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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms


352 results found for:       B



B cell    listen   (… sel)
A type of white blood cell that makes antibodies. B cells are part of the immune system and develop from stem cells in the bone marrow. Also called B lymphocyte.

B lymphocyte    listen   (... LIM-foh-site)
A type of white blood cell that makes antibodies. B lymphocytes are part of the immune system and develop from stem cells in the bone marrow. Also called B cell.

B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia    listen   (... sel uh-KYOOT LIM-foh-BLAS-tik loo-KEE-mee-uh)
An aggressive (fast-growing) type of leukemia (blood cancer) in which too many B-cell lymphoblasts (immature white blood cells) are found in the bone marrow and blood. It is the most common type of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Also called B-cell acute lymphocytic leukemia and precursor B-lymphoblastic leukemia.

B-cell acute lymphocytic leukemia    listen   (... sel uh-KYOOT LIM-foh-SIH-tik loo-KEE-mee-uh)
An aggressive (fast-growing) type of leukemia (blood cancer) in which too many B-cell lymphoblasts (immature white blood cells) are found in the bone marrow and blood. It is the most common type of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Also called B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia and precursor B-lymphoblastic leukemia.

B-cell leukemia/lymphoma 2 protein    listen   (... sel loo-KEE-mee-uh/lim-FOH-muh 2 PROH-teen)
A protein that helps control whether a cell lives or dies by blocking a type of cell death called apoptosis. The gene for the B-cell leukemia/lymphoma 2 protein is found on chromosome 18, and transfer of the B-cell leukemia/lymphoma 2 gene to a different chromosome is seen in many B-cell leukemias and lymphomas. This causes the B-cell leukemia/lymphoma 2 protein to be made in larger amounts, which may keep cancer cells from dying. Also called BCL2.

B-cell lymphoma    listen   (…lim-FOH-muh)
A type of cancer that forms in B cells (a type of immune system cell). B-cell lymphomas may be either indolent (slow-growing) or aggressive (fast-growing). Most B-cell lymphomas are non-Hodgkin lymphomas. There are many different types of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas. These include Burkitt lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma (CLL/SLL), diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, follicular lymphoma, and mantle cell lymphoma. Prognosis and treatment depend on type and stage of the cancer.

B3 monoclonal antibody    listen   (… MAH-noh-KLOH-nul AN-tee-BAH-dee)
A substance that binds to a molecule called Lewis Y antigen that is found on many types of tumor cells and some normal cells. It is being studied in the treatment of several types of cancer that express the Lewis Y antigen. It is a type of monoclonal antibody.

B43-PAP immunotoxin    listen   (... IH-myoo-noh-TOK-sin)
A toxic substance linked to an antibody that attaches to tumor cells and kills them.

B7-1      
A protein found on the surface of some immune system cells, including B cells and monocytes. Cells with B7-1 on their surface cause T cells to make substances that help control immune responses. Also called CD80.

bacillus Calmette-Guérin    listen   (buh-SIH-lus KAL-met-gay-RIN)
A weakened form of the bacterium Mycobacterium bovis (bacillus Calmette-Guérin) that does not cause disease. Bacillus Calmette-Guérin is used in a solution to stimulate the immune system in the treatment of bladder cancer and as a vaccine to prevent tuberculosis. Also called BCG.

bacillus Calmette-Guérin solution    listen   (buh-SIH-lus KAL-met-gay-RIN suh-LOO-shun)
A type of biologic therapy used to treat early stage bladder cancer. The solution is made from a weakened form of a bacterium called Mycobacterium bovis (bacillus Calmette-Guérin) that does not cause disease. It is given through a catheter that is placed into the bladder where the solution is held for about two hours. Bacillus Calmette-Guérin solution may help the body’s immune system kill cancer cells. Also called BCG solution.

bacillus Calmette-Guérin vaccine    listen   (buh-SIH-lus KAL-met-gay-RIN vak-SEEN)
A vaccine used to prevent tuberculosis (TB) in people who are at a high risk of TB or where TB is common. It is rarely given in the U.S. It is made from a weakened form of a bacterium called Mycobacterium bovis (bacillus Calmette-Guérin), which is similar to the bacteria that cause TB. The vaccine may help the body’s immune system make antibodies to destroy the TB bacteria. It also may help the immune system kill cancer cells and is being studied in the treatment of melanoma. Also called BCG vaccine.

backbone    listen   (BAK-bone)
The bones, muscles, tendons, and other tissues that reach from the base of the skull to the tailbone. The backbone encloses the spinal cord and the fluid surrounding the spinal cord. Also called spinal column, spine, and vertebral column.

baclofen    listen   (BAK-loh-fen)
A drug that is used to treat certain types of muscle spasms and is being studied in the treatment of liver cancer. Baclofen relaxes muscles by blocking certain nerve receptors in the spinal cord. It is a type of antispasmodic. Also called Kemstro and Lioresal.

baclofen/amitriptyline/ketamine gel    listen   (BAK-loh-fen A-mih-TRIP-tih-leen KEE-tuh-meen jel)
A substance being studied in the treatment of peripheral neuropathy (pain, numbness, tingling, burning, or weakness in the hands or feet) caused by chemotherapy. It contains three drugs, baclofen, amitriptyline, and ketamine, that relax muscles by blocking nerve receptors. The gel is applied to the skin of affected areas. It is a type of analgesic. Also called BAK gel.

bacteria    listen   (bak-TEER-ee-uh)
A large group of single-cell microorganisms. Some cause infections and disease in animals and humans. The singular of bacteria is bacterium.

bacterial toxin    listen   (bak-TEER-ee-ul TOK-sin)
A harmful substance made by bacteria that can cause illness. Bacterial toxins can also be made in the laboratory and attached to monoclonal antibodies that bind to cancer cells. These toxins may help kill cancer cells without harming normal cells.

BAER test    listen   (... test)
A test used to detect some types of hearing loss, such as hearing loss caused by injury or tumors that affect nerves involved in hearing. Electrodes are placed on the head and certain tones or clicking sounds are made. The electrodes measure nerve signals in the brain when it reacts to the sounds. Also called ABR test, auditory brain stem response test, and brain stem auditory evoked response test.

BAK gel    listen   (… jel)
A substance being studied in the treatment of peripheral neuropathy (pain, numbness, tingling, burning, or weakness in the hands or feet) caused by chemotherapy. It contains three drugs, baclofen, amitriptyline, and ketamine, that relax muscles by blocking nerve receptors. The gel is applied to the skin of affected areas. It is a type of analgesic. Also called baclofen/amitriptyline/ketamine gel.

balloon angioplasty    listen   (buh-LOON AN-jee-oh-PLAS-tee)
A procedure to enlarge the opening in a blood vessel that has become narrowed or blocked by plaque (a buildup of fat and cholesterol on the inner wall of the blood vessel). A small balloon is filled with air inside the blood vessel to push the plaque against the blood vessel wall and increase the opening.

balloon catheter radiation    listen   (buh-LOON KA-theh-ter RAY-dee-AY-shun)
A system used to deliver internal radiation therapy to breast cancer patients after surgery to remove their cancer. Balloon catheter radiation targets only the part of the breast where the cancer was found. After a patient has had a lumpectomy to remove the cancer, a small balloon on the end of a catheter (thin tube) is inserted into the empty space left by the surgery. The balloon is then filled with liquid and left in place. Using the catheter, radioactive seeds are put into the balloon twice a day for five days and removed each time. Once treatment has ended, the catheter and balloon are removed. Balloon catheter radiation is a type of intracavitary brachytherapy and partial breast irradiation therapy (PBRT). Also called MammoSite.

barbiturate    listen   (bar-BIH-chuh-rayt)
A type of drug that causes a decrease in brain activity. Barbiturates may be used to treat insomnia, seizures, and convulsions, and to relieve anxiety and tension before surgery. A barbiturate is a type of central nervous system (CNS) depressant.

barium enema    listen   (BAYR-ee-um EH-neh-muh)
A procedure in which a liquid that contains barium sulfate is put through the anus into the rectum and colon. Barium sulfate is a silver-white metallic compound that helps show pictures of the colon, rectum, and anus on an x-ray.

barium solution    listen   (BAYR-ee-um suh-LOO-shun)
A liquid that contains barium sulfate (a form of the silver-white metallic element barium). It is used to show pictures of parts of the digestive system in x-rays.

barium sulfate    listen   (BAYR-ee-um SUL-fayt)
A silver-white metallic compound made from the mineral barite. It is mixed with water and used in barium swallows and barium enemas to help show parts of the digestive system on an x-ray.

barium swallow    listen   (BAYR-ee-um SWAH-loh)
The process of getting x-ray pictures of the esophagus or the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract (esophagus, stomach, and duodenum). The x-ray pictures are taken after the patient drinks a liquid that contains barium sulfate (a form of the silver-white metallic element barium). The barium sulfate coats and outlines the inner walls of the esophagus and the upper GI tract so that they can be seen on the x-ray pictures.

Barrett esophagus    listen   (BA-ret ee-SAH-fuh-gus)
A condition in which the cells lining the lower part of the esophagus have changed or been replaced with abnormal cells that could lead to cancer of the esophagus. The backing up of stomach contents (reflux) may irritate the esophagus and, over time, cause Barrett esophagus.

barrier    listen   (BAYR-ee-er)
Something that blocks, prevents, separates, or limits.

basal cell    listen   (BAY-sul sel)
A small, round cell found in the lower part (or base) of the epidermis, the outer layer of the skin.

basal cell cancer    listen   (BAY-sul sel KAN-ser)
Cancer that begins in the lower part of the epidermis (the outer layer of the skin). It may appear as a small white or flesh-colored bump that grows slowly and may bleed. Basal cell cancers are usually found on areas of the body exposed to the sun. Basal cell cancers rarely metastasize (spread) to other parts of the body. They are the most common form of skin cancer. Also called basal cell carcinoma.

basal cell carcinoma    listen   (BAY-sul sel KAR-sih-NOH-muh)
Cancer that begins in the lower part of the epidermis (the outer layer of the skin). It may appear as a small white or flesh-colored bump that grows slowly and may bleed. Basal cell carcinomas are usually found on areas of the body exposed to the sun. Basal cell carcinomas rarely metastasize (spread) to other parts of the body. They are the most common form of skin cancer. Also called basal cell cancer.

basal cell nevus syndrome    listen   (BAY-sul sel NEE-vus SIN-drome)
A genetic condition that causes unusual facial features and disorders of the skin, bones, nervous system, eyes, and endocrine glands. People with this syndrome have a higher risk of basal cell carcinoma. Also called Gorlin syndrome and nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome.

base    listen   (bays)
In chemistry, a substance that can accept hydrogen ions in water and can neutralize an acid. Bases feel soapy or slippery on the skin and they can turn certain dyes blue. An example of a base is sodium hydroxide. Basicity is measured on a scale called the pH scale. On this scale, a pH value of 7 is neutral, and a pH value of more than 7 to 14 shows increasing basicity.

base pair    listen   (bays payr)
Molecules called nucleotides, on opposite strands of the DNA double helix, that form chemical bonds with one another. These chemical bonds act like rungs in a ladder and help hold the two strands of DNA together. There are four nucleotides, or bases, in DNA: adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G), and thymine (T). These bases form specific pairs (A with T, and G with C).

baseline    listen   (BAYS-line)
An initial measurement that is taken at an early time point to represent a beginning condition, and is used for comparison over time to look for changes. For example, the size of a tumor will be measured before treatment (baseline) and then afterwards to see if the treatment had an effect.

basicity    listen   (bay-SIH-sih-tee)
In chemistry, the quality of being a base (not an acid). A base is a substance that can accept hydrogen ions in water and can neutralize an acid. Basicity is measured on a scale called the pH scale. On this scale, a pH value of 7 is neutral, and a pH value of more than 7 to 14 shows increasing basicity.

basophil    listen   (BAY-soh-fil)
A type of immune cell that has granules (small particles) with enzymes that are released during allergic reactions and asthma. A basophil is a type of white blood cell and a type of granulocyte.

batimastat    listen   (ba-TIH-muh-stat)
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called angiogenesis inhibitors. Batimastat is a matrix metalloproteinase inhibitor.

batracylin    listen   (BA-truh-SY-lin)
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. It may kill cancer cells by causing damage to the DNA. Batracylin is a type of heterocyclic aryl amine.

bavituximab    listen   (ba-vih-TUK-sih-mab)
A substance being studied in the treatment of several types of cancer and infections caused by certain viruses. It binds to substances on the surface of tumor cells, certain viruses, and cells infected with a virus. The immune system detects bavituximab on the cells and the viruses and may destroy them. It is a type of monoclonal antibody and a type of targeted therapy agent. Also called Tarvacin.

