see fecal immunochemical test.
see insulin-like growth factor-1.
an operation in which the end of the small intestine, the ileum, is brought out through an opening called a stoma on the abdomen (belly). Stool that leaves the body through this opening tends to be unformed or liquid because it hasn’t been through the large intestine.
the lower part of the small intestine. See also ileostomy.
a method that uses computers to analyze digital pictures of the cells from a microscope slide to check the number of sets of chromosomes in the cell. See also chromosome, ploidy.
methods used to make pictures of internal body structures. Some imaging tests used to help diagnose or stage cancer are x-rays, CT scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), PET scans, and ultrasound.
the complex system by which the body resists infection by germs, such as bacteria or viruses, and rejects transplanted tissues or organs. The immune system may also help the body fight some cancers.
lab tests that use antibodies to detect specific chemical antigens in specially-prepared cells viewed under a microscope. These tests can be used to help detect and classify cancer cells. See also antibody, antigen, monoclonal antibodies.
lab tests that use antibodies to detect specific chemical antigens in tissues viewed under a microscope. It is the most common method used for estrogen receptor assays and progesterone receptor assays on breast cancer tissue. See also antibody, antigen, monoclonal antibodies, estrogen receptor assays, progesterone receptor assays.
study of how the body resists infection and certain other diseases. Knowledge gained in this field is important to those cancer treatments that use the immune system and/or substances that behave like parts of the immune system to help fight cancer. See also immune system, immunotherapy.
a state in which the immune system is weak and unable to respond the way it should. This condition may be present at birth, or it may be caused by some infections (such as human immunodeficiency virus or HIV), cancer, or cancer treatments (such as chemotherapy and radiation). See also immune system.
treatments that use the body’s immune system to fight cancer. This is done by boosting the patient’s own immune system or giving man-made versions of the immune system. See also immune system.
can refer to a small amount of radioactive material placed in or near a cancer. Also, can mean an artificial form used to restore the shape of an organ after surgery, for example, a breast implant. See also brachytherapy, prosthesis.
not being able to have or keep an erection of the penis; also called erectile dysfunction (ED).
see intensity-modulated radiation therapy.
in place; localized and confined to one area. A very early stage of cancer.
the number of new cases of a disease that occur in a certain number of people each year. Compare to prevalence.
cut made during surgery.
uncertain finding; a result that cannot say for certain whether a disease or condition is present; neither positive nor negative.
partial or complete loss of urinary or bowel control. See also urinary incontinence.
not having enough money to meet one’s needs.
see invasive ductal carcinoma.
see invasive lobular carcinoma.
a chronic condition (either ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease) in which the colon is inflamed over a long period of time and might have ulcers in its lining; IBD increases a person’s risk of colorectal cancer. Starting colorectal cancer screening earlier and doing the tests more often is recommended for people with IBD. (Note that IBD is not the same as IBS, or inflammatory bowel syndrome.) See also colon, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, colorectal cancer screening.
a type of invasive breast cancer with spread to lymphatic vessels in the skin covering the breast. The skin of the affected breast is red, feels warm, and may thicken to look and feel like an orange peel. About 1% of invasive breast cancers are inflammatory breast cancers. Also called inflammatory carcinoma or IBC. See also invasive cancer, lymphatic system.
polyps that commonly occur with some type of irritation or inflammation of the colon, such as ulcerative colitis. They do not seem to increase the risk of colorectal cancer, though the underlying condition can. See also colon, Crohn’s disease, polyp, ulcerative colitis.
a full explanation of the course of treatment, the risks, benefits, and possible alternatives. After this process, the patient signs a form stating that they have received this information and that they agree to the procedure, surgery, or treatment.
lymph nodes located under the collar bone (clavicle). See also clavicle, lymph node, supraclavicular.
to take in by mouth; to eat, drink, or swallow.
illness to which a person is susceptible because of a gene passed from his or her parents at birth. See also gene, genetic testing, mutation.
a person whose treatment requires staying in the hospital. Compare to outpatient.
hormone-like substance thought to affect growth hormone activity. Some studies have shown men with high blood levels of IGF-1 seemed more likely to develop prostate cancer, but not all studies agree. More research is needed.
a scan that combines the cross-section x-rays of the CT with the ability to detect areas of high energy use. See also computed tomography scan, positron emission tomography scan.
