have an increased risk of lymphoma. Also called angiofollicular lymph node hyperplasia and giant lymph node hyperplasia.

Castrate-resistant prostate cancer
prostate cancer that keeps growing even when the amount of testosterone in the body is reduced to very low levels. Many early-stage prostate cancers need normal levels of testosterone to grow, but castrate-resistant prostate cancers do not. Also called crpc.

Castration
removal or destruction of the testicles or ovaries using radiation, surgery, or drugs. Medical castration refers to the use of drugs to suppress the function of the ovaries or testicles.

Cat regimen
a chemotherapy combination used to treat endometrial, ovarian, and head and neck cancers, and non-small cell lung cancer that has spread. It includes the drugs carboplatin and paclitaxel (taxol). Also called carbo-tax regimen, carboplatin-taxol, carboplatin-taxol regimen, and pc regimen.

Cat scan
a procedure that uses a computer linked to an x-ray machine to make a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body. The pictures are taken from different angles and are used to create 3-dimensional (3-d) views of tissues and organs. A dye may be injected into a vein or swallowed to help the tissues and organs show up more clearly. A cat scan may be used to help diagnose disease, plan treatment, or find out how well treatment is working. Also called computed tomography scan, computerized axial tomography scan, computerized tomography, and ct scan.

Cat-8015
a monoclonal antibody linked to a toxic substance. It is being studied in the treatment of some types of b-cell cancer. Cat-8015 is made in the laboratory. It binds to cd22, a protein on the surface of normal b cells and b-cell tumors, and kills the cells. Also called anti-cd22 immunotoxin cat-8015.

Catapres
a drug used to treat high blood pressure. It is also being studied in the treatment of certain types of cancer pain and as an aid to stop smoking. It blocks the release of chemicals from nerve endings that make blood vessels constrict (get narrower). Catapres is a type of antihypertensive agent and a type of alpha-adrenergic agonist. Also called clonidine hydrochloride.

Cataract
a condition in which the lens of the eye becomes cloudy. Symptoms include blurred, cloudy, or double vision; sensitivity to light; and difficulty seeing at night. Without treatment, cataracts can cause blindness. There are many different types and causes of cataracts. They may occur in people of all ages, but are most common in the elderly.

Catechin
a substance found in tea that helps protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that are made during normal cell metabolism (chemical changes that take place in a cell). They can build up in cells and cause damage to other molecules. This damage may increase the risk of cancer and other diseases. Catechins are being studied in the prevention and treatment of cancer. A catechin is a type of antioxidant.

Catechol
a chemical originally isolated from a type of mimosa tree. Catechol is used as an astringent, an antiseptic, and in photography, electroplating, and making other chemicals. It can also be made in the laboratory.

Catecholamine
a type of neurohormone (a chemical that is made by nerve cells and used to send signals to other cells). Catecholamines are important in stress responses. High levels cause high blood pressure which can lead to headaches, sweating, pounding of the heart, pain in the chest, and anxiety. Examples of catecholamines include dopamine, epinephrine (adrenaline), and norepinephrine (noradrenaline).

Catheter
a flexible tube used to deliver fluids into or withdraw fluids from the body.

Cause-specific survival
the length of time from either the date of diagnosis or the start of treatment for a disease, such as cancer, to the date of death from the disease. Patients who die from causes unrelated to the disease are not counted in this measurement. In a clinical trial, measuring the cause-specific survival is one way to see how well a new treatment works. Also called css.

Cauterize
to destroy tissue using a hot or cold instrument, an electrical current, or a chemical that burns or dissolves the tissue. This process may be used to kill certain types of small tumors or to seal off blood vessels to stop bleeding.

Cavity
a hollow area or hole. It may describe a body cavity (such as the space within the abdomen) or a hole in a tooth caused by decay.

Cbc
a measure of the number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets in the blood. The amount of hemoglobin (substance in the blood that carries oxygen) and the hematocrit (the amount of whole blood that is made up of red blood cells) are also measured. A cbc is used to help diagnose and monitor many conditions. Also called blood cell count, complete blood count, and full blood count.

Cbc with differential
a measure of the number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets in the blood, including the different types of white blood cells (neutrophils, lymphocytes, monocytes, basophils, and eosinophils). The amount of hemoglobin (substance in the blood that carries oxygen) and the hematocrit (the amount of whole blood that is made up of red blood cells) are also measured. A cbc with differential is used to help diagnose and monitor many different conditions, including anemia and infection. Also called blood cell count with differential.

Cbe
a physical exam of the breast performed by a health care provider to check for lumps or other changes. Also called clinical breast exam.

Cbt
a type of psychotherapy that helps patients change their behavior by changing the way they think and feel about certain things. It is used to treat mental, emotional, personality, and behavioral disorders. Also called cognitive behavior therapy and cognitive therapy.

Cbt-1
a substance taken from plants that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It may help drugs kill tumor cells that have become resistant to drugs. It is a type of multidrug resistance inhibitor and a type of p-glycoprotein antagonist. Also called mdr modulator cbt-1.

Cc
a measure of volume in the metric system. One thousand ccs equal one liter. Also called cubic centimeter, milliliter, and ml.

Cc-1088
a drug that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It is similar but not identical to thalidomide. Cc-1088 belongs to the family of drugs called angiogenesis inhibitors.

Cc-4047
a drug that is a form of thalidomide, and is used to treat multiple myeloma that has not gotten better with other anticancer drugs. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Cc-4047 may help the immune system kill cancer cells. It may also prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It is a type of immunomodulating agent and a type of antiangiogenesis agent. Also called pomalidomide and pomalyst.

Cc-49
a type of monoclonal antibody used in cancer detection or therapy. Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-produced substances that can locate and bind to cancer cells.

Cc-5013
a drug that is similar to thalidomide, and is used to treat multiple myeloma and certain types of anemia. It is also used to treat mantle cell lymphoma that has come back or has not gotten better after other treatment. It is being studied in the treatment of other conditions and types of cancer. Cc-5013 may help the immune system kill abnormal blood cells or cancer cells. It may also prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It is a type of antiangiogenesis agent and a type of immunomodulating agent. Also called lenalidomide and revlimid.

Cc-8490
a substance that is being studied in the treatment of brain cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called benzopyrans.

Cc49-streptavidin
a substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It is made by combining the monoclonal antibody cc49 with a chemical called streptavidin. It can find tumor cells that have the protein tag-72 on their surface, including colon, prostate, breast, and ovary cancer cells. After cc49-streptavidin binds to cancer cells, a radioactive compound called yttrium y 90 dota-biotin will find those cells and kill them.

Cci-779
a drug used to treat advanced renal cell carcinoma (a type of kidney cancer). It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Cci-779 blocks a protein involved in cell division, and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of rapamycin analog and a type of serine/threonine kinase inhibitor. Also called temsirolimus and torisel.

Cclb8
a drug used to treat a rare condition called castleman disease in patients who do not have hiv or human herpesvirus 8. It is also being studied in the treatment of multiple myeloma. Cclb8 binds to a protein called interleukin-6 (il-6), which is made by some white blood cells and other cells in the body. Cclb8 may help reduce inflammation and stop the growth of cancer cells or abnormal blood cells. It is a type of monoclonal antibody. Also called anti-il-6 chimeric monoclonal antibody, cnto 328, siltuximab, and sylvant.

Ccnu
a drug used to treat brain tumors that have already been treated with surgery or radiation therapy. It is also used to treat hodgkin lymphoma that has not gotten better with other types of treatment or has come back. It is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Ccnu damages the cell’s dna and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of alkylating agent. Also called ceenu and lomustine.

Ccsg
funds awarded to certain u.s. Institutions by the national cancer institute (nci) for them to become cancer centers in the united states, based on scientific merit. The funds help the cancer centers improve the way they are run and develop new ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat cancer. To receive the award, one goal of the cancer center must be to turn clinical and basic research into better health care. Also called p30 cancer center support grant.

Cd117
a protein found on the surface of many different types of cells. It binds to a substance called stem cell factor (scf), which causes certain types of blood cells to grow. Cd117 may also be found in higher than normal amounts, or in a changed form, on some types of cancer cells, including gastrointestinal stromal tumors and melanoma. Measuring the amount of cd117 in tumor tissue may help diagnose cancer and plan treatment. Cd117 is a type of receptor tyrosine kinase and a type of tumor marker. Also called c-kit and stem cell factor receptor.

Cd134
a protein being studied in the treatment of cancer. Substances that attach to cd134 on the surface of t cells (a type of white blood cell) may help the t cells grow and kill more cancer cells. Cd134 is a type of tumor necrosis factor (tnf) receptor. Also called ox-40.

Cd20
a protein found on b cells (a type of white blood cell). It may be found in higher than normal amounts in patients with certain types of b-cell lymphomas and leukemias. Measuring the amount of cd20 on blood cells may help to diagnose cancer or plan cancer treatment. Cd20 is a type of tumor marker. Also called cd20 antigen.

Cd20 antigen
a protein found on b cells (a type of white blood cell). It may be found in higher than normal amounts in patients with certain types of b-cell lymphomas and leukemias. Measuring the amount of cd20 antigen on blood cells may help to diagnose cancer or plan cancer treatment. Cd20 antigen is a type of tumor marker. Also called cd20.

Cd34 antigen
a protein found on the surface of some bone marrow and blood cells.

Cd4-positive t lymphocyte
a type of immune cell that stimulates killer t cells, macrophages, and b cells to make immune responses. A cd4-positive t lymphocyte is a type of white blood cell and a type of lymphocyte. Also called helper t cell.

Cd40-ligand
a substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It binds to certain immune cells and may suppress cancer growth.

Cd80
a protein found on the surface of some immune system cells, including b cells and monocytes. Cells with cd80 on their surface cause t cells to make substances that help control immune responses. Also called b7-1.

Cdc
a u.s. Federal government agency whose mission is to protect public health by preventing and controlling disease, injury, and disability. The cdc promotes healthy behaviors and safe, healthy environments. It keeps track of health trends, tries to find the cause of health problems and outbreaks of disease, and responds to new public health threats. The cdc works with state health departments and other organizations throughout the country and the world to help prevent and control disease. The cdc is part of the u.s. Public health service of the department of health and human services (dhhs). Also called centers for disease control and prevention.

Cddo
a substance being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. Cddo may block enzymes involved in inflammation and cancer growth. It is a type of antineoplastic plant product.

Cdk inhibitor at7519m
a substance being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. Cdk inhibitor at7519m blocks enzymes needed for cells to divide. It is a type of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor. Also called at7519m.

Cdk inhibitor sch 727965
a substance being studied in the treatment of advanced melanoma (a type of skin cancer) and other types of cancer. It blocks cell division and may cause cancer cells to die. It is a type of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor. Also called dinaciclib.

Cea
a substance that may be found in the blood of people who have colon cancer, other types of cancer or diseases, or who smoke tobacco. Cea levels may help keep track of how well cancer treatments are working or if cancer has come back. It is a type of tumor marker. Also called carcinoembryonic antigen.

Cea assay
a laboratory test that measures the level of carcinoembryonic antigen (cea) in the blood. An increased amount of cea may be found in the blood of people who have colon cancer or other types of cancer, certain other diseases, or who smoke. The amount of cea in the blood may also help keep track of how well cancer treatments are working or if cancer has come back. Cea is a type of tumor marker. Also called carcinoembryonic antigen assay.

Cea peptide-1
a small piece of a tumor marker called carcinoembryonic antigen (cea). Cea may be found in the blood of people who have colon cancer, other types of cancer or diseases, or who smoke tobacco. Cea peptide-1 is used to make a vaccine that may help stimulate the body’s immune system to kill cancer cells. Also called cap-1 and carcinoembryonic antigen peptide-1.

Cecum
a pouch that forms the first part of the large intestine. It connects the small intestine to the colon, which is part of the large intestine.

Cedarwood
a type of evergreen tree with hard fragrant wood that is a member of the cypress family. The oil from the wood is used in soaps, shampoos, bath salts, perfumes, aromatherapy, and to keep insects away. The scientific name is juniperus virginiana. Also called eastern red cedar and red cedar.

Cediranib maleate
a substance being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. Cediranib maleate may prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of antiangiogenesis agent and a type of vascular endothelial growth factor (vegf) receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Also called azd2171 and recentin.

Ceenu
a drug used to treat brain tumors that have already been treated with surgery or radiation therapy. It is also used to treat hodgkin lymphoma that has not gotten better with other types of treatment or has come back. It is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Ceenu damages the cell’s dna and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of alkylating agent. Also called ccnu and lomustine.

Cefepime
a drug used to treat infection. It belongs to the family of drugs called cephalosporin antibiotics.

Cefixime
an antibiotic drug used to treat infection. It belongs to the family of drugs called cephalosporins.

Ceftriaxone
a drug used to treat infection. It belongs to the family of drugs called cephalosporin antibiotics.

Celecoxib
a drug that reduces pain. Celecoxib belongs to the family of drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents. It is being studied in the prevention of cancer.

Celexa
a drug used to treat depression. It belongs to the families of drugs called antidepressant agents and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (ssris). Also called citalopram.

Celiac disease
a digestive disease that is caused by an immune response to a protein called gluten, which is found in wheat, rye, barley, and oats. Celiac disease damages the lining of the small intestine and interferes with the absorption of nutrients from food. A person with celiac disease may become malnourished no matter how much food is consumed.

Cell
in biology, the smallest unit that can live on its own and that makes up all living organisms and the tissues of the body. A cell has three main parts: the cell membrane, the nucleus, and the cytoplasm. The cell membrane surrounds the cell and controls the substances that go into and out of the cell. The nucleus is a structure inside the cell that contains the nucleolus and most of the cell’s dna. It is also where most rna is made. The cytoplasm is the fluid inside the cell. It contains other tiny cell parts that have specific functions, including the golgi complex, the mitochondria, and the endoplasmic reticulum. The cytoplasm is where most chemical reactions take place and most proteins get made. The human body has more than 30 trillion cells.

Cell culture
the growth of microorganisms such as bacteria and yeast, or human, plant, or animal cells in the laboratory. Cell cultures may be used to diagnose infections, to test new drugs, and in research.

Cell cycle
the process a cell goes through each time it divides. The cell cycle consists of a series of steps during which the chromosomes and other cell material double to make two copies. The cell then divides into two daughter cells, each receiving one copy of the doubled material. The cell cycle is complete when each daughter cell is surrounded by its own outer membrane. Also called mitotic cycle.

Cell cycle inhibitor
a substance used to block the cell division cycle, which is a series of steps a cell goes through each time it divides. There are many different types of cell cycle inhibitors. Some only work at specific steps in the cell cycle. Others work at any point in the cell cycle. Certain drugs that inhibit the cell cycle are being studied in the treatment of cancer.

Cell differentiation
the process during which young, immature (unspecialized) cells take on individual characteristics and reach their mature (specialized) form and function.

Cell motility
the ability of a cell to move.

Cell proliferation
an increase in the number of cells as a result of cell growth and cell division.

Cell respiration
a chemical process in which oxygen is used to make energy from carbohydrates (sugars). Also called aerobic metabolism, aerobic respiration, and oxidative metabolism.

Cell type
describes the kinds of cells found in normal or cancer tissue. The cell type is usually identified by looking under a microscope. Some examples of cell types are lymphocytes, melanocytes, and squamous cells. In cancer, it is important to know the cell type in order to diagnose the cancer, plan treatment, and determine prognosis.

Cell-cell signaling
the transfer of information from one cell to another. Cells signal each other by direct contact with each other or by the release of a substance from one cell that is taken up by another cell. Cell-cell signaling is important for cells to grow and work normally. Cells that lose the ability to respond to signals from other cells may become cancer cells. Also called cell-to-cell signaling and intercellular communication.

Cell-cycle regulation
any process that controls the series of events by which a cell goes through the cell cycle. During the cell cycle, a cell makes a copy of its dna and other contents, and divides in two. When cell cycle regulation doesn’t happen correctly, cells may divide in an uncontrolled way, and diseases such as cancer can occur.

Cell-to-cell signaling
the transfer of information from one cell to another. Cells signal each other by direct contact with each other or by the release of a substance from one cell that is taken up by another cell. Cell-to-cell signaling is important for cells to grow and work normally. Cells that lose the ability to respond to signals from other cells may become cancer cells. Also called cell-cell signaling and intercellular communication.

Cellcept
a drug used to prevent graft-versus-host disease (gvhd) after organ transplants. It is also being studied in the prevention of gvhd after stem cell transplants for cancer, and in the treatment of some autoimmune disorders. Cellcept is a type of immunosuppressive agent. Also called mycophenolate mofetil.

Cellular adhesion
the close adherence (bonding) to adjoining cell surfaces.

Cellular adoptive immunotherapy
a treatment used to help the immune system fight diseases, such as cancer and infections with certain viruses. T cells are collected from a patient and grown in the laboratory. This increases the number of t cells that are able to kill cancer cells or fight infections. These t cells are given back to the patient to help the immune system fight disease. Also called adoptive cellular therapy.

Cellular metabolism
the sum of all chemical changes that take place in a cell through which energy and basic components are provided for essential processes, including the synthesis of new molecules and the breakdown and removal of others.

Cellulitis
an acute, spreading infection of the deep tissues of the skin and muscle that causes the skin to become warm and tender and may also cause fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, and blisters.

Cellulose
a building block of plant cells and fiber. Cellulose cannot be digested by people, and is used to add bulk to the diet.

Centers for disease control and prevention
a u.s. Federal government agency whose mission is to protect public health by preventing and controlling disease, injury, and disability. The centers for disease control and prevention promotes healthy behaviors and safe, healthy environments. It keeps track of health trends, tries to find the cause of health problems and outbreaks of disease, and responds to new public health threats. The centers for disease control and prevention works with state health departments and other organizations throughout the country and the world to help prevent and control disease. The centers for disease control and prevention is part of the u.s. Public health service of the department of health and human services (dhhs). Also called cdc.

Centimeter
a measure of length in the metric system. There are 100 centimeters in a meter and 2½ centimeters in an inch.

Central nervous system
the brain and spinal cord. Also called cns.

Central nervous system depressant
a type of drug that slows down brain activity, which causes the muscles to relax and calms and soothes a person. Central nervous system depressants are used to treat insomnia (trouble sleeping), anxiety, panic attacks, and seizures. They may also be used to relieve anxiety and tension before surgery. Examples of central nervous system depressants are benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and certain sleep medicines. Central nervous system depressants are sometimes called sedatives or tranquilizers. Also called cns depressant.

Central nervous system metastasis
cancer that has spread from the original (primary) tumor to the central nervous system (cns). Also called cns metastasis.

Central nervous system primitive neuroectodermal tumor
a type of cancer that arises from a particular type of cell within the brain or spinal cord. Also called cns pnet.

Central nervous system prophylaxis
chemotherapy or radiation therapy given to the central nervous system (cns) as a preventive treatment. It kills cancer cells that may be in the brain and spinal cord, even though no cancer has been detected there. Also called central nervous system sanctuary therapy, cns prophylaxis, and cns sanctuary therapy.

Central nervous system sanctuary therapy
chemotherapy or radiation therapy given to the central nervous system (cns) as a preventive treatment. It kills cancer cells that may be in the brain and spinal cord, even though no cancer has been detected there. Also called central nervous system prophylaxis, cns prophylaxis, and cns sanctuary therapy.

Central nervous system stimulant
a type of drug that increases the levels of certain chemicals in the brain and increases alertness, attention, energy, and physical activity. Central nervous system stimulants also raise blood pressure and increase heart rate and breathing rate. They are used to treat depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (a disorder in which a person has problems paying attention, controlling actions, and remaining still or quiet), and narcolepsy (a sleep disorder). Also called cns stimulant.

Central nervous system tumor
a tumor of the central nervous system, including brain stem glioma, craniopharyngioma, medulloblastoma, and meningioma. Also called cns tumor.

Central venous access catheter
a thin, flexible tube that is inserted into a vein in the upper arm, thigh, or neck or below the collarbone. It is guided (threaded) into a large vein near the heart called the vena cava or into the right atrium of the heart. It is used to give intravenous fluids, blood transfusions, and chemotherapy and other drugs, and for taking blood samples. It avoids the need for repeated needle sticks.

Cep-2563 dihydrochloride
a substance being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. Cep-2563 dihydrochloride blocks certain proteins involved in the growth of some tumors and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor.

Cep-701
a drug being studied in the treatment of acute leukemias and some other types of cancer. It binds to a protein that is present on the surface of some types of cancer cells and stops them from dividing. Cep-701 is a type of receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor and a type of indolocarbazole alkaloid. Also called lestaurtinib.

Cephalexin
an antibiotic drug that belongs to the family of drugs called cephalosporins.

Cephalosporin
a drug used to treat bacterial infections. It belongs to the family of drugs called antibiotics.

Ceramide
a type of lipid (fat) found in the membranes of cells and the covers of nerves. Some ceramides are important in signal transduction (the process by which a cell responds to substances in its environment) and may cause some types of cells to die. Ceramides are being studied in the treatment of cancer.

Cerebellar hemangioblastoma
a benign, slow-growing tumor in the cerebellum (part of the brain at the back of the head), made up of abnormal blood vessel growth. People with von hippel-landau disease have an increased risk of developing hemangioblastomas.

Cerebellar mutism syndrome
a condition that may occur in patients who have had surgery to remove a tumor in certain parts of the brain, including the cerebellum. Cerebellar mutism syndrome usually appears 1 or 2 days after surgery. Symptoms include loss of speech, trouble swallowing and eating, loss of balance, trouble walking, loss of muscle tone, mood swings, and changes in personality. Many of these symptoms go away over time. Also called cms.

Cerebellopontine
having to do with two structures of the brain, the cerebellum (located at the lower back of the brain) and the pons (located at the base of the brain in front of the cerebellum) and the area between them.

Cerebellum
the portion of the brain in the back of the head between the cerebrum and the brain stem. The cerebellum controls balance for walking and standing, and other complex motor functions.

Cerebral hemisphere
one half of the cerebrum, the part of the brain that controls muscle functions and also controls speech, thought, emotions, reading, writing, and learning. The right hemisphere controls the muscles on the left side of the body, and the left hemisphere controls the muscles on the right side of the body.

Cerebrospinal fluid
the fluid that flows in and around the hollow spaces of the brain and spinal cord, and between two of the meninges (the thin layers of tissue that cover and protect the brain and spinal cord). Cerebrospinal fluid is made by tissue called the choroid plexus in the ventricles (hollow spaces) in the brain. Also called csf.

Cerebrospinal fluid diversion
a process used to drain fluid that has built up around the brain and spinal cord. A shunt (a long, thin tube) is placed in a ventricle of the brain and threaded under the skin to another part of the body, usually the abdomen. The shunt carries excess fluid away from the brain so it may be absorbed elsewhere in the body.

Cerebrovascular accident
in medicine, a loss of blood flow to part of the brain, which damages brain tissue. Cerebrovascular accidents are caused by blood clots and broken blood vessels in the brain. Symptoms include dizziness, numbness, weakness on one side of the body, and problems with talking, writing, or understanding language. The risk of cerebrovascular accident is increased by high blood pressure, older age, smoking, diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, atherosclerosis (a buildup of fatty material and plaque inside the coronary arteries), and a family history of cerebrovascular accident. Also called cva and stroke.

Cerebrum
the largest part of the brain. It is divided into two hemispheres, or halves, called the cerebral hemispheres. Areas within the cerebrum control muscle functions and also control speech, thought, emotions, reading, writing, and learning.

Ceremony
a series of acts performed for a special occasion or to mark a rite of passage. Ceremonies can be casual or formal.

Ceritinib
a drug used to treat non-small cell lung cancer that has spread to other parts of the body and has a mutated (changed) form of a gene called anaplastic lymphoma kinase (alk). It is used in patients whose cancer has gotten worse after treatment with or who cannot receive certain anticancer drugs. Ceritinib blocks the protein made by the mutated alk gene. Blocking this protein may stop the growth and spread of cancer cells. Ceritinib is a type of tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Also called zykadia.

Cerubidine
a drug used to treat acute leukemias and some other types of cancer. It blocks a certain enzyme needed for cell division and dna repair, and it may kill cancer cells. Cerubidine is a type of anthracycline antibiotic and a type of topoisomerase inhibitor. Also called daunomycin hydrochloride and daunorubicin hydrochloride.

Cervarix
a vaccine used to prevent cervical cancer caused by human papillomavirus (hpv) types 16 and 18. Cervarix is approved for use in females aged 9 to 25 years. It is a type of bivalent vaccine (a vaccine that works against two different viruses or other microorganisms). Also called recombinant human papillomavirus bivalent vaccine.

Cervical
relating to the neck, or to the neck of any organ or structure. Cervical lymph nodes are located in the neck. Cervical cancer refers to cancer of the uterine cervix, which is the lower, narrow end (the “neck”) of the uterus.

Cervical adenocarcinoma
a type of cervical cancer that begins in the glandular cells of the cervix. These cells make mucus and are found in tissue that lines the inner part of the cervix and the uterus. Cervical adenocarcinoma is less common than cervical squamous cell carcinoma.

Cervical cancer
cancer that forms in tissues of the cervix (the organ connecting the uterus and vagina). It is usually a slow-growing cancer that may not have symptoms but can be found with regular pap tests (a procedure in which cells are scraped from the cervix and looked at under a microscope). Cervical cancer is almost always caused by human papillomavirus (hpv) infection.

Cervical dysplasia
the abnormal growth of cells on the surface of the cervix. Cervical dysplasia is usually caused by certain types of human papillomavirus (hpv) and is found when a pap test or cervical biopsy is done. It can be mild, moderate, or severe, depending on how abnormal the cells look under a microscope and how much of the cervical tissue is affected. Cervical dysplasia is not cancer, but may become cancer and spread to nearby normal tissue.

Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2/3
abnormal cells are found on the surface of the cervix. Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2/3 is usually caused by certain types of human papillomavirus (hpv) and is found when a cervical biopsy is done. Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2/3 has features of cin 2 and cin 3. It is not cancer, but may become cancer and spread to nearby normal tissue if not treated. Treatment for cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2/3 may include cryotherapy, laser therapy, loop electrosurgical procedure (leep), or cone biopsy to remove or destroy the abnormal tissue. Also called cin 2/3.

Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia
abnormal cells are found on the surface of the cervix. Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia is usually caused by certain types of human papillomavirus (hpv) and is found when a cervical biopsy is done. Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia is not cancer, but may become cancer and spread to nearby normal tissue. It is graded on a scale of 1 to 3, based on how abnormal the cells look under a microscope and how much of the cervical tissue is affected. For example, cin 1 has slightly abnormal cells and is less likely to become cancer than cin 2 or cin 3. Also called cin.

Cervical squamous cell carcinoma
a type of cervical cancer that begins in squamous cells of the cervix. Cervical squamous cells are found in tissue that lines the outer part of the cervix. They are thin, flat cells that look like fish scales under a microscope. Most cervical cancers are squamous cell carcinomas.

Cervical squamous intraepithelial neoplasia 1
slightly abnormal cells are found on the surface of the cervix. Cervical squamous intraepithelial neoplasia 1 is usually caused by certain types of human papillomavirus (hpv) and is found when a cervical biopsy is done. Cervical squamous intraepithelial neoplasia 1 is not cancer and usually goes away on its own without treatment. Sometimes it becomes cancer and spreads to nearby normal tissue. Cervical squamous intraepithelial neoplasia 1 is sometimes called low-grade or mild dysplasia. Also called cin 1.

Cervical squamous intraepithelial neoplasia 2
moderately abnormal cells are found on the surface of the cervix. Cervical squamous intraepithelial neoplasia 2 is usually caused by certain types of human papillomavirus (hpv) and is found when a cervical biopsy is done. Cervical squamous intraepithelial neoplasia 2 is not cancer, but may become cancer and spread to nearby normal tissue if not treated. Treatment for cervical squamous intraepithelial neoplasia 2 may include cryotherapy, laser therapy, loop electrosurgical procedure (leep), or cone biopsy to remove or destroy the abnormal tissue. Cervical squamous intraepithelial neoplasia 2 is sometimes called high-grade or moderate dysplasia. Also called cin 2.

Cervical squamous intraepithelial neoplasia 3
severely abnormal cells are found on the surface of the cervix. Cervical squamous intraepithelial neoplasia 3 is usually caused by certain types of human papillomavirus (hpv) and is found when a cervical biopsy is done. If not treated, these abnormal cells may become cancer and spread to nearby normal tissue. Treatment for cervical squamous intraepithelial neoplasia 3 may include cryotherapy, laser therapy, loop electrosurgical procedure (leep), or cone biopsy to remove or destroy the abnormal tissue. Cervical squamous intraepithelial neoplasia 3 is sometimes called high-grade or severe dysplasia. Also called cin 3 and stage 0 cervical carcinoma in situ.

Cervicectomy
surgery to remove the cervix (the end of the uterus that forms a canal between the uterus and the vagina).the upper part of the vagina and certain pelvic lymph nodes may also be removed. Also called trachelectomy.

Cerviprep
a device used to deliver drugs directly to the cervix (the lower, narrow end of the uterus that forms a canal between the uterus and vagina). The cerviprep covers the cervix and protects surrounding tissue. Drugs may be injected into the inner part of the cervix through a syringe attached to the device.

Cervix
the lower, narrow end of the uterus that forms a canal between the uterus and vagina.

Cesamet
a synthetic pill form of an active chemical in marijuana called delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (thc). Cesamet is used to treat nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy in patients who have not been helped by other therapy. It is a type of cannabinoid. Also called nabilone.

Cetuximab
a drug used to treat certain types of head and neck cancer, and a certain type of colorectal cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Cetuximab binds to a protein called epidermal growth factor receptor (egfr), which is on the surface of some types of cancer cells. This may stop cancer cells from growing. Cetuximab is a type of monoclonal antibody. Also called erbitux.

Cevimeline hydrochloride
a drug used to treat certain disorders of the salivary gland. It is also being studied as a treatment for dry mouth caused by radiation therapy to the head and neck. It increases the amount of saliva and sweat made by saliva and sweat glands. Cevimeline hydrochloride is a type of cholinergic agonist. Also called evoxac.

Cfs
a condition that lasts for more than 6 months in which a person feels tired most of the time. They may also have trouble concentrating and carrying out daily activities. Other symptoms include sore throat, fever, muscle weakness, headache, and joint pain. Also called chronic fatigue syndrome.

Cga
a protein found inside neuroendocrine cells, which release cga and certain hormones into the blood. Cga may be found in higher than normal amounts in patients with certain neuroendocrine tumors, small cell lung cancer, prostate cancer, and other conditions. Measuring the amount of cga in the blood may help to diagnose cancer or other conditions or find out how well treatment is working or if cancer has come back. Cga is a type of tumor marker. Also called chromogranin a.

Cgp 48664
a substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called s-adenosylmethionine decarboxylase inhibitors.

Ch14.18
a substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. It binds to a molecule called gd2, which is found in greater than normal amounts on some types of cancer cells. This helps cells of the immune system kill the cancer cells. It is a type of monoclonal antibody. Also called moab ch14.18 and monoclonal antibody ch14.18.

Chamberlain procedure
a procedure in which a tube is inserted into the chest to view the tissues and organs in the area between the lungs and between the breastbone and heart. The tube is inserted through an incision next to the breastbone. This procedure is usually used to get a tissue sample from the lymph nodes on the left side of the chest. Also called anterior mediastinotomy.

Chamomile
a family of plants with daisy-like flowers. Two types are german chamomile and roman or english chamomile. These are used in teas to calm and relax, to improve sleep, and to help with stomach problems. The essential oil (scented liquid taken from plants) of chamomile is used in perfumes, shampoos, lotions, and aromatherapy.

Chantix
a drug used to help people stop smoking by acting the same way nicotine acts in the brain. It is a type of nicotine receptor partial agonist. Also called varenicline tartrate.

Chaplain
a member of the clergy in charge of a chapel or who works with the military or with an institution, such as a hospital.

Charged-particle radiation therapy
a type of external radiation therapy that uses a special machine to make invisible, high-energy particles (protons or helium ions) that kill cancer cells. This type of radiation may cause less damage to nearby healthy tissue than radiation therapy with high-energy x-rays.

Chaste tree berry
an extract made from the fruit of the chaste tree (vitex agnus-castus) found in parts of asia and europe. It is claimed to treat infertility and to lessen symptoms that may occur before or during a woman’s menstrual period, such as headaches and irregular bleeding. Chaste tree berry may affect levels of reproductive hormones in the blood. It is a type of phytomedicine. Also called monk’s pepper and vitex.

Chelating agent
a chemical compound that binds tightly to metal ions. In medicine, chelating agents are used to remove toxic metals from the body. They are also being studied in the treatment of cancer.

Chemabrasion
a procedure used to improve the way certain skin problems look. These problems include acne scars, wrinkles, or skin changes caused by long-term sun exposure. A chemical solution is put on the skin to dissolve the top layers of skin cells. Also called chemexfoliation and chemical peel.

Chemexfoliation
a procedure used to improve the way certain skin problems look. These problems include acne scars, wrinkles, or skin changes caused by long-term sun exposure. A chemical solution is put on the skin to dissolve the top layers of skin cells. Also called chemabrasion and chemical peel.

Chemical
a substance made up of elements, such as hydrogen or sodium.

Chemical imbalance
too much or too little of any substance that helps the body work the way it should. A chemical imbalance may be caused by certain tumors and can cause changes in behavior or emotion.

Chemical peel
a procedure used to improve the way certain skin problems look. These problems include acne scars, wrinkles, or skin changes caused by long-term sun exposure. A chemical solution is put on the skin to dissolve the top layers of skin cells. Also called chemabrasion and chemexfoliation.

Chemoembolization
a procedure in which the blood supply to a tumor is blocked after anticancer drugs are given in blood vessels near the tumor. Sometimes, the anticancer drugs are attached to small beads that are injected into an artery that feeds the tumor. The beads block blood flow to the tumor as they release the drug. This allows a higher amount of drug to reach the tumor for a longer period of time, which may kill more cancer cells. It also causes fewer side effects because very little of the drug reaches other parts of the body. Chemoembolization is used to treat liver cancer. Also called tace and transarterial chemoembolization.

Chemoimmunotherapy
chemotherapy combined with immunotherapy. Chemotherapy uses different drugs to kill or slow the growth of cancer cells; immunotherapy uses treatments to stimulate or restore the ability of the immune system to fight cancer.

Chemoprevention
the use of drugs, vitamins, or other agents to try to reduce the risk of, or delay the development or recurrence of, cancer.

Chemoprevention study
in cancer prevention, a clinical trial that studies whether taking certain medicines, vitamins, minerals, or food supplements can prevent cancer. Also called agent study.

Chemoprotective
a quality of some drugs used in cancer treatment. Chemoprotective agents protect healthy tissue from the toxic effects of anticancer drugs.

Chemoradiation
treatment that combines chemotherapy with radiation therapy. Also called chemoradiotherapy.

Chemoradiotherapy
treatment that combines chemotherapy with radiation therapy. Also called chemoradiation.

Chemoreduction
chemotherapy given to shrink a retinoblastoma tumor before treatment with radiation or surgery. It is a type of neoadjuvant therapy.

Chemosensitivity
the susceptibility of tumor cells to the cell-killing effects of anticancer drugs.

Chemosensitivity assay
a laboratory test that measures the number of tumor cells that are killed by a cancer drug. The test is done after the tumor cells are removed from the body. A chemosensitivity assay may help in choosing the best drug or drugs for the cancer being treated.

Chemosensitizer
a drug that makes tumor cells more sensitive to the effects of chemotherapy.

Chemotherapeutic agent
a drug used to treat cancer.

Chemotherapy
treatment with drugs that kill cancer cells.

Chest wall
the muscles, bones, and joints that make up the area of the body between the neck and the abdomen.

Chest x-ray
an x-ray of the structures inside the chest. An x-ray is a type of high-energy radiation that can go through the body and onto film, making pictures of areas inside the chest, which can be used to diagnose disease.

Chewing tobacco
a type of smokeless tobacco made from cured tobacco leaves. It may be sweetened and flavored with licorice and other substances. It comes in the form of loose tobacco leaves, pellets or “bits” (leaf tobacco rolled into small pellets), plugs (leaf tobacco pressed and held together with some type of sweetener), or twists (leaf tobacco rolled into rope-like strands and twisted). It is placed in the mouth, usually between the cheek and lower lip, and may be chewed. Chewing tobacco contains nicotine and many harmful, cancer-causing chemicals. Using it can lead to nicotine addiction and can cause cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and pancreas. Chewing tobacco use may also cause gum disease, heart disease, stroke, and other health problems. Also called spit tobacco.

Chf
a condition in which the heart has trouble pumping blood through the body. It may develop over a long period of time. Symptoms include shortness of breath, problems exercising, fatigue, and swelling of the feet, ankles, and abdomen. Chf may be caused by coronary artery disease, a heart attack, or high blood pressure. It usually occurs in people aged 65 years or older. Also called chronic heart failure.

Chiasma
an anatomy term for an x-shaped crossing (for example, of nerves or tendons).

Child-life specialist
a healthcare professional who is trained in the emotional and developmental needs of children. The child-life specialist helps children and their families understand medical issues and gives psychological and emotional support. Also called child-life worker.

Child-life worker
a healthcare professional who is trained in the emotional and developmental needs of children. The child-life worker helps children and their families understand medical issues and gives psychological and emotional support. Also called child-life specialist.

Childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia risk group system
a way of grouping patients that is used to plan treatment for children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. A risk group is based on the patient’s age and white blood cell count at diagnosis. Risk groups are described as either standard (low) risk or high risk. Other factors that affect the risk group include the type of leukemia cells, whether there are certain chromosome changes, and how quickly the leukemia responds to treatment.

Childhood cancer
a term used to describe cancers that occur between birth and 15 years of age. Childhood cancers are very rare and may differ from adult cancers in the way they grow and spread, how they are treated, and how they respond to treatment. Common types of childhood cancer include leukemia (begins in blood-forming tissue such as bone marrow), lymphoma (begins in the cells of the immune system), neuroblastoma (begins in certain nerve cells), retinoblastoma (begins in the tissues of the retina), wilms tumor (a type of kidney cancer), and cancers of the brain, bone, and soft tissue.

Childhood cancer risk group
a group of children with cancer that has been formed based on certain characteristics of the children and their disease. These may include age at diagnosis, stage of cancer, and cancer biology. Risk groups may also be based on the chance of being cured or the chance that the cancer will come back. Childhood cancer risk groups are used to plan treatment and follow-up care for certain types of cancer, such as neuroblastoma and rhabdomyosarcoma. Risk groups may be described as low risk, intermediate risk, or high risk.

Children’s oncology group
a group of clinical cancer research organizations that get support from the national cancer institute to study childhood cancers. The main goal of children’s oncology group is to conduct clinical trials of new treatments for childhood and adolescent cancers at cancer centers in the united states, canada, europe, and australia. Also called cog.

Chimeric
having parts of different origins. In medicine, refers to a person, organ, or tissue that contains cells with different genes than the rest of the person, organ, or tissue. This may happen because of a mutation (genetic change) that occurs during development, or as a result of a transplant of cells, organs, or tissues from another person or from a different species. In the laboratory, a chimeric protein can be made by combining two different genes. For example, a chimeric antibody is made by joining antibody genes from two different species, such as human and mouse.

Chinese meridian theory
in traditional chinese medicine, meridians are channels that form a network in the body, through which qi (vital energy) flows. Blocked qi causes pain or illness. The flow of qi is restored by using pressure, needles, suction, or heat at hundreds of specific points along the meridians.

Chinese rhubarb
the root of this plant has been used in some cultures to treat certain medical problems. It may have anti-inflammatory and anticancer effects. The scientific name is rheum palmatum or rheum officinale. Also called da-huang, indian rhubarb, rhubarb, and turkish rhubarb.

Chir-265
a substance being studied in the treatment of melanoma. Chir-265 may block the growth of tumors and the growth of blood vessels from surrounding tissue to the tumor. It is a type of raf kinase inhibitor and angiogenesis inhibitor.

Chirhostim
a drug used to help diagnose gastrinomas (tumors that cause too much gastric acid to be made) and other problems with the pancreas. It is also used to increase secretions from the pancreas and to help identify a duct called the ampulla of vater. Chirhostim is a form of secretin that is made in the laboratory. Secretin causes the pancreas, liver, and stomach to release substances that help digest food. Also called secretin human and synthetic human secretin.

Chiropractic therapy
a type of therapy in which the hands are used to manipulate the spine or other parts of the body. Sometimes, heat and ice, relaxation techniques, exercise, and other treatments are also used. Chiropractic therapy may be used to treat conditions such as back pain, neck pain, headache, and hand or foot problems, and to improve overall health. It is a type of complementary and alternative medicine (cam).

Chitin
a type of polysaccharide (sugar molecule) that is made by some plants and animals. The hard outer shell of shrimp, lobsters, and many insects is made of chitin.

Chlorambucil
a drug used to treat several types of leukemias and lymphomas. It blocks cell growth by damaging the cell’s dna and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of alkylating agent. Also called leukeran.

Chlorambucil-prednisone
a chemotherapy combination used to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia (cll). It includes the drugs chlorambucil hydrochloride and prednisone. Also called chlorambucil-prednisone regimen, cp, and cp regimen.

Chlorambucil-prednisone regimen
a chemotherapy combination used to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia (cll). It includes the drugs chlorambucil hydrochloride and prednisone. Also called chlorambucil-prednisone, cp, and cp regimen.

Chlorine
a chemical used in manufacturing, as a bleach, and to kill bacteria and other organisms in water.

Chloroma
a malignant, green-colored tumor of myeloid cells (a type of immature white blood cell). This tumor is usually associated with myelogenous leukemia. Also called granulocytic sarcoma.

Chloroquinoxaline sulfonamide
a substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. It is a type of topoisomerase inhibitor. Also called cqs.

Chlorotoxin
a substance being studied in the diagnosis and treatment of glioma (a type of brain cancer) and other types of cancer. It binds to cancer cells in the brain and peripheral nervous system and may keep them from spreading. Chlorotoxin comes from the venom of a type of scorpion. A form of chlorotoxin made in the laboratory is called tm-601. Chlorotoxin is a type of neurotoxin. Also called ctx.

Cholangiocarcinoma
a rare type of cancer that begins in cells that line the bile ducts. A bile duct is a tube that carries fluid called bile from the liver and the gallbladder to the small intestine. Cholangiocarcinoma may be found in the bile ducts inside the liver (intrahepatic) or outside the liver (extrahepatic). Cancer that forms in the area where the right and left bile ducts meet outside the liver is called klatskin tumor. It is the most common type of cholangiocarcinoma. Also called bile duct carcinoma.

Cholangiosarcoma
a tumor of the connective tissues of the bile ducts.

Cholecalciferol
a nutrient that the body needs in small amounts to function and stay healthy. Cholecalciferol helps the body use calcium and phosphorus to make strong bones and teeth. It is fat-soluble (can dissolve in fats and oils) and is found in fatty fish, egg yolks, and dairy products. Skin exposed to sunshine can also make cholecalciferol. Not enough cholecalciferol can cause a bone disease called rickets. It is being studied in the prevention and treatment of some types of cancer. Also called vitamin d.

Cholelith
solid material that forms in the gallbladder or common bile duct. Choleliths are made of cholesterol or other substances found in the gallbladder. They may occur as one large stone or as many small ones, and vary from the size of a golf ball to a grain of sand. Also called gallstone.

Cholestasis
any condition in which the release of bile from the liver is blocked. The blockage can occur in the liver (intrahepatic cholestasis) or in the bile ducts (extrahepatic cholestasis).

Cholesterol
a waxy, fat-like substance made in the liver, and found in the blood and in all cells of the body. Cholesterol is important for good health and is needed for making cell walls, tissues, hormones, vitamin d, and bile acid. Cholesterol also comes from eating foods taken from animals such as egg yolks, meat, and whole-milk dairy products. Too much cholesterol in the blood may build up in blood vessel walls, block blood flow to tissues and organs, and increase the risk of developing heart disease and stroke.

Choline
a nutrient in the vitamin b complex that the body needs in small amounts to function and stay healthy. Choline helps cells make membranes, make a neurotransmitter (a chemical that helps nerve cells communicate with other cells), and remove fat from the liver. It is found in whole milk, beef liver, eggs, soy foods, and peanuts. Choline is water-soluble (can dissolve in water) and must be taken in every day. Not enough choline can cause diseases of the heart and blood vessels and damage to the liver. A form of choline is being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer and to reduce pain and fever. Choline is also being studied together with vitamin b12 in the prevention and treatment of cancer.

Choline magnesium trisalicylate
a substance used to treat arthritis and relieve pain, inflammation, and fever. It is also being studied in the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (aml). Choline magnesium trisalicylate blocks the action of a substance that sends a pain message to the brain. It is a type of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (nsaid). Also called trilisate.

Chondrocyte
cartilage cell. Chondrocytes make the structural components of cartilage.

Chondroitin sulfate
the major glycosaminoglycan (a type of sugar molecule) in cartilage.

Chondrosarcoma
a type of cancer that forms in bone cartilage. It usually starts in the pelvis (between the hip bones), the shoulder, the ribs, or at the ends of the long bones of the arms and legs. A rare type of chondrosarcoma called extraskeletal chondrosarcoma does not form in bone cartilage. Instead, it forms in the soft tissues of the upper part of the arms and legs. Chondrosarcoma can occur at any age but is more common in people older than 40 years. It is a type of bone cancer.

Chop
an abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination that is used to treat non-hodgkin lymphoma and is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It includes the drugs cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin hydrochloride (hydroxydaunorubicin), vincristine sulfate (oncovin), and prednisone. Also called chop regimen.

Chop regimen
an abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination that is used to treat non-hodgkin lymphoma and is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It includes the drugs cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin hydrochloride (hydroxydaunorubicin), vincristine sulfate (oncovin), and prednisone. Also called chop.

Chope
an abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination that is used to treat non-hodgkin lymphoma. It includes the drugs cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin hydrochloride (hydroxydaunorubicin), vincristine sulfate (oncovin), prednisone, and etoposide phosphate. Also called chope regimen.

Chope regimen
an abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination that is used to treat non-hodgkin lymphoma. It includes the drugs cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin hydrochloride (hydroxydaunorubicin), vincristine sulfate (oncovin), prednisone, and etoposide phosphate. Also called chope.

Chordoma
a type of bone cancer that usually starts in the lower spinal column or at the base of the skull.

Chorioadenoma destruens
a type of cancer that grows into the muscular wall of the uterus. It is formed after conception (fertilization of an egg by a sperm). It may spread to other parts of the body, such as the vagina, vulva, and lung. Also called invasive hydatidiform mole.

Chorioallantoic membrane
the membrane in hens’ eggs that helps chicken embryos get enough oxygen and calcium for development. The calcium comes from the egg shell.

Chorioblastoma
a malignant, fast-growing tumor that develops from trophoblastic cells (cells that help an embryo attach to the uterus and help form the placenta). Almost all chorioblastomas form in the uterus after fertilization of an egg by a sperm, but a small number form in a testis or an ovary. Chorioblastomas spread through the blood to other organs, especially the lungs. They are a type of gestational trophoblastic disease. Also called choriocarcinoma, chorioepithelioma, and chorionic carcinoma.

Choriocarcinoma
a malignant, fast-growing tumor that develops from trophoblastic cells (cells that help an embryo attach to the uterus and help form the placenta). Almost all choriocarcinomas form in the uterus after fertilization of an egg by a sperm, but a small number form in a testis or an ovary. Choriocarcinomas spread through the blood to other organs, especially the lungs. They are a type of gestational trophoblastic disease. Also called chorioblastoma, chorioepithelioma, and chorionic carcinoma.

Chorioepithelioma
a malignant, fast-growing tumor that develops from trophoblastic cells (cells that help an embryo attach to the uterus and help form the placenta). Almost all chorioepitheliomas form in the uterus after fertilization of an egg by a sperm, but a small number form in a testis or an ovary. Chorioepitheliomas spread through the blood to other organs, especially the lungs. They are a type of gestational trophoblastic disease. Also called chorioblastoma, choriocarcinoma, and chorionic carcinoma.

Chorionic carcinoma
a malignant, fast-growing tumor that develops from trophoblastic cells (cells that help an embryo attach to the uterus and help form the placenta). Almost all chorionic carcinomas form in the uterus after fertilization of an egg by a sperm, but a small number form in a testis or an ovary. Chorionic carcinomas spread through the blood to other organs, especially the lungs. They are a type of gestational trophoblastic disease. Also called chorioblastoma, choriocarcinoma, and chorioepithelioma.

Choroid
a thin layer of tissue that is part of the middle layer of the wall of the eye, between the sclera (white outer layer of the eye) and the retina (the inner layer of nerve tissue at the back of the eye). The choriod is filled with blood vessels that bring oxygen and nutrients to the eye.

Choroid plexus
a network of blood vessels and cells in the ventricles (fluid-filled spaces) of the brain. The blood vessels are covered by a thin layer of cells that make cerebrospinal fluid.

Choroid plexus tumor
a rare tumor that forms in the choroid plexus (a network of blood vessels and cells in the fluid-filled spaces of the brain). These tumors are most common in children younger than 2 years. Choroid plexus tumors may be benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer).

Chpp
a procedure that bathes the abdominal cavity in fluid that contains anticancer drugs. This fluid is warmer than body temperature. This procedure appears to kill cancer cells without harming normal cells. Also called continuous hyperthermic peritoneal perfusion.

Chromaffin cell
a type of cell that makes neurohormones (chemicals that are made by nerve cells and used to send signals to other cells) and releases them into the blood. Chromaffin cells make epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine (noradrenaline). They are found in the adrenal glands or in groups of nerve cells called ganglia.

Chromatography
a laboratory technique used to separate different substances in a mixture. A gas or a liquid is used to pass the mixture through a column, paper, or special plate that contains absorbing materials. The substances in the mixture are separated based on how far they move through the material. The different substances may be visible to the eye or detected by a special machine.

Chromogranin a
a protein found inside neuroendocrine cells, which release chromogranin a and certain hormones into the blood. Chromogranin a may be found in higher than normal amounts in patients with certain neuroendocrine tumors, small cell lung cancer, prostate cancer, and other conditions. Measuring the amount of chromogranin a in the blood may help to diagnose cancer or other conditions or find out how well treatment is working or if cancer has come back. Chromogranin a is a type of tumor marker. Also called cga.

Chromosome
part of a cell that contains genetic information. Except for sperm and eggs, all human cells contain 46 chromosomes.

Chromosome 17
one of a pair of chromosomes that is part of the 46 chromosomes found in the nucleus of most human cells. Specific changes in chromosome 17 may be found in patients with certain genetic conditions and some types of cancer, including bladder cancer, brain cancer, and leukemia. Checking for these changes may help diagnose cancer or find out if cancer has come back. Chromosome 17 is a type of tumor marker.

Chromosome 3
one of a pair of chromosomes that is part of the 46 chromosomes found in the nucleus of most human cells. Specific changes in chromosome 3 may be found in patients with certain genetic conditions or some types of cancer, including bladder cancer. Checking for these changes may help diagnose cancer or find out if cancer has come back. Chromosome 3 is a type of tumor marker.

Chromosome 7
one of a pair of chromosomes that is part of the 46 chromosomes found in the nucleus of most human cells. Specific changes in chromosome 7 may be found in patients with certain genetic conditions or some types of cancer, including bladder cancer, leukemia, and lymphoma. Checking for these changes may help diagnose cancer or find out if cancer has come back. Chromosome 7 is a type of tumor marker.

Chronic
a disease or condition that persists or progresses over a long period of time.

Chronic bacterial prostatitis
inflammation of the prostate gland that is caused by a bacterial infection and that continues or gets worse over a long period of time. The infection may seem to go away but keeps coming back. Symptoms include body aches, pain in the lower back and genital area, a burning feeling during urination, and problems with emptying the bladder all the way.

Chronic bronchitis
a lung condition that develops over time in which the bronchi (large air passages that lead to the lungs) become inflamed and scarred. This causes the bronchi to make large amounts of mucus and can lead to a chronic cough and breathing problems. The most common cause of chronic bronchitis is cigarette smoking. It may also be caused by infection or by breathing in secondhand tobacco smoke, chemical fumes, or other forms of air pollution. Chronic bronchitis usually does not go away completely. It is a type of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (copd).

Chronic cough
a cough that lasts for 8 weeks or longer. It may occur with other symptoms, including a runny or stuffy nose, extra mucus in the back of the throat, wheezing, shortness of breath, or heartburn. A chronic cough may be caused by allergies, sinus infections, asthma, gastroesophageal reflux disease (gerd), or other conditions. It may also be caused by smoking tobacco or by breathing in secondhand tobacco smoke over a long period of time. It usually improves when the problem that caused the cough is treated. For example, a chronic cough may get better when a person quits smoking.

Chronic eosinophilic leukemia
a disease in which too many eosinophils (a type of white blood cell) are found in the bone marrow, blood, and other tissues. Chronic eosinophilic leukemia may stay the same for many years, or it may progress quickly to acute leukemia.

Chronic fatigue syndrome
a condition that lasts for more than 6 months in which a person feels tired most of the time. They may also have trouble concentrating and carrying out daily activities. Other symptoms include sore throat, fever, muscle weakness, headache, and joint pain. Also called cfs.

Chronic granulocytic leukemia
a slowly progressing disease in which too many white blood cells (not lymphocytes) are made in the bone marrow. Also called chronic myelogenous leukemia, chronic myeloid leukemia, and cml.

Chronic heart failure
a condition in which the heart has trouble pumping blood through the body. It may develop over a long period of time. Symptoms include shortness of breath, problems exercising, fatigue, and swelling of the feet, ankles, and abdomen. Chronic heart failure may be caused by coronary artery disease, a heart attack, or high blood pressure. It usually occurs in people aged 65 years or older. Also called chf.

Chronic idiopathic myelofibrosis
a progressive, chronic disease in which the bone marrow is replaced by fibrous tissue and blood is made in organs such as the liver and the spleen, instead of in the bone marrow. This disease is marked by an enlarged spleen and progressive anemia. Also called agnogenic myeloid metaplasia, idiopathic myelofibrosis, myelosclerosis with myeloid metaplasia, and primary myelofibrosis.