BAY 12-9566      
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called angiogenesis inhibitors.

BAY 43-9006      
A drug used to treat advanced kidney cancer and a type of liver cancer that cannot be removed by surgery. It is also used to treat a type of advanced thyroid cancer that did not get better with radioactive iodine treatment. It is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. BAY 43-9006 stops cancer cells from dividing and may prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It is a type of kinase inhibitor and a type of antiangiogenesis agent. Also called Nexavar and sorafenib tosylate.

BAY 56-3722      
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called camptothecins.

BAY 59-8862      
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called taxanes.

BB-10901      
A substance that combines a monoclonal antibody (huN901) with an anticancer drug (DM1), and is being studied in the treatment of certain cancers, including non-small cell lung cancer. Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-produced substances that can locate and bind to cancer cells.

BBB      
A network of blood vessels and tissue that is made up of closely spaced cells and helps keep harmful substances from reaching the brain. The BBB lets some substances, such as water, oxygen, carbon dioxide, and general anesthetics, pass into the brain. It also keeps out bacteria and other substances, such as many anticancer drugs. Also called blood-brain barrier.

BBBD      
The use of drugs to create openings between cells in the blood-brain barrier. The blood-brain barrier is a protective network of blood vessels and tissue that protects the brain from harmful substances, but can also prevent anticancer drugs from reaching the brain. Once the barrier is opened, anticancer drugs may be infused into an artery that goes to the brain, in order to treat brain tumors. Also called blood-brain barrier disruption.

BBIC      
A substance that is made from soybeans and is being studied in the prevention of cancer. It blocks the action of enzymes that are needed for cancer cells to form. It is a type of protease inhibitor. Also called Bowman-Birk inhibitor concentrate.

BBR 2778      
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called antitumor antibiotics. Also called pixantrone.

BBR 3464      
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the family of platinum-based drugs.

BCG      
A weakened form of the bacterium Mycobacterium bovis (bacillus Calmette-Guérin) that does not cause disease. BCG is used in a solution to stimulate the immune system in the treatment of bladder cancer and as a vaccine to prevent tuberculosis. Also called bacillus Calmette-Guérin.

BCG solution    listen   (… suh-LOO-shun)
A type of biologic therapy used to treat early stage bladder cancer. The solution is made from a weakened form of a bacterium called Mycobacterium bovis (bacillus Calmette-Guérin) that does not cause disease. It is given through a catheter that is placed into the bladder where the solution is held for about two hours. BCG solution may help the body’s immune system kill cancer cells. Also called bacillus Calmette-Guérin solution.

BCG vaccine    listen   (... vak-SEEN)
A vaccine used to prevent tuberculosis (TB) in people who are at a high risk of TB or where TB is common. It is rarely given in the U.S. It is made from a weakened form of a bacterium called Mycobacterium bovis (bacillus Calmette-Guérin), which is similar to the bacteria that cause TB. The vaccine may help the body’s immune system make antibodies to destroy the TB bacteria. It also may help the immune system kill cancer cells and is being studied in the treatment of melanoma. Also called bacillus Calmette-Guérin vaccine.

bcl-2 antisense oligodeoxynucleotide G3139    listen   (... AN-tee-sents AH-lih-goh-dee-OK-see-NOO-klee-oh-tide ...)
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. It may kill cancer cells by blocking the production of a protein that makes cancer cells live longer and by making them more sensitive to anticancer drugs. It is a type of antisense oligodeoxyribonucleotide. Also called augmerosen, Genasense, and oblimersen sodium.

BCL2      
A protein that helps control whether a cell lives or dies by blocking a type of cell death called apoptosis. The gene for BCL2 is found on chromosome 18, and transfer of the BCL2 gene to a different chromosome is seen in many B-cell leukemias and lymphomas. This causes the BCL2 protein to be made in larger amounts, which may keep cancer cells from dying. Also called B-cell leukemia/lymphoma 2 protein.

BCNU      
A drug used to treat certain types of brain tumors. It is also used with prednisone to treat multiple myeloma and with other drugs to treat Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma that have not gotten better with other treatment or have come back. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. BCNU damages the cell's DNA and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of alkylating agent and a type of nitrosourea. Also called BiCNU and carmustine.

BCOP      
A licensed pharmacist with special training in how to design, give, monitor, and change chemotherapy for cancer patients. Also called board certified oncology pharmacy specialist and oncology pharmacy specialist.

BCR-ABL fusion gene    listen   (... FYOO-zhun jeen)
A gene formed when pieces of chromosomes 9 and 22 break off and trade places. The ABL gene from chromosome 9 joins to the BCR gene on chromosome 22, to form the BCR-ABL fusion gene. The changed chromosome 22 with the fusion gene on it is called the Philadelphia chromosome. The BCR-ABL fusion gene is found in most patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), and in some patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) or acute myelogenous leukemia (AML).

BCR-ABL fusion protein    listen   (... FYOO-zhun PROH-teen)
A protein made from pieces of two genes that get joined together. It is found in most patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), and in some patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) or acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). Inside the leukemia cells, the ABL gene from chromosome 9 joins to the BCR gene on chromosome 22 to form the BCR-ABL fusion gene, which makes the BCR-ABL fusion protein.

BCX-1777      
A substance being studied in the treatment of some types of leukemia and lymphoma. It is a type of purine nucleoside phosphorylase (PNP) inhibitor. Also called forodesine and forodesine hydrochloride.

BDC      
A rare type of kidney cancer that grows and spreads quickly. It begins in the duct of Bellini in the kidney. Also called Bellini duct carcinoma.

BEACOPP    listen  
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used to treat advanced Hodgkin lymphoma. It includes the drugs bleomycin sulfate, etoposide phosphate, doxorubicin hydrochloride (Adriamycin), cyclophosphamide, vincristine sulfate (Oncovin), procarbazine hydrochloride, and prednisone. Also called BEACOPP regimen.

BEACOPP regimen    listen   (… REH-jih-men)
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used to treat advanced Hodgkin lymphoma. It includes the drugs bleomycin sulfate, etoposide phosphate, doxorubicin hydrochloride (Adriamycin), cyclophosphamide, vincristine sulfate (Oncovin), procarbazine hydrochloride, and prednisone. Also called BEACOPP.

Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome    listen   (BEK-with-VEE-deh-mahn SIN-drome)
A rare, overgrowth disorder in which babies are large at birth and may develop low blood sugar. Other common symptoms are a large tongue, large internal organs, and defects of the abdominal wall near the navel. Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome increases the risk of developing certain cancers, especially Wilms tumor.

beclin 1    listen   (BEH-klin …)
A protein involved in autophagy (the process by which a cell destroys proteins and other substances in its cytoplasm). Beclin 1 is found at lower levels in several types of cancer cells than in normal cells. It is a type of tumor suppressor.

beclomethasone    listen   (beh-kloh-MEH-thuh-sone)
A drug being studied in the treatment of graft-versus-host disease. It belongs to a family of drugs called corticosteroids.

behavior modification    listen   (beh-HAY-vyer MAH-dih-fih-KAY-shun)
A technique used to help people change the way they react to certain triggers in the environment that cause a negative reaction. In cancer treatment, behavior modification may be used to help patients who have become nauseous during previous cancer treatments cope with nausea they feel when they enter the therapy room to begin a new round of treatment.

Behcet disease    listen   (beh-SHET dih-ZEEZ)
A rare disorder that causes the blood vessels to become inflamed. Symptoms include sores in the mouth and on the sex organs and other skin problems, inflammation in parts of the eye, and pain, swelling, and stiffness of the joints. Other serious symptoms include blood clots, blindness, and inflammation of the brain, spinal cord, and digestive system. The symptoms may come and go on their own. Behcet disease is most common in young adults and its cause is unknown. Also called Behcet syndrome.

Behcet syndrome    listen   (beh-SHET SIN-drome)
A rare disorder that causes the blood vessels to become inflamed. Symptoms include sores in the mouth and on the sex organs and other skin problems, inflammation in parts of the eye, and pain, swelling, and stiffness of the joints. Other serious symptoms include blood clots, blindness, and inflammation of the brain, spinal cord, and digestive system. The symptoms may come and go on their own. Behcet syndrome is most common in young adults and its cause is unknown. Also called Behcet disease.

Beleodaq    listen   (BEE-lee-oh-dak)
A drug used to treat peripheral T-cell lymphoma that has come back or has not gotten better with other treatment. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Beleodaq blocks certain enzymes needed for cell division and may kill cancer cells. It may also prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow and may help make cancer cells easier to kill with other anticancer drugs. It is a type of histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor, a type of angiogenesis inhibitor, and a type of chemosensitizer. Also called belinostat and PXD101.

belinostat    listen   (beh-LIH-noh-stat)
A drug used to treat peripheral T-cell lymphoma that has come back or has not gotten better with other treatment. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Belinostat blocks certain enzymes needed for cell division and may kill cancer cells. It may also prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow and may help make cancer cells easier to kill with other anticancer drugs. It is a type of histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor, a type of angiogenesis inhibitor, and a type of chemosensitizer. Also called Beleodaq and PXD101.

Bellini duct carcinoma    listen   (beh-LEE-nee dukt KAR-sih-NOH-muh)
A rare type of kidney cancer that grows and spreads quickly. It begins in the duct of Bellini in the kidney. Also called BDC.

belotecan    listen   (BEH-loh-TEE-kun)
The active ingredient in a substance being studied in the treatment of small cell lung cancer and other types of cancer. It blocks certain enzymes needed for cell division and DNA repair, and it may kill cancer cells. It is a type of camptothecin analog and a type of topoisomerase inhibitor.

belotecan hydrochloride    listen   (BEH-loh-TEE-kun HY-droh-KLOR-ide)
A substance being studied in the treatment of small cell lung cancer and other types of cancer. It blocks certain enzymes needed for cell division and DNA repair, and it may kill cancer cells. It is a type of camptothecin analog and a type of topoisomerase inhibitor.

Bence Jones protein    listen   (bents jones PROH-teen)
A small protein made by plasma cells (white blood cells that produce antibodies). It is found in the urine of most people with multiple myeloma (cancer that begins in plasma cells).

bench-to-bedside    listen   (bench ... BED-side)
A term used to describe the process by which the results of research done in the laboratory are directly used to develop new ways to treat patients.

bendamustine    listen   (BEN-duh-MUS-teen)
The active ingredient in a drug that is used to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), to treat slow-growing B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) that has gotten worse within 6 months of treatment with other anticancer drugs, and is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Bendamustine may damage the DNA in cancer cells and cause them to die. It is a type of alkylating agent and a type of antimetabolite.

bendamustine hydrochloride    listen   (BEN-duh-MUS-teen HY-droh-KLOR-ide)
A drug used to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). It is also used to treat slow-growing B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) that has gotten worse within 6 months of treatment with other anticancer drugs. It is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Bendamustine hydrochloride may damage the DNA in cancer cells and cause them to die. It is a type of alkylating agent and a type of antimetabolite. Also called Treanda.

benign    listen   (beh-NINE)
Not cancerous. Benign tumors may grow larger but do not spread to other parts of the body. Also called nonmalignant.

benign breast disease    listen   (beh-NINE brest dih-ZEEZ)
A common condition marked by benign (not cancer) changes in breast tissue. These changes may include irregular lumps or cysts, breast discomfort, sensitive nipples, and itching. These symptoms may change throughout the menstrual cycle and usually stop after menopause. Also called fibrocystic breast changes, fibrocystic breast disease, and mammary dysplasia.

benign proliferative breast disease    listen   (beh-NINE proh-LIH-feh-ruh-tiv brest dih-ZEEZ)
A group of noncancerous conditions marked by an increase in the growth of certain cells in the breast. Having one of these conditions may increase the risk of breast cancer. Examples include ductal hyperplasia, lobular hyperplasia, and papillomas.

benign prostatic hyperplasia    listen   (beh-NINE prah-STA-tik HY-per-PLAY-zhuh)
A benign (not cancer) condition in which an overgrowth of prostate tissue pushes against the urethra and the bladder, blocking the flow of urine. Also called benign prostatic hypertrophy and BPH.

