Cancer
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  Cancer



Cancer

    Any malignant growth or tumor caused by abnormal and uncontrolled cell division; it may spread to other parts of the body through the lymphatic system or the blood stream.

RELATED TERMS
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Malignant
Cancerous; life-threatening.

Tumor
Overgrowth of tissue.

Abnormal
Not normal. Deviating from the usual structure, position, condition, or behavior. In referring to a growth, abnormal may mean that it is cancerous or premalignant (likely to become cancer).

Cell
Fundamental structural unit of all life. The cell consists primarily of an outer plasma membrane, which separates it from the environment; the genetic material (DNA), which encodes heritable information for the maintainance of life; and the cytoplasm, a heterogeneous assemblage of ions, molecules, and fluid.

Blood
The life-maintaining fluid which is made up of plasma, red blood cells (erythrocytes), white blood cells (leukocytes), and platelets; blood circulates through the body's heart, arteries, veins, and capillaries; it carries away waste matter and carbon dioxide, and brings nourishment, electrolytes, hormones, vitamins, antibodies, heat, and oxygen to the tissues.



SIMILAR TERMS
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Cancer anorexia
Loss of desire to eat due to cancer. Cancer anorexia contributes to malnutrition, increases morbidity (illness) and mortality (death), and impinges on the quality of life.

Cancer antigen 125
See: CA 125.

Cancer care
Taking care of cancer. When cancer is suspected, a biopsy is usually performed and the tissue is sent to a pathologist for evaluation. If a cancer diagnosis is made, an oncologist will evaluate the patient to determine the stage of the cancer. Staging usually involves a precise evaluation of the tumor, lymph nodes, and any metastasis (spread) of the disease.

Cancer causes
In most individual cases of cancer, the exact cause of cancer is unknown. The causes may include increased genetic susceptibility; environmental insults, such as chemical exposure or smoking cigarettes; lifestyle factors, including diet; damage caused by infectious disease; and many more.

Cancer cluster
A greater-than-expected number of cancer cases that occurs within a group of people in a geographic area over a period of time. The expected number of cancer cases is calculated and compared to the observed number of cancer cases. A cancer cluster is confirmed when the observed/expected ratio is greater than 1.0, and the difference is statistically significant.

Cancer detection
Methods used to find cancer in persons who may or may not have symptoms. Symptoms of cancer are abnormal sensations or conditions that persons can notice that are a result of the cancer.

Cancer Institute of Maui
Cancer Institute of Maui is a hospital in Wailuku, Hawaii (USA).

Cancer of the vulva
An uncommon cancer of women in which the malignancy is in the vulva, the outer part of the vagina, that includes the labia. Cancer of the vulva occurs mainly in women over 50 although it is becoming more common in younger women. Clues may include constant itching, severe burning or pain, whitening or roughening of the skin of the vulva, and bleeding or discharge that is not related to menstrual periods.

Cancer Program
The Cancer Program is a hospital in Exton, Pennsylvania, United States.

Cancer registry
A register designed to collect information about the occurrence (incidence) of cancer, the types of cancers that occur and their locations within the body, the extent of cancer at the time of diagnosis (disease stage), and the kinds of treatment that patients receive.

Cancer survivor
Someone who has received the diagnosis of a potentially fatal form of cancer and is therefore forced to face his or her own mortality.

Cancer symptoms
Abnormal sensations or conditions that persons can notice that are a result of a cancer.

Cancer treatment
A set of medical actions aimed at fighting cancer.

Cancer, adult primary liver
A tumor in which the cancer starts during adulthood in cells in the liver. Also called hepatocellular carcinoma.

Cancer, basal cell
The most common type of skin cancer, a disease in which the cancer cells resemble the basal cells of the epidermis, the outer layer of the skin.

Cancer, bile duct
An uncommon type of cancer that arises from the bile duct, the tube that connects the liver and the gallbladder to the small intestine.

Cancer, bladder
Cancer of the organ responsible for temporarily holding urine after it leaves the kidneys. The most common warning sign of cancer in the bladder (the hollow organ in the lower abdomen that stores urine) is blood in the urine. The diagnosis of bladder cancer is supported by findings of the medical history and examination, blood, urine, and x-ray tests, and confirmed with a biopsy (usually during a cystoscope exam).

Cancer, bone
A malignancy in bone. Primary bone cancer, one that begins in bone, is uncommon but it is not unusual for a malignancy to spread to bone from other parts of the body such as from breast, lung, and prostate.