Chronic leukemia
a slowly progressing cancer that starts in blood-forming tissues such as the bone marrow, and causes large numbers of white blood cells to be produced and enter the blood stream.

Chronic lung disease
a type of disorder that affects the lungs and other parts of the respiratory system. It usually develops slowly, and may get worse over time. Chronic lung disease may be caused by smoking tobacco or by breathing in secondhand tobacco smoke, chemical fumes, dust, or other forms of air pollution. Types of chronic lung disease include asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (copd), pulmonary fibrosis, asbestosis, pneumonitis, and other lung conditions. Also called cld.

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia
an indolent (slow-growing) cancer in which too many immature lymphocytes (white blood cells) are found mostly in the blood and bone marrow. Sometimes, in later stages of the disease, cancer cells are found in the lymph nodes and the disease is called small lymphocytic lymphoma. Also called cll.

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma
an indolent (slow-growing) cancer in which immature lymphocytes (white blood cells) are found in the blood and bone marrow and/or in the lymph nodes. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (cll) and small lymphocytic lymphoma (sll) are the same disease, but in cll cancer cells are found mostly in the blood and bone marrow. In sll cancer cells are found mostly in the lymph nodes. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma is a type of non-hodgkin lymphoma. Also called cll/sll.

Chronic myelogenous leukemia
a slowly progressing disease in which too many white blood cells (not lymphocytes) are made in the bone marrow. Also called chronic granulocytic leukemia, chronic myeloid leukemia, and cml.

Chronic myeloid leukemia
a slowly progressing disease in which too many white blood cells (not lymphocytes) are made in the bone marrow. Also called chronic granulocytic leukemia, chronic myelogenous leukemia, and cml.

Chronic myelomonocytic leukemia
a slowly progressing type of myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative disease in which too many myelomonocytes (a type of white blood cell) are in the bone marrow, crowding out other normal blood cells, such as other white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. Also called cmml.

Chronic myeloproliferative neoplasm
a type of disease in which the bone marrow makes too many red blood cells, platelets, or certain white blood cells. Chronic myeloproliferative neoplasms usually get worse over time as the number of extra cells build up in the blood and/or bone marrow. This may cause bleeding problems, anemia, infection, fatigue, or other signs and symptoms. Certain chronic myeloproliferative neoplasms may become acute myeloid leukemia (aml). Chronic myeloproliferative neoplasms include chronic myelogenous leukemia (cml), polycythemia vera, primary myelofibrosis, essential thrombocythemia, chronic neutrophilic leukemia, and chronic eosinophilic leukemia. Also called myeloproliferative neoplasm.

Chronic neutrophilic leukemia
a disease in which too many neutrophils (a type of white blood cell) are found in the blood. The extra neutrophils may cause the spleen and liver to become enlarged. Chronic neutrophilic leukemia may stay the same for many years or it may progress quickly to acute leukemia.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
a type of lung disease marked by permanent damage to tissues in the lungs, making it hard to breathe. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease includes chronic bronchitis, in which the bronchi (large air passages) are inflamed and scarred, and emphysema, in which the alveoli (tiny air sacs) are damaged. It develops over many years and is usually caused by cigarette smoking. Also called copd.

Chronic pain
pain that can range from mild to severe, and persists or progresses over a long period of time.

Chronic phase
refers to the early stages of chronic myelogenous leukemia or chronic lymphocytic leukemia. The number of mature and immature abnormal white blood cells in the bone marrow and blood is higher than normal, but lower than in the accelerated or blast phase.

Chronic phase chronic myelogenous leukemia
a phase of chronic myelogenous leukemia in which fewer than 10% of the cells in the blood and bone marrow are blast cells (immature blood cells). This phase may last from several months to several years, and there may be no symptoms of leukemia.

Chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome
a condition of the prostate gland that continues or gets worse over a long period of time. Symptoms include body aches, pain in the lower back and genital area, a burning feeling during urination, and problems with emptying the bladder all the way. Also called cp/cpps.

Chrysotherapy
a procedure that uses gold salts (a salt form of the metal element gold) to treat diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis. The gold salts stop cells from releasing chemicals that can harm tissues. Also called aurotherapy and gold therapy.

Chs 828
a drug that is being studied in the treatment of solid tumors.

Chyle
a milky-white fluid that forms in the small intestine during digestion. It is made of lymph fluid and fats. Special lymph vessels carry chyle from the intestines to the blood.

Ci-1033
a substance being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. Ci-1033 blocks the action of proteins called epidermal growth factor receptors, and may cause cancer cells to die. It is a type of tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Also called canertinib and canertinib dihydrochloride.

Ci-958
a substance being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. Ci-958 binds to dna and stops cells, including cancer cells, from repairing damage to dna and from making more dna, rna, and protein. It is a type of dna intercalator. Also called sedoxantrone trihydrochloride.

Ci-980
an anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called mitotic inhibitors. Also called mivobulin isethionate.

Ci-994
a substance being studied in the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer. Also called n-acetyldinaline.

Cialis
a drug used to treat erectile dysfunction. It is also being studied in the treatment of sexual problems in patients treated with radiation or surgery for prostate cancer. Cialis blocks the action of a certain enzyme, which can result in increased blood flow to the penis, causing an erection. It is a type of cgmp phosphodiesterase type 5 (pde5) inhibitor. Also called tadalafil.

Cidofovir
a drug used in the treatment of infections caused by viruses.

Cigar
a tube-shaped tobacco product that is made of tightly rolled, cured tobacco leaves in a tobacco leaf wrapper or a wrapper that contains tobacco. It may also have other ingredients, including substances to add different flavors. A cigar is lit on one end and smoked, but the smoke is usually not inhaled into the lungs. Cigars contain nicotine and many cancer-causing chemicals that are harmful to both smokers and nonsmokers. Smoking cigars can lead to nicotine addiction and can cause cancers of the mouth, larynx (voice box), esophagus, lung, and pancreas. Heavy cigar smoking can also increase the risk of heart disease and lung diseases, such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

Cigarette
a tube-shaped tobacco product that is made of finely cut, cured tobacco leaves wrapped in thin paper. It may also have other ingredients, including substances to add different flavors. A cigarette is lit on one end and smoked, and the smoke is usually inhaled into the lungs. Cigarettes contain nicotine and many cancer-causing chemicals that are harmful to both smokers and nonsmokers. Smoking cigarettes can lead to nicotine addiction and can cause many types of cancer, including cancers of the lung, larynx, mouth, esophagus, throat, kidney, bladder, pancreas, stomach, and cervix, and acute myeloid leukemia. Smoking cigarettes also causes other health problems, including heart disease, stroke, and lung diseases, such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

Cilengitide
a substance that is being studied as an anticancer and antiangiogenesis drug. Also called emd 121974.

Ciliary body
a part of the middle layer of the wall of the eye. The ciliary body includes the ring-shaped muscle that changes the size of the pupil and the shape of the lens when the eye focuses. It also makes the fluid that fills the eye.

Cimetidine
a drug usually used to treat stomach ulcers and heartburn. It is also commonly used in a regimen to prevent allergic reactions.

Cin
abnormal cells are found on the surface of the cervix. Cin is usually caused by certain types of human papillomavirus (hpv) and is found when a cervical biopsy is done. Cin is not cancer, but may become cancer and spread to nearby normal tissue. It is graded on a scale of 1 to 3, based on how abnormal the cells look under a microscope and how much of the cervical tissue is affected. For example, cin 1 has slightly abnormal cells and is less likely to become cancer than cin 2 or cin 3. Also called cervical intraepithelial neoplasia.

Cin 1
slightly abnormal cells are found on the surface of the cervix. Cin 1 is usually caused by certain types of human papillomavirus (hpv) and is found when a cervical biopsy is done. Cin 1 is not cancer and usually goes away on its own without treatment. Sometimes it becomes cancer and spreads to nearby normal tissue. Cin 1 is sometimes called low-grade or mild dysplasia. Also called cervical squamous intraepithelial neoplasia 1.

Cin 2
moderately abnormal cells are found on the surface of the cervix. Cin 2 is usually caused by certain types of human papillomavirus (hpv) and is found when a cervical biopsy is done. Cin 2 is not cancer, but may become cancer and spread to nearby normal tissue if not treated. Treatment for cin 2 may include cryotherapy, laser therapy, loop electrosurgical procedure (leep), or cone biopsy to remove or destroy the abnormal tissue. Cin 2 is sometimes called high-grade or moderate dysplasia. Also called cervical squamous intraepithelial neoplasia 2.

Cin 2/3
abnormal cells are found on the surface of the cervix. Cin 2/3 is usually caused by certain types of human papillomavirus (hpv) and is found when a cervical biopsy is done. Cin 2/3 has features of cin 2 and cin 3. It is not cancer, but may become cancer and spread to nearby normal tissue if not treated. Treatment for cin 2/3 may include cryotherapy, laser therapy, loop electrosurgical procedure (leep), or cone biopsy to remove or destroy the abnormal tissue. Also called cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2/3.

Cin 3
severely abnormal cells are found on the surface of the cervix. Cin 3 is usually caused by certain types of human papillomavirus (hpv) and is found when a cervical biopsy is done. If not treated, these abnormal cells may become cancer and spread to nearby normal tissue. Treatment for cin 3 may include cryotherapy, laser therapy, loop electrosurgical procedure (leep), or cone biopsy to remove or destroy the abnormal tissue. Cin 3 is sometimes called high-grade or severe dysplasia. Also called cervical squamous intraepithelial neoplasia 3 and stage 0 cervical carcinoma in situ.

Cipro
a drug that is used to treat infections caused by bacteria and is being studied in the treatment of bladder cancer. Cipro is a type of fluoroquinolone. Also called ciprofloxacin.

Ciprofloxacin
a drug that is used to treat infections caused by bacteria and is being studied in the treatment of bladder cancer. Ciprofloxacin is a type of fluoroquinolone. Also called cipro.

Circulation
in the body, the flow of blood through the heart and blood vessels, and the flow of lymph through the lymph vessels.

Circulatory system
the system that contains the heart and the blood vessels and moves blood throughout the body. This system helps tissues get enough oxygen and nutrients, and it helps them get rid of waste products. The lymph system, which connects with the blood system, is often considered part of the circulatory system.

Circumcision
surgery to remove part or all of the foreskin (loose skin that covers the head of the penis).

Cirrhosis
a type of chronic, progressive liver disease in which liver cells are replaced by scar tissue.

Cis
the cis is the national cancer institute’s link to the public, interpreting and explaining research findings in a clear and understandable manner, and providing personalized responses to specific questions about cancer. Access the cis by calling 1-800-4-cancer (1-800-422-6237), or by using the livehelp instant-messaging service at https://livehelp.cancer.gov. Also called cancer information service.

Cisnet
a group of researchers supported by the national cancer institute (nci) who use statistical models to help understand how cancer prevention, screening, and treatment programs can affect the number of new cases of cancer diagnosed each year and the number of deaths from cancer each year. The cisnet is now studying breast, colorectal, esophageal, lung, and prostate cancers. The models they create help guide future cancer control strategies, research priorities, policies, and decision making. Also called cancer intervention and surveillance modeling network.

Cisplatin
a drug used to treat malignant mesothelioma, non-small cell lung cancer, squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck, and cancers of the bladder, cervix, ovaries, and testes. It is used in patients whose cancer cannot be treated with or has not gotten better with other anticancer treatment. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Cisplatin contains the metal platinum. It kills cancer cells by damaging their dna and stopping them from dividing. It is a type of dna crosslinking agent. Also called platinol and platinol-aq.

Citalopram
a drug used to treat depression. It belongs to the families of drugs called antidepressant agents and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (ssris). Also called celexa.

Citric acid/potassium-sodium citrate
a drug used in the treatment of metabolic acidosis (a disorder in which the blood is too acidic).

Citrovorum factor
a drug used to lessen the toxic effects of substances that block the action of folic acid, especially the anticancer drug methotrexate. Citrovorum factor is used to treat some types of anemia and is also used with fluorouracil to treat colorectal cancer. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer and other conditions. Citrovorum factor is a form of folic acid. It is a type of chemoprotective agent and a type of chemosensitizing agent. Also called calcium levoleucovorin, leucovorin calcium, and wellcovorin.

Cixutumumab
a substance being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. It is a monoclonal antibody that is made in the laboratory and can bind to substances in the body. Cixutumumab blocks the action of a protein needed for cell growth and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (igf-1r) inhibitor. Also called imc-a12.

Cladribine
an anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called antimetabolites.

Clarithromycin
an antibiotic drug used in the treatment of infections. It belongs to the family of drugs called macrolides.

Clark level i skin cancer
skin cancer that is found only in the epidermis (outer layer of skin).

Clark level ii skin cancer
skin cancer that has spread from the epidermis (outer layer of skin) down into the papillary dermis (the thin top layer of the dermis).

Clark level iii skin cancer
skin cancer that has spread down through the papillary dermis (the thin top layer of the dermis) but not into the reticular dermis (the thick bottom layer of the dermis).

Clark level iv skin cancer
skin cancer that has spread down into the reticular dermis (the thick bottom layer of the dermis).

Clark level v skin cancer
skin cancer that has spread down into the subcutaneous tissue (tissue beneath the skin).

Clark levels
a system for describing how deep skin cancer has spread into the skin. Levels i-v describe the layers of skin involved.

Classical hodgkin lymphoma
the most common type of hodgkin lymphoma, which is a cancer of the immune system. Classical hodgkin lymphoma is marked by the presence of a type of cell called the reed-sternberg cell.

Claus model
a computer program that uses statistics to predict a person’s risk for developing breast cancer based on family history.

Clavicle
one of a pair of bones at the base of the front of the neck. The clavicles connect the breastbone to the shoulder blades. Also called collarbone.

Cld
a type of disorder that affects the lungs and other parts of the respiratory system. It usually develops slowly, and may get worse over time. Cld may be caused by smoking tobacco or by breathing in secondhand tobacco smoke, chemical fumes, dust, or other forms of air pollution. Types of cld include asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (copd), pulmonary fibrosis, asbestosis, pneumonitis, and other lung conditions. Also called chronic lung disease.

Clear cell
a type of cell that looks clear inside when viewed under a microscope.

Clear cell adenocarcinoma
a rare type of tumor, usually of the female genital tract, in which the insides of the cells look clear when viewed under a microscope. Also called clear cell carcinoma and mesonephroma.

Clear cell carcinoma
a rare type of tumor, usually of the female genital tract, in which the insides of the cells look clear when viewed under a microscope. Also called clear cell adenocarcinoma and mesonephroma.

Clear cell sarcoma of soft tissue
a soft tissue tumor that begins in a tendon (tough, cord-like tissue that connects muscle to bone or to another part of the body). Under the microscope, clear cell sarcoma of soft tissue may look a lot like melanoma (a type of skin cancer). Clear cell sarcoma of soft tissue usually occurs in the leg or arm and it often spreads to nearby lymph nodes. It is most common in young adults.

Clear cell sarcoma of the kidney
a rare type of kidney cancer, in which the inside of the cells look clear when viewed under a microscope. Clear cell sarcoma can spread from the kidney to other organs, most commonly the bone, but also including the lungs, brain, and soft tissues of the body.

Cleaved
having to do with the appearance of cells when viewed under a microscope. The nucleus of cleaved cells appears divided or segmented.

Clergy
ordained individuals who perform spiritual and/or religious functions.

Clinical
having to do with the examination and treatment of patients.

Clinical breast exam
a physical exam of the breast performed by a health care provider to check for lumps or other changes. Also called cbe.

Clinical practice guidelines
guidelines developed to help health care professionals and patients make decisions about screening, prevention, or treatment of a specific health condition.

Clinical researcher
a health professional who works directly with patients, or uses data from patients, to do research on health and disease and to develop new treatments. Clinical researchers may also do research on how health care practices affect health and disease.

Clinical resistance
the failure of a cancer to shrink after treatment.

Clinical series
a case series in which the patients receive treatment in a clinic or other medical facility.

Clinical stage
the stage of cancer (amount or spread of cancer in the body) that is based on tests that are done before surgery. These include physical exams, imaging tests, laboratory tests (such as blood tests), and biopsies.

Clinical staging
a method used to find out the stage of cancer (amount or spread of cancer in the body) using tests that are done before surgery. These include physical exams, imaging tests, laboratory tests (such as blood tests), and biopsies.

Clinical study
a type of research study that tests how well new medical approaches work in people. These studies test new methods of screening, prevention, diagnosis, or treatment of a disease. Also called clinical trial.

Clinical trial
a type of research study that tests how well new medical approaches work in people. These studies test new methods of screening, prevention, diagnosis, or treatment of a disease. Also called clinical study.

Clinical trial phase
a part of the clinical research process that answers specific questions about whether treatments that are being studied work and are safe. Phase i trials test the best way to give a new treatment and the best dose. Phase ii trials test whether a new treatment has an effect on the disease. Phase iii trials compare the results of people taking a new treatment with the results of people taking the standard treatment. Phase iv trials are done using thousands of people after a treatment has been approved and marketed, to check for side effects that were not seen in the phase iii trial.

Clinical trial sponsor
a person, company, institution, group, or organization that oversees or pays for a clinical trial and collects and analyzes the data. Also called trial sponsor.

Clinician
a health professional who takes care of patients.

Cll
an indolent (slow-growing) cancer in which too many immature lymphocytes (white blood cells) are found mostly in the blood and bone marrow. Sometimes, in later stages of the disease, cancer cells are found in the lymph nodes and the disease is called small lymphocytic lymphoma. Also called chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Cll/sll
an indolent (slow-growing) cancer in which immature lymphocytes (white blood cells) are found in the blood and bone marrow and/or in the lymph nodes. Cll (chronic lymphocytic leukemia) and sll (small lymphocytic lymphoma) are the same disease, but in cll cancer cells are found mostly in the blood and bone marrow. In sll cancer cells are found mostly in the lymph nodes. Cll/sll is a type of non-hodgkin lymphoma. Also called chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma.

Clodronate
a drug used in the treatment of hypercalcemia (abnormally high levels of calcium in the blood) and cancer that has spread to the bone (bone metastases). It may decrease pain, the risk of fractures, and the development of new bone metastases.

Clofarabine
a drug used to treat certain types of acute lymphoblastic leukemia in children. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Clofarabine is a type of nucleoside analog. Also called clolar.

Clolar
a drug used to treat certain types of acute lymphoblastic leukemia in children. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Clolar is a type of nucleoside analog. Also called clofarabine.

Clonidine hydrochloride
a drug used to treat high blood pressure. It is also being studied in the treatment of certain types of cancer pain and as an aid to stop smoking. It blocks the release of chemicals from nerve endings that make blood vessels constrict (get narrower). Clonidine hydrochloride is a type of antihypertensive agent and a type of alpha-adrenergic agonist. Also called catapres.

Cloretazine
a drug used to treat acute myelogenous leukemia (aml). It is also being studied in the treatment of several other types of cancer. It blocks cell growth by damaging the cell’s dna and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of alkylating agent. Also called laromustine and onrigin.

Clostridium difficile
a type of bacterium found in human and animal waste. Clostridium difficile is a common cause of diarrhea that occurs in hospitals. It can also cause diarrhea or other intestinal disorders in patients treated with antibiotics.

Clove cigarette
a type of cigarette that is made in indonesia. It is made using a mixture of tobacco, cloves, and other ingredients. Clove cigarettes contain nicotine and many cancer-causing chemicals that are harmful to both smokers and nonsmokers. Smoking clove cigarettes can lead to nicotine addiction and can cause lung cancer and other lung conditions. Also called kretek.

Cmf
an abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used alone or with other therapies to treat breast cancer. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It includes the drugs cyclophosphamide, methotrexate, and fluorouracil. Also called cmf regimen.

Cmf regimen
an abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used alone or with other therapies to treat breast cancer. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It includes the drugs cyclophosphamide, methotrexate, and fluorouracil. Also called cmf.

Cml
a slowly progressing disease in which too many white blood cells (not lymphocytes) are made in the bone marrow. Also called chronic granulocytic leukemia, chronic myelogenous leukemia, and chronic myeloid leukemia.

Cmml
a slowly progressing type of myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative disease in which too many myelomonocytes (a type of white blood cell) are in the bone marrow, crowding out other normal blood cells, such as other white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. Also called chronic myelomonocytic leukemia.

Cms
a condition that may occur in patients who have had surgery to remove a tumor in certain parts of the brain, including the cerebellum. Cms usually appears 1 or 2 days after surgery. Symptoms include loss of speech, trouble swallowing and eating, loss of balance, trouble walking, loss of muscle tone, mood swings, and changes in personality. Many of these symptoms go away over time. Also called cerebellar mutism syndrome.

Cmv
a virus that may be carried in an inactive state for life by healthy individuals. It is a cause of severe pneumonia in people with a suppressed immune system, such as those undergoing bone marrow transplantation or those with leukemia or lymphoma. Also called cytomegalovirus.

Cnicin
a substance found in certain plants, including blessed thistle. It has been used in some cultures to treat certain medical problems. It may have anti-inflammatory and anticancer effects. Cnicin is a type of sesquiterpene lactone.

Cns
the brain and spinal cord. Also called central nervous system.

Cns depressant
a type of drug that slows down brain activity, which causes the muscles to relax and calms and soothes a person. Cns depressants are used to treat insomnia (trouble sleeping), anxiety, panic attacks, and seizures. They may also be used to relieve anxiety and tension before surgery. Examples of cns depressants are benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and certain sleep medicines. Cns depressants are sometimes called sedatives or tranquilizers. Also called central nervous system depressant.

Cns metastasis
cancer that has spread from the original (primary) tumor to the central nervous system (cns). Also called central nervous system metastasis.

Cns pnet
a type of cancer that arises from a particular type of cell within the brain or spinal cord. Also called central nervous system primitive neuroectodermal tumor.

Cns prophylaxis
chemotherapy or radiation therapy given to the central nervous system (cns) as a preventive treatment. It kills cancer cells that may be in the brain and spinal cord, even though no cancer has been detected there. Also called central nervous system prophylaxis, central nervous system sanctuary therapy, and cns sanctuary therapy.

Cns sanctuary therapy
chemotherapy or radiation therapy given to the central nervous system (cns) as a preventive treatment. It kills cancer cells that may be in the brain and spinal cord, even though no cancer has been detected there. Also called central nervous system prophylaxis, central nervous system sanctuary therapy, and cns prophylaxis.

Cns stimulant
a type of drug that increases the levels of certain chemicals in the brain and increases alertness, attention, energy, and physical activity. Cns stimulants also raise blood pressure and increase heart rate and breathing rate. They are used to treat depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (a disorder in which a person has problems paying attention, controlling actions, and remaining still or quiet), and narcolepsy (a sleep disorder). Also called central nervous system stimulant.

Cns tumor
a tumor of the central nervous system (cns), including brain stem glioma, craniopharyngioma, medulloblastoma, and meningioma. Also called central nervous system tumor.

Cnto 328
a drug used to treat a rare condition called castleman disease in patients who do not have hiv or human herpesvirus 8. It is also being studied in the treatment of multiple myeloma. Cnto 328 binds to a protein called interleukin-6 (il-6), which is made by some white blood cells and other cells in the body. Cnto 328 may help reduce inflammation and stop the growth of cancer cells or abnormal blood cells. It is a type of monoclonal antibody. Also called anti-il-6 chimeric monoclonal antibody, cclb8, siltuximab, and sylvant.

Co-culture
a mixture of two or more different kinds of cells that are grown together.

Co-trimoxazole
a drug used in the treatment of infections caused by bacteria and protozoa. It is a combination of two anti-infection drugs, sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim.

Coactivated t cell
a t cell that has been coated with monoclonal antibodies to enhance its ability to kill tumor cells.

Cobalamin
a nutrient in the vitamin b complex that the body needs in small amounts to function and stay healthy. Cobalamin helps make red blood cells, dna, rna, energy, and tissues, and keeps nerve cells healthy. It is found in liver, meat, eggs, poultry, shellfish, milk, and milk products. Cobalamin is water-soluble (can dissolve in water) and must be taken in every day. Not enough cobalamin can cause certain types of anemia (a condition in which the number of red blood cells is below normal) and neurologic disorders. It is being studied with folate in the prevention and treatment of some types of cancer. Also called cyanocobalamin and vitamin b12.

Cobalt 60
a radioactive form of the metal cobalt, which is used as a source of radiation to treat cancer.

Coccyx
the small bone at the bottom of the spine. It is made up of 3-5 fused bones. Also called tailbone.

Cockayne syndrome
a genetic condition characterized by short stature, premature aging, sensitivity to light, and possibly deafness and mental retardation.

Codeine phosphate
a drug used to treat pain, cough, and diarrhea. It is made from opium or morphine and binds to opioid receptors in the central nervous system. Codeine phosphate is a type of opiate, a type of analgesic agent, a type of antitussive agent, and a type of antidiarrheal agent.

Coenzyme q10
a nutrient that the body needs in small amounts to function and stay healthy. Coenzyme q10 helps mitochondria (small structures in the cell) make energy. It is an antioxidant that helps prevent cell damage caused by free radicals (highly reactive chemicals). Coenzyme q10 is fat-soluble (can dissolve in fats and oils) and is found in fatty fish, beef, soybeans, peanuts, and spinach. It is being studied in the prevention and treatment of some types of cancer and heart disease and in the relief of side effects caused by some cancer treatments. Also called coq10, q10, ubiquinone, and vitamin q10.

Coffee enema
the injection of coffee through the anus into the colon (large intestine). Coffee enemas are being tested in the treatment of pancreatic cancer.

Cog
a group of clinical cancer research organizations that get support from the national cancer institute to study childhood cancers. The main goal of cog is to conduct clinical trials of new treatments for childhood and adolescent cancers at cancer centers in the united states, canada, europe, and australia. Also called children’s oncology group.

Cognition
the mental process of thinking, learning, remembering, being aware of surroundings, and using judgment.

Cognitive behavior therapy
a type of psychotherapy that helps patients change their behavior by changing the way they think and feel about certain things. It is used to treat mental, emotional, personality, and behavioral disorders. Also called cbt and cognitive therapy.

Cognitive therapy
a type of psychotherapy that helps patients change their behavior by changing the way they think and feel about certain things. It is used to treat mental, emotional, personality, and behavioral disorders. Also called cbt and cognitive behavior therapy.

Cohort
a group of individuals who share a common trait, such as birth year. In medicine, a cohort is a group that is part of a clinical trial or study and is observed over a period of time.

Cohort study
a research study that compares a particular outcome (such as lung cancer) in groups of individuals who are alike in many ways but differ by a certain characteristic (for example, female nurses who smoke compared with those who do not smoke).

Col-3
a substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. Col-3 may block the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It is a type of matrix metalloproteinase inhibitor and a type of antiangiogenesis agent.

Col18a1
a substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. Col18a1 is made from a type of collagen (a protein found in cartilage and other connective tissue). It may prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. Col18a1 is a type of antiangiogenesis agent. Also called endostatin.

Colchicine
a drug used to treat gout (inflamed joints caused by a buildup of uric acid). It comes from the crocus plant colchicum autumnale. Colchicine blocks cell division and the movement of certain immune cells to areas that are inflamed. It is a type of alkaloid and a type of mitotic inhibitor.

Cold ischemia
in surgery, the cooling of a tissue, organ, or body part after its blood supply has been reduced or cut off. This can occur while the organ is still in the body or after it is removed from the body if the organ is to be used for transplantation.

Cold ischemia time
in surgery, the time between the chilling of a tissue, organ, or body part after its blood supply has been reduced or cut off and the time it is warmed by having its blood supply restored. This can occur while the organ is still in the body or after it is removed from the body if the organ is to be used for transplantation.

Cold knife cone biopsy
a procedure in which a cone-shaped piece of abnormal tissue is removed from the cervix using a scalpel or laser knife. Some of the tissue is then checked under a microscope for signs of disease, such as cervical cancer. Cold knife cone biopsy may also be used to treat certain cervical conditions. Also called cold knife conization.

Cold knife conization
a procedure in which a cone-shaped piece of abnormal tissue is removed from the cervix using a scalpel or laser knife. Some of the tissue is then checked under a microscope for signs of disease, such as cervical cancer. Cold knife conization may also be used to treat certain cervical conditions. Also called cold knife cone biopsy.

Cold nodule
when radioactive material is used to examine the thyroid with a scanner, nodules that collect less radioactive material than the surrounding thyroid tissue are considered “cold.” a nodule that is cold does not make thyroid hormone. Cold nodules may be benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer). Cold nodules are sometimes called hypofunctioning nodules.

Colectomy
an operation to remove all or part of the colon. When only part of the colon is removed, it is called a partial colectomy. In an open colectomy, one long incision is made in the wall of the abdomen and doctors can see the colon directly. In a laparoscopic-assisted colectomy, several small incisions are made and a thin, lighted tube attached to a video camera is inserted through one opening to guide the surgery. Surgical instruments are inserted through the other openings to perform the surgery.

Colitis
inflammation of the colon.

Collagen
a fibrous protein found in cartilage and other connective tissue.

Collagen disease
a term previously used to describe chronic diseases of the connective tissue (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and systemic sclerosis), but now is thought to be more appropriate for diseases associated with defects in collagen, which is a component of the connective tissue.

Collagenase
a type of enzyme that breaks down the protein collagen.

Collarbone
one of a pair of bones at the base of the front of the neck. The collarbones connect the breastbone to the shoulder blades. Also called clavicle.

Collecting duct
the last part of a long, twisting tube that collects urine from the nephrons (cellular structures in the kidney that filter blood and form urine) and moves it into the renal pelvis and ureters. Also called renal collecting tubule.

Colloidal gold-bound tumor necrosis factor
a substance being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. Colloidal gold-bound tumor necrosis factor is made in the laboratory by binding a cancer-killing protein called tumor necrosis factor (tnf) to the surface of very tiny particles of gold. These tnf-gold particles may kill cancer cells without harming healthy tissue. Also called aurimmune and tnf-bound colloidal gold.

Coloanal anastomosis
a surgical procedure in which the colon is attached to the anus after the rectum has been removed. Also called coloanal pull-through.

Coloanal pull-through
a surgical procedure in which the colon is attached to the anus after the rectum has been removed. Also called coloanal anastomosis.

Colon
the longest part of the large intestine, which is a tube-like organ connected to the small intestine at one end and the anus at the other. The colon removes water and some nutrients and electrolytes from partially digested food. The remaining material, solid waste called stool, moves through the colon to the rectum and leaves the body through the anus.

Colon cancer
cancer that forms in the tissues of the colon (the longest part of the large intestine). Most colon cancers are adenocarcinomas (cancers that begin in cells that make and release mucus and other fluids).

Colon crypt
tube-like gland found in the lining of the colon and rectum. Colon crypt cells renew the lining of the intestine and make mucus. Also called gland of lieberkuhn.

Colon polyp
an abnormal growth of tissue in the lining of the bowel. Polyps are a risk factor for colon cancer.

Colonoscope
a thin, tube-like instrument used to examine the inside of the colon. A colonoscope has a light and a lens for viewing and may have a tool to remove tissue.

Colonoscopy
examination of the inside of the colon using a colonoscope, inserted into the rectum. A colonoscope is a thin, tube-like instrument with a light and a lens for viewing. It may also have a tool to remove tissue to be checked under a microscope for signs of disease.

Colony-stimulating factor
a substance that stimulates the production of blood cells. Colony-stimulating factors include granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (g-csf), granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (gm-csf), and promegapoietin.

Colorectal
having to do with the colon or the rectum.

Colorectal cancer
cancer that develops in the colon (the longest part of the large intestine) and/or the rectum (the last several inches of the large intestine before the anus).

Colostomy
an opening into the colon from the outside of the body. A colostomy provides a new path for waste material to leave the body after part of the colon has been removed.

Colostomy irrigation
a procedure in which a patient with a colostomy flushes the colon with water, using a tube that is inserted into the stoma (a surgically created opening in the body that connects an organ or area inside the body with the outside). This causes the colon to empty and pass stool through the stoma into a bag. The procedure should be done at the same time every day. It may allow colostomy patients to have better control over their bodies.

Colposcope
a lighted magnifying instrument used to check the cervix, vagina, and vulva for signs of disease.

Colposcopy
a procedure in which a lighted, magnifying instrument called a colposcope is used to examine the cervix, vagina, and vulva. During colposcopy, an instrument called a speculum is inserted into the vagina to widen it so that the cervix can be seen more easily. A vinegar solution may be used to make abnormal tissue easier to see with the colposcope. Tissue samples may be taken using a spoon-shaped instrument called a curette and checked under a microscope for signs of disease. Colposcopy may be used to check for cancers of the cervix, vagina, and vulva, and changes that may lead to cancer.

Coma
a condition in which a patient is in a state of deep sleep and cannot be awakened. A coma may be caused by many things, including trauma, drugs, toxins, or certain diseases.

Combination chemotherapy
treatment using more than one anticancer drug.

Combination therapy
therapy that combines more than one method of treatment. Also called multimodality therapy and multimodality treatment.

Combined androgen blockade
treatment used to block androgen (male hormone) activity in the body. This may be done by giving an antiandrogen drug and removing the testicles (orchiectomy) or by giving an antiandrogen drug with a gonadotropin-releasing hormone (gnrh) agonist. Combined androgen blockade may stop the growth of cancer cells that need androgens to grow, and is used in the treatment of prostate cancer. Also called complete androgen blockade and total androgen blockade.

Combretastatin a4 phosphate
a substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. It decreases the flow of blood to tumors and may kill cancer cells. Combretastatin a4 phosphate comes from the african bush willow. It is a type of tubulin-binding agent and a type of vascular targeting agent.

Comedo carcinoma
a type of ductal carcinoma in situ (very early-stage breast cancer).

Cometriq
a drug used to treat progressive medullary thyroid cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Cometriq blocks certain proteins, which may help keep cancer cells from growing. It may also prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It is a type of tyrosine kinase inhibitor and a type of angiogenesis inhibitor. Also called cabozantinib-s-malate.

Comfort care
care given to improve the quality of life of patients who have a serious or life-threatening disease. The goal of comfort care is to prevent or treat as early as possible the symptoms of a disease, side effects caused by treatment of a disease, and psychological, social, and spiritual problems related to a disease or its treatment. Also called palliative care, supportive care, and symptom management.

Common bile duct
a tube that carries bile from the liver and the gallbladder through the pancreas and into the duodenum (the upper part of the small intestine). It is formed where the ducts from the liver and gallbladder are joined. It is part of the biliary duct system.

Common hepatic duct
a tube that carries bile from the liver. It starts where the right and left hepatic (liver) ducts join outside the liver. It ends where the cystic duct from the gall bladder joins it to form the common bile duct. It is part of the biliary duct system.

Community advisory board
in medicine, a group of non-scientist volunteers that serves as a link between a community and clinical trial researchers. A community advisory board may review and monitor clinical trials and help teach the community about the trials. Also called cab.

Comorbidity
the condition of having two or more diseases at the same time.

Comparative anatomy
the comparison of the structure (anatomy) of one animal or plant with the structure of a different animal or plant.

Compassionate use trial
a way to provide an investigational therapy to a patient who is not eligible to receive that therapy in a clinical trial, but who has a serious or life-threatening illness for which other treatments are not available. Compassionate use trials allow patients to receive promising but not yet fully studied or approved cancer therapies when no other treatment option exists. Also called expanded access trial.

Complement protein
one of a group of about 20 proteins that is found in the blood and is important in fighting infections and other diseases.

Complementary and alternative medicine
forms of treatment that are used in addition to (complementary) or instead of (alternative) standard treatments. These practices generally are not considered standard medical approaches. Standard treatments go through a long and careful research process to prove they are safe and effective, but less is known about most types of complementary and alternative medicine. Complementary and alternative medicine may include dietary supplements, megadose vitamins, herbal preparations, special teas, acupuncture, massage therapy, magnet therapy, spiritual healing, and meditation. Also called cam.

Complementary medicine
treatments that are used along with standard treatments, but are not considered standard. Standard treatments are based on the results of scientific research and are currently accepted and widely used. Less research has been done for most types of complementary medicine. Complementary medicine includes acupuncture, dietary supplements, massage therapy, hypnosis, and meditation. For example, acupuncture may be used with certain drugs to help lessen cancer pain or nausea and vomiting.

Complete androgen blockade
treatment used to block androgen (male hormone) activity in the body. This may be done by giving an antiandrogen drug and removing the testicles (orchiectomy) or by giving an antiandrogen drug with a gonadotropin-releasing hormone (gnrh) agonist. Complete androgen blockade may stop the growth of cancer cells that need androgens to grow, and is used in the treatment of prostate cancer. Also called combined androgen blockade and total androgen blockade.

Complete blood count
a measure of the number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets in the blood. The amount of hemoglobin (substance in the blood that carries oxygen) and the hematocrit (the amount of whole blood that is made up of red blood cells) are also measured. A complete blood count is used to help diagnose and monitor many conditions. Also called blood cell count, cbc, and full blood count.

Complete hysterectomy
surgery to remove the entire uterus, including the cervix. Also called total hysterectomy.

Complete metastasectomy
surgery to remove all metastases (tumors formed from cells that have spread from the primary tumor).

Complete remission
the disappearance of all signs of cancer in response to treatment. This does not always mean the cancer has been cured. Also called complete response.

Complete response
the disappearance of all signs of cancer in response to treatment. This does not always mean the cancer has been cured. Also called complete remission.

Complex decongestive therapy
treatment to reduce lymphedema (swelling caused by a buildup of lymph fluid in tissue). This therapy uses massage to move the fluid away from areas where lymph vessels are blocked, damaged, or removed by surgery. This helps remove extra fluid. The affected area is then wrapped in a special bandage. Later, a compression garment (tight-fitting, elastic piece of clothing) is worn to keep fluid from building up again.

Compliance
the act of following a medical regimen or schedule correctly and consistently, including taking medicines or following a diet.

Complication
in medicine, a medical problem that occurs during a disease, or after a procedure or treatment. The complication may be caused by the disease, procedure, or treatment or may be unrelated to them.

Composite lymphoma
a rare form of lymphoma (cancer that begins in cells of the immune system) in which different types of lymphoma cells occur at the same time. The different lymphoma cells may form in the same tissue or organ or in many different tissues or organs. The composite lymphoma may contain different types of non-hodgkin lymphoma cells or both hodgkin and non-hodgkin lymphoma cells.

Compound
in science, a substance made from two or more different elements that have been chemically joined. Examples of compounds include water (h2o), which is made from the elements hydrogen and oxygen, and table salt (nacl), which is made from the elements sodium and chloride.

Compound nevus
a type of mole formed by groups of nevus cells found in the epidermis and dermis (the two main layers of tissue that make up the skin).

Comprehensive cancer center
a cancer research center that gets support from the national cancer institute (nci) to do cancer research and provide services directly to cancer patients. Scientists and doctors at these centers do basic laboratory research and clinical trials, and they study the patterns, causes, and control of cancer in groups of people. Also, they take part in multicenter clinical trials, which enroll patients from many parts of the country. Comprehensive cancer centers also give cancer information to health care professionals and the public. More information about the nci cancer centers program can be found on the nci’s web site at http://cancercenters.cancer.gov/.

Comprehensive pediatric cancer center
a cancer research center that gets support from the national cancer institute (nci). Scientists and doctors at these centers do basic laboratory research and clinical trials on childhood cancers, and they study the patterns, causes, and control of cancer in groups of children. Also, they treat patients from many parts of the country and give cancer information to health care professionals and the public. More information about the nci cancer centers program can be found on the nci’s web site at http://cancercenters.cancer.gov/.

Compression
a pressing or squeezing together. In medicine, it can describe a structure, such as a tumor, that presses on another part of the body, such as a nerve. It can also describe the flattening of soft tissue, such as the breast, that occurs during a mammogram (x-ray of the breast).

Compression bandage
a bandage designed to provide pressure to a particular area.

Compression fracture
a type of break in a bone caused by pressure and in which the bone collapses. Compression fractures usually occur in the spine (backbone) and in bones made weak by cancer or by osteoporosis (a decrease in bone mass and density).

Compression garment
a tight-fitting, elastic garment, such as a sleeve or stocking. Compression garments are used in the treatment of lymphedema (swelling caused by a buildup of lymph fluid in tissue). They are also used to improve blood flow.

Compression pump
a machine used to keep blood and lymph flowing by pushing air through bands or sleeves that are placed on the arms or legs.

Compulsion
an uncontrollable urge to say or do something without an obvious reason. A person may repeat a behavior, such as hand-washing, over and over.

Computed tomographic colonography
a method to examine the inside of the colon by taking a series of x-rays. A computer is used to make 2-dimensional (2-d) and 3-d pictures of the colon from these x-rays. The pictures can be saved, changed to give better viewing angles, and reviewed after the procedure, even years later. Also called computed tomography colonography, ct colonography, ctc, and virtual colonoscopy.

Computed tomography angiography
a procedure that uses x-rays to create a series of detailed pictures of the blood vessels and blood flow inside the body. The pictures are taken from different angles and are created by a computer linked to an x-ray machine. A dye is injected into a vein to make the blood vessels and blood flow easier to see on the x-ray. Computed tomography angiography may be used to check for aneurysms (a bulge in the blood vessel wall), blockages in the arteries, blood clots, and other blood vessel problems. Also called ct angiography and cta.

Computed tomography colonography
a method to examine the inside of the colon by taking a series of x-rays. A computer is used to make 2-dimensional (2-d) and 3-d pictures of the colon from these x-rays. The pictures can be saved, changed to give better viewing angles, and reviewed after the procedure, even years later. Also called computed tomographic colonography, ct colonography, ctc, and virtual colonoscopy.

Computed tomography scan
a procedure that uses a computer linked to an x-ray machine to make a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body. The pictures are taken from different angles and are used to create 3-dimensional (3-d) views of tissues and organs. A dye may be injected into a vein or swallowed to help the tissues and organs show up more clearly. A computed tomography scan may be used to help diagnose disease, plan treatment, or find out how well treatment is working. Also called cat scan, computerized axial tomography scan, computerized tomography, and ct scan.

Computerized axial tomography scan
a procedure that uses a computer linked to an x-ray machine to make a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body. The pictures are taken from different angles and are used to create 3-dimensional (3-d) views of tissues and organs. A dye may be injected into a vein or swallowed to help the tissues and organs show up more clearly. A computerized axial tomography scan may be used to help diagnose disease, plan treatment, or find out how well treatment is working. Also called cat scan, computed tomography scan, computerized tomography, and ct scan.

Computerized tomography
a procedure that uses a computer linked to an x-ray machine to make a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body. The pictures are taken from different angles and are used to create 3-dimensional (3-d) views of tissues and organs. A dye may be injected into a vein or swallowed to help the tissues and organs show up more clearly. A computerized tomography may be used to help diagnose disease, plan treatment, or find out how well treatment is working. Also called cat scan, computed tomography scan, computerized axial tomography scan, and ct scan.

Concentration
in science, the amount of a substance, such as a salt, that is in a certain amount of tissue or liquid, such as blood. A substance becomes more concentrated when less water is present. For example, the salt in urine may become more concentrated when a person doesn’t drink enough water.

Conception
in biology, the beginning of pregnancy, marked by fertilization of an egg by a sperm.

Concerta
a drug used to treat certain behavior disorders, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (adhd). It is also being studied as a way to improve brain function in patients treated with anticancer drugs. Concerta acts on certain parts of the brain. It is a type of central nervous system stimulant. Also called methylphenidate hydrochloride and ritalin.

Concomitant
occurring or existing at the same time as something else. In medicine, it may refer to a condition a person has or a medication a person is taking that is not being studied in the clinical trial he or she is taking part in.

Concurrent therapy
a treatment that is given at the same time as another.

Condition
in medicine, a health problem with certain characteristics or symptoms.

Conditioned response
a type of learning in which repeated exposure to something may affect a person’s behavior when they encounter an unrelated object, sound, or smell that occurred at the same time as the initial exposure. For example, a patient who always feels sick after receiving chemotherapy in a clinic that smells a certain way may be conditioned to feel sick when smelling the same odor in a different place.

Conditioned stimulus
a situation in which one signal, or stimulus, is given just before another signal. After this happens several times, the first signal alone can cause the response that would usually need the second signal.

Conditioning regimen
the treatments used to prepare a patient for stem cell transplantation (a procedure in which a person receives blood stem cells, which make any type of blood cell). A conditioning regimen may include chemotherapy, monoclonal antibody therapy, and radiation to the entire body. It helps make room in the patient’s bone marrow for new blood stem cells to grow, helps prevent the patient’s body from rejecting the transplanted cells, and helps kill any cancer cells that are in the body.

Condyloma
a raised growth on the surface of the genitals caused by human papillomavirus (hpv) infection. The hpv in condyloma is very contagious and can be spread by skin-to-skin contact, usually during oral, anal, or genital sex with an infected partner. Also called genital wart.

Cone biopsy
a procedure in which a cone-shaped piece of abnormal tissue is removed from the cervix. A scalpel, a laser knife, or a thin wire loop heated by an electric current may be used to remove the tissue. The tissue is then checked under a microscope for signs of disease. Cone biopsy may be used to check for cervical cancer or to treat certain cervical conditions. Types of cone biopsy are leep (loop electrosurgical excision procedure) and cold knife conization (cold knife cone biopsy). Also called conization.

Confusion
a mental state in which one is not thinking clearly.

Congenital
a condition or trait present at birth. It may be the result of genetic or non-genetic factors.

Congenital hypoplastic anemia
a very rare disorder in which the bone marrow doesn’t make enough red blood cells. It is usually seen in the first year of life. Patients may have deformed thumbs and other physical problems. They also have an increased risk of leukemia and sarcoma, especially osteosarcoma (bone cancer). Patients with congenital hypoplastic anemia may have a mutation (change) in one of the genes that make proteins found in the cell’s ribosomes. Also called blackfan–diamond anemia, congenital pure red cell aplasia, dba, diamond-blackfan anemia, erythrogenesis imperfecta, and inherited erythroblastopenia.

Congenital mesoblastic nephroma
a type of kidney tumor that is usually found before birth by ultrasound or within the first 3 months of life. It contains fibroblastic cells (connective tissue cells), and may spread to the other kidney or to nearby tissue. Congenital mesoblastic nephroma is more common in males.

Congenital neutropenia
an inherited disorder in which there is a lower-than-normal number of neutrophils (a type of white blood cell that is important in fighting infections). Infants with the disorder get infections caused by bacteria, and are at an increased risk of acute myelogenous leukemia (aml) or myelodysplasia (a bone marrow disorder). Also called genetic infantile agranulocytosis, infantile genetic agranulocytosis, kostmann disease, kostmann neutropenia, and kostmann syndrome.

Congenital pure red cell aplasia
a very rare disorder in which the bone marrow doesn’t make enough red blood cells. It is usually seen in the first year of life. Patients may have deformed thumbs and other physical problems. They also have an increased risk of leukemia and sarcoma, especially osteosarcoma (bone cancer). Patients with congenital pure red cell aplasia may have a mutation (change) in one of the genes that make proteins found in the cell’s ribosomes. Also called blackfan–diamond anemia, congenital hypoplastic anemia, dba, diamond-blackfan anemia, erythrogenesis imperfecta, and inherited erythroblastopenia.

Congestive heart failure
weakness of the heart muscle that leads to a buildup of fluid in body tissues.

Conization
a procedure in which a cone-shaped piece of abnormal tissue is removed from the cervix. A scalpel, a laser knife, or a thin wire loop heated by an electric current may be used to remove the tissue. The tissue is then checked under a microscope for signs of disease. Conization may be used to check for cervical cancer or to treat certain cervical conditions. Types of conization are leep (loop electrosurgical excision procedure) and cold knife conization (cold knife cone biopsy). Also called cone biopsy.

Conjugate
a compound formed by chemically joining two or more different substances. For example, an antibody-drug conjugate is made up of a monoclonal antibody that is chemically linked to a drug. Some conjugates are used to treat cancer.

Conjunctiva
a membrane that lines the inner surface of the eyelid and also covers the front part of the eye. Conjunctivitis is inflammation of the conjunctiva.

Conjunctivitis
a condition in which the conjunctiva (membranes lining the eyelids and covering the white part of the eye) become inflamed or infected. Also called pinkeye.

Connecting peptide
a substance made by the pancreas. Connecting peptide and insulin are both part of a larger molecule that gets split apart before being released into the blood. Abnormal blood levels of connecting peptide may occur in certain diseases, such as diabetes or cancer. Also called c-peptide.

Connective tissue
supporting tissue that surrounds other tissues and organs. Specialized connective tissue includes bone, cartilage, blood, and fat.

Conscious sedation
a level of sedation in which a person is asleep but wakes when spoken to or touched. Conscious sedation is caused by special drugs and is used to help relieve anxiety during certain medical or surgical procedures. Drugs that relieve pain may be given at the same time. Also called moderate sedation.

Consecutive case series
a clinical study that includes all eligible patients identified by the researchers during the study registration period. The patients are treated in the order in which they are identified. This type of study usually does not have a control group.

Consensus development program
a program of the national institutes of health to bring together an independent group of experts to review scientific evidence related to an important public health issue. For a specific issue, a panel of experts (such as doctors and scientists) reviews reports and papers on the subject, listens to information presented by other experts in the field, and hears comments from the general public. Based on the evidence presented, the panel writes a report summarizing the findings, which is made available to the public. The report is not intended to be a practice guideline.

Consent form
a document with important information about a medical procedure or treatment, a clinical trial, or genetic testing. It also includes information on possible risks and benefits. If a person chooses to take part in the treatment, procedure, trial, or testing, he or she signs the form to give official consent.

Consent process
a process in which patients are given important information, including possible risks and benefits, about a medical procedure or treatment, a clinical trial, or genetic testing. This is to help them decide if they want to be treated, tested, or take part in the trial. Patients are also given any new information that might affect their decision to continue. Also called informed consent.

Consolidation therapy
treatment that is given after cancer has disappeared following the initial therapy. Consolidation therapy is used to kill any cancer cells that may be left in the body. It may include radiation therapy, a stem cell transplant, or treatment with drugs that kill cancer cells. Also called intensification therapy and postremission therapy.

Constipation
a condition in which stool becomes hard, dry, and difficult to pass, and bowel movements don’t happen very often. Other symptoms may include painful bowel movements, and feeling bloated, uncomfortable, and sluggish.

Constitutional acupuncture
a type of acupuncture based on a form of oriental medicine in which treatment is based on a person’s constitution. According to this type of medicine, the constitution is the specific way a person’s organs affect health and how he or she looks, thinks, behaves, and responds to treatment. Also called korean acupuncture.

Contiguous
touching or very close together.

Contiguous lymphoma
lymphoma in which the lymph nodes containing cancer are next to each other.

Continent reservoir
a pouch formed from a piece of small intestine to hold urine after the bladder has been removed.

Contingency management
in medicine, a treatment plan that gives immediate rewards for desired changes in behavior. It is based on the principle that if a good behavior is rewarded, it is more likely to be repeated. This is often used in the treatment of drug and alcohol abuse, and is being studied as a smoking cessation method.

Continuous hyperthermic peritoneal perfusion
a procedure that bathes the abdominal cavity in fluid that contains anticancer drugs. This fluid is warmer than body temperature. This procedure appears to kill cancer cells without harming normal cells. Also called chpp.

Continuous infusion
the administration of a fluid into a blood vessel, usually over a prolonged period of time.

Continuum of care
in medicine, describes the delivery of health care over a period of time. In patients with a disease, this covers all phases of illness from diagnosis to the end of life.

Contract research organization
a company hired by another company or research center to take over certain parts of running a clinical trial. The company may design, manage, and monitor the trial, and analyze the results. Also called cro.

Contracture
a permanent tightening of the muscles, tendons, skin, and nearby tissues that causes the joints to shorten and become very stiff. This prevents normal movement of a joint or other body part. Contractures may be caused by injury, scarring, and nerve damage, or by not using the muscles. It may also occur at some point in time after a stem cell transplant that caused chronic graft-versus-host disease.

Contraindication
a symptom or medical condition that makes a particular treatment or procedure inadvisable because a person is likely to have a bad reaction. For example, having a bleeding disorder is a contraindication for taking aspirin because treatment with aspirin may cause excess bleeding.

Contralateral
having to do with the opposite side of the body.

Contrast esophagram
a series of x-ray pictures of the esophagus taken after a patient drinks a liquid containing barium sulfate (a form of the silver-white metallic element barium). The barium sulfate coats and outlines the inner wall of the esophagus so that it can be seen on the x-ray pictures. Also called esophagram.

Contrast material
a dye or other substance that helps show abnormal areas inside the body. It is given by injection into a vein, by enema, or by mouth. Contrast material may be used with x-rays, ct scans, mri, or other imaging tests.

Control animal
an animal in a study that does not receive the treatment being tested. Comparing the health of control animals with the health of treated animals allows researchers to evaluate the effects of a treatment more accurately.

Control group
in a clinical trial, the group that does not receive the new treatment being studied. This group is compared to the group that receives the new treatment, to see if the new treatment works.

Controlled clinical trial
a clinical study that includes a comparison (control) group. The comparison group receives a placebo, another treatment, or no treatment at all.

Controlled study
an experiment or clinical trial that includes a comparison (control) group.

Controlled substance
a drug or other substance that is tightly controlled by the government because it may be abused or cause addiction. The control applies to the way the substance is made, used, handled, stored, and distributed. Controlled substances include opioids, stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens, and anabolic steroids. Controlled substances with known medical use, such as morphine, valium, and ritalin, are available only by prescription from a licensed medical professional. Other controlled substances, such as heroin and lsd, have no known medical use and are illegal in the united states.

Conventional medicine
a system in which medical doctors and other healthcare professionals (such as nurses, pharmacists, and therapists) treat symptoms and diseases using drugs, radiation, or surgery. Also called allopathic medicine, biomedicine, mainstream medicine, orthodox medicine, and western medicine.

Conventional therapy
treatment that is widely accepted and used by most healthcare professionals. It is different from alternative or complementary therapies, which are not as widely used. Examples of conventional therapy for cancer include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery. Also called conventional treatment.

Conventional treatment
treatment that is widely accepted and used by most healthcare professionals. It is different from alternative or complementary therapies, which are not as widely used. Examples of conventional treatment for cancer include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery. Also called conventional therapy.