benign prostatic hypertrophy    listen   (beh-NINE prah-STA-tik hy-PER-troh-fee)
A benign (not cancer) condition in which an overgrowth of prostate tissue pushes against the urethra and the bladder, blocking the flow of urine. Also called benign prostatic hyperplasia and BPH.

benign tumor    listen   (beh-NINE TOO-mer)
A growth that is not cancer. It does not invade nearby tissue or spread to other parts of the body.

benzaldehyde    listen   (ben-ZAL-deh-hide)
A chemical used in flavorings and in some dyes, perfumes, and medicines. It is found in essential oils made from almonds and peach pits and in other foods. It can also be made in the laboratory.

benzene    listen   (BEN-zeen)
A chemical that is used widely by the chemical industry, and is also found in tobacco smoke, vehicle emissions, and gasoline fumes. Exposure to benzene may increase the risk of developing leukemia.

benzo(a)pyrene    listen   (BEN-zoh-ay-PY-reen)
A chemical that comes from certain substances when they are not burned completely. It is found in car exhaust, smoke from wood fires, tobacco, oil and gas products, charred or grilled foods, and other sources. It may also be found in water and soil. Benzo(a)pyrene can cause a skin rash, a burning feeling, skin color changes, warts, and bronchitis. It may also cause cancer. It is a type of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon. Also called 3,4-benzpyrene.

benzodiazepine    listen   (BEN-zoh-dy-A-zeh-peen)
A type of drug used to relieve anxiety and insomnia (trouble sleeping). Benzodiazepines are also used to relax muscles and prevent seizures. They increase the effect of a chemical in the brain called GABA, which is a neurotransmitter (a substance that nerves use to send messages to one another). This causes brain activity to slow down. Benzodiazepines are a type of CNS depressant.

benzoylphenylurea    listen   (BEN-zoyl-FEH-nil-yoo-REE-uh)
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. It is a type of antitubulin agent. Also called BPU.

benzydamine    listen   (ben-ZIH-duh-meen)
A substance being studied as a mouth rinse treatment for oral mucositis (painful mouth sores) caused by cancer therapy. It is a type of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).

BEP      
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used to treat ovarian and testicular germ cell tumors. It includes the drugs bleomycin sulfate, etoposide phosphate, and cisplatin (Platinol). Also called BEP regimen.

BEP regimen    listen   (… REH-jih-men)
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used to treat ovarian and testicular germ cell tumors. It includes the drugs bleomycin sulfate, etoposide phosphate, and cisplatin (Platinol). Also called BEP.

bereavement    listen   (beh-REEV-ment)
A state of sadness, grief, and mourning after the loss of a loved one.

bergamot    listen   (BER-guh-mot)
A type of orange tree grown in Italy. The essential oil from the peel of this orange is used in perfume, to get rid of insects, and to flavor tea. Bergamot oil is also used in aromatherapy for depression, anxiety, and poor digestion. The scientific name for the bergamot orange tree is Citrus bergamia.

best practice    listen   (... PRAK-tis)
Treatment that is accepted by medical experts as a proper treatment for a certain type of disease and that is widely used by healthcare professionals. Also called standard medical care, standard of care, and standard therapy.

beta alethine    listen   (BAY-tuh a-LEH-theen)
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to a family of chemicals called disulfides.

beta carotene    listen   (BAY-tuh KAYR-uh-teen)
A substance found in yellow and orange fruits and vegetables and in dark green, leafy vegetables. The body can make vitamin A from beta carotene. Beta carotene is being studied in the prevention of some types of cancer. It is a type of antioxidant.

beta cell neoplasm    listen   (BAY-tuh sel NEE-oh-PLA-zum)
An abnormal mass that grows in the beta cells of the pancreas that make insulin. Beta cell neoplasms are usually benign (not cancer). They secrete insulin and are the most common cause of low blood sugar caused by having too much insulin in the body. Also called beta cell tumor of the pancreas, insulinoma, and pancreatic insulin-producing tumor.

beta cell tumor of the pancreas    listen   (BAY-tuh sel TOO-mer … PAN-kree-us)
An abnormal mass that grows in the beta cells of the pancreas that make insulin. Beta cell tumors of the pancreas are usually benign (not cancer). They secrete insulin and are the most common cause of low blood sugar caused by having too much insulin in the body. Also called beta cell neoplasm, insulinoma, and pancreatic insulin-producing tumor.

beta hemolytic streptococcus group B    listen   (BAY-tuh HEE-moh-LIH-tik STREP-toh-KAH-kus ...)
A type of bacterium often found in the vagina. It can cause systemic infections in people with suppressed immune systems.

beta-2-microglobulin    listen   (BAY-tuh-2-MY-kroh-GLAH-byoo-lin)
A small protein normally found on the surface of many cells, including lymphocytes, and in small amounts in the blood and urine. An increased amount in the blood or urine may be a sign of certain diseases, including some types of cancer, such as multiple myeloma or lymphoma.

beta-endorphin    listen   (BAY-tuh en-DOR-fin)
A substance produced in the brain, especially in the pituitary gland, that blocks the sensation of pain. It is produced in response to pain, exercise, and other forms of stress. It is a type of polypeptide hormone.

beta-glucan    listen   (BAY-tuh-GLOO-kan)
A substance found in bacteria, plants, and certain foods, such as baker’s yeast, cereal grains, and mushrooms. It is a type of polysaccharide that is made of a string of glucose (sugar) molecules joined together. Beta-glucan may stimulate the immune system and help kill cancer cells. It is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It is a type of biological response modifier.

beta-hCG    listen   (BAY-tuh...)
A hormone found in the blood and urine during pregnancy. It may also be found in higher than normal amounts in patients with some types of cancer, including testicular, ovarian, liver, stomach, and lung cancers, and in other disorders. Measuring the amount of beta-hCG in the blood or urine of cancer patients may help to diagnose cancer and find out how well cancer treatment is working. Beta-hCG is a type of tumor marker. Also called beta-human chorionic gonadotropin.

beta-human chorionic gonadotropin    listen   (BAY-tuh-HYOO-mun KOR-ee-AH-nik goh-NA-doh-TROH-pin)
A hormone found in the blood and urine during pregnancy. It may also be found in higher than normal amounts in patients with some types of cancer, including testicular, ovarian, liver, stomach, and lung cancers, and in other disorders. Measuring the amount of beta-human chorionic gonadotropin in the blood or urine of cancer patients may help to diagnose cancer and find out how well cancer treatment is working. Beta-human chorionic gonadotropin is a type of tumor marker. Also called beta-hCG.

betel quid with tobacco    listen   (BEE-til kwid … tuh-BA-koh)
A type of smokeless tobacco that is made in India and is widely used throughout Asia. It is a mixture of tobacco, crushed areca nut (also called betel nut), spices, and other ingredients. It is used like chewing tobacco and is placed in the mouth, usually between the gum and cheek. Betel quid with tobacco contains nicotine and many harmful, cancer-causing chemicals. Using it can lead to nicotine addiction and can cause cancers of the lip, mouth, tongue, throat, and esophagus. Also called gutka.

bevacizumab    listen   (beh-vuh-SIH-zoo-mab)
A drug used alone or with other drugs to treat certain types of cervical, colorectal, lung, kidney, ovarian, fallopian tube, and primary peritoneal cancer, and glioblastoma (a type of brain cancer). It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Bevacizumab binds to a protein called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). This may prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It is a type of antiangiogenesis agent and a type of monoclonal antibody. Also called Avastin.

bexarotene    listen   (bek-SAYR-uh-teen)
A drug used to treat skin problems caused by cutaneous T-cell lymphoma that have not gotten better after other treatment. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Bexarotene is a type of retinoid. Also called LGD1069 and Targretin.

Bexxar    listen   (BEK-sar)
A combination of drugs used to treat certain types of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Bexxar is made up of a monoclonal antibody called tositumomab and a form of tositumomab that is linked to a radioactive substance called iodine I 131. It is a type of radioimmunoconjugate. Also called Bexxar regimen and tositumomab and iodine I 131 tositumomab.

Bexxar regimen    listen   (BEK-sar REH-jih-men)
A combination of drugs used to treat certain types of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Bexxar regimen is made up of a monoclonal antibody called tositumomab and a form of tositumomab that is linked to a radioactive substance called iodine I 131. It is a type of radioimmunoconjugate. Also called Bexxar and tositumomab and iodine I 131 tositumomab.

BG00001      
A gene therapy agent that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called biological response modifiers.

BI 2536      
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. It prevents cells from dividing and may block the growth of some tumors. It is a type of mitotic inhibitor.

BI-RADS    listen  
A method used by radiologists to interpret and report in a standardized manner the results of mammography, ultrasound, and MRI used in breast cancer screening and diagnosis. Also called Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System.

Biafine cream    listen   (BY-uh-feen …)
A substance that is put on the skin to help repair damaged skin. It may be used on certain wounds and burns, and to treat the redness, burning, and peeling caused by radiation therapy.

bias    listen   (BY-us)
In a scientific research study or clinical trial, a flaw in the study design or the method of collecting or interpreting information. Biases can lead to incorrect conclusions about what the study or clinical trial showed.

BIBF 1120      
A substance being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. BIBF 1120 blocks enzymes needed for cells to grow, and may prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It is a type of tyrosine kinase inhibitor and a type of antiangiogenesis agent. Also called tyrosine kinase inhibitor BIBF 1120.

BIBX 1382      
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitors.

bicalutamide    listen   (BY-kuh-LOO-tuh-mide)
A drug used with another drug to treat prostate cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. Bicalutamide binds to proteins called androgen receptors, which are found in some prostate cancer cells. These proteins bind to androgens (male hormones) and may cause cancer cells to grow. Bicalutamide blocks these proteins and may keep cancer cells from growing. It is a type of antiandrogen. Also called Casodex.

BiCNU      
A drug used to treat certain types of brain tumors. It is also used with prednisone to treat multiple myeloma and with other drugs to treat Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma that have not gotten better with other treatment or have come back. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. BiCNU damages the cell's DNA and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of alkylating agent and a type of nitrosourea. Also called BCNU and carmustine.

bidi    listen   (BEE-dee)
A cigarette made by rolling tobacco by hand in a dried leaf from the tendu tree (a member of the ebony family). Most bidis are made in India, and they come in different flavors.

bilateral    listen   (by-LA-teh-rul)
Affecting both the right and left sides of the body.

bilateral cancer    listen   (by-LA-teh-rul KAN-ser)
Cancer that occurs in both of a pair of organs, such as both breasts, ovaries, eyes, lungs, kidneys, or adrenal glands, at the same time.

bilateral nephrectomy    listen   (by-LA-teh-rul neh-FREK-toh-mee)
Surgery to remove both kidneys.

bilateral prophylactic mastectomy    listen   (by-LA-teh-rul PROH-fih-LAK-tik ma-STEK-toh-mee)
Surgery to remove both breasts in order to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer.

bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy    listen   (by-LA-teh-rul sal-PIN-goh-oh-oh-foh-REK-toh-mee)
Surgery to remove both ovaries and both fallopian tubes.

bile    listen   (bile)
A fluid made by the liver and stored in the gallbladder. Bile is excreted into the small intestine, where it helps digest fat.

bile duct    listen   (bile dukt)
A tube through which bile passes in and out of the liver.

bile duct cancer    listen   (bile dukt KAN-ser)
Cancer that forms in a bile duct. A bile duct is a tube that carries bile (fluid made by the liver that helps digest fat) between the liver and gallbladder and the intestine. Bile ducts include the common hepatic, cystic, and common bile ducts. Bile duct cancer may be found inside the liver (intrahepatic) or outside the liver (extrahepatic).

bile duct carcinoma    listen   (bile dukt KAR-sih-NOH-muh)
A rare type of cancer that begins in cells that line the bile ducts. A bile duct is a tube that carries fluid called bile from the liver and the gallbladder to the small intestine. Bile duct carcinoma may be found in the bile ducts inside the liver (intrahepatic) or outside the liver (extrahepatic). Cancer that forms in the area where the right and left bile ducts meet outside the liver is called Klatskin tumor. It is the most common type of bile duct carcinoma. Also called cholangiocarcinoma.

biliary    listen   (BIH-lee-AYR-ee)
Having to do with the liver, bile ducts, and/or gallbladder.

biliary cirrhosis    listen   (BIH-lee-AYR-ee seh-ROH-sis)
A type of chronic liver disease in which the tubes that carry bile (fluid that helps digest fat) out of the liver become damaged or blocked over time. This can cause bile and toxic substances to build up in the liver, which may lead to cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) and liver failure. It may also increase the risk of liver cancer. Biliary cirrhosis may be caused by gallstones, injury to the bile ducts, autoimmune disorders, and certain other conditions.

