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Cancer Glossary

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Browse the glossary by selecting a letter or by entering a cancer-related term:

 Search  [UL-suh-ruh-tiv kuh-LIE-tis]
A type of inflammatory bowel disease where the colon is inflamed over a long period of time. This increases a person’s risk of developing colon cancer, so starting colorectal cancer screening earlier and doing these tests more often is recommended. See also colon, colorectal cancer screening, inflammatory bowel disease.
 Search  [UL-nuh]
The bone in the forearm (between the elbow and the wrist) that’s on the same side as the little finger. Compare to radius.
 Search  [UL-truh-sound]
Also called or ultrasonography (UL-truh-son-AH-gruf-ee ) imaging test in which high-frequency sound waves are used to make pictures of the inside of the body. The sound wave echoes are picked up and displayed on a computer screen. See also imaging tests.
A type of stem cell transplant in which stem cells in the blood taken from the umbilical cord of a newborn are used to replace the blood-forming stem cells in patients whose own stem cells were destroyed by radiation and/or chemotherapy. See also chemotherapy, hematopoietic stem cell transplant, radiation, stem cells.
 Search  [YOO-nih-LAT-uh-ruhl]
Affecting only one side of the body. For example, unilateral breast cancer occurs in one breast only. Compare to bilateral.
Any therapy that has not been scientifically tested and shown to work.
Cancer that’s been diagnosed but has not yet been staged, so the full extent of the cancer is not yet known. See also staging.
 Search  [YUR-uh-ter or yoo-REE-ter]
A tube that carries urine from each kidney to the bladder. A person normally has 2 ureters. Compare to urethra. See also bladder, kidney, urine.
 Search  [yoo-REE-thruh]
The tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body. In women, this tube is fairly short. In men it’s longer, passing through the prostate and the penis, and it also carries the semen. Compare to ureter. See also bladder, kidney, penis, prostate, semen, urine.
A sudden and uncontrollable urge to pass urine. This happens when the bladder becomes too sensitive to stretching when full of urine. Compare to stress incontinence, overflow incontinence. See also bladder, urine.
 Search  [YUR-uh-nair-ee]
The need to pass urine often. See also urine.
 Search  [YUR-uh-nair-ee]
Being unable to start the stream of urine right away. See also urine.
 Search  [YUR-uh-nair-ee in-KON-tin-ens]
Partial or complete loss of urine control. See also overflow incontinence, stress incontinence, urge incontinence, urine.
 Search  [YUR-uh-nair-ee re-TEN-chun]
Being unable to empty the bladder or pass urine. See also bladder, urine.
 Search  [YUR-uh-nair-ee]
The system that filters blood and helps remove certain chemicals and fluids from the body in the form of urine. It includes the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. See also bladder, kidney, ureter, urethra, urine.
 Search  [YUR-uh-nair-ee]
Feeling the need to pass urine right away. See also urine.
 Search  [YUR-uh-NATE]
To release urine from the bladder. See also bladder, urine.
 Search  [YUR-in]
Also called pee. Liquid waste made by the kidneys and stored in the bladder. See also bladder, kidney.
 Search  [YUR-in sy-TAHL-uh-jee]
A lab test in which urine is examined under a microscope to look for cancer and pre-cancer cells. Cytology can also be done on bladder washings,which are samples taken by putting a salt solution into the bladder and then removing the solution for testing. See also bladder, urine.
 Search  [YUR-o-die-NAM-ick]
Test to evaluate how well the bladder muscle and sphincters work. See also bladder, sphincter.
 Search  [yur-AHL-uh-jist]
A doctor who specializes in treating problems of the urinary tract in men and women, and problems in the genital area in men. See also urinary tract.
 Search  [yur-AHS-tuh-me]
An opening on the belly (abdomen) through which urine leaves the body. This new path is surgically created. See also stoma, urine.
 Search  [YEW-ter-in FI-broyd TOO-mer or TYOO-mer]
Also called a fibroma. A non-cancerous tumor that’s made of fibrous or connective tissue. It’s the most common tumor found in women. It can be in the uterine wall or protrude into the lining of the uterus. Usually there are no symptoms, but it can cause abnormal bleeding and other symptoms depending on its size and location in the uterus. See also tumor, uterus.
 Search  [YEW-tuh-rus]
Also called the womb. The pear-shaped organ in a woman’s pelvis that holds and nourishes the growing baby. The uterus is divided into 3 areas; the body is the upper part, the isthmus is the narrowed central area, and the cervix is at the base. See also pelvis.