In English | En español
Questions About Cancer? 1-800-4-CANCER

NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

Page Options

  • Print This Page

Widget

NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms


772 results found for:       C



C cell    listen   (… sel)
A type of cell in the thyroid. C cells make calcitonin, a hormone that helps control the calcium level in the blood.

C-11 choline    listen   (… KOH-leen)
A radioactive substance being studied in PET imaging to detect certain types of cancer. C-11 choline gets taken up by cells in the body and more of it is taken up by tumor cells than by normal cells. A PET scanner is used to detect which cells in the body have taken up C-11 choline. It is a type of radioimaging agent.

C-11 choline PET-CT scan    listen   (… KOH-leen … skan)
A procedure in which a small amount of C-11 choline (a radioactive form of the vitamin choline) is injected into a vein. A scanner and a computer are used to make detailed pictures of areas inside the body where the C-11 choline collects. Cancer cells take up more C-11 choline than normal cells, so the pictures can be used to find cancer cells in the body. Also called carbon-11 choline PET-CT scan.

c-ABL      
An enzyme that is involved in many cell processes, such as cell division. The gene for c-ABL is on chromosome 9. In most patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), the part of chromosome 9 with c-ABL has broken off and traded places with part of chromosome 22 to form the BCR-ABL fusion gene.

c-erbB-2      
A protein involved in normal cell growth. It is found on some types of cancer cells, including breast and ovarian. Cancer cells removed from the body may be tested for the presence of c-erbB-2 to help decide the best type of treatment. c-erbB-2 is a type of receptor tyrosine kinase. Also called HER2/neu, human EGF receptor 2, and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2.

c-erbB-2 positive    listen   (… PAH-zih-tiv)
Describes cancer cells that have too much of a protein called HER2 on their surface. In normal cells, HER2 helps to control cell growth. When it is made in larger than normal amounts by cancer cells, the cells may grow more quickly and be more likely to spread to other parts of the body. Checking to see if a cancer is c-erbB-2 positive may help plan treatment, which may include drugs that kill c-erbB-2 positive cancer cells. Cancers that may be c-erbB-2 positive include breast, bladder, pancreatic, ovarian, and stomach cancers. Also called HER2 positive and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 positive.

c-fos antisense oligonucleotide    listen   (… AN-tee-sents AH-lih-goh-NOO-klee-oh-tide)
A substance that has been studied in the treatment of cancer and is being studied in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and certain skin conditions. It blocks the production of a protein called c-fos, which helps control cell growth. This may kill cancer cells that need c-fos to grow. It is a type of antisense oligonucleotide. Also called antisense c-fos.

c-kit      
A protein found on the surface of many different types of cells. It binds to a substance called stem cell factor (SCF), which causes certain types of blood cells to grow. C-kit may also be found in higher than normal amounts, or in a changed form, on some types of cancer cells, including gastrointestinal stromal tumors and melanoma. Measuring the amount of c-kit in tumor tissue may help diagnose cancer and plan treatment. C-kit is a type of receptor tyrosine kinase and a type of tumor marker. Also called CD117 and stem cell factor receptor.

C-peptide    listen   (… PEP-tide)
A substance made by the pancreas. C-peptide and insulin are both part of a larger molecule that gets split apart before being released into the blood. Abnormal blood levels of C-peptide may occur in certain diseases, such as diabetes or cancer. Also called connecting peptide.

C-peptide suppression test    listen   (… PEP-tide suh-PREH-shun …)
A test used to help diagnose a type of pancreatic tumor called an insulinoma. After fasting, the patient receives an injection of insulin and the level of C-peptide (a substance released with insulin by the pancreas) in the blood is measured. In patients who have an insulinoma, the level of C-peptide is higher than normal.

CA 15-3      
A protein found on epithelial cells that is part of a larger protein called MUC 1. CA 15-3 may be found in higher than normal amounts in patients with some types of cancer, including breast cancer. Measuring the amount of CA 15-3 in the blood may be useful in checking how well cancer treatment is working or if cancer has come back. CA 15-3 is a type of tumor marker.

CA 19-9      
A substance released into the bloodstream by both cancer cells and normal cells. Too much CA 19-9 in the blood can be a sign of pancreatic cancer or other types of cancer or conditions. The amount of CA 19-9 in the blood can be used to help keep track of how well cancer treatments are working or if cancer has come back. It is a type of tumor marker.

CA 19-9 assay    listen   (... A-say)
A laboratory test that measures the level of CA 19-9 in the blood. CA 19-9 is a substance released into the blood by both cancer cells and normal cells. Higher than normal amounts of CA 19-9 in the blood can be a sign of pancreatic or other types of cancer or other conditions. The amount of CA 19-9 in the blood can be used to help keep track of how well cancer treatments are working or if cancer has come back. CA 19-9 is a type of tumor marker.

CA 27.29      
A protein found on epithelial cells, which line the inside and outside surfaces of the body. It is part of a larger protein called MUC 1. CA 27.29 may be found in higher than normal amounts in patients with some types of cancer, including breast cancer. Measuring the amount of CA 27.29 in the blood may help to find out how well cancer treatment is working or if cancer has come back. CA 27.29 is a type of tumor marker.

CA-125      
A substance that may be found in high amounts in the blood of patients with certain types of cancer, including ovarian cancer. CA-125 levels may also help monitor how well cancer treatments are working or if cancer has come back. Also called cancer antigen 125.

CAB      
In medicine, a group of non-scientist volunteers that serves as a link between a community and clinical trial researchers. A CAB may review and monitor clinical trials and help teach the community about the trials. Also called Community Advisory Board.

CAB      
Surgery in which a healthy blood vessel taken from another part of the body is used to make a new path for blood around a blocked artery leading to the heart. This restores the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the heart. Also called aortocoronary bypass and coronary artery bypass.

cabazitaxel    listen   (kuh-BA-zih-TAK-sil)
A drug used with prednisone to treat hormone-resistant prostate cancer that has spread and that had been treated with docetaxel. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Cabazitaxel blocks cell growth by stopping cell division and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of antimitotic agent. Also called Jevtana and taxoid XRP6258.

cabozantinib-s-malate    listen   (KA-boh-ZAN-tih-nib ... MA-layt)
A drug used to treat progressive medullary thyroid cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Cabozantinib-s-malate blocks certain proteins, which may help keep cancer cells from growing. It may also prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It is a type of tyrosine kinase inhibitor and a type of angiogenesis inhibitor. Also called Cometriq.

cachexia    listen   (kuh-KEK-see-uh)
Loss of body weight and muscle mass, and weakness that may occur in patients with cancer, AIDS, or other chronic diseases.

CAD      
A disease in which there is a narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries (blood vessels that carry blood and oxygen to the heart). CAD is usually caused by atherosclerosis (a buildup of fatty material and plaque inside the coronary arteries). The disease may cause chest pain, shortness of breath during exercise, and heart attacks. The risk of CAD is increased by having a family history of CAD before age 50, older age, smoking tobacco, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, lack of exercise, and obesity. Also called coronary artery disease and coronary heart disease.

cadmium    listen   (KAD-mee-um)
A metallic element that occurs naturally in tiny amounts in air, water, soil, and food. It is a byproduct of zinc refining and is used to make batteries, pigments, plastics, alloys, and electroplate. It is also found in tobacco and tobacco smoke. Exposure to high levels of cadmium may cause certain cancers and other health problems.

CAF      
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used alone or together with other therapies to treat breast cancer. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It includes the drugs cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin hydrochloride (Adriamycin), and fluorouracil. Also called CAF regimen.

CAF regimen    listen   (… REH-jih-men)
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used alone or together with other therapies to treat breast cancer. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It includes the drugs cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin hydrochloride (Adriamycin), and fluorouracil. Also called CAF.

caffeine    listen   (ka-FEEN)
A substance found in the leaves and beans of the coffee tree, in tea, yerba mate, guarana berries, and in small amounts in cocoa. It can also be made in the laboratory, and is added to some soft drinks, foods, and medicines. Caffeine increases brain activity, alertness, attention, and energy. It may also increase blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, and the loss of water from the body in urine.

calbindin    listen   (KAL-bine-din)
A group of proteins that bind calcium and move it into cells. Calbindins are found in many different tissues in the body.

calcification    listen   (KAL-sih-fih-KAY-shun)
Deposits of calcium in the tissues. Calcification in the breast can be seen on a mammogram, but cannot be detected by touch. There are two types of breast calcification, macrocalcification and microcalcification. Macrocalcifications are large deposits and are usually not related to cancer. Microcalcifications are specks of calcium that may be found in an area of rapidly dividing cells. Many microcalcifications clustered together may be a sign of cancer.

calcinosis    listen   (KAL-sih-NOH-sis)
A condition in which abnormal amounts of calcium salts are found in soft tissue, such as muscle.

calcitonin    listen   (KAL-sih-TOH-nin)
A hormone formed by the C cells of the thyroid gland. It helps maintain a healthy level of calcium in the blood. When the calcium level is too high, calcitonin lowers it.

calcitriol    listen   (KAL-sih-TRY-ol)
The active form of vitamin D. Calcitriol is formed in the kidneys or made in the laboratory. It is used as a drug to increase calcium levels in the body in order to treat skeletal and tissue-related calcium deficiencies caused by kidney or thyroid disorders.

calcium    listen   (KAL-see-um)
A mineral needed for healthy teeth, bones, and other body tissues. It is the most common mineral in the body. A deposit of calcium in body tissues, such as breast tissue, may be a sign of disease.

calcium carbonate    listen   (KAL-see-um KAR-buh-nayt)
A form of the mineral calcium that is used to prevent or treat osteoporosis (a decrease in bone mass and density) and to treat heartburn and upset stomach. It is also being studied in the prevention of bone problems in people with cancer. It is a type of dietary supplement.

calcium gluconate    listen   (KAL-see-um GLOO-koh-nayt)
The mineral calcium combined with a form of the sugar glucose. It is used to prevent and treat osteoporosis (a decrease in bone mass and density). It is also being studied in the treatment of bone loss and nerve damage caused by chemotherapy. It is a type of dietary supplement.

calcium infusion test    listen   (KAL-see-um in-FYOO-zhun …)
A test used to help diagnose a type of pancreatic islet cell tumor called a gastrinoma. The patient receives a 3-hour infusion of a substance called calcium gluconate and the amount of gastrin in the blood is measured. An increase in the level of gastrin in the blood after the infusion may be a sign of a gastrinoma.

calcium levoleucovorin    listen   (KAL-see-um LEE-voh-LOO-koh-VOR-in)
A drug used to lessen the toxic effects of substances that block the action of folic acid, especially the anticancer drug methotrexate. Calcium levoleucovorin is used to treat some types of anemia and is also used with fluorouracil to treat colorectal cancer. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer and other conditions. Calcium levoleucovorin is a form of folic acid. It is a type of chemoprotective agent and a type of chemosensitizing agent. Also called citrovorum factor, leucovorin calcium, and Wellcovorin.

calcium-41 (41Ca) chloride aqueous solution    listen   (KAL-see-um … KLOR-ide AY-kwee-us suh-LOO-shun)
A substance used to diagnose and monitor cancer that has spread to the bones. It is also used to study the turnover of bone tissue and to diagnose other conditions that affect the bones, such as osteoporosis. Calcium-41 (41Ca) is a form of calcium that gives off radiation. It is passed from the body in the urine.

calcium-46 (46Ca) chloride aqueous solution    listen   (KAL-see-um … KLOR-ide AY-kwee-us suh-LOO-shun)
A substance used to study the turnover of bone tissue in certain diseases, such as osteoporosis or cancer that has spread to the bone. Calcium-46 (46Ca) is a form of calcium. It is passed from the body in the urine.

calendula ointment    listen   (kuh-LEN-juh-luh OYNT-ment)
A substance made from the flower of the marigold plant Calendula officinalis. Calendula-based skin products have been used to treat minor cuts, burns, and skin irritation. The products that are available in the United States may not contain the same amount or mixture of ingredients and may not be effective. Another product, Calendula ointment, is being studied in France in the prevention of dermatitis in patients having radiation therapy for breast cancer. The ointment being studied is not available in the United States.

calgranulin A    listen   (kal-GRAN-yoo-lin ...)
A protein that is made by many different types of cells and is involved in processes that take place both inside and outside of the cell. It is made in larger amounts in inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, and in some types of cancer. It is being studied as a biomarker for breast cancer. Also called S100 calcium binding protein A8.

calgranulin B    listen   (kal-GRAN-yoo-lin ...)
A protein that is made by many different types of cells and is involved in processes that take place both inside and outside of the cell. It is made in larger amounts in inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, and in some types of cancer. It is being studied as a biomarker for breast cancer. Also called S100 calcium binding protein A9.

caloric intake    listen   (kuh-LOR-ik In-tayk)
Refers to the number of calories (energy content) consumed.

calorie    listen   (KA-luh-ree)
A measurement of the energy content of food. The body needs calories as to perform its functions, such as breathing, circulating the blood, and physical activity. When a person is sick, their body may need extra calories to fight fever or other problems.

CAM    listen  
Forms of treatment that are used in addition to (complementary) or instead of (alternative) standard treatments. These practices generally are not considered standard medical approaches. Standard treatments go through a long and careful research process to prove they are safe and effective, but less is known about most types of CAM. CAM may include dietary supplements, megadose vitamins, herbal preparations, special teas, acupuncture, massage therapy, magnet therapy, spiritual healing, and meditation. Also called complementary and alternative medicine.

Campath    listen   (KAM-path)
A drug used to treat B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Campath binds to a protein called CD52, which is found on some types of immune cells and cancer cells. This may help the immune system kill cancer cells. Campath is a type of monoclonal antibody. Also called alemtuzumab.

camphor    listen   (KAM-fer)
A substance that comes from the wood and bark of the camphor tree or is made in the laboratory. It has a very unique smell and taste and is used in commercial products (for example, mothballs). Camphor is used in topical anti-infective and anti-pruritic (anti-itching) agents.

Camptosar    listen   (KAMP-toh-sar)
A drug used alone or with other drugs to treat colon cancer or rectal cancer that has spread to other parts of the body or has come back after treatment with fluorouracil. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Camptosar blocks certain enzymes needed for cell division and DNA repair, and it may kill cancer cells. It is a type of topoisomerase inhibitor and a type of camptothecin analog. Also called CPT 11 and irinotecan hydrochloride.

camptothecin    listen   (KAMP-toh-THEH-kin)
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called topoisomerase inhibitors.

camptothecin analog    listen   (KAMP-toh-THEH-kin A-nuh-log)
An anticancer drug related in structure to camptothecin, a topoisomerase inhibitor. One such drug is aminocamptothecin.

Cancell    listen   (kan-SEL)
A liquid that has been promoted as a treatment for a wide range of diseases, including cancer. The ingredients thought to be in Cancell have been tested, and none of them have been shown to be effective in treating any form of cancer. Cancell is not available in the United States. Also called 126–F, Cantron, Jim’s Juice, JS–101, JS–114, Protocel, and Sheridan’s Formula.

cancer    listen   (KAN-ser)
A term for diseases in which abnormal cells divide without control and can invade nearby tissues. Cancer cells can also spread to other parts of the body through the blood and lymph systems. There are several main types of cancer. Carcinoma is a cancer that begins in the skin or in tissues that line or cover internal organs. Sarcoma is a cancer that begins in bone, cartilage, fat, muscle, blood vessels, or other connective or supportive tissue. Leukemia is a cancer that starts in blood-forming tissue, such as the bone marrow, and causes large numbers of abnormal blood cells to be produced and enter the blood. Lymphoma and multiple myeloma are cancers that begin in the cells of the immune system. Central nervous system cancers are cancers that begin in the tissues of the brain and spinal cord. Also called malignancy.

cancer antigen 125    listen   (KAN-ser AN-tih-jen...)
A substance that may be found in high amounts in the blood of patients with certain types of cancer, including ovarian cancer. Cancer antigen 125 levels may also help monitor how well cancer treatments are working or if cancer has come back. Also called CA-125.

cancer cell line    listen   (KAN-ser sel line)
Cancer cells that keep dividing and growing over time, under certain conditions in a laboratory. Cancer cell lines are used in research to study the biology of cancer and to test cancer treatments.

cancer cluster    listen   (KAN-ser KLUS-ter)
The occurrence of a larger-than-expected number of cases of cancer within a group of people in a geographic area over a period of time.

Cancer Information Service    listen   (KAN-ser in-fer-MAY-shun SER-vis)
The Cancer Information Service is the National Cancer Institute's link to the public, interpreting and explaining research findings in a clear and understandable manner, and providing personalized responses to specific questions about cancer. Access the CIS by calling 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237), or by using the LiveHelp instant-messaging service at https://livehelp.cancer.gov. Also called CIS.

Cancer Intervention and Surveillance Modeling Network    listen   (KAN-ser IN-ter-VEN-shun … ser-VAY-lents MAH-duh-ling NET-wurk)
A group of researchers supported by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) who use statistical models to help understand how cancer prevention, screening, and treatment programs can affect the number of new cases of cancer diagnosed each year and the number of deaths from cancer each year. The Cancer Intervention and Surveillance Modeling Network is now studying breast, colorectal, esophageal, lung, and prostate cancers. The models they create help guide future cancer control strategies, research priorities, policies, and decision making. Also called CISNET.

cancer of the adrenal cortex    listen   (KAN-ser ... uh-DREE-nul KOR-tex)
A rare cancer that forms in the outer layer of tissue of the adrenal gland (a small organ on top of each kidney that makes steroid hormones, adrenaline, and noradrenaline to control heart rate, blood pressure, and other body functions). Also called adrenocortical cancer and adrenocortical carcinoma.

cancer of unknown primary origin    listen   (KAN-ser ... UN-none PRY-mayr-ee OR-ih-jin)
A case in which cancer cells are found in the body, but the place where the cells first started growing (the origin or primary site) cannot be determined. Also called carcinoma of unknown primary and CUP.

cancer subtype    listen   (KAN-ser SUB-tipe)
Describes the smaller groups that a type of cancer can be divided into, based on certain characteristics of the cancer cells. These characteristics include how the cancer cells look under a microscope and whether there are certain substances in or on the cells or certain changes to the DNA of the cells. It is important to know the subtype of a cancer in order to plan treatment and determine prognosis.

cancer treatment vaccine    listen   (KAN-ser TREET-ment vak-SEEN)
A type of vaccine that is usually made from a patient’s own tumor cells or from substances taken from tumor cells. A cancer vaccine may help the immune system kill cancer cells. Also called cancer vaccine.

cancer vaccine    listen   (KAN-ser vak-SEEN)
A type of vaccine that is usually made from a patient’s own tumor cells or from substances taken from tumor cells. A cancer vaccine may help the immune system kill cancer cells. Also called cancer treatment vaccine.

candidiasis    listen   (KAN-dih-DY-uh-sis)
A condition in which Candida albicans, a type of yeast, grows out of control in moist skin areas of the body. It is usually a result of a weakened immune system, but can be a side effect of chemotherapy or treatment with antibiotics. Candidiasis usually affects the mouth (oral candidiasis); however, rarely, it spreads throughout the entire body. Also called candidosis and thrush.

candidosis    listen   (KAN-dih-DOH-sis)
A condition in which Candida albicans, a type of yeast, grows out of control in moist skin areas of the body. It is usually a result of a weakened immune system, but can be a side effect of chemotherapy or treatment with antibiotics. Candidosis usually affects the mouth (oral candidosis); however, rarely, it spreads throughout the entire body. Also called candidiasis and thrush.

canertinib    listen   (can-ER-tih-nib)
A substance being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. Canertinib blocks the action of proteins called epidermal growth factor receptors, and may cause cancer cells to die. It is a type of tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Also called canertinib dihydrochloride and CI-1033.

canertinib dihydrochloride    listen   (can-ER-tih-nib dy-HY-droh-KLOR-ide)
A substance being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. Canertinib dihydrochloride blocks the action of proteins called epidermal growth factor receptors, and may cause cancer cells to die. It is a type of tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Also called canertinib and CI-1033.

cannabinoid    listen   (kuh-NA-bih-noyd)
A type of chemical in marijuana that causes drug-like effects all through the body, including the central nervous system and the immune system. The main active cannabinoid in marijuana is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Cannabinoids may help treat the symptoms of cancer or the side effects of cancer treatment.

Cannabis    listen   (KA-nuh-bis)
The dried leaves and flowering tops of the Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica plant. Cannabis contains active chemicals called cannabinoids that cause drug-like effects all through the body, including the central nervous system and the immune system. Cannabis may help treat the symptoms of cancer or the side effects of cancer treatment, such as nausea and vomiting, pain, and cachexia (loss of body weight and muscle mass). Also called marijuana.

Cantron    listen   (KAN-tron)
A liquid that has been promoted as a treatment for a wide range of diseases, including cancer. The ingredients thought to be in Cantron have been tested, and none of them have been shown to be effective in treating any form of cancer. Cantron is not available in the United States. Also called 126–F, Cancell, Jim’s Juice, JS–101, JS–114, Protocel, and Sheridan’s Formula.

CAP-1      
A small piece of a tumor marker called carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA). CEA may be found in the blood of people who have colon cancer, other types of cancer or diseases, or who smoke tobacco. CAP-1 is used to make a vaccine that may help stimulate the body’s immune system to kill cancer cells. Also called carcinoembryonic antigen peptide-1 and CEA peptide-1.

capecitabine    listen   (ka-peh-SY-tuh-been)
A drug used to treat stage III colon cancer in patients who had surgery to remove the cancer. It is also used to treat metastatic breast cancer that has not improved after treatment with certain other anticancer drugs. Capecitabine is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It is taken up by cancer cells and breaks down into 5-fluorouracil, a substance that kills tumor cells. Capecitabine is a type of antimetabolite. Also called Xeloda.

capillary    listen   (KA-pih-layr-ee)
The smallest type of blood vessel. A capillary connects an arteriole (small artery) to a venule (small vein) to form a network of blood vessels in almost all parts of the body. The wall of a capillary is thin and leaky, and capillaries are involved in the exchange of fluids and gases between tissues and the blood.

capillary leak syndrome    listen   (KA-pih-layr-ee leek SIN-drome)
A condition in which fluid and proteins leak out of tiny blood vessels and flow into surrounding tissues, resulting in dangerously low blood pressure. Capillary leak syndrome may lead to multiple organ failure and shock.

CAPOX    listen  
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used to treat advanced colorectal cancer. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It includes the drugs capecitabine and oxaliplatin. Also called CAPOX regimen.

CAPOX regimen    listen   (… REH-jih-men)
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used to treat advanced colorectal cancer. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It includes the drugs capecitabine and oxaliplatin. Also called CAPOX.

Caprelsa    listen   (ka-PREL-suh)
A drug used to treat medullary thyroid cancer that has spread to other parts of the body and cannot be treated by surgery. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Caprelsa prevents the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It also blocks enzymes needed for cell growth and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of antiangiogenesis agent and a type of tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Also called vandetanib and ZD6474.

capromab pendetide    listen   (KAP-roh-mab PEN-deh-tide)
A substance used to detect prostate cancer. It contains a monoclonal antibody that binds to prostate cells, linked to a substance that can bind radioisotopes. Capromab pendetide is combined with indium 111 and injected into the body. A gamma camera (a special camera that detects radioactivity) is used to find prostate cancer cells in the body. Capromab pendetide is a type of immunoconjugate. Also called ProstaScint.

capsaicin    listen   (kap-SAY-ih-sin)
A component of certain plants, including cayenne and red pepper, used topically for peripheral nerve pain. It is also being studied for controlling mucositis pain after chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

capsule    listen   (KAP-sul)
In medicine, a sac of tissue and blood vessels that surrounds an organ, joint, or tumor. A capsule is also a form for medicine that is taken by mouth. It usually has a shell made of gelatin with the medicine inside.

capsule endoscope    listen   (KAP-sul EN-doh-SKOPE)
A device used to look at the inside of the intestines and other parts of the digestive tract. It is a capsule that is about the size of a large pill, with a lens, a light, a camera, a radio transmitter, and a battery inside. The patient swallows the capsule and it takes pictures as it travels through the digestive tract. The pictures are sent to a small recorder that is worn on the patient’s waist or shoulder. The pictures are then viewed on a computer by the doctor to check for signs of disease. The capsule endoscope passes out of the body during a bowel movement. Also called wireless capsule endoscope.

capsule endoscopy    listen   (KAP-sul en-DOS-koh-pee)
A procedure used to look at the inside of the intestines and other parts of the digestive tract. The patient swallows a capsule about the size of a large pill. The capsule contains a tiny wireless camera that travels through the digestive tract. It takes pictures of the inside of the digestive tract and sends them to a small recorder that is worn on the patient’s waist or shoulder. The pictures are then viewed on a computer by the doctor to check for signs of disease. The capsule passes out of the body during a bowel movement.

captopril    listen   (KAP-toh-pril)
A drug used to treat high blood pressure that is also being studied in the prevention of side effects caused by radiation therapy used in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called ACE inhibitors.

carbamide    listen   (KAR-buh-MIDE)
A substance formed by the breakdown of protein in the liver. The kidneys filter carbamide out of the blood and into the urine. Carbamide can also be made in the laboratory. A topical form of carbamide is being studied in the treatment of hand-foot syndrome (pain, swelling, numbness, tingling, or redness of the hands or feet that may occur as a side effect of certain anticancer drugs). Also called urea.

carbendazim    listen   (kar-BEN-duh-zim)
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called antifungal agents.

