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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

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305 results found for:       D



D&C      
A procedure to remove tissue from the cervical canal or the inner lining of the uterus. The cervix is dilated (made larger) and a curette (spoon-shaped instrument) is inserted into the uterus to remove tissue. Also called dilatation and curettage and dilation and curettage.

D-1MT      
A substance being studied in the treatment of melanoma and many other types of cancer. D-1MT blocks the breakdown of the amino acid tryptophan, which is needed for T cells (a type of immune system cell) to kill tumor cells. Giving D-1MT to patients who have received chemotherapy for cancer may help kill more tumor cells. It is a type of enzyme inhibitor and immunosuppressant. Also called 1-methyl-d-tryptophan.

D-20761      
A synthetic luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LH-RH) antagonist that suppresses LH and sex steroid levels.

D-cycloserine    listen   (...SY-kloh-SAYR-een)
A drug used to treat tuberculosis. It is also being studied in the treatment of pain and nerve problems (numbness, tingling) caused by chemotherapy and in the treatment of low back pain, autism, certain anxiety disorders, and schizophrenia. D-cycloserine is a type of antibiotic. Also called Seromycin.

da-huang    listen   (dah-hwong)
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 Chinese rhubarb, Indian rhubarb, rhubarb, and Turkish rhubarb.

dabrafenib    listen   (duh-BRA-feh-nib)
A drug used alone or with trametinib to treat melanoma that cannot be removed by surgery or has spread to other parts of the body. It is used in patients with a mutated (changed) form of a cell protein called BRAF. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Dabrafenib blocks this mutated protein, which may help keep cancer cells from growing and may kill them. It is a type of kinase inhibitor and a type of targeted therapy. Also called Tafinlar.

DACA      
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. It is a type of topoisomerase inhibitor. Also called acridine carboxamide.

dacarbazine    listen   (duh-KAR-buh-zeen)
A drug that is used to treat Hodgkin lymphoma and malignant melanoma and is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It attaches to DNA in cells and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of alkylating agent. Also called DTIC-Dome.

dacliximab    listen   (duh-KLIK-sih-mab)
A drug used to keep the body from rejecting kidney transplants. It is also being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer and other conditions. Dacliximab binds to receptors for a protein called interleukin-2 (IL-2), which are found on some types of immune cells and cancer cells. This may help suppress the body’s immune response and it may help kill cancer cells. Dacliximab is a type of monoclonal antibody. Also called daclizumab and Zenapax.

daclizumab    listen   (duh-KLIH-zoo-mab)
A drug used to keep the body from rejecting kidney transplants. It is also being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer and other conditions. Daclizumab binds to receptors for a protein called interleukin-2 (IL-2), which are found on some types of immune cells and cancer cells. This may help suppress the body’s immune response and it may help kill cancer cells. Daclizumab is a type of monoclonal antibody. Also called dacliximab and Zenapax.

Dacogen    listen   (DA-koh-jen)
A drug that is used to treat myelodysplastic syndromes and is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It is a type of antimetabolite. Also called decitabine.

dactinomycin    listen   (DAK-tih-noh-MY-sin)
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. Dactinomycin 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 Cosmegen.

daidzein    listen   (DAYD-zine)
An isoflavone found in soy products. Soy isoflavones are being studied in the prevention of cancer.

dalteparin    listen   (dul-TEH-puh-rin)
A drug used to prevent blood clots from forming or to treat blood clots that have formed in patients with cancer or other conditions. Dalteparin is a type of anticoagulant. Also called dalteparin sodium and Fragmin.

dalteparin sodium    listen   (dul-TEH-puh-rin SOH-dee-um)
A drug used to prevent blood clots from forming or to treat blood clots that have formed in patients with cancer or other conditions. Dalteparin sodium is a type of anticoagulant. Also called dalteparin and Fragmin.

danazol    listen   (DA-nuh-zole)
A synthetic hormone that is a type of androgen and is used to treat endometriosis. It is being evaluated in the treatment of endometrial cancer.

dapsone    listen   (DAP-sone)
A drug used to treat acne. It is also used to treat other types of skin diseases and certain bacterial infections, such as leprosy. It blocks bacteria from making a substance that they need to grow. Dapsone is a type of antibacterial agent and a type of anti-inflammatory agent.

daptomycin    listen   (dap-toh-MY-sin)
A drug used to treat certain bacterial skin and bloodstream infections in adults. Daptomycin 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 Cubicin.

