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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. In this condition, 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, Crohn’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease.
 Search  [uhl-nuh]
the bone in the forearm (between the elbow and the wrist) that is on the same side as the little finger. See also radius.
 Search  [ul-truh-sound or ul-truh-son-AH-gruf-ee]
imaging test in which high-frequency sound waves are used to make a picture 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 from blood 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 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 has been diagnosed but has not yet been staged, so the full extent of the cancer is not yet known. See also staging.
 Search  [your-uh-ter or yoo-ree-ter]
a tube that carries urine from each kidney to the bladder. A person normally has 2 ureters. See also bladder, kidney, urethra.
 Search  [yoo-ree-thruh]
the tube that carries urine from the bladder to outside the body. In women, this tube is fairly short. In men it is longer, passing through the prostate and the penis, and it also carries the semen. See also bladder, kidney, prostate, semen, ureter.
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.
 Search  [yur-uh-nair-ee]
the need to urinate (pass urine) often.
 Search  [yur-uh-nair-ee]
being unable to start the stream of urine right away.
 Search  [yur-uh-nair-ee in-kon-tin-ens]
partial or complete loss of urine control. See also overflow incontinence, stress incontinence, urge incontinence.
 Search  [yur-uh-nair-ee re-ten-chun]
being unable to empty the bladder or to urinate (pass urine). See also bladder.
 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.
 Search  [yur-uh-nair-ee]
feeling the need to urinate (pass urine) right away.
 Search  [YUR-uh-nate]
to release urine from the bladder. See also bladder.
 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. Bladder washing samples are taken by putting a salt solution into the bladder through a tube (called a catheter) and then removing the solution for testing. See also bladder.
 Search  [yur-o-die-NAM-ick]
test to evaluate function of the bladder muscle and sphincters. 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]
surgery to send urine through a new passage and then through an opening in the abdomen (belly). In a continent urostomy, the urine is stored inside the body and drained a few times a day through a tube placed into an opening called a stoma. See also stoma.
 Search  [yew-ter-in fi-broyd too-mer or tyoo-mer]
also called a fibroma. A benign (non-cancerous) tumor that is made of fibrous or connective tissue. It is 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 uterus, leiomyoma.
 Search  [yew-tuh-rus]
also called the womb. The pear-shaped organ in a woman’s pelvis that holds and nourishes the growing embryo and fetus. 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.