treatment that attacks some part of cancer cells that makes them different from normal cells. Targeted therapies tend to have fewer side effects than chemotherapy drugs with broader action. See also chemotherapy.
see high-dose rate brachytherapy.
in medicine, generally understood to mean that the disease can no longer be effectively treated or cured, and the patient is dying. See also palliative treatment, hospice.
the male reproductive glands normally found in the scrotum. The testicles produce sperm and the male hormone testosterone. See also scrotum, sperm, testosterone.
called the male hormone, it is made mostly in the testicles. It stimulates blood flow, growth in certain tissues, and secondary sexual characteristics. In men with prostate cancer, it can also make the tumor grow. See also hormone, prostate, testicles.
also called treatment. Any of the measures taken to treat a disease,. See also alternative therapy, complementary therapy, standard therapy, unproven therapy.
a method in which heat from the breast is measured and mapped. This method is not a reliable way to detect breast cancer. The resulting image is called a thermogram.
a doctor who operates on organs in the chest cavity. The word thoracic refers to the thorax, another name for the chest.
also called 3DCRT. Treatment that uses sophisticated computers to very precisely map the location of the cancer within the body. The patient may be fitted with a plastic mold much like a cast to keep them still and in the same position for each treatment so that the radiation can be more precisely aimed. Radiation beams are then aimed from several directions. This reduces the radiation effects on normal tissues and may allow higher doses of radiation to be used. See also external beam radiation therapy, radiation.
a decrease in the number of platelets in the blood with an increased risk of bleeding; can be a side effect of chemotherapy. See also chemotherapy, platelet.
a gland at the base of the neck (behind the upper breastbone or sternum) that helps certain lymphocytes to mature. The thymus is part of the immune system. See also immune system, lymphocyte, sternum.
a gland at the front of the neck which puts out hormones that regulate how quickly the body uses energy and affects many other body functions. The word thyroid can also refer to certain hormones made by the thyroid gland.
also called the shinbone. The thicker, inner bone (on the big toe side) of the 2 bones in the lower leg that go from the knee to the ankle. See also fibula.
a collection of cells that work together to perform a particular function.
also called T-cells. White blood cells made in the thymus gland. They make cytokines and play a large role in the immune response against viruses, transplanted organs and tissues, and cancer cells. See also cytokines, thymus, white blood cells.
see combination hormone therapy.
also called TCE. An exam that looks at the entire colon (the large intestine); for examples, see colonoscopy or double contrast barium enema.
in medical treatment, the harmful effects of a medicine or treatment, especially at higher doses. Can also refer to the effects of poisons or other non-medical substances.
the windpipe. The trachea connects the larynx (voice box) with the bronchi (the 2 large air passages that lead into the lungs) and serves as the main passage for air coming from the nose and mouth into the bronchi and lungs.
surgery to create an opening of the trachea through the neck. See also trachea.
blood or blood products that are given into a vein (intravenous or IV). Most such products are taken from unrelated donors and tested for disease before use, but a person can donate their own blood ahead of time to be given during certain planned surgeries or procedure.
in the prostate, this is the innermost area that surrounds the urethra. This is where benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) develops. See also benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), prostate, urethra.
genetic material that is out of its normal place, as when deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) from one chromosome breaks off and gets attached to a different chromosome. See also chromosome, deoxyribonucleic acid, mutation.
also called TRUS. An imaging test in which a probe is put in the rectum, where it puts out sound waves to make a picture of the prostate on a screen to help find tumors. See also prostate, rectum.
also called TURP. An operation that removes a part of the prostate gland that surrounds the urethra (the tube through which urine exits the bladder). The procedure is used for some men with prostate cancer who cannot have the prostate removed (radical prostatectomy) because of advanced age or other serious illnesses. This operation can be used to relieve symptoms caused by a tumor, but it is not expected to cure this disease or remove all of the cancer. TURP is used more often to relieve symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). See also benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), prostate.
the second section of the colon, a part of the large intestine. It is called transverse because it goes across the body from the right to the left side. See also colon, ascending colon, descending colon, sigmoid colon.
also called a TRAM flap or rectus abdominus flap procedure. A method of breast reconstruction in which tissue from the lower abdominal wall (belly) which receives its blood supply from the rectus abdominus muscle is used. The tissue from this area is moved up to the chest to create a breast mound. An implant is usually not needed. Moving muscle and tissue from the lower abdomen to the chest results in flattening of the lower abdomen (a “tummy tuck”). See also breast reconstruction.
breast cancer that does not have estrogen receptors, progesterone receptors, or human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2). This limits the effective treatment options for patients. See also estrogen receptor assay, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2, progesterone receptor assay.
see transrectal ultrasound.
-no-muh or ad
a benign (non-cancerous) polyp made of gland cells formed into tubes, in which the tubular structure generally makes up more than 75% of the adenoma. They usually cause no symptoms, and are often found during screening procedures such as colonoscopy. Because they are pre-cancerous, they are generally removed when found. See also adenomatous polyp, colonoscopy, polyp, tubulovillous adenoma, villous adenoma.
a rare type of low-grade invasive breast cancer that accounts for about 2% of invasive breast cancers. The outlook for this kind of cancer is considered to be better than average. See also invasive cancer.
-no-muh or ad
a benign (not cancer) polyp made of gland cells formed into tubes, along with finger-like projections of gland cells when seen under a microscope. In these, the finger-like parts usually make up 25% to 50% of the adenoma. These adenomas are pre-cancerous, and are generally removed when found. See also adenomatous polyp, polyp, tubular adenoma, villous adenoma.
-mer or tyoo
an abnormal lump or mass of tissue. Tumors can be benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer).
short-term worsening of symptoms or tumor markers. See also symptoms, tumor markers.
substance made by cancer cells and sometimes normal cells. They are not very useful for cancer screening because other body tissues not related to a cancer can produce these substances, too. But tumor markers may be very useful in watching for a response to treatment after a cancer is diagnosed or looking for cancer that has come back (recurred).
-mer or tyoo
also called TNF. A substance given off by activated white blood cells that can cause the death of tumor cells. See also necrosis, white blood cells.
genes that slow down cell division or cause cells to die at the right time. Changes or mutations in these genes can lead to too much cell growth and development of cancer. See also gene, mutation.
measure of the amount of cancer present.
see transurethral resection of the prostate.
a method in which the procedure to diagnose the presence of breast cancer (biopsy) and breast surgery for cancer treatment (such as lumpectomy or mastectomy) are done as 2 separate procedures, days or even weeks apart. This method is often preferred by women and their health care teams because it gives them time to consider all options. Compare to one-step procedure. See also biopsy, lumpectomy, mastectomy.