Melanoma Glossary of Terms

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

Adrenal gland: A small gland located on top of the kidney. The adrenal glands produce horm...

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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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Birthmark: A persistent visible mark on the skin that is evident at birth or shortly there...

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

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Congenital: A condition that is present at birth, whether or not it is inherited.

Cutaneous: Related to the skin.

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

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Dissection: The process of cutting apart or separating tissue as, for example, in the stud...

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Drain: A device for removing fluid from a cavity or wound. A drain is typically a tube or ...

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Dysplastic nevus: An atypical mole whose appearance is different from that of a common ord...

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Evolution: The continuing process of change.

Excision: 1. Surgical removal, as in the excision of a tumor. 2. The remov...

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Extremity: An uttermost part of the body, such as a hand or a foot.

Genes: The basic biological units of heredity. Segments of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) nee...

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Genetic: Having to do with genes and genetic
information.

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

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Immunotherapy: Treatment to stimulate or restore the ability of the immune (defense) syst...

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

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

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Lesion: An area of abnormal tissue change. Lesions vary in severity from harmless to serio...

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Limb: An arm or a leg.

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

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Lymph node: One of many small, bean-shaped organs located throughout the lymphatic system....

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

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Malignant melanoma: See: Melanoma.

Melanin: The pigment that gives human skin, hair, and eyes their color. Dark-skinned peopl...

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Melanocyte: A cell in the skin that produces and contains the pigment melanin.

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Melanoma: The most dangerous form of skin cancer, a malignancy of the melanocyte, the cell...

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Metastasize: The spread from one part of the body to another. When cancer cells metastasiz...

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

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Microscopy: The examination of minute objects by means of a microscope, an instrument whic...

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Mitotic: Pertaining to mitosis.

Mucous: Pertaining to mucus, a thick fluid produced by the lining of some tissues of the b...

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Nevi: The plural of nevus.

Nevus: A pigmented spot on the skin, such as a mole. The plural of nevus is nevi.

Node: Literally a knot, a node is a collection of tissue. For example a lymph node, is a ...

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Nodular: Bumpy.

Nodular melanoma: One of the four clinical types of malignant melanoma, which typically pr...

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Pathologist: A physician who identifies diseases and conditions by studying abnormal cells...

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Pigment: A substance that gives color to tissue. Pigments are responsible for the colors o...

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Predispose: To make more likely or render susceptible. Smoking predisposes to a number of ...

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

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Radioactive tracer: A radioactive molecule that can be sent through the body's circulatory...

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Sentinel lymph node: The first lymph node to receive lymphatic drainage from a tumor. The ...

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Sentinel lymph node biopsy: Examination of the first lymph node ("gland") that receives ly...

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

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Staging: stagingDoing exams and tests to learn the extent of a cancer, especially whether ...

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Sunscreen: A substance that blocks the effect of the sun's harmful rays. Using lotions tha...

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Superficial: In anatomy, on the surface or shallow. As opposed to deep. The skin is superf...

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Superficial spreading melanoma: One of the four clinical types of malignant melanoma, the ...

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Symptomatic: 1 With symptoms, as a symptomatic infection. 2 Characteristic o...

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Syndrome: A combination of symptoms and signs that together represent a disease process.

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.

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

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Ulceration: The process or fact of being eroded away, as by an ulcer.

Ultraviolet radiation: Invisible rays that are part of the energy that comes from the su...

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Vitamin D: A steroid vitamin which promotes the intestinal absorption and metabolism of ca...

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Medical Dictionary