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Mesothelioma cancer glossary - C
CA 19-9 assay - A test that measures the level of CA 19-9 in the blood. CA 19-9 is a tumor marker released into the bloodstream from both cancer cells and normal cells. Higher than normal amounts of CA 19-9 in the blood can be a sign of gallbladder or pancreatic cancer or other conditions.
cachexia - Loss of body weight and muscle mass, and weakness that may occur in patients with cancer, AIDS, or other chronic diseases.
cancer - A term for diseases in which abnormal cells divide without control. Cancer cells can invade nearby tissues and can spread through the bloodstream and lymphatic system to other parts of the body. There are several main types of cancer. Carcinoma is cancer that begins in the skin or in tissues that line or cover internal organs. Sarcoma is cancer that begins in bone, cartilage, fat, muscle, blood vessels, or other connective or supportive tissue. Leukemia is cancer that starts in blood-forming tissue such as the bone marrow, and causes large numbers of abnormal blood cells to be produced and enter the bloodstream. Lymphoma is cancer that begins in the cells of the immune system.
Carcinogen - Any substance that causes cancer or helps cancer grow.
carcinogenesis - The process by which normal cells are transformed into cancer cells.
carcinoma - Cancer that begins in the skin or in tissues that line or cover internal organs.
carcinoma in situ - Cancer that involves only the cells in which it began and that has not spread to nearby tissues.
carcinosarcoma - A malignant tumor that is a mixture of carcinoma (cancer of epithelial tissue, which is skin and tissue that lines or covers the internal organs) and sarcoma (cancer of connective tissue, such as bone, cartilage, and fat).
carcinosis - A condition in which cancer is spread widely throughout the body, or, in some cases, to a relatively large region of the body. Also called carcinomatosis.
cardiotoxicity - Toxicity that affects the heart.
cardiovascular - Having to do with the heart and blood vessels.
carotenoid - A substance found in yellow and orange fruits and vegetables and in dark green, leafy vegetables. Carotenoids may reduce the risk of developing cancer.
case report - A detailed report of the diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up of an individual patient. Case reports also contain some demographic information about the patient (for example, age, gender, ethnic origin).
case series - A group or series of case reports involving patients who were given similar treatment. Reports of case series usually contain detailed information about the individual patients. This includes demographic information (for example, age, gender, ethnic origin) and information on diagnosis, treatment, response to treatment, and follow-up after treatment.
case-control study - A study that compares two groups of people: those with the disease or condition under study (cases) and a very similar group of people who do not have the disease or condition (controls). Researchers study the medical and lifestyle histories of the people in each group to learn what factors may be associated with the disease or condition. For example, one group may have been exposed to a particular substance that the other was not. Also called a retrospective study.
CAT scan - A series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body, taken from different angles; the pictures are created by a computer linked to an x-ray machine. Also called computerized axial tomography, computed tomography (CT scan), or computerized tomography.
cauterization - The destruction of tissue with a hot instrument, an electrical current, or a caustic substance.
CBC - Complete blood count. A test to check the number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets in a sample of blood. Also called blood cell count.
CEA - Carcinoembryonic antigen. A substance that is sometimes found in an increased amount in the blood of people who have certain cancers, other diseases, or who smoke. It is used as a tumor marker for colorectal cancer.
CEA assay - A laboratory test to measure carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), a substance that is sometimes found in an increased amount in the blood of people who have certain cancers.
cell differentiation - The process during which young, immature (unspecialized) cells take on individual characteristics and reach their mature (specialized) form and function.
cell proliferation - An increase in the number of cells as a result of cell growth and cell division.
cellular adoptive immunotherapy - A treatment used to help the immune system fight cancer. A cancer patient’s T cells (a type of white blood cell) are collected and grown in the laboratory to increase the number of T cells that are able to kill the person’s cancer cells. These cancer-specific T cells are given back to the patient to help the immune system fight the cancer.
central nervous system - CNS. The brain and spinal cord.
central nervous system primitive neuroectodermal tumor - CNS PNET. A type of cancer that arises from a particular type of cell within the brain or spinal cord.
c-erbB-2 - The gene that controls cell growth by making the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2. Also called HER2/neu.