Cancer, brain
Cancer of the central information processing center of the body. Tumors in the brain can be malignant or benign, and can occur at any age. Only malignant tumors are cancerous. Primary brain tumors cancer initially forms in the brain tissue. Secondary brain tumors cancers are cancers that have spread to the brain tissue (metastasized) from elsewhere in the body. Secondary brain cancer is named for the organ or tissue in which the cancer begins, such as lung cancer with secondary brain metastasis.

Cancer, breast
Cancer of the tissue containing or involving the milk glands (mammary tissue). Breast cancer is diagnosed with self- and physician- examination of the breasts, mammography, ultrasound testing, and biopsy. There are many types of breast cancer that differ in their capability of spreading to other body tissues (metastasis). All women are advised to perform regular self- examinations of their breast tissue to familiarize themselves with the normal lumps and structures. Early detection increases the chance of treatment success. Treatment of breast cancer depends on the type and location of the breast cancer, as well as the age and health of the patient. It may include surgery to remove cancerous tissue only, partial or full mastectomy (removal of the entire breast, and sometimes of surrounding lymph or muscle tissue), or treatment with radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or drugs.

Cancer, breast, familial
A number of factors have been identified that increase the risk of breast cancer. One of the strongest of these risk factors is the history of breast cancer in a relative. About 15-20% of women with breast cancer have such a family history of the disease, clearly reflecting the participation of inherited (genetic) components in the development of some breast cancers. Dominant breast cancer susceptibility genes, including BRCA1 and BRCA2, appear responsible for about 5% of all breast cancer.

Cancer, breast, susceptibility genes
Inherited factors that predispose to breast cancer. Put otherwise, these genes make one more susceptible to the disease and so increase the risk of developing breast cancer. Two of these genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2, have been identified (and prominently publicized). Several other genes (those for the Li-Fraumeni syndrome, Cowden disease, Muir-Torre syndrome, and ataxia-telangiectasia) are also known to predispose to breast cancer. However, since all of these known breast cancer susceptibility genes together do not account for more than a minor fraction (1/5th at most) of breast cancer that clusters in families, it is clear that more breast cancer genes remain to be discovered.

Cancer, colon
A malignancy that arises from the inner lining of the colon. Most, if not all, of these cancers develop from colonic polyps. Removal of these precancerous polyps can prevent colon cancer.

Cancer, gastric
Cancer of the stomach, the major organ that holds food for digestion. Worldwide, stomach cancer is the second most frequent cancer and the second leading cause of death from cancer. It can develop in any part of the stomach and spread to other organs.

Cancer, Hodgkin disease
A type of lymphoma (cancer of the lymphatic system). The most common symptom of Hodgkin disease is a painless swelling in the lymph nodes in the neck, underarm, or groin. Hodgkin disease is diagnosed when abnormal tissue is detected by a pathologist after a biopsy of an enlarged lymph node. Treatment usually includes radiation therapy or chemotherapy. Regular follow-up examinations are important after treatment for Hodgkin disease. Patients treated for Hodgkin disease have an increased risk of developing other types of cancer later in life, especially leukemia.

Cancer, Hodgkin disease (adult)
A type of lymphoma (cancer of the lymphatic system). The most common symptom of Hodgkin disease is a painless swelling in the lymph nodes in the neck, underarm, or groin. Hodgkin disease is diagnosed when abnormal tissue is detected by a pathologist after a biopsy of an enlarged lymph node. Treatment usually includes radiation therapy or chemotherapy. Regular follow-up examinations are important after treatment for Hodgkin disease. Patients treated for Hodgkin disease have an increased risk of developing other types of cancer later in life, especially leukemia.

Cancer, kidney
Malignancy of the kidney, the organ that is primarily responsible for the removal of metabolic products from the body.

Cancer, larynx
Cancer of the voice box (the larynx) which is located at the top of the windpipe (trachea). Also called laryngeal cancer or laryngeal carcinoma.

Cancer, leukemia
Leukemia is a cancer of the white blood cells. Leukemias are grouped by how quickly the disease develops (acute or chronic) as well as by the type of blood cell that is affected. People with leukemia are at significantly increased risk for developing infections, anemia, and bleeding. Diagnosis of leukemia is supported by findings of the medical history and examination, and examining blood under a microscope. Leukemia cells can be detected and further classified with a bone marrow aspiration and/or biopsy. Most patients with leukemia are treated with chemotherapy. Some patients also may have radiation therapy and/or bone marrow transplantation.

Cancer, lung
Cancer of the major organ of respiration - the lung. Lung cancer kills more men and women than any other form of cancer. Since the majority of lung cancer is diagnosed at a relatively late stage, only 10% of all lung cancer patients are ultimately cured. Eight out of 10 lung cancers are due to tobacco smoke. Lung cancers are classified as either small cell or non-small cell cancers. Persistent cough and bloody sputum can be symptoms of lung cancer. Lung cancer can be diagnosed based on examination of sputum, or tissue examination with biopsy using bronchoscopy, needle through the chest wall, or surgical excision.

