Steven Prewitt Skull Base Disease Foundation
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Glossary of Terms

Cancer Definition Displayed on Tablet
  • Adjuvant Therapy: Treatment given following the primary treatment to increase the effectiveness of the primary treatment. Adjuvant therapy may be chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or hormone therapy.
  • Adverse Event: A toxicity or undesirable effect, usually of treatment.
  • Adenocarcinoma: Cancer that begins in cells that line certain organs and have glandular (secretory) properties.
  • Adenoidcystic Carcinoma: A rare type of cancer that usually begins in the salivary glands.
  • Aspiration: Removal of fluid from a lump, often a cyst, with a needle and a syringe.
  • Benign: Not cancerous, does not invade nearby tissues or spread to other parts of the body.
  • Biopsy: The removal of cells or tissues for examination under a microscope.
  • Brachytherapy: Sources of radiation energy that are implanted directly into or near the tumor.
  • Buccal Mucosa: The inner lining of the cheeks and lips.
  • Cachexia: Breakdown of muscle mass resulting from rapid weight loss.
  • Carcinogen: Any substance that causes cancer.
  • Carcinoma: Cancer that begins in the lining or covering an organ.
  • CAT, CT: Computerized Axial Tomography scan. A test using computers and special x-rays to create images of various parts of the body for evaluation.
  • CBC: Complete blood count.
  • Chemotherapy: Treatment with anticancer drugs.
  • Clinical Research: A research study that evaluates the effectiveness of new interventions in people. Each study is designed to evaluate new methods of screening, prevention, diagnosis, or treatment of cancer.
  • CNS: Central nervous system.
  • Complete Response: Tumor(s) has grossly disappeared as a result of therapy.
  • 3-D Conformal: Radiation beams shaped to match a tumor's shape. The shaping is accomplished by Radiation Therapy (3D-CRT) special equipment.
  • CXR: Chest x-ray.
  • Dentist: A health professional who specializes in caring for the teeth, gums, and oral issues.
  • Dietitian: A health care provider who guides people in planning their food choices to ensure they get the proper nutrition.
  • Diagnosis: The process of identifying a disease by the signs and symptoms.
  • Dosimetry: Determination of the amount, rate and distribution of the radiation therapy.
  • Drug Resistance: Failure of cancer cells to respond to chemotherapy.
  • Dry Eye (Xerophthalmia): Dry eyes may result from irradiation of the lacrimal (tear producing) glands.
  • Dysphagia: Difficulty with swallowing.
  • Dysplasia: Abnormal changes in the way tissue cells look under a microscope.
  • Edema: Swelling of a body part caused by an abnormal build-up of fluids.
  • Endoscopy: The use of a thin, lighted tube (called an endoscope) to examine the inside of the body.
  • ENT: A physician specializing in diseases of the ears, nose and throat.
  • Epiglottis: The flap that covers the trachea during swallowing so that food does not enter the lungs, the upper part of the larynx or the voice box.

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