Liver Cancer Glossary
Alphabetical Listing of terms and definitions

Abdominal Radiotherapy
Radiotherapy given to anywhere in the abdomen.

Abdominal Ultrasound
Body scan of the area below the waist using sound waves to make up a picture
of the organs inside the body.

Any one of a large group of cancerous tumors of the glands. The types of tumors are named for the tissue.

Adjuvant TamoxifenTamoxifen (a chemotherapy drug) that is being taken after surgery to try to prevent a cancer from coming back.

Adjuvant Therapy
A treatment given in addition to the main treatment to try to prevent a cancer
from coming back.

An anti-cancer drug. (chemotherapy)

Advanced Cancer
Term usually used to mean cancer that has spread from where it started to
another part of the body.

Aflatoxins are a group of chemicals produced by a mold that can contaminate
certain foods, such as peanuts, corn, grains, and seeds. These chemicals are
carcinogens (cancer-causing agents) for liver cancer.

Substance found in the bloodstream of some men with testicular cancer.
The level rises when the cancer is growing and falls when the cancer is shrinking. A blood test can measure alpha-fetoprotein to determine the progress of the disease and success of treatment.

X-ray of the blood vessels.

Rare form of liver cancer involving the blood vessels in the liver.

"Programmed cell death". Normal cells automatically die off once they have reproduced about 60 times. This is called apoptosis.

Aromatase Inhibitors
A group of drugs used to treat breast cancer. They work by affecting the way the Adrenal Glands work and stopping them from producing estrogen in post-menopausal women.

Accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity. If this is due to cancer, it is called malignant ascites. Normally this condition represents a late stage of cancer.

A research drug that may be "antiangiogenic", i.e., stops blood vessels from supplying a growing cancer.

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
Commonly called enlarged prostate. Literally means non-cancerous growth of the cells of the prostate gland.

Not cancerous. A benign tumor is a harmless growth, which may or may not
be operated on.

To divide into two parts or branches. Forked or divided into two parts.

A bitter, alkaline, brownish-yellow or greenish-yellow fluid that is secreted by the liver, stored in the gallbladder, and discharged into the duodenum. Bile aids in the emulsification, digestion, and absorption of fats.

Bile Duct
Duct in the liver that carries bile between the liver and the intestine.

Biological Response Modifiers
Another name for immunotherapy.

A piece of body tissue taken so that the cells can be examined under a microscope.

Bone Marrow
Spongy substance in the center of the bones where red and white blood cells and platelets are made.

Radiation therapy at short distances. Source of radiation is made in the form of wires, seeds, or plaques and are inserted into the tumor for delivering high doses of radiation. The radioactive sources are Cesium, Iridium, and Iodine. Patients usually remain in the hospital for a few days while the radiation source is in place. High dose rate brachytherapy however takes only a few minutes
and can be performed on an outpatient basis.

Cancellous Tissue
Spongy tissue inside the bones that contains bone marrow, which makes blood cells.

Cancer Vaccines
Experimental treatment currently being researched that may be able to limit cancer growth or eventually, stop people from getting cancers. Research for this type of treatment is at a very early stage.

Capsular Contracture
Complication of Breast Reconstruction when a Breast Implant has been put in. After the operation, a fibrous covering naturally forms over the implant. This can shrink and become tight, causing the implant to change shape.

Carcinoembryonic Antigen (CEA)
A marker used to help diagnose some types of cancer. Can also be used to check whether the cancer may have recurred. CEA is not always a reliable test for cancer. The level goes up with other illnesses and does not go up in everyone with bowel cancer.

Caudate Lobe
A small lobe of the liver situated posteriorly between the sulcus for the vena cava and the fissure for the venous ligament.

Carcinoembryonic Antigen (CEA) is a protein that normally occurs in fetal gut tissue. After birth, detectable serum levels essentially disappear. However, CEA may increase in the presence of various disorders such as colon cancer. This test may also be used to determine the responsiveness of cancer patients to treatment (to determine if cancer is spreading or going into remission).

Central Nervous Sys. Lymphoma (CNS Lymphoma)
Cancer of the lymphatic system which is growing in the
brain or spinal cord.

