Cancer Symptoms Glossary of Terms

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

Abnormal: Outside the expected norm, or uncharacteristic of a particular patient.

Allergy: A misguided reaction to foreign substances by the immune system, the body system ...

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Anemia: The condition of having a lower-than-normal number of red blood cells or quantity ...

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Aspiration: Removal by suction of fluid and cells through a needle. Aspiration also refer...

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Back pain: Pain felt in the low or upper back. Causes of pain in the low and upper back in...

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Barrett esophagus: A complication of chronic severe gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD)...

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Benign: Not malignant. A benign tumor is one that does not invade surrounding tissue or sp...

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Biopsy: The removal of a sample of tissue for examination under a microscope to check for ...

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Bladder: A hollow organ in the lower abdomen that stores urine. The kidneys filter waste f...

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Blood in the urine: Blood that appears in the urine. Also known as hematuria. Gross hematu...

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Bowel: The small and large intestine.

Breast discharge: The spontaneous flow of fluid from the nipple at any time other than dur...

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Breast lump: A localized swelling, knot, bump, bulge or protuberance in the breast. Breast...

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Bronchitis: Inflammation and swelling of the bronchi. Bronchitis can be acute or chronic.

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

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Cancer care: Taking care of cancer. When cancer is suspected, a biopsy is usually performe...

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

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

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Circulation: In medicine, the movement of fluid through the body in a regular or circuitou...

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Clinical trials: Trials to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of medications or medical...

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Colon: The long, coiled, tubelike organ that removes water from digested food. The remaini...

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Colon cancer: A malignant tumor arising from the inner wall of the large intestine (the co...

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Colonoscopy: A procedure whereby a physician inserts a viewing tube (colonoscope) into the...

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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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Curable: Amenable to a cure, capable of being cured, to being healed and made well. From ...

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Cure: 1. To heal, to make well, to restore to good health. 2. A time withou...

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Cyst: A closed sac or capsule, usually filled with fluid or semisolid material.

Cysts: Cysts are abnormal, closed sac-like structures within a tissue that contain a liqui...

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

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Diarrhea: A common condition that involves unusually frequent and liquid bowel movements. ...

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Digital rectal exam: A routine exam in which a physician inserts a lubricated, gloved fing...

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Discharge: 1.The flow of fluid from part of the body, such as from the nose or vag...

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Endometrial biopsy: A common procedure for sampling the inner lining of the uterus (the en...

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

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

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Fever: Although a fever technically is any body temperature above the normal of 98.6 F (37...

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Fungal: Pertaining to a fungus. For example, a fungal skin infection.

Genetics: The scientific study of heredity. Genetics pertains to humans and all other orga...

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Genital: Pertaining to the external and/or internal organs of reproduction.

Gland: A group of cells that secrete a substance for use in the body. For example, the thy...

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Headache: A pain in the head with the pain being above the eyes or the ears, behind the he...

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

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Heart disease: Any disorder that affects the heart. Sometimes the term "heart disease" is ...

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

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Hematuria: Blood in the urine. Hematuria may or may not be accompanied by pain, but it is...

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Hemorrhoids: Dilated (enlarged) veins in the walls of the anus and sometimes around the re...

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Hoarseness: Hoarseness is a term referring to abnormal voice changes. Hoarseness may be ma...

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Hormone: A chemical substance produced in the body that controls and regulates the activit...

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Hormone therapy: Treatment of disease or symptoms with synthetic or naturally derived horm...

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Indicate: In medicine, to make a treatment or procedure advisable because of a particular ...

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

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Iron: An essential mineral. Iron is necessary for the transport of oxygen (via hemoglobin ...

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Iron deficiency anemia: A common form of nutritional disorder, iron deficiency results in...

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Itching: An uncomfortable sensation in the skin that feels as if something is crawling on ...

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Kidney: One of a pair of organs located in the right and left side of the abdomen. The kid...

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

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Lymph gland: See Lymph node.

Mammogram: An X-ray of the breast that is taken with a device that compresses and flattens...

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Microscope: An optical instrument that augments the power of the eye to see small objects....

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Mole: 1. In dermatology a mole is a pigmented spot on the skin, Also called a nevus...

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

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MRI: Magnetic resonance imaging.

Mucus: A thick fluid that is produced by the lining of some organs of the body.

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

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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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Night sweats: Severe hot flashes that occur at night and result in a drenching sweat. Nigh...

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NIH: National Institutes of Health.

Nutrition: 1: The process of taking in food and using it for growth, metabolism, and repai...

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Ovarian: Of or pertaining to the ovary.

Ovarian cancer: A malignant tumor of the ovary, the egg sac in a female. Women who have a ...

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

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Pap Smear: A screening test for cervical cancer based on the examination of cells under th...

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Pelvic: Having to do with the pelvis, the lower part of the abdomen, located between the h...

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Pelvic pain: : Pain perceived in the area of the pelvis, the lower part of the abdomen loc...

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Poor circulation: An inadequacy of blood flow. Inadequate blood flow to a particular area ...

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Postmenopausal: After menopause, the period of time after a woman has experienced 12 conse...

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

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Prostate: A gland within the male reproductive system that is located just below the blad...

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Prostate cancer: A malignant tumor of the prostate, the gland that produces some of the co...

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Prostate enlargement: Most prostatic enlargement is due to benign prostatic hyperplasia (B...

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PSA: Prostate specific antigen. A test for PSA may be used to screen for cancer of the p...

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Psoriasis: A reddish, scaly rash often located over the surfaces of the elbows, knees, sca...

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Rectal bleeding: Blood passed rectally. Blood in the stool can be bright red or maroon in ...

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Recurrent: Appearing or occurring again. For example, a recurrent fever is a fever that ha...

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Red blood cells: The blood cells that carry oxygen. Red cells contain hemoglobin and it is...

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Respiratory: Having to do with respiration.

Saliva: a watery secretion in the mouth produced by the salivary glands that aids in the d...

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Sinusitis: Inflammation of the lining membrane in any of the hollow areas (sinuses) of the...

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Skin color: The color of skin which is complexly determined. Skin color depends on many fa...

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Stool: The solid matter that is discharged in a bowel movement.

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

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Testicles: The testicles (also called testes or gonads) are the male sex glands. They are ...

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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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Tongue: A strong muscle that is anchored to the floor of the mouth. The tongue is covered ...

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Tonsils: Small masses of lymphoid tissue at the back and on both sides of the throat.

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

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Tuberculosis: A highly contagious infection caused by the bacterium called Mycobacteriu...

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

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Urinary: Having to do with the function or anatomy of the kidneys, ureters, bladder, or ur...

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Urine: Liquid waste produced by the kidneys. Urine is a clear, transparent fluid that norm...

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Uterus: A hollow, pear-shaped organ that is located in a woman's lower abdomen, between th...

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Vocal cord: One of two small bands of muscle within the larynx. These muscles vibrate to ...

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Wart: A local growth of the outer layer of the skin (the epidermis) caused by a virus. Th...

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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