Carbo-Tax regimen    listen   (KAR-boh-tax REH-jih-men)
A chemotherapy combination used to treat endometrial, ovarian, and head and neck cancers, and non-small cell lung cancer that has spread. It includes the drugs carboplatin and paclitaxel (Taxol). Also called carboplatin-Taxol, carboplatin-Taxol regimen, CaT regimen, and PC regimen.

carbogen    listen   (KAR-boh-jen)
An inhaled form of oxygen and carbon dioxide that has more oxygen than air has. It is being studied in the treatment of cancer and other conditions. It may increase the amount of oxygen in cancer cells, which may make them easier to kill with radiation therapy. Carbogen is a type of radiosensitizing agent.

carbohydrate    listen   (KAR-boh-HY-drayt)
A sugar molecule. Carbohydrates can be small and simple (for example, glucose) or they can be large and complex (for example, polysaccharides such as starch, chitin or cellulose).

carbolic acid    listen   (kar-BAH-lik A-sid)
A very poisonous chemical substance made from tar and also found in some plants and essential oils (scented liquid taken from plants). Carbolic acid is used to make plastics, nylon, epoxy, medicines, and to kill germs. Also called phenol.

carbon dioxide    listen   (KAR-bun dy-OK-side)
A colorless, odorless gas. It is a waste product made by the body. Carbon dioxide travels in the blood from the body’s tissues to the lungs. Breathing out clears carbon dioxide from the lungs.

carbon monoxide    listen   (KAR-bun muh-NOK-side)
A poisonous gas that has no color or odor. It is given off by burning fuel (as in exhaust from cars or household heaters) and tobacco products. Carbon monoxide prevents red blood cells from carrying enough oxygen for cells and tissues to live.

carbon-11 acetate    listen   (KAR-bun ... A-seh-tayt)
A radioactive form of carbon that is used in positron emission tomography (PET) scanning.

carbon-11 choline PET-CT scan    listen   (KAR-bun … KOH-leen … skan)
A procedure in which a small amount of carbon-11 choline (a radioactive form of the vitamin choline) is injected into a vein. A scanner and a computer are used to make detailed pictures of areas inside the body where the carbon-11 choline collects. Cancer cells take up more carbon-11 choline than normal cells, so the pictures can be used to find cancer cells in the body. Also called C-11 choline PET-CT scan.

carboplatin    listen   (KAR-boh-pla-tin)
A drug that is used to treat advanced ovarian cancer that has never been treated or symptoms of ovarian cancer that has come back after treatment with other anticancer drugs. It is also used with other drugs to treat advanced, metastatic, or recurrent non-small cell lung cancer and is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Carboplatin is a form of the anticancer drug cisplatin and causes fewer side effects in patients. It attaches to DNA in cells and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of platinum compound. Also called Paraplatin.

carboplatin-paclitaxel-bevacizumab regimen    listen   (KAR-boh-pla-tin-PA-klih-TAK-sil-beh-vuh-SIH-zoo-mab REH-jih-men)
A chemotherapy combination used to treat advanced, nonsquamous non-small cell lung cancer. It includes the drugs carboplatin, paclitaxel (Taxol), and bevacizumab. Also called carboplatin-Taxol-bevacizumab regimen.

carboplatin-Taxol    listen   (KAR-boh-pla-tin-TAK-sol)
A chemotherapy combination used to treat endometrial, ovarian, and head and neck cancers, and non-small cell lung cancer that has spread. It includes the drugs carboplatin and paclitaxel (Taxol). Also called Carbo-Tax regimen, carboplatin-Taxol regimen, CaT regimen, and PC regimen.

carboplatin-Taxol regimen    listen   (KAR-boh-pla-tin-TAK-sol REH-jih-men)
A chemotherapy combination used to treat endometrial, ovarian, and head and neck cancers, and non-small cell lung cancer that has spread. It includes the drugs carboplatin and paclitaxel (Taxol). Also called Carbo-Tax regimen, carboplatin-Taxol, CaT regimen, and PC regimen.

carboplatin-Taxol-bevacizumab regimen    listen   (KAR-boh-pla-tin-TAK-sol-beh-vuh-SIH-zoo-mab REH-jih-men)
A chemotherapy combination used to treat advanced, nonsquamous non-small cell lung cancer. It includes the drugs carboplatin, paclitaxel (Taxol), and bevacizumab. Also called carboplatin-paclitaxel-bevacizumab regimen.

carboxyamidotriazole    listen   (kar-BOK-see-uh-MEE-doh-TRY-uh-zole)
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called angiogenesis inhibitors.

carboxypeptidase-G2    listen   (kar-BOK-see-PEP-tih-days …)
A drug used to treat toxic levels of methotrexate (an anticancer drug) in the blood of patients with kidney problems. It is a bacterial enzyme that breaks down proteins and other substances, such as methotrexate. Carboxypeptidase-G2 may also help certain drugs kill cancer cells. It is a type of chemoprotective agent and a type of prodrug activator. Also called glucarpidase and Voraxaze.

carcinoembryonic antigen    listen   (KAR-sih-noh-EM-bree-AH-nik AN-tih-jen)
A substance that may be found in the blood of people who have colon cancer, other types of cancer or diseases, or who smoke tobacco. Carcinoembryonic antigen levels may help keep track of how well cancer treatments are working or if cancer has come back. It is a type of tumor marker. Also called CEA.

carcinoembryonic antigen assay    listen   (KAR-sih-noh-EM-bree-AH-nik AN-tih-jen A-say)
A laboratory test that measures the level of carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) in the blood. An increased amount of CEA may be found in the blood of people who have colon cancer or other types of cancer, certain other diseases, or who smoke. The amount of CEA in the blood may also help keep track of how well cancer treatments are working or if cancer has come back. CEA is a type of tumor marker. Also called CEA assay.

carcinoembryonic antigen peptide-1    listen   (KAR-sih-noh-EM-bree-AH-nik AN-tih-jen PEP-tide-1)
A small piece of a tumor marker called carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA). CEA may be found in the blood of people who have colon cancer, other types of cancer or diseases, or who smoke tobacco. Carcinoembryonic antigen peptide-1 is used to make a vaccine that may help stimulate the body’s immune system to kill cancer cells. Also called CAP-1 and CEA peptide-1.

carcinogen    listen   (kar-SIH-noh-jin)
Any substance that causes cancer.

carcinogenesis    listen   (KAR-sih-noh-JEH-neh-sis)
The process by which normal cells are transformed into cancer cells.

carcinoid    listen   (KAR-sih-noyd)
A slow-growing type of tumor usually found in the gastrointestinal system (most often in the appendix), and sometimes in the lungs or other sites. Carcinoid tumors may spread to the liver or other sites in the body, and they may secrete substances such as serotonin or prostaglandins, causing carcinoid syndrome.

carcinoid syndrome    listen   (KAR-sih-noyd SIN-drome)
A combination of symptoms caused by the release of serotonin and other substances from carcinoid tumors of the gastrointestinal tract. Symptoms may include flushing of the face, flat angiomas (small collections of dilated blood vessels) of the skin, diarrhea, bronchial spasms, rapid pulse, and sudden drops in blood pressure.

carcinoma    listen   (KAR-sih-NOH-muh)
Cancer that begins in the skin or in tissues that line or cover internal organs.

carcinoma in situ    listen   (KAR-sih-NOH-muh in SY-too)
A group of abnormal cells that remain in the place where they first formed. They have not spread. These abnormal cells may become cancer and spread into nearby normal tissue. Also called stage 0 disease.

carcinoma of unknown primary    listen   (KAR-sih-NOH-muh ... UN-none PRY-mayr-ee)
A case in which cancer cells are found in the body, but the place where the cells first started growing (the origin or primary site) cannot be determined. Also called cancer of unknown primary origin and CUP.

carcinomatosis    listen   (KAR-sih-NOH-muh-TOH-sis)
A condition in which cancer is spread widely throughout the body, or, in some cases, to a relatively large region of the body. Also called carcinosis.

carcinomatous lymphangitis    listen   (KAR-sih-NOH-muh-tus LIM-fan-JY-tis)
A condition in which cancer cells spread from the original (primary) tumor and invade lymph vessels (thin tubes that carry lymph and white blood cells through the body’s lymph system). The invaded lymph vessels then fill up with cancer cells and become blocked. Although carcinomatous lymphangitis can occur anywhere in the body, it commonly happens in the lungs. It can happen in many types of cancer but is most common in breast, lung, colon, stomach, pancreatic, and prostate cancer. Also called lymphangitic carcinomatosis.

carcinomatous meningitis    listen   (KAR-sih-NOH-muh-tus MEH-nin-JY-tis)
A serious problem that may occur in cancer in which cancer cells spread from the original (primary) tumor to the meninges (thin layers of tissue that cover and protect the brain and spinal cord). It can happen in many types of cancer, but is the most common in melanoma, breast, lung, and gastrointestinal cancer. The cancer may cause the meninges to be inflamed. Also called leptomeningeal carcinoma, leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, leptomeningeal metastasis, meningeal carcinomatosis, meningeal metastasis, and neoplastic meningitis.

carcinosarcoma    listen   (KAR-sih-noh-sar-KOH-muh)
A malignant tumor that is a mixture of carcinoma (cancer of epithelial tissue, which is skin and tissue that lines or covers the internal organs) and sarcoma (cancer of connective tissue, such as bone, cartilage, and fat).

carcinosis    listen   (KAR-sih-noh-sis)
A condition in which cancer is spread widely throughout the body, or, in some cases, to a relatively large region of the body. Also called carcinomatosis.

carcinostatic    listen   (KAR-sih-noh-STAT-ik)
Pertaining to slowing or stopping the growth of cancer.

cardiac    listen   (KAR-dee-ak)
Having to do with the heart.

cardiac pacemaker    listen   (KAR-dee-ak PAYS-may-ker)
An electronic device that is implanted in the body to monitor heart rate and rhythm. It gives the heart electrical stimulation when it does not beat normally. It runs on batteries and has long, thin wires that connect it to the heart. Also called artificial pacemaker and pacemaker.

cardiac sarcoma    listen   (KAR-dee-ak sar-KOH-muh)
A rare cancer that develops in tissues of the heart. Also called heart cancer.

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

cardiology    listen   (KAR-dee-AH-loh-jee)
A branch of medicine that specializes in diagnosing and treating diseases of the heart, blood vessels, and circulatory system. These diseases include coronary artery disease, heart rhythm problems, and heart failure.

cardiopulmonary    listen   (KAR-dee-oh-PUL-muh-NAYR-ee)
Having to do with the heart and lungs.

cardiopulmonary resuscitation    listen   (KAR-dee-oh-PUL-muh-NAYR-ee ree-SUH-sih-TAY-shun)
An emergency procedure used to restart a person’s heartbeat and breathing after one or both have stopped. It involves giving strong, rapid pushes to the chest to keep blood moving through the body. Usually, it also involves blowing air into the person’s mouth to help with breathing and send oxygen to the lungs. Also called CPR.

cardiotoxicity    listen   (KAR-dee-oh-tok-SIH-sih-tee)
Toxicity that affects the heart.

cardiovascular    listen   (KAR-dee-oh-VAS-kyoo-ler)
Having to do with the heart and blood vessels.

cardiovascular disease    listen   (KAR-dee-oh-VAS-kyoo-ler dih-ZEEZ)
A type of disease that affects the heart or blood vessels. The risk of certain cardiovascular diseases may be increased by smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, and obesity. The most common cardiovascular disease is coronary artery disease (narrow or blocked coronary arteries), which can lead to chest pain, heart attacks, or stroke. Other cardiovascular diseases include congestive heart failure, heart rhythm problems, congenital heart disease (heart disease at birth), and endocarditis (inflamed inner layer of the heart). Also called heart disease.

Cardura    listen   (kar-DOO-ruh)
A drug used to treat high blood pressure and urinary problems caused by an enlarged prostate. It relaxes muscle tissue in blood vessels and in the prostate. Cardura is a type of alpha blocker. Also called doxazosin and doxazosin mesylate.

caregiver    listen   (KAYR-gih-ver)
A person who gives care to people who need help taking care of themselves. Examples include children, the elderly, or patients who have chronic illnesses or are disabled. Caregivers may be health professionals, family members, friends, social workers, or members of the clergy. They may give care at home or in a hospital or other health care setting.

carfilzomib    listen   (kar-FIL-zoh-mib)
A drug used to treat multiple myeloma that has not gotten better with other anticancer drugs. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Carfilzomib blocks the action of enzymes called proteasomes, and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of proteasome inhibitor. Also called Kyprolis.

carina of trachea    listen   (kuh-RY-nuh ... TRAY-kee-uh)
A ridge at the base of the trachea (windpipe) that separates the openings of the right and left main bronchi (the large air passages that lead from the trachea to the lungs). Also called tracheal carina.

carmustine    listen   (kar-MUS-teen)
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. Carmustine 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 BiCNU.

carmustine implant    listen   (kar-MUS-teen IM-plant)
A biodegradable wafer that is used to deliver the anticancer drug carmustine directly into a brain tumor site after the tumor has been removed by surgery. Also called Gliadel Wafer and polifeprosan 20 carmustine implant.

Carney complex    listen   (KAR-nee KOM-plex)
A rare, inherited disorder marked by dark spots on the skin and tumors in the heart, endocrine glands, skin, and nerves. There are two types of Carney complex, which are caused by mutations (changes) in different genes. Also called Carney syndrome.

Carney dyad    listen   (KAR-nee DY-ad)
A rare, inherited disorder marked by tumors of the gastrointestinal tract and tumors that form in embryonic nervous tissue in the head, neck, and torso. Also called Carney-Stratakis dyad and Carney-Stratakis syndrome.

Carney syndrome    listen   (KAR-nee SIN-drome)
A rare, inherited disorder marked by dark spots on the skin and tumors in the heart, endocrine glands, skin, and nerves. There are two types of Carney syndrome, which are caused by mutations (changes) in different genes. Also called Carney complex.

Carney triad    listen   (KAR-nee TRY-ad)
A very rare disorder marked by tumors of the gastrointestinal tract (usually the stomach), tumors that form in embryonic nervous tissue in the head, neck, and torso, and tumors that form in cartilage in the lungs. Sometimes tumors also form in the adrenal glands and esophagus. Carney triad is most common in young females.

Carney-Stratakis dyad    listen   (KAR-nee-STRA-tuh-kis DY-ad)
A rare, inherited disorder marked by tumors of the gastrointestinal tract and tumors that form in embryonic nervous tissue in the head, neck, and torso. Also called Carney dyad and Carney-Stratakis syndrome.

Carney-Stratakis syndrome    listen   (KAR-nee-STRA-tuh-kis SIN-drome)
A rare, inherited disorder marked by tumors of the gastrointestinal tract and tumors that form in embryonic nervous tissue in the head, neck, and torso. Also called Carney dyad and Carney-Stratakis dyad.

carnitine    listen   (KAR-nih-teen)
A substance made in the muscle and liver tissue and found in certain foods, such as meat, poultry, fish, and some dairy products. It is used by many cells in the body to make energy from fatty acids.

Carnitor    listen   (KAR-nih-tor)
A form of carnitine, which is a substance made in muscle and liver tissue and found in certain foods, such as meat, poultry, fish, and some dairy products. Carnitor is also a drug that is used to treat patients who do not make enough carnitine and is being studied as a way to prevent tissue damage caused by chemotherapy. Carnitine is a type of dietary supplement. Also called L-carnitine and levocarnitine.

carotenoid    listen   (kuh-RAH-teh-noyd)
A yellow, red, or orange substance found mostly in plants, including carrots, sweet potatoes, dark green leafy vegetables, and many fruits, grains, and oils. Some carotenoids are changed into vitamin A in the body and some are being studied in the prevention of cancer. A carotenoid is a type of antioxidant and a type of provitamin.

carotid artery    listen   (kuh-RAH-tid AR-tuh-ree)
A major artery that carries blood from the heart to the head. There is a carotid artery on each side of the neck, and each one splits into two branches. The interior branch carries blood to the brain and eyes, and the exterior branch carries blood to the face, tongue, and outside parts of the head.

carrier oil    listen   (KAYR-ee-er oyl)
An oil with little or no scent that is used to dilute or “carry” essential oils (scented liquid taken from plants).

cartilage    listen   (KAR-tih-lij)
A tough, flexible tissue that lines joints and gives structure to the nose, ears, larynx, and other parts of the body.

carvedilol phosphate    listen   (KAR-vuh-DIH-lol FOS-fayt)
A drug used to treat high blood pressure and certain heart problems. It is also being studied in the prevention and treatment of side effects caused by some anticancer drugs. Carvedilol phosphate blocks certain receptors on nerve cells and causes blood vessels to dilate (widen). It is a type of antihypertensive agent and a type of antianginal agent. Also called Coreg.

carzelesin    listen   (kar-ZEH-leh-sin)
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called alkylating agents.

case management nurse    listen   (... MA-nij-ment ...)
A registered nurse who has special training in how to plan, manage, and evaluate all aspects of patient care, especially for patients who get treatment over a long time. Also called nurse case manager.

case report    listen   (kays reh-PORT)
A detailed report of the diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up of an individual patient. Case reports also contain some demographic information about the patient (for example, age, gender, ethnic origin).

case series    listen   (kays SEER-eez)
A group or series of case reports involving patients who were given similar treatment. Reports of case series usually contain detailed information about the individual patients. This includes demographic information (for example, age, gender, ethnic origin) and information on diagnosis, treatment, response to treatment, and follow-up after treatment.

case-control study    listen   (kays-kun-TROLE STUH-dee)
A study that compares two groups of people: those with the disease or condition under study (cases) and a very similar group of people who do not have the disease or condition (controls). Researchers study the medical and lifestyle histories of the people in each group to learn what factors may be associated with the disease or condition. For example, one group may have been exposed to a particular substance that the other was not. Also called retrospective study.

Casodex    listen   (KA-soh-dex)
A drug used with another drug to treat prostate cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. Casodex 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. Casodex blocks these proteins and may keep cancer cells from growing. It is a type of antiandrogen. Also called bicalutamide.

caspofungin acetate    listen   (KAS-poh-fun-jin A-seh-tayt)
A drug used to prevent or treat infections caused by a fungus (a type of microorganism). It belongs to the family of drugs called antifungal agents.

Castleman disease    listen   (KA-sel-man dih-ZEEZ)
A rare disorder in which benign (not cancer) growths form in lymph node tissue. There are two main ways that Castleman disease occurs: localized (unicentric) and multicentric. Unicentric Castleman disease affects only one group of lymph nodes in one part of the body, usually in the chest or abdomen. It may not cause symptoms. Multicentric Castleman disease affects many groups of lymph nodes and lymphoid tissue all through the body. It can weaken the immune system and cause problems such as infection, fever, weight loss, fatigue, night sweats, nerve damage, and anemia. People with Castleman disease have an increased risk of lymphoma. Also called angiofollicular lymph node hyperplasia and giant lymph node hyperplasia.

castrate-resistant prostate cancer    listen   (KAS-trayt-reh-ZIH-stunt PROS-tayt KAN-ser)
Prostate cancer that keeps growing even when the amount of testosterone in the body is reduced to very low levels. Many early-stage prostate cancers need normal levels of testosterone to grow, but castrate-resistant prostate cancers do not. Also called CRPC.

castration    listen   (kas-TRAY-shun)
Removal or destruction of the testicles or ovaries using radiation, surgery, or drugs. Medical castration refers to the use of drugs to suppress the function of the ovaries or testicles.

CaT regimen    listen   (… REH-jih-men)
A chemotherapy combination used to treat endometrial, ovarian, and head and neck cancers, and non-small cell lung cancer that has spread. It includes the drugs carboplatin and paclitaxel (Taxol). Also called Carbo-Tax regimen, carboplatin-Taxol, carboplatin-Taxol regimen, and PC regimen.

CAT scan    listen   (… skan)
A procedure that uses a computer linked to an x-ray machine to make a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body. The pictures are taken from different angles and are used to create 3-dimensional (3-D) views of tissues and organs. A dye may be injected into a vein or swallowed to help the tissues and organs show up more clearly. A CAT scan may be used to help diagnose disease, plan treatment, or find out how well treatment is working. Also called computed tomography scan, computerized axial tomography scan, computerized tomography, and CT scan.

CAT-8015      
A monoclonal antibody linked to a toxic substance. It is being studied in the treatment of some types of B-cell cancer. CAT-8015 is made in the laboratory. It binds to CD22, a protein on the surface of normal B cells and B-cell tumors, and kills the cells. Also called anti-CD22 immunotoxin CAT-8015.

Catapres    listen   (KA-tuh-pres)
A drug used to treat high blood pressure. It is also being studied in the treatment of certain types of cancer pain and as an aid to stop smoking. It blocks the release of chemicals from nerve endings that make blood vessels constrict (get narrower). Catapres is a type of antihypertensive agent and a type of alpha-adrenergic agonist. Also called clonidine hydrochloride.

cataract    listen   (KA-tuh-RAKT)
A condition in which the lens of the eye becomes cloudy. Symptoms include blurred, cloudy, or double vision; sensitivity to light; and difficulty seeing at night. Without treatment, cataracts can cause blindness. There are many different types and causes of cataracts. They may occur in people of all ages, but are most common in the elderly.

catechin    listen   (KA-teh-kin)
A substance found in tea that helps protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that are made during normal cell metabolism (chemical changes that take place in a cell). They can build up in cells and cause damage to other molecules. This damage may increase the risk of cancer and other diseases. Catechins are being studied in the prevention and treatment of cancer. A catechin is a type of antioxidant.

catechol    listen   (ka-teh-KOL)
A chemical originally isolated from a type of mimosa tree. Catechol is used as an astringent, an antiseptic, and in photography, electroplating, and making other chemicals. It can also be made in the laboratory.

catecholamine    listen   (ka-teh-KOH-luh-meen)
A type of neurohormone (a chemical that is made by nerve cells and used to send signals to other cells). Catecholamines are important in stress responses. High levels cause high blood pressure which can lead to headaches, sweating, pounding of the heart, pain in the chest, and anxiety. Examples of catecholamines include dopamine, epinephrine (adrenaline), and norepinephrine (noradrenaline).

catheter    listen   (KA-theh-ter)
A flexible tube used to deliver fluids into or withdraw fluids from the body.

cause-specific survival    listen   (kawz-speh-SIH-fik ser-VY-vul)
The length of time from either the date of diagnosis or the start of treatment for a disease, such as cancer, to the date of death from the disease. Patients who die from causes unrelated to the disease are not counted in this measurement. In a clinical trial, measuring the cause-specific survival is one way to see how well a new treatment works. Also called CSS.

cauterize    listen   (KAW-teh-RIZE)
To destroy tissue using a hot or cold instrument, an electrical current, or a chemical that burns or dissolves the tissue. This process may be used to kill certain types of small tumors or to seal off blood vessels to stop bleeding.

cavity    listen   (KA-vih-tee)
A hollow area or hole. It may describe a body cavity (such as the space within the abdomen) or a hole in a tooth caused by decay.

CBC      
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 CBC is used to help diagnose and monitor many conditions. Also called blood cell count, complete blood count, and full blood count.

CBC with differential    listen   (… 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 CBC with differential is used to help diagnose and monitor many different conditions, including anemia and infection. Also called blood cell count with differential.

CBE      
A physical exam of the breast performed by a health care provider to check for lumps or other changes. Also called clinical breast exam.

CBT      
A type of psychotherapy that helps patients change their behavior by changing the way they think and feel about certain things. It is used to treat mental, emotional, personality, and behavioral disorders. Also called cognitive behavior therapy and cognitive therapy.

CBT-1      
A substance taken from plants that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It may help drugs kill tumor cells that have become resistant to drugs. It is a type of multidrug resistance inhibitor and a type of P-glycoprotein antagonist. Also called MDR modulator CBT-1.

cc    listen  
A measure of volume in the metric system. One thousand ccs equal one liter. Also called cubic centimeter, milliliter, and ml.

CC-1088      
A drug that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It is similar but not identical to thalidomide. CC-1088 belongs to the family of drugs called angiogenesis inhibitors.

CC-4047      
A drug that is a form of thalidomide, and is used to treat multiple myeloma that has not gotten better with other anticancer drugs. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. CC-4047 may help the immune system kill cancer cells. It may also prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It is a type of immunomodulating agent and a type of antiangiogenesis agent. Also called pomalidomide and Pomalyst.

CC-49      
A type of monoclonal antibody used in cancer detection or therapy. Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-produced substances that can locate and bind to cancer cells.

CC-5013      
A drug that is similar to thalidomide, and is used to treat multiple myeloma and certain types of anemia. It is also used to treat mantle cell lymphoma that has come back or has not gotten better after other treatment. It is being studied in the treatment of other conditions and types of cancer. CC-5013 may help the immune system kill abnormal blood cells or cancer cells. It may also prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It is a type of antiangiogenesis agent and a type of immunomodulating agent. Also called lenalidomide and Revlimid.

CC-8490      
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of brain cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called benzopyrans.

CC49-streptavidin    listen   (… strep-TA-vih-din)
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It is made by combining the monoclonal antibody CC49 with a chemical called streptavidin. It can find tumor cells that have the protein TAG-72 on their surface, including colon, prostate, breast, and ovary cancer cells. After CC49-streptavidin binds to cancer cells, a radioactive compound called yttrium Y 90 DOTA-biotin will find those cells and kill them.

CCI-779      
A drug used to treat advanced renal cell carcinoma (a type of kidney cancer). It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. CCI-779 blocks a protein involved in cell division, and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of rapamycin analog and a type of serine/threonine kinase inhibitor. Also called temsirolimus and Torisel.

cCLB8      
A drug used to treat a rare condition called Castleman disease in patients who do not have HIV or human herpesvirus 8. It is also being studied in the treatment of multiple myeloma. CCLB8 binds to a protein called interleukin-6 (IL-6), which is made by some white blood cells and other cells in the body. CCLB8 may help reduce inflammation and stop the growth of cancer cells or abnormal blood cells. It is a type of monoclonal antibody. Also called anti-IL-6 chimeric monoclonal antibody, CNTO 328, siltuximab, and Sylvant.

CCNU      
A drug used to treat brain tumors that have already been treated with surgery or radiation therapy. It is also used to treat Hodgkin lymphoma that has not gotten better with other types of treatment or has come back. It is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. CCNU damages the cell's DNA and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of alkylating agent. Also called CeeNU and lomustine.

CCSG      
Funds awarded to certain U.S. institutions by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) for them to become cancer centers in the United States, based on scientific merit. The funds help the cancer centers improve the way they are run and develop new ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat cancer. To receive the award, one goal of the cancer center must be to turn clinical and basic research into better health care. Also called P30 Cancer Center Support Grant.

CD117      
A protein found on the surface of many different types of cells. It binds to a substance called stem cell factor (SCF), which causes certain types of blood cells to grow. CD117 may also be found in higher than normal amounts, or in a changed form, on some types of cancer cells, including gastrointestinal stromal tumors and melanoma. Measuring the amount of CD117 in tumor tissue may help diagnose cancer and plan treatment. CD117 is a type of receptor tyrosine kinase and a type of tumor marker. Also called c-kit and stem cell factor receptor.

CD134      
A protein being studied in the treatment of cancer. Substances that attach to CD134 on the surface of T cells (a type of white blood cell) may help the T cells grow and kill more cancer cells. CD134 is a type of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor. Also called OX-40.

CD20      
A protein found on B cells (a type of white blood cell). It may be found in higher than normal amounts in patients with certain types of B-cell lymphomas and leukemias. Measuring the amount of CD20 on blood cells may help to diagnose cancer or plan cancer treatment. CD20 is a type of tumor marker. Also called CD20 antigen.

CD20 antigen    listen   (... AN-tih-jen)
A protein found on B cells (a type of white blood cell). It may be found in higher than normal amounts in patients with certain types of B-cell lymphomas and leukemias. Measuring the amount of CD20 antigen on blood cells may help to diagnose cancer or plan cancer treatment. CD20 antigen is a type of tumor marker. Also called CD20.

