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

Alopecia

Partial or complete loss of hair resulting from radiation or chemotherapy.

Anemia

A condition in which the body does not have enough red blood cells. This may be due to bleeding or lack of blood production by the bone marrow. Symptoms include tiredness, shortness of breath and weakness.

Antiemetics

Drugs that are taken to prevent or treat nausea and vomiting.

Ascites

An accumulation of fluid within the abdomen that can occur in women with noncancerous conditions and with different types of cancer.

B

Biopsy

A surgery performed to remove tissue for examination to determine if cancer is present.

C

CA-125

A blood protein that can be measured and is an important tumor marker in ovarian cancer.

Cancer

Any group of diseases whose symptoms are due to the unrestrained growth of cells in one of the body organs or tissues.

Carcinogens

Substances known to cause, and/or promote the growth of cancer.

Carcinoma

Cancer that begins in the internal tissues.

CBC (Complete Blood Count)

A series of tests made on a blood sample, including red and white blood cell and platelet counts, hemoglobin and cell volume measurement.

Chemotherapy

The treatment of cancer by chemicals (drugs) designed to destroy cancer cells or stop them from growing.

CT or CAT Scan (Computerized Axial Tomography)

A diagnostic procedure that combines an x-ray with a computer to produce highly-detailed cross-sectional, three-dimensional pictures of the entire body. These tests are generally 100 times more sensitive than x-rays.

Cyst

A fluid-filled sac.

D

Diagnosis

The act of identifying a disease from its signs and symptoms.

E

Edema

Swelling due to the accumulation of lymphatic fluid within the tissues.

Epithelial

Type of tissue lining the skin and hollow organs.

Estrogen

Female sex hormone secreted primarily by the ovaries, responsible for secondary sex characteristics such as the growth of breasts.

Estrogen Receptor Test

A test done during the biopsy of cancerous tissue to determine if its growth depends on estrogen.

G

Gynecologic Oncologist

A physician who specializes in diagnosing and treating cancers of a woman’s reproductive organs.

H

Hematologist

A physician (internist) who specializes in blood diseases.

Hormones

Naturally occurring substances that are released by the endocrine organs and circulated in the blood. Hormones control growth, metabolism, reproduction and other functions.

Hysterectomy

Surgical removal of the uterus.

I

Infusion

Slow intravenous delivery (“drip”) of a drug or fluids directly into a vein.

Intraperitoneal

Situated within or administered by entering the peritoneum, the serous (protein) membrane which lines the abdominal cavity and folds inward to enclose the viscera.

Intravenous (IV)

Administration of drugs or fluids directly into a vein.

L

Laparotomy

A vertical (up and down) incision in the abdomen. The incision is large enough for the surgeon to look inside the body and remove cancerous tissue.

Laparoscopy

When a fiber optic device is inserted into the abdominal cavity to view organs or perform a procedure.

M

Malignant

A term used to describe a cancerous tumor.

Metastasis

The spread of cancer from one part of the body to another.

MRI (Magnetic resonance imaging)

A sophisticated technique to examine the body using powerful electromagnets, radio frequency waves and a computer to produce internal pictures of the body.

O

Oncologist

A physician who specializes in cancer therapy and general medical problems that arise during the disease.

P

Peripheral Neuropathy

A possible side effect of chemotherapy that affects the nervous system. Symptoms include tingling, burning, weakness or numbness of the hands or feet.

Prognosis

A statement about the likely outcome of disease in a particular patient. 

Protocol

A formalized plan for treatment.

R

Recurrence

Reappearance of cancer.

Remission

A temporary or permanent stage when cancer is not active and symptoms disappear.

S

Scan

A study using x-rays to produce images of internal body organs.

Staging

The stages that describe how far a cancer has progressed, based on the size of the primary tumor and on whether and where it has spread.

T

Thrombocytopenia

An abnormally low number of platelets due to disease, reaction to a drug, or toxic reaction to treatments.

Transfusion

The administration of donated blood.

Tumor

A lump, mass or swelling that is either benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous).

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