GLOSSARY


A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

A

Abnormal Pap Smear: please see Pap Smear

Alveoli are tiny air balloons at the end of bronchioles. This is the place where the air (oxygen) from your lungs can enter into your blood to be carried all over the body. All parts of a person's body need oxygen to live.

Asbestos is a natural material that is made up of tiny fibers. Asbestos was used as insulation in buildings and ships, but nowadays it is not used anymore. If a person breathes in the fibers they enter the lungs and may lead to cancer.

Atrophic Gastritis is damage to the lining of the stomach. This change can sometimes lead to cancer.

 

B

Double Contrast Barium enema (DCBE) a series of x-rays of the colon. Barium, a white, chalky liquid, and air are put into the patient's colon. This makes cancers or polyps in the colon easier to see on the x-ray.  DCBE should be done every 5 years as indicated by your physician.

Basal Cell Carcinoma is a very common, slow-growing type of skin cancer. Most often it shows up on the face and neck. This cancer rarely spreads to other parts of the body and can be easy to treat.

Benign means non-cancerous. A tumor or lump that does not take over healthy cells or spreads to other parts of the body.

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a growth of the prostate gland that might make it difficult for men to urinate. It is not cancer, but a doctor should check male patients that have difficulty urinating. It might happen to men after the age of 40. Nearly 80% of all men have prostatic hyperplasia at the age of 80.

Biopsy: Doctors take cells from the part of a person's body where they think there might be cancer. Doctors look at the cells under a microscope to see if there is cancer or not.

Breast Cancer begins when cells in the breast grow out of control and take over healthy cells. How can I prevent breast cancer?

Breast Physical Exam (also known as Clinical Breast Exam - CBE) is an exam done by a doctor, nurse, or physician assistant to feel for lumps or changes in the breast. The American Cancer Society recommends a CBE every three years for women between the ages of 20 and 39, and every year for women age 40 and older.

Breast Self Exam is a way to check your own breasts for lumps or changes. The American Cancer Society recommends that all women begin to do monthly breast self-exams by age 20. You should feel for a knot or hard lump. Most lumps in the breast are not cancer, but a doctor should check any lump you find. The best time to examine your breasts is 3-4 days after your period. For women who no longer have their period, pick the 1st day of each month to check your breasts.

Bronchi are two large tubes that connect your windpipe with the right and left side of your lung to carry the air to all parts of the lung.

Bronchioles are smaller tubes that connect the bronchi and carry air to the alveoli.

 

C

Cancer begins when something goes wrong with cell growth. Some cells begin to make more copies of themselves than are needed. These cells grow out of control and take over healthy cells.

Carcinoma is the most common type of cancer. It starts at the lining (cover) of organs like the colon, skin, or cervix.

CAT Scan (or CT Scan) is an x-ray machine that looks like a big donut. The body will slowly go through the donut while the pictures are taken. The machine uses a computer to make many pictures of the inside of the body.

Cervical Cancer begins when cells in a woman's cervix grow out of control and take over healthy cells. How can I prevent cervical cancer?

Cervix: is the lower, narrow part of the uterus (womb) where the baby develops. The cervix is the bottom part of the uterus that opens (dilates) to get ready for birth.

Chemotherapy are drugs that are used to treat cancer. It can be a pill or an injection.

Chest X-ray can make pictures of the inside of the chest showing the lung and the heart by using very small amounts of radiation. An x-ray of the chest it is not a screening test, but it sometimes can find lung cancer.

Crohn's Disease

Colon: The colon is part of the large intestine (large bowel).

Colonoscopy: A doctor uses a thin tube with a video camera at the end to look at the inside of the whole colon.  If polyps or growth are found, the doctor can treat it right away during the colonoscopy by removing the polyps. The doctor may suggest this test if a person has or had anemia, polyps, blood in the stool, ulcerative colitis, or if a close family member had colon cancer. Some doctors may use a colonoscopy to screen for colon cancer in a healthy persons age 50 and over.  A colonoscopy should be done every 10 years as indicated by your physician.

Colon Cancer begins when the cells in the colon or rectum grow out of control and take over healthy cells. How can I prevent colon cancer?

Colorectal Cancer: The rectum is the last 8 to 10 inches of the large intestine. When cells in the rectum grow out of control into cancer cells and take over healthy cells it is called colorectal cancer.

CT Colonography:  is an advanced type of CT or CAT scan of the colon and rectum.  It takes many pictures of your body which it uses to create two dimensional x-ray pictures and a three-dimensional view of the inside of the colon and rectum to allow the doctor to look for polyps or cancer.  This test may be especially useful for people who can not have or do not want to have more invasive tests such as colonoscopy,  however if suspicious areas are seen on this test a colonoscopy will likely be needed.  This test should be done every 5 years as indicated by your physician.