cerebellopontine - Having to do with two structures of the brain, the cerebellum (located at the lower back of the brain) and the pons (located at the base of the brain in front of the cerebellum) and the area between them.
cerebellum - The portion of the brain in the back of the head between the cerebrum and the brain stem. The cerebellum controls balance for walking and standing, and other complex motor functions.
cerebral hemisphere - One half of the cerebrum, the part of the brain that controls muscle functions and also controls speech, thought, emotions, reading, writing, and learning. The right hemisphere controls the muscles on the left side of the body, and the left hemisphere controls the muscles on the right side of the body.
cerebrospinal fluid - CSF. The fluid flowing around the brain and spinal cord. Cerebrospinal fluid is produced in the ventricles in the brain.
cerebrum - The largest part of the brain. It is divided into two hemispheres, or halves, called the cerebral hemispheres. Areas within the cerebrum control muscle functions and also control speech, thought, emotions, reading, writing, and learning.
cervix - The lower, narrow end of the uterus that forms a canal between the uterus and vagina.
chemoembolization - A procedure in which the blood supply to the tumor is blocked surgically or mechanically and anticancer drugs are administered directly into the tumor. This permits a higher concentration of drug to be in contact with the tumor for a longer period of time.
chemoimmunotherapy - Chemotherapy combined with immunotherapy. Chemotherapy uses different drugs to kill or slow the growth of cancer cells; immunotherapy uses treatments to stimulate or restore the ability of the immune system to fight cancer.
chemoradiation - Treatment that combines chemotherapy with radiation therapy. Also called chemoradiotherapy.
chemotherapy - Treatment with anticancer drugs that are cytotoxic (toxic to cells).
Chinese rhubarb - Rheum palmatum or Rheum officinale. The root of this plant has been used in some cultures to treat certain medical problems. It may have anti-inflammatory and anticancer effects. Also called rhubarb, da-huang, Indian rhubarb, and Turkish rhubarb.
choroid plexus tumor - A rare type of cancer that occurs in the ventricles of the brain. It usually occurs in children younger than 2 years.
chromosome - Part of a cell that contains genetic information. Except for sperm and eggs, all human cells contain 46 chromosomes.
chronic - A disease or condition that persists or progresses over a long period of time.
Chrysotile - An important source of asbestos accounting for 90% of all asbestos used. Its grey or green fibers take the shape of a spiral and flexible.
clinical study - A type of research study that uses volunteers to test new methods of screening, prevention, diagnosis, or treatment of a disease. The trial may be carried out in a clinic or other medical facility. Also called a clinical trial.
clinical trial - A type of research study that uses volunteers to test new methods of screening, prevention, diagnosis, or treatment of a disease. The trial may be carried out in a clinic or other medical facility. Also called a clinical study.
CNS - Central nervous system. The brain and spinal cord.
CNS metastasis - Cancer that has spread from the original (primary) tumor to the central nervous system.
CNS prophylaxis - Chemotherapy or radiation therapy given to the central nervous system (CNS) as a preventive treatment. It is given to kill cancer cells that may be in the brain and spinal cord, even though no cancer has been detected there. Also called CNS sanctuary therapy.
CNS tumor - A tumor of the central nervous system, including brain stem glioma, craniopharyngioma, medulloblastoma, and meningioma.
cobalt 60 - A radioactive form of the metal cobalt, which is used as a source of radiation to treat cancer.
coenzyme Q10 - A substance found in most tissues in the body, and in many foods. It can also be made in the laboratory. It is used by the body to produce energy for cells, and as an antioxidant. It is being studied in the treatment of cancer and in the relief of side effects caused by some cancer treatments. Also called Q10, CoQ10, vitamin Q10, and ubiquinone.
colon - The longest part of the large intestine, which is a tube-like organ connected to the small intestine at one end and the anus at the other. The colon removes water and some nutrients and electrolytes from partially digested food. The remaining material, solid waste called stool, moves through the colon to the rectum and leaves the body through the anus.
colon cancer - Cancer that develops in the tissues of the colon.
colonoscopy - An examination of the inside of the colon using a thin, lighted tube (called a colonoscope) inserted into the rectum. If abnormal areas are seen, tissue can be removed and examined under a microscope to determine whether disease is present.
