Dictionary of Cancer Terms
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A substance being studied in the treatment of several types of cancer. Obatoclax blocks the actions of certain proteins that cells need to live and it may kill cancer cells. It is a type of apoptosis inducer, a BCL2 protein antagonist, and a BH3 mimetic.
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A substance being studied in the treatment of several types of cancer. It is a form of obatoclax, which blocks the activity of certain proteins needed for cells to live and may cause tumor cells to die. It is a type of apoptosis inducer.
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Having an abnormally high, unhealthy amount of body fat.
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A condition marked by an abnormally high, unhealthy amount of body fat.
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An improvement that can be measured by the health care provider (for example, when a tumor shrinks or there are fewer cancer cells in the blood).
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A measurable response.
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A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. It may kill cancer cells by blocking the production of a protein that makes cancer cells live longer and by making them more sensitive to anticancer drugs. It is a type of antisense oligodeoxyribonucleotide. Also called augmerosen, bcl-2 antisense oligodeoxynucleotide G3139, and Genasense.
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In medicine, watching a patient’s condition but not giving treatment unless symptoms appear or change.
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A type of study in which individuals are observed or certain outcomes are measured. No attempt is made to affect the outcome (for example, no treatment is given).
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(ob-SEH-siv kum-PUL-siv dis-OR-der)
An anxiety disorder in which a person has intrusive ideas, thoughts, or images that occur repeatedly, and in which he or she feels driven to perform certain behaviors over and over again. For example, a person may worry all the time about germs and so will wash his or her hands over and over again. Having an obsessive-compulsive disorder may cause a person to have trouble carrying out daily activities.
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Blockage of a passageway.
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A dulled or reduced level of alertness or consciousness.
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occult primary tumor
(uh-KULT PRY-mayr-ee TOO-mer)
Cancer in which the site of the primary (original) tumor cannot be found. Most metastases from occult primary tumors are found in the head and neck.
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occult stage non-small cell lung cancer
(uh-KULT sel lung KAN-ser)
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.
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A health professional trained to help people who are ill or disabled learn to manage their daily activities.
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A procedure that uses infrared light waves to give three-dimensional (3-D) pictures of structures inside tissues and organs. The pictures are made by a computer linked to the light source. Also called optical coherence tomography.
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A drug similar to the naturally occurring growth hormone inhibitor somatostatin. Octreotide is used to treat diarrhea and flushing associated with certain types of tumors.
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A type of radionuclide scan used to find carcinoid and other types of tumors. Radioactive octreotide, a drug similar to somatostatin, is injected into a vein and travels through the bloodstream. The radioactive octreotide attaches to tumor cells that have receptors for somatostatin. A radiation-measuring device detects the radioactive octreotide, and makes pictures showing where the tumor cells are in the body. Also called somatostatin receptor scintigraphy and SRS.
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A rare cancer of melanocytes (cells that produce the pigment melanin) found in the eye. Also called intraocular melanoma.
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A measure of the odds of an event happening in one group compared to the odds of the same event happening in another group. In cancer research, odds ratios are most often used in case-control (backward looking) studies to find out if being exposed to a certain substance or other factor increases the risk of cancer. For example, researchers may study a group of individuals with cancer (cases) and another group without cancer (controls) to see how many people in each group were exposed to a certain substance or factor. They calculate the odds of exposure in both groups and then compare the odds. An odds ratio of one means that both groups had the same odds of exposure and, therefore, the exposure probably does not increase the risk of cancer. An odds ratio of greater than one means that the exposure may increase the risk of cancer, and an odds ratio of less than one means that the exposure may reduce the risk of cancer. Also called relative odds.
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A substance that gives off a smell.
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A drug used to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) that has not gotten better with other chemotherapy. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer, including follicular non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Ofatumumab binds to CD20, a protein on the surface of normal B cells and most B-cell tumors. This may kill the cancer cells. It is a type of monoclonal antibody. Also called Arzerra and HuMax-CD20.
