DEFINITIONS OF COMMONLY USED TERMS
Biopsy – Removal of a tissue sample that is then examined under a microscope to check for cancer cells
Chemotherapy – The use of cytotoxic (toxic to cells) drugs to destroy cancer cells
Clinical trial – A research protocol that investigates the safety and efficacy of a new treatment or medication on human subjects.
CT scan – A computed tomography (CT) scan is an imaging method that uses x-rays to create pictures of cross-sections of the body.
Immunotherapy – treatment of disease by inducing, enhancing, or suppressing an immune response
Lymph Node – an oval-shaped organ of the immune system, distributed widely throughout the body including the armpit and stomach and linked by lymphatic vessels. Lymph nodes act as filters or traps for foreign particles and are important in the proper functioning of the immune system.
Metastasis – The spread of cancer from where the cancer began to another part of the body
Necrosis – cellular or tissue death of external cause
PET/CT scan – A positron emission tomography (PET) scan is an imaging test that uses a radioactive substance called a tracer to look for disease in the body.
Prognosis – Chance of recovery
Radiation therapy – The use of high-energy x-rays to destroy cancer cells
Scanxiety – tension or anxious feelings surrounding an upcoming scan (Here’s an article with tips on coping with scanxiety.)
SUV (standardized uptake value) – measurement of the accumulation of injected radiolabeled tracer 2-deoxy-2-[18F]fluoro-D-glucose (FDG) relative to normal tissue on a PET scan.
Stem cell transplant – Procedure that replaces diseased bone marrow with healthy stem cells that create new bone marrow or provides stem cells to help the bone marrow recover after highdose chemotherapy
T cells – T cells are a type of white blood cells called lymphocytes. They make up part of the immune system. T cells help the body fight diseases or harmful substances.
Tumor – An abnormal growth of cells/body tissue