Pancreatic Cancer Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Pancreatic 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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Adenocarcinoma: A cancer that develops in the lining or inner surface of an organ and usua...

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

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

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Adjuvant therapy: Treatment that is given in addition to the primary (initial) treatment...

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Advance directives: These directives pertain to treatment preferences and the designation ...

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

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Anorexia: An eating disorder characterized by markedly reduced appetite or total aversion...

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

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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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Biliary: Having to do with the gallbladder, bile ducts, or bile. The biliary system itself...

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

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Blood pressure: The blood pressure is the pressure of the blood within the arteries. It is...

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Bowel: The small and large intestine.

CA 19-9: A tumor marker initially found in colorectal cancer patients, but subsequently a...

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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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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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Cervical: Having to do with any kind of neck, including the neck on which the head is perc...

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

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

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Chronic pancreatitis: A form of pancreatitis in which there is persistent inflammation of ...

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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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Computed tomography: An x-ray procedure that uses the help of a computer to produce a deta...

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

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Diabetes mellitus: Better known just as "diabetes" -- a chronic disease associated with ab...

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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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Distal: The more (or most) distant of two (or more) things. For example, the distal end of...

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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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Duodenum: The first part of the small intestine. The duodenum is a common site for peptic ...

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Endocrine: Pertaining to hormones and the glands that make and secrete them into the blood...

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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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Enzyme: A protein (or protein-based molecule) that speeds up a chemical reaction in a livi...

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Enzyme replacement: A strategy designed to replace missing enzyme activity in a patient. T...

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Enzymes: Proteins that act as a catalysts in mediating and speeding a specific chemical re...

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Exocrine: Pertaining to the secretion of a substance out through a duct. The exocrine glan...

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

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

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Gallstones: Stones that form when substances in the bile harden. Gallstones can be as smal...

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

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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.

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

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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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Insulin: A natural hormone made by the pancreas that controls the level of the sugar gluco...

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

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Interventional radiologist: A radiologist who uses image guidance methods to gain access t...

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

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Islet cell tumor: A tumor that arises from the islet cells of the pancreas. The islet cell...

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

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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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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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Mortality: A fatal outcome or, in one word, death. The word "mortality" is derived from "m...

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Mortality rate: A death rate. There are a number of different types of mortality rates as,...

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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.

Mutation: A permanent change, a structural alteration, in the DNA or RNA. In humans and m...

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

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Neoplasia: Abnormal new growth of cells.

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Neuroendocrine: Having to do with neuroendocrinology: the interactions between the ...

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

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

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Palpable: Something that can be felt. For example, a palpable growth is one that can be de...

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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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Pancreatectomy: A surgical procedure in which part or all of the pancreas is removed.

Pancreatic: Having to do with the pancreas.

Pancreatic cancer: A malignant tumor of the pancreas. Pancreatic cancer has been called a ...

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Pancreatitis: Inflammation of the pancreas. Of the many causes of pancreatitis, the most c...

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

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Percutaneous: Through the skin. For example, a percutaneous biopsy is a biopsy that is obt...

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

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Plexus: 1. In medicine, a network or tangle of lymphatic vessels, nerves, or veins....

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

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Probability: The likelihood that something will happen. For example, a probability of less...

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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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Radiologist: A physician specialized in radiology, the branch of medicine that uses ionizi...

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

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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Small intestine: The part of the digestive tract that extends from the stomach to the larg...

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Spleen: An organ that is located in the upper-left part of the abdomen, not far from the s...

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

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Stent: A tube designed to be inserted into a vessel or passageway to keep it open. Stents ...

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

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

Thrombosis: The formation or presence of a blood clot in a blood vessel. The vessel may be...

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

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Toxicity: The degree to which a substance (a toxin or poison) can harm humans or animals. ...

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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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Unresectable: Unable to be removed (resected) by surgery.

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

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Vital: Necessary to maintain life. For example, breathing is a vital function.

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

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Whipple procedure: A type of surgery that is used to treat pancreatic cancer and was devis...

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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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