Cytology: A sample of cells is taken from a part of the body and put under a microscope. A pathologist can see if the cells are cancer cells. Commonly done with sputum.

 

D

Digital Rectal Exam see rectal exam

 

E

Endoscopy: An exam in which the doctor uses a long, flexible, lighted tube to look at the esophagus or stomach.

Esophagus: the tube that carries food to the stomach from the mouth and throat.

 

F

FAP (also known as familial adenomatous polyposis):  A hereditary condition in which numerous polyps form on the inside walls of the colon and rectum.  It increases the risk of colorectal cancer.

Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT):  A test that looks for blood in the stool a possible sign of cancer or a large bleeding polyp.  A simple kit can be used in your own home.  No drug or dietary restrictions.  For people age 50 and over, this test should be done every year.

Fecal Occult Blood Test (also known as Hemoccult or Stool Guiac Test): A test that can find hidden blood in the stool. A simple kit can be used in your own home. Requires some drug & dietary restrictions prior to use.  For people age 50 and over, this test should be done every year.

Fiber: A part of certain foods like cereals, grains, and fruits that helps to move the bowels. It is also called "roughage." Eating a lot of fiber might lower your risk of cancer

 

G

Gastric is the word used for things that are related to the stomach

Gastrointestinal Series (GI Series) are x-rays of the esophagus, stomach and intestines taken after drinking a white chalky liquid, called barium. This makes it easier to see any growths or problem areas on the x-ray.

 

H

HNPCC  (also known as hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer & Lynch syndrome):  A hereditary disorder that increases an individual's chance of developing colorectal cancer and certain other types of cancer, often before the age of 50.

H. Pylori is a kind of bacteria that is found in the stomach. It is linked with stomach ulcers.

Hemoccult: please see Fecal Occult Blood Test

 

L

Lungs fill with air when you breathe and take air (oxygen) to your blood. Every part of your body needs oxygen to live. Twenty percent of the air is usually oxygen

Lung cancer begins when cells in the lungs grow out of control and take over healthy cells What do I need to know about lung cancer?

 

M

Malignant means cancerous; sometimes a malignant tumor can destroy the tissue around it.

Mammogram is an x-ray of the breast. It might show a breast tumor before it is large enough to be felt during a breast self exam or an exam done by a nurse or doctor. Finding cancer early makes it easier to cure. A woman should get a mammogram every year starting at age 40, if she has no risk factors. If she has risk factors, she should get mammograms earlier.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Unlike a mammogram an MRI uses magnetic fields and radio wave energy to make pictures of the organs of the body.  The MRI along with a mammogram is recommended for women with an especially high risk of breast cancer in order to detect breast cancer in its early stages.  Women with BRCA mutations, first degree relatives (parent, sibling, child), a lifetime risk of 20% or greater for breast cancer, those having received chest irradiation between the ages of 10 and 30 and those with Li-Fraumeni syndrome, Cowden syndrome & Bannayan-Riley-Ruvalcaba syndrome or their first degree relatives should get an MRI along with their yearly mammogram.

Menopause is also called the "change of life." It is the time in a woman's life when periods (menses) stop completely.

Melanoma is a skin cancer that is not common but is more serious than other skin cancers. It can show up on parts of the body that are usually exposed to the sun. Although it can be treated if found early, melanoma can spread if it is not treated early.

Metastasis is the spread of cancer from one part of the body to another.

Microscope is a special tool with a lens that makes cells or tissues look bigger. A pathologist uses a microscope to see if cells are cancerous or not.

Mole: A raised growth on the skin that is darker than the rest of the skin. It is important to see a doctor if a mole changes size, shape or color.

 

P

Pap Smear looks for cancer of the cervix. The Pap smear can even find changes in cells before they become cancer. A cotton swab is used to take cells from the cervix. The cells are sent to a lab and checked to see if they are normal or abnormal. An abnormal Pap smear does not mean there is cancer, but it is important to follow up with a doctor because the abnormal cells could change into cancer later on. When should I have a Pap smear?

Pathologist: a doctor with special training that can find or identify diseases by studying cells and tissues by using a microscope.

Pelvic Exam: An exam done by a doctor, nurse or physician assistant to examine vagina and cervix. This is for women who are sexually active and for all women over age 18. What kinds of screening tests look for cervical cancer?

Polyp: benign (non-cancerous) growths on the inner wall of the colon and rectum. They are common in people over the age of 50. Some types of polyps increase a person's risk for colorectal cancer.

Preservatives are added to food so that is does not spoil. They also may change the color and taste of the food

Prognosis means the chance of recovery from a disease or how the disease will probably advance.