Convulsion
a condition in which muscles contract and relax quickly and cause uncontrolled shaking of the body. Head injuries, high fevers, some medical disorders, and certain drugs can cause convulsions. They may also occur during seizures caused by epilepsy.

Coombs test
a laboratory test to identify antibodies that can bind to the surface of red blood cells or platelets and destroy them. This test is used to diagnose certain blood disorders in which patients make antibodies to their own red blood cells or platelets. It is also used to determine blood type. Also called antiglobulin test.

Copd
a type of lung disease marked by permanent damage to tissues in the lungs, making it hard to breathe. Copd includes chronic bronchitis, in which the bronchi (large air passages) are inflamed and scarred, and emphysema, in which the alveoli (tiny air sacs) are damaged. It develops over many years and is usually caused by cigarette smoking. Also called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Cope
to adjust to new situations and overcome problems.

Coping skills
the methods a person uses to deal with stressful situations. These may help a person face a situation, take action, and be flexible and persistent in solving problems.

Copolymer
a molecule made up of two or more different kinds of small molecules called monomers. The monomers are joined together in a repeating pattern.

Copp
an abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used to treat hodgkin and non-hodgkin lymphomas. It includes the drugs cyclophosphamide, vincristine sulfate (oncovin), procarbazine hydrochloride, and prednisone. Also called copp regimen.

Copp regimen
an abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used to treat hodgkin and non-hodgkin lymphomas. It includes the drugs cyclophosphamide, vincristine sulfate (oncovin), procarbazine hydrochloride, and prednisone. Also called copp.

Copp-abv
an abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used to treat hodgkin lymphoma in children. It may be used with radiation therapy. Copp-abv includes the drugs cyclophosphamide, vincristine sulfate (oncovin), procarbazine hydrochloride, prednisone, doxorubicin hydrochloride (adriamycin), bleomycin sulfate, and vinblastine sulfate. Also called copp-abv regimen.

Copp-abv regime
an abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used to treat hodgkin lymphoma in children. It may be used with radiation therapy. Copp-abv regimen includes the drugs cyclophosphamide, vincristine sulfate (oncovin), procarbazine hydrochloride, prednisone, doxorubicin hydrochloride (adriamycin), bleomycin sulfate, and vinblastine sulfate. Also called copp-abv.

Copper cu 64-atsm
a substance being studied in pet imaging to detect certain types of tumors. Copper cu 64 is a radioactive substance. It is linked to atsm, which is taken up by tissues that have low levels of oxygen, such as some tumor tissues. A pet scanner is used to detect which cells in the body have taken up copper cu 64-atsm. It is a type of radioimaging agent.

Coq10
a nutrient that the body needs in small amounts to function and stay healthy. Coq10 helps mitochondria (small structures in the cell) make energy. It is an antioxidant that helps prevent cell damage caused by free radicals (highly reactive chemicals). Coq10 is fat-soluble (can dissolve in fats and oils) and is found in fatty fish, beef, soybeans, peanuts, and spinach. It is being studied in the prevention and treatment of some types of cancer and heart disease and in the relief of side effects caused by some cancer treatments. Also called coenzyme q10, q10, ubiquinone, and vitamin q10.

Cordectomy
an operation on the vocal cords or on the spinal cord.

Corderone
a drug used to treat certain types of abnormal heart rhythms that have not gotten better with other drugs. Corderone affects the electrical activity of the heart. It is a type of antiarrhythmic agent. Also called amiodarone hydrochloride.

Cordycepin
an anticancer drug that belongs to a family of drugs called antitumor antibiotics.

Core biopsy
the removal of a tissue sample with a wide needle for examination under a microscope. Also called core needle biopsy.

Core needle biopsy
the removal of a tissue sample with a wide needle for examination under a microscope. Also called core biopsy.

Coreg
a drug used to treat high blood pressure and certain heart problems. It is also being studied in the prevention and treatment of side effects caused by some anticancer drugs. Coreg blocks certain receptors on nerve cells and causes blood vessels to dilate (widen). It is a type of antihypertensive agent and a type of antianginal agent. Also called carvedilol phosphate.

Coriolus versicolor extract
a substance being studied in the treatment of breast cancer and other types of cancer. Coriolus versicolor is a type of mushroom. Its extract is used with other treatments in some cultures to treat cancer and other conditions. The extract may boost the immune system, slow the growth of some tumor cells, and lessen the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. It is a type of biological response modifier (brm) and a type of dietary supplement.

Cornea
the transparent part of the eye that covers the iris and the pupil and allows light to enter the inside.

Coronary artery bypass
surgery in which a healthy blood vessel taken from another part of the body is used to make a new path for blood around a blocked artery leading to the heart. This restores the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the heart. Also called aortocoronary bypass and cab.

Coronary artery disease
a disease in which there is a narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries (blood vessels that carry blood and oxygen to the heart). Coronary artery disease is usually caused by atherosclerosis (a buildup of fatty material and plaque inside the coronary arteries). The disease may cause chest pain, shortness of breath during exercise, and heart attacks. The risk of coronary artery disease is increased by having a family history of coronary artery disease before age 50, older age, smoking tobacco, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, lack of exercise, and obesity. Also called cad and coronary heart disease.

Coronary heart disease
a disease in which there is a narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries (blood vessels that carry blood and oxygen to the heart). Coronary heart disease is usually caused by atherosclerosis (a buildup of fatty material and plaque inside the coronary arteries). The disease may cause chest pain, shortness of breath during exercise, and heart attacks. The risk of coronary heart disease is increased by having a family history of coronary heart disease before age 50, older age, smoking tobacco, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, lack of exercise, and obesity. Also called cad and coronary artery disease.

Corpus
the body of the uterus.

Corticosteroid
any steroid hormone made in the adrenal cortex (the outer part of the adrenal gland). They are also made in the laboratory. Corticosteroids have many different effects in the body, and are used to treat many different conditions. They may be used as hormone replacement, to suppress the immune system, and to treat some side effects of cancer and its treatment. Corticosteroids are also used to treat certain lymphomas and lymphoid leukemias.

Corticotropin
a hormone made in the pituitary gland. Corticotropin acts on the outer part of the adrenal gland to control its release of corticosteroid hormones. More corticotropin is made during times of stress. Also called acth and adrenocorticotropic hormone.

Cortisol
a hormone made by the adrenal cortex (the outer layer of the adrenal gland). It helps the body use glucose (a sugar), protein, and fats. Cortisol made in the laboratory is called hydrocortisone. It is used to treat many conditions, including inflammation, allergies, and some cancers. Cortisol is a type of glucocorticoid hormone.

Cortisone
a natural steroid hormone produced in the adrenal gland. It can also be made in the laboratory. Cortisone reduces swelling and can suppress immune responses.

Corynebacterium granulosum
a bacterium that can cause skin disorders. Substances taken from this bacterium can stimulate the immune system and may help kill cancer cells.

Cosmegen
a drug used to treat ewing sarcoma, gestational trophoblastic tumor, wilms tumor, and certain types of testicular cancer. It is also used to treat rhabdomyosarcoma in children. It is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Cosmegen comes from the bacterium streptomyces parvulus. It damages the cell’s dna and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of anticancer antibiotic. Also called actinomycin d and dactinomycin.

Costello syndrome
a rare, genetic disorder marked by developmental problems, being shorter than normal, mental retardation, heart problems, unusual facial features, and extra folds of skin around the neck, hands, and feet. People with costello syndrome have an increased risk of certain types of cancer, such as rhabdomyosarcoma (a soft tissue tumor) and neuroblastoma (cancer of immature nerve cells).

Cottonseed meal toxin
a substance being studied in the treatment of several types of cancer. It comes from the seed of the cotton plant (gossypium). It blocks the growth of cells and may kill cancer cells. Cottonseed meal toxin may also act as a male contraceptive (a type of birth control). Also called gossypol.

Coumarin
a substance used to make drugs that prevent and treat blood clots in blood vessels and treat certain heart conditions. Coumarin is taken from certain plants and can also be made in the laboratory. It is a type of anticoagulant.

Coumestan
an estrogen-like substance (phytoestrogen) made by some plants. Coumestans may have anticancer effects.

Coumestrol
a type of coumestan. Coumestans are estrogen-like substances (phytoestrogens) made by some plants. Coumestans may have anticancer effects.

Counseling
the process by which a professional counselor helps a person cope with mental or emotional distress, and understand and solve personal problems.

Counselor
a specialist who talks to patients and their families about emotional and personal matters, and can help them make decisions. Also called mental health counselor.

Cowden disease
an inherited disorder marked by the formation of many noncancerous growths called hamartomas. These growths occur in the skin, breast, thyroid, colon, intestines, and inside of the mouth. Patients with cowden disease are at increased risk of certain types of cancer, including breast and thyroid. Also called cowden syndrome and multiple hamartoma syndrome.

Cowden syndrome
an inherited disorder marked by the formation of many noncancerous growths called hamartomas. These growths occur in the skin, breast, thyroid, colon, intestines, and inside of the mouth. Patients with cowden syndrome are at increased risk of certain types of cancer, including breast and thyroid. Also called cowden disease and multiple hamartoma syndrome.

Cox inhibitor
a type of drug that is used to treat inflammation and pain, and is being studied in the prevention and treatment of cancer. Cox inhibitors belong to the family of drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (nsaids). Also called cyclooxygenase inhibitor.

Cox-2
an enzyme that speeds up the formation of substances that cause inflammation and pain. It may also cause tumor cells to grow. Some tumors have high levels of cox-2 and blocking its activity may reduce tumor growth. Also called cyclooxygenase-2 and prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase 2.

Cox-2 inhibitor
a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug used to relieve pain and inflammation. Cox-2 inhibitors are being studied in the prevention of colon polyps, and as anticancer drugs. Also called cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitor.

Cozaar
a drug used to treat high blood pressure. Cozaar blocks the action of chemicals that make blood vessels constrict (get narrower). It is a type of angiotensin ii receptor antagonist. Also called losartan and losartan potassium.

Cp
a chemotherapy combination used to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia (cll). It includes the drugs chlorambucil hydrochloride and prednisone. Also called chlorambucil-prednisone, chlorambucil-prednisone regimen, and cp regimen.

Cp regimen
a chemotherapy combination used to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia (cll). It includes the drugs chlorambucil hydrochloride and prednisone. Also called chlorambucil-prednisone, chlorambucil-prednisone regimen, and cp.

Cp-358,774
a drug used to treat certain types of non-small cell lung cancer. It is also used with gemcitabine hydrochloride to treat pancreatic cancer that cannot be removed by surgery or has spread to other parts of the body. It is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Cp-358,774 blocks a protein called epidermal growth factor receptor (egfr), which may help keep cancer cells from growing. It is a type of egfr tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Also called erlotinib hydrochloride, osi-774, and tarceva.

Cp-4055
a drug used to treat advanced acute myeloid leukemia (aml). It is a form of the anticancer drug cytarabine that may work in patients with leukemia that is resistant to cytarabine. Cp-4055 blocks cell division and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of antimetabolite. Also called elacyt and elacytarabine.

Cp-547,632
a substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the families of drugs called vascular endothelial growth factor (vegf) receptor inhibitors and angiogenesis inhibitors.

Cp-609,754
a substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer.

Cp-724,714
a substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called erbb receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors.

Cp/cpps
a condition of the prostate gland that continues or gets worse over a long period of time. Symptoms include body aches, pain in the lower back and genital area, a burning feeling during urination, and problems with emptying the bladder all the way. Also called chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome.

Cp4071
a substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer.

Cpg 7909
a substance that is being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called biological response modifiers. Also called pf-3512676 and promune.

Cpr
an emergency procedure used to restart a person’s heartbeat and breathing after one or both have stopped. It involves giving strong, rapid pushes to the chest to keep blood moving through the body. Usually, it also involves blowing air into the person’s mouth to help with breathing and send oxygen to the lungs. Also called cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Cpt 11
a drug used alone or with other drugs to treat colon cancer or rectal cancer that has spread to other parts of the body or has come back after treatment with fluorouracil. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Cpt 11 blocks certain enzymes needed for cell division and dna repair, and it may kill cancer cells. It is a type of topoisomerase inhibitor and a type of camptothecin analog. Also called camptosar and irinotecan hydrochloride.

Cqs
a substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. It is a type of topoisomerase inhibitor. Also called chloroquinoxaline sulfonamide.

Cra-024781
a substance being studied in the treatment of several types of cancer. It blocks enzymes needed for cell division and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of histone deacetylase (hdac) inhibitor.

Cramp
a sharp pain that occurs when a muscle suddenly contracts (tightens up). Cramps commonly occur in the abdomen and legs.

Craniopharyngioma
a benign brain tumor that may be considered malignant because it can damage the hypothalamus, the area of the brain that controls body temperature, hunger, and thirst.

Craniotomy
an operation in which a piece of the skull is removed. A craniotomy may be done so doctors can remove a brain tumor or abnormal brain tissue. It may also be done to remove blood or blood clots from the brain, relieve pressure in the brain after an injury or stroke, repair a brain aneurysm (a bulge in a blood vessel wall) or skull fractures, or treat other brain conditions. The piece of skull that is removed is usually put back in place after the brain problem has been treated.

Cranium
the bones that form the head. The cranium is made up of cranial bones (bones that surround and protect the brain) and facial bones (bones that form the eye sockets, nose, cheeks, jaw, and other parts of the face). An opening at the base of the cranium is where the spinal cord connects to the brain. Also called skull.

Craving
a strong, urgent, or abnormal desire for a certain substance or activity. There are different types of cravings, such as food cravings or cravings for addictive substances, including alcohol, drugs, or nicotine. Nicotine cravings are common after a person quits smoking and may come and go over time.

Creatine
a substance that is made by the body and used to store energy. It is being studied in the treatment of weight loss related to cancer. It is derived from the amino acid arginine.

Creatinine
a compound that is excreted from the body in urine. Creatinine levels are measured to monitor kidney function.

Crestor
a drug used to lower the amount of cholesterol and other harmful substances, such as triglycerides, in the blood. It is also being studied in the prevention and treatment of some types of cancer and other conditions. Crestor blocks an enzyme that helps make cholesterol in the body and it helps break down cholesterol. It also may cause cancer cells to die and may inhibit the growth of blood vessels that cancer cells need to grow. It is a type of hmg-coa reductase inhibitor and a type of statin. Also called rosuvastatin calcium.

Crib death
a disorder marked by the sudden and unexpected death of a healthy child who is younger than one year old, usually during sleep. The cause of crib death is not known. Also called sids and sudden infant death syndrome.

Cribriform
pierced with small holes as in a sieve. Refers to the appearance of a tumor when viewed under a microscope. The tumor appears to have open spaces or small holes inside.

Crisis intervention
immediate, short-term counseling (talking with a professional counselor) to stop a critical emotional incident (e.g., attempted suicide or drug overdose) from getting worse. Crisis intervention is not meant to solve the problem that led up to the crisis.

Crisnatol mesylate
an anticancer drug that interferes with the dna in cancer cells.

Crizotinib
a drug used to treat advanced non-small cell lung cancer that has a mutated (changed) form of a gene called anaplastic lymphoma kinase (alk). It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Crizotinib blocks the protein made by the mutated alk gene. Blocking this protein may stop the growth and spread of cancer cells. Crizotinib may also prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It is a type of tyrosine kinase inhibitor and a type of antiangiogenesis agent. Also called met tyrosine kinase inhibitor pf-02341066, pf-02341066, and xalkori.

Cro
a company hired by another company or research center to take over certain parts of running a clinical trial. The company may design, manage, and monitor the trial, and analyze the results. Also called contract research organization.

Crohn disease
a condition in which the gastrointestinal tract is inflamed over a long period of time. Crohn disease usually affects the small intestine and colon. Symptoms include fever, diarrhea, stomach cramps, vomiting, and weight loss. Crohn disease increases the risk of colorectal cancer and small intestine cancer. It is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (ibd). Also called regional enteritis.

Cross-talk
describes the process inside a cell that occurs when the same signal is shared by two or more signaling pathways. Usually, a signal caused by the binding of a substance to a molecule on or inside a cell is passed from one molecule to another in the same pathway.

Crpc
prostate cancer that keeps growing even when the amount of testosterone in the body is reduced to very low levels. Many early-stage prostate cancers need normal levels of testosterone to grow, but crpcs do not. Also called castrate-resistant prostate cancer.

Cruciferous vegetable
a member of the family of vegetables that includes broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, and turnips. These vegetables contain substances that may protect against cancer. Also called brassica vegetable.

Cryoablation
a procedure in which an extremely cold liquid or an instrument called a cryoprobe is used to freeze and destroy abnormal tissue. A cryoprobe is cooled with substances such as liquid nitrogen, liquid nitrous oxide, or compressed argon gas. Cryoablation may be used to treat certain types of cancer and some conditions that may become cancer. Also called cryosurgery and cryotherapy.

Cryopreservation
the process of cooling and storing cells, tissues, or organs at very low or freezing temperatures to save them for future use.

Cryosurgery
a procedure in which an extremely cold liquid or an instrument called a cryoprobe is used to freeze and destroy abnormal tissue. A cryoprobe is cooled with substances such as liquid nitrogen, liquid nitrous oxide, or compressed argon gas. Cryosurgery may be used to treat certain types of cancer and some conditions that may become cancer. Also called cryoablation and cryotherapy.

Cryotherapy
a procedure in which an extremely cold liquid or an instrument called a cryoprobe is used to freeze and destroy abnormal tissue. A cryoprobe is cooled with substances such as liquid nitrogen, liquid nitrous oxide, or compressed argon gas. Cryotherapy may be used to treat certain types of cancer and some conditions that may become cancer. Also called cryoablation and cryosurgery.

Cryptorchidism
a condition in which one or both testicles fail to move from the abdomen, where they develop before birth, into the scrotum. Cryptorchidism may increase the risk for development of testicular cancer. Also called undescended testicles.

Csf
the fluid that flows in and around the hollow spaces of the brain and spinal cord, and between two of the meninges (the thin layers of tissue that cover and protect the brain and spinal cord). Csf is made by tissue called the choroid plexus in the ventricles (hollow spaces) in the brain. Also called cerebrospinal fluid.

Csp
a type of tumor found in breast or prostate tissue. It is often large and bulky and grows quickly. It may be benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer) and may spread to other parts of the body. Also called cystosarcoma phyllodes and phyllodes tumor.

Css
the length of time from either the date of diagnosis or the start of treatment for a disease, such as cancer, to the date of death from the disease. Patients who die from causes unrelated to the disease are not counted in this measurement. In a clinical trial, measuring the css is one way to see how well a new treatment works. Also called cause-specific survival.

Ct angiography
a procedure that uses x-rays to create a series of detailed pictures of the blood vessels and blood flow inside the body. The pictures are taken from different angles and are created by a computer linked to an x-ray machine. A dye is injected into a vein to make the blood vessels and blood flow easier to see on the x-ray. Ct angiography may be used to check for aneurysms (a bulge in the blood vessel wall), blockages in the arteries, blood clots, and other blood vessel problems. Also called computed tomography angiography and cta.

Ct colonography
a method to examine the inside of the colon by taking a series of x-rays. A computer is used to make 2-dimensional (2-d) and 3-d pictures of the colon from these x-rays. The pictures can be saved, changed to give better viewing angles, and reviewed after the procedure, even years later. Also called computed tomographic colonography, computed tomography colonography, ctc, and virtual colonoscopy.

Ct scan
a procedure that uses a computer linked to an x-ray machine to make a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body. The pictures are taken from different angles and are used to create 3-dimensional (3-d) views of tissues and organs. A dye may be injected into a vein or swallowed to help the tissues and organs show up more clearly. A ct scan may be used to help diagnose disease, plan treatment, or find out how well treatment is working. Also called cat scan, computed tomography scan, computerized axial tomography scan, and computerized tomography.

Ct-2103
a form of the anticancer drug paclitaxel combined with a protein called poliglumex that may have fewer side effects and work better than paclitaxel. It is being studied in the treatment of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, lung cancer, and other types of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called mitotic inhibitors. Also called paclitaxel poliglumex, paclitaxel polyglutamate, and xyotax.

Ct-2106
a form of the anticancer drug camptothecin that may have fewer side effects and work better than camptothecin. It is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It is a type of dna topoisomerase inhibitor. Also called polyglutamate camptothecin.

Ct-2584
a substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It may prevent the growth of blood vessels from surrounding tissue into a solid tumor.

Ct-322
a substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. Ct-322 may prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 (vegfr-2) inhibitor and a type of antiangiogenesis agent. Also called angiocept and vegfr-2 inhibitor ct-322.

Ct-guided biopsy
a biopsy procedure that uses a ct scan (a special type of x-ray linked to a computer) to find an abnormal area in the body and help guide the removal of a sample of tissue from that area. A needle is usually used to remove the sample, which is then checked under a microscope for signs of disease. A ct-guided biopsy may be done when the abnormal area is deep inside the body or when the doctor cannot feel a lump or mass.

Ct53518
a substance being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. It may stop cancer cell growth by blocking certain enzymes. It may also prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It is a type of tyrosine kinase inhibitor and a type of antiangiogenesis agent. Also called mln518 and tandutinib.

Cta
a procedure that uses x-rays to create a series of detailed pictures of the blood vessels and blood flow inside the body. The pictures are taken from different angles and are created by a computer linked to an x-ray machine. A dye is injected into a vein to make the blood vessels and blood flow easier to see on the x-ray. Cta may be used to check for aneurysms (a bulge in the blood vessel wall), blockages in the arteries, blood clots, and other blood vessel problems. Also called computed tomography angiography and ct angiography.

Ctc
a method to examine the inside of the colon by taking a series of x-rays. A computer is used to make 2-dimensional (2-d) and 3-d pictures of the colon from these x-rays. The pictures can be saved, changed to give better viewing angles, and reviewed after the procedure, even years later. Also called computed tomographic colonography, computed tomography colonography, ct colonography, and virtual colonoscopy.

Ctx
a drug that is used to treat many types of cancer and is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It is also used to treat some types of kidney disease in children. Ctx attaches to dna in cells and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of alkylating agent. Also called cyclophosphamide and cytoxan.

Ctx
a substance being studied in the diagnosis and treatment of glioma (a type of brain cancer) and other types of cancer. It binds to cancer cells in the brain and peripheral nervous system and may keep them from spreading. Ctx comes from the venom of a type of scorpion. A form of ctx made in the laboratory is called tm-601. Ctx is a type of neurotoxin. Also called chlorotoxin.

Cubic centimeter
a measure of volume in the metric system. One thousand cubic centimeters equal one liter. Also called cc, milliliter, and ml.

Cubicin
a drug used to treat certain bacterial skin and bloodstream infections in adults. Cubicin is also being studied in the treatment of fever and neutropenia (an abnormal decrease in the number of neutrophils, a type of white blood cell) in patients with cancer. It is a type of antibiotic. Also called daptomycin.

Cultural competency
the ability to understand, interact, and work well with people of different cultures. In medicine, one goal of cultural competency is to help make sure that the quality of the healthcare is equal among different cultural groups.

Culture
the beliefs, values, and behaviors that are shared within a group, such as a religious group or a nation. Culture includes language, customs, and beliefs about roles and relationships.

Cultured cell
a human, plant, or animal cell that has been adapted to grow in the laboratory. Cultured cells may be used to diagnose infections, to test new drugs, and in research.

Cultured cell line
cells of a single type (human, animal, or plant) that have been adapted to grow continuously in the laboratory and are used in research.

Culturelle
a live form of a bacterium that makes lactic acid (a substance that is made from sugars found in milk and is also made in the body). Culturelle is given to help with digestion and normal bowel function. It may also help keep the gastrointestinal (gi) tract healthy. It is being studied in the prevention of infections in patients having donor stem cell transplants and in other conditions. Also called lactobacillus rhamnosus gg.

Cumulative dose
in medicine, the total amount of a drug or radiation given to a patient over time; for example, the total dose of radiation given in a series of radiation treatments.

Cumulative exposure
the total amount of a substance or radiation that a person is exposed to over time. Cumulative exposure to a harmful substance or radiation may increase the risk of certain diseases or conditions.

Cumulative risk
a measure of the total risk that a certain event will happen during a given period of time. In cancer research, it is the likelihood that a person who is free of a certain type of cancer will develop that cancer by a specific age. For example, a woman with no known risk factors for breast cancer has a cumulative risk of getting breast cancer over a lifetime of 90 years of about 12-13%. This means one out of every eight women will get breast cancer by age 90 years.

Cup
a case in which cancer cells are found in the body, but the place where the cells first started growing (the origin or primary site) cannot be determined. Also called cancer of unknown primary origin and carcinoma of unknown primary.

Cupping
a procedure in which a rounded glass cup is warmed and placed upside down over an area of the body, creating suction that holds the cup to the skin. Cupping increases the flow of blood. In traditional chinese medicine, it is also thought to increase the flow of qi (vital energy).

Curative surgery
surgery to remove all malignant (cancerous) tissue, which is meant to cure the disease. This includes removing part or all of the cancerous organ or tissue and a small amount of healthy tissue around it. Nearby lymph nodes may also be removed. Curative surgery works best for localized cancer. Chemotherapy or radiation therapy may be given before surgery to shrink the tumor or after surgery to kill any cancer cells that remain.

Curcumin
a yellow pigment of the spice turmeric that is being studied in cancer prevention.

Cure
to heal or restore health; a treatment to restore health.

Curettage
removal of tissue with a curette (a spoon-shaped instrument with a sharp edge).

Curette
a spoon-shaped instrument with a sharp edge.

Cushing disease
a condition in which there is too much cortisol (a hormone made by the outer layer of the adrenal gland) in the body. In cushing disease, this happens when an adenoma (benign tumor) in the pituitary gland makes too much adrenocorticotropic hormone (acth). This causes the adrenal gland to make too much cortisol. Symptoms include a round face, thin arms and legs, severe fatigue and muscle weakness, high blood pressure and high blood sugar, purple or pink stretch marks on the skin, and weight gain, especially in the abdomen.

Cushing syndrome
a condition in which there is too much cortisol (a hormone made by the outer layer of the adrenal gland) in the body. Cushing syndrome may be caused by taking too many steroid drugs or by certain types of tumors. Tumors that make adrenocorticotropic hormone (acth) cause the adrenal gland to make too much cortisol. Symptoms of cushing syndrome include a round face, thin arms and legs, severe fatigue and muscle weakness, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, purple or pink stretch marks on the skin, and weight gain, especially in the abdomen.

Custirsen sodium
a substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. It blocks the production of a protein called clusterin, which helps cells live longer. This may kill cancer cells that need clusterin to grow. It may also make cells more sensitive to anticancer drugs. It is a type of antisense oligonucleotide, and a type of chemosensitizing agent. Also called ogx-011.

Cutaneous
having to do with the skin.

Cutaneous breast cancer
cancer that has spread from the breast to the skin.

Cutaneous t-cell lymphoma
any of a group of t-cell non-hodgkin lymphomas that begins in the skin as an itchy, red rash that can thicken or form a tumor. The most common types are mycosis fungoides and sézary syndrome.

Cva
in medicine, a loss of blood flow to part of the brain, which damages brain tissue. Cvas are caused by blood clots and broken blood vessels in the brain. Symptoms include dizziness, numbness, weakness on one side of the body, and problems with talking, writing, or understanding language. The risk of cva is increased by high blood pressure, older age, smoking, diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, atherosclerosis (a buildup of fatty material and plaque inside the coronary arteries), and a family history of cva. Also called cerebrovascular accident and stroke.

Cvp
an abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used to treat slow-growing forms of non-hodgkin lymphoma (nhl) and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (cll). It includes the drugs cyclophosphamide, vincristine sulfate, and prednisone. Also called cvp regimen.

Cvp regimen
an abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used to treat slow-growing forms of non-hodgkin lymphoma (nhl) and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (cll). It includes the drugs cyclophosphamide, vincristine sulfate, and prednisone. Also called cvp.

Cyanide
a poisonous chemical found in some foods and plants, tobacco smoke, and when certain substances are burned. It is used to make products such as paper, fabric, and plastic, and is used as a pesticide. Cyanide keeps cells in the body from using oxygen, so they die. Exposure to cyanide may cause serious health effects, including death.

Cyanocobalamin
a nutrient in the vitamin b complex that the body needs in small amounts to function and stay healthy. Cyanocobalamin helps make red blood cells, dna, rna, energy, and tissues, and keeps nerve cells healthy. It is found in liver, meat, eggs, poultry, shellfish, milk, and milk products. Cyanocobalamin is water-soluble (can dissolve in water) and must be taken in every day. Not enough cyanocobalamin can cause certain types of anemia (a condition in which the number of red blood cells is below normal) and neurologic disorders. It is being studied with folate in the prevention and treatment of some types of cancer. Also called cobalamin and vitamin b12.

Cyanogenic glucoside
a plant compound that contains sugar and produces cyanide.

Cyanosis
blue-colored skin caused by too little oxygen in the blood.

Cyc116
a substance being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. It blocks certain enzymes involved in cell division and may kill cancer cells. It may also prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It is a type of protein kinase inhibitor and a type of antiangiogenesis agent.

Cyclic neutropenia
a chronic condition that affects neutrophils (a type of white blood cell). In cyclic neutropenia, the number of neutrophils in the blood goes in cycles from normal to low and back to normal again. Symptoms include fever, inflamed mucous membranes in the mouth, and infections. Also called periodic neutropenia.

Cyclin-d1
a protein that helps control cell division. It is found in higher than normal amounts in several types of cancer cells. Measuring the amount of cyclin-d1 in blood cells may help to diagnose cancer or plan cancer treatment. Cyclin-d1 is a cell cycle protein and a type of tumor marker.

Cyclooxygenase inhibitor
cox inhibitor. A type of drug that is used to treat inflammation and pain, and is being studied in the prevention and treatment of cancer. Cyclo-oxygenase inhibitors belong to the family of drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (nsaids). Also called cox inhibitor.

Cyclooxygenase-2
an enzyme that speeds up the formation of substances that cause inflammation and pain. It may also cause tumor cells to grow. Some tumors have high levels of cyclooxygenase-2 and blocking its activity may reduce tumor growth. Also called cox-2 and prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase 2.

Cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitor
a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug used to relieve pain and inflammation. Cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors are being studied in the prevention of colon polyps, and as anticancer drugs. Also called cox-2 inhibitor.

Cyclophosphamide
a drug that is used to treat many types of cancer and is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It is also used to treat some types of kidney disease in children. Cyclophosphamide attaches to dna in cells and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of alkylating agent. Also called ctx and cytoxan.

Cyclosporine
a drug used to help reduce the risk of rejection of organ and bone marrow transplants by the body. It is also used in clinical trials to make cancer cells more sensitive to anticancer drugs.

Cymbalta
a drug used to treat depression and peripheral neuropathy (pain, numbness, tingling, burning, or weakness in the hands or feet) that can occur with diabetes. It is also being studied in the treatment of peripheral neuropathy caused by certain anticancer drugs. Cymbalta increases the amount of certain chemicals in the brain that help relieve depression and pain. It is a type of serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor. Also called duloxetine and duloxetine hydrochloride.

Cyproheptadine
a drug that is used to treat asthma, allergies, and colds, and to relieve itching caused by certain skin disorders. It has also been used to stimulate appetite and weight gain, and is being studied in the treatment of weight loss caused by cancer and its treatment. Cyproheptadine belongs to the family of drugs called antihistamines.

Cyproterone acetate
a synthetic hormone being studied for treatment of hot flashes in men with prostate cancer who have had both testicles removed by surgery.

Cyramza
a drug used with docetaxel to treat non-small cell lung cancer (nsclc) that has spread to other parts of the body. It is also used alone or with paclitaxel to treat cancer of the stomach or gastroesophageal junction (area where the esophagus connects to the stomach) that is advanced or has spread to other parts of the body. Cyramza is used in patients whose cancer has gotten worse after treatment with other anticancer drugs. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Cyramza binds to receptors for a protein called vascular endothelial growth factor (vegf), which may be found on some types of cancer cells. This may prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. Cyramza is a type of antiangiogenesis agent and a type of monoclonal antibody. Also called anti-vegfr-2 fully human monoclonal antibody imc-1121b, imc-1121b, and ramucirumab.

Cyst
a closed, sac-like pocket of tissue that can form anywhere in the body. It may be filled with fluid, air, pus, or other material. Most cysts are benign (not cancer).

Cystectomy
surgery to remove all or part of the bladder (the organ that holds urine) or to remove a cyst (a sac or capsule in the body).

Cystic duct
a tube that carries bile from the gall bladder. It joins the common hepatic duct to form the common bile duct. It is part of the biliary duct system.

Cystic fibrosis
a common hereditary disease in which exocrine (secretory) glands produce abnormally thick mucus. This mucus can cause problems in digestion, breathing, and body cooling.

Cystoprostatectomy
surgery to remove the bladder (the organ that holds urine) and the prostate. In a radical cystoprostatectomy, the seminal vesicles are also removed. The prostate and seminal vesicles are glands in the male reproductive system that help make semen. Also called prostatocystectomy.

Cystosarcoma phyllodes
a type of tumor found in breast or prostate tissue. It is often large and bulky and grows quickly. It may be benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer) and may spread to other parts of the body. Also called csp and phyllodes tumor.

Cystoscope
a thin, tube-like instrument used to look inside the bladder and urethra. A cystoscope has a light and a lens for viewing and may have a tool to remove tissue.

Cystoscopy
examination of the bladder and urethra using a cystoscope, inserted into the urethra. A cystoscope is a thin, tube-like instrument with a light and a lens for viewing. It may also have a tool to remove tissue to be checked under a microscope for signs of disease.

Cystourethrectomy
surgery to remove the bladder (the organ that holds urine) and urethra (the tube through which urine leaves the body).

Cytarabine
a drug used to treat certain types of leukemia and prevent the spread of leukemia to the meninges (three thin layers of tissue that cover and protect the brain and spinal cord). It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Cytarabine blocks tumor growth by stopping dna synthesis. It is a type of antimetabolite.

Cytarabine liposome
a form of the anticancer drug cytarabine that is contained inside very tiny, fat-like particles. It may have fewer side effects and work better than cytarabine. It is used to treat lymphoma that has spread to the meninges (three thin layers of tissue that cover and protect the brain and spinal cord). It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It is a type of antimetabolite. Also called depo-cyt and liposomal cytarabine.

Cytochlor
a substance being studied in the treatment of cancer that has spread to the brain. It has also been studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Cytochlor damages the dna in cancer cells, which may make them easier to kill with radiation therapy. It is a type of radiosensitizing agent.

Cytochrome p450 enzyme system
a group of enzymes involved in drug metabolism and found in high levels in the liver. These enzymes change many drugs, including anticancer drugs, into less toxic forms that are easier for the body to excrete.

Cytogenetics
the study of chromosomes and chromosomal abnormalities.

Cytokeratin
a type of protein found on epithelial cells, which line the inside and outside surfaces of the body. Cytokeratins help form the tissues of the hair, nails, and the outer layer of the skin. They are also found on cells in the lining of organs, glands, and other parts of the body. Certain cytokeratins may be found in higher than normal amounts in patients with different types of epithelial cell cancers, including lung, breast, colorectal, bladder, and head and neck cancers. Measuring the amount of specific cytokeratins in the blood may help to plan cancer treatment or find out how well treatment is working or if cancer has come back. A cytokeratin is a type of tumor marker. Also called keratin.

Cytokine
a type of protein that is made by certain immune and non-immune cells and has an effect on the immune system. Some cytokines stimulate the immune system and others slow it down. They can also be made in the laboratory and used to help the body fight cancer, infections, and other diseases. Examples of cytokines are interleukins, interferons, and colony-stimulating factors (filgrastim, sargramostim).

Cytology
the study of cells using a microscope.

Cytomegalovirus
a virus that may be carried in an inactive state for life by healthy individuals. It is a cause of severe pneumonia in people with a suppressed immune system, such as those undergoing bone marrow transplantation or those with leukemia or lymphoma. Also called cmv.

Cytomel
a drug that is used to treat certain thyroid (a gland located near the voice box) conditions. It is also being studied in the treatment of thyroid cancer. Cytomel is made in the laboratory and is a form of the thyroid hormone triiodthyronine (t3). Also called liothyronine sodium and triostat.

Cytopenia
a condition in which there is a lower-than-normal number of blood cells.

Cytoplasm
the fluid inside a cell but outside the cell’s nucleus. Most chemical reactions in a cell take place in the cytoplasm.

Cytosine
a chemical compound that is used to make one of the building blocks of dna and rna. It is a type of pyrimidine.

Cytostatic agent
a substance that slows or stops the growth of cells, including cancer cells, without killing them. These agents may cause tumors to stop growing and spreading without causing them to shrink in size.

Cytotoxic agent
a substance that kills cells, including cancer cells. These agents may stop cancer cells from dividing and growing and may cause tumors to shrink in size.

Cytotoxic chemotherapy
anticancer drugs that kill cells, especially cancer cells.

Cytotoxic t cell
a type of immune cell that can kill certain cells, including foreign cells, cancer cells, and cells infected with a virus. Cytotoxic t cells can be separated from other blood cells, grown in the laboratory, and then given to a patient to kill cancer cells. A cytotoxic t cell is a type of white blood cell and a type of lymphocyte. Also called cytotoxic t lymphocyte and killer t cell.

Cytotoxic t lymphocyte
a type of immune cell that can kill certain cells, including foreign cells, cancer cells, and cells infected with a virus. Cytotoxic t lymphocytes can be separated from other blood cells, grown in the laboratory, and then given to a patient to kill cancer cells. A cytotoxic t lymphocyte is a type of white blood cell and a type of lymphocyte. Also called cytotoxic t cell and killer t cell.

Cytotoxin
a substance that can kill cells.

Cytoxan
a drug that is used to treat many types of cancer and is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It is also used to treat some types of kidney disease in children. Cytoxan attaches to dna in cells and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of alkylating agent. Also called ctx and cyclophosphamide.

D&c
a procedure to remove tissue from the cervical canal or the inner lining of the uterus. The cervix is dilated (made larger) and a curette (spoon-shaped instrument) is inserted into the uterus to remove tissue. Also called dilatation and curettage and dilation and curettage.

D-1mt
a substance being studied in the treatment of melanoma and many other types of cancer. D-1mt blocks the breakdown of the amino acid tryptophan, which is needed for t cells (a type of immune system cell) to kill tumor cells. Giving d-1mt to patients who have received chemotherapy for cancer may help kill more tumor cells. It is a type of enzyme inhibitor and immunosuppressant. Also called 1-methyl-d-tryptophan.

D-20761
a synthetic luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (lh-rh) antagonist that suppresses lh and sex steroid levels.

D-cycloserine
a drug used to treat tuberculosis. It is also being studied in the treatment of pain and nerve problems (numbness, tingling) caused by chemotherapy and in the treatment of low back pain, autism, certain anxiety disorders, and schizophrenia. D-cycloserine is a type of antibiotic. Also called seromycin.

Da-huang
the root of this plant has been used in some cultures to treat certain medical problems. It may have anti-inflammatory and anticancer effects. The scientific name is rheum palmatum or rheum officinale. Also called chinese rhubarb, indian rhubarb, rhubarb, and turkish rhubarb.

Dabrafenib
a drug used alone or with trametinib to treat melanoma that cannot be removed by surgery or has spread to other parts of the body. It is used in patients with a mutated (changed) form of a cell protein called braf. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Dabrafenib blocks this mutated protein, which may help keep cancer cells from growing and may kill them. It is a type of kinase inhibitor and a type of targeted therapy. Also called tafinlar.

Daca
a substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. It is a type of topoisomerase inhibitor. Also called acridine carboxamide.

Dacarbazine
a drug that is used to treat hodgkin lymphoma and malignant melanoma and is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It attaches to dna in cells and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of alkylating agent. Also called dtic-dome.

Dacliximab
a drug used to keep the body from rejecting kidney transplants. It is also being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer and other conditions. Dacliximab binds to receptors for a protein called interleukin-2 (il-2), which are found on some types of immune cells and cancer cells. This may help suppress the body’s immune response and it may help kill cancer cells. Dacliximab is a type of monoclonal antibody. Also called daclizumab and zenapax.

Daclizumab
a drug used to keep the body from rejecting kidney transplants. It is also being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer and other conditions. Daclizumab binds to receptors for a protein called interleukin-2 (il-2), which are found on some types of immune cells and cancer cells. This may help suppress the body’s immune response and it may help kill cancer cells. Daclizumab is a type of monoclonal antibody. Also called dacliximab and zenapax.

Dacogen
a drug that is used to treat myelodysplastic syndromes and is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It is a type of antimetabolite. Also called decitabine.

Dactinomycin
a drug used to treat ewing sarcoma, gestational trophoblastic tumor, wilms tumor, and certain types of testicular cancer. It is also used to treat rhabdomyosarcoma in children. It is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Dactinomycin comes from the bacterium streptomyces parvulus. It damages the cell’s dna and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of anticancer antibiotic. Also called actinomycin d and cosmegen.

Daidzein
an isoflavone found in soy products. Soy isoflavones are being studied in the prevention of cancer.

Dalteparin
a drug used to prevent blood clots from forming or to treat blood clots that have formed in patients with cancer or other conditions. Dalteparin is a type of anticoagulant. Also called dalteparin sodium and fragmin.

Dalteparin sodium
a drug used to prevent blood clots from forming or to treat blood clots that have formed in patients with cancer or other conditions. Dalteparin sodium is a type of anticoagulant. Also called dalteparin and fragmin.

Danazol
a synthetic hormone that is a type of androgen and is used to treat endometriosis. It is being evaluated in the treatment of endometrial cancer.

Dapsone
a drug used to treat acne. It is also used to treat other types of skin diseases and certain bacterial infections, such as leprosy. It blocks bacteria from making a substance that they need to grow. Dapsone is a type of antibacterial agent and a type of anti-inflammatory agent.

Daptomycin
a drug used to treat certain bacterial skin and bloodstream infections in adults. Daptomycin is also being studied in the treatment of fever and neutropenia (an abnormal decrease in the number of neutrophils, a type of white blood cell) in patients with cancer. It is a type of antibiotic. Also called cubicin.

Dar
a log of study drugs kept by an investigator running a clinical trial. It lists many things about each drug, including the drug name, lot number, expiration date, the amount of drug received, used, returned, or thrown away, and the amount left. Dars help make sure that a clinical trial is done safely and correctly. Dars are required by the u.s. Food and drug administration (fda). Also called drug accountability record.

Darbepoetin alfa
a substance made in the laboratory that stimulates the bone marrow to produce red blood cells. It belongs to the family of drugs called antianemics.

Dark-field microscope
a microscope (device used to magnify small objects) in which objects are lit at a very low angle from the side so that the background appears dark and the objects show up against this dark background.

Dasatinib
a drug used to treat certain types of chronic myeloid leukemia and acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Dasatinib is also being studied in the treatment of certain other blood diseases and types of cancer. Dasatinib binds to and blocks bcr-abl and other proteins that help cancer cells grow. It is a type of tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Also called bms-354825 and sprycel.

Data and safety monitoring board
an impartial group that oversees a clinical trial and reviews the results to see if they are acceptable. This group determines if the trial should be changed or closed. Also called dsmb.

Daunomycin
the active ingredient in a drug used to treat acute leukemias and some other types of cancer. It blocks a certain enzyme needed for cell division and dna repair, and it may kill cancer cells. It is a type of anthracycline antibiotic and a type of topoisomerase inhibitor. Also called daunorubicin.

Daunomycin hydrochloride
a drug used to treat acute leukemias and some other types of cancer. It blocks a certain enzyme needed for cell division and dna repair, and it may kill cancer cells. Daunomycin hydrochloride is a type of anthracycline antibiotic and a type of topoisomerase inhibitor. Also called cerubidine and daunorubicin hydrochloride.

Daunorubicin
the active ingredient in a drug used to treat acute leukemias and some other types of cancer. It blocks a certain enzyme needed for cell division and dna repair, and it may kill cancer cells. It is a type of anthracycline antibiotic and a type of topoisomerase inhibitor. Also called daunomycin.

Daunorubicin hydrochloride
a drug used to treat acute leukemias and some other types of cancer. It blocks a certain enzyme needed for cell division and dna repair, and it may kill cancer cells. Daunorubicin hydrochloride is a type of anthracycline antibiotic and a type of topoisomerase inhibitor. Also called cerubidine and daunomycin hydrochloride.

Dba
a very rare disorder in which the bone marrow doesn’t make enough red blood cells. It is usually seen in the first year of life. Patients may have deformed thumbs and other physical problems. They also have an increased risk of leukemia and sarcoma, especially osteosarcoma (bone cancer). Patients with dba may have a mutation (change) in one of the genes that make proteins found in the cell’s ribosomes. Also called blackfan–diamond anemia, congenital hypoplastic anemia, congenital pure red cell aplasia, diamond-blackfan anemia, erythrogenesis imperfecta, and inherited erythroblastopenia.

Dbe
a procedure used to look at the inside of the small intestine. A special instrument made up of two tubes (one inside the other) is inserted through the mouth or rectum and into the small intestine. The inside tube, which is an endoscope with a light and lens for viewing, is moved through part of the small intestine, and a balloon at the end of it is inflated to keep the endoscope in place. Next, the outer tube is moved through the small intestine to reach the end of the endoscope, and a balloon at the end of the outer tube is inflated to keep it in place. Then, the balloon at the end of the endoscope is deflated, and the endoscope is moved through the next part of the small intestine. These steps are repeated many times as the tubes move through the whole small intestine. This allows the doctor to see all of the small intestine. Tissue samples may be removed so they can be checked under a microscope for signs of disease. Also called double balloon endoscopy and double balloon enteroscopy.

Dbve
an abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used with radiation therapy to treat childhood hodgkin lymphoma. It includes the drugs doxorubicin hydrochloride (adriamycin), bleomycin sulfate, vincristine sulfate, and etoposide. Also called abve, abve regimen, and dbve regimen.

Dbve regimen
an abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used with radiation therapy to treat childhood hodgkin lymphoma. It includes the drugs doxorubicin hydrochloride (adriamycin), bleomycin sulfate, vincristine sulfate, and etoposide. Also called abve, abve regimen, and dbve.

Dbve-pc
an abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used with radiation therapy to treat childhood hodgkin lymphoma. It includes the drugs doxorubicin hydrochloride (adriamycin), bleomycin sulfate, vincristine sulfate, etoposide, prednisone, and cyclophosphamide. Also called abve-pc, abve-pc regimen, and dbve-pc regimen.

Dbve-pc regimen
an abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used with radiation therapy to treat childhood hodgkin lymphoma. It includes the drugs doxorubicin hydrochloride (adriamycin), bleomycin sulfate, vincristine sulfate, etoposide, prednisone, and cyclophosphamide. Also called abve-pc, abve-pc regimen, and dbve-pc.

Dcf
an abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used to treat certain types of head and neck cancer and stomach cancer. It includes the drugs docetaxel (taxotere), cisplatin (platinol), and fluorouracil. Also called docetaxel-cisplatin-fluorouracil, taxotere-platinol-fluorouracil, tpf, and tpf regimen.

Dcis
a noninvasive condition in which abnormal cells are found in the lining of a breast duct. The abnormal cells have not spread outside the duct to other tissues in the breast. In some cases, dcis may become invasive cancer and spread to other tissues. At this time, there is no way to know which lesions could become invasive. Also called ductal carcinoma in situ and intraductal carcinoma.

Dds
a rare disorder that causes kidney failure before age 3, abnormal development of the sexual organs, and, in most cases, wilms tumor (a type of kidney cancer). Children with denys-drash syndrome are also at high risk of some other types of cancer. Also called denys-drash syndrome.

De gramont regimen
a chemotherapy combination used to treat colorectal cancer. It is also used with radiation therapy to treat esophageal cancer and stomach cancer. It includes the drugs fluorouracil and leucovorin calcium.

De novo
in cancer, the first occurrence of cancer in the body.

De qi sensation
tingling, numbness, heaviness, and other feelings that occur after an acupuncture needle has been properly placed in the body. The needle may be twirled, moved up and down at different speeds and depths, heated, or charged with a small electric current until the de qi sensation occurs.

Death cap
a type of poisonous mushroom that has harmful effects on the kidneys and liver. It is responsible for most fatal cases of mushroom poisoning. Also called amanita phalloides.

Death rattle
a gurgling sound that comes from the back of the throat of a dying person. It is caused by the build-up of saliva and mucus in the throat and upper airways when the person is too weak to cough.

Death receptor 4
a protein on the surface of certain cells that binds another protein called trail, which may kill some cancer cells. An increase in the amount or activity of death receptor 4 on cancer cells may kill more cells. Also called dr4, trail receptor 1, trail-r1, and tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily member 10a.

Death receptor 5
a protein on the surface of certain cells that binds another protein called trail, which may kill some cancer cells. An increase in the amount or activity of death receptor 5 on cancer cells may kill more cells. Also called dr5, trail receptor 2, trail-r2, and tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily member 10b.

Debulking
surgical removal of as much of a tumor as possible. 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 tumor debulking.

Deceased
dead.

Decitabine
a drug that is used to treat myelodysplastic syndromes and is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It is a type of antimetabolite. Also called dacogen.

Declomycin
a substance being studied as a way to detect bone growth in patients receiving bisphosphonates (a type of drug used to treat bone pain caused by some types of cancer) for breast cancer. It binds to newly formed bone. A biopsy is done and bone growth is measured using a special microscope. Declomycin is a type of tetracycline antibiotic and a type of bone-labeling agent. Also called demeclocycline hydrochloride.

Decortication
removal of part or all of the external surface of an organ.

Deep sedation
a level of sedation in which a person is in a deep sleep, loses feeling, and is hard to wake up. Deep sedation is caused by special drugs and is used to help relieve anxiety during certain medical or surgical procedures. Oxygen may also be given to help the patient breathe and drugs that relieve pain may be given at the same time. The patient usually does not remember the procedure.

Deep vein thrombosis
the formation of a blood clot in a deep vein of the leg or lower pelvis. Symptoms may include pain, swelling, warmth, and redness in the affected area. Also called dvt.

Defecation
movement of feces (undigested food, bacteria, mucus, and cells from the lining of the intestines) through the bowel and out the anus. Also called bowel movement.

Deferasirox
a drug used to treat too much iron in the blood caused by blood transfusions. It is being studied in the treatment of myelodysplastic syndromes (a group of diseases in which the bone marrow does not make enough healthy blood cells) and other conditions. Deferasirox binds to extra iron in the blood. The drug and the iron are passed from the body in urine. It is a type of chelating agent. Also called exjade.

Deferoxamine
an iron-chelating agent that removes iron from tumors by inhibiting dna synthesis and causing cancer cell death. It is used in conjunction with other anticancer agents in pediatric neuroblastoma therapy.

Deferred therapy
closely watching a patient’s condition but not giving treatment unless symptoms appear or change, or there are changes in test results. Deferred therapy avoids problems that may be caused by treatments such as radiation or surgery. It is used to find early signs that the condition is getting worse. During deferred therapy, patients may be given certain exams and tests. It is sometimes used in prostate cancer. Also called expectant management.

Defibrotide
a substance that is being studied in the prevention of veno-occlusive disease, a rare complication of high-dose chemotherapy and stem cell transplantation in which small veins in the liver become blocked.

Deficiency
in medicine, a shortage of a substance (such as a vitamin or mineral) needed by the body.

Definitive diagnosis
a final diagnosis that is made after getting the results of tests, such as blood tests and biopsies, that are done to find out if a certain disease or condition is present.

Definitive treatment
the treatment plan for a disease or disorder that has been chosen as the best one for a patient after all other choices have been considered.

Degarelix
a drug that is used to treat advanced prostate cancer and is also being studied in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia. Degarelix binds to gonadotropin-releasing hormone (gnrh) receptors in the pituitary gland. This causes the body to stop making testosterone, which prostate cancer needs to grow. Degarelix is a type of gnrh antagonist. Also called firmagon.

Degenerative disease
a disease in which the function or structure of the affected tissues or organs changes for the worse over time. Osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, and alzheimer disease are examples.

Dehydration
a condition caused by the loss of too much water from the body. Severe diarrhea or vomiting can cause dehydration.

Dehydroepiandrosterone
a substance being studied in the prevention of cancer. It is a type of steroid. Also called dhea.

Delayed-type hypersensitivity response
an inflammatory response that develops 24 to 72 hours after exposure to an antigen that the immune system recognizes as foreign. This type of immune response involves mainly t cells rather than antibodies (which are made by b cells). Also called dth.

Delirium
a mental state in which a person is confused, disoriented, and not able to think or remember clearly. The person may also be agitated and have hallucinations, and extreme excitement.

Demeclocycline hydrochloride
a substance being studied as a way to detect bone growth in patients receiving bisphosphonates (a type of drug used to treat bone pain caused by some types of cancer) for breast cancer. It binds to newly formed bone. A biopsy is done and bone growth is measured using a special microscope. Demeclocycline hydrochloride is a type of tetracycline antibiotic and a type of bone-labeling agent. Also called declomycin.

Dementia
a condition in which a person loses the ability to think, remember, learn, make decisions, and solve problems. Symptoms may also include personality changes and emotional problems. There are many causes of dementia, including alzheimer disease, brain cancer, and brain injury. Dementia usually gets worse over time.

Demerol
a drug used to treat moderate to severe pain. It binds to opioid receptors in the central nervous system. Demerol is a type of analgesic agent and a type of opioid. Also called meperidine hydrochloride.

Dendritic cell
a special type of immune cell that is found in tissues, such as the skin, and boosts immune responses by showing antigens on its surface to other cells of the immune system. A dendritic cell is a type of phagocyte and a type of antigen-presenting cell (apc).

Dendritic cell vaccine
a vaccine made of antigens and dendritic antigen-presenting cells (apcs).

Denial
in psychiatry, a state in which a person is unable or unwilling to see the truth or reality about an issue or situation.

Denileukin diftitox
a drug used to treat cutaneous t-cell lymphoma that can bind the cytokine il-2 and that has not responded to other treatment. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Denileukin diftitox is made by combining a part of il-2 with a bacterial toxin. The il-2 part of the drug attaches to the cancer cells and then the toxin kills the cells. Denileukin diftitox is a type of immunotoxin and a type of fusion toxin. Also called ontak.