Drug treatment - usually used to mean with anti-cancer drugs. Normally a course of six treatments are given about a month apart. Possible side effects
include: hair loss, nausea & vomiting, low white blood cell count, anemia, low
platelet count, tumor lysis syndrome, kidney damage, lung damage, liver damage, heart damage, and damage to the veins.

Chemotherapy Course
A series of anti-cancer drug treatments. Usually about six treatments make up a course. A treatment is given every two, three, or four weeks. So a course can take six months.

Type of cancer that arises in cartilage. Tends to occur more frequently in adults than in children or adolescents.

Clinical Oncologist
Doctor who specializes in treating cancer.

Clinical Trials
Research studies designed to find more effective treatments and better ways
to use current treatments. Participation in treatment studies is an option for many patients with cancer. In some studies, all patients receive the new treatment. In others, doctors compare different therapies by giving the new treatment to one group and the standard therapy to another group. In this way, doctors can compare different therapies.

Complementary Therapy
A treatment that is not part of traditional Western medicine, but that is used
alongside. Usually used to help reduce stress and promote a feeling of well-being. Often help to control cancer symptoms and treatment side effects.

Complete Response
To a researcher, this means the disappearance of all cancer for at least 4 weeks.

Connective Tissue
The connective tissues of the body are the tissues that hold organs and other
body structures in place. Specialized connective tissues include bones, cartilage, muscles, and nerves. Cancers of connective tissues are called sarcomas.

Continuous 5-FU
Continuous chemotherapy treatment with the drug 5-FU or 5-Fluorouracil.

Continuous Ambulatory Chemo
Chemotherapy given all the time that one can walk around with.

The selective exposure of tissues to extreme cold, often by applying
a probe containing liquid nitrogen, to bring about the destruction or elimination
of abnormal cells.

The local or general use of low temperatures in medical therapy.

Computerized Tomography. A technique for examining internal structures of the body. The exam is painless and requires no special preparation. Tumors, blood clots, bone displacement and gathering of fluid can be detected. Also called Computerized Axial Tomography.

An anti-cancer drug (chemotherapy).

Cytoreductive Surgery
Surgery intended to remove most or all of the visible tumor, and then follow up
immediately with chemotherapy.

An instrument for looking at the inside of the bladder, the prostate gland and
the urethra.

The tube of a cystoscope is passed into the bladder under general anaesthetic and the surgeon uses it to look at the inside of the bladder and urethra.

Branch of biology that deals with the formation, structure, and function of cells.

"Toxic to cells" - anti-cancer treatment.

Cytotoxic T Cells (Killer T Cells)
Cells of the immune system that kill other cells that are foreign to
the body (for example, viruse infected cells, and cancer cells) including cells that have been marked with antibodies. Cytotoxic T cells are a type of white blood cells.

Cytotoxic Therapy
Treatment with anti-cancer drugs. Another name for chemotherapy.

Operation to remove as much of a large tumor as can be removed. This is don
to make it easier to treat the cancer that is left.

Sheet of muscle under the rib cage. Moves up and down when we breathe.
Separates the thoracic cavity (containing the lungs and heart) from the abdominal cavity (containing the organs of the digestive system).

Doppler ultrasonography
Ultrasonography applying the Doppler effect, in which frequency - shifted
ultrasound reflections produced by moving targets in the bloodstream, usually
red blood cells, are used to determine direction and speed of blood flow.

Dose of Radiotherapy
When radiotherapy treatment is planned, the total dose needed to kill the cancer is worked out. This depends on where in the body is being treated. The total dose is then broken down into a number of treatments called fractions. Usually one fraction is given per day. All the fractions added together add up to the total dose.

Double Blind Trial
Trial where neither the doctor nor the patient know which treatment the patient is having. This is done to try to prevent bias affecting the trial results.

An anti-cancer drug.

Tube or channel which carries the output of a gland.

Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS)
Type of early breast cancer affecting the ducts of the breast. Means the cancer cells are all inside the ducts of the breast and have not broken out. This is important as it means the chance of the cancer cells having spread anywhere else in the body is very low.

Early Detection
In medicine means finding a disease as early as possible, maybe before there
are any symptoms.

Containing structures that reflect high-frequency sound waves and thus
can be imaged by ultrasound techniques.

The process by which a blood vessel or organ is obstructed by an embolus or
other mass.