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Describes the legal use of a prescription drug to treat a disease or condition for which the drug has not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
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Office for Human Research Protections
(AH-fis … HYOO-mun reh-SERCH proh-TEK-shuns)
The office within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) that protects the rights, welfare, and well-being of people involved in clinical trials. It also makes sure that the research follows the law 45 CFR 46 (Protection of Human Subjects). Also called OHRP.
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An antibiotic drug used to treat infection. It belongs to the family of drugs called quinolone antibiotics.
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A substance that relieves pain and is being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. OGFs bind to cells in the body, including tumor cells, which have OGF receptors on the surface. This may help stop the growth of the tumor cells. It may also prevent the growth of blood vessels that tumors need to grow. An OGF is a type of biological response modifier and a type of antiangiogenesis agent. Also called opioid growth factor.
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A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. It blocks the production of a protein called clusterin, which helps cells live longer. This may kill cancer cells that need clusterin to grow. It may also make cells more sensitive to anticancer drugs. It is a type of antisense oligonucleotide, and a type of chemosensitizing agent. Also called custirsen sodium.
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The office within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) that protects the rights, welfare, and well-being of people involved in clinical trials. It also makes sure that the research follows the law 45 CFR 46 (Protection of Human Subjects). Also called Office for Human Research Protections.
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A substance used on the skin to soothe or heal wounds, burns, rashes, scrapes, or other skin problems. Also called unguent.
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A drug used to treat certain mental disorders. It is also being studied in the treatment of nausea and vomiting caused by some cancer treatments. It is a type of antipsychotic and a type of monoamine antagonist. Also called Zyprexa and Zyprexa Zydis.
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A substance being studied in the treatment of breast, ovarian, and prostate cancers caused by mutations (changes) in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It blocks an enzyme involved in many functions of the cell, including the repair of DNA damage. DNA damage may be caused by normal cell actions, UV light, some anticancer drugs, and radiation used to treat cancer. Olaparib may cause cancer cells to die. It is a type of targeted therapy and a type of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitor. Also called AZD2281 and PARP inhibitor AZD2281.
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The sense of smell.
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Having to do with the sense of smell.
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The parts of the body involved in sensing smell, including the nose and many parts of the brain. Smell may affect emotion, behavior, memory, and thought.
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A series of events in which cells in the nose bind to scent-bearing molecules and send electrical signals to the brain where they are perceived as smells.
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A brain tumor that forms from both oligodendrocytes and astrocytes, which are types of glial cells (cells that cover and protect nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord and help them work the way they should). An oligoastrocytoma is a type of mixed glioma.
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A cell that forms the myelin sheath (a layer that covers and protects nerve cells) in the brain and spinal cord. An oligodendrocyte is a type of glial cell.
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A rare, slow-growing tumor that begins in oligodendrocytes (cells that cover and protect nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord). Also called oligodendroglioma.
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A rare, slow-growing tumor that begins in oligodendrocytes (cells that cover and protect nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord). Also called oligodendroglial tumor.
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(AH-lih-goh-FROOK-tose en-RICHT IN-yoo-lin)
A substance that is used to improve the health of the digestive system and bones and is being studied in the prevention of colon cancer. Oligofructose-enriched inulin is made by combining two substances that occur naturally in many plants, including chicory root, wheat, bananas, onion, and garlic. Oligofructose-enriched inulin helps healthy bacteria grow in the intestines and helps the body absorb calcium and magnesium. Also called Raftilose Synergy 1.
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A drug used in cancer prevention.
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omega-3 fatty acid
A type of fat obtained in the diet and involved in immunity.
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Surgery to remove part or all of the omentum.
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A fold of the peritoneum (the thin tissue that lines the abdomen) that surrounds the stomach and other organs in the abdomen.
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A drug that inhibits gastric acid secretion.
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A device surgically placed under the scalp and used to deliver anticancer drugs to the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord.
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A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. It blocks certain proteins that are needed for cell growth and may kill cancer cells. ON 01910.Na is a type of protein kinase inhibitor and a type of benzyl styryl sulfone analog.