Denomination
in religion, describes a group whose members are organized under a common name and set of rules and have common beliefs and practices.

Denosumab
a drug used to prevent or treat certain bone problems. Under the brand name xgeva, it is used to prevent broken bones and other bone problems caused by solid tumors that have spread to bone. It is also used in certain patients to treat giant cell tumor of the bone that cannot be removed by surgery. Under the brand name prolia, it is used to treat osteoporosis (a decrease in bone mass and density) in postmenopausal women who have a high risk of breaking bones. Denosumab is also being studied in the treatment of other conditions and types of cancer. It binds to a protein called rankl, which keeps rankl from binding to another protein called rank on the surface of certain bone cells, including bone cancer cells. This may help keep bone from breaking down and cancer cells from growing. Denosumab is a type of monoclonal antibody. Also called amg 162, prolia, and xgeva.

Dental implant
a metal device that is surgically placed in the jawbone. It acts as an anchor for an artificial tooth or teeth.

Dentist
a health professional who specializes in caring for the teeth, gums, and other tissues in the mouth.

Denys-drash syndrome
a rare disorder that causes kidney failure before age 3, abnormal development of the sexual organs, and, in most cases, wilms tumor (a type of kidney cancer). Children with denys-drash syndrome are also at high risk of some other types of cancer. Also called dds.

Deoxycytidine
a drug that protects healthy tissues from the toxic effects of anticancer drugs.

Deoxyribonucleic acid
the molecules inside cells that carry genetic information and pass it from one generation to the next. Also called dna.

Depakene
a drug used to treat epileptic seizures and bipolar disorder and to prevent migraine headaches. It is also being studied in the treatment of several types of cancer. It blocks an enzyme that cells need to grow and may cause cancer cells to die. It also blocks the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It is a type of anticonvulsant, histone deacetylase (hdac) inhibitor, antimaniacal, migraine headache prophylactic, and antiangiogenesis agent. Also called stavzor and valproic acid.

Department of health and human services
the u.s. Federal government agency responsible for protecting the public’s health and providing important services, especially for people in need. The department of health and human services works with state and local governments throughout the country to do research and provide public health services, food and drug safety programs, health insurance programs, and many other services. There are several federal agencies that are a part of the department of health and human services. They include the food and drug administration (fda), the centers for disease control and prevention (cdc), the national institutes of health (nih), and the centers for medicare and medicaid services (cmms). Also called dhhs.

Depo-cyt
a form of the anticancer drug cytarabine that is contained inside very tiny, fat-like particles. It may have fewer side effects and work better than cytarabine. It is used to treat lymphoma that has spread to the meninges (three thin layers of tissue that cover and protect the brain and spinal cord). It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It is a type of antimetabolite. Also called cytarabine liposome and liposomal cytarabine.

Depression
a mental condition marked by ongoing feelings of sadness, despair, loss of energy, and difficulty dealing with normal daily life. Other symptoms of depression include feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness, loss of pleasure in activities, changes in eating or sleeping habits, and thoughts of death or suicide. Depression can affect anyone, and can be successfully treated. Depression affects 15-25% of cancer patients.

Depsipeptide
a substance that is made naturally by some bacteria, fungi, and other organisms, and can also be made in the laboratory. Depsipeptides are being studied in the treatment of cancer.

Derivative
in chemistry, a compound produced from or related to another.

Dermabrasion
a type of surgery used to make the skin smooth and to improve the way deep scars, pits, and wrinkles look. After numbing the skin, a doctor removes the top layer of skin using sandpaper or a brush or burr (small file) that spins at a high speed.

Dermatitis
inflammation of the skin.

Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans
a type of tumor that begins as a hard nodule and grows slowly. These tumors are usually found in the dermis (the inner layer of the two main layers of tissue that make up the skin) of the limbs or trunk of the body. They can grow into surrounding tissue but do not spread to other parts of the body. These tumors are related to giant cell fibroblastomas.

Dermatologist
a doctor who has special training to diagnose and treat skin problems.

Dermis
the inner layer of the two main layers of the skin. The dermis has connective tissue, blood vessels, oil and sweat glands, nerves, hair follicles, and other structures. It is made up of a thin upper layer called the papillary dermis, and a thick lower layer called the reticular dermis.

Dermoid cyst
a type of benign (not cancer) germ cell tumor (type of tumor that begins in the cells that give rise to sperm or eggs) that often contains several different types of tissue such as hair, muscle, and bone. Also called mature teratoma.

Des
a synthetic form of the hormone estrogen that was prescribed to pregnant women between about 1940 and 1971 because it was thought to prevent miscarriages. Des may increase the risk of uterine, ovarian, or breast cancer in women who took it. It also has been linked to an increased risk of clear cell carcinoma of the vagina or cervix in daughters exposed to des before birth. Also called diethylstilbestrol.

Deslorelin
a substance being studied in the treatment of cancer as a way to block sex hormones made by the ovaries or testicles. It is a type of gonadotropin-releasing hormone analog.

Desmoid tumor
a tumor of the tissue that surrounds muscles, usually in the abdomen. A desmoid tumor rarely metastasizes (spreads to other parts of the body). It may be called aggressive fibromatosis when the tumor is outside of the abdomen.

Desmoplastic
causing or forming adhesions or fibrous connective tissue within a tumor.

Desmoplastic melanoma
a rare form of malignant melanoma marked by nonpigmented lesions on sun-exposed areas of the body, most commonly on the head and neck.

Desmoplastic small round cell tumor
a rare, aggressive cancer that usually affects young males and usually is located in the abdomen.

Detoxify
to make something less poisonous or harmful. It may refer to the process of removing toxins, poisons, or other harmful substances from the body.

Developmental stage
the physical, mental, and emotional stages a child goes through as he or she grows and matures.

Deviant
different from what is normal or standard, especially in terms of behavior.

Device
an object that has a specific use. In medicine, wheelchairs, pumps, and artificial limbs are examples of devices.

Dexa
an imaging test that measures bone density (the amount of bone mineral contained in a certain volume of bone) by passing x-rays with two different energy levels through the bone. It is used to diagnose osteoporosis (decrease in bone mass and density). Also called bmd scan, bone mineral density scan, dexa scan, dual energy x-ray absorptiometric scan, dual x-ray absorptiometry, and dxa.

Dexa scan
an imaging test that measures bone density (the amount of bone mineral contained in a certain volume of bone) by passing x-rays with two different energy levels through the bone. It is used to diagnose osteoporosis (decrease in bone mass and density). Also called bmd scan, bone mineral density scan, dexa, dual energy x-ray absorptiometric scan, dual x-ray absorptiometry, and dxa.

Dexamethasone
a synthetic steroid (similar to steroid hormones produced naturally in the adrenal gland). Dexamethasone is used to treat leukemia and lymphoma and may be used to treat some of the problems caused by other cancers and their treatment.

Dexmethylphenidate
a substance being studied in the treatment of fatigue and nervous system side effects caused by chemotherapy. It is a type of central nervous system stimulant.

Dexrazoxane
the active ingredient in a drug used to treat severe side effects caused by certain anticancer drugs. Under the brand name totect it is used to treat the toxic effects of an anticancer drug that leaks from a vein into surrounding tissue and causes tissue damage. Under the brand name zinecard it is used to reduce heart damage in women given doxorubicin for breast cancer that has spread. Dexrazoxane is also being studied in the treatment of cancer. It is a type of cardioprotective agent, a type of chemoprotective agent, and a type of topoisomerase inhibitor.

Dexrazoxane hydrochloride
a drug used to treat severe side effects caused by certain anticancer drugs. It is used under the brand name totect to treat the toxic effects of an anticancer drug that leaks from a vein into surrounding tissue and causes tissue damage. It is also used under the brand name zinecard to reduce heart damage in women given doxorubicin for breast cancer that has spread. Dexrazoxane hydrochloride is also being studied in the treatment of cancer. It is a type of cardioprotective agent, a type of chemoprotective agent, and a type of topoisomerase inhibitor.

Dextroamphetamine-amphetamine
a combination of drugs used as a treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (adhd) and narcolepsy (a sleep disorder). It is a type of stimulant. Also called adderall.

Dextromethorphan acetic acid
an anticancer drug that is a type of angiogenesis inhibitor.

Dfmo
a substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. Also called difluoromethylornithine.

Dfs
in cancer, the length of time after primary treatment for a cancer ends that the patient survives without any signs or symptoms of that cancer. In a clinical trial, measuring the dfs is one way to see how well a new treatment works. Also called disease-free survival, relapse-free survival, and rfs.

Dha-paclitaxel
a combination of dha (a natural fatty acid) and paclitaxel (an anticancer drug) being studied in the treatment of cancer. It is a type of mitotic inhibitor.

Dhea
a substance being studied in the prevention of cancer. It is a type of steroid. Also called dehydroepiandrosterone.

Dhfr inhibitor
a substance that can build up in cancer cells and block them from using folate. Folate is a nutrient that rapidly dividing cells need to make dna. Blocking folate use helps keep cancer cells from growing and may kill them. Some dhfr inhibitors are used to treat cancer. A dhfr inhibitor is a type of antifolate. Also called dihydrofolate reductase inhibitor.

Dhhs
the u.s. Federal government agency responsible for protecting the public’s health and providing important services, especially for people in need. The dhhs works with state and local governments throughout the country to do research and provide public health services, food and drug safety programs, health insurance programs, and many other services. There are several federal agencies that are a part of the dhhs. They include the food and drug administration (fda), the centers for disease control and prevention (cdc), the national institutes of health (nih), and the centers for medicare and medicaid services (cmms). Also called department of health and human services.

Dhpln
a childhood condition in which abnormal tissue grows on the outer part of one or both kidneys. Dhpln usually develops into wilms tumor (a type of childhood kidney cancer) if not treated. Also called diffuse hyperplastic perilobar nephroblastomatosis.

Dht
a hormone made from testosterone in the prostate, testes, and certain other tissues. It is needed to develop and maintain male sex characteristics, such as facial hair, deep voice, and muscle growth. High amounts of dht may increase the growth of prostate cancer and make it harder to treat. Also called androstanolone and dihydrotestosterone.

Di-dga-rfb4
an anticancer drug that is a combination of a monoclonal antibody (rfb4) and an immunotoxin (dga).

Diabetes
any of several diseases in which the kidneys make a large amount of urine. Diabetes usually refers to diabetes mellitus in which there is also a high level of glucose (a type of sugar) in the blood because the body does not make enough insulin or use it the way it should.

Diabetes insipidus
a condition in which a person is very thirsty and makes large amounts of urine. The most common types of diabetes insipidus are central diabetes insipidus (a pituitary disorder) and nephrogenic diabetes insipidus (kidney failure). Diabetes insipidus is not related to diabetes mellitus, which is more common.

Diabetes mellitus
a disease in which the body does not control the amount of glucose (a type of sugar) in the blood and the kidneys make a large amount of urine. This disease occurs when the body does not make enough insulin or does not use it the way it should.

Diagnosis
the process of identifying a disease, condition, or injury from its signs and symptoms. A health history, physical exam, and tests, such as blood tests, imaging tests, and biopsies, may be used to help make a diagnosis.

Diagnostic mammogram
x-ray of the breasts used to check for breast cancer after a lump or other sign or symptom of breast cancer has been found.

Diagnostic procedure
a type of test used to help diagnose a disease or condition. Mammograms and colonoscopies are examples of diagnostic procedures. Also called diagnostic test.

Diagnostic technique
a type of method or test used to help diagnose a disease or condition. Imaging tests and tests to measure blood pressure, pulse, and temperature are examples of diagnostic techniques.

Diagnostic test
a type of test used to help diagnose a disease or condition. Mammograms and colonoscopies are examples of diagnostic tests. Also called diagnostic procedure.

Diagnostic trial
a research study that evaluates methods of detecting disease.

Dialysis
the process of filtering the blood when the kidneys are not able to cleanse it.

Diameter
the length of a straight line that extends from one edge of a tumor or other object, through its center and to the opposite edge. It is usually used to measure the size of round or spherical shapes.

Diamond-blackfan anemia
a very rare disorder in which the bone marrow doesn’t make enough red blood cells. It is usually seen in the first year of life. Patients may have deformed thumbs and other physical problems. They also have an increased risk of leukemia and sarcoma, especially osteosarcoma (bone cancer). Patients with diamond-blackfan anemia may have a mutation (change) in one of the genes that make proteins found in the cell’s ribosomes. Also called blackfan–diamond anemia, congenital hypoplastic anemia, congenital pure red cell aplasia, dba, erythrogenesis imperfecta, and inherited erythroblastopenia.

Diaphragm
the thin muscle below the lungs and heart that separates the chest from the abdomen.

Diarrhea
frequent and watery bowel movements.

Diathermy
a procedure in which tissue is heated to destroy abnormal cells. The heat may come from electric currents, microwaves, radio waves, or ultrasound. Diathermy is a type of hyperthermia therapy. Also called electrodiathermy.

Diazepam
a drug used to treat mild to moderate anxiety and tension and to relax muscles. It is a type of benzodiazepine. Also called valium.

Diaziquone
an anticancer drug that is able to cross the blood-brain barrier and kill cancer cells in the central nervous system. Also called azq.

Diclofenac
the active ingredient in a drug that is used to treat the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and is being studied in the prevention and treatment of some types of skin cancer. It blocks substances that cause inflammation and pain. It may also prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It is a type of cyclooxygenase inhibitor, a type of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (nsaid), and a type of antiangiogenesis agent.

Diclofenac sodium
a drug that is used to treat the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and is being studied in the prevention and treatment of some types of skin cancer. It blocks substances that cause inflammation and pain. It may also prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It is a type of cyclooxygenase inhibitor, a type of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (nsaid), and a type of antiangiogenesis agent. Also called voltaren.

Diclofenac sodium gel
the gel form of a drug that is used to treat the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and is being studied in the prevention and treatment of some types of skin cancer. It blocks substances that cause inflammation and pain. It may also prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It is a type of cyclooxygenase inhibitor, a type of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (nsaid), and a type of antiangiogenesis agent. Also called voltaren gel.

Didanosine
a drug used in the treatment of infections caused by viruses.

Diep flap
a type of breast reconstruction in which blood vessels called deep inferior epigastric perforators (diep), and the skin and fat connected to them are removed from the lower abdomen and used for reconstruction. Muscle is left in place.

Diet
the things a person eats and drinks.

Dietary counseling
a process by which a health professional with special training in nutrition helps people make healthy food choices and form healthy eating habits. In cancer treatment, the goal of dietary counseling is to help patients stay healthy during and after treatment and to stay strong enough to fight infections and the recurrence of disease. Also called nutritional counseling.

Dietary protocol
a detailed diet plan that states what, how, and when a person will eat and drink. It may be used to test how a specific diet affects a health outcome, such as lower cholesterol.

Dietary reference intakes
a set of guidelines developed by u.s. And canadian scientists to give information about the role of nutrients in human health. These guidelines include the reference daily intakes (rdi), which are the recommended amounts of nutrients to be eaten each day to meet the needs of most healthy people. This system replaced the recommended dietary allowances (rda). Also called dri.

Dietary supplement
a product that is added to the diet. A dietary supplement is taken by mouth, and usually contains one or more dietary ingredient (such as vitamin, mineral, herb, amino acid, and enzyme). Also called nutritional supplement.

Diethylstilbestrol
a synthetic form of the hormone estrogen that was prescribed to pregnant women between about 1940 and 1971 because it was thought to prevent miscarriages. Diethylstilbestrol may increase the risk of uterine, ovarian, or breast cancer in women who took it. It also has been linked to an increased risk of clear cell carcinoma of the vagina or cervix in daughters exposed to diethylstilbestrol before birth. Also called des.

Dietitian
a health professional with special training in nutrition who can help with dietary choices. Also called nutritionist.

Differentiating agent
a substance that causes a cell to change from an immature form to a mature form. In cancer, a differentiating agent may help cancer cells to become more like normal cells and to grow and spread more slowly. Some differentiating agents are being studied in the prevention and treatment of cancer.

Differentiation
in biology, describes the processes by which immature cells become mature cells with specific functions. In cancer, this describes how much or how little tumor tissue looks like the normal tissue it came from. Well-differentiated cancer cells look more like normal cells and tend to grow and spread more slowly than poorly differentiated or undifferentiated cancer cells. Differentiation is used in tumor grading systems, which are different for each type of cancer.

Diffuse
widely spread; not localized or confined.

Diffuse hyperplastic perilobar nephroblastomatosis
a childhood condition in which abnormal tissue grows on the outer part of one or both kidneys. Diffuse hyperplastic perilobar nephroblastomatosis usually develops into wilms tumor (a type of childhood kidney cancer) if not treated. Also called dhpln.

Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma
a type of central nervous system tumor that forms from glial (supportive) tissue of the brain and spinal cord. Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma usually occurs in children. It forms in the brain stem.

Diffuse large b-cell lymphoma
a type of b-cell non-hodgkin lymphoma (cancer of the immune system) that is usually aggressive (fast-growing). It is the most common type of non-hodgkin lymphoma, and is marked by rapidly growing tumors in the lymph nodes, spleen, liver, bone marrow, or other organs. Other symptoms include fever, night sweats, and weight loss. There are several subtypes of diffuse large b-cell lymphoma.

Difluoromethylornithine
a substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. Also called dfmo.

Digestion
the process of breaking down food into substances the body can use for energy, tissue growth, and repair.

Digestive system
the organs that take in food and turn it into products that the body can use to stay healthy. Waste products the body cannot use leave the body through bowel movements. The digestive system includes the salivary glands, mouth, esophagus, stomach, liver, pancreas, gallbladder, small and large intestines, and rectum.

Digestive tract
the organs through which food and liquids pass when they are swallowed, digested, and eliminated. These organs are the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small and large intestines, and rectum and anus.

Digital image analysis
a method in which an image or other type of data is changed into a series of dots or numbers so that it can be viewed and studied on a computer. In medicine, this type of image analysis is being used to study organs or tissues, and in the diagnosis and treatment of disease.

Digital mammography
the use of a computer, rather than x-ray film, to create a picture of the breast.

Digital photography
a type of photography in which images can be viewed on a computer screen.

Digital rectal examination
an examination in which a doctor inserts a lubricated, gloved finger into the rectum to feel for abnormalities. Also called dre.

Digitalis
a substance used to make drugs that are used to treat several heart conditions, including congestive heart failure. Digitalis is made from the dried leaves of digitalis purpurea (common foxglove) plants. It is a type of cardiac glycoside.

Digoxin
a drug used to treat irregular heartbeat and some types of heart failure. It is also being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. Digoxin helps the heart work normally by controlling the amount of calcium that goes into the heart muscle. It also may kill cancer cells and make them more sensitive to anticancer drugs. It is a type of cardiac glycoside. Also called lanoxin.

Dihematoporphyrin ether
used in photodynamic therapy, a drug that is absorbed by tumor cells; when exposed to light, it becomes active and kills the cancer cells.

Dihydrofolate reductase inhibitor
a substance that can build up in cancer cells and block them from using folate. Folate is a nutrient that rapidly dividing cells need to make dna. Blocking folate use helps keep cancer cells from growing and may kill them. Some dihydrofolate reductase inhibitors are used to treat cancer. A dihydrofolate reductase inhibitor is a type of antifolate. Also called dhfr inhibitor.

Dihydrotestosterone
a hormone made from testosterone in the prostate, testes, and certain other tissues. It is needed to develop and maintain male sex characteristics, such as facial hair, deep voice, and muscle growth. High amounts of dihydrotestosterone may increase the growth of prostate cancer and make it harder to treat. Also called androstanolone and dht.

Diindolylmethane
a substance being studied in the treatment of prostate cancer and in the prevention of cervical cancer. Diindolylmethane is found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, and kale. It is a type of plant indole. Also called dim.

Dilantin
a drug used to treat or prevent seizures or convulsions that may be caused by epilepsy, brain surgery, or treatment for brain cancer. It is a type of anticonvulsant agent. Also called phenytoin sodium.

Dilatation and curettage
a procedure to remove tissue from the cervical canal or the inner lining of the uterus. The cervix is dilated (made larger) and a curette (spoon-shaped instrument) is inserted into the uterus to remove tissue. Also called d&c and dilation and curettage.

Dilate
to widen or enlarge an opening or hollow structure beyond its usual size, such as the pupil of the eye or a blood vessel.

Dilation and curettage
a procedure to remove tissue from the cervical canal or the inner lining of the uterus. The cervix is dilated (made larger) and a curette (spoon-shaped instrument) is inserted into the uterus to remove tissue. Also called d&c and dilatation and curettage.

Dilator
a device used to stretch or enlarge an opening.

Dilaudid
a drug used to treat moderate to severe pain. It may also be used to treat certain types of cough. Dilaudid is made from morphine and binds to opioid receptors in the central nervous system. It is a type of opioid and a type of analgesic agent. Also called exalgo, hydromorphone hydrochloride, and hydrostat ir.

Dilute
to make something thinner, weaker, less concentrated, or less pure by adding something to it.

Dim
a substance being studied in the treatment of prostate cancer and in the prevention of cervical cancer. Dim is found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, and kale. It is a type of plant indole. Also called diindolylmethane.

Dimericine
a lotion being studied in the treatment of skin cancer and a skin condition called xeroderma pigmentosum. It has an enzyme contained in very tiny, fat-like particles. The enzyme repairs damage caused by ultraviolet radiation. Dimericine is a type of dna repair enzyme topical agent. Also called t4n5 liposomal lotion.

Dimesna
a drug that belongs to the family of drugs called chemoprotective agents.

Dimethyl sulfoxide
a colorless liquid that readily dissolves many chemicals and penetrates animal and plant tissues. It is used in human medicine, veterinary medicine, and pharmaceuticals.

Dimethylxanthenone acetic acid
an anticancer drug that is a type of angiogenesis inhibitor.

Din
a condition in which abnormal cells are found in the lining of a breast duct (milk duct). Having din may increase the risk of breast cancer in which these abnormal cells become cancer and spread outside the duct to other tissues in the breast. Types of din include atypical ductal hyperplasia and ductal carcinoma in situ (dcis). Also called ductal intraepithelial neoplasia.

Dinaciclib
a substance being studied in the treatment of advanced melanoma (a type of skin cancer) and other types of cancer. It blocks cell division and may cause cancer cells to die. It is a type of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor. Also called cdk inhibitor sch 727965.

Diphenhydramine
a drug used to treat allergies and relieve cough and itching caused by insect bites, sunburn, and poison oak or ivy. It is also used to treat mild parkinson disease, to prevent and treat motion sickness, to relieve cough and cold symptoms, and as a sleep aid. It is a type of antihistamine.

Diphosphonate
a drug or substance used to treat hypercalcemia (abnormally high blood calcium) and bone pain caused by some types of cancer. Forms of diphosphonates are also used to treat osteoporosis and for bone imaging. Diphosphonates inhibit a type of bone cell that breaks down bone. Also called bisphosphonate.

Dipyridamole
a drug that prevents blood cell clumping and enhances the effectiveness of fluorouracil and other chemotherapeutic agents.

Direct ophthalmoscopy
an exam of the inside of the back of the eye using an ophthalmoscope (a flashlight-sized instrument with a light source and a set of rotating lenses).

Discharge
in medicine, a fluid that comes out of the body. Discharge can be normal or a sign of disease. Discharge also means release of a patient from care.

Disease progression
cancer that continues to grow or spread.

Disease-free survival
in cancer, the length of time after primary treatment for a cancer ends that the patient survives without any signs or symptoms of that cancer. In a clinical trial, measuring the disease-free survival is one way to see how well a new treatment works. Also called dfs, relapse-free survival, and rfs.

Disease-specific survival rate
the percentage of people in a study or treatment group who have not died from a specific disease in a defined period of time. The time period usually begins at the time of diagnosis or at the start of treatment and ends at the time of death. Patients who died from causes other than the disease being studied are not counted in this measurement.

Disinfectant
any substance or process that is used primarily on non-living objects to kill germs, such as viruses, bacteria, and other microorganisms that can cause infection and disease. Most disinfectants are harsh chemicals but sometimes heat or radiation may be used.

Disorder
in medicine, a disturbance of normal functioning of the mind or body. Disorders may be caused by genetic factors, disease, or trauma.

Disorientation
a mental state marked by confusion about time, place, or who one is.

Disseminate
scatter or distribute over a large area or range.

Distal
in medicine, refers to a part of the body that is farther away from the center of the body than another part. For example, the fingers are distal to the shoulder. The opposite is proximal.

Distal colon
the last part of the colon. The distal colon includes the descending colon (the left side of the colon) and the sigmoid colon (the s-shaped section of the colon that connects to the rectum).

Distal pancreatectomy
removal of the body and tail of the pancreas.

Distal urethra
the part of the urethra closest to the outside of the body. The urethra is the tube through which urine leaves the body. In women, the distal urethra is approximately the last ½ inch, and in men it is the part of the urethra in the penis.

Distal urethral cancer
a rare cancer that forms in the part of the urethra that is closest to the outside of the body. The cancer often has not spread deeply into the tissue.

Distant cancer
refers to cancer that has spread from the original (primary) tumor to distant organs or distant lymph nodes. Also known as distant metastasis.

Distant metastasis
refers to cancer that has spread from the original (primary) tumor to distant organs or distant lymph nodes. Also known as distant cancer.

Distraction
in medicine, a pain relief method that takes the patient’s attention away from the pain.

Distress
emotional, social, spiritual, or physical pain or suffering that may cause a person to feel sad, afraid, depressed, anxious, or lonely. People in distress may also feel that they are not able to manage or cope with changes caused by normal life activities or by having a disease, such as cancer. Cancer patients may have trouble coping with their diagnosis, physical symptoms, or treatment.

Disulfiram
a drug that slows the metabolism of retinoids, allowing them to act over a longer period of time.

Diuresis
an increase in the amount of urine made by the kidney and passed from the body.

Diuretic
a type of drug that causes the kidneys to make more urine. Diuretics help the body get rid of extra fluid and salt. They are used to treat high blood pressure, edema (extra fluid in the tissues), and other conditions. There are many different types of diuretics. They are sometimes called water pills.

Diverticulitis
inflammation of one or more pouches or sacs that bulge out from the wall of a hollow organ, such as the colon. Symptoms include muscle spasms and cramps in the abdomen.

Diverticulosis
a condition marked by small sacs or pouches in the walls of a hollow organ, such as the colon. These sacs can become inflamed and cause a condition called diverticulitis.

Diverticulum
a small pouch or sac that bulges out from the wall of a hollow organ, such as the colon.

Dj-927
a substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. It is a type of taxane derivative.

Dna
the molecules inside cells that carry genetic information and pass it from one generation to the next. Also called deoxyribonucleic acid.

Dna gene-expression microarray
a process that allows thousands of pieces of dna that are fixed to a glass slide to be analyzed at one time. It is used to identify the genes (pieces of dna) in specific cells or tissue that are actively used to make rna, which then may be used to make proteins.

Dna methylase
an enzyme (a protein that speeds up chemical reactions in the body) that attaches methyl groups to dna. A methyl group is a chemical group containing one carbon and three hydrogen atoms. Also called dna methyltransferase.

Dna methyltransferase
an enzyme (a protein that speeds up chemical reactions in the body) that attaches methyl groups to dna. A methyl group is a chemical group containing one carbon and three hydrogen atoms. Also called dna methylase.

Dna replication
the process by which a copy of the dna in a cell is made before the cell divides.

Dna sequencing
a laboratory process used to learn the exact sequence (order) of the four building blocks, or bases, that make up dna. Information is stored in dna in a code made by arranging the four bases (identified by the letters a, c, g, and t) in different orders. Dna sequencing can be used to find dna mutations (changes) that may cause diseases, such as cancer.

Dnr order
a type of advance directive in which a person states that healthcare providers should not perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (restarting the heart) if his or her heart or breathing stops. Also called do not resuscitate order.

Do not resuscitate order
a type of advance directive in which a person states that healthcare providers should not perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (restarting the heart) if his or her heart or breathing stops. Also called dnr order.

Docetaxel
a drug used to treat certain types of cancers of the breast, stomach, lung, prostate, and head and neck. It is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Docetaxel kills cancer cells by stopping them from dividing. It is a type of taxane. Also called taxotere.

Docetaxel-cisplatin-fluorouracil
a chemotherapy combination used to treat certain types of head and neck cancer and stomach cancer. It includes the drugs docetaxel (taxotere), cisplatin (platinol), and fluorouracil. Also called dcf, taxotere-platinol-fluorouracil, tpf, and tpf regimen.

Dock
a plant that has been used in some cultures to treat certain medical problems. It may have anticancer effects. The scientific name is rumex acetosella. Also called sheep sorrel and sorrel.

Dolasetron mesylate
a drug used to prevent nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy. It is also used to prevent nausea and vomiting after surgery. Dolasetron mesylate blocks the action of the chemical serotonin, which binds to certain nerves and may trigger nausea and vomiting. Blocking serotonin may help lessen nausea and vomiting. It is a type of serotonin receptor antagonist and a type of antiemetic. Also called anzemet.

Dolastatin 10
a substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. It binds to a protein that cells need to divide and it may kill cancer cells. Dolastatin 10 comes from a marine organism. It is a type of mitotic inhibitor.

Donepezil
a drug that is used to treat alzheimer disease and is being studied in the treatment of side effects caused by radiation therapy to the brain. It is a type of cholinesterase inhibitor.

Dong quai
an herb native to china. A substance taken from the roots has been used in traditional chinese medicine to treat menstrual and menopausal problems. Dong quai may increase the effect of the drug warfarin (a blood-thinner). The scientific name is angelica sinensis.

Donor
in medicine, a person who gives blood, cells, tissue, or an organ for use in another person, such as in a blood transfusion or an organ transplant.

Donor lymphocyte infusion
a type of therapy in which lymphocytes from the blood of a donor are given to a patient who has already received a stem cell transplant from the same donor. The donor lymphocytes may kill remaining cancer cells. Donor lymphocyte infusion is used to treat chronic myelogenous leukemia (cml) that has come back and myeloma. It is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer.

Dornase alfa inhalation solution
a drug given in an aerosol mist to decrease the thickness of mucus in the lungs of patients with cystic fibrosis. It is also being studied as a treatment to reduce the thickness of saliva in patients being treated for head and neck cancer. Dornase alfa inhalation solution contains an enzyme that breaks the dna in mucus into small pieces and makes the mucus thinner. Also called pulmozyme.

Dose
the amount of medicine taken, or radiation given, at one time.

Dose-dense chemotherapy
a chemotherapy treatment plan in which drugs are given with less time between treatments than in a standard chemotherapy treatment plan.

Dose-dependent
refers to the effects of treatment with a drug. If the effects change when the dose of the drug is changed, the effects are said to be dose-dependent.

Dose-limiting
describes side effects of a drug or other treatment that are serious enough to prevent an increase in dose or level of that treatment.

Dose-rate
the strength of a treatment given over a period of time.

Dosimetrist
a person who determines the proper radiation dose for treatment.

Dosimetry
measurement of radiation exposure from x-rays, gamma rays, or other types of radiation used in the treatment or detection of diseases, including cancer.

Double balloon endoscopy
a procedure used to look at the inside of the small intestine. A special instrument made up of two tubes (one inside the other) is inserted through the mouth or rectum and into the small intestine. The inside tube, which is an endoscope with a light and lens for viewing, is moved through part of the small intestine, and a balloon at the end of it is inflated to keep the endoscope in place. Next, the outer tube is moved through the small intestine to reach the end of the endoscope, and a balloon at the end of the outer tube is inflated to keep it in place. Then, the balloon at the end of the endoscope is deflated, and the endoscope is moved through the next part of the small intestine. These steps are repeated many times as the tubes move through the whole small intestine. This allows the doctor to see all of the small intestine. Tissue samples may be removed so they can be checked under a microscope for signs of disease. Also called dbe and double balloon enteroscopy.

Double balloon enteroscopy
a procedure used to look at the inside of the small intestine. A special instrument made up of two tubes (one inside the other) is inserted through the mouth or rectum and into the small intestine. The inside tube, which is an endoscope with a light and lens for viewing, is moved through part of the small intestine, and a balloon at the end of it is inflated to keep the endoscope in place. Next, the outer tube is moved through the small intestine to reach the end of the endoscope, and a balloon at the end of the outer tube is inflated to keep it in place. Then, the balloon at the end of the endoscope is deflated, and the endoscope is moved through the next part of the small intestine. These steps are repeated many times as the tubes move through the whole small intestine. This allows the doctor to see all of the small intestine. Tissue samples may be removed so they can be checked under a microscope for signs of disease. Also called dbe and double balloon endoscopy.

Double-blinded
a clinical trial in which the medical staff, the patient, and the people who analyze the results do not know the specific type of treatment the patient receives until after the clinical trial is over.

Double-contrast barium enema
a procedure in which x-rays of the colon and rectum are taken after a liquid containing barium is put into the rectum. Barium is a silver-white metallic compound that outlines the colon and rectum on an x-ray and helps show abnormalities. Air is put into the rectum and colon to further enhance the x-ray.

Doubling time
In biology, the amount of time it takes for one cell to divide or for a group of cells (such as a tumor) to double in size. The doubling time is different for different kinds of cancer cells or tumors.

Douche
a procedure in which the vagina is washed with water or a cleansing solution. Most cleansing solutions contain water mixed with vinegar, baking soda, or iodine. Regular douching can wash away some of the bacteria that normally live in the vagina. This may allow yeast or harmful types of bacteria to grow and cause infection. Douching may also cause other health problems, such as pelvic inflammatory disease (pid) and problems during pregnancy. Most doctors do not recommend douching.

Down syndrome
a disorder caused by the presence of an extra chromosome 21 and characterized by mental retardation and distinguishing physical features.

Dox-sl
a form of the anticancer drug doxorubicin that is contained in very tiny, fat-like particles. It may have fewer side effects and work better than doxorubicin. Dox-sl is used to treat ovarian cancer, aids-related kaposi sarcoma, and multiple myeloma in patients whose disease has not gotten better after treatment with other anticancer drugs. It may be used together with other anticancer drugs. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Dox-sl is a type of anthracycline antitumor antibiotic. Also called doxil, doxorubicin hydrochloride liposome, evacet, lipodox, and liposomal doxorubicin hydrochloride.

Doxazosin
a drug used to treat high blood pressure and urinary problems caused by an enlarged prostate. It relaxes muscle tissue in blood vessels and in the prostate. Doxazosin is a type of alpha blocker. Also called cardura and doxazosin mesylate.

Doxazosin mesylate
a drug used to treat high blood pressure and urinary problems caused by an enlarged prostate. It relaxes muscle tissue in blood vessels and in the prostate. Doxazosin mesylate is a type of alpha blocker. Also called cardura and doxazosin.

Doxercalciferol
a substance being studied in the prevention of recurrent prostate cancer. It is a type of vitamin d analog.

Doxil
a form of the anticancer drug doxorubicin that is contained in very tiny, fat-like particles. It may have fewer side effects and work better than doxorubicin. Doxil is used to treat ovarian cancer, aids-related kaposi sarcoma, and multiple myeloma in patients whose disease has not gotten better after treatment with other anticancer drugs. It may be used together with other anticancer drugs. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Doxil is a type of anthracycline antitumor antibiotic. Also called dox-sl, doxorubicin hydrochloride liposome, evacet, lipodox, and liposomal doxorubicin hydrochloride.

Doxorubicin
a drug used to treat many types of cancer, including leukemia, lymphoma, neuroblastoma, sarcoma, wilms tumor, and cancers of the lung, breast, stomach, ovary, thyroid, and bladder. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Doxorubicin comes from the bacterium streptomyces peucetius. It damages dna and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of anthracycline antitumor antibiotic. The brand names adriamycin pfs, adriamycin rdf, and rubex have been taken off the market and are no longer available. Also called doxorubicin hydrochloride and hydroxydaunorubicin.

Doxorubicin hydrochloride
a drug used to treat many types of cancer, including leukemia, lymphoma, neuroblastoma, sarcoma, wilms tumor, and cancers of the lung, breast, stomach, ovary, thyroid, and bladder. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Doxorubicin hydrochloride comes from the bacterium streptomyces peucetius. It damages dna and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of anthracycline antitumor antibiotic. The brand names adriamycin pfs, adriamycin rdf, and rubex have been taken off the market and are no longer available. Also called doxorubicin and hydroxydaunorubicin.

Doxorubicin hydrochloride liposome
a form of the anticancer drug doxorubicin that is contained in very tiny, fat-like particles. It may have fewer side effects and work better than doxorubicin. Doxorubicin hydrochloride liposome is used to treat ovarian cancer, aids-related kaposi sarcoma, and multiple myeloma in patients whose disease has not gotten better after treatment with other anticancer drugs. It may be used together with other anticancer drugs. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Doxorubicin hydrochloride liposome is a type of anthracycline antitumor antibiotic. Also called dox-sl, doxil, evacet, lipodox, and liposomal doxorubicin hydrochloride.

Doxycycline
a drug used to treat many types of bacterial infections. It stops the growth of bacteria by keeping them from making proteins. It is a type of antibiotic. Also called doxycycline hyclate.

Doxycycline hyclate
a drug used to treat many types of bacterial infections. It stops the growth of bacteria by keeping them from making proteins. It is a type of antibiotic. Also called doxycycline.

Dpa
a type of power of attorney. A power of attorney is a legal document that gives one person (such as a relative, lawyer, or friend) the authority to make legal, medical, or financial decisions for another person. It may go into effect right away, or when that person is no longer able to make decisions for himself or herself. A dpa remains in effect until the person who grants it dies or cancels it. It does not need to be renewed over time. Also called durable power of attorney.

Dppe
belongs to a group of antihormone drugs.

Dr4
a protein on the surface of certain cells that binds another protein called trail, which may kill some cancer cells. An increase in the amount or activity of dr4 on cancer cells may kill more cells. Also called death receptor 4, trail receptor 1, trail-r1, and tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily member 10a.

Dr5
a protein on the surface of certain cells that binds another protein called trail, which may kill some cancer cells. An increase in the amount or activity of dr5 on cancer cells may kill more cells. Also called death receptor 5, trail receptor 2, trail-r2, and tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily member 10b.

Drain
in medicine, to remove fluid as it collects; or, a tube or wick-like device used to remove fluid from a body cavity, wound, or infected area.

Dre
an examination in which a doctor inserts a lubricated, gloved finger into the rectum to feel for abnormalities. Also called digital rectal examination.

Dri
a set of guidelines developed by u.s. And canadian scientists to give information about the role of nutrients in human health. These guidelines include the reference daily intakes (rdi), which are the recommended amounts of nutrients to be eaten each day to meet the needs of most healthy people. This system replaced the recommended dietary allowances (rda). Also called dietary reference intakes.

Dronabinol
a synthetic pill form of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (thc), an active ingredient in marijuana that is used to treat nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy.

Droperidol
a drug used to prevent nausea and vomiting in patients who receive anesthesia before surgery. It is also used to treat anxiety. Droperidol is a type of antiemetic, adjunct anesthesia, and antipsychotic.

Drug
any substance, other than food, that is used to prevent, diagnose, treat or relieve symptoms of a disease or abnormal condition. Also refers to a substance that alters mood or body function, or that can be habit-forming or addictive, especially a narcotic.

Drug abuse
the use of illegal drugs or the use of prescription or over-the-counter drugs for purposes other than those for which they are meant to be used, or in large amounts. Drug abuse may lead to social, physical, emotional, and job-related problems.

Drug accountability record
a log of study drugs kept by an investigator running a clinical trial. It lists many things about each drug, including the drug name, lot number, expiration date, the amount of drug received, used, returned, or thrown away, and the amount left. Drug accountability records help make sure that a clinical trial is done safely and correctly. Drug accountability records are required by the u.s. Food and drug administration (fda). Also called dar.

Drug interaction
a change in the way a drug acts in the body when taken with certain other drugs, herbals, or foods, or when taken with certain medical conditions. Drug interactions may cause the drug to be more or less effective, or cause effects on the body that are not expected.

Drug resistance
the failure of cancer cells, viruses, or bacteria to respond to a drug used to kill or weaken them. The cells, viruses, or bacteria may be resistant to the drug at the beginning of treatment, or may become resistant after being exposed to the drug.

Drug therapy
treatment with any substance, other than food, that is used to prevent, diagnose, treat, or relieve symptoms of a disease or abnormal condition.

Drug tolerance
a condition that occurs when the body gets used to a medicine so that either more medicine is needed or different medicine is needed.

Dry orgasm
sexual climax without the release of semen from the penis.

Dsmb
data and safety monitoring board. An impartial group that oversees a clinical trial and reviews the results to see if they are acceptable. This group determines if the trial should be changed or closed. Also called data and safety monitoring board.

Dt2219arl immunotoxin
a substance being studied in the treatment of some types of b-cell cancer. It contains an antibody linked to a toxic substance. The antibody binds to proteins called cd19 and cd22 on the surface of b cells, and the toxic substance kills the cells. It is a type of bispecific ligand-directed toxin.

Dt388il3 fusion protein
a substance being studied in the treatment of myeloid leukemia (a disease in which too many immature non-lymphocyte white blood cells are found in the blood and bone marrow). Dt388il3 fusion protein is made by combining il-3 with a toxic substance. The il-3 attaches to the cancer cells and the toxic substance kills them.

Dtgm fusion protein
an anticancer drug formed by the combination of diphtheria toxin and a colony-stimulating factor (gm-csf). The colony-stimulating factor is attracted to cancer cells, and the diphtheria toxin kills the cells.

Dth
an inflammatory response that develops 24 to 72 hours after exposure to an antigen that the immune system recognizes as foreign. This type of immune response involves mainly t cells rather than antibodies (which are made by b cells). Also called delayed-type hypersensitivity response.

Dtic-dome
a drug that is used to treat hodgkin lymphoma and malignant melanoma and is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It attaches to dna in cells and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of alkylating agent. Also called dacarbazine.

Du 145
a cell line made from human prostate cancer cells that is used in the laboratory to study the way prostate cancer cells grow.

Dual energy x-ray absorptiometric scan
an imaging test that measures bone density (the amount of bone mineral contained in a certain volume of bone) by passing x-rays with two different energy levels through the bone. It is used to diagnose osteoporosis (decrease in bone mass and density). Also called bmd scan, bone mineral density scan, dexa, dexa scan, dual x-ray absorptiometry, and dxa.

Dual x-ray absorptiometry
an imaging test that measures bone density (the amount of bone mineral contained in a certain volume of bone) by passing x-rays with two different energy levels through the bone. It is used to diagnose osteoporosis (decrease in bone mass and density). Also called bmd scan, bone mineral density scan, dexa, dexa scan, dual energy x-ray absorptiometric scan, and dxa.

Duct
in medicine, a tube or vessel of the body through which fluids pass.

Ductal carcinoma
the most common type of breast cancer. It begins in the lining of the milk ducts (thin tubes that carry milk from the lobules of the breast to the nipple). Ductal carcinoma may be either ductal carcinoma in situ (dcis) or invasive ductal carcinoma. Dcis is a noninvasive condition in which abnormal cells are found in the lining of a breast duct and have not spread outside the duct to other tissues in the breast. In some cases, dcis may become invasive cancer. In invasive ductal carcinoma, cancer has spread outside the breast duct to surrounding normal tissue. It can also spread through the blood and lymph systems to other parts of the body.

Ductal carcinoma in situ
a noninvasive condition in which abnormal cells are found in the lining of a breast duct. The abnormal cells have not spread outside the duct to other tissues in the breast. In some cases, ductal carcinoma in situ may become invasive cancer and spread to other tissues. At this time, there is no way to know which lesions could become invasive. Also called dcis and intraductal carcinoma.

Ductal intraepithelial neoplasia
a condition in which abnormal cells are found in the lining of a breast duct (milk duct). Having ductal intraepithelial neoplasia may increase the risk of breast cancer in which these abnormal cells become cancer and spread outside the duct to other tissues in the breast. Types of ductal intraepithelial neoplasia include atypical ductal hyperplasia and ductal carcinoma in situ (dcis). Also called din.

Ductal lavage
a method used to collect cells from milk ducts in the breast. A hair-size catheter (tube) is inserted into the nipple, and a small amount of salt water is released into the duct. The water picks up breast cells, and is removed. The cells are checked under a microscope. Ductal lavage may be used in addition to clinical breast examination and mammography to detect breast cancer.

Dukes a colorectal cancer
cancer has spread from the mucosa (innermost layer) of the colon and/or rectal wall to the submucosa (layer of tissue under the mucosa) of the colon and/or rectal wall. Cancer may have spread to the muscle layer of the colon and/or rectal wall. Also called stage i colorectal cancer.

Dukes b colorectal cancer
cancer has spread (1) through the muscle layer of the colon and/or rectal wall to the serosa (outermost layer) of the colon and/or rectal wall; or (2) through the serosa of the colon and/or rectal wall but has not spread to nearby organs; or (3) through the serosa of the colon and/or rectal wall to nearby organs. Also called stage ii colorectal cancer.

Dukes c colorectal cancer
cancer (1) may have spread through the mucosa (innermost layer) of the colon and/or rectal wall to the submucosa (layer of tissue under the mucosa) and may have spread to the muscle layer of the colon and/or rectal wall. Cancer has spread to at least one but not more than 3 nearby lymph nodes, or cancer cells have formed in tissues near the lymph nodes; or cancer has spread through the mucosa of the colon and/or rectal wall to the submucosa. Cancer has spread to at least 4 but not more than 6 nearby lymph nodes. Or, (2) cancer has spread through the muscle layer of the colon and/or rectal wall to the serosa (outermost layer) of the colon and/or rectal wall or has spread through the serosa but not to nearby organs. Cancer has spread to at least one but not more than 3 nearby lymph nodes, or cancer cells have formed in tissues near the lymph nodes; or cancer has spread to the muscle layer of the colon and/or rectal wall or to the serosa of the colon and/or rectal wall. Cancer has spread to at least 4 but not more than 6 nearby lymph nodes; or cancer has spread through the mucosa of the colon and/or rectal wall to the submucosa and may have spread to the muscle layer of the colon and/or rectal wall. Cancer has spread to 7 or more nearby lymph nodes. Or, (3) cancer has spread through the serosa of the colon and/or rectal wall but has not spread to nearby organs. Cancer has spread to at least 4 but not more than 6 nearby lymph nodes; or cancer has spread through the muscle layer of the colon and/or rectal wall to the serosa of the colon and/or rectal wall or has spread through the serosa but has not spread to nearby organs. Cancer has spread to 7 or more nearby lymph nodes; or cancer has spread through the serosa of the colon and/or rectal wall and has spread to nearby organs. Cancer has spread to one or more nearby lymph nodes, or cancer cells have formed in tissues near the lymph nodes. Also called stage iii colorectal cancer.

Dukes classification
a staging system used to describe the extent of colorectal cancer. Stages range from a (early stage) to d (advanced stage).

Duloxetine
a drug used to treat depression and peripheral neuropathy (pain, numbness, tingling, burning, or weakness in the hands or feet) that can occur with diabetes. It is also being studied in the treatment of peripheral neuropathy caused by certain anticancer drugs. Duloxetine increases the amount of certain chemicals in the brain that help relieve depression and pain. It is a type of serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor. Also called cymbalta and duloxetine hydrochloride.

Duloxetine hydrochloride
a drug used to treat depression and peripheral neuropathy (pain, numbness, tingling, burning, or weakness in the hands or feet) that can occur with diabetes. It is also being studied in the treatment of peripheral neuropathy caused by certain anticancer drugs. Duloxetine hydrochloride increases the amount of certain chemicals in the brain that help relieve depression and pain. It is a type of serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor. Also called cymbalta and duloxetine.

Dumping syndrome
a condition that occurs when food or liquid moves too fast into the small intestine. Symptoms include cramps, nausea, diarrhea, sweating, weakness, and dizziness. Dumping syndrome sometimes occurs in people who have had part or all of their stomach removed.

Duodenitis
inflammation of the duodenum (the first part of the small intestine that connects to the stomach).

Duodenum
the first part of the small intestine. It connects to the stomach. The duodenum helps to further digest food coming from the stomach. It absorbs nutrients (vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, proteins) and water from food so they can be used by the body.

Dura mater
the tough outer layer of tissue that covers and protects the brain and spinal cord and is closest to the skull. The dura mater is one of the three layers that form the meninges.

Durable power of attorney
a type of power of attorney. A power of attorney is a legal document that gives one person (such as a relative, lawyer, or friend) the authority to make legal, medical, or financial decisions for another person. It may go into effect right away, or when that person is no longer able to make decisions for himself or herself. A durable power of attorney remains in effect until the person who grants it dies or cancels it. It does not need to be renewed over time. Also called dpa.

Dutasteride
a drug used to treat symptoms of an enlarged prostate gland. It is being studied in the treatment of male hair loss and prostate cancer. Dutasteride blocks enzymes the body needs to make male sex hormones. It is a type of 5-alpha reductase inhibitor. Also called avodart and gg745.

Dvt
the formation of a blood clot in a deep vein of the leg or lower pelvis. Symptoms may include pain, swelling, warmth, and redness in the affected area. Also called deep vein thrombosis.

Dx-52-1
an anticancer drug that is a type of antitumor antibiotic. It is an anthracycline.

Dx-8951f
an anticancer drug that is a type of topoisomerase inhibitor. Also called exatecan mesylate.

Dxa
an imaging test that measures bone density (the amount of bone mineral contained in a certain volume of bone) by passing x-rays with two different energy levels through the bone. It is used to diagnose osteoporosis (decrease in bone mass and density). Also called bmd scan, bone mineral density scan, dexa, dexa scan, dual energy x-ray absorptiometric scan, and dual x-ray absorptiometry.

Dyscrasia
disease. Usually refers to diseases of the blood.

Dysesthesia
a condition in which a sense, especially touch, is distorted. Dysesthesia can cause an ordinary stimulus to be unpleasant or painful. It can also cause insensitivity to a stimulus.

Dysfunction
a state of not functioning normally.

Dysgerminoma
a type of tumor that begins in the type of cells that give rise to egg cells and is most often found in the ovaries. Dysgerminomas may also occur in other places in the body, including the central nervous system. They are the most common type of ovarian germ cell tumor and can spread to other parts of the body. They are most common in females who are younger than 20 years old.

Dysgeusia
a bad taste in the mouth. Also called parageusia.

Dyspepsia
upset stomach.

Dysphagia
difficulty swallowing.

Dysphonia
trouble with the voice when trying to talk, including hoarseness and change in pitch or quality or voice.

Dysplasia
cells that look abnormal under a microscope but are not cancer.

Dysplastic nevus
a type of nevus (mole) that looks different from a common mole. A dysplastic nevus is often larger with borders that are not easy to see. Its color is usually uneven and can range from pink to dark brown. Parts of the mole may be raised above the skin surface. A dysplastic nevus may develop into malignant melanoma (a type of skin cancer). Also called atypical mole.

Dyspnea
difficult, painful breathing or shortness of breath.

E-cigarette
a device that has the shape of a cigarette, cigar, or pen and does not contain tobacco. It uses a battery and contains a solution of nicotine, flavorings, and other chemicals, some of which may be harmful. When e-cigarettes are used, the nicotine solution turns into a mist that can be inhaled into the lungs. The amount of nicotine in individual e-cigarettes can vary. It is not yet known whether e-cigarettes are safe or if they can be used to help smokers quit smoking. Also called electronic cigarette.

E7070
a substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called sulfonamides.

E7389
a drug used to treat metastatic breast cancer in patients who have already been treated with other chemotherapy. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. E7389 may block cancer cell growth by stopping cell division. It belongs to the family of drugs called antitubulin agents. Also called eribulin mesylate and halaven.

Early menopause
a condition in which the ovaries stop working and menstrual periods stop before age 40. Natural menopause usually occurs around age 50. A woman is said to be in menopause when she hasn’t had a period for 12 months in a row. Symptoms of menopause include hot flashes, mood swings, night sweats, vaginal dryness, trouble concentrating, and infertility. Early menopause can be caused by some cancer treatments, surgery to remove the ovaries, and certain diseases or genetic conditions. Also called premature menopause, premature ovarian failure, and primary ovarian insufficiency.

Early-stage breast cancer
breast cancer that has not spread beyond the breast or the axillary lymph nodes. This includes ductal carcinoma in situ and stage i, stage iia, stage iib, and stage iiia breast cancers.

Early-stage cancer
a term used to describe cancer that is early in its growth, and may not have spread to other parts of the body. What is called early stage may differ between cancer types.

Eastern red cedar
a type of evergreen tree with hard fragrant wood that is a member of the cypress family. The oil from the wood is used in soaps, shampoos, bath salts, perfumes, aromatherapy, and to keep insects away. The scientific name is juniperus virginiana. Also called cedarwood and red cedar.

Ebv
a common virus that remains dormant in most people. It causes infectious mononucleosis and has been associated with certain cancers, including burkitt lymphoma, immunoblastic lymphoma, and nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Also called epstein-barr virus.

Ecchymosis
a small bruise caused by blood leaking from broken blood vessels into the tissues of the skin or mucous membranes.

Eccrine gland
A type of simple sweat gland that is found in almost all regions of the skin. These glands produce sweat that reaches the surface of the skin by way of coiled ducts (tubes). The body is cooled as sweat evaporates from the skin.

Ecg
a line graph that shows changes in the electrical activity of the heart over time. It is made by an instrument called an electrocardiograph. The graph can show that there are abnormal conditions, such as blocked arteries, changes in electrolytes (particles with electrical charges), and changes in the way electrical currents pass through the heart tissue. Also called ekg and electrocardiogram.

Echinacea
an herb native to north america that has been used to prevent and treat the common cold and other respiratory infections. Echinacea may interfere with treatment that uses the immune system to fight cancer. The scientific names are echinacea purpurea and echinacea angustifolia. Also called purple coneflower.

Echocardiography
a procedure that uses ultrasonic waves directed over the chest wall to obtain a graphic record of the heart’s position, motion of the walls, or internal parts such as the valves.

Ecologic study
a study that compares large groups of people instead of individuals for differences in things such as cancer rates. The groups can differ by location (for example, city, county, or country). They can also differ by time (a few days, years, or decades). Groups can be immigrants (compared with people who are native to the country) or people with different types of jobs. The surveillance, epidemiology, and end results (seer) program conducts ecologic studies to collect information on cancer rates over time in certain parts of the united states. Also called ecological study.