CD34 antigen    listen   (... AN-tih-jen)
A protein found on the surface of some bone marrow and blood cells.

CD4-positive T lymphocyte    listen   (… PAH-zih-tiv … LIM-foh-site)
A type of immune cell that stimulates killer T cells, macrophages, and B cells to make immune responses. A CD4-positive T lymphocyte is a type of white blood cell and a type of lymphocyte. Also called helper T cell.

CD40-ligand    listen   (... LIH-gund)
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It binds to certain immune cells and may suppress cancer growth.

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

CDC      
A U.S. federal government agency whose mission is to protect public health by preventing and controlling disease, injury, and disability. The CDC promotes healthy behaviors and safe, healthy environments. It keeps track of health trends, tries to find the cause of health problems and outbreaks of disease, and responds to new public health threats. The CDC works with state health departments and other organizations throughout the country and the world to help prevent and control disease. The CDC is part of the U.S. Public Health Service of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Also called Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

CDDO      
A substance being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. CDDO may block enzymes involved in inflammation and cancer growth. It is a type of antineoplastic plant product.

CDK inhibitor AT7519M    listen   (... in-HIH-bih-ter ...)
A substance being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. CDK inhibitor AT7519M blocks enzymes needed for cells to divide. It is a type of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor. Also called AT7519M.

CDK inhibitor SCH 727965    listen   (… in-HIH-bih-ter …)
A substance being studied in the treatment of advanced melanoma (a type of skin cancer) and other types of cancer. It blocks cell division and may cause cancer cells to die. It is a type of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor. Also called dinaciclib.

CEA      
A substance that may be found in the blood of people who have colon cancer, other types of cancer or diseases, or who smoke tobacco. CEA levels may help keep track of how well cancer treatments are working or if cancer has come back. It is a type of tumor marker. Also called carcinoembryonic antigen.

CEA assay    listen   (... A-say)
A laboratory test that measures the level of carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) in the blood. An increased amount of CEA may be found in the blood of people who have colon cancer or other types of cancer, certain other diseases, or who smoke. The amount of CEA in the blood may also help keep track of how well cancer treatments are working or if cancer has come back. CEA is a type of tumor marker. Also called carcinoembryonic antigen assay.

CEA peptide-1    listen   (...PEP-tide-1)
A small piece of a tumor marker called carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA). CEA may be found in the blood of people who have colon cancer, other types of cancer or diseases, or who smoke tobacco. CEA peptide-1 is used to make a vaccine that may help stimulate the body’s immune system to kill cancer cells. Also called CAP-1 and carcinoembryonic antigen peptide-1.

cecum    listen   (SEE-kum)
A pouch that forms the first part of the large intestine. It connects the small intestine to the colon, which is part of the large intestine.

cedarwood    listen   (SEE-der-WOOD)
A type of evergreen tree with hard fragrant wood that is a member of the cypress family. The oil from the wood is used in soaps, shampoos, bath salts, perfumes, aromatherapy, and to keep insects away. The scientific name is Juniperus virginiana. Also called Eastern red cedar and red cedar.

cediranib maleate    listen   (seh-DEER-uh-nib MAY-lee-AYT)
A substance being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. Cediranib maleate may prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of antiangiogenesis agent and a type of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Also called AZD2171 and Recentin.

CeeNU    listen  
A drug used to treat brain tumors that have already been treated with surgery or radiation therapy. It is also used to treat Hodgkin lymphoma that has not gotten better with other types of treatment or has come back. It is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. CeeNU damages the cell's DNA and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of alkylating agent. Also called CCNU and lomustine.

cefepime    listen   (SEH-feh-peem)
A drug used to treat infection. It belongs to the family of drugs called cephalosporin antibiotics.

cefixime    listen   (seh-FIK-seem)
An antibiotic drug used to treat infection. It belongs to the family of drugs called cephalosporins.

ceftriaxone    listen   (SEF-try-AK-sone)
A drug used to treat infection. It belongs to the family of drugs called cephalosporin antibiotics.

celecoxib    listen   (SEH-luh-KOK-sib)
A drug that reduces pain. Celecoxib belongs to the family of drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents. It is being studied in the prevention of cancer.

Celexa    listen   (seh-LEK-suh)
A drug used to treat depression. It belongs to the families of drugs called antidepressant agents and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Also called citalopram.

celiac disease    listen   (SEE-lee-ak dih-ZEEZ)
A digestive disease that is caused by an immune response to a protein called gluten, which is found in wheat, rye, barley, and oats. Celiac disease damages the lining of the small intestine and interferes with the absorption of nutrients from food. A person with celiac disease may become malnourished no matter how much food is consumed.

cell    listen   (sel)
The individual unit that makes up the tissues of the body. All living things are made up of one or more cells.

cell culture    listen   (sel KUL-cher)
The growth of microorganisms such as bacteria and yeast, or human, plant, or animal cells in the laboratory. Cell cultures may be used to diagnose infections, to test new drugs, and in research.

cell cycle    listen   (sel SY-kul)
The process a cell goes through each time it divides. The cell cycle consists of a series of steps during which the chromosomes and other cell material double to make two copies. The cell then divides into two daughter cells, each receiving one copy of the doubled material. The cell cycle is complete when each daughter cell is surrounded by its own outer membrane. Also called mitotic cycle.

cell differentiation    listen   (sel DIH-feh-REN-shee-AY-shun)
The process during which young, immature (unspecialized) cells take on individual characteristics and reach their mature (specialized) form and function.

cell motility    listen   (sel moh-TIH-lih-tee)
The ability of a cell to move.

cell proliferation    listen   (sel proh-LIH-feh-RAY-shun)
An increase in the number of cells as a result of cell growth and cell division.

cell respiration    listen   (sel RES-pih-RAY-shun)
A chemical process in which oxygen is used to make energy from carbohydrates (sugars). Also called aerobic metabolism, aerobic respiration, and oxidative metabolism.

cell type    listen   (sel tipe)
Describes the kinds of cells found in normal or cancer tissue. The cell type is usually identified by looking under a microscope. Some examples of cell types are lymphocytes, melanocytes, and squamous cells. In cancer, it is important to know the cell type in order to diagnose the cancer, plan treatment, and determine prognosis.

cell-cell signaling    listen   (sel-sel SIG-nuh-ling)
The transfer of information from one cell to another. Cells signal each other by direct contact with each other or by the release of a substance from one cell that is taken up by another cell. Cell-cell signaling is important for cells to grow and work normally. Cells that lose the ability to respond to signals from other cells may become cancer cells. Also called cell-to-cell signaling and intercellular communication.

cell-cycle regulation    listen   (sel-SY-kul REH-gyoo-LAY-shun)
Any process that controls the series of events by which a cell goes through the cell cycle. During the cell cycle, a cell makes a copy of its DNA and other contents, and divides in two. When cell cycle regulation doesn’t happen correctly, cells may divide in an uncontrolled way, and diseases such as cancer can occur.

cell-to-cell signaling    listen   (sel-too-sel SIG-nuh-ling)
The transfer of information from one cell to another. Cells signal each other by direct contact with each other or by the release of a substance from one cell that is taken up by another cell. Cell-to-cell signaling is important for cells to grow and work normally. Cells that lose the ability to respond to signals from other cells may become cancer cells. Also called cell-cell signaling and intercellular communication.

CellCept    listen   (SEL-sept)
A drug used to prevent graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) after organ transplants. It is also being studied in the prevention of GVHD after stem cell transplants for cancer, and in the treatment of some autoimmune disorders. CellCept is a type of immunosuppressive agent. Also called mycophenolate mofetil.

cellular adhesion    listen   (SEL-yoo-ler ad-HEE-zhun)
The close adherence (bonding) to adjoining cell surfaces.

cellular adoptive immunotherapy    listen   (SEL-yoo-ler uh-DOP-tiv IH-myoo-noh-THAYR-uh-pee)
A treatment used to help the immune system fight diseases, such as cancer and infections with certain viruses. T cells are collected from a patient and grown in the laboratory. This increases the number of T cells that are able to kill cancer cells or fight infections. These T cells are given back to the patient to help the immune system fight disease. Also called adoptive cellular therapy.

cellular metabolism    listen   (SEL-yoo-ler meh-TA-buh-lih-zum)
The sum of all chemical changes that take place in a cell through which energy and basic components are provided for essential processes, including the synthesis of new molecules and the breakdown and removal of others.

cellulitis    listen   (sel-yoo-LY-tis)
An acute, spreading infection of the deep tissues of the skin and muscle that causes the skin to become warm and tender and may also cause fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, and blisters.

cellulose    listen   (SEL-yoo-lose)
A building block of plant cells and fiber. Cellulose cannot be digested by people, and is used to add bulk to the diet.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention    listen   (SEN-terz … dih-ZEEZ kun-TROLE … pree-VEN-shun)
A U.S. federal government agency whose mission is to protect public health by preventing and controlling disease, injury, and disability. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention promotes healthy behaviors and safe, healthy environments. It keeps track of health trends, tries to find the cause of health problems and outbreaks of disease, and responds to new public health threats. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention works with state health departments and other organizations throughout the country and the world to help prevent and control disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is part of the U.S. Public Health Service of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Also called CDC.

centimeter    listen   (SEN-tih-MEE-ter)
A measure of length in the metric system. There are 100 centimeters in a meter and 2½ centimeters in an inch.

central nervous system    listen   (SEN-trul NER-vus SIS-tem)
The brain and spinal cord. Also called CNS.

central nervous system metastasis    listen   (SEN-trul NER-vus SIS-tem meh-TAS-tuh-sis)
Cancer that has spread from the original (primary) tumor to the central nervous system (CNS). Also called CNS metastasis.

central nervous system primitive neuroectodermal tumor    listen   (SEN-trul NER-vus SIS-tem PRIH-muh-tiv NOOR-oh-EK-toh-DER-mul TOO-mer)
A type of cancer that arises from a particular type of cell within the brain or spinal cord. Also called CNS PNET.

central nervous system prophylaxis    listen   (SEN-trul NER-vus SIS-tem PROH-fih-LAK-sis)
Chemotherapy or radiation therapy given to the central nervous system (CNS) as a preventive treatment. It kills cancer cells that may be in the brain and spinal cord, even though no cancer has been detected there. Also called central nervous system sanctuary therapy, CNS prophylaxis, and CNS sanctuary therapy.

central nervous system sanctuary therapy    listen   (SEN-trul NER-vus SIS-tem SANK-choo-WAYR-ee THAYR-uh-pee)
Chemotherapy or radiation therapy given to the central nervous system (CNS) as a preventive treatment. It kills cancer cells that may be in the brain and spinal cord, even though no cancer has been detected there. Also called central nervous system prophylaxis, CNS prophylaxis, and CNS sanctuary therapy.

central nervous system stimulant    listen   (SEN-trul NER-vus SIS-tum STIM-yoo-lunt)
A type of drug that increases the levels of certain chemicals in the brain and increases alertness, attention, energy, and physical activity. Central nervous system stimulants also raise blood pressure and increase heart rate and breathing rate. They are used to treat depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (a disorder in which a person has problems paying attention, controlling actions, and remaining still or quiet), and narcolepsy (a sleep disorder). Also called CNS stimulant.

central nervous system tumor    listen   (SEN-trul NER-vus SIS-tem TOO-mer)
A tumor of the central nervous system, including brain stem glioma, craniopharyngioma, medulloblastoma, and meningioma. Also called CNS tumor.

central venous access catheter    listen   (SEN-trul VEE-nus AK-ses KA-theh-ter)
A thin, flexible tube that is inserted into a vein in the upper arm, thigh, or neck or below the collarbone. It is guided (threaded) into a large vein near the heart called the vena cava or into the right atrium of the heart. It is used to give intravenous fluids, blood transfusions, and chemotherapy and other drugs, and for taking blood samples. It avoids the need for repeated needle sticks.

CEP-2563 dihydrochloride    listen   (... dy-HY-droh-KLOR-ide)
A substance being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. CEP-2563 dihydrochloride blocks certain proteins involved in the growth of some tumors and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor.

CEP-701      
A drug being studied in the treatment of acute leukemias and some other types of cancer. It binds to a protein that is present on the surface of some types of cancer cells and stops them from dividing. CEP-701 is a type of receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor and a type of indolocarbazole alkaloid. Also called lestaurtinib.

cephalexin    listen   (seh-fuh-LEK-sin)
An antibiotic drug that belongs to the family of drugs called cephalosporins.

cephalosporin    listen   (SEH-fuh-loh-SPOR-in)
A drug used to treat bacterial infections. It belongs to the family of drugs called antibiotics.

ceramide    listen   (SAYR-uh-mide)
A type of lipid (fat) found in the membranes of cells and the covers of nerves. Some ceramides are important in signal transduction (the process by which a cell responds to substances in its environment) and may cause some types of cells to die. Ceramides are being studied in the treatment of cancer.

cerebellar hemangioblastoma    listen   (SAYR-eh-BEH-ler hee-MAN-jee-oh-blas-TOH-muh)
A benign, slow-growing tumor in the cerebellum (part of the brain at the back of the head), made up of abnormal blood vessel growth. People with von Hippel-Landau disease have an increased risk of developing hemangioblastomas.

cerebellar mutism syndrome    listen   (SAYR-eh-BEH-ler MYOO-tih-zum SIN-drome)
A condition that may occur in patients who have had surgery to remove a tumor in certain parts of the brain, including the cerebellum. Cerebellar mutism syndrome usually appears 1 or 2 days after surgery. Symptoms include loss of speech, trouble swallowing and eating, loss of balance, trouble walking, loss of muscle tone, mood swings, and changes in personality. Many of these symptoms go away over time. Also called CMS.

cerebellopontine    listen   (SAYR-eh-BEH-loh-PON-teen)
Having to do with two structures of the brain, the cerebellum (located at the lower back of the brain) and the pons (located at the base of the brain in front of the cerebellum) and the area between them.

cerebellum    listen   (SAYR-eh-BEH-lum)
The portion of the brain in the back of the head between the cerebrum and the brain stem. The cerebellum controls balance for walking and standing, and other complex motor functions.

cerebral hemisphere    listen   (seh-REE-brul HEH-mis-feer)
One half of the cerebrum, the part of the brain that controls muscle functions and also controls speech, thought, emotions, reading, writing, and learning. The right hemisphere controls the muscles on the left side of the body, and the left hemisphere controls the muscles on the right side of the body.

cerebrospinal fluid    listen   (seh-REE-broh-SPY-nul FLOO-id)
The fluid that flows in and around the hollow spaces of the brain and spinal cord, and between two of the meninges (the thin layers of tissue that cover and protect the brain and spinal cord). Cerebrospinal fluid is made by tissue called the choroid plexus in the ventricles (hollow spaces) in the brain. Also called CSF.

cerebrospinal fluid diversion    listen   (seh-REE-broh-SPY-nul FLOO-id dih-VER-zhun)
A process used to drain fluid that has built up around the brain and spinal cord. A shunt (a long, thin tube) is placed in a ventricle of the brain and threaded under the skin to another part of the body, usually the abdomen. The shunt carries excess fluid away from the brain so it may be absorbed elsewhere in the body.

cerebrovascular accident    listen   (seh-REE-broh-VAS-kyoo-ler AK-sih-dent)
In medicine, a loss of blood flow to part of the brain, which damages brain tissue. Cerebrovascular accidents are caused by blood clots and broken blood vessels in the brain. Symptoms include dizziness, numbness, weakness on one side of the body, and problems with talking, writing, or understanding language. The risk of cerebrovascular accident is increased by high blood pressure, older age, smoking, diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, atherosclerosis (a buildup of fatty material and plaque inside the coronary arteries), and a family history of cerebrovascular accident. Also called CVA and stroke.

cerebrum    listen   (seh-REE-brum)
The largest part of the brain. It is divided into two hemispheres, or halves, called the cerebral hemispheres. Areas within the cerebrum control muscle functions and also control speech, thought, emotions, reading, writing, and learning.

ceremony    listen   (SAYR-eh-MOH-nee)
A series of acts performed for a special occasion or to mark a rite of passage. Ceremonies can be casual or formal.

ceritinib    listen   (seh-RIH-tih-nib)
A drug used to treat non-small cell lung cancer that has spread to other parts of the body and has a mutated (changed) form of a gene called anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK). It is used in patients whose cancer has gotten worse after treatment with or who cannot receive certain anticancer drugs. Ceritinib blocks the protein made by the mutated ALK gene. Blocking this protein may stop the growth and spread of cancer cells. Ceritinib is a type of tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Also called Zykadia.

Cerubidine    listen   (seh-ROO-bih-deen)
A drug used to treat acute leukemias and some other types of cancer. It blocks a certain enzyme needed for cell division and DNA repair, and it may kill cancer cells. Cerubidine is a type of anthracycline antibiotic and a type of topoisomerase inhibitor. Also called daunomycin hydrochloride and daunorubicin hydrochloride.

Cervarix    listen   (SER-vuh-rix)
A vaccine used to prevent cervical cancer caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) types 16 and 18. Cervarix is approved for use in females aged 9 to 25 years. It is a type of bivalent vaccine (a vaccine that works against two different viruses or other microorganisms). Also called recombinant human papillomavirus bivalent vaccine.

cervical    listen   (SER-vih-kul)
Relating to the neck, or to the neck of any organ or structure. Cervical lymph nodes are located in the neck. Cervical cancer refers to cancer of the uterine cervix, which is the lower, narrow end (the “neck”) of the uterus.

cervical adenocarcinoma    listen   (SER-vih-kul A-deh-noh-KAR-sih-NOH-muh)
A type of cervical cancer that begins in the glandular cells of the cervix. These cells make mucus and are found in tissue that lines the inner part of the cervix and the uterus. Cervical adenocarcinoma is less common than cervical squamous cell carcinoma.

cervical cancer    listen   (SER-vih-kul KAN-ser)
Cancer that forms in tissues of the cervix (the organ connecting the uterus and vagina). It is usually a slow-growing cancer that may not have symptoms but can be found with regular Pap tests (a procedure in which cells are scraped from the cervix and looked at under a microscope). Cervical cancer is almost always caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) infection.

cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2/3    listen   (SER-vih-kul IN-truh-eh-pih-THEE-lee-ul NEE-oh-PLAY-zhuh …)
Abnormal cells are found on the surface of the cervix. Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2/3 is usually caused by certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV) and is found when a cervical biopsy is done. Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2/3 has features of CIN 2 and CIN 3. It is not cancer, but may become cancer and spread to nearby normal tissue if not treated. Treatment for cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2/3 may include cryotherapy, laser therapy, loop electrosurgical procedure (LEEP), or cone biopsy to remove or destroy the abnormal tissue. Also called CIN 2/3.

cervical intraepithelial neoplasia    listen   (SER-vih-kul IN-truh-eh-pih-THEE-lee-ul NEE-oh-PLAY-zhuh)
Abnormal cells are found on the surface of the cervix. Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia is usually caused by certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV) and is found when a cervical biopsy is done. Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia is not cancer, but may become cancer and spread to nearby normal tissue. It is graded on a scale of 1 to 3, based on how abnormal the cells look under a microscope and how much of the cervical tissue is affected. For example, CIN 1 has slightly abnormal cells and is less likely to become cancer than CIN 2 or CIN 3. Also called CIN.

cervical squamous cell carcinoma    listen   (SER-vih-kul SKWAY-mus sel KAR-sih-NOH-muh)
A type of cervical cancer that begins in squamous cells of the cervix. Cervical squamous cells are found in tissue that lines the outer part of the cervix. They are thin, flat cells that look like fish scales under a microscope. Most cervical cancers are squamous cell carcinomas.

cervical squamous intraepithelial neoplasia 1    listen   (SER-vih-kul SKWAY-mus IN-truh-eh-pih-THEE-lee-ul NEE-oh-PLAY-zhuh ...)
Slightly abnormal cells are found on the surface of the cervix. Cervical squamous intraepithelial neoplasia 1 is usually caused by certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV) and is found when a cervical biopsy is done. Cervical squamous intraepithelial neoplasia 1 is not cancer and usually goes away on its own without treatment. Sometimes it becomes cancer and spreads to nearby normal tissue. Cervical squamous intraepithelial neoplasia 1 is sometimes called low-grade or mild dysplasia. Also called CIN 1.

cervical squamous intraepithelial neoplasia 2    listen   (SER-vih-kul SKWAY-mus IN-truh-eh-pih-THEE-lee-ul NEE-oh-PLAY-zhuh ...)
Moderately abnormal cells are found on the surface of the cervix. Cervical squamous intraepithelial neoplasia 2 is usually caused by certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV) and is found when a cervical biopsy is done. Cervical squamous intraepithelial neoplasia 2 is not cancer, but may become cancer and spread to nearby normal tissue if not treated. Treatment for cervical squamous intraepithelial neoplasia 2 may include cryotherapy, laser therapy, loop electrosurgical procedure (LEEP), or cone biopsy to remove or destroy the abnormal tissue. Cervical squamous intraepithelial neoplasia 2 is sometimes called high-grade or moderate dysplasia. Also called CIN 2.

cervical squamous intraepithelial neoplasia 3    listen   (SER-vih-kul SKWAY-mus IN-truh-eh-pih-THEE-lee-ul NEE-oh-PLAY-zhuh …)
Severely abnormal cells are found on the surface of the cervix. Cervical squamous intraepithelial neoplasia 3 is usually caused by certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV) and is found when a cervical biopsy is done. If not treated, these abnormal cells may become cancer and spread to nearby normal tissue. Treatment for cervical squamous intraepithelial neoplasia 3 may include cryotherapy, laser therapy, loop electrosurgical procedure (LEEP), or cone biopsy to remove or destroy the abnormal tissue. Cervical squamous intraepithelial neoplasia 3 is sometimes called high-grade or severe dysplasia. Also called CIN 3 and stage 0 cervical carcinoma in situ.

cervicectomy    listen   (SER-vih-SEK-toh-mee)
Surgery to remove the cervix (the end of the uterus that forms a canal between the uterus and the vagina).The upper part of the vagina and certain pelvic lymph nodes may also be removed. Also called trachelectomy.

CerviPrep    listen   (SER-vih-PREP)
A device used to deliver drugs directly to the cervix (the lower, narrow end of the uterus that forms a canal between the uterus and vagina). The CerviPrep covers the cervix and protects surrounding tissue. Drugs may be injected into the inner part of the cervix through a syringe attached to the device.

cervix    listen   (SER-vix)
The lower, narrow end of the uterus that forms a canal between the uterus and vagina.

Cesamet    listen   (SEH-suh-met)
A synthetic pill form of an active chemical in marijuana called delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Cesamet is used to treat nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy in patients who have not been helped by other therapy. It is a type of cannabinoid. Also called nabilone.

cetuximab    listen   (seh-TUK-sih-mab)
A drug used to treat certain types of head and neck cancer, and a certain type of colorectal cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Cetuximab binds to a protein called epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), which is on the surface of some types of cancer cells. This may stop cancer cells from growing. Cetuximab is a type of monoclonal antibody. Also called Erbitux.

cevimeline hydrochloride    listen   (seh-VIH-meh-leen HY-droh-KLOR-ide)
A drug used to treat certain disorders of the salivary gland. It is also being studied as a treatment for dry mouth caused by radiation therapy to the head and neck. It increases the amount of saliva and sweat made by saliva and sweat glands. Cevimeline hydrochloride is a type of cholinergic agonist. Also called Evoxac.

CFS      
A condition that lasts for more than 6 months in which a person feels tired most of the time. They may also have trouble concentrating and carrying out daily activities. Other symptoms include sore throat, fever, muscle weakness, headache, and joint pain. Also called chronic fatigue syndrome.

CgA      
A protein found inside neuroendocrine cells, which release CgA and certain hormones into the blood. CgA may be found in higher than normal amounts in patients with certain neuroendocrine tumors, small cell lung cancer, prostate cancer, and other conditions. Measuring the amount of CgA in the blood may help to diagnose cancer or other conditions or find out how well treatment is working or if cancer has come back. CgA is a type of tumor marker. Also called chromogranin A.

CGP 48664      
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called S-adenosylmethionine decarboxylase inhibitors.

Ch14.18      
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. It binds to a molecule called GD2, which is found in greater than normal amounts on some types of cancer cells. This helps cells of the immune system kill the cancer cells. It is a type of monoclonal antibody. Also called MOAB Ch14.18 and monoclonal antibody Ch14.18.

Chamberlain procedure    listen   (CHAYM-ber-len proh-SEE-jer)
A procedure in which a tube is inserted into the chest to view the tissues and organs in the area between the lungs and between the breastbone and heart. The tube is inserted through an incision next to the breastbone. This procedure is usually used to get a tissue sample from the lymph nodes on the left side of the chest. Also called anterior mediastinotomy.

chamomile    listen   (KA-muh-mile)
A family of plants with daisy-like flowers. Two types are German chamomile and Roman or English chamomile. These are used in teas to calm and relax, to improve sleep, and to help with stomach problems. The essential oil (scented liquid taken from plants) of chamomile is used in perfumes, shampoos, lotions, and aromatherapy.

