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Cancer Glossary Cancer Diet Guide Support Groups

Cancer Glossary  

Carcinoma In Situ: used when talking about cancer, carcinoma in situ is a small mass of cells which have every appearance of malignant cells but does not cross the basement membrane upon which they rely and which separates them from the rest of the tissues. So the condition is considered as a pre-cancer. However, carcinoma in situ is at high risk of becoming invasive. 

Biopsy : mostly performed for diagnosis purpose, a biopsy is the removal of a sample of body tissue in order to make a microscopic examination. 

Tumor: t he term tumor (Latin tumere, swell) means increased volume of tissue without any specific cause. In other words, a tumor is a newly formed body tissue (neoplasia) that occurs after a disturbance of cell growth. A tumor can be benign or malignant (cancer). 

Neoplasm : the term neoplasia literally means new growth or new formation. Neoplasm is the term used in medicine to designate an abnormal and uncontrolled growth of cells related to a tumor or cancer. 

Pre-cancer: any tumor that does not turn into cancer yet. Pre-cancer is sometimes called Carcinoma In Situ.  

Invasive Tumor: a tumor that has left its original site to spread into other organs or areas in the body 

Malignant Tumor:  a malignant tumor is a cancer that has invaded and destroyed structures adjacent to it, and which can extend to remote organs of the body through metastasis, cancer cells breaking away from the original tumor to proliferate to distant sites. A m alignant tumor is different from a benign tumor, which does not destroy adjacent structures. 

Cancer Screening : cancer screening is a set of procedures performed by medical specialists to detect asymptomatic cancers by the use of tests or diagnostic methods. Early screening helps reduce mortality (and morbidity of treatment) in patients who were screened compared with those in whom cancer was found following symptoms. 

Cancer Diagnosis: a diagnosis is a set of procedures leading to the detection or identification of a cancer, based on characters or symptoms noted by observations, examinations or tests. 

Cancer Stage: cancer stage is the measures a tumor has grown in size and location, as well as distance it has spread in the body. Once a cancer is diagnosed, it is important to determine its stage to allow the physician to choose the best treatment possible and also provides information on the chances of recovery (prognosis). 

Cancer Recurrence: the fact that the cancer has returned after treatment 

Cancer metastasis: m etastasis is the growth of a primary tumor or tumor cells to distant organs or tissue from the initial site. 

Cancer Survival Rate: Cancer survival rate is the percentage of cancer patients who survive their cancer for a specific amount of time. The medical elite often uses an overall five-year survival rate to describe survival statistics. For instance, a breast tumor smaller than 1 cm, five-year survival rate is approximately 90%.  

Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is the use of cytotoxic chemicals (toxic to cancer cells) to treat patients, especially cancer patients. It is a systematic treatment which affects all organs of the body, unlike surgery and radiotherapy. 

Radiation Therapy: also called r adiotherapy, radiation therapy is a local treatment of cancers using ionizing radiation to destroy cancer cells by blocking their ability to reproduce. The irradiation destroys all tumor cells found in its pathway while sparing surrounding healthy tissue, unlike chemotherapy which affects all cells. Radiation therapy can be used alone or combined with surgery or/and chemotherapy.  

Adjuvant Chemotherapy: this form of chemotherapy is usually given after another therapy (mainly surgical therapy or radiotherapy) in order to increase or enhance the curative effects of another form of therapy such as surgery or radiotherapy. 

Neo-adjuvant Chemotherapy : a neoadjuvant chemotherapy is a pretreatment; that is, it is administered prior to another treatment to reduce the size of a cancerous tumor. It is mainly used before surgery to limit the resection, or radiotherapy to increase efficiency. 

Palliative Care : this is an active care delivered in a comprehensive approach to patients suffering from a serious, progressive or terminal illness. The main goal of palliative care is to relieve physical pain and other symptoms.  

Prognosis : medically, prognosis is used to denote the prediction of the progress of a patient, and his possible chances of recovery. 

 

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