Ecological study
a study that compares large groups of people instead of individuals for differences in things such as cancer rates. The groups can differ by location (for example, city, county, or country). They can also differ by time (a few days, years, or decades). Groups can be immigrants (compared with people who are native to the country) or people with different types of jobs. The surveillance, epidemiology, and end results (seer) program conducts ecological studies to collect information on cancer rates over time in certain parts of the united states. Also called ecologic study.

Ect
a treatment for severe depression and certain mental disorders. A brief seizure is induced by giving electrical stimulation to the brain through electrodes placed on the scalp. Also called electroconvulsive therapy and electroshock therapy.

Ecteinascidin 743
a substance that comes from a type of sea squirt and is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It binds to dna and causes breaks in the dna. It also blocks the ability of the cell to repair the dna damage, and may cause cancer cells to die. Ecteinascidin 743 is also made in the laboratory. It is a type of dna excision repair inhibitor. Also called et-743 and trabectedin.

Ectocervical
having to do with the part of the cervix that protrudes into the vagina and is lined with epithelial cells.

Ectomesenchymoma
a rare, fast-growing tumor of the nervous system or soft tissue that occurs in children and young adults. Ectomesenchymomas may form in the head and neck, abdomen, perineum, scrotum, or limbs. Also called malignant ectomesenchymoma.

Ectopic pregnancy
a condition in which a fertilized egg grows outside of the uterus, usually in one of the fallopian tubes. Symptoms include sharp pain on one side of the abdomen and bleeding from the vagina. Also called extrauterine pregnancy.

Eculizumab
a drug used to prevent red blood cells from being destroyed in patients with a rare red blood cell disorder called paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (pnh). It is also used to treat another rare disorder called atypical hemolytic urea syndrome (ahus), in which blood clots form in small blood vessels. Eculizumab binds to an immune system protein called c5. This helps keep red blood cells from breaking down and helps keep blood clots from forming. Eculizumab is a type of monoclonal antibody. Also called soliris.

Eczema
a group of conditions in which the skin becomes inflamed, forms blisters, and becomes crusty, thick, and scaly. Eczema causes burning and itching, and may occur over a long period of time. Atopic dermatitis is the most common type of eczema.

Edatrexate
an anticancer drug that belongs to a family of drugs called antimetabolites.

Edema
swelling caused by excess fluid in body tissues.

Edetic acid
a chemical that binds certain metal ions, such as calcium, magnesium, lead, and iron. It is used in medicine to prevent blood samples from clotting and to remove calcium and lead from the body. It is also used to keep bacteria from forming a biofilm (thin layer stuck to a surface). It is a type of chelating agent. Also called edta and etheylenediaminetetraacetic acid.

Edotecarin
a substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. It is a type of topoisomerase i inhibitor. Also called j-107088.

Edrecolomab
a type of monoclonal antibody used in cancer detection or therapy. Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-produced substances that can locate and bind to cancer cells.

Edta
a chemical that binds certain metal ions, such as calcium, magnesium, lead, and iron. It is used in medicine to prevent blood samples from clotting and to remove calcium and lead from the body. It is also used to keep bacteria from forming a biofilm (thin layer stuck to a surface). It is a type of chelating agent. Also called edetic acid and etheylenediaminetetraacetic acid.

Eeg
a recording of electrical activity in the brain. It is made by placing electrodes on the scalp (the skin covering the top of the head), and impulses are sent to a special machine. An eeg may be used to diagnose brain and sleep disorders. Also called electroencephalogram.

Eeg biofeedback
a treatment being studied to improve brain function in certain brain disorders and in patients treated with chemotherapy for breast cancer. Sensors are placed on a person’s head, which allows brain activity to be shown as patterns on a computer screen. A beep or a tone may be used as a reward to a person for changing certain brain activities. Eeg biofeedback may help cancer patients deal with the stress and mental side effects of chemotherapy. Also called neurofeedback.

Ef5
a drug that is used to plan cancer treatment by measuring oxygen levels in tumor cells.

Efaproxiral
a substance being studied in the treatment of brain tumors and some other types of cancer. It increases the amount of oxygen in tumor tissues, which may make the tumor cells easier to kill with radiation therapy. Efaproxiral is a type of radiosensitizing agent. Also called rsr13.

Efavirenz
a drug used with other drugs to treat infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (hiv). It blocks hiv from making copies of itself. It is a type of non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor and a type of antiviral agent. Also called sustiva.

Effector cell
a cell that performs a specific function in response to a stimulus; usually used to describe cells in the immune system.

Effexor
a drug used to treat depression and certain anxiety disorders. It may also be used to treat hot flashes in women who are in menopause or are being treated for breast cancer. Effexor increases the levels of the chemicals serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain, which helps improve mood. It is a type of antidepressant and a type of serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor. Also called venlafaxine.

Efficacy
effectiveness. In medicine, the ability of an intervention (for example, a drug or surgery) to produce the desired beneficial effect.

Effusion
an abnormal collection of fluid in hollow spaces or between tissues of the body. For example, a pleural effusion is a collection of fluid between the two layers of membrane covering the lungs.

Eflornithine
a substance that is being studied in the prevention of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called antiprotozoals.

Efs
in cancer, the length of time after primary treatment for a cancer ends that the patient remains free of certain complications or events that the treatment was intended to prevent or delay. These events may include the return of the cancer or the onset of certain symptoms, such as bone pain from cancer that has spread to the bone. In a clinical trial, measuring the efs is one way to see how well a new treatment works. Also called event-free survival.

Efts
a group of cancers that includes ewing tumor of bone (etb or ewing sarcoma of bone), extraosseous ewing (eoe) tumors, primitive neuroectodermal tumors (pnet or peripheral neuroepithelioma), and askin tumors (pnet of the chest wall). These tumors all come from the same type of stem cell. Also called ewing sarcoma family of tumors.

Efudex
a drug used to treat cancers of the breast, stomach, and pancreas, and certain types of colorectal and head and neck cancers. It is also used in a cream to treat basal cell skin cancer and actinic keratosis (a skin condition that may become cancer). It is being studied in the treatment of other conditions and types of cancer. Efudex stops cells from making dna and it may kill cancer cells. It is a type of antimetabolite. Also called 5-fluorouracil, 5-fu, adrucil, fluoroplex, and fluorouracil.

Egb761
a substance that is being studied in the prevention of cognitive dysfunction (slowed ability to think, reason, concentrate, or remember) in patients receiving chemotherapy. It comes from ginkgo biloba leaves.

Egcg
a substance found in green tea. It is being studied in the prevention of cancer and some other diseases. It is a type of antioxidant. Also called epigallocatechin-3-gallate.

Egf
a protein made by many cells in the body and by some types of tumors. It causes cells to grow and differentiate (become more specialized). It is a type of growth factor and a type of cytokine. Also called epidermal growth factor.

Egfr
the protein found on the surface of some cells and to which epidermal growth factor binds, causing the cells to divide. It is found at abnormally high levels on the surface of many types of cancer cells, so these cells may divide excessively in the presence of epidermal growth factor. Also called epidermal growth factor receptor, erbb1, and her1.

Egfr inhibitor
a substance that blocks the activity of a protein called epidermal growth factor receptor (egfr). Egfr is found on the surface of some normal cells and is involved in cell growth. It may also be found at high levels on some types of cancer cells, which causes these cells to grow and divide. Blocking egfr may keep cancer cells from growing. Some egfr inhibitors are used to treat cancer. Also called egfr tyrosine kinase inhibitor, epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitor, and epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor.

Egfr tyrosine kinase inhibitor
a substance that blocks the activity of a protein called epidermal growth factor receptor (egfr). Egfr is found on the surface of some normal cells and is involved in cell growth. It may also be found at high levels on some types of cancer cells, which causes these cells to grow and divide. Blocking egfr may keep cancer cells from growing. Some egfr tyrosine kinase inhibitors are used to treat cancer. Also called egfr inhibitor, epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitor, and epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor.

Egg cryopreservation
the process of freezing one or more unfertilized eggs (eggs that have not been combined with sperm) to save them for future use. The eggs are thawed and fertilized in the laboratory to make embryos that can be placed in a woman’s uterus. Egg cryopreservation is being studied as a type of fertility preservation. It may be useful for women with cancer who want to have children after having radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or certain types of surgery, which can cause infertility. Also called egg freezing.

Egg freezing
the process of freezing one or more unfertilized eggs (eggs that have not been combined with sperm) to save them for future use. The eggs are thawed and fertilized in the laboratory to make embryos that can be placed in a woman’s uterus. Egg freezing is being studied as a type of fertility preservation. It may be useful for women with cancer who want to have children after having radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or certain types of surgery, which can cause infertility. Also called egg cryopreservation.

Ejaculation
the release of semen through the penis during orgasm.

Ekb-569
a substance being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. It blocks the action of certain proteins that are part of the epidermal growth factor receptor (egfr) family of proteins. These proteins may be found in increased amounts on the surface of some types of cancer cells. Blocking the action of these proteins may stop cancer cells from growing and may kill cancer cells. Ekb-569 is a type of egfr inhibitor. Also called pelitinib.

Ekg
a line graph that shows changes in the electrical activity of the heart over time. It is made by an instrument called an electrocardiograph. The graph can show that there are abnormal conditions, such as blocked arteries, changes in electrolytes (particles with electrical charges), and changes in the way electrical currents pass through the heart tissue. Also called ecg and electrocardiogram.

Eklund displacement views
a procedure used to do a mammogram (x-ray of the breasts) in women with breast implants. The implant is pushed back against the chest wall and the breast tissue is pulled forward and around it so the tissue can be seen in the mammogram. Also called eklund views and implant displacement views.

Eklund views
a procedure used to do a mammogram (x-ray of the breasts) in women with breast implants. The implant is pushed back against the chest wall and the breast tissue is pulled forward and around it so the tissue can be seen in the mammogram. Also called eklund displacement views and implant displacement views.

Elacyt
a drug used to treat advanced acute myeloid leukemia (aml). It is a form of the anticancer drug cytarabine that may work in patients with leukemia that is resistant to cytarabine. Elacyt blocks cell division and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of antimetabolite. Also called cp-4055 and elacytarabine.

Elacytarabine
a drug used to treat advanced acute myeloid leukemia (aml). It is a form of the anticancer drug cytarabine that may work in patients with leukemia that is resistant to cytarabine. Elacytarabine blocks cell division and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of antimetabolite. Also called cp-4055 and elacyt.

Electroacupuncture
a procedure in which pulses of weak electrical current are sent through acupuncture needles into acupuncture points in the skin. This procedure is being studied in the prevention of nausea and vomiting in patients undergoing chemotherapy.

Electrocardiogram
a line graph that shows changes in the electrical activity of the heart over time. It is made by an instrument called an electrocardiograph. The graph can show that there are abnormal conditions, such as blocked arteries, changes in electrolytes (particles with electrical charges), and changes in the way electrical currents pass through the heart tissue. Also called ecg and ekg.

Electrocautery
a procedure that uses heat from an electric current to destroy abnormal tissue, such as a tumor or other lesion. It may also be used to control bleeding during surgery or after an injury. The electric current passes through an electrode that is placed on or near the tissue. The tip of the electrode is heated by the electric current to burn or destroy the tissue. Electrocautery is a type of electrosurgery. Also called electrocoagulation, electrofulguration, and fulguration.

Electrocoagulation
a procedure that uses heat from an electric current to destroy abnormal tissue, such as a tumor or other lesion. It may also be used to control bleeding during surgery or after an injury. The electric current passes through an electrode that is placed on or near the tissue. The tip of the electrode is heated by the electric current to burn or destroy the tissue. Electrocoagulation is a type of electrosurgery. Also called electrocautery, electrofulguration, and fulguration.

Electroconvulsive therapy
a treatment for severe depression and certain mental disorders. A brief seizure is induced by giving electrical stimulation to the brain through electrodes placed on the scalp. Also called ect and electroshock therapy.

Electrode
in medicine, a device such as a small metal plate or needle that carries electricity from an instrument to a patient for treatment or surgery. Electrodes can also carry electrical signals from muscles, brain, heart, skin, or other body parts to recording devices to help diagnose certain conditions.

Electrodermal response
a change in the heat and electricity passed through the skin by nerves and sweat. Electrodermal response increases in certain emotional states and during hot flashes that happen with menopause. Also called galvanic skin response and skin conduction.

Electrodesiccation
the drying of tissue by a high-frequency electric current applied with a needle-shaped electrode.

Electrodiathermy
a procedure in which tissue is heated to destroy abnormal cells. The heat may come from electric currents, microwaves, radio waves, or ultrasound. Electrodiathermy is a type of hyperthermia therapy. Also called diathermy.

Electroencephalogram
a recording of electrical activity in the brain. It is made by placing electrodes on the scalp (the skin covering the top of the head), and impulses are sent to a special machine. An eeg may be used to diagnose brain and sleep disorders. Also called eeg.

Electrofulguration
a procedure that uses heat from an electric current to destroy abnormal tissue, such as a tumor or other lesion. It may also be used to control bleeding during surgery or after an injury. The electric current passes through an electrode that is placed on or near the tissue. The tip of the electrode is heated by the electric current to burn or destroy the tissue. Electrofulguration is a type of electrosurgery. Also called electrocautery, electrocoagulation, and fulguration.

Electrolarynx
a battery-operated device that makes a humming sound. It is used to help a person talk after removal of the larynx (voice box).

Electrolyte
a substance that breaks up into ions (particles with electrical charges) when it is dissolved in water or body fluids. Some examples of ions are sodium, potassium, calcium, chloride, and phosphate. These ions help move nutrients into cells, help move waste out of cells, and help nerves, muscles, the heart, and the brain work the way they should.

Electromagnetic field
an area of electric and magnetic forces caused by electromagnetic radiation. Researchers are studying whether the electromagnetic fields from power lines, electrical appliances, and wireless and cellular telephones can cause cancer or other harmful health effects. Also called emf.

Electromagnetic radiation
radiation that has both electric and magnetic fields and travels in waves. It comes from natural and man-made sources. Electromagnetic radiation can vary in strength from low energy to high energy. It includes radio waves, microwaves, infrared light, visible light, ultraviolet light, x-rays, and gamma rays. Also called emr.

Electron
a small particle with a negative charge that is found in all atoms. Streams of electrons made by special equipment can be used for radiation treatment.

Electron beam
a stream of electrons (small negatively charged particles found in atoms) that can be used for radiation therapy.

Electron microscope
a microscope (device used to magnify small objects) that uses electrons (instead of light) to produce an enlarged image. An electron microscope shows tiny details better than any other type of microscope.

Electronic cigarette
a device that has the shape of a cigarette, cigar, or pen and does not contain tobacco. It uses a battery and contains a solution of nicotine, flavorings, and other chemicals, some of which may be harmful. When electronic cigarettes are used, the nicotine solution turns into a mist that can be inhaled into the lungs. The amount of nicotine in individual e-cigarettes can vary. It is not yet known whether electronic cigarettes are safe or if they can be used to help smokers quit smoking. Also called e-cigarette.

Electronic medical record
a collection of a patient’s medical information in a digital (electronic) form that can be viewed on a computer and easily shared by people taking care of the patient.

Electrophoresis
a laboratory technique that uses an electric current to separate substances, such as proteins or nucleic acids. The size and electrical charge (either positive or negative) of a substance determines how far it moves with the current. Electrophoresis may be used to help diagnosis certain diseases. There are many different types of electrophoresis.

Electroporation therapy
treatment that generates electrical pulses through an electrode placed in a tumor to enhance the ability of anticancer drugs to enter tumor cells. Also called ept.

Electroshock therapy
a treatment for severe depression and certain mental disorders. A brief seizure is induced by giving electrical stimulation to the brain through electrodes placed on the scalp. Also called ect and electroconvulsive therapy.

Electrosurgery
a procedure that uses an electric current to cut, remove, or destroy tissue and control bleeding. The current is carried through an electrode that is placed on or near the tissue. Electrosurgery may be used to treat basal cell skin cancer or other types of skin problems, such as actinic keratoses, warts, and moles. It may also be used to remove abnormal cells from the cervix and to treat abnormal tissue of the vagina, vulva, penis, and anus that might become cancer. Examples of electrosurgery are electrodesiccation and fulguration.

Element
a basic part of a whole. In chemistry, refers to a simple substance that cannot be broken down into smaller parts or changed into another substance. The basic part of an element is an atom, which contains protons, neutrons, and electrons. All atoms of an element have the same number of protons. Examples of elements are hydrogen, carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, and calcium.

Elesclomol sodium
a drug used in the treatment of skin cancer that has spread. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It increases the amount of harmful oxygen molecules in cells and may kill cancer cells. It may also help other drugs kill cancer cells. It is a type of oxidative stress inducer.

Eligard
a drug used to treat advanced prostate cancer. Under the brand name lupron, it is also used to treat early puberty in children and certain gynecologic conditions. Eligard is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It blocks the testicles from making testosterone (a male hormone) and the ovaries from making estrogen and progesterone (female hormones). It may stop the growth of prostate cancer cells that need testosterone to grow. Eligard is a type of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (gnrh) agonist. Also called leuprolide acetate, lupron, and viadur.

Eligibility criteria
in clinical trials, requirements that must be met for an individual to be included in a study. These requirements help make sure that patients in a trial are similar to each other in terms of specific factors such as age, type and stage of cancer, general health, and previous treatment. When all participants meet the same eligibility criteria, it gives researchers greater confidence that results of the study are caused by the intervention being tested and not by other factors.

Elisa
a laboratory technique that uses antibodies linked to enzymes to detect and measure the amount of a substance in a solution, such as serum. The test is done using a solid surface to which the antibodies and other molecules stick. In the final step, an enzyme reaction takes place that causes a color change that can be read using a special machine. There are many different ways that an elisa can be done. Elisas may be used to help diagnose certain diseases. Also called enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

Elitek
a drug used to treat high blood levels of uric acid in patients with leukemia, lymphoma, and other types of cancer who are receiving certain types of cancer treatment. It is also being studied in the treatment of other medical conditions. Elitek is a type of recombinant enzyme and a type of urate-lowering drug. Also called rasburicase and recombinant urate oxidase.

Ellence
a drug used together with other drugs to treat early breast cancer that has spread to lymph nodes. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Ellence is a type of anthracycline antibiotic. Also called epirubicin and epirubicin hydrochloride.

Elocon
a drug that is used in a cream to treat certain skin conditions and in a nasal spray to treat sinus problems caused by allergies. It is being studied as a way to treat inflammation of the skin caused by radiation therapy. Elocon is a type of corticosteroid. Also called mometasone, mometasone furoate, and nasonex.

Eloxatin
a drug used with other drugs to treat colorectal cancer that is advanced or has come back. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Eloxatin attaches to dna in cells and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of platinum compound. Also called oxaliplatin.

Elspar
a drug that is used to treat acute lymphoblastic leukemia (all) and is being studied in the treatment of some other types of cancer. It is an enzyme taken from the bacterium escherichia coli (e. Coli). It breaks down the amino acid asparagine and may block the growth of tumor cells that need asparagine to grow. Also called asparaginase and l-asparaginase.

Eltrombopag
the active ingredient in a drug used to treat chronic immune thrombocytopenic purpura (a condition in which platelets are destroyed by the immune system). It causes more platelets to be made in the bone marrow. It is also being studied in the treatment of low platelet counts caused by chemotherapy. It is a type of thrombopoietin receptor agonist.

Eltrombopag olamine
a drug used to treat chronic immune thrombocytopenic purpura (a condition in which platelets are destroyed by the immune system). It causes more platelets to be made in the bone marrow. It is also being studied in the treatment of low platelet counts caused by chemotherapy. It is a type of thrombopoietin receptor agonist. Also called promacta.

Em-1421
a substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. It blocks proteins needed for cancer growth. It is a type of transcriptional inhibitor. Also called tetra-o-methyl ndga and tetra-o-methyl nordihydroguaiaretic acid.

Embalmer
a person who treats dead bodies with embalming fluid (a chemical like formaldehyde) to keep them from decaying.

Embolism
a block in an artery caused by blood clots or other substances, such as fat globules, infected tissue, or cancer cells.

Embolization
a procedure that uses particles, such as tiny gelatin sponges or beads, to block a blood vessel. Embolization may be used to stop bleeding or to block the flow of blood to a tumor or abnormal area of tissue. It may be used to treat some types of liver cancer, kidney cancer, and neuroendocrine tumors. It may also be used to treat uterine fibroids, aneurysms, and other conditions. Types of embolization are arterial embolization, chemoembolization, and radioembolization.

Embryo
early stage in the development of a plant or an animal. In vertebrate animals (have a backbone or spinal column), this stage lasts from shortly after fertilization until all major body parts appear. In particular, in humans, this stage lasts from about 2 weeks after fertilization until the end of the seventh or eighth week of pregnancy.

Embryo cryopreservation
the process of freezing one or more embryos to save them for future use. Embryo cryopreservation involves in vitro fertilization, a procedure in which eggs are removed from a woman’s ovary and combined with sperm in the laboratory to form embryos. The embryos are frozen and can later be thawed and placed in a woman’s uterus. Embryo cryopreservation is a type of fertility preservation. It may be useful for women with cancer who want to have children after having radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or certain types of surgery, which can cause infertility. Also called embryo freezing.

Embryo freezing
the process of freezing one or more embryos to save them for future use. Embryo freezing involves in vitro fertilization, a procedure in which eggs are removed from a woman’s ovary and combined with sperm in the laboratory to form embryos. The embryos are frozen and can later be thawed and placed in a woman’s uterus. Embryo freezing is a type of fertility preservation. It may be useful for women with cancer who want to have children after having radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or certain types of surgery, which can cause infertility. Also called embryo cryopreservation.

Embryoma
a mass of rapidly growing cells that begins in embryonic (fetal) tissue. Embryomas may be benign or malignant, and include neuroblastomas and wilms tumors. Also called embryonal tumor.

Embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma
a soft tissue tumor that is most common in infants and young children. It begins in muscles, usually in the head, neck, or genitourinary tract. Also called erms.

Embryonal tumor
a mass of rapidly growing cells that begins in embryonic (fetal) tissue. Embryonal tumors may be benign or malignant, and include neuroblastomas and wilms tumors. Also called embryoma.

Embryonic
having to do with an embryo, which is an early stage in the development of a plant or animal.

Emd 121974
a substance that is being studied as an anticancer and antiangiogenesis drug. Also called cilengitide.

Emend
a drug used together with other drugs to prevent and control the nausea and vomiting caused by cancer treatment. It is also used to treat nausea and vomiting after surgery. It is a type of antiemetic and a type of substance p/neurokinin 1 receptor antagonist. Also called aprepitant.

Emend for injection
a drug used together with other drugs to prevent and control nausea and vomiting caused by cancer treatment. It is given in a vein. It is a type of antiemetic and a type of substance p/neurokinin 1 receptor antagonist. Also called fosaprepitant dimeglumine.

Emesis
vomiting.

Emetic
describes a substance that causes vomiting. Also called emetogenic.

Emetogenic
describes a substance that causes vomiting. Also called emetic.

Emf
an area of electric and magnetic forces caused by electromagnetic radiation. Researchers are studying whether the emfs from power lines, electrical appliances, and wireless and cellular telephones can cause cancer or other harmful health effects. Also called electromagnetic field.

Emitefur
an anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called antimetabolites.

Emodin
a substance found in certain plants, including rhubarb. It belongs to a family of compounds called anthraquinones, which have shown anti-inflammatory and anticancer effects.

Emphysema
a disorder affecting the alveoli (tiny air sacs) of the lungs. The transfer of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the lungs takes place in the walls of the alveoli. In emphysema, the alveoli become abnormally inflated, damaging their walls and making it harder to breathe. People who smoke or have chronic bronchitis have an increased risk of emphysema. Emphysema is a type of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (copd).

Emr
radiation that has both electric and magnetic fields and travels in waves. It comes from natural and man-made sources. Emr can vary in strength from low energy to high energy. It includes radio waves, microwaves, infrared light, visible light, ultraviolet light, x-rays, and gamma rays. Also called electromagnetic radiation.

Enalapril
an antihypertensive agent that can also be used to slow or prevent the progression of heart disease in people with childhood cancer treated with drugs that may be harmful to the heart.

Encapsulated
confined to a specific, localized area and surrounded by a thin layer of tissue.

Encephalopathy
a disorder of the brain that can be caused by disease, injury, drugs, or chemicals.

Enchondroma
a benign (not cancer) growth of cartilage in bones or in other areas where cartilage is not normally found.

Endo-pat 2000
A medical device that tests to see if endothelial cells are damaged. Endothelial cells line the inner walls of blood vessels, lymph vessels, and the heart, and damage to them may be an early sign of heart disease. Endo-pat 2000 looks for heart disease by using sensors that measure blood flow through a patient’s fingers. It is also being used to check blood vessels in patients treated for breast cancer. Also called endopat.

Endocarditis
a condition in which the tissues lining the inside of the heart and the heart valves become inflamed (red and swollen). Endocarditis may be caused by infection with microorganisms, such as bacteria or fungi.

Endocervical curettage
a procedure in which a sample of abnormal tissue is removed from the cervix using a small, spoon-shaped instrument called a curette. The tissue is then checked under a microscope for signs of cervical cancer. This procedure may be done if abnormal cells are found during a pap test.

Endocervix
the inner part of the cervix that forms a canal that connects the vagina to the uterus. The endocervix is lined with cells that make mucus. During a pelvic exam, cells may be scraped from the endocervix. The cells are checked under a microscope for infection, inflammation, and cancer or changes that may become cancer.

Endocrine
refers to tissue that makes and releases hormones that travel in the bloodstream and control the actions of other cells or organs. Some examples of endocrine tissues are the pituitary, thyroid, and adrenal glands.

Endocrine cancer
cancer that occurs in endocrine tissue, the tissue in the body that secretes hormones.

Endocrine pancreas cell
a pancreatic cell that produces hormones (e.g., insulin and glucagon) that are secreted into the bloodstream. These hormones help control the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Also called islet cell and islet of langerhans cell.

Endocrine system
a system of glands and cells that make hormones that are released directly into the blood and travel to tissues and organs all over the body. The endocrine system controls growth, sexual development, sleep, hunger, and the way the body uses food.

Endocrine therapy
treatment that adds, blocks, or removes hormones. For certain conditions (such as diabetes or menopause), hormones are given to adjust low hormone levels. To slow or stop the growth of certain cancers (such as prostate and breast cancer), synthetic hormones or other drugs may be given to block the body’s natural hormones. Sometimes surgery is needed to remove the gland that makes a certain hormone. Also called hormonal therapy, hormone therapy, and hormone treatment.

Endocrine-inactive tumor
a tumor that is found in endocrine tissue but does not make extra hormones. Endocrine-inactive tumors usually do not cause symptoms until they grow large or spread to other parts of the body. Also called nonfunctioning tumor.

Endocrinologist
a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the endocrine system (the glands and organs that make hormones). These disorders include diabetes, infertility, and thyroid, adrenal, and pituitary gland problems.

Endocrinology
a branch of medicine that specializes in diagnosing and treating disorders of the endocrine system, which includes the glands and organs that make hormones. These disorders include diabetes, infertility, and thyroid, adrenal, and pituitary gland problems.

Endogenous
produced inside an organism or cell. The opposite is external (exogenous) production.

Endometrial
having to do with the endometrium (the layer of tissue that lines the uterus).

Endometrial biopsy
a procedure in which a sample of tissue is taken from the endometrium (inner lining of the uterus) for examination under a microscope. A thin tube is inserted through the cervix into the uterus, and gentle scraping and suction are used to remove the sample.

Endometrial cancer
cancer that forms in the tissue lining the uterus (the small, hollow, pear-shaped organ in a woman’s pelvis in which a fetus develops). Most endometrial cancers are adenocarcinomas (cancers that begin in cells that make and release mucus and other fluids).

Endometrial disorder
abnormal cell growth in the endometrium (the lining of the uterus).

Endometrial hyperplasia
an abnormal overgrowth of the endometrium (the layer of cells that lines the uterus). There are four types of endometrial hyperplasia: simple endometrial hyperplasia, complex endometrial hyperplasia, simple endometrial hyperplasia with atypia, and complex endometrial hyperplasia with atypia. These differ in terms of how abnormal the cells are and how likely it is that the condition will become cancer.

Endometriosis
a benign condition in which tissue that looks like endometrial tissue grows in abnormal places in the abdomen.

Endometrium
the layer of tissue that lines the uterus.

Endopat
a medical device that tests to see if endothelial cells are damaged. Endothelial cells line the inner walls of blood vessels, lymph vessels, and the heart, and damage to them may be an early sign of heart disease. Endopat looks for heart disease by using sensors that measure blood flow through a patient’s fingers. It is also being used to check blood vessels in patients treated for breast cancer. Also called endo-pat 2000.

Endoplasmic reticulum
a network of sac-like structures and tubes in the cytoplasm (gel-like fluid) of a cell. Proteins and other molecules move through the endoplasmic reticulum. The outer surface of the endoplasmic reticulum can be smooth or rough. The rough endoplasmic reticulum has many ribosomes on its outer surface and makes proteins the cell needs. The smooth endoplasmic reticulum makes other substances that the cell needs, such as lipids (fats) and carbohydrates (sugars). The endoplasmic reticulum is a cell organelle.

Endorectal ultrasound
a procedure in which a probe that sends out high-energy sound waves is inserted into the rectum. The sound waves are bounced off internal tissues or organs and make echoes. The echoes form a picture of body tissue called a sonogram. Endorectal ultrasound is used to look for abnormalities in the rectum and nearby structures, including the prostate. Also called erus, transrectal ultrasound, and trus.

Endorphin
one of several substances made in the body that can relieve pain and give a feeling of well-being. Endorphins are peptides (small proteins) that bind to opioid receptors in the central nervous system. An endorphin is a type of neurotransmitter.

Endoscope
a thin, tube-like instrument used to look at tissues inside the body. An endoscope has a light and a lens for viewing and may have a tool to remove tissue.

Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography
a procedure that uses an endoscope to examine and x-ray the pancreatic duct, hepatic duct, common bile duct, duodenal papilla, and gallbladder. An endoscope is a thin, tube-like instrument with a light and a lens for viewing. The endoscope is passed through the mouth and down into the first part of the small intestine (duodenum). A smaller tube (catheter) is then inserted through the endoscope into the bile and pancreatic ducts. A dye is injected through the catheter into the ducts, and an x-ray is taken. Also called ercp.

Endoscopic ultrasound
a procedure in which an endoscope is inserted into the body. An endoscope is a thin, tube-like instrument that has a light and a lens for viewing. A probe at the end of the endoscope is used to bounce high-energy sound waves (ultrasound) off internal organs to make a picture (sonogram). Also called endosonography and eus.

Endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration
a procedure to take a sample of tissue for examination under a microscope. An endoscope with an ultrasound probe and a biopsy needle at the end is inserted through the mouth into the esophagus. An endoscope is a thin, tube-like instrument that has a light and a lens for viewing. The ultrasound probe is used to bounce high-energy sound waves off internal organs and tissues to make a picture on a monitor. This picture helps the doctor see where to place the biopsy needle. Also called eus-fna.

Endoscopy
a procedure that uses an endoscope to examine the inside of the body. An endoscope is a thin, tube-like instrument with a light and a lens for viewing. It may also have a tool to remove tissue to be checked under a microscope for signs of disease.

Endosonography
a procedure in which an endoscope is inserted into the body. An endoscope is a thin, tube-like instrument that has a light and a lens for viewing. A probe at the end of the endoscope is used to bounce high-energy sound waves (ultrasound) off internal organs to make a picture (sonogram). Also called endoscopic ultrasound and eus.

Endostatin
a substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. Endostatin is made from a type of collagen (a protein found in cartilage and other connective tissue). It may prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. Endostatin is a type of antiangiogenesis agent. Also called col18a1.

Endothelial cell
the main type of cell found in the inside lining of blood vessels, lymph vessels, and the heart.

Endothelin receptor antagonist
a drug that blocks the hormone endothelin and may prevent prostate cancer from spreading to the bones. It may also prevent the growth and spread of other types of cancer, including colorectal cancer.

Endothelin-1 protein receptor antagonist
a substance that blocks the binding of the endothelin-1 protein to its receptor. Endothelin-1 is a small molecule that causes changes in blood vessels and helps regulate blood pressure. It can also stimulate the growth of some types of cells.

Endpoint
in clinical trials, an event or outcome that can be measured objectively to determine whether the intervention being studied is beneficial. The endpoints of a clinical trial are usually included in the study objectives. Some examples of endpoints are survival, improvements in quality of life, relief of symptoms, and disappearance of the tumor.

Enema
the injection of a liquid through the anus into the large bowel.

Energy balance
in biology, the state at which the number of calories eaten equals the number of calories used. Energy balance is affected by physical activity, body size, amount of body fat and muscle, and genetics.

Energy healing
a form of complementary and alternative medicine based on the belief that a vital energy flows through the human body. The goal of energy healing is to balance the energy flow in the patient. It is used to reduce stress and anxiety and promote well-being. Energy healing is being studied in patients receiving cancer therapy, to find out if it can improve quality of life, boost the immune system, or reduce side effects. Also called energy therapy.

Energy therapy
a form of complementary and alternative medicine based on the belief that a vital energy flows through the human body. The goal of energy therapy is to balance the energy flow in the patient. It is used to reduce stress and anxiety and promote well-being. Energy therapy is being studied in patients receiving cancer therapy, to find out if it can improve quality of life, boost the immune system, or reduce side effects. Also called energy healing.

English chamomile
a type of chamomile plant with daisy-like white flowers that is found in europe, north america, and argentina. The dried flowers are used in teas to calm and relax, to improve sleep, and to help with stomach problems. Its essential oil (scented liquid taken from plants) is used in perfumes, shampoos, face creams, lotions, and aromatherapy. The scientific names are chamaemelum nobile and anthemis nobilis. Also called roman chamomile.

English lavender
a plant with aromatic leaves and flowers that is a member of the mint family. Oil from the flowers has been used in some cultures to treat certain medical problems, to keep insects away, and to wash in. It is also used in aromatherapy. Perillyl alcohol, a substance found in english lavender, is being studied in cancer prevention and treatment. The scientific name is lavandula angustifolia. Also called lavender and true lavender.

Eniluracil
an anticancer drug that increases the effectiveness of fluorouracil. Also called ethynyluracil.

Enoxaparin
a drug used to prevent blood clots. It belongs to the family of drugs called anticoagulants.

Enriched food
a food that has nutrients added back that were lost during processing. Examples are bread, pasta, and other products made from white flour that have b vitamins added back.

Ensure
a type of nutrition drink that may help people who cannot get all the nutrients they need from foods and other drinks. Ensure has vitamins, minerals, protein, and fats. It may be added to a person’s diet to help build strong bones, rebuild muscle and strength, and help the body heal after injury or surgery. Ensure may be taken by mouth or given through tube feeding. Ensure is a type of polymeric enteral nutrition formula and a type of dietary supplement.

Ent doctor
a doctor who specializes in treating diseases of the ear, nose, and throat. Also called otolaryngologist.

Enteral nutrition
a form of nutrition that is delivered into the digestive system as a liquid. Drinking nutrition beverages or formulas and tubefeeding are forms of enteral nutrition. People who are unable to meet their needs with food and beverages alone, and who do not have vomiting or uncontrollable diarrhea may be given tubefeedings. Tubefeeding can be used to add to what a person is able to eat or can be the only source of nutrition. A small feeding tube may be placed through the nose into the stomach or the small intestine, or it may be surgically placed into the stomach or the intestinal tract through an opening made on the outside of the abdomen, depending on how long it will be used.

Enterostomal therapist
a health professional trained in the care of persons with stomas, such as colostomies or urostomies.

Entinostat
a substance being studied in the treatment of several types of cancer. It blocks enzymes needed for cell division and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of histone deacetylase (hdac) inhibitor. Also called hdac inhibitor sndx-275 and sndx-275.

Enucleation
in medicine, the removal of an organ or tumor in such a way that it comes out clean and whole, like a nut from its shell.

Enveloped virus
a virus that has an outer wrapping or envelope. This envelope comes from the infected cell, or host, in a process called “budding off.” during the budding process, newly formed virus particles become “enveloped” or wrapped in an outer coat that is made from a small piece of the cell’s plasma membrane. The envelope may play a role in helping a virus survive and infect other cells.

Environmental tobacco smoke
Smoke that comes from the burning of a tobacco product and smoke that is exhaled by smokers. Inhaling environmental tobacco smoke is called involuntary or passive smoking. Also called ets and secondhand smoke.

Enzalutamide
a drug used to treat prostate cancer that has spread to other parts of the body and did not get better with other treatment, including docetaxel. Enzalutamide binds to proteins called androgen receptors, which are found in some prostate cancer cells. These proteins bind to androgens (male hormones) and may cause cancer cells to grow. Blocking these proteins may keep cancer cells from growing. Enzalutamide is a type of antiandrogen. Also called xtandi.

Enzastaurin
a substance being studied in the treatment of certain types of cancer, including non-hodgkin lymphoma, breast, colon, lung, ovarian, and prostate. Enzastaurin blocks certain cell signaling pathways, and may prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It is a type of serine threonine kinase inhibitor and a type of antiangiogenesis agent. Also called enzastaurin hydrochloride and ly317615.

Enzastaurin hydrochloride
a substance being studied in the treatment of certain types of cancer, including non-hodgkin lymphoma, breast, colon, lung, ovarian, and prostate. Enzastaurin hydrochloride blocks certain cell signaling pathways, and may prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It is a type of serine threonine kinase inhibitor and a type of antiangiogenesis agent. Also called enzastaurin and ly317615.

Enzyme
a protein that speeds up chemical reactions in the body.

Enzyme inhibitor
a substance that blocks the action of an enzyme. Enzymes help speed up chemical reactions in the body and take part in many cell functions, including cell signaling, growth, and division. In cancer treatment, enzyme inhibitors may be used to block certain enzymes that cancer cells need to grow.

Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay
a laboratory technique that uses antibodies linked to enzymes to detect and measure the amount of a substance in a solution, such as serum. The test is done using a solid surface to which the antibodies and other molecules stick. In the final step, an enzyme reaction takes place that causes a color change that can be read using a special machine. There are many different ways that an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay can be done. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays may be used to help diagnose certain diseases. Also called elisa.

Eosinophil
a type of immune cell that has granules (small particles) with enzymes that are released during infections, allergic reactions, and asthma. An eosinophil is a type of white blood cell and a type of granulocyte.

Eosinophilia
a condition in which the number of eosinophils (a type of white blood cell) in the blood is greatly increased. Eosinophilia is often a response to infection or allergens (substances that cause an allergic response).

Ep-2101
a substance that is being studied as a treatment for cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called cancer vaccines.

Ependyma
a thin membrane that lines the fluid-filled spaces in the brain and spinal cord. It is made up of a type of glial cell called an ependymal cell.

Ependymal cell
a cell that forms the lining of the fluid-filled spaces in the brain and spinal cord. It is a type of glial cell.

Ependymal tumor
a type of brain tumor that begins in cells lining the spinal cord central canal (fluid-filled space down the center) or the ventricles (fluid-filled spaces of the brain). Ependymal tumors may also form in the choroid plexus (tissue in the ventricles that makes cerebrospinal fluid). Also called ependymoma.

Ependymoma
a type of brain tumor that begins in cells lining the spinal cord central canal (fluid-filled space down the center) or the ventricles (fluid-filled spaces of the brain). Ependymomas may also form in the choroid plexus (tissue in the ventricles that makes cerebrospinal fluid). Also called ependymal tumor.

Ephedra
a shrub native to china and india. The stems and roots are used in traditional medicine as a diuretic and for asthma, bronchitis, and cough. It has also been promoted as a decongestant, a weight loss aid, and as a supplement to increase energy. Ephedra may cause high blood pressure, increased heart rate, or death if used with certain drugs, and may reduce the effects of certain drugs used to treat cancer and other diseases. The u.s. Food and drug administration has banned the sale of dietary supplements that contain ephedra. The scientific name is ephedra sinica. Also called ma huang.

Epidemiologist
a scientist who studies the patterns, causes, and control of disease in groups of people.

Epidemiology
the study of the patterns, causes, and control of disease in groups of people.

Epidermal growth factor
a protein made by many cells in the body and by some types of tumors. It causes cells to grow and differentiate (become more specialized). It is a type of growth factor and a type of cytokine. Also called egf.

Epidermal growth factor receptor
the protein found on the surface of some cells and to which epidermal growth factor binds, causing the cells to divide. It is found at abnormally high levels on the surface of many types of cancer cells, so these cells may divide excessively in the presence of epidermal growth factor. Also called egfr, erbb1, and her1.

Epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitor
a substance that blocks the activity of a protein called epidermal growth factor receptor (egfr). Egfr is found on the surface of some normal cells and is involved in cell growth. It may also be found at high levels on some types of cancer cells, which causes these cells to grow and divide. Blocking egfr may keep cancer cells from growing. Some epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitors are used to treat cancer. Also called egfr inhibitor, egfr tyrosine kinase inhibitor, and epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor.

Epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor
a substance that blocks the activity of a protein called epidermal growth factor receptor (egfr). Egfr is found on the surface of some normal cells and is involved in cell growth. It may also be found at high levels on some types of cancer cells, which causes these cells to grow and divide. Blocking egfr may keep cancer cells from growing. Some epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors are used to treat cancer. Also called egfr inhibitor, egfr tyrosine kinase inhibitor, and epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitor.

Epidermis
the outer layer of the two main layers of the skin.

Epidermoid carcinoma
cancer that begins in squamous cells. Squamous cells are thin, flat cells that look like fish scales, and are found in the tissue that forms the surface of the skin, the lining of the hollow organs of the body, and the lining of the respiratory and digestive tracts. Most cancers of the anus, cervix, head and neck, and vagina are epidermoid carcinomas. Also called squamous cell carcinoma.

Epidermolysis bullosa
a group of chronic skin disorders in which fluid-filled blisters form on the skin and mucosa (the moist, inner lining of some organs and body cavities). Epidermolysis bullosa is inherited and usually starts at birth. Patients with epidermolysis bullosa may be at increased risk of squamous cell cancer of the skin.

Epididymis
a narrow, tightly-coiled tube that is attached to each of the testicles (the male sex glands that produce sperm). Sperm cells (male reproductive cells) move from the testicles into the epididymis, where they finish maturing and are stored.

Epidural
having to do with the space between the wall of the spinal canal and the covering of the spinal cord. An epidural injection is given into this space.

Epidural block
an injection of an anesthetic drug into the space between the wall of the spinal canal and the covering of the spinal cord.

Epigallocatechin-3-gallate
a substance found in green tea. It is being studied in the prevention of cancer and some other diseases. It is a type of antioxidant. Also called egcg.

Epigastric
having to do with the upper middle area of the abdomen.

Epigenetics
the study of how age and exposure to environmental factors, such as diet, exercise, drugs, and chemicals, may cause changes in the way genes are switched on and off without changing the actual dna sequence. These changes can affect a person’s risk of disease and may be passed from parents to their children.

Epigenomics
the study of all of the epigenetic changes in a cell. Epigenetic changes are changes in the way genes are switched on and off without changing the actual dna sequence. They may be caused by age and exposure to environmental factors, such as diet, exercise, drugs, and chemicals. Epigenetic changes can affect a person’s risk of disease and may be passed from parents to their children.

Epiglottis
the flap that covers the trachea during swallowing so that food does not enter the lungs.

Epilepsy
a group of disorders marked by problems in the normal functioning of the brain. These problems can produce seizures, unusual body movements, a loss of consciousness or changes in consciousness, as well as mental problems or problems with the senses.

Epinephrine
a hormone and neurotransmitter. Also called adrenaline.

Epipodophyllotoxin
a substance being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. Epipodophyllotoxin is extracted from the mandrake root podophyllum peltatum. It is a type of topoisomerase inhibitor.

Epirubicin
a drug used together with other drugs to treat early breast cancer that has spread to lymph nodes. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Epirubicin is a type of anthracycline antibiotic. Also called ellence and epirubicin hydrochloride.

Epirubicin hydrochloride
a drug used together with other drugs to treat early breast cancer that has spread to lymph nodes. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Epirubicin hydrochloride is a type of anthracycline antibiotic. Also called ellence and epirubicin.

Episodic breathlessness
a medical condition in which patients have periods of trouble breathing that are followed by periods with no trouble breathing. Episodic breathlessness is seen in patients with lung cancer or other lung diseases, and in some heart conditions.

Epithelial
refers to the cells that line the internal and external surfaces of the body.

Epithelial carcinoma
cancer that begins in the cells that line an organ.

Epithelial ovarian cancer
cancer that occurs in the cells on the surface of the ovary. Also called ovarian epithelial cancer.

Epithelium
a thin layer of tissue that covers organs, glands, and other structures within the body.

Epitope
a part of a molecule that an antibody will recognize and bind to.

Epo906
a substance that is being studied as a treatment for cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called epothilones. Also called epothilone b.

Epoch
an abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used to treat aggressive forms of non-hodgkin lymphoma, including mantle cell lymphoma. It includes the drugs etoposide phosphate, prednisone, vincristine sulfate (oncovin), cyclophosphamide, and doxorubicin hydrochloride (hydroxydaunorubicin). Also called epoch regimen.

Epoch regimen
an abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used to treat aggressive forms of non-hodgkin lymphoma, including mantle cell lymphoma. It includes the drugs etoposide phosphate, prednisone, vincristine sulfate (oncovin), cyclophosphamide, and doxorubicin hydrochloride (hydroxydaunorubicin). Also called epoch.

Epoetin alfa
a substance that is made in the laboratory and stimulates the bone marrow to make red blood cells. It is a type of antianemic and a type of recombinant human erythropoietin.

Epoetin beta
a substance that is made in the laboratory and stimulates the bone marrow to make red blood cells. It is a type of antianemic and a type of recombinant human erythropoietin.

Epothilone
a substance obtained from bacteria that interferes with cell division. Some epothilones are being studied as treatments for cancer.

Epothilone b
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. It is a type of epothilone. Also called epo906.

Epothilone d
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. It is a type of mitotic inhibitor and epothilone. Also called kos-862.

Epothilone zk219477
A form of the substance epothilone that is made in the laboratory. It is being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. Epothilone zk2219477 stops the growth of tumor cells by blocking cell division. It is a type of antimitotic agent.

Epratuzumab
a substance being studied in the treatment of certain types of non-hodgkin lymphoma (nhl) and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (all). It is also being studied in the treatment of an autoimmune disease called systemic lupus erythematosus (sle). Epratuzumab binds to a protein called cd22, which is found on b cells (a type of white blood cell) and some types of cancer cells. This may help suppress the body’s immune response and it may help kill cancer cells. Epratuzumab is a type of monoclonal antibody.

Epstein-barr virus
a common virus that remains dormant in most people. It causes infectious mononucleosis and has been associated with certain cancers, including burkitt lymphoma, immunoblastic lymphoma, and nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Also called ebv.

Ept
treatment that generates electrical pulses through an electrode placed in a tumor to enhance the ability of anticancer drugs to enter tumor cells. Also called electroporation therapy.

Er
a protein found inside the cells of the female reproductive tissue, some other types of tissue, and some cancer cells. The hormone estrogen will bind to the receptors inside the cells and may cause the cells to grow. Also called estrogen receptor.

Er+
describes cells that have a receptor protein that binds the hormone estrogen. Cancer cells that are er+ may need estrogen to grow, and may stop growing or die when treated with substances that block the binding and actions of estrogen. Also called estrogen receptor positive.

Er-
describes cells that do not have a protein to which the hormone estrogen will bind. Cancer cells that are er- do not need estrogen to grow, and usually do not stop growing when treated with hormones that block estrogen from binding. Also called estrogen receptor negative.

Er-negative pr-negative her2/neu-negative breast cancer
describes breast cancer cells that do not have estrogen receptors, progesterone receptors, or large amounts of her2/neu protein. Also called triple-negative breast cancer.

Era-923
a substance that is being studied as a treatment for cancer. It belongs to a family of drugs called antiestrogens.

Erb-38 immunotoxin
a toxic substance linked to an antibody that attaches to tumor cells and kills them.

Erbb1
the protein found on the surface of some cells and to which epidermal growth factor binds, causing the cells to divide. It is found at abnormally high levels on the surface of many types of cancer cells, so these cells may divide excessively in the presence of epidermal growth factor. Also called egfr, epidermal growth factor receptor, and her1.

Erbitux
a drug used to treat certain types of head and neck cancer, and a certain type of colorectal cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Erbitux binds to a protein called epidermal growth factor receptor (egfr), which is on the surface of some types of cancer cells. This may stop cancer cells from growing. Erbitux is a type of monoclonal antibody. Also called cetuximab.

Ercp
a procedure that uses an endoscope to examine and x-ray the pancreatic duct, hepatic duct, common bile duct, duodenal papilla, and gallbladder. An endoscope is a thin, tube-like instrument with a light and a lens for viewing. The endoscope is passed through the mouth and down into the first part of the small intestine (duodenum). A smaller tube (catheter) is then inserted through the endoscope into the bile and pancreatic ducts. A dye is injected through the catheter into the ducts, and an x-ray is taken. Also called endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography.

Erectile dysfunction
an inability to have an erection of the penis adequate for sexual intercourse. Also called impotence.

Erection
in medicine, the swelling of the penis with blood, causing it to become firm.

Ergocalciferol
a form of vitamin d that helps the body use calcium and phosphorus to make strong bones and teeth. It is fat-soluble (can dissolve in fats and oils) and is found in plants and yeast. It can be made in the body from another form of vitamin d when the body is exposed to the sun. Ergocalciferol is also made in the laboratory. It is used to prevent and to treat vitamin d deficiency. It is a type of dietary supplement. Also called vitamin d2.

Eribulin mesylate
a drug used to treat metastatic breast cancer in patients who have already been treated with other chemotherapy. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Eribulin mesylate may block cancer cell growth by stopping cell division. It belongs to the family of drugs called antitubulin agents. Also called e7389 and halaven.

Erivedge
a drug used to treat advanced basal cell carcinoma that has spread to other parts of the body or has come back after surgery. It is also used in patients who cannot be treated with surgery or radiation therapy. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Erivedge blocks a type of protein involved in tissue growth and repair and may block the growth of cancer cells. It is a type of hedgehog signaling pathway antagonist. Also called gdc-0449 and vismodegib.

Erlotinib hydrochloride
a drug used to treat certain types of non-small cell lung cancer. It is also used with gemcitabine hydrochloride to treat pancreatic cancer that cannot be removed by surgery or has spread to other parts of the body. It is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Erlotinib hydrochloride blocks a protein called epidermal growth factor receptor (egfr), which may help keep cancer cells from growing. It is a type of egfr tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Also called cp-358,774, osi-774, and tarceva.

Erms
a soft tissue tumor that is most common in infants and young children. It begins in muscles, usually in the head, neck, or genitourinary tract. Also called embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma.

Ert
treatment with the hormone estrogen to increase the amount of estrogen in the body. It is given to women who have gone through menopause or to women who have early menopause caused by cancer treatment or by having their ovaries removed by surgery. Ert may help relieve symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, and sleep problems. It may also help protect against osteoporosis (thinning of the bones) and lower the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women. Also called estrogen replacement therapy.

Erus
a procedure in which a probe that sends out high-energy sound waves is inserted into the rectum. The sound waves are bounced off internal tissues or organs and make echoes. The echoes form a picture of body tissue called a sonogram. Erus is used to look for abnormalities in the rectum and nearby structures, including the prostate. Also called endorectal ultrasound, transrectal ultrasound, and trus.

Erwinaze
a drug used with other anticancer drugs to treat acute lymphoblastic leukemia (all). It is an enzyme that comes from the erwinia chrysanthemi bacterium. It is used in patients who cannot take a similar drug that comes from the e. Coli bacterium. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It breaks down the amino acid asparagine and may block the growth of cancer cells that need asparagine to grow. It may also kill cancer cells. Also called asparaginase erwinia chrysanthemi.

Erythema
redness of the skin.

Erythrocyte
a type of blood cell that is made in the bone marrow and found in the blood. Erythrocytes contain a protein called hemoglobin, which carries oxygen from the lungs to all parts of the body. Checking the number of erythrocytes in the blood is usually part of a complete blood cell (cbc) test. It may be used to look for conditions such as anemia, dehydration, malnutrition, and leukemia. Also called rbc and red blood cell.

Erythrocyte sedimentation rate
The distance red blood cells travel in one hour in a sample of blood as they settle to the bottom of a test tube. The sedimentation rate is increased in inflammation, infection, cancer, rheumatic diseases, and diseases of the blood and bone marrow. Also called esr and sedimentation rate.

Erythrodysplasia
a condition in which immature red blood cells (erythroid cells) in the bone marrow are abnormal in size, shape, organization, and/or number. Erythrodysplasia may be caused by vitamin deficiency or chemotherapy, or it may be a sign of refractory anemia, which is a myelodysplastic syndrome. Also called erythroid dysplasia.

Erythrogenesis imperfecta
a very rare disorder in which the bone marrow doesn’t make enough red blood cells. It is usually seen in the first year of life. Patients may have deformed thumbs and other physical problems. They also have an increased risk of leukemia and sarcoma, especially osteosarcoma (bone cancer). Patients with erythrogenesis imperfecta may have a mutation (change) in one of the genes that make proteins found in the cell’s ribosomes. Also called blackfan–diamond anemia, congenital hypoplastic anemia, congenital pure red cell aplasia, dba, diamond-blackfan anemia, and inherited erythroblastopenia.

Erythroid dysplasia
a condition in which immature red blood cells (erythroid cells) in the bone marrow are abnormal in size, shape, organization, and/or number. Erythroid dysplasia may be caused by vitamin deficiency or chemotherapy, or it may be a sign of refractory anemia, which is a myelodysplastic syndrome. Also called erythrodysplasia.

Erythroleukemia
cancer of the blood-forming tissues in which large numbers of immature, abnormal red blood cells are found in the blood and bone marrow.

Erythroleukoplakia
an abnormal patch of red and white tissue that forms on mucous membranes in the mouth and may become cancer. Tobacco (smoking and chewing) and alcohol may increase the risk of erythroleukoplakia.

