Colon Cancer Glossary of Terms

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

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

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Abdominal: Relating to the abdomen, the belly, that part of the body that contains all of ...

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Abdominal pain: Pain in the belly. Abdominal pain can be acute or chronic. It may reflect ...

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

Absorb: 1. To take something in, as through the skin or the intestine.
2....

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

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Adenoma: A benign tumor that arises in or resembles glandular tissue. If an adenoma become...

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

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

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Antigen: A substance that the immune system perceives as being foreign or dangerous. The b...

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Anus: The opening of the rectum to the outside of the body.

Aspirin: Once the Bayer trademark for acetylsalicylic acid, now the common name for this a...

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

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Barium enema: An enema using a white, chalky solution containing barium, in preparation fo...

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Belly: That part of the body that contains all of the structures between the chest and t...

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Bowel: The small and large intestine.

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

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Breast cancer: Breast cancer is diagnosed with self- and physician-examination of the brea...

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Bypass: An operation in which a new pathway is created for the transport of substances in ...

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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 causes: In most individual cases of cancer, the exact cause of cancer is unknown. T...

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

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Carcinoembryonic antigen: Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) is a protein found in many types...

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CEA: Carcinoembryonic antigen.

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 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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Colitis: Inflammation of the large intestine (the colon). There are many forms of coliti...

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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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Colonoscope: A flexible, lighted instrument used to view the inside of the colon.

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

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Colorectal: Related to the colon and/or rectum.

Colorectal cancer: A malignant tumor arising from the inner wall of the large intestine (t...

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Colorectal cancer risk: See: Colon cancer family history.

Colostomy: An artificial exit from the colon created to divert waste through a hole in the...

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

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CT scan: Computerized tomography scan. Pictures of structures within the body created by a...

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Diabetes: Refers to diabetes mellitus or, less often, to diabetes insipidus. Diabetes mell...

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

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

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Emergency department: The department of a hospital responsible for the provision of medica...

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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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Enema: Liquid injected into the rectum. An enema may be used for therapeutic (such as to s...

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Estrogen: A female steroid hormone that is produced by the ovaries and, in lesser amounts,...

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Familial: A condition that tends to occur more often in family members than is expected by...

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Familial adenomatous polyposis: A genetic disease characterized by the presence of numerou...

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Family history: The family structure and relationships within the family, including inform...

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Family history of colon cancer: See: Colon cancer family history.

Family history of colorectal cancer: See: Colon cancer family history.

FAP: Familial adenomatous polyposis.

Fatigue: A condition characterized by a lessened capacity for work and reduced efficiency ...

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FDA: Food and Drug Administration.

Fecal: Relating to the feces, the stool. The excrement discharged from the intestines.

Fecal occult blood test: A test to check for hidden blood in the stool.

Folic acid: One of the B vitamins that is a key factor in the synthesis (the making) of nu...

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Gastroenterologist: A physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases...

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Gastroenterology: The medical specialty devoted to the study, diagnosis and treatment of d...

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Gene: The basic biological unit of heredity. A segment of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) need...

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Genetic: Having to do with genes and genetic
information.

Genetic screening: Testing of a population to identify individuals who are at risk for a g...

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Genome: All the genetic information possessed by any organism (for example, the human geno...

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Groin: The area where the thigh meets the hip.

Gynecologist: A physician who specializes in treating diseases of the female reproductive ...

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

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Hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer: (HNPCC) An hereditary cancer syndrome which carries ...

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Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer: See: Hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer.

HNPCC: Hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer.

Human genome: All the genetic information in a person. The human genome is made up of the ...

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

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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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Inflammation: A localized reaction that produces redness, warmth, swelling, and pain as a ...

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

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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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Laxative: Something that promotes emptying of the bowels. Laxatives are used to combat con...

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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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Malignant: 1. Tending to be severe and become progressively worse, as in malignant ...

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Marker: A piece of DNA that lies on a chromosome so close to a gene that the marker and t...

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

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Nausea: Stomach queasiness, the urge to vomit. Nausea can be brought on by many causes, in...

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Obesity: The state of being well above one's normal weight.

Obstruction: Blockage of a passageway. See, for example: Airway obstruction; Intestinal o...

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Occult: Hidden. For example, occult blood in the stool is hidden from the eye but can be d...

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Oncologist: A physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. After a ...

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Onset: In medicine, the first appearance of the signs or symptoms of an illness as, for ex...

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Organ: A relatively independent part of the body that carries out one or more special func...

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Ostomy: An operation to create an opening from an area inside the body to the outside.

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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Oxygen: The odorless gas that is present in the air and necessary to maintain life. Oxygen...

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

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Pelvis: The lower part of the abdomen, located between the hip bones. Structures in the fe...

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Peritonitis: Inflammation of the peritoneum (The peritoneum is the tissue layer of cells l...

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Pharmacy: A location where prescription medications are sold. A pharmacy is constantly sup...

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Placebo: A "sugar pill" or any dummy medication or treatment.

Polyp: A mass of tissue that develops on the inside wall of a hollow organ, such as the co...

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

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Precursor: Forerunner. That which precedes or is derived from an available source.

Premalignant: Pertaining to tissue that is not yet malignant but is poised to become malig...

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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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Protein: One of the three nutrients used as energy sources (calories) by the body. Protein...

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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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Radiology: The medical specialty concerned with radiation for the diagnosis and treatment ...

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Random: Determined solely by chance.

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

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Rectal cancer: A malignant tumor arising from the inner wall of the final part of the larg...

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Rectum: The last 6 to 8 inches of the large intestine. The rectum stores solid waste until...

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Recurrence: The return of a sign, symptom, or disease after a remission. The reappearance ...

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Risk factor: Something that increases a person's chances of developing a disease. For exam...

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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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Sensation: In medicine and physiology, sensation refers to the registration of an incoming...

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Serum: The clear liquid that can be separated from clotted blood. Serum differs from plas...

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Sibling: A brother or sister.

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Sigmoid: In human anatomy, the lower colon (the lower portion of the large bowel). Sigmoid...

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Sigmoidoscopy: A procedure in which a physician inserts a viewing tube (sigmoidoscope) int...

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Small bowel: Another name for the small intestine.

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

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

Surgeon: A physician who treats disease, injury, or deformity via operative or manual meth...

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

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

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

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Tumor marker: A substance that can be detected in higher-than-normal amounts in the blood,...

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Ulcerative colitis: A bowel disease that is characterized by inflammation with ulcer forma...

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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