colony-stimulating factor - A substance that stimulates the production of blood cells. Colony-stimulating factors include granulocyte colony-stimulating factors (also called G-CSF and filgrastim), granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factors (also called GM-CSF and sargramostim), and promegapoietin.
colorectal - Having to do with the colon or the rectum.
combination chemotherapy - Treatment using more than one chemotherapy drug.
comorbidity - The condition of having two or more diseases at the same time.
complete blood count - CBC. A test to check the number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets in a sample of blood. Also called blood cell count.
complete hysterectomy - Surgery to remove the entire uterus, including the cervix. Sometimes, not all of the cervix is removed. Also called total hysterectomy.
complete metastasectomy - Surgery to remove all metastases (tumors formed from cells that have spread from the primary tumor).
complete remission - The disappearance of all signs of cancer in response to treatment. This does not always mean the cancer has been cured. Also called a complete response.
complete response - The disappearance of all signs of cancer in response to treatment. This does not always mean the cancer has been cured. Also called a complete remission.
computed tomographic colonography - CTC. A procedure in which a detailed picture of the colon is created by an x-ray machine linked to a computer. Also called computed tomography (CT) scan or computerized axial tomography (CAT) scan of the colon.
computed tomography - CT scan. A series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body taken from different angles; the pictures are created by a computer linked to an x-ray machine. Also called computerized tomography and computerized axial tomography (CAT) scan.
computerized axial tomography - A series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body taken from different angles; the pictures are created by a computer linked to an x-ray machine. Also called CAT scan, computed tomography (CT scan), or computerized tomography.
computerized tomography - A series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body taken from different angles; the pictures are created by a computer linked to an x-ray machine. Also called computerized axial tomography (CAT) scan and computed tomography (CT scan).
concurrent therapy - A treatment that is given at the same time as another.
consecutive case series - A clinical study that includes all eligible patients identified by the researchers during the study registration period. The patients are treated in the order in which they are identified. This type of study usually does not have a control group.
consolidation therapy - A type of high-dose chemotherapy often given as the second phase (after induction therapy) of a cancer treatment regimen for leukemia. Also called intensification therapy.
control group - In a clinical trial, the group that does not receive the new treatment being studied. This group is compared to the group that receives the new treatment, to see if the new treatment works.
controlled clinical trial - A clinical study that includes a comparison (control) group. The comparison group receives a placebo, another treatment, or no treatment at all.
controlled study - An experiment or clinical trial that includes a comparison (control) group.
cooperative group - A group of physicians, hospitals, or both formed to treat a large number of persons in the same way so that a new treatment can be evaluated quickly. Clinical trials of new cancer treatments often require many more people than a single physician or hospital can care for.
CoQ10 - A substance found in most tissues in the body, and in many foods. It can also be made in the laboratory. It is used by the body to produce energy for cells, and as an antioxidant. It is being studied in the treatment of cancer and in the relief of side effects caused by some cancer treatments. Also called coenzyme Q10, Q10, vitamin Q10, and ubiquinone.
craniotomy - An operation in which an opening is made in the skull.
cruciferous vegetable - A member of the family of vegetables that includes kale, collard greens, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and turnips. These vegetables contain substances that may protect against cancer.
cryopreservation - The process of cooling and storing cells, tissues, or organs at very low or freezing temperatures to save them for future use.
cryosurgery - Treatment performed with an instrument that freezes and destroys abnormal tissues.
cryotherapy - Any method that uses cold temperature to treat disease.
CSF - Cerebrospinal fluid. The fluid flowing around the brain and spinal cord. CSF is produced in the ventricles of the brain.
CT scan - Computed tomography scan. A series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body taken from different angles; the pictures are created by a computer linked to an x-ray machine. Also called computerized tomography and computerized axial tomography (CAT) scan.
cumulative dose - In medicine, the total amount of a drug or radiation given to a patient over time; for example, the total dose of radiation given in a series of radiation treatments.
cytology - The study of cells using a microscope.
cytotoxic - Cell-killing.
cytotoxic chemotherapy - Anticancer drugs that kill cells, especially cancer cells.
cytotoxic T cell - A type of white blood cell that can directly destroy specific cells. T cells can be separated from other blood cells, grown in the laboratory, and then given to a patient to destroy tumor cells. Certain cytokines can also be given to a patient to help form cytotoxic T cells in the patient's body.
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