Chantix    listen   (CHAN-tix)
A drug used to help people stop smoking by acting the same way nicotine acts in the brain. It is a type of nicotine receptor partial agonist. Also called varenicline tartrate.

chaplain    listen   (CHA-plin)
A member of the clergy in charge of a chapel or who works with the military or with an institution, such as a hospital.

charged-particle radiation therapy    listen   (… PAR-tih-kul RAY-dee-AY-shun THAYR-uh-pee)
A type of external radiation therapy that uses a special machine to make invisible, high-energy particles (protons or helium ions) that kill cancer cells. This type of radiation may cause less damage to nearby healthy tissue than radiation therapy with high-energy x-rays.

chaste tree berry    listen   (chayst ... BAYR-ee)
An extract made from the fruit of the chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus) found in parts of Asia and Europe. It is claimed to treat infertility and to lessen symptoms that may occur before or during a woman’s menstrual period, such as headaches and irregular bleeding. Chaste tree berry may affect levels of reproductive hormones in the blood. It is a type of phytomedicine. Also called monk’s pepper and Vitex.

chelating agent    listen   (KEE-lay-ting AY-jent)
A chemical compound that binds tightly to metal ions. In medicine, chelating agents are used to remove toxic metals from the body. They are also being studied in the treatment of cancer.

chemabrasion    listen   (KEE-muh-BRAY-zhun)
A procedure used to improve the way certain skin problems look. These problems include acne scars, wrinkles, or skin changes caused by long-term sun exposure. A chemical solution is put on the skin to dissolve the top layers of skin cells. Also called chemexfoliation and chemical peel.

chemexfoliation    listen   (KEH-mex-FOH-lee-AY-shun)
A procedure used to improve the way certain skin problems look. These problems include acne scars, wrinkles, or skin changes caused by long-term sun exposure. A chemical solution is put on the skin to dissolve the top layers of skin cells. Also called chemabrasion and chemical peel.

chemical    listen   (KEH-mih-kul)
A substance made up of elements, such as hydrogen or sodium.

chemical imbalance    listen   (KEH-mih-kul im-BA-lunts)
Too much or too little of any substance that helps the body work the way it should. A chemical imbalance may be caused by certain tumors and can cause changes in behavior or emotion.

chemical peel    listen   (KEH-mih-kul …)
A procedure used to improve the way certain skin problems look. These problems include acne scars, wrinkles, or skin changes caused by long-term sun exposure. A chemical solution is put on the skin to dissolve the top layers of skin cells. Also called chemabrasion and chemexfoliation.

chemoembolization    listen   (KEE-moh-EM-boh-lih-ZAY-shun)
A procedure in which the blood supply to a tumor is blocked after anticancer drugs are given in blood vessels near the tumor. Sometimes, the anticancer drugs are attached to small beads that are injected into an artery that feeds the tumor. The beads block blood flow to the tumor as they release the drug. This allows a higher amount of drug to reach the tumor for a longer period of time, which may kill more cancer cells. It also causes fewer side effects because very little of the drug reaches other parts of the body. Chemoembolization is used to treat liver cancer. Also called TACE and transarterial chemoembolization.

chemoimmunotherapy    listen   (KEE-moh-IH-myoo-noh-THAYR-uh-pee)
Chemotherapy combined with immunotherapy. Chemotherapy uses different drugs to kill or slow the growth of cancer cells; immunotherapy uses treatments to stimulate or restore the ability of the immune system to fight cancer.

chemoprevention    listen   (KEE-moh-pree-VEN-shun)
The use of drugs, vitamins, or other agents to try to reduce the risk of, or delay the development or recurrence of, cancer.

chemoprevention study    listen   (KEE-moh-pree-VEN-shun STUH-dee)
In cancer prevention, a clinical trial that studies whether taking certain medicines, vitamins, minerals, or food supplements can prevent cancer. Also called agent study.

chemoprotective    listen   (KEE-moh-proh-TEK-tiv)
A quality of some drugs used in cancer treatment. Chemoprotective agents protect healthy tissue from the toxic effects of anticancer drugs.

chemoradiation    listen   (KEE-moh-RAY-dee-AY-shun)
Treatment that combines chemotherapy with radiation therapy. Also called chemoradiotherapy.

chemoradiotherapy    listen   (KEE-moh-RAY-dee-oh-THAYR-uh-pee)
Treatment that combines chemotherapy with radiation therapy. Also called chemoradiation.

chemoreduction    listen   (KEE-moh-ree-DUK-shun)
Chemotherapy given to shrink a retinoblastoma tumor before treatment with radiation or surgery. It is a type of neoadjuvant therapy.

chemosensitivity    listen   (KEE-moh-SEN-sih-TIH-vih-tee)
The susceptibility of tumor cells to the cell-killing effects of anticancer drugs.

chemosensitivity assay    listen   (KEE-moh-SEN-sih-TIH-vih-tee A-say)
A laboratory test that measures the number of tumor cells that are killed by a cancer drug. The test is done after the tumor cells are removed from the body. A chemosensitivity assay may help in choosing the best drug or drugs for the cancer being treated.

chemosensitizer    listen   (KEE-moh-SEN-sih-TY-zer)
A drug that makes tumor cells more sensitive to the effects of chemotherapy.

chemotherapeutic agent    listen   (KEE-moh-THAYR-uh-PYOO-tik AY-jent)
A drug used to treat cancer.

chemotherapy    listen   (KEE-moh-THAYR-uh-pee)
Treatment with drugs that kill cancer cells.

chest wall    listen  
The muscles, bones, and joints that make up the area of the body between the neck and the abdomen.

chest x-ray    listen   (chest EX-ray)
An x-ray of the structures inside the chest. An x-ray is a type of high-energy radiation that can go through the body and onto film, making pictures of areas inside the chest, which can be used to diagnose disease.

chewing tobacco    listen   (CHOO-ing tuh-BA-koh)
A type of smokeless tobacco made from cured tobacco leaves. It may be sweetened and flavored with licorice and other substances. It comes in the form of loose tobacco leaves, pellets or “bits” (leaf tobacco rolled into small pellets), plugs (leaf tobacco pressed and held together with some type of sweetener), or twists (leaf tobacco rolled into rope-like strands and twisted). It is placed in the mouth, usually between the cheek and lower lip, and may be chewed. Chewing tobacco contains nicotine and many harmful, cancer-causing chemicals. Using it can lead to nicotine addiction and can cause cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and pancreas. Chewing tobacco use may also cause gum disease, heart disease, stroke, and other health problems. Also called spit tobacco.

CHF      
A condition in which the heart has trouble pumping blood through the body. It may develop over a long period of time. Symptoms include shortness of breath, problems exercising, fatigue, and swelling of the feet, ankles, and abdomen. CHF may be caused by coronary artery disease, a heart attack, or high blood pressure. It usually occurs in people aged 65 years or older. Also called chronic heart failure.

chiasma    listen   (ky-AZ-muh)
An anatomy term for an X-shaped crossing (for example, of nerves or tendons).

child-life specialist    listen   (… SPEH-shuh-list)
A healthcare professional who is trained in the emotional and developmental needs of children. The child-life specialist helps children and their families understand medical issues and gives psychological and emotional support. Also called child-life worker.

child-life worker    listen   (… WUR-ker)
A healthcare professional who is trained in the emotional and developmental needs of children. The child-life worker helps children and their families understand medical issues and gives psychological and emotional support. Also called child-life specialist.

childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia risk group system    listen   (... uh-KYOOT LIM-foh-BLAS-tik loo-KEE-mee-uh risk groop SIS-tem)
A way of grouping patients that is used to plan treatment for children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. A risk group is based on the patient’s age and white blood cell count at diagnosis. Risk groups are described as either standard (low) risk or high risk. Other factors that affect the risk group include the type of leukemia cells, whether there are certain chromosome changes, and how quickly the leukemia responds to treatment.

childhood cancer    listen   (… KAN-ser)
A term used to describe cancers that occur between birth and 15 years of age. Childhood cancers are very rare and may differ from adult cancers in the way they grow and spread, how they are treated, and how they respond to treatment. Common types of childhood cancer include leukemia (begins in blood-forming tissue such as bone marrow), lymphoma (begins in the cells of the immune system), neuroblastoma (begins in certain nerve cells), retinoblastoma (begins in the tissues of the retina), Wilms tumor (a type of kidney cancer), and cancers of the brain, bone, and soft tissue.

childhood cancer risk group    listen   (… KAN-ser risk groop)
A group of children with cancer that has been formed based on certain characteristics of the children and their disease. These may include age at diagnosis, stage of cancer, and cancer biology. Risk groups may also be based on the chance of being cured or the chance that the cancer will come back. Childhood cancer risk groups are used to plan treatment and follow-up care for certain types of cancer, such as neuroblastoma and rhabdomyosarcoma. Risk groups may be described as low risk, intermediate risk, or high risk.

Children's Oncology Group    listen   (… on-KAH-loh-jee …)
A group of clinical cancer research organizations that get support from the National Cancer Institute to study childhood cancers. The main goal of Children's Oncology Group is to conduct clinical trials of new treatments for childhood and adolescent cancers at cancer centers in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Australia. Also called COG.

chimeric    listen   (ky-MEER-ik)
Having parts of different origins. In medicine, refers to a person, organ, or tissue that contains cells with different genes than the rest of the person, organ, or tissue. This may happen because of a mutation (genetic change) that occurs during development, or as a result of a transplant of cells, organs, or tissues from another person or from a different species. In the laboratory, a chimeric protein can be made by combining two different genes. For example, a chimeric antibody is made by joining antibody genes from two different species, such as human and mouse.

Chinese meridian theory    listen   (chy-NEEZ meh-RIH-dee-un THEER-ee)
In traditional Chinese medicine, meridians are channels that form a network in the body, through which qi (vital energy) flows. Blocked qi causes pain or illness. The flow of qi is restored by using pressure, needles, suction, or heat at hundreds of specific points along the meridians.

Chinese rhubarb    listen   (chy-NEEZ ROO-barb)
The root of this plant has been used in some cultures to treat certain medical problems. It may have anti-inflammatory and anticancer effects. The scientific name is Rheum palmatum or Rheum officinale. Also called da-huang, Indian rhubarb, rhubarb, and Turkish rhubarb.

CHIR-265      
A substance being studied in the treatment of melanoma. CHIR-265 may block the growth of tumors and the growth of blood vessels from surrounding tissue to the tumor. It is a type of Raf kinase inhibitor and angiogenesis inhibitor.

ChiRhoStim    listen   (KY-roh-stim)
A drug used to help diagnose gastrinomas (tumors that cause too much gastric acid to be made) and other problems with the pancreas. It is also used to increase secretions from the pancreas and to help identify a duct called the ampulla of Vater. ChiRhoStim is a form of secretin that is made in the laboratory. Secretin causes the pancreas, liver, and stomach to release substances that help digest food. Also called secretin human and synthetic human secretin.

chiropractic therapy    listen   (KY-roh-PRAK-tik THAYR-uh-pee)
A type of therapy in which the hands are used to manipulate the spine or other parts of the body. Sometimes, heat and ice, relaxation techniques, exercise, and other treatments are also used. Chiropractic therapy may be used to treat conditions such as back pain, neck pain, headache, and hand or foot problems, and to improve overall health. It is a type of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).

chitin    listen   (KY-tin)
A type of polysaccharide (sugar molecule) that is made by some plants and animals. The hard outer shell of shrimp, lobsters, and many insects is made of chitin.

chlorambucil    listen   (klor-AM-byoo-sil)
A drug used to treat several types of leukemias and lymphomas. It blocks cell growth by damaging the cell’s DNA and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of alkylating agent. Also called Leukeran.

chlorambucil-prednisone    listen   (klor-AM-byoo-sil-PRED-nih-sone)
A chemotherapy combination used to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). It includes the drugs chlorambucil hydrochloride and prednisone. Also called chlorambucil-prednisone regimen, CP, and CP regimen.

chlorambucil-prednisone regimen    listen   (klor-AM-byoo-sil-PRED-nih-sone REH-jih-men)
A chemotherapy combination used to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). It includes the drugs chlorambucil hydrochloride and prednisone. Also called chlorambucil-prednisone, CP, and CP regimen.

chlorine    listen   (KLOR-een)
A chemical used in manufacturing, as a bleach, and to kill bacteria and other organisms in water.

chloroma    listen   (kloh-ROH-muh)
A malignant, green-colored tumor of myeloid cells (a type of immature white blood cell). This tumor is usually associated with myelogenous leukemia. Also called granulocytic sarcoma.

chloroquinoxaline sulfonamide    listen   (KLOR-oh-kwih-NOK-sah-leen sul-FAH-nuh-MIDE)
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. It is a type of topoisomerase inhibitor. Also called CQS.

chlorotoxin    listen   (KLOR-oh-TOK-sin)
A substance being studied in the diagnosis and treatment of glioma (a type of brain cancer) and other types of cancer. It binds to cancer cells in the brain and peripheral nervous system and may keep them from spreading. Chlorotoxin comes from the venom of a type of scorpion. A form of chlorotoxin made in the laboratory is called TM-601. Chlorotoxin is a type of neurotoxin. Also called CTX.

cholangiocarcinoma    listen   (koh-LAN-jee-oh-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. Cholangiocarcinoma 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 cholangiocarcinoma. Also called bile duct carcinoma.

cholangiosarcoma    listen   (koh-LAN-jee-oh-sar-KOH-muh)
A tumor of the connective tissues of the bile ducts.

cholecalciferol    listen   (KOH-leh-kal-SIH-feh-rol)
A nutrient that the body needs in small amounts to function and stay healthy. Cholecalciferol helps the body use calcium and phosphorus to make strong bones and teeth. It is fat-soluble (can dissolve in fats and oils) and is found in fatty fish, egg yolks, and dairy products. Skin exposed to sunshine can also make cholecalciferol. Not enough cholecalciferol can cause a bone disease called rickets. It is being studied in the prevention and treatment of some types of cancer. Also called vitamin D.

cholelith    listen   (KOH-leh-lith)
Solid material that forms in the gallbladder or common bile duct. Choleliths are made of cholesterol or other substances found in the gallbladder. They may occur as one large stone or as many small ones, and vary from the size of a golf ball to a grain of sand. Also called gallstone.

cholestasis    listen   (koh-leh-STAY-sis)
Any condition in which the release of bile from the liver is blocked. The blockage can occur in the liver (intrahepatic cholestasis) or in the bile ducts (extrahepatic cholestasis).

cholesterol    listen   (koh-LES-teh-rol)
A waxy, fat-like substance made in the liver, and found in the blood and in all cells of the body. Cholesterol is important for good health and is needed for making cell walls, tissues, hormones, vitamin D, and bile acid. Cholesterol also comes from eating foods taken from animals such as egg yolks, meat, and whole-milk dairy products. Too much cholesterol in the blood may build up in blood vessel walls, block blood flow to tissues and organs, and increase the risk of developing heart disease and stroke.

choline    listen   (KOH-leen)
A nutrient in the vitamin B complex that the body needs in small amounts to function and stay healthy. Choline helps cells make membranes, make a neurotransmitter (a chemical that helps nerve cells communicate with other cells), and remove fat from the liver. It is found in whole milk, beef liver, eggs, soy foods, and peanuts. Choline is water-soluble (can dissolve in water) and must be taken in every day. Not enough choline can cause diseases of the heart and blood vessels and damage to the liver. A form of choline is being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer and to reduce pain and fever. Choline is also being studied together with vitamin B12 in the prevention and treatment of cancer.

choline magnesium trisalicylate    listen   (KOH-leen mag-NEE-see-um TRY-suh-LIH-sih-LAYT)
A substance used to treat arthritis and relieve pain, inflammation, and fever. It is also being studied in the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Choline magnesium trisalicylate blocks the action of a substance that sends a pain message to the brain. It is a type of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Also called Trilisate.

chondrocyte    listen   (KON-droh-site)
Cartilage cell. Chondrocytes make the structural components of cartilage.

chondroitin sulfate    listen   (kon-DROY-tin SUL-fayt)
The major glycosaminoglycan (a type of sugar molecule) in cartilage.

chondrosarcoma    listen   (KON-droh-sar-KOH-muh)
A type of cancer that forms in bone cartilage. It usually starts in the pelvis (between the hip bones), the shoulder, the ribs, or at the ends of the long bones of the arms and legs. A rare type of chondrosarcoma called extraskeletal chondrosarcoma does not form in bone cartilage. Instead, it forms in the soft tissues of the upper part of the arms and legs. Chondrosarcoma can occur at any age but is more common in people older than 40 years. It is a type of bone cancer.

CHOP    listen  
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination that is used to treat non-Hodgkin lymphoma and is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It includes the drugs cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin hydrochloride (hydroxydaunorubicin), vincristine sulfate (Oncovin), and prednisone. Also called CHOP regimen.

CHOP regimen    listen   (… REH-jih-men)
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination that is used to treat non-Hodgkin lymphoma and is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It includes the drugs cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin hydrochloride (hydroxydaunorubicin), vincristine sulfate (Oncovin), and prednisone. Also called CHOP.

CHOPE    listen  
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination that is used to treat non-Hodgkin lymphoma. It includes the drugs cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin hydrochloride (hydroxydaunorubicin), vincristine sulfate (Oncovin), prednisone, and etoposide phosphate. Also called CHOPE regimen.

CHOPE regimen    listen   (… REH-jih-men)
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination that is used to treat non-Hodgkin lymphoma. It includes the drugs cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin hydrochloride (hydroxydaunorubicin), vincristine sulfate (Oncovin), prednisone, and etoposide phosphate. Also called CHOPE.

chordoma    listen   (kor-DOH-muh)
A type of bone cancer that usually starts in the lower spinal column or at the base of the skull.

chorioadenoma destruens    listen   (KOR-ee-oh-A-deh-NOH-muh des-TROO-ens)
A type of cancer that grows into the muscular wall of the uterus. It is formed after conception (fertilization of an egg by a sperm). It may spread to other parts of the body, such as the vagina, vulva, and lung. Also called invasive hydatidiform mole.

chorioallantoic membrane    listen   (KOR-ee-oh-uh-lan-TOH-ik MEM-brayn)
The membrane in hens' eggs that helps chicken embryos get enough oxygen and calcium for development. The calcium comes from the egg shell.

chorioblastoma    listen   (KOR-ee-oh-blas-TOH-muh)
A malignant, fast-growing tumor that develops from trophoblastic cells (cells that help an embryo attach to the uterus and help form the placenta). Almost all chorioblastomas form in the uterus after fertilization of an egg by a sperm, but a small number form in a testis or an ovary. Chorioblastomas spread through the blood to other organs, especially the lungs. They are a type of gestational trophoblastic disease. Also called choriocarcinoma, chorioepithelioma, and chorionic carcinoma.

choriocarcinoma    listen   (KOR-ee-oh-KAR-sih-NOH-muh)
A malignant, fast-growing tumor that develops from trophoblastic cells (cells that help an embryo attach to the uterus and help form the placenta). Almost all choriocarcinomas form in the uterus after fertilization of an egg by a sperm, but a small number form in a testis or an ovary. Choriocarcinomas spread through the blood to other organs, especially the lungs. They are a type of gestational trophoblastic disease. Also called chorioblastoma, chorioepithelioma, and chorionic carcinoma.

chorioepithelioma    listen   (KOR-ee-oh-EH-pih-THEE-lee-OH-muh)
A malignant, fast-growing tumor that develops from trophoblastic cells (cells that help an embryo attach to the uterus and help form the placenta). Almost all chorioepitheliomas form in the uterus after fertilization of an egg by a sperm, but a small number form in a testis or an ovary. Chorioepitheliomas spread through the blood to other organs, especially the lungs. They are a type of gestational trophoblastic disease. Also called chorioblastoma, choriocarcinoma, and chorionic carcinoma.

chorionic carcinoma    listen   (KOR-ee-AH-nik KAR-sih-NOH-muh)
A malignant, fast-growing tumor that develops from trophoblastic cells (cells that help an embryo attach to the uterus and help form the placenta). Almost all chorionic carcinomas form in the uterus after fertilization of an egg by a sperm, but a small number form in a testis or an ovary. Chorionic carcinomas spread through the blood to other organs, especially the lungs. They are a type of gestational trophoblastic disease. Also called chorioblastoma, choriocarcinoma, and chorioepithelioma.

choroid    listen   (KOR-oyd)
A thin layer of tissue that is part of the middle layer of the wall of the eye, between the sclera (white outer layer of the eye) and the retina (the inner layer of nerve tissue at the back of the eye). The choriod is filled with blood vessels that bring oxygen and nutrients to the eye.

choroid plexus    listen   (KOR-oyd PLEK-sus)
A network of blood vessels and cells in the ventricles (fluid-filled spaces) of the brain. The blood vessels are covered by a thin layer of cells that make cerebrospinal fluid.

choroid plexus tumor    listen   (KOR-oyd PLEK-sus TOO-mer)
A rare tumor that forms in the choroid plexus (a network of blood vessels and cells in the fluid-filled spaces of the brain). These tumors are most common in children younger than 2 years. Choroid plexus tumors may be benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer).

CHPP      
A procedure that bathes the abdominal cavity in fluid that contains anticancer drugs. This fluid is warmer than body temperature. This procedure appears to kill cancer cells without harming normal cells. Also called continuous hyperthermic peritoneal perfusion.

chromaffin cell    listen   (KROH-muh-fin ...)
A type of cell that makes neurohormones (chemicals that are made by nerve cells and used to send signals to other cells) and releases them into the blood. Chromaffin cells make epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine (noradrenaline). They are found in the adrenal glands or in groups of nerve cells called ganglia.

chromatography    listen   (KROH-muh-TAH-gruh-fee)
A laboratory technique used to separate different substances in a mixture. A gas or a liquid is used to pass the mixture through a column, paper, or special plate that contains absorbing materials. The substances in the mixture are separated based on how far they move through the material. The different substances may be visible to the eye or detected by a special machine.

chromogranin A    listen   (KROH-moh-GRA-nin …)
A protein found inside neuroendocrine cells, which release chromogranin A and certain hormones into the blood. Chromogranin A may be found in higher than normal amounts in patients with certain neuroendocrine tumors, small cell lung cancer, prostate cancer, and other conditions. Measuring the amount of chromogranin A in the blood may help to diagnose cancer or other conditions or find out how well treatment is working or if cancer has come back. Chromogranin A is a type of tumor marker. Also called CgA.

chromosome    listen   (KROH-muh-some)
Part of a cell that contains genetic information. Except for sperm and eggs, all human cells contain 46 chromosomes.

chromosome 17    listen   (KROH-muh-some …)
One of a pair of chromosomes that is part of the 46 chromosomes found in the nucleus of most human cells. Specific changes in chromosome 17 may be found in patients with certain genetic conditions and some types of cancer, including bladder cancer, brain cancer, and leukemia. Checking for these changes may help diagnose cancer or find out if cancer has come back. Chromosome 17 is a type of tumor marker.

chromosome 3    listen   (KROH-muh-some …)
One of a pair of chromosomes that is part of the 46 chromosomes found in the nucleus of most human cells. Specific changes in chromosome 3 may be found in patients with certain genetic conditions or some types of cancer, including bladder cancer. Checking for these changes may help diagnose cancer or find out if cancer has come back. Chromosome 3 is a type of tumor marker.

chromosome 7    listen   (KROH-muh-some …)
One of a pair of chromosomes that is part of the 46 chromosomes found in the nucleus of most human cells. Specific changes in chromosome 7 may be found in patients with certain genetic conditions or some types of cancer, including bladder cancer, leukemia, and lymphoma. Checking for these changes may help diagnose cancer or find out if cancer has come back. Chromosome 7 is a type of tumor marker.

chronic    listen   (KRAH-nik)
A disease or condition that persists or progresses over a long period of time.

chronic bacterial prostatitis    listen   (KRAH-nik bak-TEER-ee-ul PROS-tuh-TY-tis)
Inflammation of the prostate gland that is caused by a bacterial infection and that continues or gets worse over a long period of time. The infection may seem to go away but keeps coming back. Symptoms include body aches, pain in the lower back and genital area, a burning feeling during urination, and problems with emptying the bladder all the way.

chronic bronchitis    listen   (KRAH-nik bron-KY-tis)
A lung condition that develops over time in which the bronchi (large air passages that lead to the lungs) become inflamed and scarred. This causes the bronchi to make large amounts of mucus and can lead to a chronic cough and breathing problems. The most common cause of chronic bronchitis is cigarette smoking. It may also be caused by infection or by breathing in secondhand tobacco smoke, chemical fumes, or other forms of air pollution. Chronic bronchitis usually does not go away completely. It is a type of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

chronic cough    listen   (KRAH-nik kof)
A cough that lasts for 8 weeks or longer. It may occur with other symptoms, including a runny or stuffy nose, extra mucus in the back of the throat, wheezing, shortness of breath, or heartburn. A chronic cough may be caused by allergies, sinus infections, asthma, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or other conditions. It may also be caused by smoking tobacco or by breathing in secondhand tobacco smoke over a long period of time. It usually improves when the problem that caused the cough is treated. For example, a chronic cough may get better when a person quits smoking.

chronic eosinophilic leukemia    listen   (KRAH-nik EE-oh-SIH-noh-FIH-lik loo-KEE-mee-uh)
A disease in which too many eosinophils (a type of white blood cell) are found in the bone marrow, blood, and other tissues. Chronic eosinophilic leukemia may stay the same for many years, or it may progress quickly to acute leukemia.

chronic fatigue syndrome    listen   (KRAH-nik fuh-TEEG SIN-drome)
A condition that lasts for more than 6 months in which a person feels tired most of the time. They may also have trouble concentrating and carrying out daily activities. Other symptoms include sore throat, fever, muscle weakness, headache, and joint pain. Also called CFS.

chronic granulocytic leukemia    listen   (KRAH-nik GRAN-yoo-loh-SIH-tik loo-KEE-mee-uh)
A slowly progressing disease in which too many white blood cells (not lymphocytes) are made in the bone marrow. Also called chronic myelogenous leukemia, chronic myeloid leukemia, and CML.

chronic heart failure    listen   (KRAH-nik hart FAYL-yer)
A condition in which the heart has trouble pumping blood through the body. It may develop over a long period of time. Symptoms include shortness of breath, problems exercising, fatigue, and swelling of the feet, ankles, and abdomen. Chronic heart failure may be caused by coronary artery disease, a heart attack, or high blood pressure. It usually occurs in people aged 65 years or older. Also called CHF.

chronic idiopathic myelofibrosis    listen   (KRAH-nik IH-dee-oh-PA-thik MY-eh-loh-fy-BROH-sis)
A progressive, chronic disease in which the bone marrow is replaced by fibrous tissue and blood is made in organs such as the liver and the spleen, instead of in the bone marrow. This disease is marked by an enlarged spleen and progressive anemia. Also called agnogenic myeloid metaplasia, idiopathic myelofibrosis, myelosclerosis with myeloid metaplasia, and primary myelofibrosis.

chronic leukemia    listen   (KRAH-nik loo-KEE-mee-uh)
A slowly progressing cancer that starts in blood-forming tissues such as the bone marrow, and causes large numbers of white blood cells to be produced and enter the blood stream.

chronic lung disease    listen   (KRAH-nik … dih-ZEEZ)
A type of disorder that affects the lungs and other parts of the respiratory system. It usually develops slowly, and may get worse over time. Chronic lung disease may be caused by smoking tobacco or by breathing in secondhand tobacco smoke, chemical fumes, dust, or other forms of air pollution. Types of chronic lung disease include asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pulmonary fibrosis, asbestosis, pneumonitis, and other lung conditions. Also called CLD.

chronic lymphocytic leukemia    listen   (KRAH-nik LIM-foh-SIH-tik loo-KEE-mee-uh)
An indolent (slow-growing) cancer in which too many immature lymphocytes (white blood cells) are found mostly in the blood and bone marrow. Sometimes, in later stages of the disease, cancer cells are found in the lymph nodes and the disease is called small lymphocytic lymphoma. Also called CLL.

chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma    listen   (KRAH-nik LIM-foh-SIH-tik loo-KEE-mee-uh/… LIM-foh-SIH-tik lim-FOH-muh)
An indolent (slow-growing) cancer in which immature lymphocytes (white blood cells) are found in the blood and bone marrow and/or in the lymph nodes. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL) are the same disease, but in CLL cancer cells are found mostly in the blood and bone marrow. In SLL cancer cells are found mostly in the lymph nodes. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma is a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Also called CLL/SLL.

chronic myelogenous leukemia    listen   (KRAH-nik MY-eh-LAH-jeh-nus loo-KEE-mee-uh)
A slowly progressing disease in which too many white blood cells (not lymphocytes) are made in the bone marrow. Also called chronic granulocytic leukemia, chronic myeloid leukemia, and CML.

chronic myeloid leukemia    listen   (KRAH-nik MY-eh-loyd loo-KEE-mee-uh)
A slowly progressing disease in which too many white blood cells (not lymphocytes) are made in the bone marrow. Also called chronic granulocytic leukemia, chronic myelogenous leukemia, and CML.

chronic myelomonocytic leukemia    listen   (KRAH-nik MY-eh-loh-MAH-noh-SIH-tik loo-KEE-mee-uh)
A slowly progressing type of myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative disease in which too many myelomonocytes (a type of white blood cell) are in the bone marrow, crowding out other normal blood cells, such as other white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. Also called CMML.

chronic myeloproliferative neoplasm    listen   (KRAH-nik MY-eh-loh-proh-LIH-feh-ruh-tiv NEE-oh-PLA-zum)
A type of disease in which the bone marrow makes too many red blood cells, platelets, or certain white blood cells. Chronic myeloproliferative neoplasms usually get worse over time as the number of extra cells build up in the blood and/or bone marrow. This may cause bleeding problems, anemia, infection, fatigue, or other signs and symptoms. Certain chronic myeloproliferative neoplasms may become acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Chronic myeloproliferative neoplasms include chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), polycythemia vera, primary myelofibrosis, essential thrombocythemia, chronic neutrophilic leukemia, and chronic eosinophilic leukemia. Also called myeloproliferative neoplasm.

chronic neutrophilic leukemia    listen   (KRAH-nik NOO-troh-FIH-lik loo-KEE-mee-uh)
A disease in which too many neutrophils (a type of white blood cell) are found in the blood. The extra neutrophils may cause the spleen and liver to become enlarged. Chronic neutrophilic leukemia may stay the same for many years or it may progress quickly to acute leukemia.

chronic obstructive pulmonary disease    listen   (KRAH-nik ub-STRUK-tiv PUL-muh-NAYR-ee dih-ZEEZ)
A type of lung disease marked by permanent damage to tissues in the lungs, making it hard to breathe. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease includes chronic bronchitis, in which the bronchi (large air passages) are inflamed and scarred, and emphysema, in which the alveoli (tiny air sacs) are damaged. It develops over many years and is usually caused by cigarette smoking. Also called COPD.

chronic pain    listen   (KRAH-nik payn)
Pain that can range from mild to severe, and persists or progresses over a long period of time.

chronic phase    listen   (KRAH-nik fayz)
Refers to the early stages of chronic myelogenous leukemia or chronic lymphocytic leukemia. The number of mature and immature abnormal white blood cells in the bone marrow and blood is higher than normal, but lower than in the accelerated or blast phase.

chronic phase chronic myelogenous leukemia    listen   (KRAH-nik fayz KRAH-nik MY-eh-LAH-jeh-nus loo-KEE-mee-uh)
A phase of chronic myelogenous leukemia in which fewer than 10% of the cells in the blood and bone marrow are blast cells (immature blood cells). This phase may last from several months to several years, and there may be no symptoms of leukemia.

chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome    listen   (KRAH-nik PROS-tuh-TY-tis/KRAH-nik PEL-vik payn SIN-drome)
A condition of the prostate gland that continues or gets worse over a long period of time. Symptoms include body aches, pain in the lower back and genital area, a burning feeling during urination, and problems with emptying the bladder all the way. Also called CP/CPPS.

chrysotherapy    listen   (KRIH-soh-THAYR-uh-pee)
A procedure that uses gold salts (a salt form of the metal element gold) to treat diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis. The gold salts stop cells from releasing chemicals that can harm tissues. Also called aurotherapy and gold therapy.

CHS 828      
A drug that is being studied in the treatment of solid tumors.

chyle    listen   (kile)
A milky-white fluid that forms in the small intestine during digestion. It is made of lymph fluid and fats. Special lymph vessels carry chyle from the intestines to the blood.

CI-1033      
A substance being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. CI-1033 blocks the action of proteins called epidermal growth factor receptors, and may cause cancer cells to die. It is a type of tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Also called canertinib and canertinib dihydrochloride.

CI-958      
A substance being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. CI-958 binds to DNA and stops cells, including cancer cells, from repairing damage to DNA and from making more DNA, RNA, and protein. It is a type of DNA intercalator. Also called sedoxantrone trihydrochloride.

CI-980      
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called mitotic inhibitors. Also called mivobulin isethionate.

CI-994      
A substance being studied in the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer. Also called N-acetyldinaline.

Cialis    listen   (see-A-lis)
A drug used to treat erectile dysfunction. It is also being studied in the treatment of sexual problems in patients treated with radiation or surgery for prostate cancer. Cialis blocks the action of a certain enzyme, which can result in increased blood flow to the penis, causing an erection. It is a type of cGMP phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitor. Also called tadalafil.

cidofovir    listen   (sy-DOH-foh-veer)
A drug used in the treatment of infections caused by viruses.

cigar    listen   (sih-GAR)
A tube-shaped tobacco product that is made of tightly rolled, cured tobacco leaves in a tobacco leaf wrapper or a wrapper that contains tobacco. It may also have other ingredients, including substances to add different flavors. A cigar is lit on one end and smoked, but the smoke is usually not inhaled into the lungs. Cigars contain nicotine and many cancer-causing chemicals that are harmful to both smokers and nonsmokers. Smoking cigars can lead to nicotine addiction and can cause cancers of the mouth, larynx (voice box), esophagus, lung, and pancreas. Heavy cigar smoking can also increase the risk of heart disease and lung diseases, such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

cigarette    listen   (SIH-guh-ret)
A tube-shaped tobacco product that is made of finely cut, cured tobacco leaves wrapped in thin paper. It may also have other ingredients, including substances to add different flavors. A cigarette is lit on one end and smoked, and the smoke is usually inhaled into the lungs. Cigarettes contain nicotine and many cancer-causing chemicals that are harmful to both smokers and nonsmokers. Smoking cigarettes can lead to nicotine addiction and can cause many types of cancer, including cancers of the lung, larynx, mouth, esophagus, throat, kidney, bladder, pancreas, stomach, and cervix, and acute myeloid leukemia. Smoking cigarettes also causes other health problems, including heart disease, stroke, and lung diseases, such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

cilengitide    listen   (sy-LEN-gih-tide)
A substance that is being studied as an anticancer and antiangiogenesis drug. Also called EMD 121974.

ciliary body    listen   (SIH-lee-ayr-ee BAH-dee)
A part of the middle layer of the wall of the eye. The ciliary body includes the ring-shaped muscle that changes the size of the pupil and the shape of the lens when the eye focuses. It also makes the fluid that fills the eye.

cimetidine    listen   (sy-MEH-tih-deen)
A drug usually used to treat stomach ulcers and heartburn. It is also commonly used in a regimen to prevent allergic reactions.

CIN    listen  
Abnormal cells are found on the surface of the cervix. CIN is usually caused by certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV) and is found when a cervical biopsy is done. CIN is not cancer, but may become cancer and spread to nearby normal tissue. It is graded on a scale of 1 to 3, based on how abnormal the cells look under a microscope and how much of the cervical tissue is affected. For example, CIN 1 has slightly abnormal cells and is less likely to become cancer than CIN 2 or CIN 3. Also called cervical intraepithelial neoplasia.

CIN 1    listen  
Slightly abnormal cells are found on the surface of the cervix. CIN 1 is usually caused by certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV) and is found when a cervical biopsy is done. CIN 1 is not cancer and usually goes away on its own without treatment. Sometimes it becomes cancer and spreads to nearby normal tissue. CIN 1 is sometimes called low-grade or mild dysplasia. Also called cervical squamous intraepithelial neoplasia 1.

CIN 2    listen  
Moderately abnormal cells are found on the surface of the cervix. CIN 2 is usually caused by certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV) and is found when a cervical biopsy is done. CIN 2 is not cancer, but may become cancer and spread to nearby normal tissue if not treated. Treatment for CIN 2 may include cryotherapy, laser therapy, loop electrosurgical procedure (LEEP), or cone biopsy to remove or destroy the abnormal tissue. CIN 2 is sometimes called high-grade or moderate dysplasia. Also called cervical squamous intraepithelial neoplasia 2.

CIN 2/3    listen  
Abnormal cells are found on the surface of the cervix. CIN 2/3 is usually caused by certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV) and is found when a cervical biopsy is done. CIN 2/3 has features of CIN 2 and CIN 3. It is not cancer, but may become cancer and spread to nearby normal tissue if not treated. Treatment for CIN 2/3 may include cryotherapy, laser therapy, loop electrosurgical procedure (LEEP), or cone biopsy to remove or destroy the abnormal tissue. Also called cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2/3.

CIN 3    listen  
Severely abnormal cells are found on the surface of the cervix. CIN 3 is usually caused by certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV) and is found when a cervical biopsy is done. If not treated, these abnormal cells may become cancer and spread to nearby normal tissue. Treatment for CIN 3 may include cryotherapy, laser therapy, loop electrosurgical procedure (LEEP), or cone biopsy to remove or destroy the abnormal tissue. CIN 3 is sometimes called high-grade or severe dysplasia. Also called cervical squamous intraepithelial neoplasia 3 and stage 0 cervical carcinoma in situ.

Cipro    listen   (SIP-roh)
A drug that is used to treat infections caused by bacteria and is being studied in the treatment of bladder cancer. Cipro is a type of fluoroquinolone. Also called ciprofloxacin.

ciprofloxacin    listen   (SIH-proh-FLOK-suh-sin)
A drug that is used to treat infections caused by bacteria and is being studied in the treatment of bladder cancer. Ciprofloxacin is a type of fluoroquinolone. Also called Cipro.

circulation    listen   (ser-kyoo-LAY-shun)
In the body, the flow of blood through the heart and blood vessels, and the flow of lymph through the lymph vessels.

circulatory system    listen   (SER-kyoo-lah-tor-ee SIS-tem)
The system that contains the heart and the blood vessels and moves blood throughout the body. This system helps tissues get enough oxygen and nutrients, and it helps them get rid of waste products. The lymph system, which connects with the blood system, is often considered part of the circulatory system.

circumcision    listen   (SIR-kum-SIH-zhun)
Surgery to remove part or all of the foreskin (loose skin that covers the head of the penis).

cirrhosis    listen   (seh-ROH-sis)
A type of chronic, progressive liver disease in which liver cells are replaced by scar tissue.

CIS      
The CIS is the National Cancer Institute's link to the public, interpreting and explaining research findings in a clear and understandable manner, and providing personalized responses to specific questions about cancer. Access the CIS by calling 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237), or by using the LiveHelp instant-messaging service at https://livehelp.cancer.gov. Also called Cancer Information Service.

CISNET      
A group of researchers supported by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) who use statistical models to help understand how cancer prevention, screening, and treatment programs can affect the number of new cases of cancer diagnosed each year and the number of deaths from cancer each year. The CISNET is now studying breast, colorectal, esophageal, lung, and prostate cancers. The models they create help guide future cancer control strategies, research priorities, policies, and decision making. Also called Cancer Intervention and Surveillance Modeling Network.

cisplatin    listen   (sis-PLA-tin)
A drug used to treat malignant mesothelioma, non-small cell lung cancer, squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck, and cancers of the bladder, cervix, ovaries, and testes. It is used in patients whose cancer cannot be treated with or has not gotten better with other anticancer treatment. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Cisplatin contains the metal platinum. It kills cancer cells by damaging their DNA and stopping them from dividing. It is a type of DNA crosslinking agent. Also called Platinol and Platinol-AQ.

citalopram    listen   (sy-TA-loh-pram)
A drug used to treat depression. It belongs to the families of drugs called antidepressant agents and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Also called Celexa.

citric acid/potassium-sodium citrate    listen   (SIH-trik A-sid/puh-TA-see-um-SOH-dee-um SIH-trayt)
A drug used in the treatment of metabolic acidosis (a disorder in which the blood is too acidic).

citrovorum factor    listen   (sih-troh-VOR-um FAK-ter)
A drug used to lessen the toxic effects of substances that block the action of folic acid, especially the anticancer drug methotrexate. Citrovorum factor is used to treat some types of anemia and is also used with fluorouracil to treat colorectal cancer. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer and other conditions. Citrovorum factor is a form of folic acid. It is a type of chemoprotective agent and a type of chemosensitizing agent. Also called calcium levoleucovorin, leucovorin calcium, and Wellcovorin.

cixutumumab    listen   (SIK-syoo-TOO-myoo-mab)
A substance being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. It is a monoclonal antibody that is made in the laboratory and can bind to substances in the body. Cixutumumab blocks the action of a protein needed for cell growth and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF-1R) inhibitor. Also called IMC-A12.

cladribine    listen   (KLAD-rih-been)
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called antimetabolites.

clarithromycin    listen   (kluh-RITH-roh-MY-sin)
An antibiotic drug used in the treatment of infections. It belongs to the family of drugs called macrolides.

Clark level I skin cancer    listen   (klark LEH-vul ... skin KAN-ser)
Skin cancer that is found only in the epidermis (outer layer of skin).

Clark level II skin cancer    listen   (klark LEH-vul … skin KAN-ser)
Skin cancer that has spread from the epidermis (outer layer of skin) down into the papillary dermis (the thin top layer of the dermis).

Clark level III skin cancer    listen   (klark LEH-vul … skin KAN-ser)
Skin cancer that has spread down through the papillary dermis (the thin top layer of the dermis) but not into the reticular dermis (the thick bottom layer of the dermis).

Clark level IV skin cancer    listen   (klark LEH-vul … skin KAN-ser)
Skin cancer that has spread down into the reticular dermis (the thick bottom layer of the dermis).

Clark level V skin cancer    listen   (klark LEH-vul … skin KAN-ser)
Skin cancer that has spread down into the subcutaneous tissue (tissue beneath the skin).

Clark levels    listen   (klark LEH-vulz)
A system for describing how deep skin cancer has spread into the skin. Levels I-V describe the layers of skin involved.

classical Hodgkin lymphoma    listen   (KLA-sih-kul HOJ-kin lim-FOH-muh)
The most common type of Hodgkin lymphoma, which is a cancer of the immune system. Classical Hodgkin lymphoma is marked by the presence of a type of cell called the Reed-Sternberg cell.

Claus model    listen   (… MAH-dul)
A computer program that uses statistics to predict a person’s risk for developing breast cancer based on family history.

clavicle    listen   (KLA-vih-kul)
One of a pair of bones at the base of the front of the neck. The clavicles connect the breastbone to the shoulder blades. Also called collarbone.

CLD      
A type of disorder that affects the lungs and other parts of the respiratory system. It usually develops slowly, and may get worse over time. CLD may be caused by smoking tobacco or by breathing in secondhand tobacco smoke, chemical fumes, dust, or other forms of air pollution. Types of CLD include asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pulmonary fibrosis, asbestosis, pneumonitis, and other lung conditions. Also called chronic lung disease.

clear cell    listen   (kleer sel)
A type of cell that looks clear inside when viewed under a microscope.

clear cell adenocarcinoma    listen   (kleer sel A-deh-noh-KAR-sih-NOH-muh)
A rare type of tumor, usually of the female genital tract, in which the insides of the cells look clear when viewed under a microscope. Also called clear cell carcinoma and mesonephroma.

clear cell carcinoma    listen   (kleer sel KAR-sih-NOH-muh)
A rare type of tumor, usually of the female genital tract, in which the insides of the cells look clear when viewed under a microscope. Also called clear cell adenocarcinoma and mesonephroma.

clear cell sarcoma of soft tissue    listen   (kleer sel sar-KOH-muh ... TIH-shoo)
A soft tissue tumor that begins in a tendon (tough, cord-like tissue that connects muscle to bone or to another part of the body). Under the microscope, clear cell sarcoma of soft tissue may look a lot like melanoma (a type of skin cancer). Clear cell sarcoma of soft tissue usually occurs in the leg or arm and it often spreads to nearby lymph nodes. It is most common in young adults.

clear cell sarcoma of the kidney    listen   (kleer sel sar-KOH-muh ...KID-nee)
A rare type of kidney cancer, in which the inside of the cells look clear when viewed under a microscope. Clear cell sarcoma can spread from the kidney to other organs, most commonly the bone, but also including the lungs, brain, and soft tissues of the body.

cleaved    listen   (kleevd)
Having to do with the appearance of cells when viewed under a microscope. The nucleus of cleaved cells appears divided or segmented.

clergy    listen   (KLER-jee)
Ordained individuals who perform spiritual and/or religious functions.

clinical    listen   (KLIH-nih-kul)
Having to do with the examination and treatment of patients.

clinical breast exam    listen   (KLIH-nih-kul brest eg-ZAM)
A physical exam of the breast performed by a health care provider to check for lumps or other changes. Also called CBE.

clinical practice guidelines    listen   (KLIH-nih-kul PRAK-tis GIDE-linez)
Guidelines developed to help health care professionals and patients make decisions about screening, prevention, or treatment of a specific health condition.

clinical researcher    listen   (KLIH-nih-kul reh-SER-cher)
A health professional who works directly with patients, or uses data from patients, to do research on health and disease and to develop new treatments. Clinical researchers may also do research on how health care practices affect health and disease.

clinical resistance    listen   (KLIH-nih-kul reh-ZIH-stunts)
The failure of a cancer to shrink after treatment.

clinical series    listen   (KLIH-nih-kul SEER-eez)
A case series in which the patients receive treatment in a clinic or other medical facility.

clinical stage    listen   (KLIH-nih-kul stayj)
The stage of cancer (amount or spread of cancer in the body) that is based on tests that are done before surgery. These include physical exams, imaging tests, laboratory tests (such as blood tests), and biopsies.

clinical staging    listen   (KLIH-nih-kul STAY-jing)
A method used to find out the stage of cancer (amount or spread of cancer in the body) using tests that are done before surgery. These include physical exams, imaging tests, laboratory tests (such as blood tests), and biopsies.

clinical study    listen   (KLIH-nih-kul STUH-dee)
A type of research study that tests how well new medical approaches work in people. These studies test new methods of screening, prevention, diagnosis, or treatment of a disease. Also called clinical trial.

clinical trial    listen   (KLIH-nih-kul TRY-ul)
A type of research study that tests how well new medical approaches work in people. These studies test new methods of screening, prevention, diagnosis, or treatment of a disease. Also called clinical study.

clinical trial phase    listen   (KLIH-nih-kul TRY-ul fayz)
A part of the clinical research process that answers specific questions about whether treatments that are being studied work and are safe. Phase I trials test the best way to give a new treatment and the best dose. Phase II trials test whether a new treatment has an effect on the disease. Phase III trials compare the results of people taking a new treatment with the results of people taking the standard treatment. Phase IV trials are done using thousands of people after a treatment has been approved and marketed, to check for side effects that were not seen in the phase III trial.

clinical trial sponsor    listen   (KLIH-nih-kul TRY-ul SPON-ser)
A person, company, institution, group, or organization that oversees or pays for a clinical trial and collects and analyzes the data. Also called trial sponsor.

clinician    listen   (klih-NIH-shun)
A health professional who takes care of patients.

CLL      
An indolent (slow-growing) cancer in which too many immature lymphocytes (white blood cells) are found mostly in the blood and bone marrow. Sometimes, in later stages of the disease, cancer cells are found in the lymph nodes and the disease is called small lymphocytic lymphoma. Also called chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

CLL/SLL      
An indolent (slow-growing) cancer in which immature lymphocytes (white blood cells) are found in the blood and bone marrow and/or in the lymph nodes. CLL (chronic lymphocytic leukemia) and SLL (small lymphocytic lymphoma) are the same disease, but in CLL cancer cells are found mostly in the blood and bone marrow. In SLL cancer cells are found mostly in the lymph nodes. CLL/SLL is a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Also called chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma.

clodronate    listen   (kloh-DROH-nayt)
A drug used in the treatment of hypercalcemia (abnormally high levels of calcium in the blood) and cancer that has spread to the bone (bone metastases). It may decrease pain, the risk of fractures, and the development of new bone metastases.

clofarabine    listen   (kloh-FAYR-uh-been)
A drug used to treat certain types of acute lymphoblastic leukemia in children. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Clofarabine is a type of nucleoside analog. Also called Clolar.

Clolar    listen   (KLOH-lar)
A drug used to treat certain types of acute lymphoblastic leukemia in children. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Clolar is a type of nucleoside analog. Also called clofarabine.

clonidine hydrochloride    listen   (KLOH-nih-deen HY-droh-KLOR-ide)
A drug used to treat high blood pressure. It is also being studied in the treatment of certain types of cancer pain and as an aid to stop smoking. It blocks the release of chemicals from nerve endings that make blood vessels constrict (get narrower). Clonidine hydrochloride is a type of antihypertensive agent and a type of alpha-adrenergic agonist. Also called Catapres.

Cloretazine    listen   (klor-EH-tuh-zeen)
A drug used to treat acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). It is also being studied in the treatment of several other types of cancer. It blocks cell growth by damaging the cell’s DNA and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of alkylating agent. Also called laromustine and Onrigin.

Clostridium difficile    listen   (klah-STRIH-dee-um dih-FIH-sih-lee)
A type of bacterium found in human and animal waste. Clostridium difficile is a common cause of diarrhea that occurs in hospitals. It can also cause diarrhea or other intestinal disorders in patients treated with antibiotics.

clove cigarette    listen   (klove SIH-guh-ret)
A type of cigarette that is made in Indonesia. It is made using a mixture of tobacco, cloves, and other ingredients. Clove cigarettes contain nicotine and many cancer-causing chemicals that are harmful to both smokers and nonsmokers. Smoking clove cigarettes can lead to nicotine addiction and can cause lung cancer and other lung conditions. Also called kretek.

CMF      
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used alone or with other therapies to treat breast cancer. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It includes the drugs cyclophosphamide, methotrexate, and fluorouracil. Also called CMF regimen.

CMF regimen    listen   (… REH-jih-men)
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used alone or with other therapies to treat breast cancer. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It includes the drugs cyclophosphamide, methotrexate, and fluorouracil. Also called CMF.

CML      
A slowly progressing disease in which too many white blood cells (not lymphocytes) are made in the bone marrow. Also called chronic granulocytic leukemia, chronic myelogenous leukemia, and chronic myeloid leukemia.

CMML      
A slowly progressing type of myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative disease in which too many myelomonocytes (a type of white blood cell) are in the bone marrow, crowding out other normal blood cells, such as other white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. Also called chronic myelomonocytic leukemia.

CMS      
A condition that may occur in patients who have had surgery to remove a tumor in certain parts of the brain, including the cerebellum. CMS usually appears 1 or 2 days after surgery. Symptoms include loss of speech, trouble swallowing and eating, loss of balance, trouble walking, loss of muscle tone, mood swings, and changes in personality. Many of these symptoms go away over time. Also called cerebellar mutism syndrome.

CMV      
A virus that may be carried in an inactive state for life by healthy individuals. It is a cause of severe pneumonia in people with a suppressed immune system, such as those undergoing bone marrow transplantation or those with leukemia or lymphoma. Also called cytomegalovirus.

cnicin    listen   (NIH-sin)
A substance found in certain plants, including blessed thistle. It has been used in some cultures to treat certain medical problems. It may have anti-inflammatory and anticancer effects. Cnicin is a type of sesquiterpene lactone.

CNS      
The brain and spinal cord. Also called central nervous system.

CNS metastasis    listen   (...meh-TAS-tuh-sis)
Cancer that has spread from the original (primary) tumor to the central nervous system (CNS). Also called central nervous system metastasis.

CNS PNET    listen  
A type of cancer that arises from a particular type of cell within the brain or spinal cord. Also called central nervous system primitive neuroectodermal tumor.

CNS prophylaxis    listen   (... PROH-fih-LAK-sis)
Chemotherapy or radiation therapy given to the central nervous system (CNS) as a preventive treatment. It kills cancer cells that may be in the brain and spinal cord, even though no cancer has been detected there. Also called central nervous system prophylaxis, central nervous system sanctuary therapy, and CNS sanctuary therapy.

CNS sanctuary therapy    listen   (...SANK-choo-wayr-ee THAYR-uh-pee)
Chemotherapy or radiation therapy given to the central nervous system (CNS) as a preventive treatment. It kills cancer cells that may be in the brain and spinal cord, even though no cancer has been detected there. Also called central nervous system prophylaxis, central nervous system sanctuary therapy, and CNS prophylaxis.

CNS stimulant    listen   (... STIM-yoo-lunt)
A type of drug that increases the levels of certain chemicals in the brain and increases alertness, attention, energy, and physical activity. CNS stimulants also raise blood pressure and increase heart rate and breathing rate. They are used to treat depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (a disorder in which a person has problems paying attention, controlling actions, and remaining still or quiet), and narcolepsy (a sleep disorder). Also called central nervous system stimulant.

CNS tumor    listen   (… TOO-mer)
A tumor of the central nervous system (CNS), including brain stem glioma, craniopharyngioma, medulloblastoma, and meningioma. Also called central nervous system tumor.

CNTO 328      
A drug used to treat a rare condition called Castleman disease in patients who do not have HIV or human herpesvirus 8. It is also being studied in the treatment of multiple myeloma. CNTO 328 binds to a protein called interleukin-6 (IL-6), which is made by some white blood cells and other cells in the body. CNTO 328 may help reduce inflammation and stop the growth of cancer cells or abnormal blood cells. It is a type of monoclonal antibody. Also called anti-IL-6 chimeric monoclonal antibody, cCLB8, siltuximab, and Sylvant.

co-culture    listen   (koh-KUL-cher)
A mixture of two or more different kinds of cells that are grown together.

co-trimoxazole    listen   (KOH-try-MOK-suh-zole)
A drug used in the treatment of infections caused by bacteria and protozoa. It is a combination of two anti-infection drugs, sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim.

coactivated T cell    listen   (koh-AK-tih-vay-ted … sel)
A T cell that has been coated with monoclonal antibodies to enhance its ability to kill tumor cells.

cobalamin    listen   (koh-BA-luh-min)
A nutrient in the vitamin B complex that the body needs in small amounts to function and stay healthy. Cobalamin helps make red blood cells, DNA, RNA, energy, and tissues, and keeps nerve cells healthy. It is found in liver, meat, eggs, poultry, shellfish, milk, and milk products. Cobalamin is water-soluble (can dissolve in water) and must be taken in every day. Not enough cobalamin can cause certain types of anemia (a condition in which the number of red blood cells is below normal) and neurologic disorders. It is being studied with folate in the prevention and treatment of some types of cancer. Also called cyanocobalamin and vitamin B12.

cobalt 60    listen   (KOH-bawlt …)
A radioactive form of the metal cobalt, which is used as a source of radiation to treat cancer.

coccyx    listen   (KOK-six)
The small bone at the bottom of the spine. It is made up of 3-5 fused bones. Also called tailbone.