DAR      
A log of study drugs kept by an investigator running a clinical trial. It lists many things about each drug, including the drug name, lot number, expiration date, the amount of drug received, used, returned, or thrown away, and the amount left. DARs help make sure that a clinical trial is done safely and correctly. DARs are required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Also called Drug Accountability Record.

darbepoetin alfa    listen   (DAR-bee-POH-eh-tin AL-fuh)
A substance made in the laboratory that stimulates the bone marrow to produce red blood cells. It belongs to the family of drugs called antianemics.

dark-field microscope    listen   (... MY-kroh-SKOPE)
A microscope (device used to magnify small objects) in which objects are lit at a very low angle from the side so that the background appears dark and the objects show up against this dark background.

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

Data and Safety Monitoring Board    listen   (DAY-tuh ... SAYF-tee MAH-nih-ter-ing bord)
An impartial group that oversees a clinical trial and reviews the results to see if they are acceptable. This group determines if the trial should be changed or closed. Also called DSMB.

daunomycin    listen   (DAW-noh-MY-sin)
The active ingredient in 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. It is a type of anthracycline antibiotic and a type of topoisomerase inhibitor. Also called daunorubicin.

daunomycin hydrochloride    listen   (DAW-noh-MY-sin HY-droh-KLOR-ide)
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. Daunomycin hydrochloride is a type of anthracycline antibiotic and a type of topoisomerase inhibitor. Also called Cerubidine and daunorubicin hydrochloride.

daunorubicin    listen   (DAW-noh-ROO-bih-sin)
The active ingredient in 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. It is a type of anthracycline antibiotic and a type of topoisomerase inhibitor. Also called daunomycin.

daunorubicin hydrochloride    listen   (DAW-noh-ROO-bih-sin HY-droh-KLOR-ide)
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. Daunorubicin hydrochloride is a type of anthracycline antibiotic and a type of topoisomerase inhibitor. Also called Cerubidine and daunomycin hydrochloride.

DBA      
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 DBA 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, congenital pure red cell aplasia, Diamond-Blackfan anemia, erythrogenesis imperfecta, and inherited erythroblastopenia.

DBE      
A procedure used to look at the inside of the small intestine. A special instrument made up of two tubes (one inside the other) is inserted through the mouth or rectum and into the small intestine. The inside tube, which is an endoscope with a light and lens for viewing, is moved through part of the small intestine, and a balloon at the end of it is inflated to keep the endoscope in place. Next, the outer tube is moved through the small intestine to reach the end of the endoscope, and a balloon at the end of the outer tube is inflated to keep it in place. Then, the balloon at the end of the endoscope is deflated, and the endoscope is moved through the next part of the small intestine. These steps are repeated many times as the tubes move through the whole small intestine. This allows the doctor to see all of the small intestine. Tissue samples may be removed so they can be checked under a microscope for signs of disease. Also called double balloon endoscopy and double balloon enteroscopy.

DBVE      
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used with radiation therapy to treat childhood Hodgkin lymphoma. It includes the drugs doxorubicin hydrochloride (Adriamycin), bleomycin sulfate, vincristine sulfate, and etoposide. Also called ABVE, ABVE regimen, and DBVE regimen.

DBVE regimen    listen   (… REH-jih-men)
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used with radiation therapy to treat childhood Hodgkin lymphoma. It includes the drugs doxorubicin hydrochloride (Adriamycin), bleomycin sulfate, vincristine sulfate, and etoposide. Also called ABVE, ABVE regimen, and DBVE.

