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

Mesothelioma cancer glossary - O

objective improvement - An improvement that can be measured by the health care provider (for example, a decrease in pain can be measured by how much pain medicine the patient is taking).

objective response - A measurable response.

occult stage non-small cell lung cancer - Cancer cells are found in sputum (mucus coughed up from the lungs), but no tumor can be found in the lung by imaging or bronchoscopy, or the primary tumor is too small to be assessed.

off-label - Describes the use of a prescription drug to treat a disease or condition for which the drug has not been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

oligoastrocytoma - A rare type of brain tumor made up of two kinds of cells, oligodendrocytes and astrocytes, which are brain cells that nourish and support nerve cells. Also called mixed glioma.

oligodendroglial tumor - A rare, slow-growing tumor that begins in the oligodendrocytes (brain cells that nourish and support nerve cells). Also called an oligodendroglioma.

oligodendroglioma - A rare, slow-growing tumor that begins in the oligodendrocytes (brain cells that nourish and support nerve cells). Also called an oligodendroglial tumor.

omega-3 fatty acid - A type of fat obtained in the diet and involved in immunity.

Ommaya reservoir - A device surgically placed under the scalp and used to deliver anticancer drugs to the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord.

oncologist - A doctor who specializes in treating cancer. Some oncologists specialize in a particular type of cancer treatment. For example, a radiation oncologist specializes in treating cancer with radiation.

oncology - The study of cancer.

oncolysis - The breakdown, or lysis, of a tumor. This can occur by mechanical means, chemicals, or infectious agents such as viruses. Oncolytic viruses do not lyse most normal cells.

open label study - A type of study in which both the health providers and the patients are aware of the drug or treatment being given.

operable - Describes a condition that can be treated by surgery.

opportunistic infection - An infection caused by an organism that does not normally cause disease. Opportunistic infections occur in people with weakened immune systems.

osteosarcoma - A cancer of the bone that usually affects the large bones of the arm or leg. It occurs most commonly in young people and affects more males than females. Also called osteogenic sarcoma.

ototoxicity - Being poisonous to or exerting a deleterious effect upon the eighth nerve or upon the organs of hearing and balance.

outpatient - A patient who visits a health care facility for diagnosis or treatment without spending the night. Sometimes called a day patient.

overall survival - The percentage of subjects in a study who have survived for a defined period of time. Usually reported as time since diagnosis or treatment. Also called the survival rate.

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