biliary system    listen   (BIH-lee-AYR-ee SIS-tem)
The organs and ducts that make and store bile (a fluid made by the liver that helps digest fat), and release it into the small intestine. The biliary system includes the gallbladder and bile ducts inside and outside the liver. Also called biliary tract.

biliary tract    listen   (BIH-lee-AYR-ee …)
The organs and ducts that make and store bile (a fluid made by the liver that helps digest fat), and release it into the small intestine. The biliary tract includes the gallbladder and bile ducts inside and outside the liver. Also called biliary system.

bilirubin    listen   (BIH-lih-ROO-bin)
Substance formed when red blood cells are broken down. Bilirubin is part of the bile, which is made in the liver and is stored in the gallbladder. The abnormal buildup of bilirubin causes jaundice.

bimatoprost    listen   (bih-MA-toh-prost)
A drug used under the name Latisse to increase the length, thickness, and darkness of eyelashes. It is being studied as a way to increase the growth of eyelashes and eyebrows in patients given chemotherapy for cancer. Bimatoprost is also used under the name Lumigan to treat glaucoma (a build-up of fluid in the eye). It lowers pressure in the eye by increasing the flow of natural eye fluids out of the eye. It is a type of prostaglandin analog.

binding agent    listen   (BINE-ding AY-jent)
A substance that makes a loose mixture stick together. For example, binding agents can be used to make solid pills from loose powders.

bioactive compound    listen   (BY-oh-AK-tiv KOM-pownd)
A type of chemical found in small amounts in plants and certain foods (such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, oils, and whole grains). Bioactive compounds have actions in the body that may promote good health. They are being studied in the prevention of cancer, heart disease, and other diseases. Examples of bioactive compounds include lycopene, resveratrol, lignan, tannins, and indoles.

bioavailable    listen   (BY-oh-uh-VAY-luh-bul)
The ability of a drug or other substance to be absorbed and used by the body. Orally bioavailable means that a drug or other substance that is taken by mouth can be absorbed and used by the body.

biochanin A    listen   (BY-oh-KAH-nin ...)
An isoflavone found in soy products. Soy isoflavones (estrogen-like substances made by some plants) are being studied to see if they help prevent cancer.

biochemical reactions    listen   (BY-oh-KEH-mih-kul ree-AK-shuns)
In living cells, chemical reactions that help sustain life and allow cells to grow.

biochemical recurrence    listen   (BY-oh-KEH-mih-kul ree-KER-ents)
A rise in the blood level of PSA (prostate-specific antigen) in prostate cancer patients after treatment with surgery or radiation. Biochemical recurrence may occur in patients who do not have symptoms. It may mean that the cancer has come back. Also called biochemical relapse and PSA failure.

biochemical relapse    listen   (BY-oh-KEH-mih-kul REE-laps)
A rise in the blood level of PSA (prostate-specific antigen) in prostate cancer patients after treatment with surgery or radiation. Biochemical relapse may occur in patients who do not have symptoms. It may mean that the cancer has come back. Also called biochemical recurrence and PSA failure.

biochemist    listen   (BY-oh-KEH-mist)
A scientist who has special training in the study of the chemicals and processes that occur in all living things.

biofeedback    listen   (BY-oh-FEED-bak)
A method of learning to voluntarily control certain body functions such as heartbeat, blood pressure, and muscle tension with the help of a special machine. This method can help control pain.

biofilm    listen   (BY-oh-FILM)
A layer of bacteria or other microbes that grows on and sticks to the surface of a structure. A biofilm may cover natural surfaces, such as teeth. They may also grow in or on medical devices, such as catheters or artificial joints. Bacteria growing as a biofilm are hard to treat with antibiotics.

bioinformatics    listen   (BY-oh-in-for-MA-tix)
The science of using computers, databases, and math to organize and analyze large amounts of biological, medical, and health information. Information may come from many sources, including patient statistics, tissue specimens, genetics research, and clinical trials.

biologic agent    listen   (BY-oh-LAH-jik AY-jent)
A substance that is made from a living organism or its products and is used in the prevention, diagnosis, or treatment of cancer and other diseases. Biologic agents include antibodies, interleukins, and vaccines. Also called biological agent and biological drug.

biological    listen   (BY-oh-LAH-jih-kul)
Pertaining to biology or to life and living things. In medicine, refers to a substance made from a living organism or its products. Biologicals may be used to prevent, diagnose, treat or relieve of symptoms of a disease. For example, antibodies, interleukins, and vaccines are biologicals. Biological also refers to parents and children who are related by blood.

biological agent    listen   (BY-oh-LAH-jih-kul AY-jent)
A substance that is made from a living organism or its products and is used in the prevention, diagnosis, or treatment of cancer and other diseases. Biological agents include antibodies, interleukins, and vaccines. Also called biologic agent and biological drug.

biological drug    listen   (BY-oh-LAH-jih-kul...)
A substance that is made from a living organism or its products and is used in the prevention, diagnosis, or treatment of cancer and other diseases. Biological drugs include antibodies, interleukins, and vaccines. Also called biologic agent and biological agent.

biological profile    listen   (BY-oh-LAH-jih-kul PROH-file)
A summary of the biological actions of a substance. A biological profile may come from patient data or from tests done in the laboratory or in animals.

biological response modifier therapy    listen   (BY-oh-LAH-jih-kul reh-SPONTS MAH-dih-FY-er THAYR-uh-pee)
A type of treatment that uses substances made from living organisms to treat disease. These substances may occur naturally in the body or may be made in the laboratory. Some biological response modifier therapies stimulate or suppress the immune system to help the body fight cancer, infection, and other diseases. Other biological response modifier therapies attack specific cancer cells, which may help keep them from growing or kill them. They may also lessen certain side effects caused by some cancer treatments. Types of biological response modifier therapy include immunotherapy (such as vaccines, cytokines, and some antibodies), gene therapy, and some targeted therapies. Also called biological therapy, biotherapy, and BRM therapy.

biological therapy    listen   (BY-oh-LAH-jih-kul THAYR-uh-pee)
A type of treatment that uses substances made from living organisms to treat disease. These substances may occur naturally in the body or may be made in the laboratory. Some biological therapies stimulate or suppress the immune system to help the body fight cancer, infection, and other diseases. Other biological therapies attack specific cancer cells, which may help keep them from growing or kill them. They may also lessen certain side effects caused by some cancer treatments. Types of biological therapy include immunotherapy (such as vaccines, cytokines, and some antibodies), gene therapy, and some targeted therapies. Also called biological response modifier therapy, biotherapy, and BRM therapy.

biomarker    listen   (BY-oh-MAR-ker)
A biological molecule found in blood, other body fluids, or tissues that is a sign of a normal or abnormal process, or of a condition or disease. A biomarker may be used to see how well the body responds to a treatment for a disease or condition. Also called molecular marker and signature molecule.

Biomed 101    listen   (BY-oh-MED …)
A substance that is being studied for its ability to decrease the side effects of interleukin-2 (IL-2).

biomedicine    listen   (BY-oh-MEH-dih-sin)
A system in which medical doctors and other healthcare professionals (such as nurses, pharmacists, and therapists) treat symptoms and diseases using drugs, radiation, or surgery. Also called allopathic medicine, conventional medicine, mainstream medicine, orthodox medicine, and Western medicine.

biometrics    listen   (BY-oh-MEH-trix)
The science of collecting and analyzing biologic or health data using statistical methods. Biometrics may be used to help learn the possible causes of a cancer or how often a cancer occurs in a certain group of people. Also called biometry and biostatistics.

biometry    listen   (by-AH-meh-tree)
The science of collecting and analyzing biologic or health data using statistical methods. Biometry may be used to help learn the possible causes of a cancer or how often a cancer occurs in a certain group of people. Also called biometrics and biostatistics.

biopsy    listen   (BY-op-see)
The removal of cells or tissues for examination by a pathologist. The pathologist may study the tissue under a microscope or perform other tests on the cells or tissue. There are many different types of biopsy procedures. The most common types include: (1) incisional biopsy, in which only a sample of tissue is removed; (2) excisional biopsy, in which an entire lump or suspicious area is removed; and (3) needle biopsy, in which a sample of tissue or fluid is removed with a needle. When a wide needle is used, the procedure is called a core biopsy. When a thin needle is used, the procedure is called a fine-needle aspiration biopsy.

biopsy specimen    listen   (BY-op-see SPEH-sih-men)
Tissue removed from the body and examined under a microscope to determine whether disease is present.

biorepository    listen   (BY-oh-reh-PAH-zih-TOR-ee)
A facility that collects, catalogs, and stores samples of biological material, such as urine, blood, tissue, cells, DNA, RNA, and protein, from humans, animals, or plants for laboratory research. If the samples are from people, medical information may also be stored along with a written consent to use the samples in laboratory studies.

biospecimen    listen   (BY-oh-SPEH-sih-men)
Samples of material, such as urine, blood, tissue, cells, DNA, RNA, and protein from humans, animals, or plants. Biospecimens are stored in a biorepository and are used for laboratory research. If the samples are from people, medical information may also be stored along with a written consent to use the samples in laboratory studies.

biostatistics    listen   (BY-oh-stuh-TIS-tix)
The science of collecting and analyzing biologic or health data using statistical methods. Biostatistics may be used to help learn the possible causes of a cancer or how often a cancer occurs in a certain group of people. Also called biometrics and biometry.

biotherapy    listen   (BY-oh-THAYR-uh-pee)
A type of treatment that uses substances made from living organisms to treat disease. These substances may occur naturally in the body or may be made in the laboratory. Some biotherapies stimulate or suppress the immune system to help the body fight cancer, infection, and other diseases. Other biotherapies attack specific cancer cells, which may help keep them from growing or kill them. They may also lessen certain side effects caused by some cancer treatments. Types of biotherapy include immunotherapy (such as vaccines, cytokines, and some antibodies), gene therapy, and some targeted therapies. Also called biological response modifier therapy, biological therapy, and BRM therapy.

biotin    listen   (BY-oh-tin)
A nutrient in the vitamin B complex that the body needs in small amounts to function and stay healthy. Biotin helps some enzymes break down substances in the body for energy and helps tissues develop. It is found in yeast, whole milk, egg yolks, and organ meats. Biotin is water-soluble (can dissolve in water) and must be taken in every day. Not enough biotin can cause skin, nerve, and eye disorders. Biotin is present in larger amounts in some cancer tissue than in normal tissue. Attaching biotin to substances used to treat some types of cancer helps them find cancer cells. Also called vitamin H.

Birt-Hogg-Dube syndrome    listen   (birt-hog-doob SIN-drome)
An inherited condition in which benign tumors develop in hair follicles on the head, chest, back, and arms. People who have this disorder may be at increased risk of developing colon or kidney cancer.

birth canal    listen   (berth kuh-NAL)
The muscular canal that goes from the uterus to the outside of the body. During birth, the baby passes through the birth canal. Also called vagina.

birth control pill    listen   (berth kun-TROLE pil)
A pill used to prevent pregnancy. It contains hormones that block the release of eggs from the ovaries. Most birth control pills include estrogen and progestin. Also called oral contraceptive pill.

bismuth    listen   (BIZ-mooth)
A silver-white metal used in medicines and other products. Certain forms of bismuth are used to treat diarrhea, heartburn, and upset stomach. Bismuth is also used with certain other drugs to treat stomach ulcers.

bispecific antibody    listen   (BY-speh-SIH-fik AN-tee-BAH-dee)
A type of antibody that can bind to two different antigens at the same time. Bispecific antibodies are being studied in the imaging and treatment of cancer. They are made in the laboratory.

bispecific monoclonal antibody    listen   (BY-speh-SIH-fik MAH-noh-KLOH-nul AN-tee-BAH-dee)
An antibody that can bind to two different antigens at the same time. Bispecific monoclonal antibodies are being studied in the imaging and treatment of cancer. They are made in the laboratory.

bisphosphonate    listen   (bis-FOS-foh-nayt)
A drug or substance used to treat hypercalcemia (abnormally high blood calcium) and bone pain caused by some types of cancer. Forms of bisphosphonates are also used to treat osteoporosis and for bone imaging. Bisphosphonates inhibit a type of bone cell that breaks down bone. Also called diphosphonate.

bisphosphonate-associated osteonecrosis    listen   (bis-FOS-foh-nayt-uh-SOH-see-ay-ted OS-tee-oh-neh-KROH-sis)
The necrosis (death) of bone tissue caused by treatment with a bisphosphonate (a drug or substance used to treat osteoporosis, bone pain caused by some types of cancer, and high blood calcium). It commonly occurs in the jaw bones. There may be pain, swelling and infection in the areas of necrosis. Also called BON.

bivalent vaccine    listen   (by-VAY-lent vak-SEEN)
A vaccine that works by stimulating an immune response against two different antigens, such as two different viruses or other microorganisms. For example, Cervarix is a bivalent vaccine that helps protect the body against infection with human papillomaviruses (HPV) types 16 and 18. HPV types 16 and 18 cause most cases of cervical cancer and can cause other types of cancer.

bizelesin    listen   (by-ZEH-leh-sin)
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called alkylating agents. It is also an antitumor antibiotic.