DBVE-PC      
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used with radiation therapy to treat childhood Hodgkin lymphoma. It includes the drugs doxorubicin hydrochloride (Adriamycin), bleomycin sulfate, vincristine sulfate, etoposide, prednisone, and cyclophosphamide. Also called ABVE-PC, ABVE-PC regimen, and DBVE-PC regimen.

DBVE-PC regimen    listen   (… REH-jih-men)
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used with radiation therapy to treat childhood Hodgkin lymphoma. It includes the drugs doxorubicin hydrochloride (Adriamycin), bleomycin sulfate, vincristine sulfate, etoposide, prednisone, and cyclophosphamide. Also called ABVE-PC, ABVE-PC regimen, and DBVE-PC.

DCIS      
A noninvasive condition in which abnormal cells are found in the lining of a breast duct. The abnormal cells have not spread outside the duct to other tissues in the breast. In some cases, DCIS may become invasive cancer and spread to other tissues. At this time, there is no way to know which lesions could become invasive. Also called ductal carcinoma in situ and intraductal carcinoma.

DDS      
A rare disorder that causes kidney failure before age 3, abnormal development of the sexual organs, and, in most cases, Wilms tumor (a type of kidney cancer). Children with Denys-Drash syndrome are also at high risk of some other types of cancer. Also called Denys-Drash syndrome.

de Gramont regimen    listen   (dey gruh-MON REH-jih-men)
A chemotherapy combination used to treat colorectal cancer. It is also used with radiation therapy to treat esophageal cancer and stomach cancer. It includes the drugs fluorouracil and leucovorin calcium.

de novo    listen   (deh NOH-voh)
In cancer, the first occurrence of cancer in the body.

de qi sensation    listen   (duh chee sen-SAY-shun)
Tingling, numbness, heaviness, and other feelings that occur after an acupuncture needle has been properly placed in the body. The needle may be twirled, moved up and down at different speeds and depths, heated, or charged with a small electric current until the de qi sensation occurs.

death cap    listen   (deth kap)
A type of poisonous mushroom that has harmful effects on the kidneys and liver. It is responsible for most fatal cases of mushroom poisoning. Also called Amanita phalloides.

death rattle    listen   (... RA-tul)
A gurgling sound that comes from the back of the throat of a dying person. It is caused by the build-up of saliva and mucus in the throat and upper airways when the person is too weak to cough.

death receptor 4    listen   (… reh-SEP-ter 4)
A protein on the surface of certain cells that binds another protein called TRAIL, which may kill some cancer cells. An increase in the amount or activity of death receptor 4 on cancer cells may kill more cells. Also called DR4, TRAIL receptor 1, TRAIL-R1, and tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily member 10A.

death receptor 5    listen   (… reh-SEP-ter 5)
A protein on the surface of certain cells that binds another protein called TRAIL, which may kill some cancer cells. An increase in the amount or activity of death receptor 5 on cancer cells may kill more cells. Also called DR5, TRAIL receptor 2, TRAIL-R2, and tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily member 10B.

debulking    listen   (dee-BUL-king)
Surgical removal of as much of a tumor as possible. Debulking may increase the chance that chemotherapy or radiation therapy will kill all the tumor cells. It may also be done to relieve symptoms or help the patient live longer. Also called tumor debulking.

deceased    listen   (dih-SEEST)
Dead.

decitabine    listen   (deh-SIH-tuh-been)
A drug that is used to treat myelodysplastic syndromes and is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It is a type of antimetabolite. Also called Dacogen.