Cancer, lymphoma, Hodgkin (adult)
A type of lymphoma (cancer of the lymphatic system). The most common symptom of Hodgkin disease is a painless swelling in the lymph nodes in the neck, underarm, or groin. Hodgkin disease is diagnosed when abnormal tissue is detected by a pathologist after a biopsy of an enlarged lymph node. Treatment usually includes radiation therapy or chemotherapy. Regular follow-up examinations are important after treatment for Hodgkin disease. Patients treated for Hodgkin disease have an increased risk of developing other types of cancer later in life, especially leukemia.

Cancer, lymphoma, non-Hodgkin
A lymphoma is a cancer that develops in the lymphatic system. The most common symptom of non-Hodgkin lymphomas is a painless swelling in the lymph nodes in the neck, underarm, or groin. Non-Hodgkin lymphomas are diagnosed with a biopsy of an enlarged lymph node. Follow-up examinations are important after lymphoma treatment. Most relapses occur in the first 2 years after therapy.

Cancer, malignant melanoma
A skin cancer that begins in cells called melanocytes that can grow together to form benign (not cancerous) moles. A change in size, shape, or color of a mole can be a sign of melanoma. Melanoma can be cured if detected early, before spread (metastasis) to other areas of the body. Diagnosis is confirmed with a biopsy of the abnormal skin. Sun exposure can cause skin damage that can lead to melanoma.

Cancer, melanoma
A skin cancer that begins in cells called melanocytes that can grow together to form benign (not cancerous) moles. A change in size, shape, or color of a mole can be a sign of melanoma. It can be cured if detected early, before spread (metastasis) to other areas. Diagnosis is confirmed by a biopsy of the abnormal skin. Sun exposure can cause skin damage that can lead to melanoma.

Cancer, myeloma
A bone marrow cancer involving a type of white blood cell called a plasma (or myeloma) cell. The tumor cells can form a single collection (a plasmacytoma) or many tumors (multiple myeloma). Plasma cells are part of the immune system and make antibodies. Because patients have an excess of identical plasma cells, they have too much of one type of antibody. As myeloma cells increase in number, they damage and weaken the bones, causing pain and often fractures. When bones are damaged, calcium is released into the blood leading to hypercalcemia (too much calcium in the blood) and that causes loss of appetite, nausea, thirst, fatigue, muscle weakness, restlessness, and confusion. Myeloma cells prevent the bone marrow from forming normal plasma cells and other white blood cells important to the immune system so patients may not be able to fight infections. The cancer cells can also prevent the growth of new red blood cells, causing anemia. Excess antibody proteins and calcium may prevent the kidneys from filtering and cleaning the blood properly.

Cancer, non-small cell lung
Cancer of the lung which is not of the small cell carcinoma (oat cell carcinoma) type. The term "non-small cell lung cancer" is generally applied to the various types of bronchogenic carcinomas (those arising from the lining of the bronchi) which include adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and large cell undifferentiated carcinoma.

Cancer, oral
Cancer of the mouth area. A sore in the mouth that does not heal can be a warning sign of oral cancer. A biopsy is the only to know whether as abnormal area in the oral cavity is cancer. Oral cancer is caused by tobacco (smoking and chewing) and alcohol use. Surgery to remove the tumor in the mouth is the usual treatment for patients with oral cancer.

Cancer, ovarian
Cancer of the ovary, the egg sac of females.

Cancer, ovary
Cancer of the egg sac of females: the ovary.

Cancer, papillary
Cancer of a structure called the papilla or ampulla of Vater, a small muscle located at the junction where the common bile duct (carrying bile from the liver and secretions from the pancreas) empties into the duodenum (upper small intestine).

Cancer, penis
Cancer of the penis is a disease in which malignant cells originate in the tissues of the penis.

Cancer, prostate
Cancer of the gland that produces some of the components of semen fluid. Prostate cancer is often first detected as a hard nodule during a routine rectal examination. The PSA blood test is a screening test for prostate cancer. Diagnosis of prostate cancer is established when cancer cells are identified in prostate tissue obtained by a biopsy. In some patients, prostate cancer is life threatening. In many others, prostate cancer can exist for years without causing any health problems. Treatment options for prostate cancer include observation, radiation therapy, surgery, hormonal therapy, and chemotherapy.