Erythroplakia
an abnormal patch of red tissue that forms on mucous membranes in the mouth and may become cancer. Tobacco (smoking and chewing) and alcohol may increase the risk of erythroplakia.

Erythropoiesis
the formation of red blood cells in blood-forming tissue. In the early development of a fetus, erythropoiesis takes place in the yolk sac, spleen, and liver. After birth, all erythropoiesis occurs in the bone marrow.

Erythropoiesis-stimulating agent
a substance that stimulates the bone marrow to make more red blood cells. Erythropoiesis-stimulating agents are used to treat anemia caused by chronic kidney failure, some anticancer drugs, and certain treatments for hiv. They may also be used to lower the number of blood transfusions needed during and after certain major surgeries. Examples of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents are epoetin alfa (epogen, procrit) and darbepoetin alfa (aranesp). Also called esa.

Erythropoietin
a substance that is naturally produced by the kidneys, and that stimulates the bone marrow to make red blood cells. When erythropoietin is made in the laboratory, it is called epoetin alfa or epoetin beta.

Esa
a substance that stimulates the bone marrow to make more red blood cells. Esas are used to treat anemia caused by chronic kidney failure, some anticancer drugs, and certain treatments for hiv. They may also be used to lower the number of blood transfusions needed during and after certain major surgeries. Examples of esas are epoetin alfa (epogen, procrit) and darbepoetin alfa (aranesp). Also called erythropoiesis-stimulating agent.

Escitalopram
a drug used to treat depression and certain anxiety disorders. It belongs to the family of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (ssris). Also called lexapro.

Esomeprazole
a drug that blocks acid from being made in the stomach. It is used to treat acid reflux disease and to prevent certain types of gastrointestinal ulcers. Esomeprazole is being studied in the prevention of esophageal cancer and in the treatment of other conditions, including side effects of chemotherapy. It is a type of anti-ulcer agent. Also called esomeprazole magnesium and nexium.

Esomeprazole magnesium
a drug that blocks acid from being made in the stomach. It is used to treat acid reflux disease and to prevent certain types of gastrointestinal ulcers. Esomeprazole magnesium is being studied in the prevention of esophageal cancer and in the treatment of other conditions, including side effects of chemotherapy. It is a type of anti-ulcer agent. Also called esomeprazole and nexium.

Esophageal
having to do with the esophagus, the muscular tube through which food passes from the throat to the stomach.

Esophageal cancer
cancer that forms in tissues lining the esophagus (the muscular tube through which food passes from the throat to the stomach). Two types of esophageal cancer are squamous cell carcinoma (cancer that begins in flat cells lining the esophagus) and adenocarcinoma (cancer that begins in cells that make and release mucus and other fluids).

Esophageal reflux
the backward flow of stomach acid contents into the esophagus (the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach). Also called gastric reflux and gastroesophageal reflux.

Esophageal speech
Speech produced by trapping air in the esophagus and forcing it out again. It is used after removal of a person’s larynx (voice box).

Esophageal stent
a tube placed in the esophagus to keep a blocked area open so the patient can swallow soft food and liquids. Esophageal stents are made of metal mesh, plastic, or silicone, and may be used in the treatment of esophageal cancer.

Esophagectomy
an operation to remove a portion of the esophagus.

Esophagitis
inflammation of the esophagus (the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach).

Esophagoscopy
examination of the esophagus using an esophagoscope. An esophagoscope is a thin, tube-like instrument with a light and a lens for viewing. It may also have a tool to remove tissue to be checked under a microscope for signs of disease.

Esophagram
a series of x-ray pictures of the esophagus taken after a patient drinks a liquid containing barium sulfate (a form of the silver-white metallic element barium). The barium sulfate coats and outlines the inner wall of the esophagus so that it can be seen on the x-ray pictures. Also called contrast esophagram.

Esophagus
the muscular tube through which food passes from the throat to the stomach.

Esr
the distance red blood cells travel in one hour in a sample of blood as they settle to the bottom of a test tube. The sedimentation rate is increased in inflammation, infection, cancer, rheumatic diseases, and diseases of the blood and bone marrow. Also called erythrocyte sedimentation rate and sedimentation rate.

Essential oil
the scented liquid taken from certain plants using steam or pressure. Essential oils contain the natural chemicals that give the plant its “essence” (specific odor and flavor). Essential oils are used in perfumes, food flavorings, medicine, and aromatherapy.

Essential thrombocythemia
an increased number of thrombocytes (platelets) in the blood, without a known cause. Also called essential thrombocytosis.

Essential thrombocytosis
an increased number of thrombocytes (platelets) in the blood, without a known cause. Also called essential thrombocythemia.

Essiac
an herbal tea mixture that contains burdock root, indian rhubarb root, sheep sorrel, and slippery elm bark. It has been claimed to remove toxins from the body, make the immune system stronger, relieve pain, control diabetes, treat aids, reduce tumor size, increase cancer survival, and improve quality of life. No clinical trial using essiac in humans has been reported in a peer-reviewed, scientific journal, and the fda has not approved the use of essiac for the treatment of any medical conditions.

Ester
a chemical substance made when an acid and an alcohol combine and water is removed. Esters are found in essential oils (scented oils that come from plants).

Esterified estrogen
a form of estrogen that may have fewer side effects than other forms. Esterified estrogens are used to treat some types of cancer, including prostate cancer. They are also used to treat the symptoms of menopause, (such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, or heavy and painful bleeding) and osteoporosis (loss of bone mass). It is a type of drug called hormone therapy.

Estradiol
a form of the hormone estrogen.

Estramustine
a combination of the hormone estradiol (an estrogen) and nitrogen mustard (an anticancer drug). Used in the palliative therapy of prostate cancer.

Estrogen
a type of hormone made by the body that helps develop and maintain female sex characteristics and the growth of long bones. Estrogens can also be made in the laboratory. They may be used as a type of birth control and to treat symptoms of menopause, menstrual disorders, osteoporosis, and other conditions.

Estrogen blocker
a substance that keeps cells from making or using estrogen (a hormone that plays a role in female sex characteristics, the menstrual cycle, and pregnancy). Estrogen blockers may stop some cancer cells from growing and are used to prevent and treat breast cancer. They are also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. An estrogen blocker is a type of hormone antagonist. Also called antiestrogen.

Estrogen cream
a cream that contains the hormone estrogen. It is used to treat some symptoms of menopause, such as vaginal dryness and painful intercourse. It may also be used to treat certain types of urinary incontinence (inability to control the flow of urine from the bladder). Estrogen cream is usually applied to the vagina, vulva, or opening of the urethra. It may also be applied to the cervix in some women who have certain abnormal cell changes caused by low hormone levels. Treatment with estrogen cream usually helps make these abnormal cells go away.

Estrogen receptor
a protein found inside the cells of the female reproductive tissue, some other types of tissue, and some cancer cells. The hormone estrogen will bind to the receptors inside the cells and may cause the cells to grow. Also called er.

Estrogen receptor negative
describes cells that do not have a protein to which the hormone estrogen will bind. Cancer cells that are estrogen receptor negative do not need estrogen to grow, and usually do not stop growing when treated with hormones that block estrogen from binding. Also called er-.

Estrogen receptor positive
describes cells that have a receptor protein that binds the hormone estrogen. Cancer cells that are estrogen receptor positive may need estrogen to grow, and may stop growing or die when treated with substances that block the binding and actions of estrogen. Also called er+.

Estrogen receptor test
a lab test to find out if cancer cells have estrogen receptors (proteins to which estrogen will bind). If the cells have estrogen receptors, they may need estrogen to grow, and this may affect how the cancer is treated.

Estrogen replacement therapy
treatment with the hormone estrogen to increase the amount of estrogen in the body. It is given to women who have gone through menopause or to women who have early menopause caused by cancer treatment or by having their ovaries removed by surgery. Estrogen replacement therapy may help relieve symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, and sleep problems. It may also help protect against osteoporosis (thinning of the bones) and lower the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women. Also called ert.

Et-743
a substance that comes from a type of sea squirt and is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It binds to dna and causes breaks in the dna. It also blocks the ability of the cell to repair the dna damage, and may cause cancer cells to die. Et-743 is also made in the laboratory. It is a type of dna excision repair inhibitor. Also called ecteinascidin 743 and trabectedin.

Etanercept
a drug that is commonly used to treat arthritis. It is also being studied in the treatment of cancer, and as a treatment for loss of appetite and weight loss in cancer patients. It belongs to the family of drugs called tumor necrosis factor (tnf) antagonists.

Etaracizumab
a substance being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer and other conditions. Etaracizumab binds to a protein on the surface of blood vessels and may prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It may also prevent the spread of cancer. It is a type of antiangiogenesis agent, a type of metastasis inhibitor, and a type of monoclonal antibody. Also called abegrin, humanized monoclonal antibody medi-522, and medi-522.

Ethanol ablation
an injection of ethanol (alcohol) through the skin directly into a tumor to kill cancer cells. Ultrasound or a ct scan is used to guide the needle into the tumor. Also called alcohol ablation, pei, and percutaneous ethanol injection.

Etheylenediaminetetraacetic acid
a chemical that binds certain metal ions, such as calcium, magnesium, lead, and iron. It is used in medicine to prevent blood samples from clotting and to remove calcium and lead from the body. It is also used to keep bacteria from forming a biofilm (thin layer stuck to a surface). It is a type of chelating agent. Also called edetic acid and edta.

Ethical
having to do with beliefs about what is right and wrong in terms of how people behave. Also called moral.

Ethical will
a final personal message or document in which a person shares his or her thoughts, values, memories, life lessons, advice, and hopes for the future. The person may also ask for forgiveness and forgive others. An ethical will is not a legal document.

Ethiodized oil
a form of poppy seed oil that contains iodine. Ethiodized oil is given by injection and builds up in the blood and lymph vessels in tumors. It is used for imaging (taking pictures) of the salivary glands and the lymph system. It is also being studied in the imaging of other organs such as the liver, lung, stomach, and thyroid. It is a type of diagnostic imaging agent. Also called ethiodol, iodized oil, and lipiodol.

Ethiodol
a form of poppy seed oil that contains iodine. Ethiodol is given by injection and builds up in the blood and lymph vessels in tumors. It is used for imaging (taking pictures) of the salivary glands and the lymph system. It is also being studied in the imaging of other organs such as the liver, lung, stomach, and thyroid. It is a type of diagnostic imaging agent. Also called ethiodized oil, iodized oil, and lipiodol.

Ethmoid sinus
a type of paranasal sinus (a hollow space in the bones around the nose). Ethmoid sinuses are found in the spongy ethmoid bone in the upper part of the nose between the eyes. They are lined with cells that make mucus to keep the nose from drying out.

Ethylene oxide
a chemical used to make antifreeze, to clean medical equipment, and as a pesticide. It is also found in tobacco smoke. Being exposed to ethylene oxide can cause lung damage, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and shortness of breath. Being exposed over a long time may increase the risk of certain types of cancer.

Ethynyluracil
an anticancer drug that increases the effectiveness of fluorouracil. Also called eniluracil.

Etidronate
a drug that belongs to the family of drugs called bisphosphonates. Bisphosphonates are used as treatment for hypercalcemia (abnormally high levels of calcium in the blood) and for cancer that has spread to the bone (bone metastases).

Etiology
the cause or origin of disease.

Etopophos
a drug used to treat testicular and small cell lung cancers. It is also being studied in the treatment of several other types of cancer. Etopophos blocks certain enzymes needed for cell division and dna repair, and it may kill cancer cells. It is a type of podophyllotoxin derivative and a type of topoisomerase inhibitor. Also called etoposide phosphate.

Etoposide
a drug used to treat testicular and small cell lung cancers. It is also being studied in the treatment of several other types of cancer. Etoposide blocks certain enzymes needed for cell division and dna repair, and it may kill cancer cells. It is a type of podophyllotoxin derivative and a type of topoisomerase inhibitor. Also called toposar and vepesid.

Etoposide phosphate
a drug used to treat testicular and small cell lung cancers. It is also being studied in the treatment of several other types of cancer. Etoposide phosphate blocks certain enzymes needed for cell division and dna repair, and it may kill cancer cells. It is a type of podophyllotoxin derivative and a type of topoisomerase inhibitor. Also called etopophos.

Ets
smoke that comes from the burning of a tobacco product and smoke that is exhaled by smokers. Inhaling ets is called involuntary or passive smoking. Also called environmental tobacco smoke and secondhand smoke.

Eucalyptus
a type of evergreen tree that is a member of the myrtle family. Oil from the leaves is used in very small amounts in mouthwash and in medicines and candy used to treat and soothe sore throats and coughs. It has also been used in some cultures to treat many other medical problems. The scientific name is eucalyptus globulus.

Eulexin
a drug used with another drug to treat certain types of prostate cancer. Eulexin binds to proteins called androgen receptors, which are found in some prostate cancer cells, and keeps androgens (male hormones) from binding to the receptors. This blocks the ability of androgens to cause prostate cancer cells to grow. Eulexin is a type of antiandrogen. Also called flutamide.

Euphoria
a feeling of great happiness or well-being. Euphoria may be a side effect of certain drugs.

Eus
a procedure in which an endoscope is inserted into the body. An endoscope is a thin, tube-like instrument that has a light and a lens for viewing. A probe at the end of the endoscope is used to bounce high-energy sound waves (ultrasound) off internal organs to make a picture (sonogram). Also called endoscopic ultrasound and endosonography.

Eus-fna
a procedure to take a sample of tissue for examination under a microscope. An endoscope with an ultrasound probe and a biopsy needle at the end is inserted through the mouth into the esophagus. An endoscope is a thin, tube-like instrument that has a light and a lens for viewing. The ultrasound probe is used to bounce high-energy sound waves off internal organs and tissues to make a picture on a monitor. This picture helps the doctor see where to place the biopsy needle. Also called endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration.

Euthanasia
an easy or painless death, or the intentional ending of the life of a person suffering from an incurable or painful disease at his or her request. Also called mercy killing.

Evacet
a form of the anticancer drug doxorubicin that is contained in very tiny, fat-like particles. It may have fewer side effects and work better than doxorubicin. Evacet is used to treat ovarian cancer, aids-related kaposi sarcoma, and multiple myeloma in patients whose disease has not gotten better after treatment with other anticancer drugs. It may be used together with other anticancer drugs. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Evacet is a type of anthracycline antitumor antibiotic. Also called dox-sl, doxil, doxorubicin hydrochloride liposome, lipodox, and liposomal doxorubicin hydrochloride.

Evaluable disease
disease that cannot be measured directly by the size of the tumor but can be evaluated by other methods specific to a particular clinical trial.

Evaluable patients
patients whose response to a treatment can be measured because enough information has been collected.

Event-free survival
in cancer, the length of time after primary treatment for a cancer ends that the patient remains free of certain complications or events that the treatment was intended to prevent or delay. These events may include the return of the cancer or the onset of certain symptoms, such as bone pain from cancer that has spread to the bone. In a clinical trial, measuring the event-free survival is one way to see how well a new treatment works. Also called efs.

Everolimus
a drug used with another drug to treat some postmenopausal women with advanced breast cancer that is hormone-receptor positive and her2 negative. It is also used to treat certain types of pancreatic cancer, a type of advanced kidney cancer, and subependymal giant cell astrocytoma in some patients, including children. Everolimus is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It stops cancer cells from dividing and may prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It also lowers the body’s immune response. It is a type of kinase inhibitor, a type of angiogenesis inhibitor, and a type of immunosuppressant. Also called afinitor, afinitor disperz, and rad001.

Evista
a drug used to reduce the risk of invasive breast cancer in postmenopausal women who are at high risk of the disease or who have osteoporosis. It is also used to prevent and treat osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. It is also being studied in the prevention of breast cancer in certain premenopausal women and in the prevention and treatment of other conditions. Evista blocks the effects of the hormone estrogen in the breast and increases the amount of calcium in bone. It is a type of selective estrogen receptor modulator (serm). Also called raloxifene hydrochloride.

Evoxac
a drug used to treat certain disorders of the salivary gland. It is also being studied as a treatment for dry mouth caused by radiation therapy to the head and neck. It increases the amount of saliva and sweat made by saliva and sweat glands. Evoxac is a type of cholinergic agonist. Also called cevimeline hydrochloride.

Ewing sarcoma
a type of cancer that forms in bone or soft tissue. Also called peripheral primitive neuroectodermal tumor and ppnet.

Ewing sarcoma family of tumors
a group of cancers that includes ewing tumor of bone (etb or ewing sarcoma of bone), extraosseous ewing (eoe) tumors, primitive neuroectodermal tumors (pnet or peripheral neuroepithelioma), and askin tumors (pnet of the chest wall). These tumors all come from the same type of stem cell. Also called efts.

Ex vivo
outside of the living body. Refers to a medical procedure in which an organ, cells, or tissue are taken from a living body for a treatment or procedure, and then returned to the living body.

Exalgo
a drug used to treat moderate to severe pain. It may also be used to treat certain types of cough. Exalgo is made from morphine and binds to opioid receptors in the central nervous system. It is a type of opioid and a type of analgesic agent. Also called dilaudid, hydromorphone hydrochloride, and hydrostat ir.

Exatecan mesylate
an anticancer drug that is a type of topoisomerase inhibitor. Also called dx-8951f.

Excision
removal by surgery.

Excisional biopsy
a surgical procedure in which an entire lump or suspicious area is removed for diagnosis. The tissue is then examined under a microscope.

Excisional skin surgery
a surgical procedure used to remove moles, cysts, skin cancer, and other skin growths using local anesthesia. To treat skin cancer, the doctor uses a scalpel to remove the entire tumor and some of the healthy tissue around it.

Excrete
to get rid of waste material from the blood, tissues, or organs by a normal discharge (such as sweat, urine, or stool).

Exemestane
a drug used to treat advanced breast cancer and to prevent recurrent breast cancer in postmenopausal women who have already been treated with tamoxifen. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Exemestane causes a decrease in the amount of estrogen made by the body. It is a type of aromatase inhibitor. Also called aromasin.

Exenteration
surgery to remove organs within a body cavity.

Exisulind
a drug being studied in the treatment and prevention of cancer. It has been shown to cause apoptosis (cell death) in cells that are malignant (cancer) and in cells that may become cancer. It acts through a group of cellular enzymes called cgmp phosphodiesterases.

Exjade
a drug used to treat too much iron in the blood caused by blood transfusions. It is being studied in the treatment of myelodysplastic syndromes (a group of diseases in which the bone marrow does not make enough healthy blood cells) and other conditions. Exjade binds to extra iron in the blood. The drug and the iron are passed from the body in urine. It is a type of chelating agent. Also called deferasirox.

Exocrine cancer
a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells are found in the tissues of the pancreas. Also called pancreatic cancer.

Exocrine pancreas cell
a pancreatic cell that produces enzymes that are secreted into the small intestine. These enzymes help digest food as it passes through the gastrointestinal tract.

Expanded access trial
a way to provide an investigational therapy to a patient who is not eligible to receive that therapy in a clinical trial, but who has a serious or life-threatening illness for which other treatments are not available. Expanded access allows a patient to receive promising but not yet fully studied or approved cancer therapies when no other treatment option exists. Also called compassionate use trial.

Expectant management
closely watching a patient’s condition but not giving treatment unless symptoms appear or change, or there are changes in test results. Expectant management avoids problems that may be caused by treatments such as radiation or surgery. It is used to find early signs that the condition is getting worse. During expectant management, patients may be given certain exams and tests. It is sometimes used in prostate cancer. Also called deferred therapy.

Experimental
in clinical trials, refers to a drug (including a new drug, dose, combination, or route of administration) or procedure that has undergone basic laboratory testing and received approval from the u.s. Food and drug administration (fda) to be tested in human subjects. A drug or procedure may be approved by the fda for use in one disease or condition, but be considered experimental in other diseases or conditions. Also called investigational.

Experimental drug
A substance that has been tested in the laboratory and has been approved by the u.s. Food and drug administration (fda) for testing in people. Clinical trials test how well experimental drugs work and whether they are safe to use. An experimental drug may be approved by the fda for use in one disease or condition but still be considered investigational in other diseases or conditions. Also called ind, investigational agent, investigational drug, and investigational new drug.

Exploratory surgery
surgery to look inside the body to help make a diagnosis.

Extensive-stage small cell lung cancer
cancer has spread outside of the lung in which it began or to other parts of the body.

External radiation therapy
a type of radiation therapy that uses a machine to aim high-energy rays at the cancer from outside of the body. Also called external-beam radiation therapy.

External right atrial catheter
a thin, flexible tube that is inserted into a vein in the neck or below the collar bone and guided (threaded) into the right atrium of the heart. It is used to give intravenous fluids, blood transfusions, and chemotherapy and other drugs, and for taking blood samples. It avoids the need for repeated needle sticks. An external right atrial catheter is a type of central venous access device.

External-beam radiation therapy
a type of radiation therapy that uses a machine to aim high-energy rays at the cancer from outside of the body. Also called external radiation therapy.

Extracorporeal photopheresis
a procedure in which blood is removed from the body and treated with ultraviolet light and drugs that become active when exposed to light. The blood is then returned to the body. It is being studied in the treatment of some blood and bone marrow diseases and graft-vs-host disease (gvhd). Also called photopheresis.

Extracranial
outside of the cranium (bones that surround the brain).

Extracranial germ cell tumor
a rare cancer that forms in germ cells in the testicle or ovary, or in germ cells that have traveled to areas of the body other than the brain (such as the chest, abdomen, or tailbone). Germ cells are reproductive cells that develop into sperm in males and eggs in females.

Extract
in medicine, a preparation of a substance obtained from plants, animals, or bacteria and used as a drug or in drugs.

Extragonadal
an area of the body other than the ovaries or testes.

Extragonadal germ cell tumor
a rare cancer that develops in germ cells that are found in areas of the body other than the ovary or testicle (such as the brain, chest, abdomen, or tailbone). Germ cells are reproductive cells that develop into sperm in males and eggs in females.

Extrahepatic
located or occurring outside the liver.

Extrahepatic bile duct
the part of the common hepatic bile duct (tube that collects bile from the liver) that is outside the liver. This duct joins a duct from the gallbladder to form the common bile duct, which carries bile into the small intestine when food is being digested.

Extrahepatic bile duct cancer
a rare cancer that forms in the part of the bile duct that is outside the liver. The bile duct is the tube that collects bile from the liver and joins a duct from the gallbladder to form the common bile duct, which carries bile into the small intestine when food is being digested.

Extranodal
refers to an area or organ outside of the lymph nodes.

Extraocular
located outside the eye.

Extraosseous
located or occurring outside of the bone. Also called extraskeletal.

Extrapleural pneumonectomy
surgery to remove a diseased lung, part of the pericardium (membrane covering the heart), part of the diaphragm (muscle between the lungs and the abdomen), and part of the parietal pleura (membrane lining the chest). This type of surgery is used most often to treat malignant mesothelioma.

Extraskeletal
located or occurring outside of the bone. Also called extraosseous.

Extrauterine pregnancy
a condition in which a fertilized egg grows outside of the uterus, usually in one of the fallopian tubes. Symptoms include sharp pain on one side of the abdomen and bleeding from the vagina. Also called ectopic pregnancy.

Extravasation
the leakage of blood, lymph, or other fluid, such as an anticancer drug, from a blood vessel or tube into the tissue around it. It is also used to describe the movement of cells out of a blood vessel into tissue during inflammation or metastasis (the spread of cancer).

Extravasation injury
blistering and tissue damage caused by certain drugs when they leak out of a vein into the tissue around it. The damage is sometimes severe and can lead to tissue necrosis (tissue death).

Extremity
a limb of the body, such as the arm or leg.

Eye cancer
cancer that forms in tissues of and around the eye. Some of the cancers that may affect the eye include melanoma (a rare cancer that begins in cells that make the pigment melanin in the eye), carcinoma (cancer that begins in tissues that cover structures in the eye), lymphoma (cancer that begins in immune system cells), and retinoblastoma (cancer that begins in the retina and usually occurs in children younger than 5 years).

Ezn-2285
a drug used to treat acute lymphoblastic leukemia (all). It is a form of the anticancer drug peg-asparaginase that stays in the body longer. Ezn-2285 is an enzyme that breaks down the amino acid asparagine and may block the growth of tumor cells that need asparagine to grow. It is a type of protein synthesis inhibitor. Also called oncaspar-iv and sc-peg e. Coli l-asparaginase.

F 18 sodium fluoride positron emission tomography
A procedure used to find out if cancer has spread to the bone. A small amount of a radioactive substance called fluorine F 18 sodium fluoride is injected into a vein. A PET scan is then used to make detailed pictures of the bones. Bones with cancer in them take up more fluorine F18 sodium fluoride than normal bones do. Also called F-18 NaF PET and fluorine F 18 sodium fluoride PET.

F-18 16 alpha-fluoroestradiol
A radiolabeled substance being studied as an imaging agent in breast cancer. F-18 16 alpha-fluoroestradiol binds to estrogen receptors and gives off radiation that can be detected by a PET scan. The PET scan forms an image that shows where cancer cells with estrogen receptors can be found in the body. It is a type of radioimaging agent. Also called F-18 FES.

F-18 FES
A radiolabeled substance being studied as an imaging agent in breast cancer. F-18 FES binds to estrogen receptors and gives off radiation that can be detected by a PET scan. The PET scan forms an image that shows where cancer cells with estrogen receptors can be found in the body. It is a type of radioimaging agent. Also called F-18 16 alpha-fluoroestradiol.

F-18 NaF PET
A procedure used to find out if cancer has spread to the bone. A small amount of a radioactive substance called fluorine F 18 sodium fluoride is injected into a vein. A PET scan is then used to make detailed pictures of the bones. Bones with cancer in them take up more fluorine F18 sodium fluoride than normal bones do. Also called F 18 sodium fluoride positron emission tomography and fluorine F 18 sodium fluoride PET.

F511 cream
A substance being studied in the prevention of palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia (pain, swelling, numbness, tingling, or redness of the palms of the hands or soles of the feet) in breast cancer patients treated with anticancer drugs. F511 cream contains a substance that is used in products to control excess sweating under the arms and on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. It is a type of antiperspirant.

falimarev
A cancer vaccine made with a form of a chicken virus that does not cause disease in humans. It is being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. The virus is changed in the laboratory to make human proteins that may help immune cells in the body kill tumor cells. Also called recombinant fowlpox-CEA-MUC-1-TRICOM vaccine.

fallopian tube
A slender tube through which eggs pass from an ovary to the uterus. In the female reproductive tract, there is one ovary and one fallopian tube on each side of the uterus.

fallopian tube cancer
Cancer that forms in tissues of the fallopian tube (one of two slender tubes that connect the ovaries to the uterus). Most fallopian tube cancers begin in cells that line the fallopian tubes. They are similar to ovarian epithelial cancers and are staged and treated the same way.

false-negative test result
A test result that indicates that a person does not have a specific disease or condition when the person actually does have the disease or condition.

false-positive test result
A test result that indicates that a person has a specific disease or condition when the person actually does not have the disease or condition.

familial adenomatous polyposis
An inherited condition in which numerous polyps (growths that protrude from mucous membranes) form on the inside walls of the colon and rectum. It increases the risk of colorectal cancer. Also called familial polyposis and FAP.

familial atypical multiple mole melanoma syndrome
An inherited condition marked by the following: (1) one or more first- or second-degree relatives (parent, sibling, child, grandparent, grandchild, aunt, or uncle) with malignant melanoma; (2) many moles, some of which are atypical (asymmetrical, raised, and/or different shades of tan, brown, black, or red) and often of different sizes; and (3) moles that have specific features when examined under a microscope. Familial atypical multiple mole melanoma syndrome increases the risk of melanoma and may increase the risk of pancreatic cancer. Also called FAMMM syndrome.

familial cancer
Cancer that occurs in families more often than would be expected by chance. These cancers often occur at an early age, and may indicate the presence of a gene mutation that increases the risk of cancer. They may also be a sign of shared environmental or lifestyle factors.

familial dysplastic nevi
A condition that runs in certain families in which at least two members have dysplastic nevi (atypical moles) and have a tendency to develop melanoma.

familial isolated hyperparathyroidism
A rare inherited condition in which one or more tumors form in the parathyroid glands (four pea-sized organs found on the thyroid) and cause them to make too much parathyroid hormone. The increased parathyroid hormone causes a loss of calcium from the bones and too much calcium in the blood. Also called FIHP.

familial medullary thyroid cancer
An inherited form of medullary thyroid cancer (cancer that forms in the cells of the thyroid that make the hormone calcitonin).

familial polyposis
An inherited condition in which numerous polyps (growths that protrude from mucous membranes) form on the inside walls of the colon and rectum. It increases the risk of colorectal cancer. Also called familial adenomatous polyposis and FAP.

family history
A record of the relationships among family members along with their medical histories. This includes current and past illnesses. A family history may show a pattern of certain diseases in a family. Also called family medical history.

family medical history
A record of the relationships among family members along with their medical histories. This includes current and past illnesses. A family medical history may show a pattern of certain diseases in a family. Also called family history.

family therapy
A type of therapy in which the whole family talks with a professional counselor to solve family problems.

FAMMM syndrome
An inherited condition marked by the following: (1) one or more first- or second-degree relatives (parent, sibling, child, grandparent, grandchild, aunt, or uncle) with malignant melanoma; (2) many moles, some of which are atypical (asymmetrical, raised, and/or different shades of tan, brown, black, or red) and often of different sizes; and (3) moles that have specific features when examined under a microscope. FAMMM syndrome increases the risk of melanoma and may increase the risk of pancreatic cancer. Also called familial atypical multiple mole melanoma syndrome.

Fanconi anemia
A rare inherited disorder in which the bone marrow does not make blood cells. It is usually diagnosed in children between 2 and 15 years old. Symptoms include frequent infections, easy bleeding, and extreme tiredness. People with Fanconi anemia may have a small skeleton and brown spots on the skin. They also have an increased risk of developing certain types of cancer.

Fanconi syndrome
A group of kidney disorders that cause protein, sugar, minerals, and other nutrients to be lost in the urine. Symptoms include weakness, bone pain, and passing a greater than normal amount of urine. One form of Fanconi syndrome is inherited and is usually found in infants. Fanconi syndrome may also be caused by other diseases, a lack of vitamin D, or exposure to heavy metals or chemicals, including certain anticancer drugs.

FAP
An inherited condition in which numerous polyps (growths that protrude from mucous membranes) form on the inside walls of the colon and rectum. It increases the risk of colorectal cancer. Also called familial adenomatous polyposis and familial polyposis.

Faridak
A drug being studied in the treatment of cancer. It blocks enzymes needed for cells to grow and divide and may kill cancer cells. Faridak may also prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It is a type of histone deacetylase inhibitor and a type of antiangiogenesis agent. Also called LBH589 and panobinostat.

Faslodex
A drug used to treat certain types of breast cancer in postmenopausal women. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Faslodex blocks estrogen activity in the body and is a type of antiestrogen. Also called fulvestrant and ICI 182780.

fast-neutron beam radiation
A type of radiation therapy that uses tiny particles called neutrons made by a machine called a cyclotron.

fat necrosis
A benign condition in which fat tissue in the breast or other organs is damaged by injury, surgery, or radiation therapy. The fat tissue in the breast may be replaced by a cyst or by scar tissue, which may feel like a round, firm lump. The skin around the lump may look red, bruised or dimpled.

fat-soluble vitamin
A vitamin that can dissolve in fats and oils. Fat-soluble vitamins are absorbed along with fats in the diet and can be stored in the body’s fatty tissue. They come from plant and animal foods or dietary supplements. Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble.

fatigue
A condition marked by extreme tiredness and inability to function due lack of energy. Fatigue may be acute or chronic.

fatty acid
A major component of fats that is used by the body for energy and tissue development.

fatty-replaced breast tissue
A term used in mammography that refers to the replacement of breast tissue with fatty tissue. This commonly occurs as a woman ages.

FAU
A substance being studied in the treatment of advanced solid tumors and lymphomas. It blocks the growth of cells and may cause cancer cells to die. It is a type of uracil analog. Also called 1-(2’-deoxy-2’-fluoro-ß-D-arabinofuranosyl) uracil.

fazarabine
An anticancer drug that is a type of antimetabolite.

FDA
An agency in the U.S. federal government whose mission is to protect public health by making sure that food, cosmetics, and nutritional supplements are safe to use and truthfully labeled. The FDA also makes sure that drugs, medical devices, and equipment are safe and effective, and that blood for transfusions and transplant tissue are safe. Also called Food and Drug Administration.

FdCyd
A substance being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. It may prevent the growth of tumors by stopping cancer cells from dividing and by killing them. It is a type of antimetabolite. Also called 5-fluoro-2-deoxycytidine.

FDR
The parents, brothers, sisters, or children of an individual. Also called first-degree relative.

febrile neutropenia
A condition marked by fever and a lower-than-normal number of neutrophils in the blood. A neutrophil is a type of white blood cell that helps fight infection. Having too few neutrophils increases the risk of infection.

FEC
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used with other types of therapy to treat breast cancer, including breast cancer that has spread or come back. It includes the drugs fluorouracil, epirubicin hydrochloride, and cyclophosphamide. Also called FEC regimen.

FEC regimen
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used with other types of therapy to treat breast cancer, including breast cancer that has spread or come back. It includes the drugs fluorouracil, epirubicin hydrochloride, and cyclophosphamide. Also called FEC.

fecal immunochemical test
A test that checks for occult (hidden) blood in the stool. Small samples of stool are placed on special cards and sent to a doctor or laboratory for testing. An antibody that binds to a blood protein called hemoglobin is used to detect any blood. Blood in the stool may be a sign of colorectal cancer or other problems, such as polyps, ulcers, or hemorrhoids. Also called FIT, iFOBT, immunoassay fecal occult blood test, immunochemical fecal occult blood test, and immunologic fecal occult blood test.

fecal incontinence
Inability to hold stool in the rectum.

fecal occult blood test
A test that checks for occult (hidden) blood in the stool. Small samples of stool are placed on special cards and sent to a doctor or laboratory for testing. Blood in the stool may be a sign of colorectal cancer or other problems, such as polyps, ulcers, or hemorrhoids. Guaiac fecal occult blood test and immunochemical fecal occult blood test are two types of fecal occult blood tests. Guaiac fecal occult blood test uses a chemical substance called guaiac to check for blood in the stool. Immunochemical fecal occult blood test uses an antibody to check for blood in the stool. Also called FOBT.

feces
The material in a bowel movement. Feces is made up of undigested food, bacteria, mucus, and cells from the lining of the intestines. Also called stool.

Femara
A drug used to treat certain types of breast cancer in postmenopausal women. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Femara lowers the amount of estrogen made by the body. This may stop the growth of cancer cells that need estrogen to grow. Femara is a type of aromatase inhibitor. Also called letrozole.

fenofibrate
A drug used to treat high levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood. Fenofibrate is being studied in the treatment of advanced cancers in young patients and in the treatment of other conditions. It is a type of antilipidemic agent. Also called Lofibra and TriCor.

fenretinide
A substance being studied in the treatment and prevention of some types of cancer. Fenretinide may cause ceramide (a wax-like substance) to build up in tumor cells and kill them. It is a type of retinoid, which are substances related to vitamin A.

fenretinide LXS
A powdered form of fenretinide that is being studied in the treatment of neuroblastoma. It may be used by the body more easily than the pill form. Fenretinide may cause ceramide (a wax-like substance) to build up in tumor cells and kill them. It is a type of retinoid, which are substances related to vitamin A. Also called fenretinide Lym-X-Sorb.

fenretinide Lym-X-Sorb
A powdered form of fenretinide that is being studied in the treatment of neuroblastoma. It may be used by the body more easily than the pill form. Fenretinide may cause ceramide (a wax-like substance) to build up in tumor cells and kill them. It is a type of retinoid, which are substances related to vitamin A. Also called fenretinide LXS.

fentanyl citrate
A drug used to treat severe cancer pain that occurs even though the patient is already taking opioids. It is also used during anesthesia for surgery. Fentanyl citrate binds to opioid receptors in the central nervous system. It is a type of analgesic agent and a type of opioid.

fentanyl sublingual spray
A form of the drug fentanyl that is sprayed under the tongue and then absorbed into the blood. It is being studied in the treatment of breakthrough pain (pain that occurs even when pain-control medication is already being used) in cancer patients. Fentanyl is a type of opioid analgesic.

ferritin
A protein that binds to iron and stores it for use by the body. Ferritin is found in cells in the liver, spleen, bone marrow, and other tissues.

Ferrlecit
A form of the mineral iron that is used to treat anemia caused by low amounts of iron in the blood. Anemia is a condition in which the number of red blood cells is below normal. Ferrlecit is a type of hematinic and a dietary supplement. Also called sodium ferric gluconate.

ferrous sulfate
A form of the mineral iron that is used to treat anemia caused by low amounts of iron in the blood. Anemia is a condition in which the number of red blood cells is below normal. Ferrous sulfate is a type of hematinic and a type of dietary supplement.

fertile
Able to produce children.

fertility
The ability to produce children.

fertility preservation
A type of procedure used to help keep a person’s ability to have children. A fertility preservation procedure is done before a medical treatment that may cause infertility, such as radiation therapy or chemotherapy. Examples of fertility preservation procedures include sperm banking, egg freezing, in vitro fertilization with embryo freezing, and certain types of surgery for cervical and ovarian cancer.

ferumoxtran-10
A substance being studied as a way of improving magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in diagnosing cancer and finding lymph nodes to which cancer has spread. Ferumoxtran-10 is made of nanoparticles (ultrasmall pieces) of iron oxide coated with dextran (a type of sugar). It is injected into the blood of the patient and the particles collect in lymph nodes, liver, spleen, or brain tissue where they can be seen using MRI. Ferumoxtran-10 later breaks down and passes from the body in urine.

ferumoxytol
A nanoparticle form of iron made in the laboratory that is being studied for use in iron replacement therapy, and as a contrast agent for magnetic resonance imaging. Contrast agents are substances that are injected into the body and taken up by certain tissues, making the tissues easier to see in imaging scans.

fetal
Having to do with a fetus. A fetus is an unborn baby that develops and grows inside the uterus. In humans, the fetal period begins 8 weeks after fertilization of an egg by a sperm and ends at birth.

fetus
In humans, an unborn baby that develops and grows inside the uterus (womb). The fetal period begins 8 weeks after fertilization of an egg by a sperm and ends at the time of birth.

fever
An increase in body temperature above normal (98.6 degrees F), usually caused by disease.

fexofenadine
A drug used to treat certain allergy symptoms. It blocks a chemical released during an allergic response that causes itching, sneezing, runny nose, wheezing, and watery eyes. It is a type of antihistamine. Also called Allegra.

fiber
In food, fiber is the part of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains that cannot be digested. The fiber in food may help prevent cancer. In the body, fiber refers to tissue made of long threadlike cells, such as muscle fiber or nerve fiber.

fiberoptic
Describes the use of a coated, thin, clear, glass or plastic fiber that can carry light and send information, including images. In medicine, flexible fiberoptic instruments are used to look inside the body. Fiberoptics are also used to deliver laser light to tumors injected with a type of drug that kills cancer cells when it is exposed to laser light.

fibrin
A protein involved in forming blood clots in the body. It is made from the protein fibrinogen and helps stop bleeding and heal wounds. Sometimes fibrin-like substances may be found in higher than normal amounts in the blood and urine of patients with some types of cancer or other conditions. Measuring the amount of these substances may help to check how well cancer treatment is working or if the cancer has gotten worse. Fibrin is a type of tumor marker.

fibrin sealant
A substance used during surgery to help heal wounds. It contains proteins found in human blood that cause blood to clot. When fibrin sealant is placed on a wound, a clot forms. Fibrin sealant is being studied as a way to improve healing after lymph node removal in patients with cancer. It is a type of surgical glue.

fibrinogen
A protein involved in forming blood clots in the body. It is made in the liver and forms fibrin. Fibrin is the main protein in a blood clot that helps stop bleeding and heal wounds. Sometimes fibrin-like substances may be found in higher than normal amounts in the blood and urine of patients with some types of cancer or other conditions. Measuring the amount of these substances may help to check how well cancer treatment is working or if the cancer has gotten worse. Fibrinogen is a type of tumor marker.

fibroadenoma
A benign (not cancer) tumor that usually forms in the breast from both fibrous and glandular tissue. Fibroadenomas are the most common benign breast tumors.

fibroblast
A connective tissue cell that makes and secretes collagen proteins.

fibrocystic breast changes
A common condition marked by benign (not cancer) changes in breast tissue. These changes may include irregular lumps or cysts, breast discomfort, sensitive nipples, and itching. These symptoms may change throughout the menstrual cycle and usually stop after menopause. Also called benign breast disease, fibrocystic breast disease, and mammary dysplasia.

fibrocystic breast disease
A common condition marked by benign (not cancer) changes in breast tissue. These changes may include irregular lumps or cysts, breast discomfort, sensitive nipples, and itching. These symptoms may change throughout the menstrual cycle and usually stop after menopause. Also called benign breast disease, fibrocystic breast changes, and mammary dysplasia.

fibroid
A benign smooth-muscle tumor, usually in the uterus or gastrointestinal tract. Also called leiomyoma.

fibromatosis
A condition in which multiple fibromas develop. Fibromas are tumors (usually benign) that affect connective tissue.

fibrosarcoma
A type of soft tissue sarcoma that begins in fibrous tissue, which holds bones, muscles, and other organs in place.

fibrosis
The growth of fibrous tissue.

fibrous
Containing or resembling fibers.

fiducial marker
A medical device or small object placed in or on the body to mark an area for radiation treatment or surgery. For example, tiny gold seeds may be put into the prostate to mark a tumor before radiation therapy. This allows the doctor to give higher doses of radiation to the tumor with less harm to nearby healthy tissue.

fifth cranial nerve
The main sensory nerve of the head and face, and the motor nerve of the muscles used in chewing. Also called trigeminal nerve.

FIHP
A rare inherited condition in which one or more tumors form in the parathyroid glands (four pea-sized organs found on the thyroid) and cause them to make too much parathyroid hormone. The increased parathyroid hormone causes a loss of calcium from the bones and too much calcium in the blood. Also called familial isolated hyperparathyroidism.

filgrastim
A colony-stimulating factor that stimulates the production of neutrophils (a type of white blood cell). It is a cytokine that is a type of hematopoietic (blood-forming) agent. Also called G-CSF and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor.

filgrastim-SD/01
A drug used to increase numbers of white blood cells in patients who are receiving chemotherapy. It is a type of colony-stimulating factor. Also called Neulasta and pegfilgrastim.

filler
An inactive substance used to make a product bigger or easier to handle. For example, fillers are often used to make pills or capsules because the amount of active drug is too small to be handled conveniently.

film mammography
The use of x-rays to create a picture of the breast on a film.

filter
A material or device that allows certain substances to pass through it, while keeping other substances out. Filters may be used in cigarettes to help trap tar and other harmful substances found in tobacco smoke.

finasteride
A drug used to reduce the amount of male hormone (testosterone) produced by the body.

fine-needle aspiration biopsy
The removal of tissue or fluid with a thin needle for examination under a microscope. Also called FNA biopsy.

Firmagon
A drug that is used to treat advanced prostate cancer and is also being studied in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia. Firmagon binds to gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) receptors in the pituitary gland. This causes the body to stop making testosterone, which prostate cancer needs to grow. Firmagon is a type of GnRH antagonist. Also called degarelix.

first-degree relative
The parents, brothers, sisters, or children of an individual. Also called FDR.

first-line therapy
The first treatment given for a disease. It is often part of a standard set of treatments, such as surgery followed by chemotherapy and radiation. When used by itself, first-line therapy is the one accepted as the best treatment. If it doesn’t cure the disease or it causes severe side effects, other treatment may be added or used instead. Also called induction therapy, primary therapy, and primary treatment.

FISH
A laboratory technique used to look at genes or chromosomes in cells and tissues. Pieces of DNA that contain a fluorescent dye are made in the laboratory and added to cells or tissues on a glass slide. When these pieces of DNA bind to specific genes or areas of chromosomes on the slide, they light up when viewed under a microscope with a special light. Also called fluorescence in situ hybridization.

fistula
An abnormal opening or passage between two organs or between an organ and the surface of the body. Fistulas may be caused by injury, infection, or inflammation, or may be created during surgery.

FIT
A test that checks for occult (hidden) blood in the stool. Small samples of stool are placed on special cards and sent to a doctor or laboratory for testing. An antibody that binds to a blood protein called hemoglobin is used to detect any blood. Blood in the stool may be a sign of colorectal cancer or other problems, such as polyps, ulcers, or hemorrhoids. Also called fecal immunochemical test, iFOBT, immunoassay fecal occult blood test, immunochemical fecal occult blood test, and immunologic fecal occult blood test.

five element acupuncture
An ancient form of acupuncture based on the principle that there are five universal elements (wood, fire, earth, metal, and water) that affect a person’s emotions, personality, health, and response to treatment. Each person is affected by one element more than the others. Also called traditional acupuncture.

five-year survival rate
The percentage of people in a study or treatment group who are alive five years after they were diagnosed with or started treatment for a disease, such as cancer. The disease may or may not have come back.

FK463
An antibiotic/antifungal drug used to treat infection.

Flagyl
A drug that is used to treat infection and is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It is type of antibacterial, antiprotozoal, and anthelmintic. Also called metronidazole.

flavonoid
A member of a group of substances found in many plants and plant-based foods. Flavonoids have shown antioxidant effects.

flavopiridol
A substance being studied in the treatment of several types of cancer. It stops cells from dividing and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitor. Also called alvocidib and HMR 1275.

flaxseed
The seed of the flax plant. It is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acid, fiber, and a compound called lignin. It is being studied in the prevention of several types of cancer. Also called linseed.

flecainide
A drug used to treat abnormal heart rhythms. It may also relieve neuropathic pain, the burning, stabbing, or stinging pain that may arise from damage to nerves caused by some types of cancer or cancer treatment.

Flomax
A drug used to treat urinary problems caused by an enlarged prostate. Flomax relaxes the muscles of the prostate and bladder, which helps the flow of urine. It is a type of alpha blocker. Also called tamsulosin and tamsulosin hydrochloride.

flow chart
A diagram that shows the order of steps in a complex process. Also called flow sheet.

flow cytometry
A method of measuring the number of cells in a sample, the percentage of live cells in a sample, and certain characteristics of cells, such as size, shape, and the presence of tumor markers on the cell surface. The cells are stained with a light-sensitive dye, placed in a fluid, and passed in a stream before a laser or other type of light. The measurements are based on how the light-sensitive dye reacts to the light.

flow sheet
A diagram that shows the order of steps in a complex process. Also called flow chart.

floxuridine
A drug used in the treatment of cancer. It is a type of antimetabolite.

flt3L
A drug that increases the number of immune cells and may stimulate the immune system to kill cancer cells.

fluconazole
A drug that treats infections caused by fungi.

flucytosine
A drug that treats infections caused by fungi.

Fludara
A drug used to treat B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) that has not responded to treatment with other anticancer drugs or that has gotten worse. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Fludara blocks cells from making DNA and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of purine antagonist and a type of ribonucleotide reductase inhibitor. Also called fludarabine phosphate.

fludarabine
The active ingredient in a drug used to treat B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) that has not responded to treatment with other anticancer drugs or that has gotten worse. Fludarabine blocks cells from making DNA and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of purine antagonist and a type of ribonucleotide reductase inhibitor.

fludarabine phosphate
A drug used to treat B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) that has not responded to treatment with other anticancer drugs or that has gotten worse. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Fludarabine phosphate blocks cells from making DNA and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of purine antagonist and a type of ribonucleotide reductase inhibitor. Also called Fludara.

fludeoxyglucose F 18
The radioactive form of glucose used in positron emission tomography (PET), a diagnostic imaging procedure.

fludrocortisone
A synthetic corticosteroid. It is used to replace steroid hormones normally produced by the adrenal gland.

fluid
A substance that flows smoothly and takes the shape of its container. Liquids and gases are fluids.

fluid deprivation test
A test to measure how much urine is made and how concentrated it becomes when no fluid is given to a patient for a certain amount of time. This test is used to see how well the kidneys work and to help diagnose diabetes insipidus (a condition in which a person is very thirsty and makes large amounts of urine). Also called water deprivation test.

fluid replacement therapy
Treatment to replace fluids that are lost from the body because of surgery, injury, dehydration, disease, or other conditions.

fluorescence in situ hybridization
A laboratory technique used to look at genes or chromosomes in cells and tissues. Pieces of DNA that contain a fluorescent dye are made in the laboratory and added to cells or tissues on a glass slide. When these pieces of DNA bind to specific genes or areas of chromosomes on the slide, they light up when viewed under a microscope with a special light. Also called FISH.

fluorescence microscopy
The use of a special microscope to see objects that give off fluorescent light. For example, cells or tissue can be treated with a substance that contains a fluorescent dye. The dye lights up when viewed under a microscope with a special light.

fluorescence-guided surgery
Surgery that uses a fluorescent substance and a special microscope to show tumor margins (edges) so that more of the tumor can be removed. The substance is given by mouth and is taken up by fast-growing cells. These cells light up when seen under a microscope with a special blue light. This may help doctors to remove as much tumor as possible without harming healthy tissue. Fluorescence-guided surgery is being studied in the treatment of certain types of brain tumors.

fluoride
A form of the element fluorine that helps prevent tooth decay. Fluoride may be naturally present in drinking water or may be added to it. Fluoride may also be put directly on the teeth, as a gel, toothpaste, or a rinse.

fluorine F 18 EF5
A substance being studied in positron emission tomography (PET) imaging to detect tumor hypoxia (a low level of oxygen in the tumor). This may help predict how the tumor will respond to treatment. It is a type of radiopharmaceutical. Also called 18F-EF5.

fluorine F 18 FEQA
A radioactive substance being studied in positron emission tomography (PET) imaging to detect cancer and to monitor the response of some types of cancer to treatment. Fluorine F 18 FEQA attaches to the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) found on the surface of some tumor cells. It is a type of radiopharmaceutical.

fluorine F 18 fluoromethylcholine
A radioactive substance being studied in PET imaging to detect certain types of cancer. Fluorine F 18 fluoromethylcholine gets taken up by cells in the body and more of it is taken up by tumor cells than by normal cells. A PET scanner is used to detect which cells in the body have taken up fluorine F 18 fluoromethylcholine. It is a type of radioimaging agent. Also called 18F-choline, 18F-fluoromethylcholine, and 18F-FMCH.

fluorine F 18 sodium fluoride PET
A procedure used to find out if cancer has spread to the bone. A small amount of a radioactive substance called fluorine F 18 sodium fluoride is injected into a vein. A PET scan is then used to make detailed pictures of the bones. Bones with cancer in them take up more fluorine F18 sodium fluoride than normal bones do. Also called F 18 sodium fluoride positron emission tomography and F-18 NaF PET.

Fluoroplex
A drug used to treat cancers of the breast, stomach, and pancreas, and certain types of colorectal and head and neck cancers. It is also used in a cream to treat basal cell skin cancer and actinic keratosis (a skin condition that may become cancer). It is being studied in the treatment of other conditions and types of cancer. Fluoroplex stops cells from making DNA and it may kill cancer cells. It is a type of antimetabolite. Also called 5-fluorouracil, 5-FU, Adrucil, Efudex, and fluorouracil.

fluoropyrimidine
One of a group of substances used to treat cancer. A fluoropyrimidine is a type of antimetabolite. Examples are capecitabine, floxuridine, and fluorouracil (5-FU).

fluoroquinolone
A type of drug used to prevent and treat infections.

fluoroscope
An x-ray machine that makes it possible to see internal organs in motion.

fluoroscopy
An x-ray procedure that makes it possible to see internal organs in motion.

fluorothymidine F 18
A radioactive substance being studied in the diagnosis of cancer. Fluorothymidine F 18 is injected into the blood and builds up in cells that are dividing, including cancer cells. The radiation that it gives off as it decays (breaks down) helps make clear pictures of tumors during positron emission tomography (PET) scans. It is a type of radiopharmaceutical. Also called 18F-FLT and 3’-deoxy-3’-(18F) fluorothymidine.

fluorouracil
A drug used to treat cancers of the breast, stomach, and pancreas, and certain types of colorectal and head and neck cancers. It is also used in a cream to treat basal cell skin cancer and actinic keratosis (a skin condition that may become cancer). It is being studied in the treatment of other conditions and types of cancer. Fluorouracil stops cells from making DNA and it may kill cancer cells. It is a type of antimetabolite. Also called 5-fluorouracil, 5-FU, Adrucil, Efudex, and Fluoroplex.

fluoxetine
A drug used to treat depression. It is a type of antidepressant.

fluphenazine
A drug that is used to treat mental and emotional disorders and is being studied in the treatment of multiple myeloma. Fluphenazine may stop tumor growth by keeping myeloma cells from dividing and causing them to die. It is a type of antipsychotic. Also called fluphenazine hydrochloride.

fluphenazine hydrochloride
A drug that is used to treat mental and emotional disorders and is being studied in the treatment of multiple myeloma. Fluphenazine hydrochloride may stop tumor growth by keeping myeloma cells from dividing and causing them to die. It is a type of antipsychotic. Also called fluphenazine.

flutamide
A drug used with another drug to treat certain types of prostate cancer. Flutamide binds to proteins called androgen receptors, which are found in some prostate cancer cells, and keeps androgens (male hormones) from binding to the receptors. This blocks the ability of androgens to cause prostate cancer cells to grow. Flutamide is a type of antiandrogen. Also called Eulexin.

fluvoxamine
A drug used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder. It is a type of antidepressant agent and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). Also called Luvox.

FMISO
A radioactive substance being studied as an imaging agent in head and neck cancers and other types of cancer. It binds to large molecules in tumor cells that have a low level of oxygen. Radiation given off by FMISO is detected by a PET scan. The amount of FMISO in the tumor may help decide the best treatment and help predict whether the cancer will come back after treatment. FMISO is a type of radioimaging agent. Also called 18F-fluoromisonidazole and 18F-MISO.

FNA biopsy
The removal of tissue or fluid with a thin needle for examination under a microscope. Also called fine-needle aspiration biopsy.