BL22 immunotoxin    listen   (... IH-myoo-noh-TOK-sin)
A bacterial toxic substance linked to an antibody that attaches to cancer cells and kills them. It belongs to the family of drugs called bacterial immunotoxins.

black cohosh    listen   (blak KOH-osh)
An eastern North American perennial herb. A substance obtained from the root of the plant has been used in some cultures to treat a number of medical problems. It is being studied in the treatment of hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause. The scientific name is Cimicifuga racemosa. Also called black snakeroot, bugbane, bugwort, and rattlesnake root.

black snakeroot    listen   (blak SNAYK-root)
An eastern North American perennial herb. A substance obtained from the root of the plant has been used in some cultures to treat a number of medical problems. It is being studied in the treatment of hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause. The scientific name is Cimicifuga racemosa. Also called black cohosh, bugbane, bugwort, and rattlesnake root.

Blackfan–Diamond anemia    listen   (BLAK-fan-DY-uh-mund uh-NEE-mee-uh)
A very rare disorder in which the bone marrow doesn’t make enough red blood cells. It is usually seen in the first year of life. Patients may have deformed thumbs and other physical problems. They also have an increased risk of leukemia and sarcoma, especially osteosarcoma (bone cancer). Patients with Blackfan–Diamond anemia may have a mutation (change) in one of the genes that make proteins found in the cell’s ribosomes. Also called congenital hypoplastic anemia, congenital pure red cell aplasia, DBA, Diamond-Blackfan anemia, erythrogenesis imperfecta, and inherited erythroblastopenia.

bladder    listen   (BLA-der)
The organ that stores urine.

bladder cancer    listen   (BLA-der KAN-ser)
Cancer that forms in tissues of the bladder (the organ that stores urine). Most bladder cancers are transitional cell carcinomas (cancer that begins in cells that normally make up the inner lining of the bladder). Other types include squamous cell carcinoma (cancer that begins in thin, flat cells) and adenocarcinoma (cancer that begins in cells that make and release mucus and other fluids). The cells that form squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma develop in the inner lining of the bladder as a result of chronic irritation and inflammation.

blast    listen   (blast)
An immature blood cell.

blast crisis    listen   (blast KRY-sis)
A phase of chronic myelogenous leukemia in which tiredness, fever, and an enlarged spleen occur during the blastic phase, when more than 30% of the cells in the blood or bone marrow are blast cells (immature blood cells).

blastic phase chronic myelogenous leukemia    listen   (BLAS-tik fayz KRAH-nik MY-eh-LAH-jeh-nus loo-KEE-mee-uh)
A phase of chronic myelogenous leukemia in which 20% or more of the cells in the blood or bone marrow are blast cells (immature blood cells). When tiredness, fever, and an enlarged spleen occur during the blastic phase, it is called blast crisis.

Blenoxane    listen   (bleh-NOK-sayn)
A drug that is used to treat many types of cancer and is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It comes from the bacterium Streptomyces verticillus. Blenoxane damages DNA and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of antineoplastic antibiotic. Also called bleomycin sulfate.

bleomycin    listen   (blee-oh-MY-sin)
The active ingredient in a drug that is used to treat many types of cancer and is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It comes from the bacterium Streptomyces verticillus. Bleomycin damages DNA and may kill rapidly growing cancer cells. It is a type of antineoplastic antibiotic.

bleomycin sulfate    listen   (blee-oh-MY-sin SUL-fayt)
A drug that is used to treat many types of cancer and is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It comes from the bacterium Streptomyces verticillus. Bleomycin sulfate damages DNA and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of antineoplastic antibiotic. Also called Blenoxane.

blessed thistle    listen   (... THIH-sul)
A plant whose leaves, stems, and flowers have been used in some cultures to treat certain medical problems. Blessed thistle may have anti-inflammatory and anticancer effects. The scientific name is Cnicus benedictus. Also called cardin, holy thistle, spotted thistle, and St. Benedict's thistle.

blinded study    listen   (BLINE-ded STUH-dee)
A type of study in which the patients (single-blinded) or the patients and their doctors (double-blinded) do not know which drug or treatment is being given. The opposite of a blinded study is an open label study.

blister    listen   (BLIH-ster)
A fluid-filled sac in the outer layer of skin. It can be caused by rubbing, heat, or diseases of the skin. Also called skin vesicle.

bloating    listen   (BLOH-ting)
A swelling or feeling of fullness in the abdomen. Bloating is usually the result of gas in the intestines and can be caused by many things, including overeating, lactose intolerance, and constipation. Bloating can also be a side effect of cancer or cancer treatment.

blood    listen   (blud)
A tissue with red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and other substances suspended in fluid called plasma. Blood takes oxygen and nutrients to the tissues, and carries away wastes.

blood cancer    listen   (blud KAN-ser)
Cancer that begins in blood-forming tissue, such as the bone marrow, or in the cells of the immune system. Examples of blood cancer are leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma. Also called hematologic cancer.

blood cell count    listen   (blud sel kownt)
A measure of the number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets in the blood. The amount of hemoglobin (substance in the blood that carries oxygen) and the hematocrit (the amount of whole blood that is made up of red blood cells) are also measured. A blood cell count is used to help diagnose and monitor many conditions. Also called CBC, complete blood count, and full blood count.

blood cell count with differential    listen   (blud sel kownt … dih-feh-REN-shul)
A measure of the number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets in the blood, including the different types of white blood cells (neutrophils, lymphocytes, monocytes, basophils, and eosinophils). The amount of hemoglobin (substance in the blood that carries oxygen) and the hematocrit (the amount of whole blood that is made up of red blood cells) are also measured. A blood cell count with differential is used to help diagnose and monitor many different conditions, including anemia and infection. Also called CBC with differential.

blood chemistry study    listen   (blud KEH-mih-stree STUH-dee)
A procedure in which a sample of blood is examined to measure the amounts of certain substances made in the body. An abnormal amount of a substance can be a sign of disease in the organ or tissue that produces it.

blood clot    listen   (blud klot)
A mass of blood that forms when blood platelets, proteins, and cells stick together. When a blood clot is attached to the wall of a blood vessel, it is called a thrombus. When it moves through the bloodstream and blocks the flow of blood in another part of the body, it is called an embolus.

blood culture    listen   (blud KUL-cher)
A laboratory test to check for bacteria, yeast, fungi, or other microorganisms in the blood. Blood cultures can help identify the type of microorganism that is causing an infection. This helps determine the best treatment. They may be used to help diagnose septicemia (a serious blood infection) and other conditions.

blood poisoning    listen   (blud POY-zuh-ning)
Disease caused by the spread of bacteria and their toxins in the bloodstream. Also called septicemia and toxemia.

blood pressure    listen   (blud PREH-sher)
The force of circulating blood on the walls of the arteries. Blood pressure is taken using two measurements: systolic (measured when the heart beats, when blood pressure is at its highest) and diastolic (measured between heart beats, when blood pressure is at its lowest). Blood pressure is written with the systolic blood pressure first, followed by the diastolic blood pressure (for example 120/80).

blood stasis    listen   (blud STAY-sis)
In traditional Chinese medicine, a condition described as slowing or pooling of blood, which may cause pain or other symptoms.

blood stem cell    listen   (blud stem sel)
An immature cell that can develop into all types of blood cells, including white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. Blood stem cells are found in the peripheral blood and the bone marrow. Also called hematopoietic stem cell.

blood sugar    listen   (blud SHUH-ger)
Glucose (a type of sugar) found in the blood. Also called glycemia.

blood test    listen   (blud test)
A test done on a sample of blood to measure the amount of certain substances in the blood or to count different types of blood cells. Blood tests may be done to look for signs of disease or agents that cause disease, to check for antibodies or tumor markers, or to see how well treatments are working.

blood thinner    listen   (blud THIH-ner)
A substance that is used to prevent and treat blood clots in blood vessels and the heart. Also called anticoagulant.

blood transfusion    listen   (blud tranz-FYOO-zhun)
A procedure in which a person is given an infusion of whole blood or parts of blood. The blood may be donated by another person, or it may have been taken from the patient earlier and stored until needed. Also called transfusion.

blood urea nitrogen    listen   (blud yoo-REE-uh NY-troh-jen)
Nitrogen in the blood that comes from urea (a substance formed by the breakdown of protein in the liver). The kidneys filter urea out of the blood and into the urine. A high level of urea nitrogen in the blood may be a sign of a kidney problem. Also called BUN and urea nitrogen.

blood vessel    listen   (blud VEH-sel)
A tube through which the blood circulates in the body. Blood vessels include a network of arteries, arterioles, capillaries, venules, and veins.

blood-brain barrier    listen   (blud-brayn BAYR-ee-er)
A network of blood vessels and tissue that is made up of closely spaced cells and helps keep harmful substances from reaching the brain. The blood-brain barrier lets some substances, such as water, oxygen, carbon dioxide, and general anesthetics, pass into the brain. It also keeps out bacteria and other substances, such as many anticancer drugs. Also called BBB.

blood-brain barrier disruption    listen   (blud-brayn BAYR-ee-er dis-RUP-shun)
The use of drugs to create openings between cells in the blood-brain barrier. The blood-brain barrier is a protective network of blood vessels and tissue that protects the brain from harmful substances, but can also prevent anticancer drugs from reaching the brain. Once the barrier is opened, anticancer drugs may be infused into an artery that goes to the brain, in order to treat brain tumors. Also called BBBD.

Bloom syndrome    listen   (… SIN-drome)
A rare, inherited disorder marked by height that is shorter than average, a narrow face with redness and a rash, a high-pitched voice, and fertility problems. Patients with this disorder have an increased risk of cancer, especially leukemia and osteosarcoma (bone cancer). Bloom syndrome is caused by changes in a protein that normally helps cells make copies of the DNA. Changes in this protein cause many breaks, rearrangements, and other mutations in the DNA. It is a type of autosomal recessive genetic disease. Also called Bloom-Torre-Machacek syndrome.

Bloom-Torre-Machacek syndrome    listen   (... TOR-ay-muh-HA-chek SIN-drome)
A rare, inherited disorder marked by height that is shorter than average, a narrow face with redness and a rash, a high-pitched voice, and fertility problems. Patients with this disorder have an increased risk of cancer, especially leukemia and osteosarcoma (bone cancer). Bloom-Torre-Machacek syndrome is caused by changes in a protein that normally helps cells make copies of the DNA. Changes in this protein cause many breaks, rearrangements, and other mutations in the DNA. It is a type of autosomal recessive genetic disease. Also called Bloom syndrome.

BMD      
A measure of the amount of minerals (mostly calcium and phosphorous) contained in a certain volume of bone. BMD measurements are used to diagnose osteoporosis (a condition marked by decreased bone mass), to see how well osteoporosis treatments are working, and to predict how likely the bones are to break. Low BMD can occur in patients treated for cancer. Also called bone density, bone mass, and bone mineral density.

BMD scan    listen   (… skan)
An imaging test that measures bone density (the amount of bone mineral contained in a certain volume of bone) by passing x-rays with two different energy levels through the bone. It is used to diagnose osteoporosis (decrease in bone mass and density). Also called bone mineral density scan, DEXA, DEXA scan, dual energy x-ray absorptiometric scan, dual x-ray absorptiometry, and DXA.

BMI      
Body mass index. A measure that relates body weight to height. BMI is sometimes used to measure total body fat and whether a person is a healthy weight. Excess body fat is linked to an increased risk of some diseases including heart disease and some cancers. Also called body mass index.

BMS-182751      
A substance being studied in the treatment of prostate and other types of cancer. It contains the metal platinum and may kill cancer cells by damaging their DNA and stopping them from dividing. It is a type of alkylating agent. Also called JM 216 and satraplatin.