Cockayne syndrome    listen   (KAH-kayn SIN-drome)
A genetic condition characterized by short stature, premature aging, sensitivity to light, and possibly deafness and mental retardation.

codeine phosphate    listen   (KOH-deen FOS-fayt)
A drug used to treat pain, cough, and diarrhea. It is made from opium or morphine and binds to opioid receptors in the central nervous system. Codeine phosphate is a type of opiate, a type of analgesic agent, a type of antitussive agent, and a type of antidiarrheal agent.

coenzyme Q10    listen   (koh-EN-zime ...)
A nutrient that the body needs in small amounts to function and stay healthy. Coenzyme Q10 helps mitochondria (small structures in the cell) make energy. It is an antioxidant that helps prevent cell damage caused by free radicals (highly reactive chemicals). Coenzyme Q10 is fat-soluble (can dissolve in fats and oils) and is found in fatty fish, beef, soybeans, peanuts, and spinach. It is being studied in the prevention and treatment of some types of cancer and heart disease and in the relief of side effects caused by some cancer treatments. Also called CoQ10, Q10, ubiquinone, and vitamin Q10.

coffee enema    listen   (KAW-fee EH-neh-muh)
The injection of coffee through the anus into the colon (large intestine). Coffee enemas are being tested in the treatment of pancreatic cancer.

COG    listen  
A group of clinical cancer research organizations that get support from the National Cancer Institute to study childhood cancers. The main goal of COG is to conduct clinical trials of new treatments for childhood and adolescent cancers at cancer centers in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Australia. Also called Children's Oncology Group.

cognition    listen   (kog-NIH-shun)
The mental process of thinking, learning, remembering, being aware of surroundings, and using judgment.

cognitive behavior therapy    listen   (KOG-nih-tiv beh-HAY-vyer THAYR-uh-pee)
A type of psychotherapy that helps patients change their behavior by changing the way they think and feel about certain things. It is used to treat mental, emotional, personality, and behavioral disorders. Also called CBT and cognitive therapy.

cognitive therapy    listen   (KOG-nih-tiv THAYR-uh-pee)
A type of psychotherapy that helps patients change their behavior by changing the way they think and feel about certain things. It is used to treat mental, emotional, personality, and behavioral disorders. Also called CBT and cognitive behavior therapy.

cohort    listen   (KOH-hort)
A group of individuals who share a common trait, such as birth year. In medicine, a cohort is a group that is part of a clinical trial or study and is observed over a period of time.

cohort study    listen   (KOH-hort STUH-dee)
A research study that compares a particular outcome (such as lung cancer) in groups of individuals who are alike in many ways but differ by a certain characteristic (for example, female nurses who smoke compared with those who do not smoke).

COL-3      
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. COL-3 may block the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It is a type of matrix metalloproteinase inhibitor and a type of antiangiogenesis agent.

COL18A1      
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. COL18A1 is made from a type of collagen (a protein found in cartilage and other connective tissue). It may prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. COL18A1 is a type of antiangiogenesis agent. Also called endostatin.

colchicine    listen   (KOL-chih-seen)
A drug used to treat gout (inflamed joints caused by a buildup of uric acid). It comes from the crocus plant Colchicum autumnale. Colchicine blocks cell division and the movement of certain immune cells to areas that are inflamed. It is a type of alkaloid and a type of mitotic inhibitor.

cold ischemia    listen   (kold is-KEE-mee-uh)
In surgery, the cooling of a tissue, organ, or body part after its blood supply has been reduced or cut off. This can occur while the organ is still in the body or after it is removed from the body if the organ is to be used for transplantation.

cold ischemia time    listen   (kold is-KEE-mee-uh …)
In surgery, the time between the chilling of a tissue, organ, or body part after its blood supply has been reduced or cut off and the time it is warmed by having its blood supply restored. This can occur while the organ is still in the body or after it is removed from the body if the organ is to be used for transplantation.

cold knife cone biopsy    listen   (kold nife kone BY-op-see)
A procedure in which a cone-shaped piece of abnormal tissue is removed from the cervix using a scalpel or laser knife. Some of the tissue is then checked under a microscope for signs of disease, such as cervical cancer. Cold knife cone biopsy may also be used to treat certain cervical conditions. Also called cold knife conization.

cold knife conization    listen   (kold nife koh-nih-ZAY-shun)
A procedure in which a cone-shaped piece of abnormal tissue is removed from the cervix using a scalpel or laser knife. Some of the tissue is then checked under a microscope for signs of disease, such as cervical cancer. Cold knife conization may also be used to treat certain cervical conditions. Also called cold knife cone biopsy.

cold nodule    listen   (kold NAH-jool)
When radioactive material is used to examine the thyroid with a scanner, nodules that collect less radioactive material than the surrounding thyroid tissue are considered "cold." A nodule that is cold does not make thyroid hormone. Cold nodules may be benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer). Cold nodules are sometimes called hypofunctioning nodules.

colectomy    listen   (koh-LEK-toh-mee)
An operation to remove all or part of the colon. When only part of the colon is removed, it is called a partial colectomy. In an open colectomy, one long incision is made in the wall of the abdomen and doctors can see the colon directly. In a laparoscopic-assisted colectomy, several small incisions are made and a thin, lighted tube attached to a video camera is inserted through one opening to guide the surgery. Surgical instruments are inserted through the other openings to perform the surgery.

colitis    listen   (koh-LY-tis)
Inflammation of the colon.

collagen    listen   (KAH-luh-jen)
A fibrous protein found in cartilage and other connective tissue.

collagen disease    listen   (KAH-luh-jen dih-ZEEZ)
A term previously used to describe chronic diseases of the connective tissue (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and systemic sclerosis), but now is thought to be more appropriate for diseases associated with defects in collagen, which is a component of the connective tissue.

collagenase    listen   (KAH-luh-jeh-nays)
A type of enzyme that breaks down the protein collagen.

collarbone    listen   (KAH-ler-bone)
One of a pair of bones at the base of the front of the neck. The clavicles connect the breastbone to the shoulder blades. Also called clavicle.

collecting duct    listen   (kuh-LEK-ting dukt)
The last part of a long, twisting tube that collects urine from the nephrons (cellular structures in the kidney that filter blood and form urine) and moves it into the renal pelvis and ureters. Also called renal collecting tubule.

colloidal gold-bound tumor necrosis factor    listen   (kuh-LOY-dul ... TOO-mer neh-KROH-sis FAK-ter)
A substance being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. Colloidal gold-bound tumor necrosis factor is made in the laboratory by binding a cancer-killing protein called tumor necrosis factor (TNF) to the surface of very tiny particles of gold. These TNF-gold particles may kill cancer cells without harming healthy tissue. Also called Aurimmune and TNF-bound colloidal gold.

coloanal anastomosis    listen   (KOH-loh-AY-nul uh-NAS-toh-MOH-sis)
A surgical procedure in which the colon is attached to the anus after the rectum has been removed. Also called coloanal pull-through.

coloanal pull-through    listen   (KOH-loh-AY-nul PUL-throo)
A surgical procedure in which the colon is attached to the anus after the rectum has been removed. Also called coloanal anastomosis.

colon    listen   (KOH-lun)
The longest part of the large intestine, which is a tube-like organ connected to the small intestine at one end and the anus at the other. The colon removes water and some nutrients and electrolytes from partially digested food. The remaining material, solid waste called stool, moves through the colon to the rectum and leaves the body through the anus.

colon cancer    listen   (KOH-lun KAN-ser)
Cancer that forms in the tissues of the colon (the longest part of the large intestine). Most colon cancers are adenocarcinomas (cancers that begin in cells that make and release mucus and other fluids).

colon crypt    listen   (KOH-lun kript)
Tube-like gland found in the lining of the colon and rectum. Colon crypt cells renew the lining of the intestine and make mucus. Also called gland of Lieberkuhn.

colon polyp    listen   (KOH-lun PAH-lip)
An abnormal growth of tissue in the lining of the bowel. Polyps are a risk factor for colon cancer.

colonoscope    listen   (koh-LAH-noh-SKOPE)
A thin, tube-like instrument used to examine the inside of the colon. A colonoscope has a light and a lens for viewing and may have a tool to remove tissue.

colonoscopy    listen   (KOH-luh-NOS-koh-pee)
Examination of the inside of the colon using a colonoscope, inserted into the rectum. A colonoscope 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.

colony-stimulating factor    listen   (KAH-luh-nee-STIM-yoo-LAY-ting FAK-ter)
A substance that stimulates the production of blood cells. Colony-stimulating factors include granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF), granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), and promegapoietin.

colorectal    listen   (KOH-loh-REK-tul)
Having to do with the colon or the rectum.

colorectal cancer    listen   (KOH-loh-REK-tul KAN-ser)
Cancer that develops in the colon (the longest part of the large intestine) and/or the rectum (the last several inches of the large intestine before the anus).

colostomy    listen   (koh-LOS-toh-mee)
An opening into the colon from the outside of the body. A colostomy provides a new path for waste material to leave the body after part of the colon has been removed.

colostomy irrigation    listen   (koh-LOS-toh-mee EER-ih-GAY-shun)
A procedure in which a patient with a colostomy flushes the colon with water, using a tube that is inserted into the stoma (a surgically created opening in the body that connects an organ or area inside the body with the outside). This causes the colon to empty and pass stool through the stoma into a bag. The procedure should be done at the same time every day. It may allow colostomy patients to have better control over their bodies.

colposcope    listen   (KOL-poh-SKOPE)
A lighted magnifying instrument used to check the cervix, vagina, and vulva for signs of disease.

colposcopy    listen   (kol-POS-koh-pee)
A procedure in which a lighted, magnifying instrument called a colposcope is used to examine the cervix, vagina, and vulva. During colposcopy, an instrument called a speculum is inserted into the vagina to widen it so that the cervix can be seen more easily. A vinegar solution may be used to make abnormal tissue easier to see with the colposcope. Tissue samples may be taken using a spoon-shaped instrument called a curette and checked under a microscope for signs of disease. Colposcopy may be used to check for cancers of the cervix, vagina, and vulva, and changes that may lead to cancer.

coma    listen   (KOH-muh)
A condition in which a patient is in a state of deep sleep and cannot be awakened. A coma may be caused by many things, including trauma, drugs, toxins, or certain diseases.

combination chemotherapy    listen   (KOM-bih-NAY-shun KEE-moh-THAYR-uh-pee)
Treatment using more than one anticancer drug.

combination therapy    listen   (KOM-bih-NAY-shun THAYR-uh-pee)
Therapy that combines more than one method of treatment. Also called multimodality therapy and multimodality treatment.

combined androgen blockade    listen   (kum-BINDE AN-droh-jen blah-KAYD)
Treatment used to block androgen (male hormone) activity in the body. This may be done by giving an antiandrogen drug and removing the testicles (orchiectomy) or by giving an antiandrogen drug with a gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist. Combined androgen blockade may stop the growth of cancer cells that need androgens to grow, and is used in the treatment of prostate cancer. Also called complete androgen blockade and total androgen blockade.

combretastatin A4 phosphate    listen   (kum-BREE-tuh-STA-tin … FOS-fayt)
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. It decreases the flow of blood to tumors and may kill cancer cells. Combretastatin A4 phosphate comes from the African bush willow. It is a type of tubulin-binding agent and a type of vascular targeting agent.

comedo carcinoma    listen   (KAH-meh-doh KAR-sih-NOH-muh)
A type of ductal carcinoma in situ (very early-stage breast cancer).

Cometriq    listen   (koh-MEH-trik)
A drug used to treat progressive medullary thyroid cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Cometriq blocks certain proteins, which may help keep cancer cells from growing. It may also prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It is a type of tyrosine kinase inhibitor and a type of angiogenesis inhibitor. Also called cabozantinib-s-malate.

comfort care    listen   (KUM-furt kayr)
Care given to improve the quality of life of patients who have a serious or life-threatening disease. The goal of comfort care is to prevent or treat as early as possible the symptoms of a disease, side effects caused by treatment of a disease, and psychological, social, and spiritual problems related to a disease or its treatment. Also called palliative care, supportive care, and symptom management.

common bile duct    listen   (KAH-mun bile dukt)
A tube that carries bile from the liver and the gallbladder through the pancreas and into the duodenum (the upper part of the small intestine). It is formed where the ducts from the liver and gallbladder are joined. It is part of the biliary duct system.

common hepatic duct    listen   (KAH-mun heh-PA-tik dukt)
A tube that carries bile from the liver. It starts where the right and left hepatic (liver) ducts join outside the liver. It ends where the cystic duct from the gall bladder joins it to form the common bile duct. It is part of the biliary duct system.

Community Advisory Board    listen   (kuh-MYOO-nih-tee ad-VIZE-ree bord)
In medicine, a group of non-scientist volunteers that serves as a link between a community and clinical trial researchers. A Community Advisory Board may review and monitor clinical trials and help teach the community about the trials. Also called CAB.

comorbidity    listen   (koh-mor-BIH-dih-tee)
The condition of having two or more diseases at the same time.

comparative anatomy    listen   (kum-PAYR-uh-tiv uh-NA-toh-mee)
The comparison of the structure (anatomy) of one animal or plant with the structure of a different animal or plant.

compassionate use trial    listen   (kum-PA-shuh-nut yoos TRY-ul)
A way to provide an investigational therapy to a patient who is not eligible to receive that therapy in a clinical trial, but who has a serious or life-threatening illness for which other treatments are not available. Compassionate use trials allow patients to receive promising but not yet fully studied or approved cancer therapies when no other treatment option exists. Also called expanded access trial.

complement protein    listen   (KOM-pleh-ment PROH-teen)
One of a group of about 20 proteins that is found in the blood and is important in fighting infections and other diseases.

complementary and alternative medicine    listen   (KOM-pleh-MEN-tuh-ree... all-TER-nuh-tiv MEH-dih-sin)
Forms of treatment that are used in addition to (complementary) or instead of (alternative) standard treatments. These practices generally are not considered standard medical approaches. Standard treatments go through a long and careful research process to prove they are safe and effective, but less is known about most types of complementary and alternative medicine. Complementary and alternative medicine may include dietary supplements, megadose vitamins, herbal preparations, special teas, acupuncture, massage therapy, magnet therapy, spiritual healing, and meditation. Also called CAM.

complementary medicine    listen   (KOM-pleh-MEN-tuh-ree MEH-dih-sin)
Treatments that are used along with standard treatments, but are not considered standard. Standard treatments are based on the results of scientific research and are currently accepted and widely used. Less research has been done for most types of complementary medicine. Complementary medicine includes acupuncture, dietary supplements, massage therapy, hypnosis, and meditation. For example, acupuncture may be used with certain drugs to help lessen cancer pain or nausea and vomiting.

complete androgen blockade    listen   (kum-PLEET AN-droh-jen blah-KAYD)
Treatment used to block androgen (male hormone) activity in the body. This may be done by giving an antiandrogen drug and removing the testicles (orchiectomy) or by giving an antiandrogen drug with a gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist. Complete androgen blockade may stop the growth of cancer cells that need androgens to grow, and is used in the treatment of prostate cancer. Also called combined androgen blockade and total androgen blockade.

complete blood count    listen   (kum-PLEET blud 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 complete blood count is used to help diagnose and monitor many conditions. Also called blood cell count, CBC, and full blood count.

complete hysterectomy    listen   (kum-PLEET HIS-teh-REK-toh-mee)
Surgery to remove the entire uterus, including the cervix. Also called total hysterectomy.

complete metastasectomy    listen   (kum-PLEET meh-TAS-tuh-SEK-toh-mee)
Surgery to remove all metastases (tumors formed from cells that have spread from the primary tumor).

complete remission    listen   (kum-PLEET reh-MIH-shun)
The disappearance of all signs of cancer in response to treatment. This does not always mean the cancer has been cured. Also called complete response.

complete response    listen   (kum-PLEET reh-SPONTS)
The disappearance of all signs of cancer in response to treatment. This does not always mean the cancer has been cured. Also called complete remission.

complex decongestive therapy    listen   (KOM-plex DEE-kun-JEH-stiv THAYR-uh-pee)
Treatment to reduce lymphedema (swelling caused by a buildup of lymph fluid in tissue). This therapy uses massage to move the fluid away from areas where lymph vessels are blocked, damaged, or removed by surgery. This helps remove extra fluid. The affected area is then wrapped in a special bandage. Later, a compression garment (tight-fitting, elastic piece of clothing) is worn to keep fluid from building up again.

compliance    listen   (kum-PLY-unts)
The act of following a medical regimen or schedule correctly and consistently, including taking medicines or following a diet.

complication    listen   (kom-plih-KAY-shun)
In medicine, a medical problem that occurs during a disease, or after a procedure or treatment. The complication may be caused by the disease, procedure, or treatment or may be unrelated to them.

composite lymphoma    listen   (kum-PAH-zit lim-FOH-muh)
A rare form of lymphoma (cancer that begins in cells of the immune system) in which different types of lymphoma cells occur at the same time. The different lymphoma cells may form in the same tissue or organ or in many different tissues or organs. The composite lymphoma may contain different types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma cells or both Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma cells.

compound    listen   (KOM-pownd)
In science, a substance made from two or more different elements that have been chemically joined. Examples of compounds include water (H2O), which is made from the elements hydrogen and oxygen, and table salt (NaCl), which is made from the elements sodium and chloride.

compound nevus    listen   (KOM-pownd NEE-vus)
A type of mole formed by groups of nevus cells found in the epidermis and dermis (the two main layers of tissue that make up the skin).

comprehensive cancer center    listen   (KOM-pree-HEN-siv KAN-ser ...)
A cancer research center that gets support from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to do cancer research and provide services directly to cancer patients. Scientists and doctors at these centers do basic laboratory research and clinical trials, and they study the patterns, causes, and control of cancer in groups of people. Also, they take part in multicenter clinical trials, which enroll patients from many parts of the country. Comprehensive Cancer Centers also give cancer information to health care professionals and the public. More information about the NCI Cancer Centers Program can be found on the NCI's Web site at http://cancercenters.cancer.gov/.

comprehensive pediatric cancer center    listen   (KOM-pree-HEN-siv pee-dee-A-trik ...)
A cancer research center that gets support from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Scientists and doctors at these centers do basic laboratory research and clinical trials on childhood cancers, and they study the patterns, causes, and control of cancer in groups of children. Also, they treat patients from many parts of the country and give cancer information to health care professionals and the public. More information about the NCI Cancer Centers Program can be found on the NCI's Web site at http://cancercenters.cancer.gov/.

compression    listen   (kum-PREH-shun)
A pressing or squeezing together. In medicine, it can describe a structure, such as a tumor, that presses on another part of the body, such as a nerve. It can also describe the flattening of soft tissue, such as the breast, that occurs during a mammogram (x-ray of the breast).

compression bandage    listen   (kum-PREH-shun BAN-dij)
A bandage designed to provide pressure to a particular area.

compression fracture    listen   (kum-PREH-shun FRAK-sher)
A type of break in a bone caused by pressure and in which the bone collapses. Compression fractures usually occur in the spine (backbone) and in bones made weak by cancer or by osteoporosis (a decrease in bone mass and density).

compression garment    listen   (kum-PREH-shun GAR-ment)
A tight-fitting, elastic garment, such as a sleeve or stocking. Compression garments are used in the treatment of lymphedema (swelling caused by a buildup of lymph fluid in tissue). They are also used to improve blood flow.

compression pump    listen   (kum-PREH-shun …)
A machine used to keep blood and lymph flowing by pushing air through bands or sleeves that are placed on the arms or legs.

compulsion    listen   (kum-PUL-zhun)
An uncontrollable urge to say or do something without an obvious reason. A person may repeat a behavior, such as hand-washing, over and over.

computed tomographic colonography    listen   (kum-PYOO-ted toh-muh-GRA-fik KOH-lun-AH-gruh-fee)
A method to examine the inside of the colon by taking a series of x-rays. A computer is used to make 2-dimensional (2-D) and 3-D pictures of the colon from these x-rays. The pictures can be saved, changed to give better viewing angles, and reviewed after the procedure, even years later. Also called computed tomography colonography, CT colonography, CTC, and virtual colonoscopy.

computed tomography angiography    listen   (kum-PYOO-ted toh-MAH-gruh-fee an-jee-AH-gruh-fee)
A procedure that uses x-rays to create a series of detailed pictures of the blood vessels and blood flow inside the body. The pictures are taken from different angles and are created by a computer linked to an x-ray machine. A dye is injected into a vein to make the blood vessels and blood flow easier to see on the x-ray. Computed tomography angiography may be used to check for aneurysms (a bulge in the blood vessel wall), blockages in the arteries, blood clots, and other blood vessel problems. Also called CT angiography and CTA.

computed tomography colonography    listen   (kum-PYOO-ted toh-MAH-gruh-fee KOH-luh-NAH-gruh-fee)
A method to examine the inside of the colon by taking a series of x-rays. A computer is used to make 2-dimensional (2-D) and 3-D pictures of the colon from these x-rays. The pictures can be saved, changed to give better viewing angles, and reviewed after the procedure, even years later. Also called computed tomographic colonography, CT colonography, CTC, and virtual colonoscopy.

computed tomography scan    listen   (kum-PYOO-ted toh-MAH-gruh-fee skan)
A procedure that uses a computer linked to an x-ray machine to make a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body. The pictures are taken from different angles and are used to create 3-dimensional (3-D) views of tissues and organs. A dye may be injected into a vein or swallowed to help the tissues and organs show up more clearly. A computed tomography scan may be used to help diagnose disease, plan treatment, or find out how well treatment is working. Also called CAT scan, computerized axial tomography scan, computerized tomography, and CT scan.

computerized axial tomography scan    listen   (kum-PYOO-teh-RIZED AK-see-ul toh-MAH-gruh-fee skan)
A procedure that uses a computer linked to an x-ray machine to make a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body. The pictures are taken from different angles and are used to create 3-dimensional (3-D) views of tissues and organs. A dye may be injected into a vein or swallowed to help the tissues and organs show up more clearly. A computerized axial tomography scan may be used to help diagnose disease, plan treatment, or find out how well treatment is working. Also called CAT scan, computed tomography scan, computerized tomography, and CT scan.

computerized tomography    listen   (kum-PYOO-teh-RIZED toh-MAH-gruh-fee)
A procedure that uses a computer linked to an x-ray machine to make a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body. The pictures are taken from different angles and are used to create 3-dimensional (3-D) views of tissues and organs. A dye may be injected into a vein or swallowed to help the tissues and organs show up more clearly. A computerized tomography may be used to help diagnose disease, plan treatment, or find out how well treatment is working. Also called CAT scan, computed tomography scan, computerized axial tomography scan, and CT scan.

concentration    listen   (KON-sen-TRAY-shun)
In science, the amount of a substance, such as a salt, that is in a certain amount of tissue or liquid, such as blood. A substance becomes more concentrated when less water is present. For example, the salt in urine may become more concentrated when a person doesn’t drink enough water.

conception    listen   (kun-SEP-shun)
In biology, the beginning of pregnancy, marked by fertilization of an egg by a sperm.