Declomycin    listen   (DEH-kloh-MY-sin)
A substance being studied as a way to detect bone growth in patients receiving bisphosphonates (a type of drug used to treat bone pain caused by some types of cancer) for breast cancer. It binds to newly formed bone. A biopsy is done and bone growth is measured using a special microscope. Declomycin is a type of tetracycline antibiotic and a type of bone-labeling agent. Also called demeclocycline hydrochloride.

decortication    listen   (deh-KOR-tih-KAY-shun)
Removal of part or all of the external surface of an organ.

deep sedation    listen   (… seh-DAY-shun)
A level of sedation in which a person is in a deep sleep, loses feeling, and is hard to wake up. Deep sedation is caused by special drugs and is used to help relieve anxiety during certain medical or surgical procedures. Oxygen may also be given to help the patient breathe and drugs that relieve pain may be given at the same time. The patient usually does not remember the procedure.

deep vein thrombosis    listen   (… vayn throm-BOH-sis)
The formation of a blood clot in a deep vein of the leg or lower pelvis. Symptoms may include pain, swelling, warmth, and redness in the affected area. Also called DVT.

defecation    listen   (DEH-feh-kay-shun)
Movement of feces (undigested food, bacteria, mucus, and cells from the lining of the intestines) through the bowel and out the anus. Also called bowel movement.

deferasirox    listen   (deh-FER-a-ser-ox)
A drug used to treat too much iron in the blood caused by blood transfusions. It is being studied in the treatment of myelodysplastic syndromes (a group of diseases in which the bone marrow does not make enough healthy blood cells) and other conditions. Deferasirox binds to extra iron in the blood. The drug and the iron are passed from the body in urine. It is a type of chelating agent. Also called Exjade.

deferoxamine    listen   (DEH-feh-ROK-suh-meen)
An iron-chelating agent that removes iron from tumors by inhibiting DNA synthesis and causing cancer cell death. It is used in conjunction with other anticancer agents in pediatric neuroblastoma therapy.

deferred therapy    listen   (deh-FURD THAYR-uh-pee)
Closely watching a patient’s condition but not giving treatment unless symptoms appear or change, or there are changes in test results. Deferred therapy avoids problems that may be caused by treatments such as radiation or surgery. It is used to find early signs that the condition is getting worse. During deferred therapy, patients may be given certain exams and tests. It is sometimes used in prostate cancer. Also called expectant management.

defibrotide    listen   (dee-FY-broh-tide)
A substance that is being studied in the prevention of veno-occlusive disease, a rare complication of high-dose chemotherapy and stem cell transplantation in which small veins in the liver become blocked.

deficiency    listen   (dih-FIH-shun-see)
In medicine, a shortage of a substance (such as a vitamin or mineral) needed by the body.

definitive diagnosis    listen   (deh-FIH-nih-tiv DY-ug-NOH-sis)
A final diagnosis that is made after getting the results of tests, such as blood tests and biopsies, that are done to find out if a certain disease or condition is present.

definitive treatment    listen   (deh-FIH-nih-tiv TREET-ment)
The treatment plan for a disease or disorder that has been chosen as the best one for a patient after all other choices have been considered.

degarelix    listen   (DEH-guh-REH-lix)
A drug that is used to treat advanced prostate cancer and is also being studied in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia. Degarelix binds to gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) receptors in the pituitary gland. This causes the body to stop making testosterone, which prostate cancer needs to grow. Degarelix is a type of GnRH antagonist. Also called Firmagon.

degenerative disease    listen   (deh-JEH-neh-ruh-tiv dih-ZEEZ)
A disease in which the function or structure of the affected tissues or organs changes for the worse over time. Osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, and Alzheimer disease are examples.

dehydration    listen   (dee-hy-DRAY-shun)
A condition caused by the loss of too much water from the body. Severe diarrhea or vomiting can cause dehydration.

dehydroepiandrosterone    listen   (dee-HY-droh-EH-pee-an-DROS-teh-rone)
A substance being studied in the prevention of cancer. It is a type of steroid. Also called DHEA.

delayed-type hypersensitivity response    listen   (...HY-per-SEN-sih-TIH-vih-tee reh-SPONTS)
An inflammatory response that develops 24 to 72 hours after exposure to an antigen that the immune system recognizes as foreign. This type of immune response involves mainly T cells rather than antibodies (which are made by B cells). Also called DTH.