Endobronchial Therapy
Literally means treatment given inside the bronchi. Type of radiotherapy given
inside the airways of the lung. A bronchoscopy is done and a radioactive source put down the bronchoscope. This can deliver a dose of radiation directly to a tumor inside the bronchus. Usually done if a tumor is blocking, or partly blocking an airway.

Endometrial Cancer
Cancer of the lining of the womb.

Leakage of a chemotherapy drug into the tissues around the injection site. When this occurs, the infusion of the drug should be stopped right away. Certain drugs, if extravsate, can cause severe damage to the skin and underlying tissues.

Ewing's Sarcoma
Type of bone cancer that begins in immature nerve tissue in bone marrow. Tends to occur more frequently in children and adolescents.

External Radiotherapy
Treatment with high energy waves which are beamed at a cancer from outside
the body.

5-Flurouracil (5-FU)
One of the oldest chemotherapy drugs. Has been used for decades. It is a clear, colorless liquid that is given intravenously.

Focal Nodular Hyperplasia
A common type of benign tumor of the liver.

Gamma Camera
Special type of camera that can take pictures of radiation being given off. Used to produce bone scans.

Gastro-Intestinal Cancer
Cancer of the stomach or bowel.

Gene Therapy (Molecular Therapy)
Treating cancer by repairing gene damage, or blocking the
proteins that damaged genes make.

Hepatic Arterial Infusion (HAI) is the delivery of chemotherapy agents to the liver through a catheter placed in the hepatic artery.

Most common benign tumor of the liver.

Hepatectomy (Surgical)
Removal of liver tissue

An inflammation of the liver, involving yellowing of the skin, enlarged liver, loss of appetite, stomach discomfort, abnormal liver function, clay colored stools and dark urine. The condition may be caused by bacterial or viral infection, worms or other parasites, alcohol, drug, poisoning or transfusion of the wrong type of blood. It may be mild and brief or severe, intense and life threatening. The liver is usually able to grow back it's tissue, but severe hepatitis may lead to permanent damage.

Hepatitis A
A form of infectious hepatitis caused by the Hepatitis A virus, and having slow onset of signs and symptoms. The virus may be spread by direct contact or through fecal infected food or water. The infection most often occurs in young adults and is usually followed by complete recovery.

Hepatitis B
A form of hepatitis caused by the Hepatitis B virus and having rapid onset of sudden symptoms and signs. The virus can be carried in blood products used in transfusion or by the use of unsterile needles and instruments. The infection may be severe and result in prolonged illness, destruction of liver cells, cirrhosis or death.

Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C was the major cause of all cases of hepatitis resulting from transfusions and most resulting from intravenous drug use. Because of blood screening, the risk from transfusions is now 1 in 10,000. It can also be transmitted through injuries in the skin. It may also be transmitted sexually. About 10% to 60% of acute hepatitis C patients develop the chronic form, which can also occur without a preceding acute stage.

Hepatocellular Adenoma
One common type of benign tumor of the liver. Sensitive to hormonal therapy.

Hepatocellular Carcinoma
Most common primary malignant tumor of the liver. Most commonly found in
Africa, Southeast Asia, China.

Type of childhood liver cancer. More common in young children before age 3.
May be caused by an abnormal gene.

Childhood liver cancer. Two types: hepatoblastoma, and hepatocellular

High Dose Chemotherapy
Anti-cancer drug treatment using very high drug doses. Needs to be followed by a transfusion of bone marrow or stem cells.

The science concerned with the cytologic and histologic structure of abnormal
or diseased tissue.

The science concerned with the minute structure of tissues and organs in
relation to their function. Also called microanatomy.

Hodgkin's Disease
A cancer of the lymphatic system. It is a type of lymphoma. There are two main types of lymphoma: Hodgkin's disease and Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Hodgkin's disease is often very successfully treated, even if it has spread from where it started.

Prefix meaning over, above, beyond, or excessive.

Prefix meaning under, below, less than normal, or deficient.

A measure of the total opposition to current flow in an alternating current circuit. Unit of measure used to describe impedance is ohms.

Inferior Vena Cava
A large vein formed by the union of the two common iliac veins that receives blood from the lower limbs and the pelvic and abdominal viscera and empties into the right atrium of the heart. Also called postcava.

Located or occurring between the ribs.

