Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer article.

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

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

Abstinence: The voluntary self-denial of food, drink, or sex. Today, abstinence most commo...

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

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Adjuvant: A substance that helps and enhances the effect of a drug, treatment, or biologic...

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Adjuvant chemotherapy: Chemotherapy given after removal of a cancerous tumor to further he...

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Airway: The path that air follows to get into and out of the lungs. The mouth and nose are...

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Analysis: In psychology, a term for conversation-based therapeutic processes used to gain ...

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

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Anesthesia: Loss of feeling or awareness, as when an anesthetic is administered before sur...

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Antidepressant: Anything, and especially a drug, used to prevent or treat depression.

Anxiety: A feeling of apprehension and fear, characterized by physical symptoms such as pa...

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Arms: An appendage in anatomy and in clinical trials. See: Arm.

Asbestos: A natural material made up of tiny fibers that is used as thermal insulation. In...

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Backbone: The spine. A flexible row of bones stretching from the base of the skull to the...

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Beryllium: A toxic metal found in ores containing other elements that is used in making me...

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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 clots: Blood that has been converted from a liquid to a solid state. Also called a t...

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Bone scan: A nuclear medicine technique for creating images of bones on a computer screen ...

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

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Breathing: The process of respiration, during which air is inhaled into the lungs through ...

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Bronchoscope: A thin, flexible instrument with a lighted viewing tube that is used to visu...

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Bronchoscopy: A procedure that permits the doctor to see the breathing passages through a...

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Bronchus: A large air tube that begins at the end of the trachea and branches into the lun...

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Cadmium: A metallic element whose salts are toxic and cause cancer.

Calcium: A mineral found mainly in the hard part of bones, where it is stored. Calcium is ...

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

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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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Carcinogen: A substance or agent that causes cancer. Related terms include the adjective "...

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

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Cisplatin: An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called platinum compound...

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

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

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Coagulation: In medicine, the clotting of blood. The process by which the blood clots to f...

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

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Compression: 1. The act of pressing together. As in a compression fracture, nerve c...

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

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

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Depression: An illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts and that affects the way...

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

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Diesel exhaust: The exhaust generated by diesel engines. This exhaust is a complex mixture...

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Disease-free survival: The length of time after treatment during which no disease is found...

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

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Effusion: Too much fluid, an outpouring of fluid. For example, a pleural effusion is an ab...

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Electrolyte: A substance that dissociates into ions in solution and acquires the capacity ...

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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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Enlarged liver: A liver that is greater in size than normal. Enlarged liver is also known ...

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Environmental Protection Agency: The US government agency founded to "protect human health...

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Epidermal: Pertaining to the epidermis, the outermost layer of the skin.

Epidermal growth factor: EGF.

Epidermal growth factor receptor: EGFR.

Essential: In medicine, of unknown cause, as in essential hypertension (high blood pressur...

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

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Fiber: The parts of fruits and vegetables that cannot be digested. Fiber is of vital impor...

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

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Genetic: Having to do with genes and genetic
information.

Glucose: The simple sugar that is the chief source of energy. Glucose is found in the bloo...

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Group therapy: 1) A type of psychiatric care in which several patients meet with one or m...

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Hair loss: Hair loss is the thinning of hair on the scalp. The medical term for hair loss ...

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

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Hematology: The diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases of the blood and bone mar...

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Hemoptysis: Spitting up blood or blood-tinged sputum from the respiratory tract. Hemoptysi...

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Heroin: Semisynthetic drug derived from morphine. Discovered in 1874, it was introduced co...

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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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Hospice: A program or facility that provides special care for people who are near the end ...

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Hospice care: Care designed to give supportive care to people in the final phase of a term...

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Hypercalcemia: A higher-than-normal level of calcium in the blood. Hypercalcemia can be a ...

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Incision: A cut through skin or other tissue performed by a health care professional.

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

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Infiltrate: To penetrate. For example, a cancer may grow into, or infiltrate, surrounding ...

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Internal medicine: The medical specialty dedicated to the diagnosis and medical treatment ...

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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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Large cell carcinoma: A term used to describe a microscopically identified variant of cert...

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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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Lobe: Part of an organ that appears to be separate in some way from the rest. A lobe may b...

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Lobectomy: An operation to remove an entire lobe of the lung.

Lung cancer: Cancer of the major organ of respiration - the lung. Lung cancer kills more m...

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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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Mediastinoscopy: A procedure in which the physician inserts a tube into the chest to view ...

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Mediastinum: The area between the lungs. The organs in the mediastinum include the heart a...

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Medical school: A school with a curriculum leading to a medical degree. The mission of eve...

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Metabolic: Relating to metabolism, the whole range of biochemical processes that occur wit...

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Metastasis: 1. The process by which cancer spreads from the place at which it firs...

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Methadone: A synthetic opiate. The most common medical use for methadone is as a legal sub...