FOBT
A test that checks for occult (hidden) blood in the stool. Small samples of stool are placed on special cards and sent to a doctor or laboratory for testing. Blood in the stool may be a sign of colorectal cancer or other problems, such as polyps, ulcers, or hemorrhoids. Guaiac FOBT and immunochemical FOBT are two types of FOBTs. Guaiac FOBT uses a chemical substance called guaiac to check for blood in the stool. Immunochemical FOBT uses an antibody to check for blood in the stool. Also called fecal occult blood test.

focal
In terms of cancer, limited to a specific area.

folate
A nutrient in the vitamin B complex that the body needs in small amounts to function and stay healthy. Folate helps to make red blood cells. It is found in whole-grain breads and cereals, liver, green vegetables, orange juice, lentils, beans, and yeast. Folate is water-soluble (can dissolve in water) and must be taken in every day. Not enough folate can cause anemia (a condition in which the number of red blood cells is below normal), diseases of the heart and blood vessels, and defects in the brain and spinal cord in a fetus. Folate is being studied with vitamin B12 in the prevention and treatment of cancer. Also called folic acid.

folate antagonist
A type of drug that stops cells from using folic acid to make DNA and may kill cancer cells. Certain folate antagonists are used to treat some types of cancer and inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Also called antifolate and folic acid antagonist.

FOLFIRI
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used to treat advanced colorectal cancer that has spread. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It includes the drugs leucovorin calcium (folinic acid), fluorouracil, and irinotecan hydrochloride. Also called FOLFIRI regimen.

FOLFIRI regimen
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used to treat advanced colorectal cancer that has spread. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It includes the drugs leucovorin calcium (folinic acid), fluorouracil, and irinotecan hydrochloride. Also called FOLFIRI.

FOLFIRI-Avastin regimen
A chemotherapy combination used as an initial treatment of colorectal cancer that has spread. It includes the drugs leucovorin (folinic acid), fluorouracil, irinotecan hydrochloride, and bevacizumab. Also called FOLFIRI-bevacizumab and FOLFIRI-bevacizumab regimen.

FOLFIRI-bevacizumab
A chemotherapy combination used as an initial treatment of colorectal cancer that has spread. It includes the drugs leucovorin (folinic acid), fluorouracil, irinotecan hydrochloride, and bevacizumab. Also called FOLFIRI-Avastin regimen and FOLFIRI-bevacizumab regimen.

FOLFIRI-bevacizumab regimen
A chemotherapy combination used as an initial treatment of colorectal cancer that has spread. It includes the drugs leucovorin (folinic acid), fluorouracil, irinotecan hydrochloride, and bevacizumab. Also called FOLFIRI-Avastin regimen and FOLFIRI-bevacizumab.

FOLFIRI-cetuximab
A chemotherapy combination used to treat a certain type of colorectal cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. It includes the drugs leucovorin calcium (folinic acid), fluorouracil, irinotecan hydrochloride, and cetuximab. Also called FOLFIRI-cetuximab regimen.

FOLFIRI-cetuximab regimen
A chemotherapy combination used to treat a certain type of colorectal cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. It includes the drugs leucovorin calcium (folinic acid), fluorouracil, irinotecan hydrochloride, and cetuximab. Also called FOLFIRI-cetuximab.

FOLFIRINOX
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used to treat pancreatic cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. It includes the drugs leucovorin calcium, fluorouracil, irinotecan hydrochloride, and oxaliplatin. Also called FOLFIRINOX regimen.

FOLFIRINOX regimen
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used to treat pancreatic cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. It includes the drugs leucovorin calcium, fluorouracil, irinotecan hydrochloride, and oxaliplatin. Also called FOLFIRINOX.

FOLFOX
An abbreviation for a combination chemotherapy regimen that is used to treat colorectal cancer. It includes the drugs leucovorin calcium (folinic acid), fluorouracil, and oxaliplatin. There are several different FOLFOX regimens, including FOLFOX-4, FOLFOX-6, modified FOLFOX-6 (mFOLFOX-6), and FOLFOX-7. They differ in the doses and ways in which the three drugs are given. Also called FOLFOX regimen.

FOLFOX regimen
An abbreviation for a combination chemotherapy regimen that is used to treat colorectal cancer. It includes the drugs leucovorin calcium (folinic acid), fluorouracil, and oxaliplatin. There are several different FOLFOX regimens, including FOLFOX-4, FOLFOX-6, modified FOLFOX-6 (mFOLFOX-6), and FOLFOX-7. They differ in the doses and ways in which the three drugs are given. Also called FOLFOX.

FOLFOX-4
An abbreviation for a combination chemotherapy regimen that is used to treat colorectal cancer. It includes the drugs leucovorin calcium (folinic acid), fluorouracil, and oxaliplatin. There are several different FOLFOX regimens that differ in the doses and ways in which the three drugs are given. Also called FOLFOX-4 regimen.

FOLFOX-4 regimen
An abbreviation for a combination chemotherapy regimen that is used to treat colorectal cancer. It includes the drugs leucovorin calcium (folinic acid), fluorouracil, and oxaliplatin. There are several different FOLFOX regimens that differ in the doses and ways in which the three drugs are given. Also called FOLFOX-4.

FOLFOX-6
An abbreviation for a combination chemotherapy regimen that is used to treat colorectal cancer. It includes the drugs leucovorin calcium (folinic acid), fluorouracil, and oxaliplatin. There are several different FOLFOX regimens that differ in the doses and ways in which the three drugs are given. Also called FOLFOX-6 regimen.

FOLFOX-6 regimen
An abbreviation for a combination chemotherapy regimen that is used to treat colorectal cancer. It includes the drugs leucovorin calcium (folinic acid), fluorouracil, and oxaliplatin. There are several different FOLFOX regimens that differ in the doses and ways in which the three drugs are given. Also called FOLFOX-6.

FOLFOX-7
An abbreviation for a combination chemotherapy regimen that is used to treat colorectal cancer. It includes the drugs leucovorin calcium (folinic acid), fluorouracil, and oxaliplatin. There are several different FOLFOX regimens that differ in the doses and ways in which the three drugs are given. Also called FOLFOX-7 regimen.

FOLFOX-7 regimen
An abbreviation for a combination chemotherapy regimen that is used to treat colorectal cancer. It includes the drugs leucovorin calcium (folinic acid), fluorouracil, and oxaliplatin. There are several different FOLFOX regimens that differ in the doses and ways in which the three drugs are given. Also called FOLFOX-7.

folic acid
A nutrient in the vitamin B complex that the body needs in small amounts to function and stay healthy. Folic acid helps to make red blood cells. It is found in whole-grain breads and cereals, liver, green vegetables, orange juice, lentils, beans, and yeast. Folic acid is water-soluble (can dissolve in water) and must be taken in every day. Not enough folic acid can cause anemia (a condition in which the number of red blood cells is below normal), diseases of the heart and blood vessels, and defects in the brain and spinal cord in a fetus. Folic acid is being studied with vitamin B12 in the prevention and treatment of cancer. Also called folate.

folic acid antagonist
A type of drug that stops cells from using folic acid to make DNA and may kill cancer cells. Certain folic acid antagonists are used to treat some types of cancer and inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Also called antifolate and folate antagonist.

folinic acid
The active ingredient in a drug used to lessen the toxic effects of substances that block the action of folic acid, especially the anticancer drug methotrexate. Folinic acid is used to treat some types of anemia and is also used with fluorouracil to treat colorectal cancer. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer and other conditions. Folinic acid is a form of folic acid. It is a type of chemoprotective agent and a type of chemosensitizing agent. Also called leucovorin.

follicle
A sac or pouch-like cavity formed by a group of cells. In the ovaries, one follicle contains one egg. In the skin, one follicle contains one hair.

follicle-stimulating hormone
A hormone made in the pituitary gland. In females, it acts on the ovaries to make the follicles and eggs grow. In males, it acts on the testes to make sperm. Also called follitropin and FSH.

follicular large cell lymphoma
A rare type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (cancer of the lymphatic system) with large cells that look cleaved (split) or non-cleaved under the microscope. It is an indolent (slow-growing) type of lymphoma.

follicular lymphoma
A type of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (cancer of the immune system) that is usually indolent (slow-growing). The tumor cells grow as groups to form nodules. There are several subtypes of follicular lymphoma.

follicular mixed cell lymphoma
An indolent (slow-growing) type of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (cancer of the lymphatic system) in which there are both small and large cancer cells.

follicular thyroid cancer
Cancer that forms in follicular cells in the thyroid. It grows slowly and is highly treatable.

folliculitis
Inflammation of a follicle (a sac or pouch-like cavity), usually a hair follicle.

follitropin
A hormone made in the pituitary gland. In females, it acts on the ovaries to make the follicles and eggs grow. In males, it acts on the testes to make sperm. Also called follicle-stimulating hormone and FSH.

follow-up
Monitoring a person’s health over time after treatment. This includes keeping track of the health of people who participate in a clinical study or clinical trial for a period of time, both during the study and after the study ends.

FOLOTYN
A drug used in the treatment of peripheral T-cell lymphoma (a fast-growing form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma). It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. FOLOTYN may block the growth of cancer cells and cause them to die. It is a type of dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) inhibitor. Also called pralatrexate.

fondaparinux
A drug used to prevent blood clots from forming inside blood vessels in the leg. It is being studied in the prevention of blood clots in some cancer patients, including women having surgery for cancer of the reproductive tract. It is a type of anticoagulant. Also called Arixtra and fondaparinux sodium.

fondaparinux sodium
A drug used to prevent blood clots from forming inside blood vessels in the leg. It is being studied in the prevention of blood clots in some cancer patients, including women having surgery for cancer of the reproductive tract. It is a type of anticoagulant. Also called Arixtra and fondaparinux.

Food and Drug Administration
An agency in the U.S. federal government whose mission is to protect public health by making sure that food, cosmetics, and nutritional supplements are safe to use and truthfully labeled. The Food and Drug Administration also makes sure that drugs, medical devices, and equipment are safe and effective, and that blood for transfusions and transplant tissue are safe. Also called FDA.

foreign
In medicine, foreign describes something that comes from outside the body. A foreign substance in the body’s tissues, such as a bacterium or virus, may be recognized by the immune system as not belonging to the body. This causes an immune response. Other foreign substances in the body, such as artificial joints, are designed to not cause an immune response.

foreskin
The loose skin that covers the head of the penis.

foretinib
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. Foretinib blocks enzymes involved in the growth and spread of tumor cells. It may also prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It is a type of tyrosine kinase inhibitor and a type of antiangiogenesis agent. Also called MET/VEGFR-2 inhibitor GSK1363089 and XL880.

Form FDA 1572-Statement of Investigator
A form that must be filed by an investigator running a clinical trial to study a new drug or agent. The investigator agrees to follow the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Code of Federal Regulations for the clinical trial. The investigator verifies that he or she has the experience and background needed to conduct the trial and that it will be done in a way that is ethical and scientifically sound. Also called 1572 form.

formaldehyde
A chemical used in manufacturing and chemical industries, and as a preservative by anatomists, embalmers, and pathologists. Being exposed to formaldehyde may increase the risk of developing leukemia and brain cancer.

forodesine
A substance being studied in the treatment of some types of leukemia and lymphoma. It is a type of purine nucleoside phosphorylase (PNP) inhibitor. Also called BCX-1777 and forodesine hydrochloride.

forodesine hydrochloride
A substance being studied in the treatment of some types of leukemia and lymphoma. It is a type of purine nucleoside phosphorylase (PNP) inhibitor. Also called BCX-1777 and forodesine.

fortified food
A food that has extra nutrients added to it or has nutrients added that are not normally there. Examples are milk with vitamin D added and salt with iodine added.

Fosamax
A drug used to treat certain bone conditions, such as osteoporosis and Paget disease of the bone. It is also being studied in the treatment of hypercalcemia (high levels of calcium in the blood) and bone pain caused by cancer. Fosamax slows the breakdown of bone and prevents the loss of calcium. It is a type of bisphosphonate. Also called alendronate sodium.

fosaprepitant dimeglumine
A drug used together with other drugs to prevent and control nausea and vomiting caused by cancer treatment. It is given in a vein. It is a type of antiemetic and a type of substance P/neurokinin 1 receptor antagonist. Also called Emend for Injection.

foscarnet sodium
A drug used to treat infections with herpesviruses in people whose immune systems are weakened by AIDS. It blocks the viruses from making copies of themselves. It is a type of antiviral agent. Also called Foscavir and phosphonoformate trisodium.

Foscavir
A drug used to treat infections with herpesviruses in people whose immune systems are weakened by AIDS. It blocks the viruses from making copies of themselves. It is a type of antiviral agent. Also called foscarnet sodium and phosphonoformate trisodium.

fostamatinib disodium
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer and certain other diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis. It may block tumor cell signaling and growth. It is a type of tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Also called R788 sodium and Syk kinase inhibitor R-935788.

fotemustine
A substance being studied in the treatment of advanced melanoma, glioblastoma (a type of brain tumor) that has come back, and certain types of lymphoma. Fotemustine damages the cell’s DNA and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of alkylating agent and a type of nitrosourea.

FR901228
A drug used to treat cutaneous T-cell lymphoma in patients who have been treated with other anticancer drugs. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. FR901228 blocks certain enzymes, which may help kill cancer cells. It is a type of depsipeptide and a type of histone deacetylase inhibitor. Also called Istodax and romidepsin.

fractionation
A way of dividing a total dose of radiation or chemotherapy into separate doses that are larger or smaller than usual.

Fragmin
A drug used to prevent blood clots from forming or to treat blood clots that have formed in patients with cancer or other conditions. Fragmin is a type of anticoagulant. Also called dalteparin and dalteparin sodium.

fragrance
A pleasant, sweet odor.

frankincense tree
A tree that belongs to the incense tree family. The tree’s amber-colored resin is used in incense. The resin has anti-inflammatory effects and has been used to treat arthritis, asthma, and ulcerative colitis. It is also being studied in the treatment of brain tumors. Also called Boswellia serrata.

free flap
A type of surgery used to rebuild the shape of the breast after a mastectomy. A tissue flap, including blood vessels, skin, fat, and sometimes muscle, is removed from one area of the body, such as the back or abdomen. It is then reattached to the chest to form a new breast mound. The blood vessels from the tissue are reconnected to blood vessels under the arm or in the chest. A free flap is a type of breast reconstruction.

free PSA
The amount of the protein prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in the blood that is not attached to other proteins. It is compared with the amount of PSA in the blood that is attached to other proteins. The amount of free PSA is higher in men with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).The amount of PSA attached to other proteins is higher in men with prostate cancer.

free radical
A type of unstable molecule that is made during normal cell metabolism (chemical changes that take place in a cell). Free radicals can build up in cells and cause damage to other molecules, such as DNA, lipids, and proteins. This damage may increase the risk of cancer and other diseases.

free radical scavenger
A substance, such as an antioxidant, that helps protect cells from the damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that are made during normal cell metabolism (chemical changes that take place in a cell). They can build up in cells and cause damage to other molecules. This damage may increase the risk of cancer and other diseases.

freeze-dried
A method used to dry substances, such as food, to make them last longer. The substance is frozen and then dried in a vacuum.

fresolimumab
A substance being studied in the treatment of breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. It is also being studied in the treatment of other cancers and conditions. Fresolimumab binds to a protein called transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta), which is found on some cancer cells. Fresolimumab may help keep cancer cells from growing and prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It is a type of monoclonal antibody and a type of antiangiogenesis agent. Also called anti-TGF-beta monoclonal antibody GC1008 and GC1008.

frontal sinus
A type of paranasal sinus (a hollow space in the bones around the nose). There are two, large frontal sinuses in the frontal bone, which forms the lower part of the forehead and reaches over the eye sockets and eyebrows. The frontal sinuses are lined with cells that make mucus to keep the nose from drying out.

fruit acid
One of a group of substances that are found in several types of fruit and in milk. They are used in skin care products to reduce wrinkles and soften the skin. Examples of fruit acids are glycolic acid, lactic acid, and citric acid. Also called AHA and alpha hydroxyl acid.

FSH
A hormone made in the pituitary gland. In females, it acts on the ovaries to make the follicles and eggs grow. In males, it acts on the testes to make sperm. Also called follicle-stimulating hormone and follitropin.

Ftorafur
A substance being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. It is a combination of tegafur and uracil. The tegafur is taken up by the cancer cells and breaks down into 5-FU, a substance that kills tumor cells. The uracil causes higher amounts of 5-FU to stay inside the cells and kill them. Ftorafur is a type of antimetabolite. Also called tegafur-uracil and UFT.

FU-LV
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used to treat colorectal cancer. It is also used with radiation therapy to treat esophageal cancer and stomach cancer. It includes the drugs fluorouracil and leucovorin calcium. Also called 5FU/LV and FU-LV regimen.

FU-LV regimen
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used to treat colorectal cancer. It is also used with radiation therapy to treat esophageal cancer and stomach cancer. It includes the drugs fluorouracil and leucovorin calcium. Also called 5FU/LV and FU-LV.

fulguration
A procedure that uses heat from an electric current to destroy abnormal tissue, such as a tumor or other lesion. It may also be used to control bleeding during surgery or after an injury. The electric current passes through an electrode that is placed on or near the tissue. The tip of the electrode is heated by the electric current to burn or destroy the tissue. Fulguration is a type of electrosurgery. Also called electrocautery, electrocoagulation, and electrofulguration.

full blood count
A measure of the number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets in the blood. The amount of hemoglobin (substance in the blood that carries oxygen) and the hematocrit (the amount of whole blood that is made up of red blood cells) are also measured. A full blood count is used to help diagnose and monitor many conditions. Also called blood cell count, CBC, and complete blood count.

fulvestrant
A drug used to treat certain types of breast cancer in postmenopausal women. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Fulvestrant blocks estrogen activity in the body and is a type of antiestrogen. Also called Faslodex and ICI 182780.

functional magnetic resonance imaging
A noninvasive tool used to observe functioning in the brain or other organs by detecting changes in chemical composition, blood flow, or both.

functioning tumor
A tumor that is found in endocrine tissue and makes hormones (chemicals that travel in the bloodstream and control the actions of other cells or organs).

fundoscopy
An exam that uses a magnifying lens and a light to check the fundus of the eye (back of the inside of the eye, including the retina and optic nerve). The pupils may be dilated (enlarged) with medicated eye drops so the doctor can see through the pupil to the back of the eye. Fundoscopy may be used to check for eye problems, such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, eye cancer, optic nerve problems, or eye injury. Also called funduscopy and ophthalmoscopy.

fundus
The larger part of a hollow organ that is farthest away from the organ’s opening. The bladder, gallbladder, stomach, uterus, eye, and cavity of the middle ear all have a fundus.

funduscopy
An exam that uses a magnifying lens and a light to check the fundus of the eye (back of the inside of the eye, including the retina and optic nerve). The pupils may be dilated (enlarged) with medicated eye drops so the doctor can see through the pupil to the back of the eye. Funduscopy may be used to check for eye problems, such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, eye cancer, optic nerve problems, or eye injury. Also called fundoscopy and ophthalmoscopy.

fungating lesion
A type of skin lesion that is marked by ulcerations (breaks on the skin or surface of an organ) and necrosis (death of living tissue) and that usually has a bad smell. This kind of lesion may occur in many types of cancer, including breast cancer, melanoma, and squamous cell carcinoma, and especially in advanced disease.

fungicide
Any substance used to kill fungi (plant-like organisms that do not make chlorophyll), such as yeast and molds.

fungus
A plant-like organism that does not make chlorophyll. Mushrooms, yeasts, and molds are examples. The plural is fungi.

fusion gene
A gene made by joining parts of two different genes. Fusion genes may occur naturally in the body by transfer of DNA between chromosomes. For example, the BCR-ABL gene found in some types of leukemia is a fusion gene. Fusion genes can also be made in the laboratory by combining genes or parts of genes from the same or different organisms.

fusion protein
A protein made from a fusion gene, which is created by joining parts of two different genes. Fusion genes may occur naturally in the body by transfer of DNA between chromosomes. For example, the BCR-ABL gene found in some types of leukemia is a fusion gene that makes the BCR-ABL fusion protein. Fusion genes and proteins can also be made in the laboratory by combining genes or parts of genes from the same or different organisms.

G-csf
a colony-stimulating factor that stimulates the production of neutrophils (a type of white blood cell). It is a cytokine that is a type of hematopoietic (blood-forming) agent. Also called filgrastim and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor.

G6pd deficiency
an inherited disorder in which a person doesn’t have enough of an enzyme called g6pd that helps red blood cells work the way they should. In g6pd deficiency, the red blood cells break down when the body is exposed to infection, severe stress, or certain drugs, chemicals, or foods. This may lead to a condition called hemolytic anemia. This disorder is most common in african-american men and in men of middle eastern or mediterranean descent. Also called glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency.

Gabapentin
a substance that is being studied as a treatment for relieving hot flashes in women with breast cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called anticonvulsants.

Gad
a condition marked by excessive worry and feelings of fear, dread, and uneasiness that last six months or longer. Other symptoms of gad include being restless, being tired or irritable, muscle tension, not being able to concentrate or sleep well, shortness of breath, fast heartbeat, sweating, and dizziness. Also called generalized anxiety disorder.

Gadobenate dimeglumine
a drug used in mri to help make clear pictures of blood vessels in the brain, spine, and nearby tissues. It is also being studied as a way to find abnormal areas in the liver and other organs and to help diagnose cancer. Gadobenate dimeglumine is a type of contrast agent. Also called multihance.

Gadolinium
a metal element that is used in magnetic resonance imaging (mri) and other imaging methods. It is a contrast agent, which helps show abnormal tissue in the body during imaging with a special machine.

Gadolinium texaphyrin
a substance being studied in the treatment and diagnosis of some types of cancer. It builds up in some cancer cells, which may make them easier to kill with radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Gadolinium texaphyrin is also used in magnetic resonance imaging (mri) to help find cancer cells in the body. It is a type of radiosensitizing agent, a type of chemosensitizing agent, and a type of contrast agent. Also called motexafin gadolinium.

Gadopentetate dimeglumine
a substance used in magnetic resonance imaging (mri) to help make clear pictures of the brain, spine, heart, soft tissue of joints, and inside bones. Gadopentetate dimeglumine is being studied in the diagnosis of cancer. It is a type of contrast agent. Also called gd-dtpa and magnevist.

Gail model
a computer program that uses personal and family medical history information to estimate a woman’s chance of developing breast cancer. Also called gail risk model.

Gail risk model
a computer program that uses personal and family medical history information to estimate a woman’s chance of developing breast cancer. Also called gail model.

Galiximab
a substance being studied in the treatment of follicular non-hodgkin lymphoma. It binds to the protein cd80, which is found on certain normal white blood cells and on white blood cells that are cancer. It is a type of monoclonal antibody.

Gallbladder
the pear-shaped organ found below the liver. Bile is concentrated and stored in the gallbladder.

Gallbladder cancer
cancer that forms in tissues of the gallbladder. The gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ below the liver that collects and stores bile (a fluid made by the liver to digest fat). Gallbladder cancer begins in the innermost layer of tissue and spreads through the outer layers as it grows.

Gallium nitrate
a drug that lowers blood calcium. Used as treatment for hypercalcemia (too much calcium in the blood) and for cancer that has spread to the bone (bone metastases).

Gallium scan
a procedure to detect areas of the body where cells are dividing rapidly. It is used to locate cancer cells or areas of inflammation. A very small amount of radioactive gallium is injected into a vein and travels through the bloodstream. The gallium is taken up by rapidly dividing cells in the bones, tissues, and organs and is detected by a scanner.

Gallstone
solid material that forms in the gallbladder or common bile duct. Gallstones are made of cholesterol or other substances found in the gallbladder. They may occur as one large stone or as many small ones, and vary from the size of a golf ball to a grain of sand. Also called cholelith.

Galvanic skin response
a change in the heat and electricity passed through the skin by nerves and sweat. Galvanic skin response increases in certain emotional states and during hot flashes that happen with menopause. Also called electrodermal response and skin conduction.

Gamma irradiation
a type of radiation therapy that uses gamma radiation. Gamma radiation is a type of high-energy radiation that is different from x-rays.

Gamma knife therapy
a treatment using gamma rays, a type of high-energy radiation that can be tightly focused on small tumors or other lesions in the head or neck, so very little normal tissue receives radiation. The gamma rays are aimed at the tumor from many different angles at once, and deliver a large dose of radiation exactly to the tumor in one treatment session. This procedure is a type of stereotactic radiosurgery. Gamma knife therapy is not a knife and is not surgery. Gamma knife is a registered trademark of elekta instruments, inc.

Gamma ray
A type of high-energy radiation that is different from an x-ray.

Ganciclovir
an antiviral agent used to prevent or treat cytomegalovirus infections that may occur when the body’s immune system is suppressed. In gene therapy, ganciclovir is used with an altered herpes simplex virus-1 gene to kill advanced melanoma cells and brain tumor cells.

Ganglioside
a complex molecule that contains both lipids (fats) and carbohydrates (sugars) and is found in the plasma (outer) membrane of many kinds of cells. Several different types of gangliosides have been identified.

Gardasil
a vaccine used to prevent anal, cervical, vulvar, and vaginal cancer caused by human papillomavirus (hpv) types 16 and 18 and genital warts caused by hpv types 6 and 11. Gardasil is approved for use in males and females aged 9 to 26 years. It is a type of quadrivalent vaccine (a vaccine that works against four different viruses or other microorganisms). Also called recombinant human papillomavirus quadrivalent vaccine.

Gardasil 9
a vaccine used to prevent anal, cervical, vulvar, and vaginal cancer caused by human papillomavirus (hpv) types 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52 and 58 and genital warts caused by hpv types 6 and 11. Gardasil 9 is approved for use in males aged 9 to 15 years and females aged 9 to 26 years. It is a type of nonavalent vaccine (a vaccine that works against nine different viruses or other microorganisms). Also called recombinant human papillomavirus nonavalent vaccine.

Garden heliotrope
a plant whose roots are used as a sedative and to treat certain medical conditions. It is being studied as a way to improve sleep in cancer patients undergoing treatment. Also called garden valerian, indian valerian, mexican valerian, pacific valerian, valerian, valeriana officinalis, and valerianae radix.

Garden valerian
a plant whose roots are used as a sedative and to treat certain medical conditions. It is being studied as a way to improve sleep in cancer patients undergoing treatment. Also called garden heliotrope, indian valerian, mexican valerian, pacific valerian, valerian, valeriana officinalis, and valerianae radix.

Garlic
a european plant that has a bulb used to flavor food. It has also been used in some cultures to treat certain medical conditions including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, infections, and cancer. The scientific name is allium sativum.

Gastrectomy
an operation to remove all or part of the stomach.

Gastric
having to do with the stomach.

Gastric acid
acid that is released into the stomach from glands in the stomach wall. It helps digest food. Gastric acid is made of hydrochloric acid.

Gastric acid secretion test
a test used to measure the amount of gastric acid made by the stomach. The patient receives an injection of the hormone gastrin or insulin. A tube is put through the nose or throat into the stomach and samples are taken from the stomach and sent to a laboratory for testing. Also called stomach acid stimulation test and stomach acid test.

Gastric atrophy
a condition marked by thinning of the inner lining of the stomach wall and the loss of gland cells in the lining that release substances that help with digestion. It may be caused by infection with the bacterium h. Pylori or by certain autoimmune conditions. Gastric atrophy may increase the risk of stomach cancer.

Gastric cancer
cancer that forms in tissues lining the stomach. Also called stomach cancer.

Gastric feeding tube
a tube that is inserted through the nose, down the throat and esophagus, and into the stomach. It can be used to give drugs, liquids, and liquid food, or used to remove substances from the stomach. Giving food through a gastric feeding tube is a type of enteral nutrition. Also called nasogastric tube and ng tube.

Gastric mucosal hypertrophy
a condition marked by inflammation and ulcers (breaks on the skin or on the surface of an organ) of the mucosa (inner lining) of the stomach and by overgrowth of the cells that make up the mucosa. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, and weight loss. Patients with gastric mucosal hypertrophy may be at a higher risk of stomach cancer. Also called giant hypertrophic gastritis and ménétrier disease.

Gastric reflux
the backward flow of stomach acid contents into the esophagus (the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach). Also called esophageal reflux and gastroesophageal reflux.

Gastric scirrhous carcinoma
a rare type of stomach cancer that begins in the lining of the stomach and spreads to the muscles of the stomach wall. This causes the wall of the stomach to become thick, hard, and rubbery, which leads to trouble digesting food. Also called linitis plastica.

Gastrin
a hormone released from special cells in the lining of the stomach after eating. Gastrin causes the stomach to release an acid that helps digest food.

Gastrinoma
a tumor that causes overproduction of gastric acid. It usually begins in the duodenum (first part of the small intestine that connects to the stomach) or the islet cells of the pancreas. Rarely, it may also begin in other organs, including the stomach, liver, jejunum (the middle part of the small intestine), biliary tract (organs and ducts that make and store bile), mesentery, or heart. It is a type of neuroendocrine tumor, and it may metastasize (spread) to the liver and the lymph nodes.

Gastritis
inflammation of the lining of the stomach.

Gastroenteritis
inflammation of the lining of the stomach and the intestines. Symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps (dull or sharp pains). Gastroenteritis may be caused by infection with bacteria, parasites, or viruses. It may also be caused by food poisoning, allergic reactions, or reactions to certain medicines or foods.

Gastroenterologist
a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating disorders of the digestive system.

Gastroesophageal junction
the place where the esophagus is connected to the stomach.

Gastroesophageal reflux
the backward flow of stomach acid contents into the esophagus (the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach). Also called esophageal reflux and gastric reflux.

Gastrointestinal
refers to the stomach and intestines. Also called gi.

Gastrointestinal carcinoid tumor
an indolent (slow-growing) cancer that forms in cells that make hormones in the lining of the gastrointestinal tract (the stomach and intestines). It usually occurs in the appendix (a small fingerlike pouch of the large intestine), small intestine, or rectum. Having gastrointestinal carcinoid tumor increases the risk of forming other cancers of the digestive system.

Gastrointestinal stromal tumor
a type of tumor that usually begins in cells in the wall of the gastrointestinal tract. It can be benign or malignant. Also called gist.

Gastrointestinal tract
the stomach and intestines. The gastrointestinal tract is part of the digestive system, which also includes the salivary glands, mouth, esophagus, liver, pancreas, gallbladder, and rectum.

Gastroscope
a thin, tube-like instrument used to examine the inside of the stomach. A gastroscope has a light and a lens for viewing and may have a tool to remove tissue.

Gastroscopy
examination of the inside of the stomach using a gastroscope passed through the mouth and esophagus. A gastroscope is a thin, tube-like instrument with a light and a lens for viewing. It may also have a tool to remove tissue to be checked under a microscope for signs of disease. Also called upper endoscopy.

Gastrostomy tube
a tube inserted through the wall of the abdomen directly into the stomach. It allows air and fluid to leave the stomach and can be used to give drugs and liquids, including liquid food, to the patient. Giving food through a gastrostomy tube is a type of enteral nutrition. Also called peg tube and percutaneous endoscopic tube.

Gavage
a way of giving medicines and liquids, including liquid foods, through a small tube placed through the nose or mouth into the stomach or small intestine. Sometimes the tube is placed into the stomach or small intestine through an incision (cut) made on the outside of the abdomen. Gavage may be added to what a person is able to eat and drink, or it may be the only source of nutrition. It is a type of enteral nutrition. Also called tubefeeding.

Gazyva
a drug used with another drug to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia (cll) that has not already been treated. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Gazyva binds to a protein called cd20, which is found on b cells (a type of white blood cell) and some types of leukemia cells. This may help the immune system kill cancer cells. Gazyva is a type of monoclonal antibody. Also called obinutuzumab.

Gbm
a fast-growing type of central nervous system tumor that forms from glial (supportive) tissue of the brain and spinal cord and has cells that look very different from normal cells. Gbm usually occurs in adults and affects the brain more often than the spinal cord. Also called glioblastoma, glioblastoma multiforme, and grade iv astrocytoma.

Gc1008
a substance being studied in the treatment of breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. It is also being studied in the treatment of other cancers and conditions. Gc1008 binds to a protein called transforming growth factor-beta (tgf-beta), which is found on some cancer cells. Gc1008 may help keep cancer cells from growing and prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It is a type of monoclonal antibody and a type of antiangiogenesis agent. Also called anti-tgf-beta monoclonal antibody gc1008 and fresolimumab.

Gcp
an international set of guidelines that helps make sure that the results of a clinical trial are reliable and that the patients are protected. Gcp covers the way a clinical trial is designed, conducted, performed, monitored, audited, recorded, analyzed, and reported. Also called good clinical practice.

Gct
a rare tumor that usually forms in bone, but may also form in cartilage, muscle, fat, blood vessels, or other supportive tissue in the body. Most gcts occur at the ends of the long bones of the arms and legs, near a joint (such as the knee, wrist, hip, or shoulder). Most are benign (not cancer) but some are malignant (cancer). Gcts usually occur in young and middle-aged adults. Also called giant cell tumor.

Gd-dtpa
a substance used in magnetic resonance imaging (mri) to help make clear pictures of the brain, spine, heart, soft tissue of joints, and inside bones. Gd-dtpa is being studied in the diagnosis of cancer. It is a type of contrast agent. Also called gadopentetate dimeglumine and magnevist.

Gdc-0449
a drug used to treat advanced basal cell carcinoma that has spread to other parts of the body or has come back after surgery. It is also used in patients who cannot be treated with surgery or radiation therapy. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Gdc-0449 blocks a type of protein involved in tissue growth and repair and may block the growth of cancer cells. It is a type of hedgehog signaling pathway antagonist. Also called erivedge and vismodegib.

Gefitinib
a drug that is used to treat certain types of non-small cell lung cancer and is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It is a type of epidermal growth factor receptor (egfr) tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Also called iressa and zd1839.

Gel electrode
a device that uses a gel to carry an electric current from the skin to a measuring instrument. A sticky patch may hold the gel electrode on the skin so that the electrical activity of the heart or brain can be measured.

Gelclair
a gel used to lessen pain from mouth sores caused by chemotherapy or radiation therapy, oral surgery, braces, or disease. Gelclair is being studied in the treatment of pain caused by mouth sores in children receiving cancer treatment. It forms a thin layer over the surface of the mouth and throat to prevent irritation while eating, drinking, and talking. Also called polyvinylpyrrolidone-sodium hyaluronate gel.

Geldanamycin analog
an antineoplastic antibiotic drug that belongs to the family of drugs called ansamycins.

Gem 231
a drug that may inhibit the growth of malignant tumors.

Gem640
a substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. Gem640 may kill cancer cells by blocking the production of a protein called xiap that helps cells live longer. It also makes cancer cells more sensitive to anticancer drugs. It is a type of antisense oligonucleotide, and a type of chemosensitizing agent. Also called aeg35156.

Gemcitabine
the active ingredient in a drug that is used to treat pancreatic cancer that is advanced or has spread. It is also used with other drugs to treat breast cancer that has spread, advanced ovarian cancer, and non-small cell lung cancer that is advanced or has spread. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Gemcitabine blocks the cell from making dna and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of antimetabolite

Gemcitabine hydrochloride
a drug used to treat pancreatic cancer that is advanced or has spread. It is also used with other drugs to treat breast cancer that has spread, advanced ovarian cancer, and non-small cell lung cancer that is advanced or has spread. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Gemcitabine hydrochloride blocks the cell from making dna and may kill cancer cells. Also called gemzar.

Gemcitabine-cisplatin
a chemotherapy combination used to treat malignant mesothelioma, advanced non-small cell lung cancer, advanced bladder cancer, advanced cervical cancer, pancreatic cancer, and epithelial ovarian cancer. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It includes the drugs gemcitabine hydrochloride and cisplatin. Also called gemcitabine-cisplatin regimen.

Gemcitabine-cisplatin regimen
a chemotherapy combination used to treat malignant mesothelioma, advanced non-small cell lung cancer, advanced bladder cancer, advanced cervical cancer, pancreatic cancer, and epithelial ovarian cancer. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It includes the drugs gemcitabine hydrochloride and cisplatin. Also called gemcitabine-cisplatin.

Gemcitabine-erlotinib regimen
a chemotherapy combination used for the treatment of locally advanced and metastatic pancreatic cancer. It includes the drugs gemcitabine hydrochloride and erlotinib hydrochloride. Also called gemcitabine-tarceva regimen.

Gemcitabine-oxaliplatin
a chemotherapy combination used to treat pancreatic cancer and some other types of cancer. It includes the drugs gemcitabine hydrochloride and oxaliplatin. Also called gemcitabine-oxaliplatin regimen and gemox.

Gemcitabine-oxaliplatin regimen
a chemotherapy combination used to treat pancreatic cancer and some other types of cancer. It includes the drugs gemcitabine hydrochloride and oxaliplatin. Also called gemcitabine-oxaliplatin and gemox.

Gemcitabine-tarceva regimen
a chemotherapy combination used for the treatment of locally advanced and metastatic pancreatic cancer. It includes the drugs gemcitabine hydrochloride and erlotinib hydrochloride. Also called gemcitabine-erlotinib regimen.

Gemox
a chemotherapy combination used to treat pancreatic cancer and some other types of cancer. It includes the drugs gemcitabine hydrochloride and oxaliplatin. Also called gemcitabine-oxaliplatin and gemcitabine-oxaliplatin regimen.

Gemtuzumab ozogamicin
a drug that was used to treat acute myeloid leukemia (aml) that recurred (came back). It was used in older patients who were not able to take other anticancer drugs. Gemtuzumab ozogamicin was taken off the market but continues to be studied in clinical trials for the treatment of certain types of leukemia. It contains a monoclonal antibody that binds to a protein called cd33, which is found on some leukemia cells. It also contains a toxic substance, which may help kill cancer cells. Gemtuzumab ozogamicin is a type of antibody-drug conjugate. Also called mylotarg.

Gemzar
a drug used to treat pancreatic cancer that is advanced or has spread. It is also used with other drugs to treat breast cancer that has spread, advanced ovarian cancer, and non-small cell lung cancer that is advanced or has spread. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Gemzar blocks the cell from making dna and may kill cancer cells. Also called gemcitabine hydrochloride.

Genasense
a substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. It may kill cancer cells by blocking the production of a protein that makes cancer cells live longer and by making them more sensitive to anticancer drugs. It is a type of antisense oligodeoxyribonucleotide. Also called augmerosen, bcl-2 antisense oligodeoxynucleotide g3139, and oblimersen sodium.

Gene
the functional and physical unit of heredity passed from parent to offspring. Genes are pieces of dna, and most genes contain the information for making a specific protein.

Gene amplification
an increase in the number of copies of a gene. There may also be an increase in the rna and protein made from that gene. Gene amplification is common in cancer cells, and some amplified genes may cause cancer cells to grow or become resistant to anticancer drugs. Genes may also be amplified in the laboratory for research purposes.

Gene deletion
the loss of all or a part of a gene. There may also be a change in the rna and protein made from that gene. Certain gene deletions are found in cancer and in other genetic diseases and abnormalities.

Gene expression
the process by which a gene gets turned on in a cell to make rna and proteins. Gene expression may be measured by looking at the rna, or the protein made from the rna, or what the protein does in a cell.

Gene expression profile
information about all messenger rnas that are made in various cell types. A gene expression profile may be used to find and diagnose a disease or condition and to see how well the body responds to treatment. Gene expression profiles may be used in precision medicine.

Gene therapy
a type of experimental treatment in which foreign genetic material (dna or rna) is inserted into a person’s cells to prevent or fight disease. Gene therapy is being studied in the treatment of certain types of cancer.

Gene transfer
the insertion of genetic material into a cell.

Gene-modified
cells that have been altered to contain different genetic material than they originally contained.

General anesthesia
a temporary loss of feeling and a complete loss of awareness that feels like a very deep sleep. It is caused by special drugs or other substances called anesthetics. General anesthesia keeps patients from feeling pain during surgery or other procedures.

General surgery
the branch of surgery that covers the main areas of surgical treatment. General surgeons treat diseases of the abdomen, breast, head and neck, blood vessels, and digestive tract. They also manage care of patients who have been injured or who have deformities or other conditions that need surgery.

Generalized anxiety disorder
a condition marked by excessive worry and feelings of fear, dread, and uneasiness that last six months or longer. Other symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder include being restless, being tired or irritable, muscle tension, not being able to concentrate or sleep well, shortness of breath, fast heartbeat, sweating, and dizziness. Also called gad.

Generic
official nonbrand names by which medicines are known. Generic names usually refer to the chemical name of the drug.

Genetic
having to do with genes. Most genes are sequences of dna that contain information for making specific proteins or molecules of rna that perform important functions in a cell. The information in genes is passed from parents to children.

Genetic analysis
the study of a sample of dna to look for mutations (changes) that may increase risk of disease or affect the way a person responds to treatment.

Genetic counseling
a communication process between a specially trained health professional and a person concerned about the genetic risk of disease. The person’s family and personal medical history may be discussed, and counseling may lead to genetic testing.

Genetic infantile agranulocytosis
an inherited disorder in which there is a lower-than-normal number of neutrophils (a type of white blood cell that is important in fighting infections). Infants with the disorder get infections caused by bacteria, and are at an increased risk of acute myelogenous leukemia (aml) or myelodysplasia (a bone marrow disorder). Also called congenital neutropenia, infantile genetic agranulocytosis, kostmann disease, kostmann neutropenia, and kostmann syndrome.

Genetic marker
alteration in dna that may indicate an increased risk of developing a specific disease or disorder.

Genetic marker of susceptibility
a specific change in a person’s dna that makes the person more likely to develop certain diseases such as cancer.

Genetic predisposition
an inherited increase in the risk of developing a disease. Also called genetic susceptibility.

Genetic profile
information about specific genes, including variations and gene expression, in an individual or in a certain type of tissue. A genetic profile may be used to help diagnose a disease or learn how the disease may progress or respond to treatment with drugs or radiation.

Genetic susceptibility
an inherited increase in the risk of developing a disease. Also called genetic predisposition.

Genetic testing
analyzing dna to look for a genetic alteration that may indicate an increased risk for developing a specific disease or disorder.

Geneticist
a scientist who has special training in the study of genes and heredity (the passing of genetic information from parents to their children). A medical geneticist is a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating genetic disorders or conditions. Medical geneticists also counsel individuals and families at risk for certain genetic disorders or cancers.

Genetics
the study of genes and heredity. Heredity is the passing of genetic information and traits (such as eye color and an increased chance of getting a certain disease) from parents to offspring.

Genistein
an isoflavone found in soy products. Soy isoflavones are being studied to see if they help prevent cancer.

Genital
refers to the genitalia (external and internal sex organs and glands).

Genital wart
a raised growth on the surface of the genitals caused by human papillomavirus (hpv) infection. The hpv in genital warts is very contagious and can be spread by skin-to-skin contact, usually during oral, anal, or genital sex with an infected partner. Also called condyloma.

Genitourinary system
the parts of the body that play a role in reproduction, getting rid of waste products in the form of urine, or both.

Genome
the complete genetic material of an organism.

Genome-wide association study
a study that compares dna markers across the genome (the complete genetic material in a person) in people with a disease or trait to people without the disease or trait. These studies may uncover clues to help prevent, diagnose, and treat disease. Also called gwas.

Genomic profile
information about all the genes in an organism, including variations, gene expression, and the way those genes interact with each other and with the environment. A genomic profile may be used to discover why some people get certain diseases while other people do not, or why people respond differently to the same drug.

Genomic sequencing
a laboratory method that is used to determine the entire genetic makeup of a specific organism or cell type. This method can be used to find changes in areas of the genome that may be important in the development of specific diseases, such as cancer.

Genomics
the study of the complete genetic material, including genes and their functions, of an organism.

Geranium
a type of plant that is native to southern africa and has white, pink, purple, or red flowers and 3- to 5-lobed leaves. An essential oil that smells like roses is taken from the leaves and used in perfume, in mosquito repellants, and in aromatherapy to treat skin problems and to reduce stress. The scientific name is pelargonium graveolens. Also called pelargonium.

Germ
a bacterium, virus, or other microorganism that can cause infection and disease.

Germ cell
a reproductive cell of the body. Germ cells are egg cells in females and sperm cells in males.

Germ cell tumor
a type of tumor that begins in the cells that give rise to sperm or eggs. Germ cell tumors can occur almost anywhere in the body and can be either benign or malignant.

German chamomile
a plant whose daisy-like flowers are used in tea to calm and relax, improve sleep, and help stomach problems. German chamomile has been studied in the prevention of mucositis (mouth sores) caused by chemotherapy and radiation therapy. It has also been used in some cultures to treat skin conditions, mild infections, and other disorders. The scientific name is matricaria recutita.

German commission e
the german federal institute for drugs and medical devices commission e. A committee made up of scientists, toxicologists, doctors, and pharmacists formed by the german government in 1978 to find out if herbs sold in germany are safe and effective. The commission has published information on the uses, side effects, and drug interactions of more than 300 herbs.

Germfree
free of bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms that can cause infection and disease.

Germicide (jer-mih-side)
any substance or process that kills germs (bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms that can cause infection and disease). Also called microbicide.

Germline dna
The dna in germ cells (egg and sperm cells that join to form an embryo). Germline dna is the source of dna for all other cells in the body.

Germline mutation
a gene change in a body’s reproductive cell (egg or sperm) that becomes incorporated into the dna of every cell in the body of the offspring. Germline mutations are passed on from parents to offspring. Also called hereditary mutation.

Gerota’s capsule
a fibrous envelope of tissue that surrounds the kidney. Also called gerota’s fascia and renal fascia.

Gerota’s fascia
a fibrous envelope of tissue that surrounds the kidney. Also called gerota’s capsule and renal fascia.

Gerson therapy
a diet plan that has been claimed to be a treatment for cancer, migraine, tuberculosis, and other diseases. It is a vegetarian diet that includes eating organic fruits and vegetables and 13 glasses of fresh juice each day. It also includes supplements with iodine, vitamin b-12, potassium, thyroid hormone, liver extract, and pancreatic enzymes. No clinical trial to test gerson therapy has been reported.

Gestational trophoblastic disease
a rare condition in which abnormal cells grow inside the uterus from tissue that forms after conception (the joining of sperm and egg). This tissue is made of trophoblastic cells, which normally surround the fertilized egg in the uterus and help connect the fertilized egg to the wall of the uterus. These cells also form part of the placenta (the organ that passes nutrients from the mother to the fetus). Most gestational trophoblastic diseases are benign (not cancer) and do not spread, but some types are malignant (cancer) and spread to nearby tissues or other parts of the body. The two main types of gestational trophoblastic diseases are hydatidiform mole and choriocarcinoma. Also called gestational trophoblastic tumor, gtd, and gtt.

Gestational trophoblastic tumor
a rare condition in which abnormal cells grow inside the uterus from tissue that forms after conception (the joining of sperm and egg). This tissue is made of trophoblastic cells, which normally surround the fertilized egg in the uterus and help connect the fertilized egg to the wall of the uterus. These cells also form part of the placenta (the organ that passes nutrients from the mother to the fetus). Most gestational trophoblastic tumors are benign (not cancer) and do not spread, but some types are malignant (cancer) and spread to nearby tissues or other parts of the body. The two main types of gestational trophoblastic tumors are hydatidiform mole and choriocarcinoma. Also called gestational trophoblastic disease, gtd, and gtt.

Gfobt
a test that checks for occult (hidden) blood in the stool. Small samples of stool are placed on special cards coated with a chemical substance called guaiac and sent to a doctor or laboratory for testing. A testing solution is put on the cards and the guaiac causes the stool sample to change color. If there is blood in the stool, the color changes very quickly. Blood in the stool may be a sign of colorectal cancer or other problems, such as polyps, ulcers, or hemorrhoids. Also called guaiac fecal occult blood test, guaiac smear test, and stool guaiac test.

Gg745
a drug used to treat symptoms of an enlarged prostate gland. It is being studied in the treatment of male hair loss and prostate cancer. Gg745 blocks enzymes the body needs to make male sex hormones. It is a type of 5-alpha reductase inhibitor. Also called avodart and dutasteride.

Gi
refers to the stomach and intestines. Also called gastrointestinal.

Gi14721
an antitumor drug that belongs to the family of drugs called topoisomerase inhibitors. It is a camptothecin analog.

Giant cell fibroblastoma
a rare type of soft tissue tumor marked by painless nodules in the dermis (the inner layer of the two main layers of tissue that make up the skin) and subcutaneous (beneath the skin) tissue. These tumors may come back after surgery, but they do not spread to other parts of the body. They occur mostly in boys and are related to dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans.

Giant cell tumor
a rare tumor that usually forms in bone, but may also form in cartilage, muscle, fat, blood vessels, or other supportive tissue in the body. Most giant cell tumors occur at the ends of the long bones of the arms and legs, near a joint (such as the knee, wrist, hip, or shoulder). Most are benign (not cancer) but some are malignant (cancer). Giant cell tumors usually occur in young and middle-aged adults. Also called gct.

Giant hypertrophic gastritis
a condition marked by inflammation and ulcers (breaks on the skin or on the surface of an organ) of the mucosa (inner lining) of the stomach and by overgrowth of the cells that make up the mucosa. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, and weight loss. Patients with giant hypertrophic gastritis may be at a higher risk of stomach cancer. Also called gastric mucosal hypertrophy and ménétrier disease.

Giant lymph node hyperplasia
a rare disorder in which benign (not cancer) growths form in lymph node tissue. There are two main ways that giant lymph node hyperplasia occurs: localized (unicentric) and multicentric. Unicentric giant lymph node hyperplasia affects only one group of lymph nodes in one part of the body, usually in the chest or abdomen. It may not cause symptoms. Multicentric giant lymph node hyperplasia affects many groups of lymph nodes and lymphoid tissue all through the body. It can weaken the immune system and cause problems such as infection, fever, weight loss, fatigue, night sweats, nerve damage, and anemia. People with giant lymph node hyperplasia have an increased risk of lymphoma. Also called angiofollicular lymph node hyperplasia and castleman disease.

Gigantism
a condition in which the whole body or any of its parts grow much larger than normal.

Gilotrif
a drug used to treat non-small cell lung cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. It is used in patients with certain mutations (changes) in a cell protein called epidermal growth factor receptor (egfr). It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Gilotrif blocks certain egfrs, which may help keep cancer cells from growing. It may also prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. Gilotrif is a type of tyrosine kinase inhibitor and a type of antiangiogenesis agent. Also called afatinib dimaleate.

Gimatecan
a substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called topoisomerase inhibitors. Also called st1481.

Ginger
an herb with a root that has been used in cooking, and by some cultures to treat nausea, vomiting, and certain other medical conditions. It is being studied in the treatment of nausea and vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy. The scientific name is zingiber officianale.

Gingiva
the tissue of the upper and lower jaws that surrounds the base of the teeth. Also called gums.

Ginkgo
a tree native to china. Substances taken from the leaves and seeds have been used in some cultures to treat certain medical problems. Ginkgo has been studied in the prevention and treatment of alzheimer disease, dementia, certain blood vessel diseases, and memory loss. It may cause bleeding or high blood pressure when used with certain drugs. Also called ginkgo biloba and maidenhair tree.

Ginkgo biloba
a tree native to china. Substances taken from the leaves and seeds have been used in some cultures to treat certain medical problems. Ginkgo biloba has been studied in the prevention and treatment of alzheimer disease, dementia, certain blood vessel diseases, and memory loss. It may cause bleeding or high blood pressure when used with certain drugs. Also called ginkgo and maidenhair tree.

Ginseng
an herb with a root that has been used in some cultures to treat certain medical problems. It may have anticancer effects.

Gist
a type of tumor that usually begins in cells in the wall of the gastrointestinal tract. It can be benign or malignant. Also called gastrointestinal stromal tumor.

Gland
an organ that makes one or more substances, such as hormones, digestive juices, sweat, tears, saliva, or milk. Endocrine glands release the substances directly into the bloodstream. Exocrine glands release the substances into a duct or opening to the inside or outside of the body.

Gland of lieberkuhn
tube-like gland found in the lining of the colon and rectum. Glands of lieberkuhn renew the lining of the intestine and make mucus. Also called colon crypt.

Glandular cell of the cervix
a type of cell that makes mucus and is found in tissue that lines the inner part of the cervix. Abnormal glandular cells may be found in pap tests and may be a sign of cancer or other serious condition.

Glans penis
the rounded, gland-like head of the penis.

Glaucoma
a condition in which there is a build-up of fluid in the eye, which presses on the retina and the optic nerve. The retina is the layer of nerve tissue inside the eye that senses light and sends images along the optic nerve to the brain. Glaucoma can damage the optic nerve and cause loss of vision or blindness.

Gleason score
A system of grading prostate cancer tissue based on how it looks under a microscope. Gleason scores range from 2 to 10 and indicate how likely it is that a tumor will spread. A low gleason score means the cancer tissue is similar to normal prostate tissue and the tumor is less likely to spread; a high gleason score means the cancer tissue is very different from normal and the tumor is more likely to spread.

Gleevec
a drug used to treat different types of leukemia and other cancers of the blood, gastrointestinal stromal tumors, skin tumors called dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans, and a rare condition called systemic mastocytosis. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Gleevec blocks the protein made by the bcr/abl oncogene. It is a type of tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Also called imatinib mesylate and sti571.

Gliadel wafer
a biodegradable wafer that is used to deliver the anticancer drug carmustine directly into a brain tumor site after the tumor has been removed by surgery. Also called carmustine implant and polifeprosan 20 carmustine implant.

Glial cell
any of the cells that hold nerve cells in place and help them work the way they should. The types of glial cells include oligodendrocytes, astrocytes, microglia, and ependymal cells. Also called neuroglia.

Glial tumor
a general term for tumors of the central nervous system, including astrocytomas, ependymal tumors, glioblastoma multiforme, and primitive neuroectodermal tumors.

Glioblastoma
a fast-growing type of central nervous system tumor that forms from glial (supportive) tissue of the brain and spinal cord and has cells that look very different from normal cells. Glioblastoma usually occurs in adults and affects the brain more often than the spinal cord. Also called gbm, glioblastoma multiforme, and grade iv astrocytoma.