Type of immunotherapy. Natural substance produced in tiny quantities as part
of the immune system. Given in much larger doses as a treatment to boost the
immune system and help fight the cancer. There are different types of interferon eg. interferon alpha.

Interleukin 2 (IL2)
Type of immunotherapy. Natural substance produced in tiny quantities as
part of the immune system. Given in much larger doses as treatment to boost the immune system and help fight the cancer.

Interleukin 3 (IL3)
A growth factor which encourages the bone marrow to make more white blood

Variation of a normal chemical substance which can be radioactive. Can be used to diagnose or treat cancer (for example Sr89 is an isotope of strontium used to treat bone cancer).

Yellow skin.

There are two kidneys, right and left. They filter waste products out of the blood and make urine. They help the body's fluid balance by making more dilute urine when there is too much fluid in the body, and making more concentrated urine when we are dehydrated. The kidneys are very sensitive to blood flow and to some drugs.

Kidney Function Tests
Blood tests to see how well the kidneys are working.

Small tube-shaped instrument with a light at one end. Used in laparoscopic surgery, in which a small cut is made in the abdomen so that the laparoscope can be inserted. The doctor can then look at the liver and other organs to see if anything is wrong, or to perform an operation.

Incision into the abdominal cavity through the loin or flank.

The largest organ in the body. Responsible for making blood proteins and
substances that help the blood to clot, storing vitamins, cleaning bacteria and worn out red blood cells out of the blood, getting rid of waste products, drugs, and other chemicals and processing carbohydrates, fats and proteins from digestion. Located on the right side of the abdomen and protected by the rib cage.

Liver Cancer
This should only mean cancer that has started in the liver, (primary liver cancer) but in practice, it is also used to mean cancer that has spread
to the liver from somewhere else (metastatic cancer). Primary liver cancer
is also called malignant hepatoma or hepatocellular carcinoma. Very young
children may develop another form of liver cancer knows as hepatoblastoma.

Liver Function Tests
Blood tests to see how well the liver is working.

Liver Ultrasound
Scan of the liver using soundwaves.

A section of an organ. There are lobes of the brain, thyroid, liver, and lungs.

An operation to remove a lobe of an organ.

Local Recurrence
When a cancer comes back in the same place.

Local Resection
A small operation to remove an early cancer which has not spread away from
where it started growing.

Local Spread (Local invasion)
Growth of a cancer into the area of the body around where
it started.

There are two lungs (right and left) inside the ribcage. When we breathe, air passes into the lungs. Oxygen from the air filters through the lungs into the bloodstream. Waste carbon dioxide filters back into the lungs and is breathed out.

Body fluid which circulates through the lymphatic system. Carries food supplies to, and waste products away from the body tissues.

Lymph Glands (Lymph Nodes)
Glands found throughout the body - particularly in the armpits,
neck, and groin which fight infection and filter body fluid.

Lymph Node Biopsy
Taking out a lymph node to look at it under the microscope. This is to see if it
contains any cancer cells. It is a very small operation. It is normally done under a general anaesthetic, but a patient should be able to go home the same day.

X-ray scan of the lymph glands using dye injected into the bloodstream.

Lymphatic System
System of tubes and glands in the body which filters body fluid and fights infection. Made up of the lymph glands, lymphatic vessels and the spleen.

Lymphomas (High Grade Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma)
High grade lymphomas are faster growing and more acute diseases than low grade. They are usually treated with more intensive chemotherapy treatment than low grade, but if treated at an early stage, may just be treated with radiotherapy.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
The use of a nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer to produce electronic
images of specific atoms and molecular structures in solids, especially human cells, tissues, and organs.

The spread of cancerous cells from their origin to another part of the body.

Non Small Cell Lung Cancer
A group of types of lung cancer: squamous cell, adenocarcinoma and large cell
lung cancers. These are grouped together because they all respond to roughly the same treatments and behave in similar ways.

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR).
See Magnetic Resonance Imaging.

Sometimes a secondary tumor is found, but no primary tumor can be found, in spite of extensive tests. Doctors refer to the primary tumor as unknown or occult.

A unit of electrical resistance equal to that of a conductor in which a current of one ampere is produced by a potential of one volt across its terminals.

Osteoid Osteoma
A benign but painful bone tumor.

