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Mesothelioma cancer glossary - P
p53 gene - A tumor suppressor gene that normally inhibits the growth of tumors. This gene is altered in many types of cancer.
palliative care - Care given to improve the quality of life of patients who have a serious or life-threatening disease. The goal of palliative care is to prevent or treat as early as possible the symptoms of the disease, side effects caused by treatment of the disease, and psychological, social, and spiritual problems related to the disease or its treatment. Also called comfort care, supportive care, and symptom management.
palliative therapy - Treatment given to relieve the symptoms and reduce the suffering caused by cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Palliative cancer therapies are given together with other cancer treatments, from the time of diagnosis, through treatment, survivorship, recurrent or advanced disease, and at the end of life.
pancreatic cancer - A disease in which malignant (cancer) cells are found in the tissues of the pancreas. Also called exocrine cancer.
paresis - Slight or incomplete paralysis.
paresthesias - Abnormal touch sensations, such as burning or prickling, that occur without an outside stimulus.
partial remission - A decrease in the size of a tumor, or in the extent of cancer in the body, in response to treatment. Also called partial response.
partial response - A decrease in the size of a tumor, or in the extent of cancer in the body, in response to treatment.
pathologist - A doctor who identifies diseases by studying cells and tissues under a microscope.
pathology report - The description of cells and tissues made by a pathologist based on microscopic evidence, and sometimes used to make a diagnosis of a disease.
patient advocate - A person who helps a patient work with others who have an effect on the patient's health, including doctors, insurance companies, employers, case managers, and lawyers. A patient advocate helps resolve issues about health care, medical bills, and job discrimination related to a patient's medical condition. Cancer advocacy groups try to raise public awareness about important cancer issues, such as the need for cancer support services, education, and research. Such groups work to bring about change that will help cancer patients and their families.
pediatric - Having to do with children.
performance status - A measure of how well a patient is able to perform ordinary tasks and carry out daily activities.
perfusion - Bathing an organ or tissue with a fluid. In regional perfusion, a specific area of the body (usually an arm or a leg) receives high doses of anticancer drugs through a blood vessel. Such a procedure is performed to treat cancer that has not spread.
perioperative - Around the time of surgery; usually lasts from the time of going into the hospital or doctor's office for surgery until the time the patient goes home.
peripheral blood - Blood circulating throughout the body.
peripheral neuropathy - A condition of the nervous system that causes numbness, tingling, burning or weakness. It usually begins in the hands or feet, and can be caused by certain anticancer drugs.
Peritoneal - Relating to the peritoneum
Peritoneum - the membrane which lines the cavity of the abdomen
PET scan - Positron emission tomography scan. A procedure in which a small amount of radioactive glucose (sugar) is injected into a vein, and a scanner is used to make detailed, computerized pictures of areas inside the body where the glucose is used. Because cancer cells often use more glucose than normal cells, the pictures can be used to find cancer cells in the body.
phase I trial - The first step in testing a new treatment in humans. These studies test the best way to give a new treatment (for example, by mouth, intravenous infusion, or injection) and the best dose. The dose is usually increased a little at a time in order to find the highest dose that does not cause harmful side effects. Because little is known about the possible risks and benefits of the treatments being tested, phase I trials usually include only a small number of patients who have not been helped by other treatments.
phase I/II trial - A trial to study the safety, dosage levels, and response to a new treatment.
phase II trial - A study to test whether a new treatment has an anticancer effect (for example, whether it shrinks a tumor or improves blood test results) and whether it works against a certain type of cancer.
phase II/III trial - A trial to study response to a new treatment and the effectiveness of the treatment compared with the standard treatment regimen.
phase III trial - A study to compare the results of people taking a new treatment with the results of people taking the standard treatment (for example, which group has better survival rates or fewer side effects). In most cases, studies move into phase III only after a treatment seems to work in phases I and II. Phase III trials may include hundreds of people.
phase IV trial - After a treatment has been approved and is being marketed, it is studied in a phase IV trial to evaluate side effects that were not apparent in the phase III trial. Thousands of people are involved in a phase IV trial.
phenylacetate - A drug being studied in the treatment of cancer.
phenylbutyrate - An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called differentiating agents.
pheresis - A procedure in which blood is collected, part of the blood such as platelets or white blood cells is taken out, and the rest of the blood is returned to the donor. Also called apheresis.
Philadelphia chromosome - An abnormality of chromosome 22 in which part of chromosome 9 is transferred to it. Bone marrow cells that contain the Philadelphia chromosome are often found in chronic myelogenous leukemia.
phlebitis - Inflammation of a vein.
Pleura - The membrane lining the lungs and chest cavity.
Pleural Effusion - A collection of fluid (or blood) in the pleural space (in one side of the chest cavity around the lung)
Pleurectomy - Excision of the pleura
Plueral effusion - Accumulation of fluid between the lining of the chest and lung cavity.
Pneumoconiosis - Fibrosis and scarring of the lungs as a result of repeated inhalation of dust like silica, asbestos and coal dust.
Pneumonectomy - surgical removal of a lung. It is a kind of aggressive surgery where as much cancer cells are removed by removing the entire affected area.
p-value - A statistics term. A measure of probability that a difference between groups during an experiment happened by chance. For example, a p-value of .01 (p = .01) means there is a 1 in 100 chance the result occurred by chance. The lower the p-value, the more likely it is that the difference between groups was caused by treatment.
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