BMS-184476      
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called mitotic inhibitors.

BMS-188797      
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called taxane analogs.

BMS-214662      
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called farnesyltransferase inhibitors.

BMS-247550      
A drug used to treat metastatic or locally advanced breast cancer that has not improved after treatment with certain other anticancer drugs. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. BMS-247550 stops the growth of tumor cells by blocking cell division. It is a type of epothilone analog. Also called ixabepilone and Ixempra.

BMS-275291      
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called matrix metalloproteinase inhibitors (MMPIs).

BMS-354825      
A drug used to treat certain types of chronic myeloid leukemia and acute lymphoblastic leukemia. BMS-354825 is also being studied in the treatment of certain other blood diseases and types of cancer. BMS-354825 binds to and blocks BCR-ABL and other proteins that help cancer cells grow. It is a type of tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Also called dasatinib and Sprycel.

BMS-599626      
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called protein tyrosine kinase inhibitors.

BNCT      
A type of radiation therapy. A substance that contains boron is injected into a blood vessel. The boron collects in tumor cells. The patient then receives radiation therapy with atomic particles called neutrons. The neutrons react with the boron to kill the tumor cells without harming normal cells. BNCT is being studied as a treatment for glioblastoma multiforme and recurrent head and neck cancer. Also called boron neutron capture therapy.

board certified oncology pharmacy specialist    listen   (bord SER-tih-fide on-KAH-loh-jee FAR-muh-see SPEH-shuh-list)
A licensed pharmacist with special training in how to design, give, monitor, and change chemotherapy for cancer patients. Also called BCOP and oncology pharmacy specialist.

body image    listen   (BAH-dee IH-mij)
The way a person thinks about his or her body and how it looks to others.

body mass index    listen   (BAH-dee mas IN-dex)
A measure that relates body weight to height. BMI is sometimes used to measure total body fat and whether a person is a healthy weight. Excess body fat is linked to an increased risk of some diseases including heart disease and some cancers. Also called BMI.

bolus dose    listen   (BOH-lus...)
A single dose of a drug or other substance given over a short period of time. It is usually given by infusion or injection into a blood vessel. It may also be given by mouth.

bombesin    listen   (BOM-beh-sin)
A peptide (small protein) found in the brain, gastrointestinal tract, and lungs. It causes the release of certain hormones and enzymes. It also causes smooth muscles to contract. Bombesin is found at high levels on small cell lung cancer cells and on other types of cancer cells. It is a type of neuropeptide and a type of hormone.

BON      
The necrosis (death) of bone tissue caused by treatment with a bisphosphonate (a drug or substance used to treat osteoporosis, bone pain caused by some types of cancer, and high blood calcium). It commonly occurs in the jaw bones. There may be pain, swelling and infection in the areas of necrosis. Also called bisphosphonate-associated osteonecrosis.

bone cancer    listen   (bone KAN-ser)
Primary bone cancer is cancer that forms in cells of the bone. Some types of primary bone cancer are osteosarcoma, Ewing sarcoma, malignant fibrous histiocytoma, and chondrosarcoma. Secondary bone cancer is cancer that spreads to the bone from another part of the body (such as the prostate, breast, or lung).

bone density    listen   (...DEN-sih-tee)
A measure of the amount of minerals (mostly calcium and phosphorous) contained in a certain volume of bone. Bone density measurements are used to diagnose osteoporosis (a condition marked by decreased bone mass), to see how well osteoporosis treatments are working, and to predict how likely the bones are to break. Low bone density can occur in patients treated for cancer. Also called BMD, bone mass, and bone mineral density.

bone marrow    listen   (bone MAYR-oh)
The soft, sponge-like tissue in the center of most bones. It produces white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets.

bone marrow ablation    listen   (bone MAYR-oh a-BLAY-shun)
A procedure to destroy bone marrow using radiation or high doses of anticancer drugs. It is done before a bone marrow or blood stem cell transplant to kill cancer cells and bone marrow cells. This makes room for healthy stem cells.

bone marrow aspiration    listen   (bone MAYR-oh AS-pih-RAY-shun)
A procedure in which a small sample of bone marrow is removed, usually from the hip bone, breastbone, or thigh bone. A small area of skin and the surface of the bone underneath are numbed with an anesthetic. Then, a special wide needle is pushed into the bone. A sample of liquid bone marrow is removed with a syringe attached to the needle. The bone marrow is sent to a laboratory to be looked at under a microscope. This procedure may be done at the same time as a bone marrow biopsy.

bone marrow aspiration and biopsy    listen   (bone MAYR-oh AS-pih-RAY-shun ... BY-op-see)
A procedure in which a small sample of bone marrow (soft, sponge-like tissue in the center of most bones) and bone is removed. A small area of skin and the surface of the bone underneath are numbed with an anesthetic. Then a special wide needle is pushed into the bone. A sample of liquid bone marrow is removed with a syringe attached to the needle. The syringe is then removed and the needle is rotated to remove a sample of the bone and the bone marrow. Both the bone marrow and bone samples are sent to a laboratory to be looked at under a microscope.

bone marrow biopsy    listen   (bone MAYR-oh BY-op-see)
A procedure in which a small sample of bone with bone marrow inside it is removed, usually from the hip bone. A small area of skin and the surface of the bone underneath are numbed with an anesthetic. Then, a special, wide needle is pushed into the bone and rotated to remove a sample of bone with the bone marrow inside it. The sample is sent to a laboratory to be looked at under a microscope. This procedure may be done at the same time as a bone marrow aspiration.

bone marrow cancer    listen   (bone MAYR-oh KAN-ser)
Cancer that forms in the blood-forming stem cells of the bone marrow (soft sponge-like tissue in the center of most bones). Bone marrow cancer includes leukemias and multiple myeloma.

bone marrow metastasis    listen   (bone MAYR-oh meh-TAS-tuh-sis)
Cancer that has spread from the original (primary) tumor to the bone marrow.

bone marrow transplantation    listen   (bone MAYR-oh tranz-plan-TAY-shun)
A procedure to replace bone marrow that has been destroyed by treatment with high doses of anticancer drugs or radiation. Transplantation may be autologous (an individual's own marrow saved before treatment), allogeneic (marrow donated by someone else), or syngeneic (marrow donated by an identical twin).

bone mass    listen   (bone mas)
A measure of the amount of minerals (mostly calcium and phosphorous) contained in a certain volume of bone. Bone mass measurements are used to diagnose osteoporosis (a condition marked by decreased bone mass), to see how well osteoporosis treatments are working, and to predict how likely the bones are to break. Low bone mass can occur in patients treated for cancer. Also called BMD, bone density, and bone mineral density.

bone metastasis    listen   (...meh-TAS-tuh-sis)
Cancer that has spread from the original (primary) tumor to the bone.

bone mineral density    listen   (... MIH-neh-rul DEN-sih-tee)
A measure of the amount of minerals (mostly calcium and phosphorous) contained in a certain volume of bone. Bone mineral density measurements are used to diagnose osteoporosis (a condition marked by decreased bone mass), to see how well osteoporosis treatments are working, and to predict how likely the bones are to break. Low bone mineral density can occur in patients treated for cancer. Also called BMD, bone density, and bone mass.

bone mineral density scan    listen   (... MIH-neh-rul DEN-sih-tee skan)
An imaging test that measures bone density (the amount of bone mineral contained in a certain volume of bone) by passing x-rays with two different energy levels through the bone. It is used to diagnose osteoporosis (decrease in bone mass and density). Also called BMD scan, DEXA, DEXA scan, dual energy x-ray absorptiometric scan, dual x-ray absorptiometry, and DXA.

bone scan    listen   (bone skan)
A procedure to check for abnormal areas or damage in the bones. A very small amount of radioactive material is injected into a vein and travels through the blood. The radioactive material collects in the bones and is detected by a scanner (a special camera that takes pictures of the inside of the body). A bone scan may be used to diagnose bone tumors or cancer that has spread to the bone. It may also be used to help diagnose fractures, bone infections, or other bone problems.

bone-seeking radioisotope    listen   (bone-SEE-king RAY-dee-oh-I-soh-tope)
A radioactive substance that is given through a vein, and collects in bone cells and in tumor cells that have spread to the bone. It kills cancer cells by giving off low-level radiation.

booster    listen   (BOO-ster)
In medicine, refers to a vaccination given after a previous vaccination. A booster helps maintain or increase a protective immune response.

borderline personality disorder    listen   (BOR-der-LINE PER-suh-NA-lih-tee dis-OR-der)
A serious mental illness marked by unstable moods and impulsive behavior. People with BPD have problems with relationships, family and work life, long-term planning, and self-identity. Symptoms include intense bouts of anger, depression, and anxiety that may lead to self-injury or suicide, drug or alcohol abuse, excessive spending, binge eating, or risky sex. A person with BPD who is diagnosed with cancer may be at an increased risk of suicide. Also called BPD.

boron neutron capture therapy    listen   (BOR-on NOO-tron KAP-cher THAYR-uh-pee)
A type of radiation therapy. A substance that contains boron is injected into a blood vessel. The boron collects in tumor cells. The patient then receives radiation therapy with atomic particles called neutrons. The neutrons react with the boron to kill the tumor cells without harming normal cells. Boron neutron capture therapy is being studied as a treatment for glioblastoma multiforme and recurrent head and neck cancer. Also called BNCT.

boron phenylalanine    listen   (BOR-on feh-nil-A-luh-neen)
A substance used in a type of radiation therapy called boron neutron capture therapy. Boron phenylalanine is injected into a blood vessel and collects in tumor cells. The patient then receives radiation therapy with atomic particles called neutrons. The neutrons react with boron phenylalanine to kill the tumor cells without harming normal cells. Also called BPA.

boronophenylalanine-fructose complex    listen   (BOR-on-oh-feh-nil-A-luh-neen-FROOK-tose KOM-plex)
A substance used in a type of radiation therapy called boron neutron capture therapy. Boronophenylalanine-fructose complex is injected into a blood vessel and collects in tumor cells. The patient then receives radiation therapy with atomic particles called neutrons. The neutrons react with the boron in boronophenylalanine-fructose complex, producing radioactive particles that kill the tumor cells without harming normal cells. Also called BPA-F.

bortezomib    listen   (bor-TEH-zoh-mib)
A drug used to treat multiple myeloma. It is also used to treat mantle cell lymphoma in patients who have already received at least one other type of treatment and is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Bortezomib blocks several molecular pathways in a cell and may cause cancer cells to die. It is a type of proteasome inhibitor and a type of dipeptidyl boronic acid. Also called PS-341 and velcade.

Bosulif    listen   (BAH-soo-lif)
A drug used to treat chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). It is used in patients who cannot be treated with or have not gotten better with other treatment. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Bosulif blocks the action of BCR-ABL and other proteins, which may help keep cancer cells from growing and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Also called bosutinib.

bosutinib    listen   (bah-SOO-tih-nib)
A drug used to treat chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). It is used in patients who cannot be treated with or have not gotten better with other treatment. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Bosutinib blocks the action of BCR-ABL and other proteins, which may help keep cancer cells from growing and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Also called Bosulif.

Boswellia serrata    listen   (bos-WEH-lee-uh seh-RAY-tuh)
A tree that belongs to the incense tree family. The tree’s amber-colored resin is used in incense. The resin has anti-inflammatory effects and has been used to treat arthritis, asthma, and ulcerative colitis. It is also being studied in the treatment of brain tumors. Also called frankincense tree.

botanical    listen   (buh-TA-nih-kul)
Having to do with, or derived from, plants.