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(ON-uh-BAH-choo-LY-num TOK-sin tipe …)
A drug used to treat certain medical conditions. These include severe underarm sweating and severe muscle spasms in the neck and shoulders. OnabotulinumtoxinA is also used to smooth wrinkles on the face. It is being studied in the treatment of pain in patients with skin leiomyomas (benign smooth muscle tumors) and other conditions. It is a form of a toxin made by the bacterium ..
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A drug used to treat acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). It is a form of the drug asparaginase that is linked to a substance called PEG, which makes the drug stay in the body longer. Asparaginase is an enzyme that breaks down the amino acid asparagine and may block the growth of tumor cells that need asparagine to grow. It is a type of protein synthesis inhibitor. Also called PEG-asparaginase and pegaspargase.
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A drug used to treat acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). It is a form of the anticancer drug PEG-asparaginase that stays in the body longer. Oncaspar-IV is an enzyme that breaks down the amino acid asparagine and may block the growth of tumor cells that need asparagine to grow. It is a type of protein synthesis inhibitor. Also called EZN-2285 and SC-PEG E. coli L-asparaginase.
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A gene that is a mutated (changed) form of a gene involved in normal cell growth. Oncogenes may cause the growth of cancer cells. Mutations in genes that become oncogenes can be inherited or caused by being exposed to substances in the environment that cause cancer.
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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.
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The study of cancer.
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A nurse who specializes in treating and caring for people who have cancer.
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oncology pharmacy specialist
(on-KAH-loh-jee FAR-muh-see SPEH-shuh-list)
A licensed pharmacist with special training in how to design, give, monitor, and change chemotherapy for cancer patients. Also called BCOP and board certified oncology pharmacy specialist.
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An extract made from cancer cells.
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The lysis (breakdown) of cancer cells. This can be caused by chemical or physical means (for example, strong detergents or high-energy sound waves) or by infection with a strain of virus that can lyse cells.
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Treatment using an oncolytic virus (a virus that infects and breaks down cancer cells but not normal cells ). Oncolytic virotherapy may make it easier to kill tumor cells with chemotherapy and radiation therapy. It is a type of targeted therapy. Also called oncolytic virus therapy, viral therapy, and virotherapy.
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A type of virus that infects and lyses (breaks down) cancer cells but not normal cells. Oncolytic viruses can occur naturally or can be made in the laboratory by changing other viruses. Certain oncolytic viruses are being studied in the treatment of cancer. They may make it easier to kill tumor cells with chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
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oncolytic virus therapy
(ON-koh-LIH-tik VY-rus THAYR-uh-pee)
Treatment using an oncolytic virus (a virus that infects and breaks down cancer cells but not normal cells ). Oncolytic virus therapy may make it easier to kill tumor cells with chemotherapy and radiation therapy. It is a type of targeted therapy. Also called oncolytic virotherapy, viral therapy, and virotherapy.
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A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. It is a type of ribonuclease enzyme. Also called ranpirnase.
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A vaccine made from a patient’s tumor cells that may help the body’s immune system kill cancer cells. This vaccine is used to treat kidney cancer, a type of brain cancer called glioma, and metastatic melanoma (a type of skin cancer that has spread). It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Also called gp96 heat shock protein-peptide complex vaccine, gp96 HSP-peptide complex, and vitespen.
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A drug used to treat acute leukemia. It is used in combination with other drugs to treat Hodgkin disease, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, rhabdomyosarcoma, neuroblastoma, and Wilms tumor. Oncovin is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It blocks cell growth by stopping cell division. It is a type of vinca alkaloid and a type of antimitotic agent. Also called vincristine sulfate.
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The active ingredient in a drug used to treat nausea and vomiting caused by cancer treatment. Ondansetron is a type of serotonin receptor antagonist and a type of antiemetic.
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The active ingredient in a drug used to treat nausea and vomiting caused by cancer treatment. It is a type of serotonin receptor antagonist and a type of antiemetic. Also called Zofran.
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A drug used to treat acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). It is also being studied in the treatment of several other types of cancer. It blocks cell growth by damaging the cell’s DNA and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of alkylating agent. Also called Cloretazine and laromustine.