Type of primary bone cancer. Tends to occur more frequently in children and

Relief of symptoms and prolongation of life.

Partial Response
To a researcher, this means the cancer is shrinking to at least half the original size for at least four weeks. There must not be any sign of growth of the cancer anywhere else in the body.

Permanent Colostomy
Opening of the bowel onto the surface of the abdomen. A bag is worn to collect the waste matter from digestion that would normally be passed from the body as a bowel motion. This operation cannot be reversed. Often the rectum is removed and the anus is closed up by the surgeon.

Plantar-Palmar Erythema
Side effect of continuous 5-FU treatment. The skin on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet becomes red and peels. The redness and peeling clears up when the treatment is finished.

Type of blood cell. Helps the blood to clot. Platelet levels can drop during the course of chemotherapy.

Operation to remove a whole lung.

Portal Vein
A wide short vein that is formed by the superior mesenteric and splenic veins behind the pancreas, ascends in front of the inferior vena cava, and divides the right and left branches that ramify within the liver.

A gland found in men surrounding the urethra. The gland makes a thick white fluid which mixes with sperm to make semen.

Prostate Cancer
Cancer of the prostate gland.

Prostate Specific Antigen
Substance produced by prostate cells found in the blood. The level can be measured by a blood test. If the level is much higher than normal, there may be a cancer in the prostate and further tests will need to be done. Can also be used as a marker in men diagnosed with prostate cancer - the level goes up when cancer is growing and falls when the cancer is shrinking.

PSA Level
Level of Prostate Specific Antigen in the blood.

Radiation (Radioactivity)
Strictly speaking, radiation mans giving off any energy particles or
waves and includes heat and light. But usually used to mean radioactivity. This
means gamma rays, alpha or beta particles from a radioactive source. The
radioactivity comes from the breakdown of atoms. The source can be natural or made in a nuclear reactor. Uncontrolled radiation can be dangerous and cause cancer. Contolled exposure to radiation can be used in medicine for diagnosis (eg. X-rays) or to treat cancer (radiotherapy).

Radiation Therapy (Radiotherapy)
The use of X-rays, electrons, or gamma rays to treat cancer.
Radiation can cure or control cancer by inhibiting the cancer cells from dividing
or reproducing. About 50-60% of cancer patients will require radiation at some
time during their lifetime. Side effects will be recognized and treated by a
radiation oncologist. There are basically two types of radiation treatment: external,
or brachytherapy (radiation at a short distance). A course of treatment
lasts 2-5 weeks.

Radical Mastectomy
Operation to remove the breast, lymph glands under the arm, and the muscles of the chest wall. Very rarely done now.

Radiotherapy Side Effects
Unwanted effects on the body of radiotherapy. Occur only in the area that is being treated, although reddening of the skin may also appear on the other side of the body where the rays pass through. Radiotherapy can cause hair loss, sickness, diarrhea, sore skin, and sore mouth depending on where in the body the patient is treated. A long course of radiotherapy often causes tiredness. Radiotherapy side effects are a little unusual in that they do not start immediately after the treatment. They build up and then do not disappear until a little while after the course of treatment has ended. This can be a number of weeks depending on how much radiotherapy has been

Cancer that has come back again after treatment.

Of or in the region of the kidneys.

Word used in surgery meaning to cut away. If something is resected, it is removed during an operation.

Cancer that has arisen in connective tissue (e.g. muscle, bone, nerves).

Looking inside the body from the outside to see if there is anything wrong.
(e.g. ultrasound scan or CT scan)

Testing the general population to see if a particular disease can be detected early-usually before the person has any symptoms. Can only be done if there is a reliable and simple test for the disease.

Secondary Cancer
Cancer spread. Cancer cells have broken away from the primary cancer (where the cancer began in the body) and have spread to another organ or part of the body, where they have begun to grow. Secondary cancer has to be treated according to the type of cells that it is made up of. For example, breast cancer cells that have spread to the lung will respond to breast cancer treatments and not lung cancer treatments because the cells are breast cancer cells no matter where in the body they are growing.

Secondary Lung Cancer
Lung cancer that has spread from the lungs to another part of the body.

Second Cancer
Different type of cancer caused by previous cancer treatment. Must not be confused with secondary cancer, which is a cancer that has spread.