an advanced method of conformal radiation therapy in which the beams are aimed from several directions, while the intensity (strength) of the beams is controlled by computers. This lets more radiation reach the treatment area while reducing the radiation to healthy tissues; in some cases, total radiation dose can be higher with IMRT. See also conformal radiation therapy, three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy.
a protein produced by cells. Interferon helps regulate the body’s immune system, boosting activity when a threat, like a virus, is found. Scientists have learned that interferon helps fight against cancer, so it is used to treat some types of cancer. See also immune system, immunotherapy.
a group of chemical messengers (called cytokines) that can carry signals between cells. One type of interleukin-2 (IL-2) has been approved by the FDA to treat advanced kidney cancer and metastatic melanoma. It may be used alone or along with other forms of immunotherapy. IL-2 helps immune system cells grow and divide more quickly. Using IL-2 with chemotherapy or with other cytokines (such as interferon-alfa) may make these treatments work better against some cancers. See also chemotherapy, cytokine, immunotherapy, interferon.
a type of prostate cancer treatment in which hormone drugs are stopped after a man’s blood prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level drops to a very low level and remains stable for a while. If the PSA level begins to rise, the drugs are started again. Another form of intermittent hormone therapy uses androgen suppression for fixed periods of time – for example, 6 months on followed by 6 months off. While this treatment approach may help reduce side effects, it is too soon to say whether it is better or worse than continuous hormonal therapy. See also androgen deprivation therapy, hormone therapy, prostate-specific antigen.
treatment in which a radioactive substance is implanted in the body. Compare to external beam radiation therapy. See also brachytherapy, implant.
a type of radiation treatment in which a radioactive implant is put right into the tissue (not in a body cavity). See also brachytherapy, radiation therapy.
a gel-filled disc of cartilage that sits between bones of the spine (vertebrae) and allows them to move more easily. Discs also act as shock absorbers and have ligaments to hold the vertebrae together. See also vertebra, spinal cord.
the part of the digestive tract from the end of the stomach to the anus. This section absorbs nutrients and water from food into the bloodstream. It includes the small intestine, (small bowel), and the large intestine (large bowel), which includes the colon. See also anus, colon, digestive system, gastrointestinal tract, small intestine.
small, finger-like, non-cancerous growths in the breast ducts that may cause a clear or bloody nipple discharge. These are most often found in women 45 to 50 years of age. A woman who has had papillomas has a slightly increased risk of breast cancer. See also duct.
see carcinoma in situ.
injected into a muscle.
a test done with sound waves after surgery has started and the abdomen (belly) is opened up. For example, the probe can be placed on the surface of the liver to see if cancer has spread inside it. See also ultrasound.
also called IV. A method of giving fluids and medicines using a needle or a thin tube (called a catheter) that is put into a vein.
also called IVP. A special kind of x-ray procedure in which a dye is put into the bloodstream. The dye travels to the kidneys, ureters, and bladder and helps to clearly outline these organs on the x-rays. See also bladder, kidney, ureters.
cancer that has spread beyond the layer of cells where it first began and has grown into nearby tissues. Compare to carcinoma in situ. See also malignant, metastasis.
also called infiltrating ductal carcinoma. A cancer that starts in the milk passages (ducts) of the breast and then breaks through the duct wall, where it invades the fatty tissue of the breast. When it reaches this point, it can spread (metastasize) elsewhere in the breast, as well as to other parts of the body through the bloodstream and lymphatic system. Invasive ductal carcinoma is the most common type of breast cancer, accounting for about 80% of all breast cancers. See also lymphatic system, metastasize.
also called infiltrating lobular carcinoma. A cancer that starts in the milk-producing glands (lobules) of the breast and then breaks through the lobule walls and grows into the nearby fatty tissue. From there, it may spread elsewhere (metastasize). About 15% of invasive breast cancers are invasive lobular carcinomas. This type of cancer is often hard to detect by physical exam or even on a mammogram. See also mammogram, metastasize.
under study. Often used to describe drugs or treatments used in clinical trials that are not yet available to the general public. See also clinical trials.
high-energy particles or rays which can cause electrons to split off atoms. Certain types of ionizing radiation (such as x-rays) are used in medical diagnosis to make pictures of what is inside the body. Carefully controlled radiation doses are used in cancer treatment to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Large doses of ionizing radiation can also cause cancer. See also radiation dose, x-ray.
see intravenous pyelogram.