Botox    listen   (BOH-tox)
A toxin made by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. It can cause food poisoning. The drug Botox is a form of the toxin that can be used in small amounts to treat certain medical conditions. These include severe underarm sweating and severe muscle spasms in the neck and shoulders. Botox is also used to smooth wrinkles on the face. It is being studied in the treatment of pain in patients with skin leiomyomas (benign smooth muscle tumors) and other conditions. Also called botulinum toxin A and botulinum toxin type A.

botulinum toxin A    listen   (BAH-choo-LY-num TOK-sin …)
A toxin made by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. It can cause food poisoning. The drug Botox is a form of the toxin that can be used in small amounts to treat certain medical conditions. These include severe underarm sweating and severe muscle spasms in the neck and shoulders. Botulinum toxin A is also used to smooth wrinkles on the face. It is being studied in the treatment of pain in patients with skin leiomyomas (benign smooth muscle tumors) and other conditions. Also called Botox and botulinum toxin type A.

botulinum toxin type A    listen   (BAH-choo-LY-num TOK-sin ...)
A toxin made by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. It can cause food poisoning. The drug Botox is a form of the toxin that can be used in small amounts to treat certain medical conditions. These include severe underarm sweating and severe muscle spasms in the neck and shoulders. Botulinum toxin type A is also used to smooth wrinkles on the face. It is being studied in the treatment of pain in patients with skin leiomyomas (benign smooth muscle tumors) and other conditions. Also called Botox and botulinum toxin A.

bowel    listen   (BOW-ul)
The long, tube-shaped organ in the abdomen that completes the process of digestion. The bowel has two parts, the small bowel and the large bowel. Also called intestine.

bowel function    listen   (BOW-ul FUNK-shun)
The way the intestines work in terms of how often there are bowel movements, the ability to control when to have a bowel movement, and whether the stools are hard and dry as in constipation or watery as in diarrhea.

bowel movement    listen   (BOW-ul MOOV-ment)
Movement of feces (undigested food, bacteria, mucus, and cells from the lining of the intestines) through the bowel and out the anus. Also called defecation.

Bowen disease    listen   (BOH-en dih-ZEEZ)
A skin disease marked by scaly or thickened patches on the skin and often caused by prolonged exposure to arsenic. The patches often occur on sun-exposed areas of the skin and in older white men. These patches may become malignant (cancer). Also called precancerous dermatitis and precancerous dermatosis.

Bowman-Birk inhibitor concentrate    listen   (BOH-man-birk in-HIH-bih-ter KON-sen-TRAYT)
A substance that is made from soybeans and is being studied in the prevention of cancer. It blocks the action of enzymes that are needed for cancer cells to form. It is a type of protease inhibitor. Also called BBIC.

BPA      
A substance used in a type of radiation therapy called boron neutron capture therapy. BPA is injected into a blood vessel and collects in tumor cells. The patient then receives radiation therapy with atomic particles called neutrons. The neutrons react with BPA to kill the tumor cells without harming normal cells. Also called boron phenylalanine.

BPA-F      
A substance used in a type of radiation therapy called boron neutron capture therapy. BPA-F is injected into a blood vessel and collects in tumor cells. The patient then receives radiation therapy with atomic particles called neutrons. The neutrons react with the boron in BPA-F, producing radioactive particles that kill the tumor cells without harming normal cells. Also called boronophenylalanine-fructose complex.

BPD      
Borderline personality disorder. A serious mental illness marked by unstable moods and impulsive behavior. People with BPD have problems with relationships, family and work life, long-term planning, and self-identity. Symptoms include intense bouts of anger, depression, and anxiety that may lead to self-injury or suicide, drug or alcohol abuse, excessive spending, binge eating, or risky sex. A person with BPD who is diagnosed with cancer may be at an increased risk of suicide. Also called borderline personality disorder.

BPH      
A benign (not cancer) condition in which an overgrowth of prostate tissue pushes against the urethra and the bladder, blocking the flow of urine. Also called benign prostatic hyperplasia and benign prostatic hypertrophy.

BPU      
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. It is a type of antitubulin agent. Also called benzoylphenylurea.

brachial plexopathy    listen   (BRAY-kee-ul plek-SAH-puh-thee)
A condition marked by numbness, tingling, pain, weakness, or limited movement in the arm or hand. It is caused by an impairment of the brachial plexus, a network of nerves that affect the arm and hand.

brachial plexus    listen   (BRAY-kee-ul PLEK-sus)
A network of nerves that sends signals from the spine to the arm and hand.

brachytherapy    listen   (BRAY-kee-THAYR-uh-pee)
A type of radiation therapy in which radioactive material sealed in needles, seeds, wires, or catheters is placed directly into or near a tumor. Also called implant radiation therapy, internal radiation therapy, and radiation brachytherapy.

BRAF (V600E) kinase inhibitor RO5185426    listen   (… KY-nays in-HIH-bih-ter …)
A drug used to treat advanced melanoma that has a mutated (changed) form of a cell protein called BRAF. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. BRAF (V600E) kinase inhibitor RO5185426 blocks this mutated protein, which may stop the growth of cancer cells. It is a type of kinase inhibitor and a type of targeted therapy agent. Also called PLX4032, RG7204, vemurafenib, and Zelboraf.

BRAF (V600E) mutation    listen   (… myoo-TAY-shun)
A specific mutation (change) in the BRAF gene, which makes a protein that is involved in sending signals in cells and in cell growth. This BRAF gene mutation may be found in some types of cancer, including melanoma and colorectal cancer. It may increase the growth and spread of cancer cells. Checking for this BRAF mutation in tumor tissue may help to plan cancer treatment.

BRAF gene    listen   (… jeen)
A gene that makes a protein called B-RAF, which is involved in sending signals in cells and in cell growth. This gene may be mutated (changed) in many types of cancer, which causes a change in the B-RAF protein. This can increase the growth and spread of cancer cells.

BRAF kinase inhibitor    listen   (… KY-nays in-HIH-bih-ter)
A substance that blocks a protein called BRAF. BRAF is a kinase enzyme that helps control cell growth and signaling. It may be found in a mutated (changed) form in some types of cancer, including melanoma and colorectal cancer. Blocking mutated BRAF kinase proteins may help keep cancer cells from growing. Some BRAF kinase inhibitors are used to treat cancer.

brain metastasis    listen   (brayn meh-TAS-tuh-sis)
Cancer that has spread from the original (primary) tumor to the brain.

brain stem    listen   (brayn stem)
The part of the brain that is connected to the spinal cord.

brain stem auditory evoked response test    listen   (brayn stem AW-duh-TOR-ee eh-VOKT reh-SPONTS …)
A test used to detect some types of hearing loss, such as hearing loss caused by injury or tumors that affect nerves involved in hearing. Electrodes are placed on the head and certain tones or clicking sounds are made. The electrodes measure nerve signals in the brain when it reacts to the sounds. Also called ABR test, auditory brain stem response test, and BAER test.

brain stem glioma    listen   (brayn stem glee-OH-muh)
A tumor located in the part of the brain that connects to the spinal cord (the brain stem). It may grow rapidly or slowly, depending on the grade of the tumor.

brain stem tumor    listen   (brayn stem TOO-mer)
A tumor in the part of the brain that connects to the spinal cord (the brain stem).

brain tumor    listen   (brayn TOO-mer)
The growth of abnormal cells in the tissues of the brain. Brain tumors can be benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer).

Brassica vegetable    listen   (BRA-sih-kuh VEJ-tuh-bul)
A member of the family of vegetables that includes broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, and turnips. These vegetables contain substances that may protect against cancer. Also called cruciferous vegetable.

BRCA1      
A gene on chromosome 17 that normally helps to suppress cell growth. A person who inherits certain mutations (changes) in a BRCA1 gene has a higher risk of getting breast, ovarian, prostate, and other types of cancer.

BRCA2      
A gene on chromosome 13 that normally helps to suppress cell growth. A person who inherits certain mutations (changes) in a BRCA2 gene has a higher risk of getting breast, ovarian, prostate, and other types of cancer.

BRCAPro    listen  
A computer program that uses statistics to predict whether a person has an inherited mutation (change) in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. People who have certain mutations in these genes have a higher than normal risk of breast, ovarian, prostate, and other types of cancer. The program is based on personal and family medical histories of breast and ovarian cancer.

breakthrough pain    listen   (BRAYK-throo payn)
Intense increases in pain that occur with rapid onset even when pain-control medication is being used. Breakthrough pain can occur spontaneously or in relation to a specific activity.

breast    listen   (brest)
Glandular organ located on the chest. The breast is made up of connective tissue, fat, and breast tissue that contains the glands that can make milk. Also called mammary gland.

breast cancer    listen   (brest KAN-ser)
Cancer that forms in tissues of the breast. The most common type of breast cancer is ductal carcinoma, which begins in the lining of the milk ducts (thin tubes that carry milk from the lobules of the breast to the nipple). Another type of breast cancer is lobular carcinoma, which begins in the lobules (milk glands) of the breast. Invasive breast cancer is breast cancer that has spread from where it began in the breast ducts or lobules to surrounding normal tissue. Breast cancer occurs in both men and women, although male breast cancer is rare.

breast carcinoma in situ    listen   (brest KAR-sih-NOH-muh in SY-too)
There are 3 types of breast carcinoma in situ: ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS), and Paget disease of the nipple. DCIS is a noninvasive condition in which abnormal cells are found in the lining of a breast duct. The abnormal cells have not spread outside the duct to other tissues in the breast. In some cases, DCIS may become invasive cancer and spread to other tissues. At this time, there is no way to know which lesions could become invasive. LCIS is a condition in which abnormal cells are found in the lobules of the breast. This condition seldom becomes invasive cancer. However, having LCIS in one breast increases the risk of developing breast cancer in either breast. Paget disease of the nipple is a condition in which abnormal cells are found in the nipple only. Also called stage 0 breast carcinoma in situ.

breast density    listen   (brest DEN-sih-tee)
Describes the relative amount of different tissues present in the breast. A dense breast has less fat than glandular and connective tissue. Mammogram films of breasts with higher density are harder to read and interpret than those of less dense breasts.

breast duct    listen   (brest dukt)
A thin tube in the breast that carries milk from the breast lobules to the nipple. Also called milk duct.

breast duct endoscopy    listen   (brest dukt en-DOS-koh-pee)
A method used to examine the lining of the breast ducts to look for abnormal tissue. A very thin, flexible, lighted tube attached to a camera is inserted through the nipple, and threaded into the breast ducts deep in the breast. Tissue and fluid samples may be removed during the procedure.

Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System    listen   (brest IH-muh-jing reh-port-ing ... SIS-tem)
A method used by radiologists to interpret and report in a standardized manner the results of mammography, ultrasound, and MRI used in breast cancer screening and diagnosis. Also called BI-RADS.

breast implant    listen   (brest IM-plant)
A silicone gel-filled or saline-filled sac placed under the chest muscle to restore breast shape.

breast lobe    listen   (brest …)
A section of the breast that contains the lobules (the glands that make milk).

breast lobule    listen   (brest LAH-byool)
A small part of a lobe in the breast. A breast lobule is a gland that makes milk.

breast reconstruction    listen   (brest REE-kun-STRUK-shun)
Surgery to rebuild the shape of the breast after a mastectomy.

breast self-exam    listen   (brest self-eg-ZAM)
An exam by a woman of her breasts to check for lumps or other changes.

breast-conserving surgery    listen   (brest-kun-SER-ving SER-juh-ree)
An operation to remove the breast cancer but not the breast itself. Types of breast-conserving surgery include lumpectomy (removal of the lump), quadrantectomy (removal of one quarter, or quadrant, of the breast), and segmental mastectomy (removal of the cancer as well as some of the breast tissue around the tumor and the lining over the chest muscles below the tumor). Also called breast-sparing surgery.

breast-sparing surgery    listen   (brest-SPAYR-ing SER-juh-ree)
An operation to remove the breast cancer but not the breast itself. Types of breast-sparing surgery include lumpectomy (removal of the lump), quadrantectomy (removal of one quarter, or quadrant, of the breast), and segmental mastectomy (removal of the cancer as well as some of the breast tissue around the tumor and the lining over the chest muscles below the tumor). Also called breast-conserving surgery.

breastbone    listen   (brest-bone)
The long flat bone that forms the center front of the chest wall. The breastbone is attached to the collarbone and the first seven ribs. Also called sternum.

brentuximab vedotin    listen   (bren-TUK-sih-mab veh-DOH-tin)
A drug used to treat Hodgkin lymphoma and systemic anaplastic large cell lymphoma that did not get better with other treatment. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of lymphoma. Brentuximab vedotin is made by combining a monoclonal antibody with an anticancer drug. It binds to a protein called CD30, which is on the surface of some lymphoma cells, and may kill cancer cells. Brentuximab vedotin is a type of antibody-drug conjugate. Also called Adcetris and SGN-35.

Breslow depth    listen   (BRES-loh …)
A measure of how deeply a melanoma tumor has grown into the skin. The tumor thickness (depth) is usually measured from the top of the tumor to the deepest tumor cells. If the tumor is ulcerated (the skin is broken), it is measured from the base of the ulcer to the deepest tumor cells. Breslow depth is used to help determine the stage of cancer. Thicker tumors are linked with lower survival rates. Also called Breslow thickness.