Concerta    listen   (kon-SER-tuh)
A drug used to treat certain behavior disorders, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It is also being studied as a way to improve brain function in patients treated with anticancer drugs. Concerta acts on certain parts of the brain. It is a type of central nervous system stimulant. Also called methylphenidate hydrochloride and Ritalin.

concomitant    listen   (kon-KAH-mih-tunt)
Occurring or existing at the same time as something else. In medicine, it may refer to a condition a person has or a medication a person is taking that is not being studied in the clinical trial he or she is taking part in.

concurrent therapy    listen   (kun-KER-ent THAYR-uh-pee)
A treatment that is given at the same time as another.

condition    listen   (kun-DIH-shun)
In medicine, a health problem with certain characteristics or symptoms.

conditioned response    listen   (kun-DIH-shund reh-SPONTS)
A type of learning in which repeated exposure to something may affect a person’s behavior when they encounter an unrelated object, sound, or smell that occurred at the same time as the initial exposure. For example, a patient who always feels sick after receiving chemotherapy in a clinic that smells a certain way may be conditioned to feel sick when smelling the same odor in a different place.

conditioned stimulus    listen   (kun-DIH-shund STIM-yoo-lus)
A situation in which one signal, or stimulus, is given just before another signal. After this happens several times, the first signal alone can cause the response that would usually need the second signal.

conditioning regimen    listen   (kun-DIH-shuh-ning REH-jih-men)
The treatments used to prepare a patient for stem cell transplantation (a procedure in which a person receives blood stem cells, which make any type of blood cell). A conditioning regimen may include chemotherapy, monoclonal antibody therapy, and radiation to the entire body. It helps make room in the patient’s bone marrow for new blood stem cells to grow, helps prevent the patient's body from rejecting the transplanted cells, and helps kill any cancer cells that are in the body.

condyloma    listen   (KON-dih-LOH-muh)
A raised growth on the surface of the genitals caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. The HPV in condyloma is very contagious and can be spread by skin-to-skin contact, usually during oral, anal, or genital sex with an infected partner. Also called genital wart.

cone biopsy    listen   (kone BY-op-see)
A procedure in which a cone-shaped piece of abnormal tissue is removed from the cervix. A scalpel, a laser knife, or a thin wire loop heated by an electric current may be used to remove the tissue. The tissue is then checked under a microscope for signs of disease. Cone biopsy may be used to check for cervical cancer or to treat certain cervical conditions. Types of cone biopsy are LEEP (loop electrosurgical excision procedure) and cold knife conization (cold knife cone biopsy). Also called conization.

confusion    listen   (kun-FYOO-zhun)
A mental state in which one is not thinking clearly.

congenital    listen   (kun-JEH-nih-tul)
A condition or trait present at birth. It may be the result of genetic or non-genetic factors.

congenital hypoplastic anemia    listen   (kun-JEH-nih-tul HY-poh-PLAS-tik 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 congenital hypoplastic anemia may have a mutation (change) in one of the genes that make proteins found in the cell’s ribosomes. Also called Blackfan–Diamond anemia, congenital pure red cell aplasia, DBA, Diamond-Blackfan anemia, erythrogenesis imperfecta, and inherited erythroblastopenia.

congenital mesoblastic nephroma    listen   (kun-JEH-nih-tul MEH-zoh-BLAS-tik neh-FROH-muh)
A type of kidney tumor that is usually found before birth by ultrasound or within the first 3 months of life. It contains fibroblastic cells (connective tissue cells), and may spread to the other kidney or to nearby tissue. Congenital mesoblastic nephroma is more common in males.

congenital neutropenia    listen   (kon-JEH-nih-tul noo-troh-PEE-nee-uh)
An inherited disorder in which there is a lower-than-normal number of neutrophils (a type of white blood cell that is important in fighting infections). Infants with the disorder get infections caused by bacteria, and are at an increased risk of acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) or myelodysplasia (a bone marrow disorder). Also called genetic infantile agranulocytosis, infantile genetic agranulocytosis, Kostmann disease, Kostmann neutropenia, and Kostmann syndrome.

congenital pure red cell aplasia    listen   (kun-JEH-nih-tul … sel uh-PLAY-zhuh)
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 congenital pure red cell aplasia may have a mutation (change) in one of the genes that make proteins found in the cell’s ribosomes. Also called Blackfan–Diamond anemia, congenital hypoplastic anemia, DBA, Diamond-Blackfan anemia, erythrogenesis imperfecta, and inherited erythroblastopenia.

congestive heart failure    listen   (kun-JES-tiv hart FAYL-yer)
Weakness of the heart muscle that leads to a buildup of fluid in body tissues.

conization    listen   (koh-nih-ZAY-shun)
A procedure in which a cone-shaped piece of abnormal tissue is removed from the cervix. A scalpel, a laser knife, or a thin wire loop heated by an electric current may be used to remove the tissue. The tissue is then checked under a microscope for signs of disease. Conization may be used to check for cervical cancer or to treat certain cervical conditions. Types of conization are LEEP (loop electrosurgical excision procedure) and cold knife conization (cold knife cone biopsy). Also called cone biopsy.

conjugate    listen   (KON-jih-gut)
A compound formed by chemically joining two or more different substances. For example, an antibody-drug conjugate is made up of a monoclonal antibody that is chemically linked to a drug. Some conjugates are used to treat cancer.

conjunctiva    listen   (KON-junk-TY-vuh)
A membrane that lines the inner surface of the eyelid and also covers the front part of the eye. Conjunctivitis is inflammation of the conjunctiva.

conjunctivitis    listen   (kun-JUNK-tih-VY-tis)
A condition in which the conjunctiva (membranes lining the eyelids and covering the white part of the eye) become inflamed or infected. Also called pinkeye.

connecting peptide    listen   (kuh-NEK-ting PEP-tide)
A substance made by the pancreas. Connecting peptide and insulin are both part of a larger molecule that gets split apart before being released into the blood. Abnormal blood levels of connecting peptide may occur in certain diseases, such as diabetes or cancer. Also called C-peptide.

connective tissue    listen   (kuh-NEK-tiv TIH-shoo)
Supporting tissue that surrounds other tissues and organs. Specialized connective tissue includes bone, cartilage, blood, and fat.

conscious sedation    listen   (KON-shus seh-DAY-shun)
A level of sedation in which a person is asleep but wakes when spoken to or touched. Conscious sedation is caused by special drugs and is used to help relieve anxiety during certain medical or surgical procedures. Drugs that relieve pain may be given at the same time. Also called moderate sedation.

consecutive case series    listen   (kun-SEH-kyoo-tiv kays SEER-eez)
A clinical study that includes all eligible patients identified by the researchers during the study registration period. The patients are treated in the order in which they are identified. This type of study usually does not have a control group.

Consensus Development Program    listen   (kun-SEN-sus dee-VEH-lup-ment PROH-gram)
A program of the National Institutes of Health to bring together an independent group of experts to review scientific evidence related to an important public health issue. For a specific issue, a panel of experts (such as doctors and scientists) reviews reports and papers on the subject, listens to information presented by other experts in the field, and hears comments from the general public. Based on the evidence presented, the panel writes a report summarizing the findings, which is made available to the public. The report is not intended to be a practice guideline.

consent form    listen   (kun-SENT ...)
A document with important information about a medical procedure or treatment, a clinical trial, or genetic testing. It also includes information on possible risks and benefits. If a person chooses to take part in the treatment, procedure, trial, or testing, he or she signs the form to give official consent.

consent process    listen   (kun-SENT PRAH-ses)
A process in which patients are given important information, including possible risks and benefits, about a medical procedure or treatment, a clinical trial, or genetic testing. This is to help them decide if they want to be treated, tested, or take part in the trial. Patients are also given any new information that might affect their decision to continue. Also called informed consent.

consolidation therapy    listen   (kun-SAH-lih-DAY-shun THAYR-uh-pee)
Treatment that is given after cancer has disappeared following the initial therapy. Consolidation therapy is used to kill any cancer cells that may be left in the body. It may include radiation therapy, a stem cell transplant, or treatment with drugs that kill cancer cells. Also called intensification therapy and postremission therapy.

constipation    listen   (KON-stih-PAY-shun)
A condition in which stool becomes hard, dry, and difficult to pass, and bowel movements don’t happen very often. Other symptoms may include painful bowel movements, and feeling bloated, uncomfortable, and sluggish.

constitutional acupuncture    listen   (KON-stih-TOO-shuh-nul AK-yoo-PUNK-cher)
A type of acupuncture based on a form of Oriental medicine in which treatment is based on a person’s constitution. According to this type of medicine, the constitution is the specific way a person’s organs affect health and how he or she looks, thinks, behaves, and responds to treatment. Also called Korean acupuncture.

contiguous    listen   (kun-TIG-yoo-us)
Touching or very close together.

contiguous lymphoma    listen   (kun-TIG-yoo-us lim-FOH-muh)
Lymphoma in which the lymph nodes containing cancer are next to each other.

continent reservoir    listen   (KON-tih-nent REH-ser-vwar)
A pouch formed from a piece of small intestine to hold urine after the bladder has been removed.

contingency management    listen   (kun-TIN-jen-see MA-nij-ment)
In medicine, a treatment plan that gives immediate rewards for desired changes in behavior. It is based on the principle that if a good behavior is rewarded, it is more likely to be repeated. This is often used in the treatment of drug and alcohol abuse, and is being studied as a smoking cessation method.

continuous hyperthermic peritoneal perfusion    listen   (kon-TIN-yoo-us HY-per-THER-mik PAYR-ih-toh-NEE-ul per-FYOO-zhun)
A procedure that bathes the abdominal cavity in fluid that contains anticancer drugs. This fluid is warmer than body temperature. This procedure appears to kill cancer cells without harming normal cells. Also called CHPP.

continuous infusion    listen   (kon-TIN-yoo-us in-FYOO-zhun)
The administration of a fluid into a blood vessel, usually over a prolonged period of time.

continuum of care    listen   (kon-TIN-yoo-um … kayr)
In medicine, describes the delivery of health care over a period of time. In patients with a disease, this covers all phases of illness from diagnosis to the end of life.

Contract Research Organization    listen   (KON-trakt reh-SERCH OR-guh-nih-ZAY-shun)
A company hired by another company or research center to take over certain parts of running a clinical trial. The company may design, manage, and monitor the trial, and analyze the results. Also called CRO.

contracture    listen   (kun-TRAK-cher)
A permanent tightening of the muscles, tendons, skin, and nearby tissues that causes the joints to shorten and become very stiff. This prevents normal movement of a joint or other body part. Contractures may be caused by injury, scarring, and nerve damage, or by not using the muscles. It may also occur at some point in time after a stem cell transplant that caused chronic graft-versus-host disease.

contraindication    listen   (KON-truh-IN-dih-KAY-shun)
A symptom or medical condition that makes a particular treatment or procedure inadvisable because a person is likely to have a bad reaction. For example, having a bleeding disorder is a contraindication for taking aspirin because treatment with aspirin may cause excess bleeding.

contralateral    listen   (KON-truh-LA-teh-rul)
Having to do with the opposite side of the body.

contrast esophagram    listen   (KON-trast ee-SAH-fuh-gram)
A series of x-ray pictures of the esophagus taken after a patient drinks a liquid containing barium sulfate (a form of the silver-white metallic element barium). The barium sulfate coats and outlines the inner wall of the esophagus so that it can be seen on the x-ray pictures. Also called esophagram.

contrast material    listen   (KON-trast muh-TEER-ee-ul)
A dye or other substance that helps show abnormal areas inside the body. It is given by injection into a vein, by enema, or by mouth. Contrast material may be used with x-rays, CT scans, MRI, or other imaging tests.

control animal    listen   (kun-TROLE A-nih-mul)
An animal in a study that does not receive the treatment being tested. Comparing the health of control animals with the health of treated animals allows researchers to evaluate the effects of a treatment more accurately.

control group    listen   (kun-TROLE groop)
In a clinical trial, the group that does not receive the new treatment being studied. This group is compared to the group that receives the new treatment, to see if the new treatment works.

controlled clinical trial    listen   (kun-TROLD KLIH-nih-kul TRY-ul)
A clinical study that includes a comparison (control) group. The comparison group receives a placebo, another treatment, or no treatment at all.

controlled study    listen   (kun-TROLD STUH-dee)
An experiment or clinical trial that includes a comparison (control) group.

controlled substance    listen   (kun-TROLD SUB-stunts)
A drug or other substance that is tightly controlled by the government because it may be abused or cause addiction. The control applies to the way the substance is made, used, handled, stored, and distributed. Controlled substances include opioids, stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens, and anabolic steroids. Controlled substances with known medical use, such as morphine, Valium, and Ritalin, are available only by prescription from a licensed medical professional. Other controlled substances, such as heroin and LSD, have no known medical use and are illegal in the United States.

conventional medicine    listen   (kun-VEN-shuh-nul 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, biomedicine, mainstream medicine, orthodox medicine, and Western medicine.

conventional therapy    listen   (kun-VEN-shuh-nul THAYR-uh-pee)
Treatment that is widely accepted and used by most healthcare professionals. It is different from alternative or complementary therapies, which are not as widely used. Examples of conventional therapy for cancer include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery. Also called conventional treatment.

conventional treatment    listen   (kun-VEN-shuh-nul TREET-ment)
Treatment that is widely accepted and used by most healthcare professionals. It is different from alternative or complementary therapies, which are not as widely used. Examples of conventional treatment for cancer include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery. Also called conventional therapy.

convulsion    listen   (kun-VUL-zhun)
A condition in which muscles contract and relax quickly and cause uncontrolled shaking of the body. Head injuries, high fevers, some medical disorders, and certain drugs can cause convulsions. They may also occur during seizures caused by epilepsy.

Coombs test    listen   (koomz test)
A laboratory test to identify antibodies that can bind to the surface of red blood cells or platelets and destroy them. This test is used to diagnose certain blood disorders in which patients make antibodies to their own red blood cells or platelets. It is also used to determine blood type. Also called antiglobulin test.

COPD      
A type of lung disease marked by permanent damage to tissues in the lungs, making it hard to breathe. COPD includes chronic bronchitis, in which the bronchi (large air passages) are inflamed and scarred, and emphysema, in which the alveoli (tiny air sacs) are damaged. It develops over many years and is usually caused by cigarette smoking. Also called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

cope    listen   (kope)
To adjust to new situations and overcome problems.

coping skills    listen   (KOH-ping skilz)
The methods a person uses to deal with stressful situations. These may help a person face a situation, take action, and be flexible and persistent in solving problems.

copolymer    listen   (KOH-pah-lih-mer)
A molecule made up of two or more different kinds of small molecules called monomers. The monomers are joined together in a repeating pattern.

COPP    listen  
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used to treat Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphomas. It includes the drugs cyclophosphamide, vincristine sulfate (Oncovin), procarbazine hydrochloride, and prednisone. Also called COPP regimen.

COPP regimen    listen   (… REH-jih-men)
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used to treat Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphomas. It includes the drugs cyclophosphamide, vincristine sulfate (Oncovin), procarbazine hydrochloride, and prednisone. Also called COPP.

COPP-ABV      
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used to treat Hodgkin lymphoma in children. It may be used with radiation therapy. COPP-ABV includes the drugs cyclophosphamide, vincristine sulfate (Oncovin), procarbazine hydrochloride, prednisone, doxorubicin hydrochloride (Adriamycin), bleomycin sulfate, and vinblastine sulfate. Also called COPP-ABV regimen.

COPP-ABV regimen    listen   (… REH-jih-men)
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used to treat Hodgkin lymphoma in children. It may be used with radiation therapy. COPP-ABV regimen includes the drugs cyclophosphamide, vincristine sulfate (Oncovin), procarbazine hydrochloride, prednisone, doxorubicin hydrochloride (Adriamycin), bleomycin sulfate, and vinblastine sulfate. Also called COPP-ABV.

copper Cu 64-ATSM    listen   (KAH-per …)
A substance being studied in PET imaging to detect certain types of tumors. Copper Cu 64 is a radioactive substance. It is linked to ATSM, which is taken up by tissues that have low levels of oxygen, such as some tumor tissues. A PET scanner is used to detect which cells in the body have taken up copper Cu 64-ATSM. It is a type of radioimaging agent.

CoQ10      
A nutrient that the body needs in small amounts to function and stay healthy. CoQ10 helps mitochondria (small structures in the cell) make energy. It is an antioxidant that helps prevent cell damage caused by free radicals (highly reactive chemicals). CoQ10 is fat-soluble (can dissolve in fats and oils) and is found in fatty fish, beef, soybeans, peanuts, and spinach. It is being studied in the prevention and treatment of some types of cancer and heart disease and in the relief of side effects caused by some cancer treatments. Also called coenzyme Q10, Q10, ubiquinone, and vitamin Q10.

cordectomy    listen   (kor-DEK-toh-mee)
An operation on the vocal cords or on the spinal cord.

Corderone    listen   (KOR-deh-rone)
A drug used to treat certain types of abnormal heart rhythms that have not gotten better with other drugs. Corderone affects the electrical activity of the heart. It is a type of antiarrhythmic agent. Also called amiodarone hydrochloride.

cordycepin    listen   (KOR-duh-see-pin)
An anticancer drug that belongs to a family of drugs called antitumor antibiotics.

core biopsy    listen   (... BY-op-see)
The removal of a tissue sample with a wide needle for examination under a microscope. Also called core needle biopsy.

core needle biopsy    listen   (... NEE-dul BY-op-see)
The removal of a tissue sample with a wide needle for examination under a microscope. Also called core biopsy.

Coreg    listen   (KOR-eg)
A drug used to treat high blood pressure and certain heart problems. It is also being studied in the prevention and treatment of side effects caused by some anticancer drugs. Coreg blocks certain receptors on nerve cells and causes blood vessels to dilate (widen). It is a type of antihypertensive agent and a type of antianginal agent. Also called carvedilol phosphate.

Coriolus versicolor extract    listen   (KOR-ee-OH-lus VER-sih-KUH-ler EK-strakt)
A substance being studied in the treatment of breast cancer and other types of cancer. Coriolus versicolor is a type of mushroom. Its extract is used with other treatments in some cultures to treat cancer and other conditions. The extract may boost the immune system, slow the growth of some tumor cells, and lessen the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. It is a type of biological response modifier (BRM) and a type of dietary supplement.

cornea    listen   (KOR-nee-uh)
The transparent part of the eye that covers the iris and the pupil and allows light to enter the inside.

coronary artery bypass    listen   (KOR-uh-NAYR-ee AR-tuh-ree BY-pas)
Surgery in which a healthy blood vessel taken from another part of the body is used to make a new path for blood around a blocked artery leading to the heart. This restores the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the heart. Also called aortocoronary bypass and CAB.

coronary artery disease    listen   (KOR-uh-NAYR-ee AR-tuh-ree dih-ZEEZ)
A disease in which there is a narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries (blood vessels that carry blood and oxygen to the heart). Coronary artery disease is usually caused by atherosclerosis (a buildup of fatty material and plaque inside the coronary arteries). The disease may cause chest pain, shortness of breath during exercise, and heart attacks. The risk of coronary artery disease is increased by having a family history of coronary artery disease before age 50, older age, smoking tobacco, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, lack of exercise, and obesity. Also called CAD and coronary heart disease.

coronary heart disease    listen   (KOR-uh-NAYR-ee hart dih-ZEEZ)
A disease in which there is a narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries (blood vessels that carry blood and oxygen to the heart). Coronary heart disease is usually caused by atherosclerosis (a buildup of fatty material and plaque inside the coronary arteries). The disease may cause chest pain, shortness of breath during exercise, and heart attacks. The risk of coronary heart disease is increased by having a family history of coronary heart disease before age 50, older age, smoking tobacco, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, lack of exercise, and obesity. Also called CAD and coronary artery disease.

corpus    listen   (KOR-pus)
The body of the uterus.

corticosteroid    listen   (KOR-tih-koh-STAYR-oyd)
Any steroid hormone made in the adrenal cortex (the outer part of the adrenal gland). They are also made in the laboratory. Corticosteroids have many different effects in the body, and are used to treat many different conditions. They may be used as hormone replacement, to suppress the immune system, and to treat some side effects of cancer and its treatment. Corticosteroids are also used to treat certain lymphomas and lymphoid leukemias.

corticotropin    listen   (KOR-tih-koh-TROH-pin)
A hormone made in the pituitary gland. Corticotropin acts on the outer part of the adrenal gland to control its release of corticosteroid hormones. More corticotropin is made during times of stress. Also called ACTH and adrenocorticotropic hormone.

cortisol    listen   (KOR-tih-sol)
A hormone made by the adrenal cortex (the outer layer of the adrenal gland). It helps the body use glucose (a sugar), protein, and fats. Cortisol made in the laboratory is called hydrocortisone. It is used to treat many conditions, including inflammation, allergies, and some cancers. Cortisol is a type of glucocorticoid hormone.

cortisone    listen   (KOR-tih-sone)
A natural steroid hormone produced in the adrenal gland. It can also be made in the laboratory. Cortisone reduces swelling and can suppress immune responses.

Corynebacterium granulosum       (kah-RY-nee-bak-TEER-ee-um GRAN-yoo-LOH-sum)
A bacterium that can cause skin disorders. Substances taken from this bacterium can stimulate the immune system and may help kill cancer cells.

Cosmegen    listen   (KOS-muh-jin)
A drug used to treat Ewing sarcoma, gestational trophoblastic tumor, Wilms tumor, and certain types of testicular cancer. It is also used to treat rhabdomyosarcoma in children. It is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Cosmegen comes from the bacterium Streptomyces parvulus. It damages the cell’s DNA and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of anticancer antibiotic. Also called actinomycin D and dactinomycin.

Costello syndrome    listen   (KOS-teh-loh SIN-drome)
A rare, genetic disorder marked by developmental problems, being shorter than normal, mental retardation, heart problems, unusual facial features, and extra folds of skin around the neck, hands, and feet. People with Costello syndrome have an increased risk of certain types of cancer, such as rhabdomyosarcoma (a soft tissue tumor) and neuroblastoma (cancer of immature nerve cells).

cottonseed meal toxin    listen   (KAH-tun-SEED meel TOK-sin)
A substance being studied in the treatment of several types of cancer. It comes from the seed of the cotton plant (Gossypium). It blocks the growth of cells and may kill cancer cells. Cottonseed meal toxin may also act as a male contraceptive (a type of birth control). Also called gossypol.

coumarin    listen   (KOO-muh-rin)
A substance used to make drugs that prevent and treat blood clots in blood vessels and treat certain heart conditions. Coumarin is taken from certain plants and can also be made in the laboratory. It is a type of anticoagulant.

coumestan    listen   (KOO-meh-stan)
An estrogen-like substance (phytoestrogen) made by some plants. Coumestans may have anticancer effects.

coumestrol    listen   (KOO-meh-strol)
A type of coumestan. Coumestans are estrogen-like substances (phytoestrogens) made by some plants. Coumestans may have anticancer effects.

counseling    listen   (KOWN-suh-ling)
The process by which a professional counselor helps a person cope with mental or emotional distress, and understand and solve personal problems.

counselor    listen   (KOWN-seh-ler)
A specialist who talks to patients and their families about emotional and personal matters, and can help them make decisions. Also called mental health counselor.

Cowden disease    listen   (KOW-den dih-ZEEZ)
An inherited disorder marked by the formation of many noncancerous growths called hamartomas. These growths occur in the skin, breast, thyroid, colon, intestines, and inside of the mouth. Patients with Cowden disease are at increased risk of certain types of cancer, including breast and thyroid. Also called Cowden syndrome and multiple hamartoma syndrome.

Cowden syndrome    listen   (KOW-den SIN-drome)
An inherited disorder marked by the formation of many noncancerous growths called hamartomas. These growths occur in the skin, breast, thyroid, colon, intestines, and inside of the mouth. Patients with Cowden syndrome are at increased risk of certain types of cancer, including breast and thyroid. Also called Cowden disease and multiple hamartoma syndrome.

COX inhibitor    listen   (kox in-HIH-bih-ter)
A type of drug that is used to treat inflammation and pain, and is being studied in the prevention and treatment of cancer. COX inhibitors belong to the family of drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Also called cyclooxygenase inhibitor.

COX-2    listen  
An enzyme that speeds up the formation of substances that cause inflammation and pain. It may also cause tumor cells to grow. Some tumors have high levels of COX-2 and blocking its activity may reduce tumor growth. Also called cyclooxygenase-2 and prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase 2.

COX-2 inhibitor    listen   (... in-HIH-bih-ter)
A nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug used to relieve pain and inflammation. COX-2 inhibitors are being studied in the prevention of colon polyps, and as anticancer drugs. Also called cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitor.

Cozaar    listen   (KOH-zar)
A drug used to treat high blood pressure. Cozaar blocks the action of chemicals that make blood vessels constrict (get narrower). It is a type of angiotensin II receptor antagonist. Also called losartan and losartan potassium.

CP      
A chemotherapy combination used to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). It includes the drugs chlorambucil hydrochloride and prednisone. Also called chlorambucil-prednisone, chlorambucil-prednisone regimen, and CP regimen.

CP regimen    listen   (… REH-jih-men)
A chemotherapy combination used to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). It includes the drugs chlorambucil hydrochloride and prednisone. Also called chlorambucil-prednisone, chlorambucil-prednisone regimen, and CP.

CP-358,774      
A drug used to treat certain types of non-small cell lung cancer. It is also used with gemcitabine hydrochloride to treat pancreatic cancer that cannot be removed by surgery or has spread to other parts of the body. It is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. CP-358,774 blocks a protein called epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), which may help keep cancer cells from growing. It is a type of EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Also called erlotinib hydrochloride, OSI-774, and Tarceva.

CP-4055      
A drug used to treat advanced acute myeloid leukemia (AML). It is a form of the anticancer drug cytarabine that may work in patients with leukemia that is resistant to cytarabine. CP-4055 blocks cell division and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of antimetabolite. Also called Elacyt and elacytarabine.

CP-547,632      
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the families of drugs called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptor inhibitors and angiogenesis inhibitors.

CP-609,754      
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer.

CP-724,714      
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called ErbB receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors.

CP/CPPS      
A condition of the prostate gland that continues or gets worse over a long period of time. Symptoms include body aches, pain in the lower back and genital area, a burning feeling during urination, and problems with emptying the bladder all the way. Also called chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome.

CP4071      
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer.

CpG 7909      
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called biological response modifiers. Also called PF-3512676 and ProMune.

CPR      
An emergency procedure used to restart a person’s heartbeat and breathing after one or both have stopped. It involves giving strong, rapid pushes to the chest to keep blood moving through the body. Usually, it also involves blowing air into the person’s mouth to help with breathing and send oxygen to the lungs. Also called cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

CPT 11      
A drug used alone or with other drugs to treat colon cancer or rectal cancer that has spread to other parts of the body or has come back after treatment with fluorouracil. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. CPT 11 blocks certain enzymes needed for cell division and DNA repair, and it may kill cancer cells. It is a type of topoisomerase inhibitor and a type of camptothecin analog. Also called Camptosar and irinotecan hydrochloride.

CQS      
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. It is a type of topoisomerase inhibitor. Also called chloroquinoxaline sulfonamide.

CRA-024781      
A substance being studied in the treatment of several types of cancer. It blocks enzymes needed for cell division and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor.

cramp    listen   (kramp)
A sharp pain that occurs when a muscle suddenly contracts (tightens up). Cramps commonly occur in the abdomen and legs.

craniopharyngioma    listen   (KRAY-nee-oh-fuh-RIN-jee-OH-muh)
A benign brain tumor that may be considered malignant because it can damage the hypothalamus, the area of the brain that controls body temperature, hunger, and thirst.

craniotomy    listen   (KRAY-nee-AH-toh-mee)
An operation in which a piece of the skull is removed. A craniotomy may be done so doctors can remove a brain tumor or abnormal brain tissue. It may also be done to remove blood or blood clots from the brain, relieve pressure in the brain after an injury or stroke, repair a brain aneurysm (a bulge in a blood vessel wall) or skull fractures, or treat other brain conditions. The piece of skull that is removed is usually put back in place after the brain problem has been treated.

craving    listen   (KRAY-ving)
A strong, urgent, or abnormal desire for a certain substance or activity. There are different types of cravings, such as food cravings or cravings for addictive substances, including alcohol, drugs, or nicotine. Nicotine cravings are common after a person quits smoking and may come and go over time.

creatine    listen   (KREE-uh-teen)
A substance that is made by the body and used to store energy. It is being studied in the treatment of weight loss related to cancer. It is derived from the amino acid arginine.

creatinine    listen   (kree-A-tih-neen)
A compound that is excreted from the body in urine. Creatinine levels are measured to monitor kidney function.

Crestor    listen   (KREH-stor)
A drug used to lower the amount of cholesterol and other harmful substances, such as triglycerides, in the blood. It is also being studied in the prevention and treatment of some types of cancer and other conditions. Crestor blocks an enzyme that helps make cholesterol in the body and it helps break down cholesterol. It also may cause cancer cells to die and may inhibit the growth of blood vessels that cancer cells need to grow. It is a type of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor and a type of statin. Also called rosuvastatin calcium.

crib death    listen   (krib deth)
A disorder marked by the sudden and unexpected death of a healthy child who is younger than one year old, usually during sleep. The cause of crib death is not known. Also called SIDS and sudden infant death syndrome.

cribriform    listen   (KRIH-brih-form)
Pierced with small holes as in a sieve. Refers to the appearance of a tumor when viewed under a microscope. The tumor appears to have open spaces or small holes inside.

crisis intervention    listen   (KRY-sis IN-ter-VEN-shun)
Immediate, short-term counseling (talking with a professional counselor) to stop a critical emotional incident (e.g., attempted suicide or drug overdose) from getting worse. Crisis intervention is not meant to solve the problem that led up to the crisis.

crisnatol mesylate    listen   (KRIS-nuh-tol MEH-zih-layt)
An anticancer drug that interferes with the DNA in cancer cells.

crizotinib    listen   (krih-ZOH-tih-nib)
A drug used to treat advanced non-small cell lung cancer that has a mutated (changed) form of a gene called anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK). It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Crizotinib blocks the protein made by the mutated ALK gene. Blocking this protein may stop the growth and spread of cancer cells. Crizotinib may also 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 MET tyrosine kinase inhibitor PF-02341066, PF-02341066, and Xalkori.