Operation to remove a segment of a body organ, for example a segment of a lung.

Examination of the rectum and colon using a sigmoidoscope. The sigmoidoscope
is a thin bendy tube which is put into the colon and rectum through the anus. The tube is connected to an eyepiece which allows the doctor to see inside the bowel and to take biopsies (samples of tissue) for examination under a microscope. A sigmoidoscopy can see into the bowel as far as the sigmoid colon. This is the S-shaped part of the large bowel on the lower left of the abdomen.

Simple Mastectomy
Operation to remove the breast only.

Small Bowel (Duodenum, Ileum)
Part of the digestive system. Tube that connects the stomach
to the large bowel (colon). Digestion continues in the first part of the small bowel (duodenum). In the rest of the small bowel (the ileum), nutrients from digested food are absorbed into the body.

Small Cell Lung Cancer
Type of lung cancer. Behaves differently from the other main types of lung cancer and so is treated differently. Can spread early, so often treated with chemotherapy.

Small Cell Lymphocytic
Type of lymphoma. The cells appear small under the microscope. This is a low
grade type of lymphoma.

Organ that is part of the lymphatic system, on the left side of the body just under the diaphragm. It filters the blood, removing worn out red blood cells and
stores red blood cells. It also contains lymph node tissue and many lymphocytes. It is sometimes removed in Hodgkin's Disease. It is perfectly possible to live healthily without a spleen, but the patient's risk of infection will be higher and the patient may be asked to take antibiotics long term.

Squamous Cells
Type of flat skin cells that cover the outside and inside of the body. Many cancers are squamous cell cancer.

Squamous Cell Cancer
A cancer that develops from squamous cells found in the skin that covers the outsideand lines the inside of the body. For example, a squamous cell cancer of the lung develops from the cells that line the airways.

The stage of a cancer refers to the size of the cancer and how far it has spread. Used to decide on the best course of treatment. There can be any number of stages, but for most cancers there are about four. Stage one is the smallest cancer and stage four (or highest number) means the cancer has spread to another part of the body.

Stem Cell Transplant
Treatment for cancer similar to a bone marrow transplant, but does not require an anesthetic to collect the cells and recovery can be quicker. Donor transplants (allogeneic transplant) cannot be done with stem cells yet. So if a donor transplant is needed, a bone marrow transplant will still be done. Very high doses of chemotherapy are given to kill cancer cells. This also kills the bone marrow which contains all the developing blood cells. For a transplant, the very early blood cells normally found in the bone marrow are collected from the blood, frozen, and stored. The stem cells can then be given back through a drip after the high dose chemotherapy is over. They find their way back into the bones and start to make blood cells again.

A pipe used to keep open a tube in the body that is in danger of becoming blocked off. For example, in cancer of the lung a stent may be used to keep open an airway that is becoming blocked by a tumor.

An opening onto the outside of the body. There are several different types of stoma. A colostomy is an opening of the large bowel onto the outside of the abdomen. An ileostomy is an opening of the small bowel. A urostomy is an opening of the urinary system (made after the bladder has been removed).

Organ of the digestive system which digests food and absorbs water. Lymphoma can sometimes develop in the stomach.

Superior Vena Cava
A large vein formed by the union of the two brachiocephalic veins and the
azygos vein that receives blood from the head, neck, upper limbs, and chest, atrium and empties into the right atrium of the heart.

Systemic Disease
A disease that affects the whole body. Leukemias and lymphomas are
systemic diseases because the blood system and the lymphatic system are
all over the body. Systemic diseases are treated with treatments that cover
the whole body such as chemotherapy, rather than local treatments such as

Systemic Treatment
Treatment that covers the whole body. For example, chemotherapy is usually a
systemic treatment because it circulates throughout the body in the bloodstream. Systemic treatments are best for cancers that have spread.

Tamoxifen (Nolvadex, Tomofen)
One of the older hormone manipulating agents. Has been in use for over 20 years. A potent anti-estrogen, used in treatment of hormone sensitive tumors such as breast cancer in both early stages of the disease as an adjuvant treatment and in patients with metastatic disease. Normal daily dose is one 10 mg tablet twice daily. Side effects may include: hot flashes, fluid retention, vaginal discharge, irregular menses, tendency for blood clots.