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onset of action
The length of time it takes for a medicine to start to work.
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A drug used to treat cutaneous T-cell lymphoma that can bind the cytokine IL-2 and that has not responded to other treatment. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Ontak is made by combining a part of IL-2 with a bacterial toxin. The IL-2 part of the drug attaches to the cancer cells and then the toxin kills the cells. Ontak is a type of immunotoxin and a type of fusion toxin. Also called denileukin diftitox.
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A modified cold virus that selectively grows in and destroys certain types of cancer cells and leaves normal cells undamaged.
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A procedure in which a surgical incision (cut) is made through the skin to expose and remove tissues. The biopsy tissue is examined under a microscope by a pathologist. An open biopsy may be done in the doctor’s office or in the hospital, and may use local anesthesia or general anesthesia. A lumpectomy to remove a breast tumor is a type of open biopsy.
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An operation to remove all or part of the colon through a long incision made in the wall of the abdomen. When only part of the colon is removed, it is called a partial colectomy.
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open label study
(OH-pen LAY-bul STUH-dee)
A type of study in which both the health providers and the patients are aware of the drug or treatment being given.
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An operation to remove part or all of the prostate gland through an incision in the lower abdomen or perineum (the area between the anus and scrotum). An open prostatectomy may be done to remove an enlarged prostate gland in benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or as a treatment for prostate cancer.
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Surgery to remove part or all of an organ or a tumor and nearby lymph nodes. The incision is large enough to let the surgeon see into the body.
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Describes a condition that can be treated by surgery.
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Having to do with the eye.
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A doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating eye problems, including injury and disease.
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A lighted instrument used to examine the inside of the eye, including the retina and the optic nerve.
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A substance used to treat pain or cause sleep. Opiates are made from opium or have opium in them. Opiates bind to opioid receptors in the central nervous system. Examples of opiates are codeine, heroin, and morphine. An opiate is a type of analgesic agent.
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A substance used to treat moderate to severe pain. Opioids are like opiates, such as morphine and codeine, but are not made from opium. Opioids bind to opioid receptors in the central nervous system. Opioids used to be called narcotics. An opioid is a type of alkaloid.
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opioid growth factor
(OH-pee-OYD grohth FAK-ter)
A substance that relieves pain and is being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. Opioid growth factors bind to cells in the body, including tumor cells, which have opioid growth factor receptors on the surface. This may help stop the growth of the tumor cells. It may also prevent the growth of blood vessels that tumors need to grow. An opioid growth factor is a type of biological response modifier and a type of antiangiogenesis agent. Also called OGF.
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An infection caused by an organism that does not normally cause disease. Opportunistic infections occur in people with weakened immune systems.
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A drug used to increase the number of blood cells, especially platelets, in some cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. Oprelvekin is a form of interleukin-11 (a cytokine normally made by support cells in the bone marrow) that is made in the laboratory. It is a type of biological response modifier. Also called Neumega, recombinant human interleukin-11, and rhIL-11.
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A substance being studied in the treatment of diarrhea caused by infection with (a type of bacteria that can grow without oxygen) in cancer patients. OPT-80 is a type of antibiotic. Also called PAR-101 and tiacumicin B.
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The place in the brain where some of the optic nerve fibers coming from one eye cross optic nerve fibers from the other eye. Also called optic chiasma.
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The place in the brain where some of the optic nerve fibers coming from one eye cross optic nerve fibers from the other eye. Also called optic chiasm.
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The nerve that carries messages from the retina to the brain.
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optic pathway glioma
A rare, slow-growing tumor that usually forms in the optic nerve, optic chiasm, or optic tract. These are parts of the nervous system that carry messages from the eye to the brain. Also called visual pathway glioma.
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The nerves that travel from the optic chiasm (place in the brain where some of the optic nerve fibers cross) into certain parts of the brain involved in vision.
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optical coherence tomography
(OP-tih-kul koh-HEER-ents toh-MAH-gruh-fee)
A procedure that uses infrared light waves to give three-dimensional (3-D) pictures of structures inside tissues and organs. The pictures are made by a computer linked to the light source. Also called OCT.