CRO      
A company hired by another company or research center to take over certain parts of running a clinical trial. The company may design, manage, and monitor the trial, and analyze the results. Also called Contract Research Organization.

Crohn disease    listen   (krone dih-ZEEZ)
A condition in which the gastrointestinal tract is inflamed over a long period of time. Crohn disease usually affects the small intestine and colon. Symptoms include fever, diarrhea, stomach cramps, vomiting, and weight loss. Crohn disease increases the risk of colorectal cancer and small intestine cancer. It is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Also called regional enteritis.

cross-talk    listen   (KROS-tawk)
Describes the process inside a cell that occurs when the same signal is shared by two or more signaling pathways. Usually, a signal caused by the binding of a substance to a molecule on or inside a cell is passed from one molecule to another in the same pathway.

CRPC      
Prostate cancer that keeps growing even when the amount of testosterone in the body is reduced to very low levels. Many early-stage prostate cancers need normal levels of testosterone to grow, but CRPCs do not. Also called castrate-resistant prostate cancer.

cruciferous vegetable    listen   (kroo-SIH-feh-rus 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 Brassica vegetable.

cryoablation    listen   (KRY-oh-a-BLAY-shun)
A procedure in which an extremely cold liquid or an instrument called a cryoprobe is used to freeze and destroy abnormal tissue. A cryoprobe is cooled with substances such as liquid nitrogen, liquid nitrous oxide, or compressed argon gas. Cryoablation may be used to treat certain types of cancer and some conditions that may become cancer. Also called cryosurgery and cryotherapy.

cryopreservation    listen   (KRY-oh-PREH-zer-VAY-shun)
The process of cooling and storing cells, tissues, or organs at very low or freezing temperatures to save them for future use.

cryosurgery    listen   (KRY-oh-SER-juh-ree)
A procedure in which an extremely cold liquid or an instrument called a cryoprobe is used to freeze and destroy abnormal tissue. A cryoprobe is cooled with substances such as liquid nitrogen, liquid nitrous oxide, or compressed argon gas. Cryosurgery may be used to treat certain types of cancer and some conditions that may become cancer. Also called cryoablation and cryotherapy.

cryotherapy    listen   (KRY-oh-THAYR-uh-pee)
A procedure in which an extremely cold liquid or an instrument called a cryoprobe is used to freeze and destroy abnormal tissue. A cryoprobe is cooled with substances such as liquid nitrogen, liquid nitrous oxide, or compressed argon gas. Cryotherapy may be used to treat certain types of cancer and some conditions that may become cancer. Also called cryoablation and cryosurgery.

cryptorchidism    listen   (krip-TOR-kih-dih-zum)
A condition in which one or both testicles fail to move from the abdomen, where they develop before birth, into the scrotum. Cryptorchidism may increase the risk for development of testicular cancer. Also called undescended testicles.

CSF      
The fluid that flows in and around the hollow spaces of the brain and spinal cord, and between two of the meninges (the thin layers of tissue that cover and protect the brain and spinal cord). CSF is made by tissue called the choroid plexus in the ventricles (hollow spaces) in the brain. Also called cerebrospinal fluid.

CSP      
A type of tumor found in breast or prostate tissue. It is often large and bulky and grows quickly. It may be benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer) and may spread to other parts of the body. Also called cystosarcoma phyllodes and phyllodes tumor.

CSS      
The length of time from either the date of diagnosis or the start of treatment for a disease, such as cancer, to the date of death from the disease. Patients who die from causes unrelated to the disease are not counted in this measurement. In a clinical trial, measuring the CSS is one way to see how well a new treatment works. Also called cause-specific survival.

CT angiography    listen   (... an-jee-AH-gruh-fee)
A procedure that uses x-rays to create a series of detailed pictures of the blood vessels and blood flow inside the body. The pictures are taken from different angles and are created by a computer linked to an x-ray machine. A dye is injected into a vein to make the blood vessels and blood flow easier to see on the x-ray. CT angiography may be used to check for aneurysms (a bulge in the blood vessel wall), blockages in the arteries, blood clots, and other blood vessel problems. Also called computed tomography angiography and CTA.

CT colonography    listen   (... KOH-luh-NAH-gruh-fee)
A method to examine the inside of the colon by taking a series of x-rays. A computer is used to make 2-dimensional (2-D) and 3-D pictures of the colon from these x-rays. The pictures can be saved, changed to give better viewing angles, and reviewed after the procedure, even years later. Also called computed tomographic colonography, computed tomography colonography, CTC, and virtual colonoscopy.

CT scan    listen   (… skan)
A procedure that uses a computer linked to an x-ray machine to make a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body. The pictures are taken from different angles and are used to create 3-dimensional (3-D) views of tissues and organs. A dye may be injected into a vein or swallowed to help the tissues and organs show up more clearly. A CT scan may be used to help diagnose disease, plan treatment, or find out how well treatment is working. Also called CAT scan, computed tomography scan, computerized axial tomography scan, and computerized tomography.

CT-2103      
A form of the anticancer drug paclitaxel combined with a protein called poliglumex that may have fewer side effects and work better than paclitaxel. It is being studied in the treatment of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, lung cancer, and other types of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called mitotic inhibitors. Also called paclitaxel poliglumex, paclitaxel polyglutamate, and Xyotax.

CT-2106      
A form of the anticancer drug camptothecin that may have fewer side effects and work better than camptothecin. It is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It is a type of DNA topoisomerase inhibitor. Also called polyglutamate camptothecin.

CT-2584      
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It may prevent the growth of blood vessels from surrounding tissue into a solid tumor.

CT-322      
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. CT-322 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 (VEGFR-2) inhibitor and a type of antiangiogenesis agent. Also called Angiocept and VEGFR-2 inhibitor CT-322.

CT-guided biopsy    listen   (… GY-ded BY-op-see)
A biopsy procedure that uses a CT scan (a special type of x-ray linked to a computer) to find an abnormal area in the body and help guide the removal of a sample of tissue from that area. A needle is usually used to remove the sample, which is then checked under a microscope for signs of disease. A CT-guided biopsy may be done when the abnormal area is deep inside the body or when the doctor cannot feel a lump or mass.

CT53518      
A substance being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. It may stop cancer cell growth by blocking certain enzymes. It may also 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 MLN518 and tandutinib.

CTA      
A procedure that uses x-rays to create a series of detailed pictures of the blood vessels and blood flow inside the body. The pictures are taken from different angles and are created by a computer linked to an x-ray machine. A dye is injected into a vein to make the blood vessels and blood flow easier to see on the x-ray. CTA may be used to check for aneurysms (a bulge in the blood vessel wall), blockages in the arteries, blood clots, and other blood vessel problems. Also called computed tomography angiography and CT angiography.

CTC      
A method to examine the inside of the colon by taking a series of x-rays. A computer is used to make 2-dimensional (2-D) and 3-D pictures of the colon from these x-rays. The pictures can be saved, changed to give better viewing angles, and reviewed after the procedure, even years later. Also called computed tomographic colonography, computed tomography colonography, CT colonography, and virtual colonoscopy.

CTX      
A drug that is used to treat many types of cancer and is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It is also used to treat some types of kidney disease in children. CTX attaches to DNA in cells and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of alkylating agent. Also called cyclophosphamide and Cytoxan.

CTX      
A substance being studied in the diagnosis and treatment of glioma (a type of brain cancer) and other types of cancer. It binds to cancer cells in the brain and peripheral nervous system and may keep them from spreading. CTX comes from the venom of a type of scorpion. A form of CTX made in the laboratory is called TM-601. CTX is a type of neurotoxin. Also called chlorotoxin.

cubic centimeter    listen   (KYOO-bik SEN-tih-MEE-ter)
A measure of volume in the metric system. One thousand cubic centimeters equal one liter. Also called cc, milliliter, and ml.

Cubicin    listen   (KYOO-bih-sin)
A drug used to treat certain bacterial skin and bloodstream infections in adults. Cubicin is also being studied in the treatment of fever and neutropenia (an abnormal decrease in the number of neutrophils, a type of white blood cell) in patients with cancer. It is a type of antibiotic. Also called daptomycin.

cultural competency    listen   (KUL-cher-ul KOM-peh-ten-see)
The ability to understand, interact, and work well with people of different cultures. In medicine, one goal of cultural competency is to help make sure that the quality of the healthcare is equal among different cultural groups.

culture    listen   (KUL-cher)
The beliefs, values, and behaviors that are shared within a group, such as a religious group or a nation. Culture includes language, customs, and beliefs about roles and relationships.

cultured cell    listen   (KUL-cherd sel)
A human, plant, or animal cell that has been adapted to grow in the laboratory. Cultured cells may be used to diagnose infections, to test new drugs, and in research.

cultured cell line    listen   (KUL-cherd sel line)
Cells of a single type (human, animal, or plant) that have been adapted to grow continuously in the laboratory and are used in research.

Culturelle    listen   (KUL-cher-EL)
A live form of a bacterium that makes lactic acid (a substance that is made from sugars found in milk and is also made in the body). Culturelle is given to help with digestion and normal bowel function. It may also help keep the gastrointestinal (GI) tract healthy. It is being studied in the prevention of infections in patients having donor stem cell transplants and in other conditions. Also called Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG.

cumulative dose    listen   (KYOO-myuh-luh-tiv dose)
In medicine, the total amount of a drug or radiation given to a patient over time; for example, the total dose of radiation given in a series of radiation treatments.

cumulative exposure    listen   (KYOO-myuh-luh-tiv ek-SPOH-zher)
The total amount of a substance or radiation that a person is exposed to over time. Cumulative exposure to a harmful substance or radiation may increase the risk of certain diseases or conditions.

cumulative risk    listen   (KYOO-myuh-luh-tiv risk)
A measure of the total risk that a certain event will happen during a given period of time. In cancer research, it is the likelihood that a person who is free of a certain type of cancer will develop that cancer by a specific age. For example, a woman with no known risk factors for breast cancer has a cumulative risk of getting breast cancer over a lifetime of 90 years of about 12-13%. This means one out of every eight women will get breast cancer by age 90 years.

CUP      
A case in which cancer cells are found in the body, but the place where the cells first started growing (the origin or primary site) cannot be determined. Also called cancer of unknown primary origin and carcinoma of unknown primary.

cupping    listen   (KUP-ping)
A procedure in which a rounded glass cup is warmed and placed upside down over an area of the body, creating suction that holds the cup to the skin. Cupping increases the flow of blood. In traditional Chinese medicine, it is also thought to increase the flow of qi (vital energy).

curative surgery    listen   (KYOOR-uh-tiv SER-juh-ree)
Surgery to remove all malignant (cancerous) tissue, which is meant to cure the disease. This includes removing part or all of the cancerous organ or tissue and a small amount of healthy tissue around it. Nearby lymph nodes may also be removed. Curative surgery works best for localized cancer. Chemotherapy or radiation therapy may be given before surgery to shrink the tumor or after surgery to kill any cancer cells that remain.

curcumin    listen   (ker-KYOO-min)
A yellow pigment of the spice turmeric that is being studied in cancer prevention.

cure    listen   (kyoor)
To heal or restore health; a treatment to restore health.

curettage    listen   (kyoo-reh-TAZH)
Removal of tissue with a curette (a spoon-shaped instrument with a sharp edge).

curette    listen   (kyoo-RET)
A spoon-shaped instrument with a sharp edge.

Cushing disease    listen   (KUSH-ing dih-ZEEZ)
A condition in which there is too much cortisol (a hormone made by the outer layer of the adrenal gland) in the body. In Cushing disease, this happens when an adenoma (benign tumor) in the pituitary gland makes too much adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). This causes the adrenal gland to make too much cortisol. Symptoms include a round face, thin arms and legs, severe fatigue and muscle weakness, high blood pressure and high blood sugar, purple or pink stretch marks on the skin, and weight gain, especially in the abdomen.

Cushing syndrome    listen   (KUSH-ing SIN-drome)
A condition in which there is too much cortisol (a hormone made by the outer layer of the adrenal gland) in the body. Cushing syndrome may be caused by taking too many steroid drugs or by certain types of tumors. Tumors that make adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) cause the adrenal gland to make too much cortisol. Symptoms of Cushing syndrome include a round face, thin arms and legs, severe fatigue and muscle weakness, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, purple or pink stretch marks on the skin, and weight gain, especially in the abdomen.

custirsen sodium    listen   (KUS-tir-sen SOH-dee-um)
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. It blocks the production of a protein called clusterin, which helps cells live longer. This may kill cancer cells that need clusterin to grow. It may also make cells more sensitive to anticancer drugs. It is a type of antisense oligonucleotide, and a type of chemosensitizing agent. Also called OGX-011.

cutaneous    listen   (kyoo-TAY-nee-us)
Having to do with the skin.

cutaneous breast cancer    listen   (kyoo-TAY-nee-us brest KAN-ser)
Cancer that has spread from the breast to the skin.

cutaneous T-cell lymphoma    listen   (kyoo-TAY-nee-us … lim-FOH-muh)
Any of a group of T-cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas that begins in the skin as an itchy, red rash that can thicken or form a tumor. The most common types are mycosis fungoides and Sézary syndrome.

CVA      
In medicine, a loss of blood flow to part of the brain, which damages brain tissue. CVAs are caused by blood clots and broken blood vessels in the brain. Symptoms include dizziness, numbness, weakness on one side of the body, and problems with talking, writing, or understanding language. The risk of CVA is increased by high blood pressure, older age, smoking, diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, atherosclerosis (a buildup of fatty material and plaque inside the coronary arteries), and a family history of CVA. Also called cerebrovascular accident and stroke.

CVP      
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used to treat slow-growing forms of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). It includes the drugs cyclophosphamide, vincristine sulfate, and prednisone. Also called CVP regimen.

CVP regimen    listen   (… REH-jih-men)
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used to treat slow-growing forms of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). It includes the drugs cyclophosphamide, vincristine sulfate, and prednisone. Also called CVP.

cyanide    listen   (SY-uh-nide)
A poisonous chemical found in some foods and plants, tobacco smoke, and when certain substances are burned. It is used to make products such as paper, fabric, and plastic, and is used as a pesticide. Cyanide keeps cells in the body from using oxygen, so they die. Exposure to cyanide may cause serious health effects, including death.

cyanocobalamin    listen   (SY-uh-NOH-koh-BA-luh-min)
A nutrient in the vitamin B complex that the body needs in small amounts to function and stay healthy. Cyanocobalamin helps make red blood cells, DNA, RNA, energy, and tissues, and keeps nerve cells healthy. It is found in liver, meat, eggs, poultry, shellfish, milk, and milk products. Cyanocobalamin is water-soluble (can dissolve in water) and must be taken in every day. Not enough cyanocobalamin can cause certain types of anemia (a condition in which the number of red blood cells is below normal) and neurologic disorders. It is being studied with folate in the prevention and treatment of some types of cancer. Also called cobalamin and vitamin B12.

cyanogenic glucoside    listen   (SY-uh-noh-JEH-nik GLOO-koh-side)
A plant compound that contains sugar and produces cyanide.

cyanosis    listen   (SY-uh-NOH-sis)
Blue-colored skin caused by too little oxygen in the blood.

CYC116      
A substance being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. It blocks certain enzymes involved in cell division and may kill cancer cells. It may also prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It is a type of protein kinase inhibitor and a type of antiangiogenesis agent.

cyclic neutropenia    listen   (SY-klik noo-troh-PEE-nee-uh)
A chronic condition that affects neutrophils (a type of white blood cell). In cyclic neutropenia, the number of neutrophils in the blood goes in cycles from normal to low and back to normal again. Symptoms include fever, inflamed mucous membranes in the mouth, and infections. Also called periodic neutropenia.

cyclin-D1    listen   (SY-klin …)
A protein that helps control cell division. It is found in higher than normal amounts in several types of cancer cells. Measuring the amount of cyclin-D1 in blood cells may help to diagnose cancer or plan cancer treatment. Cyclin-D1 is a cell cycle protein and a type of tumor marker.

cyclooxygenase inhibitor    listen   (SY-kloh-OK-sih-jeh-NAYS in-HIH-bih-ter)
COX inhibitor. A type of drug that is used to treat inflammation and pain, and is being studied in the prevention and treatment of cancer. Cyclo-oxygenase inhibitors belong to the family of drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Also called COX inhibitor.

cyclooxygenase-2    listen   (SY-kloh-OK-sih-jeh-NAYS-2)
An enzyme that speeds up the formation of substances that cause inflammation and pain. It may also cause tumor cells to grow. Some tumors have high levels of cyclooxygenase-2 and blocking its activity may reduce tumor growth. Also called COX-2 and prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase 2.

cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitor    listen   (SY-kloh-OK-sih-jeh-NAYS-2 in-HIH-bih-ter)
A nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug used to relieve pain and inflammation. Cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors are being studied in the prevention of colon polyps, and as anticancer drugs. Also called COX-2 inhibitor.

cyclophosphamide    listen   (SY-kloh-FOS-fuh-mide)
A drug that is used to treat many types of cancer and is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It is also used to treat some types of kidney disease in children. Cyclophosphamide attaches to DNA in cells and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of alkylating agent. Also called CTX and Cytoxan.

cyclosporine    listen   (SY-kloh-SPOR-een)
A drug used to help reduce the risk of rejection of organ and bone marrow transplants by the body. It is also used in clinical trials to make cancer cells more sensitive to anticancer drugs.

Cymbalta    listen   (sim-BAL-tuh)
A drug used to treat depression and peripheral neuropathy (pain, numbness, tingling, burning, or weakness in the hands or feet) that can occur with diabetes. It is also being studied in the treatment of peripheral neuropathy caused by certain anticancer drugs. Cymbalta increases the amount of certain chemicals in the brain that help relieve depression and pain. It is a type of serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor. Also called duloxetine and duloxetine hydrochloride.

cyproheptadine    listen   (SY-proh-HEP-tuh-deen)
A drug that is used to treat asthma, allergies, and colds, and to relieve itching caused by certain skin disorders. It has also been used to stimulate appetite and weight gain, and is being studied in the treatment of weight loss caused by cancer and its treatment. Cyproheptadine belongs to the family of drugs called antihistamines.

cyproterone acetate    listen   (sy-PROH-teh-rone A-seh-tayt)
A synthetic hormone being studied for treatment of hot flashes in men with prostate cancer who have had both testicles removed by surgery.

Cyramza    listen   (sy-RAM-zuh)
A drug used to treat cancer of the stomach or gastroesophageal junction (area where the esophagus connects to the stomach) that is advanced or has spread to other parts of the body. It is used in patients whose cancer has gotten worse after treatment with other anticancer drugs. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Cyramza binds to receptors for a protein called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), which may be found on some types of cancer cells. This may prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. Cyramza is a type of antiangiogenesis agent and a type of monoclonal antibody. Also called anti-VEGFR-2 fully human monoclonal antibody IMC-1121B, IMC-1121B, and ramucirumab.

cyst    listen   (sist)
A closed, sac-like pocket of tissue that can form anywhere in the body. It may be filled with fluid, air, pus, or other material. Most cysts are benign (not cancer).

cystectomy    listen   (sis-TEK-toh-mee)
Surgery to remove all or part of the bladder (the organ that holds urine) or to remove a cyst (a sac or capsule in the body).

cystic duct    listen   (SIS-tik dukt)
A tube that carries bile from the gall bladder. It joins the common hepatic duct to form the common bile duct. It is part of the biliary duct system.

cystic fibrosis    listen   (SIS-tik fy-BROH-sis)
A common hereditary disease in which exocrine (secretory) glands produce abnormally thick mucus. This mucus can cause problems in digestion, breathing, and body cooling.

cystoprostatectomy    listen   (SIS-toh-pros-tuh-TEK-toh-mee)
Surgery to remove the bladder (the organ that holds urine) and the prostate. In a radical cystoprostatectomy, the seminal vesicles are also removed. The prostate and seminal vesicles are glands in the male reproductive system that help make semen. Also called prostatocystectomy.

cystosarcoma phyllodes    listen   (SIS-toh-sar-KOH-muh fih-LOH-deez)
A type of tumor found in breast or prostate tissue. It is often large and bulky and grows quickly. It may be benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer) and may spread to other parts of the body. Also called CSP and phyllodes tumor.

cystoscope    listen   (SIS-toh-SKOPE)
A thin, tube-like instrument used to look inside the bladder and urethra. A cystoscope has a light and a lens for viewing and may have a tool to remove tissue.

cystoscopy    listen   (sis-TOS-koh-pee)
Examination of the bladder and urethra using a cystoscope, inserted into the urethra. A cystoscope 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.

cystourethrectomy    listen   (SIS-toh-yoo-ree-THREK-toh-mee)
Surgery to remove the bladder (the organ that holds urine) and urethra (the tube through which urine leaves the body).

cytarabine    listen   (sy-TAYR-uh-been)
A drug used to treat certain types of leukemia and prevent the spread of leukemia to the meninges (three thin layers of tissue that cover and protect the brain and spinal cord). It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Cytarabine blocks tumor growth by stopping DNA synthesis. It is a type of antimetabolite.

cytarabine liposome    listen   (sy-TAYR-uh-been LY-poh-some)
A form of the anticancer drug cytarabine that is contained inside very tiny, fat-like particles. It may have fewer side effects and work better than cytarabine. It is used to treat lymphoma that has spread to the meninges (three thin layers of tissue that cover and protect the brain and spinal cord). It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It is a type of antimetabolite. Also called Depo-Cyt and liposomal cytarabine.

cytochlor    listen   (SY-toh-klor)
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer that has spread to the brain. It has also been studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Cytochlor damages the DNA in cancer cells, which may make them easier to kill with radiation therapy. It is a type of radiosensitizing agent.

cytochrome P450 enzyme system    listen   (SY-tuh-krome ... EN-zime SIS-tem)
A group of enzymes involved in drug metabolism and found in high levels in the liver. These enzymes change many drugs, including anticancer drugs, into less toxic forms that are easier for the body to excrete.

cytogenetics    listen   (SY-toh-jeh-NEH-tix)
The study of chromosomes and chromosomal abnormalities.

cytokeratin    listen   (SY-toh-KAYR-uh-tin)
A type of protein found on epithelial cells, which line the inside and outside surfaces of the body. Cytokeratins help form the tissues of the hair, nails, and the outer layer of the skin. They are also found on cells in the lining of organs, glands, and other parts of the body. Certain cytokeratins may be found in higher than normal amounts in patients with different types of epithelial cell cancers, including lung, breast, colorectal, bladder, and head and neck cancers. Measuring the amount of specific cytokeratins in the blood may help to plan cancer treatment or find out how well treatment is working or if cancer has come back. A cytokeratin is a type of tumor marker. Also called keratin.

cytokine    listen   (SY-toh-kine)
A type of protein that is made by certain immune and non-immune cells and has an effect on the immune system. Some cytokines stimulate the immune system and others slow it down. They can also be made in the laboratory and used to help the body fight cancer, infections, and other diseases. Examples of cytokines are interleukins, interferons, and colony-stimulating factors (filgrastim, sargramostim).

cytology    listen   (sy-TAH-loh-jee)
The study of cells using a microscope.

cytomegalovirus    listen   (SY-toh-MEH-guh-loh-VY-rus)
A virus that may be carried in an inactive state for life by healthy individuals. It is a cause of severe pneumonia in people with a suppressed immune system, such as those undergoing bone marrow transplantation or those with leukemia or lymphoma. Also called CMV.

Cytomel    listen   (SY-toh-mel)
A drug that is used to treat certain thyroid (a gland located near the voice box) conditions. It is also being studied in the treatment of thyroid cancer. Cytomel is made in the laboratory and is a form of the thyroid hormone triiodthyronine (T3). Also called liothyronine sodium and Triostat.

cytopenia    listen   (SY-toh-PEE-nee-uh)
A condition in which there is a lower-than-normal number of blood cells.

cytoplasm    listen   (SY-toh-PLA-zum)
The fluid inside a cell but outside the cell's nucleus. Most chemical reactions in a cell take place in the cytoplasm.

cytosine    listen   (SY-toh-seen)
A chemical compound that is used to make one of the building blocks of DNA and RNA. It is a type of pyrimidine.

cytostatic agent    listen   (SY-toh-STA-tik AY-jent)
A substance that slows or stops the growth of cells, including cancer cells, without killing them. These agents may cause tumors to stop growing and spreading without causing them to shrink in size.

cytotoxic agent    listen   (SY-toh-TOK-sik AY-jent)
A substance that kills cells, including cancer cells. These agents may stop cancer cells from dividing and growing and may cause tumors to shrink in size.

cytotoxic chemotherapy    listen   (SY-toh-TOK-sik KEE-moh-THAYR-uh-pee)
Anticancer drugs that kill cells, especially cancer cells.

cytotoxic T cell    listen   (SY-toh-TOK-sik ... sel)
A type of immune cell that can kill certain cells, including foreign cells, cancer cells, and cells infected with a virus. Cytotoxic T cells can be separated from other blood cells, grown in the laboratory, and then given to a patient to kill cancer cells. A cytotoxic T cell is a type of white blood cell and a type of lymphocyte. Also called cytotoxic T lymphocyte and killer T cell.

cytotoxic T lymphocyte    listen   (SY-toh-TOK-sik ... LIM-foh-site)
A type of immune cell that can kill certain cells, including foreign cells, cancer cells, and cells infected with a virus. Cytotoxic T lymphocytes can be separated from other blood cells, grown in the laboratory, and then given to a patient to kill cancer cells. A cytotoxic T lymphocyte is a type of white blood cell and a type of lymphocyte. Also called cytotoxic T cell and killer T cell.

cytotoxin    listen   (SY-toh-TOK-sin)
A substance that can kill cells.

Cytoxan    listen   (sy-TOK-sun)
A drug that is used to treat many types of cancer and is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It is also used to treat some types of kidney disease in children. Cytoxan attaches to DNA in cells and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of alkylating agent. Also called CTX and cyclophosphamide.

Back to TopBack to Top