Prostate cancer: Prostate cancer begins when cells in a man's prostate gland grow out of control and take over healthy cells. How can I prevent prostate cancer?

Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test is a protein made by the prostate cells that can be measured with a blood test. When the PSA level in the blood is high it may mean that there is cancer. A doctor might need to do a biopsy to see if there is cancer or not.

Prostate gland: A gland that is found only in men. It is about the size of a walnut and sits near the bottom part of the bladder behind the urethra and in front of the rectum. The urethra is a tube that connects the bladder to the outside allowing the urine to leave the body when a person urinates. Image

 

R

Radiation there are different types of radiation ionizing radiation (atomic energy, sun) and non-ionizing radiation (microwave, radar). Ionizing radiation is measured in rads. If a person comes into contact with a high dose of ionizing radiation (above 1000 rads) it can harm the body and even can cause death. Everybody comes into contact with low levels of radiation through the sun and x-rays.

Radiation Therapy: A treatment for cancer that uses high-energy rays to damage cancer cells and stop them from growing

Radon A radioactive gas that cannot be smelled, seen or tasted. Breathing in radon can increases a person's risk for lung cancer. It can collect indoors if the earth around the house contains uranium. A person should test their house for radon if they live in an area where the soil contains uranium. Uranium brakes down into radon. Your local government office can answer any questions about uranium or radon in your area.

Rectal Exam (Digital Rectal Exam): In this test, the doctor feels for any bumps or irregular areas in the rectum or in the prostate. This can be done at your regular check-up every year.

Rectum: The rectum is the last 8 to 10 inches of the large intestine.

Remission: when the signs and symptoms of cancer disappear. Cancer can be "in remission" for months or years, and sometimes the cancer may not return at all.

Risk factor: Something that makes you more likely than someone else to get a disease.

 

S

Screening Tests (screening) are simple tests that can help to find cancer early, long before a person can feel any change in their body.

Sigmoidoscopy: A test where the doctor looks at the lower part of the intestines with a thin, lighted tube to see (and possibly remove) any growths in the colon. Beginning at age 50, this test should be done every 5 years. In addition, the doctor may suggest a fecal occult blood test each year.

Skin Cancer: Skin cancer begins when cells that make up the skin grow out of control and take over healthy cells. There are three common types of skin cancer and are named after the type of skin cell. These are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma . What can I do to prevent skin cancer?

Skin self exam/skin exam by doctor: Every person should check their skin for any changes each year. A partner or a friend might help to look behind ears and look at the back. New moles, or freckles or new lump should be checked by a doctor. Moles that change color, shape or starts bleeding should be checked by a doctor.

Sputum is the fluid that is in your mouth.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma: A type of skin cancer that shows up on the face, neck, ears, and back of the hands. It is not as common as Basal Cell Carcinoma, but is more aggressive. Still, this cancer rarely spreads to other parts of the body.

Stomach cancer: Stomach cancer (also called gastric cancer) begins when cells in the stomach grow out of control and take over healthy cells.

Stool (also called feces) is part of the food that your body does not need. It leaves the body during a bowel movement.

Stool DNA test (sDNA):  this test looks for certain abnormal sections of DNA that come from cancer or polyp cells which often contain DNA mutations or changes.  This is a fairly new test and it is not clear yet how often it should be done.

Stool Guaiac Test: please refer to Fecal Occult Blood Test

Sunscreen is a cream that protects your skin from sun damage. The SPF- factor tells the strength of sun protection in the cream. An SBF- factor of 15 means that a person might stay in the sun 15 times longer without getting burned. A person should always use a sunscreen with an SBF-factor of 15 or above. The best sun protection is to stay out of the sun or to wear protective clothing such as a hat or long-sleeve T-shirt.

Surgery: An operation to remove or fix a part of the body or to find out if a disease is present.

 

T

Tumor: A mass of cells grouped together that feel like a lump. It can be cancerous (malignant) or non-cancerous (benign).

 

U

Ulcer: An ulcer is a sore or break in the lining of the digestive tract, usually the stomach or intestine.

Ulcerative colitis: a disease of the colon or large intestine that increases the risk of colon cancer. People with this disease need to be screened for colon cancer earlier than age 50.

Ultrasound: a picture of an organ or some part of the body using sound waves. Doctors often use ultrasound to check a fetus (tiny baby) in the mother's stomach.

Uterus: A hollow, pear-shaped organ that is in a woman's lower abdomen, between the bladder and the rectum.

 

V

Vagina: The canal that goes from the uterus to the outside of the body. It is also called the birth canal.

 

X

X-ray: low levels of radiation energy that are used to take a picture of the inside of the body (bones and tissue, for example). That low energy radiation can be used in higher power to treat cancer also. See radiation therapy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CERVIX

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COLON

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PROSTATE

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