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In medicine, a technique that uses low power light, fiberoptic instruments, and detectors to examine tissue. It is being studied as a way to identify differences between normal cells and cells that may become cancer, and as a way to identify cancer cells that remain in the edges of tumor tissue removed from a patient.
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The tendency to believe that there is good in everything and to have positive thoughts about most things that happen.
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By or having to do with the mouth.
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oral and maxillofacial surgeon
A dentist who specializes in surgery of the mouth, face, and jaw.
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Cancer that forms in tissues of the oral cavity (the mouth) or the oropharynx (the part of the throat at the back of the mouth).
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Refers to the mouth. It includes the lips, the lining inside the cheeks and lips, the front two thirds of the tongue, the upper and lower gums, the floor of the mouth under the tongue, the bony roof of the mouth, and the small area behind the wisdom teeth.
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oral cavity cancer
(OR-ul KA-vih-tee KAN-ser)
Cancer that forms in tissues of the oral cavity (the mouth). The tissues of the oral cavity include the lips, the lining inside the cheeks and lips, the front two thirds of the tongue, the upper and lower gums, the floor of the mouth under the tongue, the bony roof of the mouth, and the small area behind the wisdom teeth.
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oral contraceptive pill
A pill used to prevent pregnancy. It contains hormones that block the release of eggs from the ovaries. Most oral contraceptives include estrogen and progestin. Also called birth control pill.
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A dentist with special training in surgery of the mouth and jaw.
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Surgery to remove one or both testicles. Also called orchiectomy.
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Surgery to remove one or both testicles. Also called orchidectomy.
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A monoclonal antibody that is being studied in the treatment of ovarian cancer. Monoclonal antibodies are made in the laboratory and can locate and bind to substances in the body, including cancer cells. Oregovomab binds to the CA-125 antigen, which is found on most ovarian cancer cells. Also called OvaRex.
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A part of the body that performs a specific function. For example, the heart is an organ.
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A small structure in a cell that is surrounded by a membrane and has a specific function. Examples of organelles are the nucleus (a structure that contains the cell’s chromosomes and is where RNA is made), mitochondria (structures that make energy for the cell), and lysosomes (sac-like containers filled with enzymes that digest and help recycle molecules in the cell).
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Food produced without the use of man-made fertilizer, drugs that increase growth, or drugs that kill insects, bacteria, or other living things. In the United States, the Department of Agriculture sets standards for growing, harvesting, processing, and labeling organic foods.
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A living thing, such as an animal, a plant, a bacterium, or a fungus.
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The final part of the sex act, which involves contraction of sexual organs and a sudden release of endorphins, leading to a feeling of pleasure. In males, orgasm usually occurs with release of semen.
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Cancer that forms in tissues of the oropharynx (the part of the throat at the back of the mouth, including the soft palate, the base of the tongue, and the tonsils). Most oropharyngeal cancers are squamous cell carcinomas (cancer that begins in flat cells lining the oropharynx).
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The part of the
throat at the back of the mouth behind the oral cavity. It
includes the back third of the tongue, the soft palate, the
side and back walls of the throat, and the
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A system in which medical doctors and other healthcare professionals (such as nurses, pharmacists, and therapists) treat symptoms and diseases using drugs, radiation, or surgery. Also called allopathic medicine, biomedicine, conventional medicine, mainstream medicine, and Western medicine.
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In medicine, refers to something that occurs in the normal or usual place in the body. It is often used to describe tissue or an organ that is transplanted into its normal place in the body.
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A drug used to prevent and to treat influenza virus infections. It blocks the release of the virus from infected cells. It is a type of antiviral agent. Also called Tamiflu.
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A drug used to treat certain types of non-small cell lung cancer. It is also used together with gemcitabine to treat pancreatic cancer and is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. OSI-774 is a type of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Also called CP-358,774, erlotinib, erlotinib hydrochloride, and Tarceva.
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A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called thymidylate synthase inhibitors.