One of the newer chemotherapy drugs. An extract from the bark and needles
of the yew tree. Taxol is a white powder and when prepared for use becomes
a clear, colorless liquid which is given by intravenous route only. Commonly
used in combination with other drugs, such as 5-FU, Adriamycin, Vinorelbine,
Cytoxan, and Cisplatinum. Normally given once every 3 weeks. Possible side
effects may include low white blood cell counts, low platelet count, anemia,
hair loss, soreness of mouth, difficulty swallowing, diarrhea, nerve damage
allergic reaction, and fluid retention. Taxol is metabolized in the liver and
excreted into bile.

Infamous drug that caused birth defects. Now being investigated as a cancer
treatment because it is antiangiogenic (stops blood vessels growing).

An abnormal condition in which the number of platelets is reduced. It is usually caused by breakdown of erythroid tissue bone marrow linked to certain tumor diseases or in an immune response to a drug.

Anti-cancer drug (chemotherapy).

Total Androgen Blockade
Treatment with anti-androgens and pituitary downregulators at the same time.
Completely blocks the production and effects of the sex hormones. Used in
the treatment of prostate cancer.

Total Body Irradiation (TBI)
Giving radiotherapy to the whole body. Can be part of the treatment
necessary for a bone marrow or stem cell transplant.

Total Prostatectomy
Operation to remove the whole prostate. The operation cannot be done via the
penis (transurethrally) so there will be a scar. The lymph glands around the prostate
are usually removed as well. Also called a radical prostatectomy.

Prefix meaning across; on the other side; beyond.

Transurethral Resection(TURP, TUR)
Operation to remove the part of an enlarged prostate which is pressing
on the urethra (tube which carries urine from the bladder out of the penis). The prostate is chipped away in tiny pieces and removed through the urethra so there is no scar. Can be done for benign enlarged prostate or prostate cancer.

Treatment Studies
Clinical trials. Research studies designed to find more effective treatments and better ways to use current treatments. Participation in treatment studies is an option for many patients with cancer. In some studies, all patients receive the new treatment. In others, doctors compare different therapies by giving the new treatment to one group and the standard therapy to another group. In this way, doctors can compare different therapies.

Another word for cancerous lump. "Benign tumor" can be used to mean a
non-cancerous lump.

Tumor Burden
The total mass of tumor tissue carried by an individual with cancer.

Tumor Flare
Temporary increase in symptoms from a cancer after starting treatment. Happens when prostate cancer is treated with pituitary downregulators if anti-androgens are not given for the first few weeks.

Tumor Marker
A substance, released into the circulation by tumor tissue, whose detection in the serum indicates the presence of a specific type of tumor.

Tumor Stage
The extent of the spread of a malignant tumor from its site of origin.

Ulcerative Colitis
A disease of the bowel (colon). The lining of the bowel becomes inflamed causing pain, bleeding and watery diarrhea. The disease is a chronic condition. This means it is not really curable but it tends to come and go. People who have had ulcerative colitis for a long time (more than 10 years) have a higher chance of developing cancer of the bowel than people without this disease.

Scan using sound waves to build up a picture of the inside of the body. A gel is
put on the skin and a microphone passed back and forth over the area to be
scanned. A computer converts the reflected sound waves into a picture on the screen.

Tube which carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body.

Urinary System
System of the body that removes waste products from the blood and makes urine. Includes the kidneys and bladder.

Vena Cava
Either of the two venae cavae, designated inferior and superior.

Vitamin A
An anti-oxidant vitamin found in oily fish, liver, kidney, dairy products and eggs.
Beta carotene is found in carrots, yellow vegetables and dark green vegetables. It is converted to Vitamin A in the body. Anti-oxidant vitamins may help prevent cancer by stopping damage to cells within the body.

Vitamin C
An anti-oxidant vitamin found in many fruits and vegetables. Anti-oxidants may
help prevent cancer by stopping damage to cells within the body.

Vitamin E
An anti-oxidant vitamin found in vegetable oils, cereals, and eggs.
Anti-oxidants may help prevent cancer by stopping damage to cells within
the body.

Wedge resection
Operation to remove a small V-shaped piece (wedge) of an organ. A wedge
resection may be done on a breast, lung, or liver, for example.

White Blood Cells
Cells in the blood which fight infection and produce antibodies.

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