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Home > Mesothelioma cancer > Mesothelioma cancer terms list > Mesothelioma cancer glossary - H

Mesothelioma cancer glossary - H

hairy cell leukemia - A rare type of leukemia in which abnormal B-lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell) are present in the bone marrow, spleen, and peripheral blood. When viewed under a microscope, these cells appear to be covered with tiny hair-like projections.

hand-foot syndrome - A condition marked by pain, swelling, numbness, tingling, or redness of the hands or feet. It sometimes occurs as a side effect of certain anticancer drugs. Also known as palmar-plantar erythodysthesia.

Hedyotis diffusa - An herb used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat certain medical problems. It has been used to boost the immune system and may have anticancer effects.

Hematologic - Referring to blood and blood forming tissues.

hematologic malignancy - A cancer of the blood or bone marrow, such as leukemia or lymphoma. Also called hematologic cancer.

hematologist - A doctor who specializes in treating blood disorders.

hematopoietic tissue - Tissue in which new blood cells are formed.

hemiperesis - Muscular weakness affecting one side of the body.

hemoglobin - The substance inside red blood cells that binds to oxygen and carries it from the lungs to the tissues.

hemorrhage - In medicine, loss of blood from damaged blood vessels. A hemorrhage may be internal or external, and usually involves a lot of bleeding in a short time.

hepatectomy - Surgery to remove all or part of the liver.

hepatic - Refers to the liver.

hepatic arterial infusion - A procedure to deliver chemotherapy directly to the liver. Catheters are put into an artery in the groin that leads directly to the liver, and drugs are given through the catheters.

hepatic artery - The major blood vessel that carries blood to the liver.

hepatoblastoma - A type of liver tumor that occurs in infants and children.

hepatocellular carcinoma - A type of adenocarcinoma, the most common type of liver tumor.

hepatocyte - A liver cell.

hepatoma - A liver tumor.

HER1 - Epidermal growth factor receptor. The protein found on the surface of some cells and to which epidermal growth factor binds, causing the cells to divide. It is found at abnormally high levels on the surface of many types of cancer cells, so these cells may divide excessively in the presence of epidermal growth factor. Also known as EGFR or ErbB1.

HER2/neu - Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2. The HER2/neu protein is involved in the growth of some cancer cells. Also called c-erbB-2.

herba scutellaria barbatae - An herb used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat certain medical problems. It may have anticancer effects.

high grade - When referring to cancerous and precancerous growths, a term used to describe cells that look abnormal under a microscope. These cells are more likely to grow and spread quickly than cells in low-grade cancerous and precancerous growths.

high-dose chemotherapy - An intensive drug treatment to kill cancer cells, but that also destroys the bone marrow and can cause other severe side effects including death from sepsis (infection). High-dose chemotherapy is usually followed by bone marrow or stem cell transplantation to rebuild the bone marrow.

high-energy photon therapy - A type of radiation therapy that uses high-energy photons (units of light energy). High-energy photons penetrate deeply into tissues to reach tumors while giving less radiation to superficial tissues such as the skin.

high-risk cancer - Cancer that is likely to recur (come back), or spread.

histology - The study of tissues and cells under a microscope.

Hodgkin's disease - A malignant disease of the lymphatic system that is characterized by painless enlargement of lymph nodes, the spleen, or other lymphatic tissue. Other symptoms may include fever, weight loss, fatigue, or night sweats. Also called Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Hodgkin's lymphoma - A malignant disease of the lymphatic system that is characterized by painless enlargement of lymph nodes, the spleen, or other lymphatic tissue. Other symptoms may include fever, weight loss, fatigue, or night sweats. Also called Hodgkin's disease.

holy thistle - Cnicus benedictus. A plant whose leaves, stems, and flowers have been used in some cultures to treat certain medical problems. Holy thistle may have anti-inflammatory and anticancer effects. Also called blessed thistle, St. Benedict's thistle, cardin, and spotted thistle.

hormonal therapy - Treatment that adds, blocks or removes hormones. For certain conditions (such as diabetes or menopause), hormones are given to adjust low hormone levels. To slow or stop the growth of certain cancers (such as prostate and breast cancer), synthetic hormones or other drugs may be given to block the body's natural hormones. Sometimes surgery is needed to remove the gland that makes hormones. Also called hormone therapy, hormone treatment, or endocrine therapy.

hormone receptor - A protein on the surface of a cell that binds to a specific hormone. The hormone causes many changes to take place in the cell.

hormone replacement therapy - HRT. Hormones (estrogen, progesterone, or both) given to women after menopause to replace the hormones no longer produced by the ovaries. Also called menopausal hormone therapy.

hormone responsive - In oncology, describes cancer that responds to hormone treatment.

hormone therapy - Treatment that adds, blocks or removes hormones. For certain conditions (such as diabetes or menopause), hormones are given to adjust low hormone levels. To slow or stop the growth of certain cancers (such as prostate and breast cancer), synthetic hormones or other drugs may be given to block the body's natural hormones. Sometimes surgery is needed to remove the gland that makes hormones. Also called hormonal therapy, hormone treatment, or endocrine therapy.

hormone treatment - Treatment that adds, blocks or removes hormones. For certain conditions (such as diabetes or menopause), hormones are given to adjust low hormone levels. To slow or stop the growth of certain cancers (such as prostate and breast cancer), synthetic hormones or other drugs may be given to block the body's natural hormones. Sometimes surgery is needed to remove the gland that makes hormones. Also called hormonal therapy, hormone therapy, or endocrine therapy.

host cell - A cell that is infected by a virus or another type of microorganism.

HRT - Hormone replacement therapy. Hormones (estrogen, progesterone, or both) given to women after menopause to replace the hormones no longer produced by the ovaries. Also called menopausal hormone therapy.

HTLV-1 - Human T-cell leukemia virus type 1. A retrovirus that infects T-cells (a type of white blood cell) and can cause leukemia and lymphoma. HTLV-1 is spread by sharing syringes or needles used to inject drugs, through sexual contact, and from mother to child at birth or through breast-feeding.

human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 - HER2/neu. The HER2/neu protein is involved in growth of some cancer cells. Also called c-erbB-2.

human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 - A retrovirus that infects T-cells (a type of white blood cell) and can cause leukemia and lymphoma. HTLV-1 is spread by sharing syringes or needles used to inject drugs, through sexual contact, and from mother to child at birth or through breast-feeding.

hydrazine sulfate - A substance that has been studied as a treatment for cancer and as a treatment for cachexia (body wasting) associated with advanced cancer.

hydrocephalus - The abnormal buildup of cerebrospinal fluid in the ventricles of the brain.

hyperbaric oxygen - Oxygen that is at an atmospheric pressure higher than the pressure at sea level. Breathing hyperbaric oxygen to enhance the effectiveness of radiation therapy is being studied.

hypercalcemia - Abnormally high blood calcium.

hyperfractionation - A way of giving radiation therapy in smaller-than-usual doses two or three times a day instead of once a day.

hyperglycemia - Abnormally high blood sugar.

hypernephroma - The most common type of kidney cancer. It begins in the lining of the renal tubules in the kidney. The renal tubules filter the blood and produce urine. Also called renal cell cancer.

hyperplasia - An abnormal increase in the number of cells in an organ or tissue.

hyperthermia therapy - A type of treatment in which body tissue is exposed to high temperatures to damage and kill cancer cells or to make cancer cells more sensitive to the effects of radiation and certain anticancer drugs.

hyperuricemia - A buildup of uric acid (a byproduct of metabolism) in the blood; a side effect of some anticancer drugs.

hyponatremia - Deficiency of sodium in the blood.

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