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The concentration of particles dissolved in a fluid. The osmolality of serum can help diagnose several medical conditions such as dehydration, diabetes, and shock.
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Having to do with osmosis (the passage of a liquid through a membrane from a less concentrated solution to a more concentrated one). This causes the more concentrated solution to become diluted, and makes the concentrations in both solutions more equal. Osmotic also refers to a type of laxative that increases the amount of water in the large intestine, which softens the stool to help it pass more easily.
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A chronic condition in which both the breakdown and regrowth of bone are increased. Osteitis deformans occurs most frequently in the pelvic and leg bones, skull, and lower spine. It is most common in older individuals, and may lead to bone pain, deformities, and fractures. Also called Paget disease of bone.
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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 osteosarcoma.
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Causing the breakdown of bone.
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A condition in adults in which bones become soft and deformed because they don’t have enough calcium and phosphorus. It is usually caused by not having enough vitamin D in the diet, not getting enough sunlight, or a problem with the way the body uses vitamin D. Symptoms include bone pain and muscle weakness. When the condition occurs in children, it is called rickets. Also called adult rickets.
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Inflammation of the bone caused by an infection, which may spread to the bone marrow and tissues near the bone. Osteomyelitis can cause severe pain in the infected bone. If it is not treated, it can kill bone tissue.
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A condition in which there is a lower-than-normal bone mass or bone mineral density (the amount of bone mineral contained in a certain amount of bone). Osteopenia is a less severe form of bone loss than osteoporosis.
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A condition that is marked by a decrease in bone mass and density, causing bones to become fragile.
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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.
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An operation to create an opening (a stoma) from an area inside the body to the outside. Colostomy and urostomy are types of ostomies.
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A doctor who specializes in treating diseases of the ear, nose, and throat. Also called ENT doctor.
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A measure of weight (one-sixteenth pound) and volume (one-eighth cup).
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A specific result or effect that can be measured. Examples of outcomes include decreased pain, reduced tumor size, and improvement of disease.
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A patient who visits a health care facility for diagnosis or treatment without spending the night. Sometimes called a day patient.
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A monoclonal antibody that is being studied in the treatment of ovarian cancer. Monoclonal antibodies are made in the laboratory and can locate and bind to substances in the body, including cancer cells. OvaRex binds to the CA-125 antigen, which is found on most ovarian cancer cells. Also called oregovomab.
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Having to do with the ovaries, the female reproductive glands in which the ova (eggs) are formed. The ovaries are located in the pelvis, one on each side of the uterus.
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Surgery, radiation therapy, or a drug treatment to stop the functioning of the ovaries. Also called ovarian suppression.
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ovarian borderline malignant tumor
(oh-VAYR-ee-unmuh-LIG-nunt poh-TEN-shul TOO-mer)
A condition in which cells that may become cancer form in the thin layer of tissue that covers an ovary (female reproductive gland in which eggs are made). In this condition, tumor cells rarely spread outside of the ovary. Also called ovarian low malignant potential tumor.
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Cancer that forms in tissues of the ovary (one of a pair of female reproductive glands in which the ova, or eggs, are formed). Most ovarian cancers are either ovarian epithelial carcinomas (cancer that begins in the cells on the surface of the ovary) or malignant germ cell tumors (cancer that begins in egg cells).
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ovarian epithelial cancer
(oh-VAYR-ee-un eh-pih-THEE-lee-ul KAN-ser)
Cancer that occurs in the cells on the surface of the ovary. Also called epithelial ovarian cancer.
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ovarian germ cell tumor
(oh-VAYR-ee-un jerm sel TOO-mer)
An abnormal mass of tissue that forms in germ (egg) cells in the ovary (female reproductive gland in which the eggs are formed). These tumors usually occur in teenage girls or young women, usually affect just one ovary, and can be benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer). The most common ovarian germ cell tumor is called dysgerminoma.
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ovarian low malignant potential tumor
(oh-VAYR-ee-unmuh-LIG-nunt poh-TEN-shul TOO-mer)
A condition in which cells that may become cancer form in the thin layer of tissue that covers an ovary (female reproductive gland in which eggs are made). In this condition, tumor cells rarely spread outside of the ovary. Also called ovarian borderline malignant tumor.