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

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Morphine: A powerful narcotic agent that has strong analgesic (pain relief) action and oth...

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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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Narcotic: 1. A drug that causes insensibility or stupor. A narcotic induces narcosi...

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

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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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Nerve: A bundle of fibers that uses electrical and chemical signals to transmit sensory an...

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Neuropathy: Any disease or malfunction of the nerves.

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Neutropenia: Not enough neutrophils, neutrophils being a type of white blood cell (specifi...

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Nickel: A silver-white metallic element. Long-term exposure to nickel, such as from jewelr...

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Nicotine: An alkaloid (a nitrogen-containing chemical) made by the tobacco plant or produc...

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Non-small cell lung cancer: Cancer of the lung which is not of the small cell carcinoma (o...

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Nose: The external midline projection from the face. The purpose of the nose is to warm, c...

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Nursing: 1) Profession concerned with the provision of services essential to the maintena...

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

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Oncology: The field of medicine that is devoted to cancer. Clinical oncology consists of t...

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

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Opium: An addictive narcotic drug that is derived from the unripe seedpods of the opium po...

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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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Palliative care: 1) Medical or comfort care that reduces the severity of a disease or slo...

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Paralysis: Loss of voluntary movement (motor function). Paralysis that affects only one mu...

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Passive smoking: Inhalation of smoke that comes from someone else smoking. Passive smoking...

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

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Pericardial: Referring to the pericardium, the sac of fibrous tissue that surrounds the he...

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Pericardial effusion: Too much fluid within the pericardium, which normally contains a sma...

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Peripheral: Situated away from the center, as opposed to centrally located.

Peripheral neuropathy: A problem with the functioning of the nerves outside the spinal cor...

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

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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.

Platelet: An irregular, disc-shaped element in the blood that assists in blood clotting....

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Platelet count: The calculated number of platelets in a volume of blood, usually expressed...

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Pleural: Pertaining to the pleura, the thin covering that protects the lungs. The term "pl...

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Pleural effusion: Excess fluid between the two membranes that cover the lungs (the viscera...

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Pneumonectomy: An operation to remove an entire lung or part of a lung.

Positron emission tomography: PET. A highly specialized imaging technique that uses short-...

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Primary care: A patient's main source for regular medical care, ideally providing continui...

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Primary care provider: In insurance parlance, a physician who is chosen by or assigned to ...

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Primary tumor: A tumor that is at the original site where it first arose. For example, a p...

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

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Pulmonary: Having to do with the lungs.

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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Radon: A radioactive element that is formed, as a gas, during the breakdown of radium. Rad...

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Receptor: 1. In cell biology, a structure on the surface of a cell (or inside a cel...

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Recur: To occur again; to return. For example, a symptom, sign, or disease can recur.

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

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

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Regimen: A plan or a regulated course, such as a diet, exercise, or treatment, that is des...

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Relapse: The return of signs and symptoms of a disease after a remission.

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Remission: Disappearance of the signs and symptoms of cancer or other disease. A remission...

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Resectable: Able to be removed (resected) by surgery.

Residual: Something left behind. With residual disease, the disease has not been eradicate...

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Respiratory: Having to do with respiration.

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

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Risk of recurrence: The chance that a disease will strike again. In medical genetics, the ...

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Rule out: Term used in medicine, meaning to eliminate or exclude something from considera...

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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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Scintigraphy: A diagnostic test in which a two-dimensional picture of a body radiation sou...

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Secondhand smoke: Smoke that comes from the burning end of a cigarette or that is exhaled ...

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Serotonin: A neurotransmitter that is involved in the transmission of nerve impulses. Sero...

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Shortness of breath: Difficulty in breathing. Medically referred to as dyspnea. Shortness ...

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Skeleton: The skeleton is composed of bones and is the framework of the body.

Sleep: The body's rest cycle.

Small cell lung cancer: A type of lung cancer in which the cells appear small and round un...

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Spinal cord: The major column of nerve tissue that is connected to the brain and lies with...

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Spinal cord compression: The act of exerting an abnormal amount of pressure on the spinal...

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Spine: 1) The column of bone known as the vertebral column, which surrounds and protects ...

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Sputum: Mucous material from the lungs that is produced (brought up) by coughing.

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

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

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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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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.

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

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Tobacco smoking: The direct inhalation of tobacco smoke, the basis of major health hazards...

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

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

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Tyrosine: An amino acid, one of the 20 building blocks of protein. A nonessential amino ac...

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Uranium: A metallic element that is used as nuclear fuel and is highly toxic and radioacti...

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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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Vertebrae: The preferred plural of vertebra. (The alternate plural is vertebras.) See also...

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

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Wheezing: A whistling noise in the chest during breathing. Wheezing occurs when the airway...

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White blood cell: One of the cells the body makes to help fight infections. There are seve...

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White blood cell count (leukocyte count): The number of white blood cells (WBCs) in the b...

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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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