Glioblastoma multiforme
a fast-growing type of central nervous system tumor that forms from glial (supportive) tissue of the brain and spinal cord and has cells that look very different from normal cells. Glioblastoma multiforme usually occurs in adults and affects the brain more often than the spinal cord. Also called gbm, glioblastoma, and grade iv astrocytoma.

Glioma
a cancer of the brain that begins in glial cells (cells that surround and support nerve cells).

Gliosarcoma
a type of glioma (cancer of the brain that comes from glial, or supportive, cells).

Glossectomy
surgical removal of all or part of the tongue.

Glottis
the middle part of the larynx; the area where the vocal cords are located.

Glucagon
a hormone produced by the pancreas that increases the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood.

Glucagonoma
a rare pancreatic tumor that produces a hormone called glucagon. Glucagonomas can produce symptoms similar to diabetes.

Glucarpidase
a drug used to treat toxic levels of methotrexate (an anticancer drug) in the blood of patients with kidney problems. It is a bacterial enzyme that breaks down proteins and other substances, such as methotrexate. Glucarpidase may also help certain drugs kill cancer cells. It is a type of chemoprotective agent and a type of prodrug activator. Also called carboxypeptidase-g2 and voraxaze.

Glucocorticoid
a compound that belongs to the family of compounds called corticosteroids (steroids). Glucocorticoids affect metabolism and have anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive effects. They may be naturally produced (hormones) or synthetic (drugs).

Gluconeogenesis
the process of making glucose (sugar) from its own breakdown products or from the breakdown products of lipids (fats) or proteins. Gluconeogenesis occurs mainly in cells of the liver or kidney.

Glucophage
a drug used to treat diabetes mellitus (a condition in which the body cannot control the level of sugar in the blood ). It is also being studied in the treatment of cancer. It decreases the amount of glucose (a type of sugar) released into the bloodstream from the liver and increases the body’s use of the glucose. Glucophage is a type of antidiabetic agent. Also called metformin hydrochloride.

Glucose
a type of sugar; the chief source of energy for living organisms.

Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency
an inherited disorder in which a person doesn’t have enough of an enzyme called g6pd that helps red blood cells work the way they should. In glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency, the red blood cells break down when the body is exposed to infection, severe stress, or certain drugs, chemicals, or foods. This may lead to a condition called hemolytic anemia. This disorder is most common in african-american men and in men of middle eastern or mediterranean descent. Also called g6pd deficiency.

Glucuronic acid
a form of a type of sugar called glucose that helps remove harmful substances from the body. Glucuronic acid and the harmful substance combine in the liver and then are passed in the urine. Glucuronic acid is also found in other substances in the body, such as cartilage and synovial fluid (fluid found in the joints).

Glufosfamide
an anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called alkylating agents.

Glutamic acid
one of twenty amino acids (molecules that join together to form proteins). Glutamic acid may help nerve cells send and receive information from other cells. It is being studied for its ability to decrease or prevent nerve damage caused by anticancer drugs. Also called l-glutamic acid.

Glutamine
an amino acid used in nutrition therapy. It is also being studied for the treatment of diarrhea caused by radiation therapy to the pelvis.

Glutathione
a substance found in plant and animal tissues that has many functions in a cell. These include activating certain enzymes and destroying toxic compounds and chemicals that contain oxygen.

Glutathione s-transferase
a family of enzymes involved in metabolism and in making toxic compounds less harmful to the body.

Glycan
a large carbohydrate molecule. It contains many small sugar molecules that are joined chemically. Also called polysaccharide.

Glycan analysis
a study of the types of carbohydrate (sugar) molecules attached to proteins in cells. Proteins with carbohydrate molecules are called glycoproteins. Glycan analysis is being studied to find out if glycoproteins on cancer cells may be used as biomarkers for cancer.

Glycemia
glucose (a type of sugar) found in the blood. Also called blood sugar.

Glycemic index
a measure of the increase in the level of blood glucose (a type of sugar) caused by eating a specific carbohydrate (food that contains sugar) compared with eating a standard amount of glucose. Foods with a high glycemic index release glucose quickly and cause a rapid rise in blood glucose. Foods with a low glycemic index release glucose slowly into the blood. A relationship between the glycemic index and recurrent colorectal cancer is being studied.

Glycinamide ribonucleotide formyltransferase inhibitor
a drug that blocks dna synthesis and may prevent tumor growth. It is being studied as a treatment for cancer.

Glycine max
A product from a plant of asian origin that produces beans used in many food products. Glycine max contains isoflavones (estrogen-like substances) that are being studied for the prevention of cancer, hot flashes that occur with menopause, and osteoporosis (loss of bone density). Glycine max in the diet may lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. Also called soy, soya, and soybean.

Glycogen storage disease
a type of inherited disorder in which there are problems with how a form of glucose (sugar) called glycogen is stored and used in the body. Certain enzymes that help make or break down glycogen are missing or do not work the way they should. This causes abnormal amounts or types of glycogen in the tissues, especially in the liver and in muscle tissue. There are many types of glycogen storage disease, which can cause problems in different parts of the body, including the liver, muscles, kidneys, and heart. Also called gsd.

Glycolic acid
a substance found in some fruits, sugar beets, and sugar cane. It is used in skin care products to reduce wrinkles and soften the skin. It is a type of alpha hydroxyl acid.

Glycolysis
a process in which glucose (sugar) is partially broken down by cells in enzyme reactions that do not need oxygen. Glycolysis is one method that cells use to produce energy. When glycolysis is linked with other enzyme reactions that use oxygen, more complete breakdown of glucose is possible and more energy is produced.

Glycopeptide
a short chain of amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) that has sugar molecules attached to it. Some glycopeptides have been studied for their ability to stimulate the immune system.

Glycoprotein
a protein that has sugar molecules attached to it.

Glycoprotein 100
gp100. A tumor-specific antigen used in the development of cancer vaccines. Also called gp100.

Glycosaminoglycan
a type of long, unbranched polysaccharide molecule. Glycosaminoglycans are major structural components of cartilage and are also found in the cornea of the eye.

Gm-csf
a substance that helps make more white blood cells, especially granulocytes, macrophages, and cells that become platelets. It is a cytokine that is a type of hematopoietic (blood-forming) agent. Also called granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor and sargramostim.

Gm-csf-secreting breast tumor vaccine
a vaccine that is being studied as a way to help the body’s immune system kill breast cancer cells. To make the vaccine, the gm-csf gene is put into breast cancer cells in the laboratory. The cells are then treated with radiation to stop them from growing and injected into the same or a different patient. The gm-csf protein made by the changed breast cancer cells may help the immune system kill breast cancer cells in the body.

Gm2-klh vaccine
a substance used to stimulate the production of antibodies that fight certain cancer cells.

Gnrh
a hormone made by a part of the brain called the hypothalamus. Gnrh causes the pituitary gland in the brain to make and secrete the hormones luteinizing hormone (lh) and follicle-stimulating hormone (fsh). In men, these hormones cause the testicles to make testosterone. In women, they cause the ovaries to make estrogen and progesterone. Also called gonadotropin-releasing hormone, lh-rh, lhrh, and luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone.

Gnrh agonist
a substance that keeps the testicles and ovaries from making sex hormones by blocking other hormones that are needed to make them. In men, gnrh agonists cause the testicles to stop making testosterone. In women, they cause the ovaries to stop making estrogen and progesterone. Some gnrh agonists are used to treat prostate cancer. Also called gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist, lh-rh agonist, and luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone agonist.

Gnrh antagonist
a substance that blocks the pituitary gland from making hormones called follicle-stimulating hormone (fsh) and luteinizing hormone (lh). In men, this causes the testicles to stop making testosterone. In women, this causes the ovaries to stop making estrogen and progesterone. Some gnrh antagonists are used to treat advanced prostate cancer. They are also used to treat certain gynecologic conditions and are being studied in the treatment of hormone-sensitive breast cancer. Also called gonadotropin-releasing hormone antagonist, lh-rh antagonist, and luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone antagonist.

Goiter
an enlarged thyroid. It may be caused by too little iodine in the diet or by other conditions. Most goiters are not cancer.

Gold fiducial marker seeds
tiny, gold seeds, about the size of a grain of rice, that are put in and/or around a tumor to show exactly where it is in the body. Doctors are then able to target the tumor directly and give higher doses of radiation with less harm to nearby healthy tissue. Also called gold fiducial markers, gold seeds, and gold-seed fiducial markers.

Gold fiducial markers
tiny, gold seeds, about the size of a grain of rice, that are put in and/or around a tumor to show exactly where it is in the body. Doctors are then able to target the tumor directly and give higher doses of radiation with less harm to nearby healthy tissue. Also called gold fiducial marker seeds, gold seeds, and gold-seed fiducial markers.

Gold seeds
tiny, gold seeds, about the size of a grain of rice, that are put in and/or around a tumor to show exactly where it is in the body. Doctors are then able to target the tumor directly and give higher doses of radiation with less harm to nearby healthy tissue. Also called gold fiducial marker seeds, gold fiducial markers, and gold-seed fiducial markers.

Gold therapy
a procedure that uses gold salts (a salt form of the metal element gold) to treat diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis. The gold salts stop cells from releasing chemicals that can harm tissues. Also called aurotherapy and chrysotherapy.

Gold-seed fiducial markers
tiny, gold seeds, about the size of a grain of rice, that are put in and/or around a tumor to show exactly where it is in the body. Doctors are then able to target the tumor directly and give higher doses of radiation with less harm to nearby healthy tissue. Also called gold fiducial marker seeds, gold fiducial markers, and gold seeds.

Golgi apparatus
a stack of small flat sacs formed by membranes inside the cell’s cytoplasm (gel-like fluid). The golgi apparatus prepares proteins and lipid (fat) molecules for use in other places inside and outside the cell. The golgi apparatus is a cell organelle. Also called golgi body and golgi complex.

Golgi body
a stack of small flat sacs formed by membranes inside the cell’s cytoplasm (gel-like fluid). The golgi body prepares proteins and lipid (fat) molecules for use in other places inside and outside the cell. The golgi body is a cell organelle. Also called golgi apparatus and golgi complex.

Golgi complex
a stack of small flat sacs formed by membranes inside the cell’s cytoplasm (gel-like fluid). The golgi complex prepares proteins and lipid (fat) molecules for use in other places inside and outside the cell. The golgi complex is a cell organelle. Also called golgi apparatus and golgi body.

Gonad
the part of the reproductive system that produces and releases eggs (ovary) or sperm (testicle/testis).

Gonadal dysgenesis
abnormal development of a gonad (ovary or testicle). Men with gonadal dysgenesis have a greater risk of developing testicular cancer. Gonadal dysgenesis is usually part of a genetic syndrome.

Gonadotropin-releasing hormone antagonist
a substance that blocks the pituitary gland from making hormones called follicle-stimulating hormone (fsh) and luteinizing hormone (lh). In men, this causes the testicles to stop making testosterone. In women, this causes the ovaries to stop making estrogen and progesterone. Some gonadotropin-releasing hormone antagonists are used to treat advanced prostate cancer. They are also used to treat certain gynecologic conditions and are being studied in the treatment of hormone-sensitive breast cancer. Also called gnrh antagonist, lh-rh antagonist, and luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone antagonist.

Gonadotropin-releasing hormone
a hormone made by a part of the brain called the hypothalamus. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone causes the pituitary gland in the brain to make and secrete the hormones luteinizing hormone (lh) and follicle-stimulating hormone (fsh). In men, these hormones cause the testicles to make testosterone. In women, they cause the ovaries to make estrogen and progesterone. Also called gnrh, lh-rh, lhrh, and luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone.

Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist
a substance that keeps the testicles and ovaries from making sex hormones by blocking other hormones that are needed to make them. In men, gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists cause the testicles to stop making testosterone. In women, they cause the ovaries to stop making estrogen and progesterone. Some gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists are used to treat prostate cancer. Also called gnrh agonist, lh-rh agonist, and luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone agonist.

Gonioscopy
a procedure in which a gonioscope (special lens) is used to look at the front part of the eye between the cornea (the clear layer) and the iris (the colored part of the eye). Gonioscopy checks for blockages in the area where fluid drains out of the eye.

Gonzalez regimen
an alternative therapy that is being studied as a treatment for pancreatic cancer. It includes a special diet, nutritional supplements, pancreatic enzymes, and coffee enemas.

Good clinical practice
an international set of guidelines that helps make sure that the results of a clinical trial are reliable and that the patients are protected. Good clinical practice covers the way a clinical trial is designed, conducted, performed, monitored, audited, recorded, analyzed, and reported. Also called gcp.

Gorlin syndrome
a genetic condition that causes unusual facial features and disorders of the skin, bones, nervous system, eyes, and endocrine glands. People with this syndrome have a higher risk of basal cell carcinoma. Also called basal cell nevus syndrome and nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome.

Goserelin acetate
a drug used to treat prostate cancer and to relieve the symptoms of advanced breast cancer. It is also used to treat problems with the endometrium (lining of the uterus). Goserelin acetate keeps the body from making the hormones luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (lhrh) and luteinizing hormone (lh). This causes the testicles to stop making testosterone (a male hormone) in men, and the ovaries to stop making estradiol (a form of the hormone estrogen) in women. Goserelin acetate may stop the growth of cancer cells that need testosterone or estrogen to grow. It is a type of lhrh agonist. Also called zdx and zoladex.

Gossypol
a substance being studied in the treatment of several types of cancer. It comes from the seed of the cotton plant (gossypium). It blocks the growth of cells and may kill cancer cells. Gossypol may also act as a male contraceptive (a type of birth control). Also called cottonseed meal toxin.

Gossypol acetic acid
a substance being studied in the treatment of several types of cancer. It is a form of a chemical taken from the seed of the cotton plant (gossypium). It blocks the growth of cells and may kill cancer cells. Gossypol acetic acid may also act as a male contraceptive (form of birth control).

Gout
a condition marked by increased levels of uric acid in the blood, joints, and tissue. The buildup of uric acid in the joints and tissues causes arthritis and inflammation.

Gp100
a tumor-specific antigen used in the development of cancer vaccines. Also called glycoprotein 100.

Gp209-2m
a peptide (short piece of protein) made from the tumor-specific antigen gp100, and used to make vaccines being studied in the treatment of melanoma.

Gp96 heat shock protein-peptide complex vaccine
a vaccine made from a patient’s tumor cells that may help the body’s immune system kill cancer cells. This vaccine is used to treat kidney cancer, a type of brain cancer called glioma, and metastatic melanoma (a type of skin cancer that has spread). It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Also called gp96 hsp-peptide complex, oncophage, and vitespen.

Gp96 hsp-peptide complex
a vaccine made from a patient’s tumor cells that may help the body’s immune system kill cancer cells. This vaccine is used to treat kidney cancer, a type of brain cancer called glioma, and metastatic melanoma (a type of skin cancer that has spread). It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Also called gp96 heat shock protein-peptide complex vaccine, oncophage, and vitespen.

Gpx-100
an anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called antitumor antibiotics. It is an anthracycline.

Grade 1 follicular lymphoma
an indolent (slow-growing) type of non-hodgkin lymphoma marked by enlarged lymph nodes and small cells that have cleaved (u-shaped) nuclei.

Grade 2 follicular lymphoma
an indolent (slow-growing) type of non-hodgkin lymphoma marked by enlarged lymph nodes and a mix of large cells and small cells that have cleaved (u-shaped) nuclei.

Grade 3 follicular lymphoma
a type of non-hodgkin lymphoma marked by large cells and enlarged lymph nodes. Grade 3 follicular lymphoma is less common, and more aggressive than grades 1 or 2 follicular lymphoma.

Grade iv astrocytoma
a fast-growing type of central nervous system tumor that forms from glial (supportive) tissue of the brain and spinal cord and has cells that look very different from normal cells. Grade iv astrocytoma usually occurs in adults and affects the brain more often than the spinal cord. Also called gbm, glioblastoma, and glioblastoma multiforme.

Grading
a system for classifying cancer cells in terms of how abnormal they appear when examined under a microscope. The objective of a grading system is to provide information about the probable growth rate of the tumor and its tendency to spread. The systems used to grade tumors vary with each type of cancer. Grading plays a role in treatment decisions.

Graft
healthy skin, bone, or other tissue taken from one part of the body and used to replace diseased or injured tissue removed from another part of the body.

Graft-versus-host disease
a disease caused when cells from a donated stem cell graft attack the normal tissue of the transplant patient. Symptoms include jaundice, skin rash or blisters, a dry mouth, or dry eyes. Also called gvhd.

Graft-versus-tumor
an immune response to a person’s tumor cells by immune cells present in a donor’s transplanted tissue, such as bone marrow or peripheral blood.

Gram
a unit of weight in the metric system. One gram is equal to one thousandth of a kilogram and is approximately 30-times less than an ounce.

Granisetron hydrochloride
a drug used to prevent nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy and radiation therapy. It is also used to prevent nausea and vomiting after surgery. Granisetron hydrochloride blocks the action of the chemical serotonin, which binds to certain nerves and may trigger nausea and vomiting. Blocking serotonin may help lessen nausea and vomiting. It is a type of serotonin receptor antagonist and a type of antiemetic. Also called kytril.

Granular leukocyte
a type of immune cell that has granules (small particles) with enzymes that are released during infections, allergic reactions, and asthma. Neutrophils, eosinophils, and basophils are granular leukocytes. A granular leukocyte is a type of white blood cell. Also called granulocyte, pmn, and polymorphonuclear leukocyte.

Granulocyte
a type of immune cell that has granules (small particles) with enzymes that are released during infections, allergic reactions, and asthma. Neutrophils, eosinophils, and basophils are granulocytes. A granulocyte is a type of white blood cell. Also called granular leukocyte, pmn, and polymorphonuclear leukocyte.

Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor
a colony-stimulating factor that stimulates the production of neutrophils (a type of white blood cell). It is a cytokine that is a type of hematopoietic (blood-forming) agent. Also called filgrastim and g-csf.

Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor
a substance that helps make more white blood cells, especially granulocytes, macrophages, and cells that become platelets. It is a cytokine that is a type of hematopoietic (blood-forming) agent. Also called gm-csf and sargramostim.

Granulocytic sarcoma
a malignant, green-colored tumor of myeloid cells (a type of immature white blood cell). This tumor is usually associated with myelogenous leukemia. Also called chloroma.

Granulocytopenia
a condition in which there is a lower-than-normal number of granulocytes (a type of white blood cell).

Granulosa cell tumor
a type of slow-growing, malignant tumor that usually affects the ovary.

Gray elm
the inner bark of this plant has been used in some cultures to treat certain medical problems. It may have antioxidant effects. Also called indian elm, red elm, slippery elm, sweet elm, ulmus fulva, and ulmus rubra.

Green tea extract
a mixture that is prepared from the leaves of the camellia sinensis plant. It contains substances called flavonoids and polyphenols, which are antioxidants. Antioxidants help protect cells from damage caused by certain chemicals that may increase the risk of cancer and other diseases. Green tea extract may be taken to treat certain conditions. It is also being studied in the prevention of cancer and other diseases.

Greene menopause index
a tool used by researchers to study the symptoms of menopause. It is a standard list of 21 questions which women use to rate how much they are bothered by menopause symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, rapid heartbeat, and difficulty sleeping.

Grief
the normal response to a major loss, such as the death of a loved one. Grief may also be felt by a person with a serious, long-term illness or with a terminal illness. It may include feelings of great sadness, anger, guilt, and despair. Physical problems, such as not being able to sleep and changes in appetite, may also be part of grief.

Grief counseling
the process by which a trained counselor or a support group helps a person work through normal feelings of sorrow after a loss, such as the death of a loved one.

Grief therapy
treatment that helps a person work through a greater than normal reaction to a loss, such as the death of a loved one. This reaction may include behavioral and physical problems, extreme mourning, and being unable to separate emotionally from the person who died. Grief therapy may be individual or group therapy.

Groin
the area where the thigh meets the abdomen.

Growth and development milestones
goals for the expected sizes of infants and children and activities they should be able to do at specific ages, such as sit, stand, play, speak, think, and interact with others.

Growth factor
a substance made by the body that functions to regulate cell division and cell survival. Some growth factors are also produced in the laboratory and used in biological therapy.

Growth hormone
a protein made by the pituitary gland that helps control body growth and the use of glucose and fat in the body. Also called somatotropin.

Gsd
a type of inherited disorder in which there are problems with how a form of glucose (sugar) called glycogen is stored and used in the body. Certain enzymes that help make or break down glycogen are missing or do not work the way they should. This causes abnormal amounts or types of glycogen in the tissues, especially in the liver and in muscle tissue. There are many types of gsd, which can cause problems in different parts of the body, including the liver, muscles, kidneys, and heart. Also called glycogen storage disease.

Gsk1070916a
a substance being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. It blocks certain enzymes (aurora kinases) involved in cell division and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of serine/threonine protein kinase inhibitor. Also called aurora b/c kinase inhibitor gsk1070916a.

Gtd
a rare condition in which abnormal cells grow inside the uterus from tissue that forms after conception (the joining of sperm and egg). This tissue is made of trophoblastic cells, which normally surround the fertilized egg in the uterus and help connect the fertilized egg to the wall of the uterus. These cells also form part of the placenta (the organ that passes nutrients from the mother to the fetus). Most gtds are benign (not cancer) and do not spread, but some types are malignant (cancer) and spread to nearby tissues or other parts of the body. The two main types of gtds are hydatidiform mole and choriocarcinoma. Also called gestational trophoblastic disease, gestational trophoblastic tumor, and gtt.

Gti-2040
a substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. It blocks the production of a protein called ribonucleotide reductase, which helps cells make dna. This may kill cancer cells that need ribonucleotide reductase to grow. It may also make cells more sensitive to anticancer drugs. It is a type of antisense oligonucleotide, and a type of ribonucleotide reductase inhibitor.

Gtt
a rare condition in which abnormal cells grow inside the uterus from tissue that forms after conception (the joining of sperm and egg). This tissue is made of trophoblastic cells, which normally surround the fertilized egg in the uterus and help connect the fertilized egg to the wall of the uterus. These cells also form part of the placenta (the organ that passes nutrients from the mother to the fetus). Most gtts are benign (not cancer) and do not spread, but some types are malignant (cancer) and spread to nearby tissues or other parts of the body. The two main types of gtts are hydatidiform mole and choriocarcinoma. Also called gestational trophoblastic disease, gestational trophoblastic tumor, and gtd.

Guaiac
a substance from a type of tree called guaiacum that grows in the caribbean. Guaiac is used in the fecal occult blood test (a test for blood in human stool samples).

Guaiac fecal occult blood test
a test that checks for occult (hidden) blood in the stool. Small samples of stool are placed on special cards coated with a chemical substance called guaiac and sent to a doctor or laboratory for testing. A testing solution is put on the cards and the guaiac causes the stool sample to change color. If there is blood in the stool, the color changes very quickly. Blood in the stool may be a sign of colorectal cancer or other problems, such as polyps, ulcers, or hemorrhoids. Also called gfobt, guaiac smear test, and stool guaiac test.

Guaiac smear test
a test that checks for occult (hidden) blood in the stool. Small samples of stool are placed on special cards coated with a chemical substance called guaiac and sent to a doctor or laboratory for testing. A testing solution is put on the cards and the guaiac causes the stool sample to change color. If there is blood in the stool, the color changes very quickly. Blood in the stool may be a sign of colorectal cancer or other problems, such as polyps, ulcers, or hemorrhoids. Also called gfobt, guaiac fecal occult blood test, and stool guaiac test.

Guanine
a chemical compound that is used to make one of the building blocks of dna and rna. It is a type of purine.

Guided imagery
a technique in which a person focuses on positive images in his or her mind. It can help people reach a relaxed, focused state and help reduce stress and give a sense of well-being. Also called imagery.

Gums
the tissue of the upper and lower jaws that surrounds the base of the teeth. Also called gingiva.

Gut flora
bacteria and other organisms that live inside the intestines. They help digest food. Vitamins such as biotin and vitamin k are made by gut flora. Also called gut microflora, intestinal flora, intestinal microflora, and microflora.

Gut microflora
bacteria and other organisms that live inside the intestines. They help digest food. Vitamins such as biotin and vitamin k are made by gut microflora. Also called gut flora, intestinal flora, intestinal microflora, and microflora.

Gutka
a type of smokeless tobacco that is made in india and is widely used throughout asia. It is a mixture of tobacco, crushed areca nut (also called betel nut), spices, and other ingredients. It is used like chewing tobacco and is placed in the mouth, usually between the gum and cheek. Gutka contains nicotine and many harmful, cancer-causing chemicals. Using it can lead to nicotine addiction and can cause cancers of the lip, mouth, tongue, throat, and esophagus. Also called betel quid with tobacco.

Gvhd
a disease caused when cells from a donated stem cell graft attack the normal tissue of the transplant patient. Symptoms include jaundice, skin rash or blisters, a dry mouth, or dry eyes. Also called graft-versus-host disease.

Gw572016
a drug used with another anticancer drug to treat breast cancer that is her2 positive and has advanced or metastasized (spread to other parts of the body) after treatment with other drugs. Gw572016 is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It is a type of erbb-2 and egfr dual tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Also called lapatinib, lapatinib ditosylate, and tykerb.

Gw786034
a drug used to treat advanced renal cell carcinoma, which is the most common type of kidney cancer. It is also used to treat advanced soft tissue sarcoma that has been treated with other anticancer drugs. It is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Gw786034 may prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It is a type of protein tyrosine kinase inhibitor and a type of antiangiogenesis agent. Also called pazopanib hydrochloride and votrient.

Gwas
a study that compares dna markers across the genome (the complete genetic material in a person) in people with a disease or trait to people without the disease or trait. These studies may uncover clues to help prevent, diagnose, and treat disease. Also called genome-wide association study.

Gynecologic
having to do with the female reproductive tract (including the cervix, endometrium, fallopian tubes, ovaries, uterus, and vagina).

Gynecologic cancer
cancer of the female reproductive tract, including the cervix, endometrium, fallopian tubes, ovaries, uterus, and vagina.

Gynecologic oncologist
a doctor who specializes in treating cancers of the female reproductive organs.

Gynecologist
a doctor who specializes in treating diseases of the female reproductive organs.

Gynecomastia
the abnormal growth of breast gland tissue in males. Gynecomastia in infants and boys may be caused by an imbalance in certain hormones. It may also be caused by conditions that affect hormones, such as tumors; malnutrition; kidney, liver, or thyroid disease; or treatment with certain drugs. It can occur at any age.

H-ras gene
a gene that may cause cancer when it is mutated (changed). The h-ras gene makes the hras protein, which is involved in cell signaling pathways, cell growth, and apoptosis (cell death). Agents that block the actions of the mutated h-ras gene or its protein in cancer cells may stop the growth of cancer. Also called hras gene.

H Pylori
a type of bacterium that causes inflammation and ulcers in the stomach or small intestine. People with h. Pylori infections may be more likely to develop cancer in the stomach, including malt (mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue) lymphoma. Also called helicobacter pylori.

Ha20
a substance being studied in the treatment of several types of lymphoma. It binds to the protein cd20, which is found on b cells (a type of immune system cell) and some types of lymphoma cells. This causes the immune system to kill the cancer cells. Ha20 is a type of monoclonal antibody. Also called hcd20, immu-106, and veltuzumab.

Haart
treatment for human immunodeficiency virus (hiv) infection that uses a combination of several antiretroviral drugs. The drugs inhibit the ability of the virus to multiply in the body, and they slow down the development of aids. Also called highly active antiretroviral therapy.

Hair follicle
a shaft or opening on the surface of the skin through which hair grows.

Hairy cell leukemia
a rare type of leukemia in which abnormal b-lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell) are present in the bone marrow, spleen, and peripheral blood. When viewed under a microscope, these cells appear to be covered with tiny hair-like projections.

Halaven
a drug used to treat metastatic breast cancer in patients who have already been treated with other chemotherapy. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Halaven may block cancer cell growth by stopping cell division. It belongs to the family of drugs called antitubulin agents. Also called e7389 and eribulin mesylate.

Haldol
a drug used to treat certain mental and neurological disorders. It is also being studied in the treatment of nausea and vomiting caused by some cancer treatments. It is a type of antiemetic and a type of antipsychotic. Also called haloperidol.

Half-sibling
a person’s brother or sister who has one parent in common.

Hallucination
a sight, sound, smell, taste, or touch that a person believes to be real but is not real. Hallucinations can be caused by nervous system disease, certain drugs, or mental disorders.

Halofuginone hydrobromide
a substance that is being studied for its ability to slow the growth of connective tissue and to prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It is a type of quinazolinone alkaloid and a type of antiangiogenesis agent.

Haloperidol
a drug used to treat certain mental and neurological disorders. It is also being studied in the treatment of nausea and vomiting caused by some cancer treatments. It is a type of antiemetic and a type of antipsychotic. Also called haldol.

Halsted radical mastectomy
surgery for breast cancer in which the breast, chest muscles, and all of the lymph nodes under the arm are removed. For many years, this was the breast cancer operation used most often, but it is used rarely now. Doctors consider radical mastectomy only when the tumor has spread to the chest muscles. Also called radical mastectomy.

Hamartoma
a benign (not cancer) growth made up of an abnormal mixture of cells and tissues normally found in the area of the body where the growth occurs.

Hand-foot syndrome
a condition marked by pain, swelling, numbness, tingling, or redness of the hands or feet. It sometimes occurs as a side effect of certain anticancer drugs. Also called palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia.

Happy major
a plant whose seeds and root have been used in some cultures to treat certain medical problems. It may have antioxidant effects. The scientific name is arctium lappa. Also called burdock and lappa.

Hard palate
the front, bony part of the roof of the mouth.

Hashimoto disease
an autoimmune condition of the thyroid gland (a gland located beneath the larynx). It is caused by the formation of antibodies that attack the thyroid gland and it usually causes hypothyroidism (too little thyroid hormone). Symptoms include fatigue, weight gain, constipation, dry skin, depression, and the inability to exercise. It is more common in females and can run in families. Also called autoimmune thyroiditis and hashimoto thyroiditis.

Hashimoto thyroiditis
an autoimmune condition of the thyroid gland (a gland located beneath the larynx). It is caused by the formation of antibodies that attack the thyroid gland and it usually causes hypothyroidism (too little thyroid hormone). Symptoms include fatigue, weight gain, constipation, dry skin, depression, and the inability to exercise. It is more common in females and can run in families. Also called autoimmune thyroiditis and hashimoto disease.

Hawthorn fruit
the fruit of the hawthorn tree or bush. It has been used in some cultures to treat certain medical problems, including heart problems and gastrointestinal problems.

Hazard ratio
a measure of how often a particular event happens in one group compared to how often it happens in another group, over time. In cancer research, hazard ratios are often used in clinical trials to measure survival at any point in time in a group of patients who have been given a specific treatment compared to a control group given another treatment or a placebo. A hazard ratio of one means that there is no difference in survival between the two groups. A hazard ratio of greater than one or less than one means that survival was better in one of the groups.

Hboc syndrome
an inherited disorder in which the risk of breast cancer (especially before the age of 50) and ovarian cancer is higher than normal. Most cases of hboc syndrome are caused by certain mutations (changes) in the brca1 or the brca2 gene. People with hboc syndrome may also have an increased risk of other types of cancer, including pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer, and melanoma. Also called hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome.

Hbv
a virus that causes hepatitis (inflammation of the liver). It is carried and passed to others through the blood and other body fluids. Different ways the virus is spread include sharing needles with an infected person and being stuck accidentally by a needle contaminated with the virus. Infants born to infected mothers may also become infected with the virus. Although many patients who are infected with hbv may not have symptoms, long-term infection may lead to cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) and liver cancer. Also called hepatitis b virus.

Hca
a chemical that is formed when meat, poultry, or fish is cooked at high temperatures, such as frying, broiling, and barbecuing. Hcas are carcinogens (substances that may cause cancer). Also called heterocyclic amine.

Hcd20
a substance being studied in the treatment of several types of lymphoma. It binds to the protein cd20, which is found on b cells (a type of immune system cell) and some types of lymphoma cells. This causes the immune system to kill the cancer cells. Hcd20 is a type of monoclonal antibody. Also called ha20, immu-106, and veltuzumab.

Hcp
healthcare proxy. A type of advance directive that gives a person (such as a relative, lawyer, or friend) the authority to make healthcare decisions for another person. It becomes active when that person loses the ability to make decisions for himself or herself. Also called healthcare proxy.

Hcrf
a substance being studied in the treatment of brain cancer. It is made naturally by the hypothalamus (a part of the brain) and can also be made in the laboratory. Hcrf may help reduce symptoms caused by edema (swelling) of the brain. It is a type of neurohormone. Also called human corticotropin-releasing factor.

Hct
the amount of whole blood that is made up of red blood cells. It depends on the number and size of red blood cells. A hct test is usually part of a complete blood count (cbc). It may be used to check for conditions such as anemia, dehydration, malnutrition, and leukemia. Also called hematocrit.

Hcv
a virus that causes hepatitis (inflammation of the liver). It is carried and passed to others through the blood and other body fluids. Different ways the virus is spread include sharing needles with an infected person and being stuck accidentally by a needle contaminated with the virus. Infants born to infected mothers may also become infected with the virus. Although patients who are infected with hcv may not have symptoms, long-term infection may lead to cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) and liver cancer. These patients may also have an increased risk for certain types of non-hodgkin lymphoma. Also called hepatitis c virus.

Hdac
an enzyme that removes a small molecule called an acetyl group from histones (proteins found in chromosomes). This changes the way the histones bind to dna and may affect its activity. Hdac inhibitors are being studied in the treatment of cancer. Also called histone deacetylase.

Hdac inhibitor
a substance that causes a chemical change that stops tumor cells from dividing. Hdac inhibitors are being studied in the treatment of cancer. Also called histone deacetylase inhibitor.

Hdac inhibitor sndx-275
A substance being studied in the treatment of several types of cancer. It blocks enzymes needed for cell division and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of histone deacetylase (hdac) inhibitor. Also called entinostat and sndx-275.

Hdr
an amount of radiation that is greater than that given in typical radiation therapy. Hdr is precisely directed at the tumor to avoid damaging healthy tissue, and may kill more cancer cells in fewer treatments. Also called high-dose radiation.

He4
a protein found on cells that line the lungs and reproductive organs, such as the ovaries. He4 may be found in higher than normal amounts in patients with some types of cancer, including ovarian epithelial cancer. Measuring the amount of he4 in the blood may help plan cancer treatment or find out if cancer is getting worse or has come back. It is a type of tumor marker. Also called human epididymis protein 4.

Head and neck cancer
cancer that arises in the head or neck region (in the nasal cavity, sinuses, lips, mouth, salivary glands, throat, or larynx [voice box]).

Healing touch
a form of complementary and alternative medicine based on the belief that vital energy flows through the human body. This energy is said to be balanced or made stronger by practitioners who pass their hands over, or gently touch, a patient’s body. Healing touch is being studied in patients receiving cancer therapy, to find out if it can improve quality of life, boost the immune system, or reduce side effects. Healing touch is a type of energy therapy. Also called therapeutic touch.

Health insurance portability and accountability act
A 1996 u.s. Law that allows workers and their families to keep their health insurance when they change or lose their jobs. The law also includes standards for setting up secure electronic health records and to protect the privacy of a person’s health information and to keep it from being misused. Also called hipaa and kassebaum kennedy act.

Healthcare provider
a licensed person or organization that provides healthcare services.

Healthcare proxy
a type of advance directive that gives a person (such as a relative, lawyer, or friend) the authority to make healthcare decisions for another person. It becomes active when that person loses the ability to make decisions for himself or herself. Also called hcp.

Healthy control
in a clinical study, a person who does not have the disorder or disease being studied. Results from healthy controls are compared to results from the group being studied.

Heart cancer
a rare cancer that develops in tissues of the heart. Also called cardiac sarcoma.

Heart disease
a type of disease that affects the heart or blood vessels. The risk of certain heart diseases may be increased by smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, and obesity. The most common heart disease is coronary artery disease (narrow or blocked coronary arteries), which can lead to chest pain, heart attacks, or stroke. Other heart diseases include congestive heart failure, heart rhythm problems, congenital heart disease (heart disease at birth), and endocarditis (inflamed inner layer of the heart). Also called cardiovascular disease.

Heart rate
in medicine, the number of times the heart beats within a certain time period, usually a minute. The heart rate can be felt at the wrist, side of the neck, back of the knees, top of the foot, groin, and other places in the body where an artery is close to the skin. The resting heart rate is normally between 60 and 100 beats a minute in a healthy adult who is at rest. Measuring the heart rate gives important information about a person’s health. Also called pulse.

Heat-shock protein
one of a group of proteins that help protect cells from stresses such as heat, cold, and low amounts of oxygen or glucose (sugar). Heat-shock proteins help other proteins function in normal cells and may be present at high levels in cancer cells. Blocking the activity of a heat-shock protein called hsp90 is being studied in the treatment of cancer. Other heat-shock proteins including hsp70 and gp96 are being studied in vaccines to treat cancer. Also called hsp and stress protein.

Hedyotis diffusa
an herb used in traditional chinese medicine to treat certain medical problems. It has been used to boost the immune system and may have anticancer effects.

Helical computed tomography
a procedure that uses a computer linked to an x-ray machine to make a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body. The x-ray machine scans the body in a spiral path. This allows more images to be made in a shorter time than with older ct methods. A dye may be injected into a vein or swallowed to help the organs or tissues show up more clearly on the x-ray. Helical computed tomography also creates more detailed pictures and may be better at finding small abnormal areas inside the body. It may be used to help diagnose disease, plan treatment, or find out how well treatment is working. Also called spiral ct scan.

Helical tomotherapy
a type of therapy in which radiation is aimed at a tumor from many different directions. The patient lays on a table and is moved through a donut-shaped machine. The radiation source in the machine rotates around the patient in a spiral pattern. Before radiation, a 3-dimensional (3-d) image of the tumor is taken. This helps doctors find the highest dose of radiation that can be used to kill tumor cells while causing less damage to nearby tissue. Helical tomotherapy is a type of intensity-modulated radiation therapy (imrt). Also called tomotherapy.

Helicobacter pylori
a type of bacterium that causes inflammation and ulcers in the stomach or small intestine. People with helicobacter pylori infections may be more likely to develop cancer in the stomach, including malt (mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue) lymphoma. Also called h. Pylori.

Helper t cell
a type of immune cell that stimulates killer t cells, macrophages, and b cells to make immune responses. A helper t cell is a type of white blood cell and a type of lymphocyte. Also called cd4-positive t lymphocyte.

Hemagglutinin-neuraminidase
a protein found in the outer coat of paramyxoviruses. This protein helps virus particles bind to cells, making infection easier.

Hemangiopericytoma
a type of cancer involving blood vessels and soft tissue.

Hemangiosarcoma
a type of cancer that begins in the cells that line blood vessels.

Hematocrit
the amount of whole blood that is made up of red blood cells. It depends on the number and size of red blood cells. A hematocrit test is usually part of a complete blood count (cbc). It may be used to check for conditions such as anemia, dehydration, malnutrition, and leukemia. Also called hct.

Hematogenous
originating in the blood or spread through the bloodstream.

Hematologic cancer
cancer that begins in blood-forming tissue, such as the bone marrow, or in the cells of the immune system. Examples of hematologic cancer are leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma. Also called blood cancer.

Hematologist
a doctor who specializes in treating blood disorders.

Hematoma
a pool of clotted or partially clotted blood in an organ, tissue, or body space, usually caused by a broken blood vessel.

Hematopathology laboratory
a laboratory that specializes in doing tests that help to diagnose and treat diseases of the blood, bone marrow, and lymph system.

Hematopoiesis
the formation of new blood cells.

Hematopoietic growth factor
A group of proteins that causes blood cells to grow and mature.

Hematopoietic stem cell
an immature cell that can develop into all types of blood cells, including white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. Hematopoietic stem cells are found in the peripheral blood and the bone marrow. Also called blood stem cell.

Hematopoietic tissue
tissue in which new blood cells are formed.

Hematoporphyrin derivative
a drug used in photodynamic therapy that is absorbed by tumor cells. When exposed to light, it becomes active and kills the cancer cells.

Hematuria
blood in the urine.

Heme
the part of certain molecules that contains iron. The heme part of hemoglobin is the substance inside red blood cells that binds to oxygen in the lungs and carries it to the tissues.

Hemihypertrophy
a condition in which one side of the body or a part of one side is larger than the other. Children with hemihypertrophy have an increased risk of developing certain types of cancer, including wilms tumor (a childhood kidney cancer) and liver cancer.

Hemilaryngectomy
an operation to remove one side of the larynx (voicebox).

Hemochromatosis
a condition in which the body takes up and stores more iron than it needs. The extra iron is stored in the liver, heart, and pancreas, which may cause liver disease, heart problems, organ failure, and cancer. It may also cause bronze skin, diabetes, pain in the joints and abdomen, tiredness, and impotence. Hemochromatosis may be inherited, or it may be caused by blood transfusions. Also called iron overload.

Hemoglobin
a protein inside red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to tissues and organs in the body and carries carbon dioxide back to the lungs. Testing for the amount of hemoglobin in the blood is usually part of a complete blood cell (cbc) test. It is used to check for conditions such as anemia, dehydration, and malnutrition.

Hemolysis
the breakdown of red blood cells. Some diseases, medicines, and toxins may cause red blood cells to break down more quickly than usual.

Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis
a rare disorder in which histiocytes and lymphocytes (types of white blood cells) build up in organs including the skin, spleen, and liver, and destroy other blood cells. Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis may be inherited or caused by certain conditions or diseases, including infections, immunodeficiency (inability of the body to fight infections), and cancer. Also called hlh.

Hemophilia
group of hereditary disorders in which affected individuals fail to make enough of certain proteins needed to form blood clots.

Hemoptysis
coughing or spitting up blood from the respiratory tract.

Hemorrhage
in medicine, loss of blood from damaged blood vessels. A hemorrhage may be internal or external, and usually involves a lot of bleeding in a short time.

Hemorrhagic cystitis
a condition in which the lining of the bladder becomes inflamed and starts to bleed. The blood can be seen in the urine. Symptoms include pain and a burning feeling while urinating, feeling a need to urinate often, and being unable to control the flow of urine. Hemorrhagic cystitis may be caused by anticancer drugs, radiation therapy, infection, or being exposed to chemicals, such as dyes or insecticides.

Hemorrhoid
an enlarged or swollen blood vessel, usually located near the anus or the rectum.

Heparin
a substance that slows the formation of blood clots. Heparin is made by the liver, lungs, and other tissues in the body and can also made in the laboratory. Heparin may be injected into muscle or blood to prevent or break up blood clots. It is a type of anticoagulant.

Hepatectomy
surgery to remove all or part of the liver.

Hepatic
refers to the liver.

Hepatic arterial infusion
a procedure to deliver chemotherapy directly to the liver. Catheters are put into an artery in the groin that leads directly to the liver, and drugs are given through the catheters.

Hepatic arterial occlusion
a block in blood flow to the liver. It can happen while giving chemotherapy through a catheter in the hepatic artery. Sometimes doctors use drugs or other agents to cause hepatic arterial occlusion on purpose. This block of blood flow to the liver helps kill cancer cells growing in the liver.

Hepatic artery
the major blood vessel that carries blood to the liver.

Hepatic portal vein
a blood vessel that carries blood to the liver from the intestines, spleen, pancreas, and gallbladder. Also called portal vein.

Hepatic veno-occlusive disease
a condition in which some of the veins in the liver are blocked. This causes a decrease in blood flow inside the liver and may lead to liver damage. Signs and symptoms include weight gain, yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes, dark-colored urine, and increased liver size. It may occur at some point in time after radiation therapy to the liver and bile ducts or after high-dose anticancer drugs were given before a stem cell transplant. Also called sinusoidal obstruction syndrome.

Hepatitis
disease of the liver causing inflammation. Symptoms include an enlarged liver, fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and dark urine.

Hepatitis a vaccine
a vaccine used to prevent infection with the hepatitis a virus, which causes a serious liver disease. The vaccine is made of a weakened form of the virus that cannot cause disease but causes the body’s immune system to make antibodies that destroy the hepatitis a virus.

Hepatitis a virus
a virus that causes a serious liver disease. It is usually spread by contact with an infected person’s stool by eating food he or she has handled after not washing hands, but it can be spread in other ways. Symptoms of infection include jaundice, dark urine, and fever and other flu-like symptoms.

Hepatitis b virus
a virus that causes hepatitis (inflammation of the liver). It is carried and passed to others through the blood and other body fluids. Different ways the virus is spread include sharing needles with an infected person and being stuck accidentally by a needle contaminated with the virus. Infants born to infected mothers may also become infected with the virus. Although many patients who are infected with hepatitis b virus may not have symptoms, long-term infection may lead to cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) and liver cancer. Also called hbv.

Hepatitis c virus
a virus that causes hepatitis (inflammation of the liver). It is carried and passed to others through the blood and other body fluids. Different ways the virus is spread include sharing needles with an infected person and being stuck accidentally by a needle contaminated with the virus. Infants born to infected mothers may also become infected with the virus. Although patients who are infected with hepatitis c virus may not have symptoms, long-term infection may lead to cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) and liver cancer. These patients may also have an increased risk for certain types of non-hodgkin lymphoma. Also called hcv.

Hepatitis d virus
a type of hepatitis virus that may be present in the body at the same time as the hepatitis b virus. It makes the hepatitis (inflammation of the liver) caused by hepatitis b much worse. The hepatitis d virus and the hepatitis b virus are spread to others through blood or sexual contact. Infants born to infected mothers may also become infected with the virus. Also called hepatitis delta virus.

Hepatitis delta virus
a type of hepatitis virus that may be present in the body at the same time as the hepatitis b virus. It makes the hepatitis (inflammation of the liver) caused by hepatitis b much worse. The hepatitis delta virus and the hepatitis b virus are spread to others through blood or sexual contact. Infants born to infected mothers may also become infected with the virus. Also called hepatitis d virus.

Hepatitis e virus
a virus that causes hepatitis (inflammation of the liver). It is usually spread through food that has been handled by an infected person, or through drinking water that is contaminated with human waste.

Hepatitis g virus
a virus that may be found in patients with hepatitis (inflammation of the liver). It is spread to others through blood or sexual contact. Infants born to infected mothers may also become infected with the virus.

Hepatobiliary
having to do with the liver, bile ducts, and/or gallbladder.

Hepatoblastoma
a type of liver tumor that occurs in infants and children.

Hepatocellular carcinoma
a type of adenocarcinoma and the most common type of liver tumor.

Hepatocyte
a liver cell.

Hepatoma
a liver tumor.

Hepatomegaly
enlarged liver.

Her1
the protein found on the surface of some cells and to which epidermal growth factor binds, causing the cells to divide. It is found at abnormally high levels on the surface of many types of cancer cells, so these cells may divide excessively in the presence of epidermal growth factor. Also called egfr, epidermal growth factor receptor, and erbb1.

Her2 positive
describes cancer cells that have too much of a protein called her2 on their surface. In normal cells, her2 helps to control cell growth. When it is made in larger than normal amounts by cancer cells, the cells may grow more quickly and be more likely to spread to other parts of the body. Checking to see if a cancer is her2 positive may help plan treatment, which may include drugs that kill her2 positive cancer cells. Cancers that may be her2 positive include breast, bladder, pancreatic, ovarian, and stomach cancers. Also called c-erbb-2 positive and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 positive.

Her2/neu
a protein involved in normal cell growth. It is found on some types of cancer cells, including breast and ovarian. Cancer cells removed from the body may be tested for the presence of her2/neu to help decide the best type of treatment. Her2/neu is a type of receptor tyrosine kinase. Also called c-erbb-2, human egf receptor 2, and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2.

Herba scutellaria barbatae
an herb used in traditional chinese medicine to treat certain medical problems. It may have anticancer effects.

Herbal
having to do with plants.

Herbal cigarette
a type of cigarette that contains a mixture of flowers, herbs, and other natural ingredients. Herbal cigarettes do not contain tobacco or nicotine. When they are smoked, they make many of the same harmful chemicals found in tobacco smoke, including tar and carbon monoxide.

Herbal medicine
a type of medicine that uses roots, stems, leaves, flowers, or seeds of plants to improve health, prevent disease, and treat illness.

Herbal supplement
a product made from a plant that is thought to be useful in treating disease or staying healthy. Herbal supplements are taken by mouth.

Herbicide
a chemical that kills plants.

Herceptin
a drug used to treat breast cancer that is her2-positive (expresses the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2). It is also used with other drugs to treat her2-positive stomach cancer that has not already been treated and has spread to other parts of the body. It is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Herceptin binds to her2 on the surface of her2-positive cancer cells, and may kill them. It is a type of monoclonal antibody. Also called trastuzumab.

Hereditary
in medicine, describes the passing of genetic information from parent to child through the genes in sperm and egg cells. Also called inherited.

Hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome
an inherited disorder in which the risk of breast cancer (especially before the age of 50) and ovarian cancer is higher than normal. Most cases of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome are caused by certain mutations (changes) in the brca1 or the brca2 gene. People with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome may also have an increased risk of other types of cancer, including pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer, and melanoma. Also called hboc syndrome.

Hereditary cancer syndrome
a type of inherited disorder in which there is a higher-than-normal risk of certain types of cancer. Hereditary cancer syndromes are caused by mutations (changes) in certain genes passed from parents to children. In a hereditary cancer syndrome, certain patterns of cancer may be seen within families. These patterns include having several close family members (such as a mother, daughter, and sister) with the same type of cancer, developing cancer at an early age, or having two or more types of cancer develop in the same person. Examples of hereditary cancer syndromes are hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome, li-fraumeni syndrome, cowden syndrome, and lynch syndrome. Also called inherited cancer syndrome.

Hereditary leiomyomatosis and renal cell cancer syndrome
a rare inherited disorder that increases the risk of developing benign (not cancer) tumors of the skin and the uterus (leiomyomas) and malignant (cancer) tumors of the uterus (leiomyosarcoma) and the kidney. Also called hlrcc.

Hereditary mutation
a gene change in a body’s reproductive cell (egg or sperm) that becomes incorporated into the dna of every cell in the body of the offspring. Hereditary mutations are passed on from parents to offspring. Also called germline mutation.

Hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer
an inherited disorder in which affected individuals have a higher-than-normal chance of developing colorectal cancer and certain other types of cancer, often before the age of 50. Also called hnpcc and lynch syndrome.

Hereditary paraganglioma-pheochromocytoma syndrome
a rare, genetic disorder marked by tumors called paragangliomas, which are found in paraganglia. Paraganglia are groups of nerve-like cells found near the adrenal glands and near blood vessels or nerves in the head, neck, chest, abdomen, and pelvis. Paragangliomas that form in the adrenal glands are called pheochromocytomas. Paragangliomas are usually benign (not cancer), but sometimes become malignant (cancerous). People with hereditary paraganglioma-pheochromocytoma syndrome usually have more than one paraganglioma, and may have an increased risk of certain types of cancer, such as kidney cancer and thyroid cancer.

Heritage
something handed down from the past, such as a tradition, birthright, or inherited traits.

Hernia
the bulging of an internal organ through a weak area or tear in the muscle or other tissue that holds it in place. Most hernias occur in the abdomen.

Heroin
a substance made from morphine. Heroin is very addictive and it is illegal to use or sell it in the united states. It is a type of opiate.

Herpes simplex virus
a type of virus that causes herpes infections and has dna as its genetic material. There are two types of herpes simplex viruses. Infections with type 1 viruses cause cold sores on the lips or nostrils. Infections with type 2 viruses cause sores on the genitals (external and internal sex organs and glands). Also called hhv, hsv, and human herpesvirus.

Herpesvirus
a member of the herpes family of viruses.

Heterocyclic amine
a chemical that is formed when meat, poultry, or fish is cooked at high temperatures, such as frying, broiling, and barbecuing. Heterocyclic amines are carcinogens (substances that may cause cancer). Also called hca.

Heterogeneous
made up of elements or ingredients that are not alike.

Heterogenic
derived from a different source or species. Also called heterogenous.

Heterogenous
derived from a different source or species. Also called heterogenic.

Hexyl 5-aminolevulinate
a substance that is used to find and kill tumor cells. It enters tumor cells and becomes activated when exposed to a special type of light. A chemical reaction causes the cells to produce fluorescent light and die.

Hgs-etr1
a substance being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. It binds to a protein called trail r1 on the surface of some tumor cells. This may kill the tumor cells. Hgs-etr1 is a type of monoclonal antibody. Also called anti-trail r1-mab and mapatumumab.

Hgs-etr2
a substance being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. It binds to a protein called trail-r2 on the surface of some tumor cells, which may kill the tumor cells. Hgs-etr2 is a type of monoclonal antibody. Also called anti-trail r2 mab hgs-etr2 and lexatumumab.

Hhv
a type of virus that causes herpes infections and has dna as its genetic material. There are two types of hhvs. Infections with type 1 viruses cause cold sores on the lips or nostrils. Infections with type 2 viruses cause sores on the genitals (external and internal sex organs and glands). Also called herpes simplex virus, hsv, and human herpesvirus.

Hhv8
a type of virus that causes kaposi sarcoma (a rare cancer in which lesions grow in the skin, lymph nodes, lining of the mouth, nose, and throat, and other tissues of the body). Hhv8 also causes certain types of lymphoma (cancer that begins in cells of the immune system). Also called human herpesvirus 8, kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus, and kshv.

Hifu
a procedure in which high-energy sound waves are aimed directly at an area of abnormal cells or tissue in the body. The waves create heat that kills the cells. Hifu is being studied in the treatment of prostate cancer and some other types of cancer and other diseases. Also called high-intensity focused ultrasound therapy.

High blood pressure
a blood pressure of 140/90 or higher. High blood pressure usually has no symptoms. It can harm the arteries and cause an increase in the risk of stroke, heart attack, kidney failure, and blindness. Also called hypertension.

High blood sugar
higher than normal amount of glucose (a type of sugar) in the blood. High blood sugar can be a sign of diabetes or other conditions. Also called hyperglycemia.

High grade
a term used to describe cells and tissue that look abnormal under a microscope. High-grade cancer cells tend to grow and spread more quickly than low-grade cancer cells. Cancer grade may be used to help plan treatment and determine prognosis. High-grade cancers usually have a worse prognosis than low-grade cancers and may need treatment right away or treatment that is more aggressive (intens