Cancer, prostatic
Cancer of the gland (prostate) that produces some of the components of semen fluid. Prostate cancer is often first detected as a hard nodule during a routine rectal examination. The PSA blood test is a screening test for prostate cancer. Diagnosis of prostate cancer is established when cancer cells are identified in prostate tissue obtained by a biopsy. In some patients, prostate cancer is life threatening. In many others, prostate cancer can exist for years without causing any health problems. Treatment options for prostate cancer include observation, radiation therapy, surgery, hormonal therapy, and chemotherapy.

Cancer, small cell lung
A type of lung cancer in which the cells appear small and round under the microscope. Also called oat cell lung cancer.

Cancer, stomach
Cancer of the stomach, the main organ that holds food for digestion. Worldwide, stomach cancer is the second most frequent cancer and the second leading cause of death from cancer. It can develop in any part of the stomach and spread to other organs. It is also known as gastric cancer.

Cancer, testicles
Cancer of the male sex organ (testicle) that normally produces the hormone testosterone. One of the most common cancers in young men. Most testicular cancers are found by men themselves as a lump in the testicle. The risk of cancer of the testicles is increased in males whose testicles did not move down normally into the scrotum (holding sac for the testicles) during development if the problem is not corrected in early childhood. This condition is referred to as undescended testicles. When a growth in the testicle is detected, cancer is confirmed after surgical removal of the affected testicle (orchiectomy) and examination of the tissue under a microscope. Testicular cancer is almost always curable if it is found early.

Cancer, testicular
Cancer of the male sex organ (testicle) that normally produces the hormone testosterone. One of the most common cancers in young men. Most testicular cancers are found by men themselves as a lump in the testicle. The risk of cancer of the testicles is increased in males whose testicles did not move down normally into the scrotum (holding sac for the testicles) during development if the problem is not corrected in early childhood. This condition is referred to as undescended testicles. When a growth in the testicle is detected, cancer is confirmed after surgical removal of the affected testicle (orchiectomy) and examination of the tissue under a microscope. Testicular cancer is almost always curable if it is found early.

Cancidas
Cancidas is a prescription or over-the-counter drug which is (or once was) approved in the United States and possibly in other countries. Active ingredient(s): caspofungin acetate.



PREVIOUS AND NEXT TERMS
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Celecoxib
Celecoxib is in a class of drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Celecoxib works by reducing substances that cause inflammation, pain, and fever in the body. Brand name: Celebrex.

Cialis
A medication used to treat erectile dysfunction that works by increasing the flow of blood into the penis.

Colonoscopy
A procedure that allows the physician to view the entire length of the large intestine, and can often help identify abnormal growths, inflamed tissue, ulcers, and bleeding. It involves inserting a colonoscope, a long, flexible, lighted tube, in through the rectum up into the colon. The colonoscope allows the physician to see the lining of the colon, remove tissue for further examination, and possibly treat some problems that are discovered.

Cervical cancer
Cancer of the uterine cervix, happens when normal cells in the cervix change into cancer cells. This change normally takes several years to happen, but it can also happen in a very short amount of time. Before the cells turn into cancer, abnormal cells develop on the cervix that can be found by a Pap test. Women generally don't have symptoms of cervical cancer. But when cervical cancer is not found early and spreads deeper into your cervix or to other tissues or organs, you might have pain during sex; bleeding from your vagina after sex, between periods, or after menopause; heavy vaginal discharge.

Colon
Another name for the large intestine. The section of the large intestine extending from the cecum to the rectum. An adult colon is approximately five to six feet in length and is responsible for absorbing water and forming, storing and expelling waste.

Cancer

Coronary thrombosis
Thrombosis is the formation of a clot or thrombus inside a blood vessel, obstructing the flow of blood through the circulatory system. Thromboembolism is a general term describing both thrombosis and its main complication: dislodgement of a clot and embolisation.

Cystitis
Bladder infection. Cystitis is considered as benign if it is not associated with an upper urinary tract infection or pyelonephritis, although it is often painful and uncomfortable (burning sensation when urinating). Cystitis may recur and this must be taken into account, particularly in the event of pregnancy, when urinary stasis is common.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a chronic illness that affects many body systems and their functions, particularly the nervous and immune systems. The illness can cause extreme fatigue, muscle pain, memory loss and poor concentration.

Cataract
Opacity or cloudiness of the crystalline lens, which may prevent a clear image from forming on the retina. Surgical removal of the lens may be necessary if visual loss becomes significant, with lost optical power replaced with an intraocular lens, contact lens, or aphakic spectacles. May be congenital or caused by trauma, disease, or age.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Swelling of the tendons which pass through the wrist and compress the median nerve. Symptoms include pain, numbness and tingling in the hands, primarily the first three fingers and thumb. Symptoms may also appear in the wrist and forearm. CTS symptoms may even wake a person at night.

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