Cancer Care (Nursing and Health Survival Guides), 1e

Terminology

Below is a list of words used in association with cancer along with their meaning.

WORD

MEANING

Adenocarcinoma

A cancer of glandular tissue

Adjuvant therapy

Treatment given supplementary to the main treatment

Aetiology

Study of the causes of diseases

Apoptosis

Cell death

Atypical hyperplasia

Benign but abnormal cells

Benign

Not cancerous

Biological therapy

Treatments using naturally occurring substances within the body

Biopsy

Examination of tissue removed from the patient

Brachytherapy

Internal radiotherapy

Carcinogen

A substance that can cause cancer

Carcinoma

A malignant tumour derived from epithelial tissue

Carcinoma in situ

An early cancer that has not invaded (grown into) surrounding tissues

Cell cycle

The highly regulated sequence of events that a cell goes though when it grows

Chemotherapy

The treatment of disease, usually cancer, using drugs (chemical substances)

Combination chemotherapy

Treatment with more than one anticancer drug at a time

Cytology

The study of cells

Diagnostic marker

Something in the body or body fluid that can be tested for and which points to the presence of a particular type of cancer

Dyskaryosis

Microscopic abnormal appearance of a cell’s nucleus. This can be classed as mild, moderate or severe. These are all phases of pre-cancerous cells that may develop into cancer if left untreated

Fine needle aspiration

A biopsy in which a very thin needle is put into a breast lump, and a sample of fluid and cells are aspirated

Histology

Microscopic study of cells or tissues

Hyperplasia

Increased growth of cells but the cells are normal

Lesions

An area of precancerous growth

Malignant

A tumour that has spread to and grows in other parts of the body

Metastases

Cancer cells breaking away from the primary tumour spreading to other distant sites around the body forming secondary tumours

Oncogene

A mutated gene that encourages a cancer to grow. In their unmutated form, most oncogenes are involved with the regulation of cell growth and the cell cycle

Palliation

Treatment given to relieve symptoms rather than to treat the cancer

Pathology

Science of the cause and effect of diseases

Prognosis

Estimate or prediction of the outcome of a disease

Radiotherapy

Treatment for cancer that uses high-energy radiation such as x-rays to kill cancer cells

Stage

The size of a cancer and how far it has spread

Tumour

An abnormal growth of tissue can be benign or malignant

Undifferentiated

Very immature cells with no specialised role, for example, stem cells

  

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