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Surgery, radiation therapy, or a drug treatment to stop the functioning of the ovaries. Also called ovarian ablation.
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One of a pair of female reproductive glands in which the ova, or eggs, are formed. The ovaries are located in the pelvis, one on each side of the uterus.
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Too much thyroid hormone. Symptoms include weight loss, chest pain, cramps, diarrhea, and nervousness. Also called hyperthyroidism.
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overall survival rate
( ser-VY-vul )
The percentage of people in a study or treatment group who are alive for a certain period of time after they were diagnosed with or treated for a disease, such as cancer. The overall survival rate is often stated as a five-year survival rate, which is the percentage of people in a study or treatment group who are alive five years after diagnosis or treatment. Also called survival rate.
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An amount of drug that is more than what should be taken at one time.
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In biology, to make too many copies of a protein or other substance. Overexpression of certain proteins or other substances may play a role in cancer development.
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A group of genetic disorders in which there is an abnormal increase in the size of the body or a body part that is often noted at birth. Examples of overgrowth syndromes include neurofibromatosis, Sotos syndrome, Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome, Simpson-Golabi-Behmel syndrome, Weaver syndrome, Proteus syndrome, Sturge-Weber syndrome, and fragile X syndrome. Many of these syndromes increase the risk of cancer.
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Being too heavy for one’s height. Excess body weight can come from fat, muscle, bone, and/or water retention. Being overweight does not always mean being obese.
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The release of an egg from an ovary during the menstrual cycle.
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A protein being studied in the treatment of cancer. Substances that attach to OX-40 on the surface of T cells (a type of white blood cell) may help the T cells grow and kill more cancer cells. OX-40 is a type of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor. Also called CD134.
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A drug used together with other drugs to treat colorectal cancer that is advanced or has come back. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Oxaliplatin attaches to DNA in cells and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of platinum compound. Also called Eloxatin.
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A drug used to help patients gain weight after injury, chronic infection, or severe illness. It belongs to the family of drugs called anabolic steroids.
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A substance that blocks the process cells use to repair DNA. It may help anticancer drugs and radiation kill more cancer cells. It is a type of chemosensitizer and a type of radiosensitizer. Also called 3-chloroprocainamide and declopramide.
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A chemical reaction that takes place when a substance comes into contact with oxygen or another oxidizing substance. Examples of oxidation are rust and the brown color on a cut apple.
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A chemical process in which oxygen is used to make energy from carbohydrates (sugars). Also called aerobic metabolism, aerobic respiration, and cell respiration.
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A condition in which antioxidant levels are lower than normal. Antioxidant levels are usually measured in blood plasma.
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A type of chemical substance that is a combination of oxygen and another substance. Oxides are found in essential oils.
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To cause oxidation (a chemical reaction that takes place when a substance comes into contact with oxygen or another oxidizing substance).
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A drug used to treat moderate to severe pain. It is made from morphine and binds to opioid receptors in the central nervous system. Oxycodone hydrochloride is a type of analgesic agent and a type of opiate.
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A colorless, odorless gas. It is needed for animal and plant life. Oxygen that is breathed in enters the blood from the lungs and travels to the tissues.
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oxygen saturation test
A test that measures the amount of oxygen being carried by red blood cells. One method uses a device that shines light through a finger. The device measures the amount of oxygen in the blood based on the way red blood cells carrying oxygen absorb and reflect light. In another method blood is taken from an artery and the amount of oxygen is measured directly. An oxygen level that is lower than normal may be a sign of lung disease or other medical conditions.
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Treatment in which a storage tank of oxygen or a machine called a compressor is used to give oxygen to people with breathing problems. It may be given through a nose tube, a mask, or a tent. The extra oxygen is breathed in along with normal air. Also called supplemental oxygen therapy.
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Source: National Cancer Institute Dictionary of Cancer Terms, available at www.cancer.gov/dictionary