Thyroid Cancer Glossary of Terms

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

Adam's apple: The familiar feature on the front of the neck that is the forward protrusion...

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

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Aging: The process of becoming older, a process that is genetically determined and environ...

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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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Aspiration: Removal by suction of fluid and cells through a needle. Aspiration also refer...

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Benign: Not malignant. A benign tumor is one that does not invade surrounding tissue or sp...

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Bilateral: Affecting both sides. For example, bilateral arthritis affects joints on both t...

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

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

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Bridge: A set of one or more false teeth supported by a metal framework, used to replace ...

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Calcitonin: A hormone produced by the thyroid gland that lowers the levels of calcium and ...

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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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CEA: Carcinoembryonic antigen.

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

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

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

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

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

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FDA: Food and Drug Administration.

Fine needle aspiration: The use of a thin needle to withdraw material from the body for an...

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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.

GI tract: Short for gastrointestinal tract. See: Gastrointestinal tract.

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

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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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Hypothyroid: Deficiency of thyroid hormone which is normally made by the thyroid gland wh...

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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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Iodine: An element in the diet that is essential for the manufacture of hormones by the th...

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Laboratory: A place for doing tests and research procedures, and for preparing chemicals a...

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

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

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

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Mouth: 1. The upper opening of the digestive tract, beginning with the lips and con...

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Multifocal: Having to do with two or more foci or arising from two or more places. For exa...

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

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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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Neck pain: Neck pain is the sensation of discomfort in the neck area. Neck pain can result...

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Neoplasia: Abnormal new growth of cells.

Nodule: A small collection of tissue that is palpable (can be felt) at any level of the sk...

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Nuclear medicine: The branch of medicine concerned with the use of radioisotopes in the di...

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

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

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Pregnant: The state of carrying a developing fetus within the body.

Progressive: Increasing in scope or severity, advancing, or going forward. For example, a ...

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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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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 iodine: An isotope of the chemical element iodine that is radioactive. Radioa...

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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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Refractory: Not yielding, or not yielding readily, to treatment.

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

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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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Sporadic: Occurring upon occasion or in a scattered, isolated, or seemingly random way.

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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Syringe: A medical device that is used to inject fluid into, or withdraw fluid from, the b...

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

Throat: The throat is the anterior (front) portion of the neck beginning at the back of th...

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Thyroglobulin: A protein that is found primarily in the thyroid gland. Some thyroglobulin ...

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Thyroid: 1. The thyroid gland. Also, pertaining to the thyroid gland. 2. A p...

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Thyroid cancer: Cancer of the gland in front of the neck that normally produces thyroid ho...

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Thyroid gland: A gland that makes and stores hormones that help regulate the heart rate, b...

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Thyroid hormone: A chemical substance made by the thyroid gland for export into the bloods...

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Thyroid hormones: Chemical substances made by the thyroid gland, which is located in the...

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Thyroid scan: An image taken of a patient's thyroid gland after the patient swallows radio...

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Thyrotropin: A hormone produced by the pituitary gland at the base of the brain in respons...

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

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Trachea: A tube-like portion of the respiratory tract that connects the larynx with the br...

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TSH: Thyroid stimulating hormone.

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

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Windpipe: The trachea, a tube-like portion of the respiratory (breathing) tract that conne...

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Medical Dictionary