Liver Cancer Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Liver 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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Ablation: Removal or excision. Ablation is usually carried out surgically. For example, su...

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

Aflatoxin: A toxin produced by mold that can damage the liver and may lead to liver cancer...

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Alcohol abuse: Use of alcoholic beverages to excess, either on individual occasions (binge...

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Angiogram: An X-ray image of blood vessels. The vessels can be seen because a contrast dye...

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Ascites: An abnormal accumulation of fluid within the abdomen. There are many causes of as...

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Autopsy: A postmortem examination. Also known as necropsy.

Bacteria: Single-celled microorganisms that can exist either as independent (free-living) ...

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Bile: Bile is a yellow-green fluid that is made by the liver, stored in the gallbladder a...

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Bilirubin: A yellow-orange compound that is produced by the breakdown of hemoglobin from r...

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

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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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Chemoembolization: Chemoembolization is a procedure in which anticancer drugs are administ...

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

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Cirrhosis: Liver disease characterized by irreversible scarring. Alcohol and viral hepatit...

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Clinical trial: A study that is intended to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of medic...

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

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Computerized tomography: Pictures of structures within the body created by a computer that...

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Cryotherapy: Literally, "cold therapy." Cryotherapy, sometimes referred to as cryosurgery,...

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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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DNA: Deoxyribonucleic acid. One of two types of molecules that encode genetic information...

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DNA virus: A virus in which the genetic material is DNA rather than RNA. The DNA may be ei...

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Donor: The giver of a tissue or an organ, such as a blood donor or kidney donor.

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Duct: A walled passageway, such as a lymph duct, that carries fluid from one place to anot...

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Encephalopathy: Disease, damage, or malfunction of the brain. In general, encephalopathy i...

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Evolution: The continuing process of change.

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

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Fatty acids: Molecules that are long chains of lipid-carboxylic acid found in fats and oil...

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

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Gallbladder: A pear-shaped organ located below the liver that stores the bile secreted by ...

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Genetic: Having to do with genes and genetic
information.

Hemochromatosis: An inherited disorder characterized by abnormally high absorption of iron...

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Hepatitis: Inflammation of the liver, irrespective of the cause. Hepatitis is caused by a ...

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Hepatitis B: Inflammation of the liver due to the hepatitis B virus (HBV), once thought t...

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Hepatitis C: Inflammation of the liver due to the hepatitis C virus (HCV), which is usuall...

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Hepatocellular carcinoma: A cancer arising from the liver cells (hepatocytes). Liver damag...

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Hepatoma: Cancer originating in the liver, in liver cells. More often called hepatocarcino...

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Immune: Protected against infection, usually by the presence of antibodies.

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Immune system: A complex system that is responsible for distinguishing a person from every...

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Immunization: Vaccination. Immunizations work by stimulating the immune system, the natur...

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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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Interferon: A naturally occurring substance that interferes with the ability of viruses t...

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Internal bleeding: Bleeding inside the body that is not seen from the outside. Internal bl...

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Internal radiation therapy: Radiation therapy in which a small container of radioactive ma...

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Interventional: Pertaining to the act of intervening, interfering or interceding with the ...

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Intestine: The long, tubelike organ in the abdomen that completes the process of digestion...

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

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Jaundice: Yellow staining of the skin and sclerae (the whites of the eyes) by abnormally h...

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Laparoscopy: A type of surgery in which small incisions are made in the abdominal wall thr...

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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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Lifetime risk: The risk of developing a disease during ones lifetime or dying of the disea...

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Liquid nitrogen: Nitrogen in a liquid state. Liquid nitrogen is supercool -- about 200 deg...

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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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Liver disease: Liver disease refers to any disorder of the liver. The liver is a large org...

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Magnetic resonance imaging: A procedure that uses magnetism, radio waves, and a computer t...

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

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Microscopic: So small it cannot be seen without the aid of microscope. As opposed to macro...

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Mold: One of a large group of fungi that can proliferate on food or in moist areas. Househ...

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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.

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

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

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Nitrogen: Element number 7, a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that is biologically impo...

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Nutrition: 1) The science or practice of taking in and utilizing foods. 2) A nourishing ...

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

Operating room: A facility that is equipped for performing surgery. Abbreviated OR.

Operation: In medicine, a surgical procedure. Many operations are named after persons. The...

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

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

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Pancreas: A spongy, tube-shaped organ that is about 6 inches long and is located in the ba...

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Probe: (1) In surgery, a probe is a slender flexible rod with a blunt end used to e...

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

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Proteins: Large molecules composed of one or more chains of amino acids in a specific orde...

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Quality of life: The patient's ability to enjoy normal life activities. Quality of life is...

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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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Radioactive: Emitting energy waves due to decaying atomic nuclei. Radioactive substances a...

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Radiofrequency ablation: The use of electrodes to generate heat and destroy abnormal tissu...

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Radiologic: Having to do with radiology.

Recipient: In medicine, someone who is given something, such as a blood transfusion or an ...

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

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

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RNA: Ribonucleic acid.

RNA virus: A virus in which the genetic material is RNA. The RNA may be either double- or ...

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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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Stereotactic: Referring to precise positioning in three-dimensional space. For example, bi...

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

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

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Systemic: Affecting the entire body. A systemic disease such as diabetes can affect the wh...

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

Tomography: The process for generating a tomogram, a two-dimensional image of a slice or s...

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Transplant: The grafting of a tissue from one place to another, just as in botany a bu...

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Tubes: The "tubes" are medically known as the Fallopian tubes. There are two Fallopian tub...

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

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Vein: A blood vessel that carries blood that is low in oxygen content from the body back t...

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Vessel: A tube in the body that carries fluids. Examples of vessels are blood vessels and ...

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Virus: A microorganism that is smaller than a bacterium that cannot grow or reproduce apar...

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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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Yttrium: A rare elemental metal. A radioactive form of yttrium is used in radiation therap...

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