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Mesothelioma cancer glossary - D
da-huang - 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, Chinese rhubarb, Indian rhubarb, and Turkish rhubarb.
DCIS - Ductal carcinoma in situ. A noninvasive, precancerous condition in which abnormal cells are found in the lining of a breast duct. The abnormal cells have not spread outside the duct to other tissues in the breast. In some cases, DCIS may become invasive cancer and spread to other tissues, although it is not known at this time how to predict which lesions will become invasive. Also called intraductal carcinoma.
de novo - In cancer, the first occurrence of cancer in the body.
dendritic cell - A special type of antigen-presenting cell (APC) that activates T lymphocytes.
dendritic cell vaccine - A vaccine made of antigens and dendritic antigen-presenting cells (APCs).
differentiation - In cancer, refers to how mature (developed) the cancer cells are in a tumor. Differentiated tumor cells resemble normal cells and tend to grow and spread at a slower rate than undifferentiated or poorly differentiated tumor cells, which lack the structure and function of normal cells and grow uncontrollably.
disease progression - Cancer that continues to grow or spread.
disease-free survival - Length of time after treatment during which no cancer is found. Can be reported for an individual patient or for a study population.
disease-specific survival - The percentage of subjects in a study who have survived a particular disease for a defined period of time. Usually reported as time since diagnosis or treatment. In calculating this percentage, only deaths from the disease being studied are counted. Subjects who died from some other cause are not included in the calculation.
disseminate - Scatter or distribute over a large area or range.
DNA - Deoxyribonucleic acid. The molecules inside cells that carry genetic information and pass it from one generation to the next.
dose-limiting - Describes side effects of a drug or other treatment that are serious enough to prevent an increase in dose or level of that treatment.
dosimetrist - A person who determines the proper radiation dose for treatment.
double-blinded - A clinical trial in which neither the medical staff nor the person knows which of several possible therapies the person is receiving.
double-contrast barium enema - A procedure in which x-rays of the colon and rectum are taken after a liquid containing barium is put into the rectum. Barium is a silver-white metallic compound that outlines the colon and rectum on an x-ray and helps show abnormalities. Air is put into the rectum and colon to further enhance the x-ray.
ductal carcinoma in situ - DCIS. A noninvasive, precancerous condition in which abnormal cells are found in the lining of a breast duct. The abnormal cells have not spread outside the duct to other tissues in the breast. In some cases, ductal carcinoma in situ may become invasive cancer and spread to other tissues, although it is not known at this time how to predict which lesions will become invasive. Also called intraductal carcinoma.
Dukes' classification - A staging system used to describe the extent of colorectal cancer. Stages range from A (early stage) to D (advanced stage).
dysplasia - Cells that look abnormal under a microscope but are not cancer.
dyspnea - Difficult or labored breathing.
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