Esophageal Cancer Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Esophageal Cancer article.

Abdomen: The belly, that part of the body that contains all of the structures between the...

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Acquired: Not inherited, or present at birth (congenital), but developing after birth. For...

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Adenocarcinoma: A cancer that develops in the lining or inner surface of an organ and usua...

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Adjacent: Lying nearby. Related terms include superjacent, subjacent, and circumjacent. Fr...

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Anesthetic: A substance that causes lack of feeling or awareness, dulling pain to permit s...

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Barium: 1. A metallic element belonging to the alkaline earths with an atomic numbe...

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Barrett's esophagus: A complication of severe chronic GERD (gastrointestinal reflux dise...

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Brain: The portion of the central nervous system that is located within the skull. It func...

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Cancer: An abnormal growth of cells which tend to proliferate in an uncontrolled way and, ...

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Cancer symptoms: Abnormal sensations or conditions that persons can notice that are a resu...

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Carcinoma: Cancer that begins in the skin or in tissues that line or cover body organs. Ex...

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Cell: The basic structural and functional unit of any living thing. Each cell is a small c...

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Chemotherapy: 1. In the original sense, a chemical that binds to and specifically k...

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Chest: The area of the body located between the neck and the abdomen. The chest contains t...

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Chest pain: Pain in the chest that can be a result of many things, including angina, heart...

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Chest X-ray: A type of X-ray commonly used to detect abnormalities in the lungs. A chest X...

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Chronic: In medicine, lasting a long time. A chronic condition is one that lasts 3 months ...

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Complication: In medicine, an unanticipated problem that arises following, and is a result...

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Contrast: Short for "contrast media." Contrast media are X-ray dyes used to provide contra...

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Cough: A rapid expulsion of air from the lungs, typically in order to clear the lung airwa...

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CT scan: Computed tomography scan. Detailed images of internal organs are obtained by this...

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Diagnosis: 1 The nature of a disease; the identification of an illness. 2 A ...

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Dysphagia: Difficulty swallowing. Dysphagia is due to abnormal nerve or muscle control. It...

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Endoscope: A lighted optical instrument that is used to get a deep look inside the body. A...

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Endoscopy: Examination of the inside of the body by using a lighted, flexible instrument c...

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Epithelial: Relating to the epithelium.

Esophageal: Related to the esophagus.

Esophageal cancer: A malignant tumor of the esophagus. The risk of cancer of the esophagus...

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Esophagus: The tube that connects the pharynx (throat) with the stomach. The esophagus lie...

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Gastric: Having to do with the stomach.

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Gastroesophageal: Pertaining to both the stomach and the esophagus, as in the gastroesopha...

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Gastroesophageal reflux: The return of stomach contents back up into the esophagus This fr...

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Gastrointestinal: Adjective referring collectively to the stomach and small and large inte...

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Gastrointestinal tract: The stomach and intestines. Abbreviated GI tract.

GERD: Gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Heart: The muscle that pumps blood received from veins into arteries throughout the body. ...

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Heartburn: An uncomfortable feeling of burning and warmth occurring in waves rising up be...

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HPV: Human papillomavirus.

Imagery: Both a mental process (as in imagining) and a wide variety of procedures used in...

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Incidence: The frequency with which something, such as a disease or trait, appears in a pa...

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Infection: The invasion and multiplication of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, an...

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Insertion: A chromosome abnormality that is due to insertion of a segment from one chromos...

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Laser: A powerful beam of light that is used in some types of surgery to cut or destroy ti...

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Liver: The largest solid organ in the body, situated in the upper part of the abdomen on t...

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Lungs: The lungs are a pair of breathing organs located with the chest which remove carbon...

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Lymph: The almost colorless fluid that travels through the lymphatic system, carrying cell...

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Malignancy: A tumor that is malignant (cancerous), that can invade and destroy nearby tiss...

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Mouth: 1. The upper opening of the digestive tract, beginning with the lips and con...

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Muscle: Muscle is the tissue of the body which primarily functions as a source of power. T...

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Muscular: Having to do with the muscles. Also, endowed with above average muscle developme...

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Neck: The part of the body joining the head to the shoulders. Also, any narrow or constric...

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Pain: An unpleasant sensation that can range from mild, localized discomfort to agony. Pa...

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PET scan: The popular name (and abbreviation) of Positron Emission To...

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Photodynamic therapy: A form of treatment that uses a photosensitizing agent, administered...

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Precancerous: Pertaining to something that is not yet overtly cancerous, but appears to be...

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Preoperative: Before surgery. As opposed to postoperative, after surgery.

Prognosis: The forecast of the probable outcome or course of a disease; the patient's chan...

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Radiation: 1. Rays of energy. Gamma rays and X-rays are two of the types of energy ...

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Radiation therapy: The use of high-energy rays to damage cancer cells, stopping them from ...

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Reflex: An involuntary reaction. For example, the corneal reflex is the blink that occurs ...

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Reflux: The term used when liquid backs up into the esophagus from the stomach.

Regurgitation: A backward flowing. For example, vomiting is a regurgitation of food from t...

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Scan: As a noun, the data or image obtained from the examination of organs or regions of...

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Squamous cell carcinoma: Cancer that begins in squamous cells -- thin, flat cells that loo...

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Stage: As regards cancer, the extent of a cancer, especially whether the disease has spre...

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Stent: A tube designed to be inserted into a vessel or passageway to keep it open. Stents ...

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Stomach: The digestive organ that is located in the upper abdomen, under the ribs. The upp...

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Substance: 1. Material with particular features.
2. The material that...

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Surgery: The branch of medicine that employs operations in the treatment of disease or inj...

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Symptom: Any subjective evidence of disease. In contrast, a sign is objective. Blood comin...

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Therapy: The treatment of disease. Therapy is synonymous with treatment.

Throat: The throat is the anterior (front) portion of the neck beginning at the back of th...

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Tobacco: A South American herb (Nicotiana tabacum) whose leaves contain 2 to 8 percent nic...

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Topical: Pertaining to a particular surface area. For example, a topical agent is applied ...

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Tumor: An abnormal mass of tissue. Tumors are a classic sign of inflammation, and can be ...

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Ultrasound: High-frequency sound waves. Ultra-sound waves can be bounced off tissues by us...

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Vaccination: Injection of a killed microbe in order to stimulate the immune system against...

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Weight loss: Weight loss is a decrease in body weight resulting from either voluntary (die...

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X-ray: High-energy radiation with waves shorter than those of visible light. X-ray is used...

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Medical Dictionary