Breslow thickness    listen   (BRES-loh THIK-nes)
A measure of how deeply a melanoma tumor has grown into the skin. The tumor thickness (depth) is usually measured from the top of the tumor to the deepest tumor cells. If the tumor is ulcerated (the skin is broken), it is measured from the base of the ulcer to the deepest tumor cells. Breslow thickness is used to help determine the stage of cancer. Thicker tumors are linked with lower survival rates. Also called Breslow depth.

Brief Pain Inventory    listen   (breef payn IN-ven-TOR-ee)
A questionnaire used to measure pain.

brivanib    listen   (brih-VAN-ib)
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. Brivanib may prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 inhibitor and a type of antiangiogenesis agent.

brivanib alaninate    listen   (brih-VAN-ib a-luh-NIH-nayt)
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. Brivanib alaninate may prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 inhibitor and a type of antiangiogenesis agent.

brivudine    listen   (BRIH-vyoo-deen)
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of infections caused by herpesvirus, including herpes-zoster (shingles). It belongs to the family of drugs called antivirals.

BRM therapy    listen   (...THAYR-uh-pee)
A type of treatment that uses substances made from living organisms to treat disease. These substances may occur naturally in the body or may be made in the laboratory. Some BRM therapies stimulate or suppress the immune system to help the body fight cancer, infection, and other diseases. Other BRM therapies attack specific cancer cells, which may help keep them from growing or kill them. They may also lessen certain side effects caused by some cancer treatments. Types of BRM therapy include immunotherapy (such as vaccines, cytokines, and some antibodies), gene therapy, and some targeted therapies. Also called biological response modifier therapy, biological therapy, and biotherapy.

broccoli sprout extract    listen   (BRAH-kuh-lee … EK-strakt)
A substance being studied in the prevention of cancer. Broccoli sprout extract comes from newly sprouted broccoli. It causes cells to make enzymes that may protect them against cancer-causing toxins in the body, and it may also block the growth of cancer cells.

bromelain    listen   (BROH-meh-layn)
An enzyme found in pineapples that breaks down other proteins, such as collagen and muscle fiber, and has anti-inflammatory properties. It is used as a meat tenderizer in the food industry.

bronchi    listen   (BRONG-ky)
The large air passages that lead from the trachea (windpipe) to the lungs.

bronchial    listen   (BRON-kee-ul)
Having to do with the bronchi, which are the larger air passages of the lungs, including those that lead from the trachea (windpipe) to the lungs and those within the lungs.

bronchial adenoma    listen   (BRON-kee-ul A-deh-NOH-muh)
Cancer that forms in tissues of the bronchi (large air passages in the lungs including those that lead to the lungs from the windpipe).

bronchial brush biopsy    listen   (BRON-kee-ul brush BY-op-see)
A procedure in which cells are taken from the inside of the airways that lead to the lungs. A bronchoscope (a thin, tube-like instrument with a light and a lens for viewing) is inserted through the nose or mouth into the lungs. A small brush is then used to remove cells from the airways. These cells are then looked at under a microscope. A bronchial brush biopsy is used to find cancer and changes in cells that may lead to cancer. It is also used to help diagnose other lung conditions. Also called bronchial brushing.

bronchial brushing    listen   (BRON-kee-ul BRUH-shing)
A procedure in which cells are taken from the inside of the airways that lead to the lungs. A bronchoscope (a thin, tube-like instrument with a light and a lens for viewing) is inserted through the nose or mouth into the lungs. A small brush is then used to remove cells from the airways. These cells are then looked at under a microscope. A bronchial brushing is used to find cancer and changes in cells that may lead to cancer. It is also used to help diagnose other lung conditions. Also called bronchial brush biopsy.

bronchial washing    listen   (BRON-kee-ul WAH-shing)
A procedure in which cells are taken from the inside of the airways that lead to the lungs. A bronchoscope (a thin, tube-like instrument with a light and a lens for viewing) is inserted through the nose or mouth into the lungs. A mild salt solution is washed over the surface of the airways to collect cells, which are then looked at under a microscope. Bronchial washing is used to find infections. It may also help find cancer or changes in cells that may lead to cancer.

bronchiole    listen   (BRONG-kee-ole)
A tiny branch of air tubes in the lungs.

bronchiolitis obliterans    listen   (BRONG-kee-oh-LY-tis ob-LIH-teh-ranz)
A condition in which the bronchioles (tiny branches of air tubes in the lungs) become inflamed and blocked. It may be caused by breathing in gases or particles that irritate the bronchioles. This irritation causes scar tissue to form, and makes breathing difficult. Bronchiolitis olbiterans may be caused by other factors, and can also occur after a transplant with an organ or stem cells from a matched donor.

bronchitis    listen   (bron-KY-tis)
Inflammation (swelling and reddening) of the bronchi.

bronchodilator    listen   (BRON-koh-DY-lay-ter)
A type of drug that causes small airways in the lungs to open up. Bronchodilators are inhaled and are used to treat breathing disorders, such as asthma or emphysema.

bronchogenic carcinoma    listen   (BRON-koh-JEH-nik KAR-sih-NOH-muh)
Cancer that begins in the tissue that lines or covers the airways of the lungs, including small cell and non-small cell lung cancer.

bronchoscope    listen   (BRON-koh-SKOPE)
A thin, tube-like instrument used to examine the inside of the trachea, bronchi (air passages that lead to the lungs), and lungs. A bronchoscope has a light and a lens for viewing, and may have a tool to remove tissue.

bronchoscopy    listen   (bron-KOS-koh-pee)
A procedure that uses a bronchoscope to examine the inside of the trachea, bronchi (air passages that lead to the lungs), and lungs. A bronchoscope is a thin, tube-like instrument with a light and a lens for viewing. It may also have a tool to remove tissue to be checked under a microscope for signs of disease. The bronchoscope is inserted through the nose or mouth. Bronchoscopy may be used to detect cancer or to perform some treatment procedures.

bronchus    listen   (BRON-kus)
A large airway that leads from the trachea (windpipe) to a lung. The plural of bronchus is bronchi.

brostallicin hydrochloride    listen   (brah-STAH-lih-sin HY-droh-KLOR-ide)
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. Brostallicin hydrochloride binds to DNA and may kill cancer cells. It may also help other drugs kill cancer cells. It is a type of DNA minor groove binding agent.

broxuridine    listen   (brox-YOOR-ih-deen)
A drug that makes cancer cells more sensitive to radiation and is also used as a diagnostic agent to determine how fast cancer cells grow.

bryostatin 1    listen   (BRY-uh-STA-tin)
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer and certain brain conditions such as Alzheimer disease and stroke. It binds to an enzyme involved in cell growth and it may help anticancer drugs work better. Bryostatin 1 comes from a marine organism. It is a type of protein kinase C modulator.

BSH      
A substance used in a type of radiation therapy called boron neutron capture therapy. BSH is injected into a vein and becomes concentrated in tumor cells. The patient then receives radiation treatment with atomic particles called neutrons. The neutrons react with the boron in BSH and make radioactive particles that kill the tumor cells without harming normal cells. Also called sodium borocaptate.

BSI-201      
A substance being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. BSI-201 may kill cancer cells. Also called iniparib.

buccal mucosa    listen   (BUH-kul myoo-KOH-suh)
The inner lining of the cheeks.

budesonide    listen   (byoo-DEH-suh-nide)
A drug used in the treatment of asthma and rhinitis. It is also being studied in the treatment of cancer. Budesonide belongs to the family of drugs called steroids.

bugbane    listen   (BUG-bayn)
An eastern North American perennial herb. A substance obtained from the root of the plant has been used in some cultures to treat a number of medical problems. It is being studied in the treatment of hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause. The scientific name is Cimicifuga racemosa. Also called black cohosh, black snakeroot, bugwort, and rattlesnake root.

bugwort    listen   (BUG-wort)
An eastern North American perennial herb. A substance obtained from the root of the plant has been used in some cultures to treat a number of medical problems. It is being studied in the treatment of hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause. The scientific name is Cimicifuga racemosa. Also called black cohosh, black snakeroot, bugbane, and rattlesnake root.

bulk-forming agent    listen   (...FOR-ming AY-jent)
A substance, such as fiber in food, that adds bulk and water to stools so that they can pass more easily through the intestines (lower part of the digestive tract).

BUN      
Nitrogen in the blood that comes from urea (a substance formed by the breakdown of protein in the liver). The kidneys filter urea out of the blood and into the urine. A high level of urea nitrogen in the blood may be a sign of a kidney problem. Also called blood urea nitrogen and urea nitrogen.

bupivacaine    listen   (byoo-PIH-vuh-kane)
A drug used to relieve pain by blocking signals at nerve endings. It is being studied in the relief of pain following surgery for cancer. It is a type of local anesthetic. Also called bupivacaine hydrochloride, Marcaine, and Sensorcaine.

bupivacaine hydrochloride    listen   (byoo-PIH-vuh-kane HY-droh-KLOR-ide)
A drug used to relieve pain by blocking signals at nerve endings. It is being studied in the relief of pain following surgery for cancer. It is a type of local anesthetic. Also called bupivacaine, Marcaine, and Sensorcaine.

bupropion hydrochloride    listen   (byoo-PROH-pee-on HY-droh-KLOR-ide)
A drug used to treat depression and certain other disorders. It is also used to help people stop smoking. Bupropion hydrochloride increases the levels of the chemicals dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine in the brain. This helps improve mood and can lessen cravings for nicotine. It is a type of antidepressant and a type of nicotine receptor antagonist. Also called Wellbutrin and Zyban.

burdock    listen   (BUR-dok)
A plant whose seeds and root have been used in some cultures to treat certain medical problems. It may have antioxidant effects. The scientific name is Arctium lappa. Also called happy major and lappa.

Burkitt leukemia    listen   (BER-kit loo-KEE-mee-uh)
A rare, fast-growing type of leukemia (blood cancer) in which too many white blood cells called B lymphocytes form in the blood and bone marrow. It may start in the lymph nodes as Burkitt lymphoma and then spread to the blood and bone marrow, or it may start in the blood and bone marrow without involvement of the lymph nodes. Both Burkitt leukemia and Burkitt lymphoma have been linked to infection with the Epstein-Barr virus.

Burkitt lymphoma    listen   (BER-kit lim-FOH-muh)
An aggressive (fast-growing) type of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma that occurs most often in children and young adults. The disease may affect the jaw, central nervous system, bowel, kidneys, ovaries, or other organs. There are three main types of Burkitt lymphoma (sporadic, endemic, and immunodeficiency related). Sporadic Burkitt lymphoma occurs throughout the world, and endemic Burkitt lymphoma occurs in Africa. Immunodeficiency-related Burkitt lymphoma is most often seen in AIDS patients.

burr hole    listen   (bur hole)
A small opening in the skull made with a surgical drill.

bursitis    listen   (ber-SY-tis)
Inflammation (swelling, pain, and warmth) of a bursa. A bursa is a flat, fluid-filled sac found between a bone and a tendon or muscle. It forms a cushion to help the tendon or muscle slide smoothly over the bone. Bursitis may be caused by long-term overuse, trauma, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, or infection. It usually affects the shoulder, knee, elbow, hip, or foot.

buserelin    listen   (BYOO-seh-REH-lin)
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called gonadotropin-releasing hormones. In prostate cancer therapy, buserelin blocks the production of testosterone in the testicles.

buspirone    listen   (byoo-SPY-rone)
A drug that is used to treat certain anxiety disorders. It belongs to the family of drugs called antianxiety agents.

busulfan    listen   (byoo-SUL-fan)
A drug used to treat chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). It is also used with other drugs to prepare patients with CML for a stem cell transplant. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Busulfan attaches to DNA in cells and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of alkylating agent. Also called Busulfex and Myleran.

Busulfex    listen   (byoo-SUL-fex)
A drug used to treat chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). It is also used with other drugs to prepare patients with CML for a stem cell transplant. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Busulfex attaches to DNA in cells and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of alkylating agent. Also called busulfan and Myleran.

butane    listen   (BYOO-tayn)
A colorless gas that catches fire easily and is used as fuel. It is found in gasoline, lighter fluid, and some aerosol sprays. Butane is also one of many harmful chemicals found in tobacco smoke.

buthionine sulfoximine    listen   (byoo-THY-oh-neen sul-FOK-sih-meen)
A drug that may help prevent resistance to some anticancer drugs.

bypass    listen   (BY-pas)
A surgical procedure in which the doctor creates a new pathway for the flow of body fluids.

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