delirium    listen   (deh-LEER-ee-um)
A mental state in which a person is confused, disoriented, and not able to think or remember clearly. The person may also be agitated and have hallucinations, and extreme excitement.

demeclocycline hydrochloride    listen   (DEH-meh-kloh-SY-kleen HY-droh-KLOR-ide)
A substance being studied as a way to detect bone growth in patients receiving bisphosphonates (a type of drug used to treat bone pain caused by some types of cancer) for breast cancer. It binds to newly formed bone. A biopsy is done and bone growth is measured using a special microscope. Demeclocycline hydrochloride is a type of tetracycline antibiotic and a type of bone-labeling agent. Also called Declomycin.

dementia    listen   (deh-MEN-shuh)
A condition in which a person loses the ability to think, remember, learn, make decisions, and solve problems. Symptoms may also include personality changes and emotional problems. There are many causes of dementia, including Alzheimer disease, brain cancer, and brain injury. Dementia usually gets worse over time.

Demerol    listen   (DEH-meh-ROL)
A drug used to treat moderate to severe pain. It binds to opioid receptors in the central nervous system. Demerol is a type of analgesic agent and a type of opioid. Also called meperidine hydrochloride.

dendritic cell    listen   (den-DRIH-tik sel)
A special type of immune cell that is found in tissues, such as the skin, and boosts immune responses by showing antigens on its surface to other cells of the immune system. A dendritic cell is a type of phagocyte and a type of antigen-presenting cell (APC).

dendritic cell vaccine    listen   (den-DRIH-tik sel vak-SEEN)
A vaccine made of antigens and dendritic antigen-presenting cells (APCs).

denial    listen   (deh-NY-ul)
In psychiatry, a state in which a person is unable or unwilling to see the truth or reality about an issue or situation.

denileukin diftitox    listen   (DEH-nih-LOO-kin DIF-tih-tox)
A drug used to treat cutaneous T-cell lymphoma that can bind the cytokine IL-2 and that has not responded to other treatment. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Denileukin diftitox is made by combining a part of IL-2 with a bacterial toxin. The IL-2 part of the drug attaches to the cancer cells and then the toxin kills the cells. Denileukin diftitox is a type of immunotoxin and a type of fusion toxin. Also called Ontak.

denomination    listen   (deh-NAH-mih-NAY-shun)
In religion, describes a group whose members are organized under a common name and set of rules and have common beliefs and practices.

denosumab    listen   (deh-noh-SOO-mab)
A drug used to prevent or treat certain bone problems. Under the brand name Xgeva, it is used to prevent broken bones and other bone problems caused by solid tumors that have spread to bone. It is also used in certain patients to treat giant cell tumor of the bone that cannot be removed by surgery. Under the brand name Prolia, it is used to treat osteoporosis (a decrease in bone mass and density) in postmenopausal women who have a high risk of breaking bones. Denosumab is also being studied in the treatment of other conditions and types of cancer. It binds to a protein called RANKL, which keeps RANKL from binding to another protein called RANK on the surface of certain bone cells, including bone cancer cells. This may help keep bone from breaking down and cancer cells from growing. Denosumab is a type of monoclonal antibody. Also called AMG 162, Prolia, and Xgeva.

dental implant    listen   (DEN-tul IM-plant)
A metal device that is surgically placed in the jawbone. It acts as an anchor for an artificial tooth or teeth.

dentist    listen   (DEN-tist)
A health professional who specializes in caring for the teeth, gums, and other tissues in the mouth.

Denys-Drash syndrome    listen   (deh-NEES-drash SIN-drome)
A rare disorder that causes kidney failure before age 3, abnormal development of the sexual organs, and, in most cases, Wilms tumor (a type of kidney cancer). Children with Denys-Drash syndrome are also at high risk of some other types of cancer. Also called DDS.

deoxycytidine    listen   (dee-OK-see-SY-tih-deen)
A drug that protects healthy tissues from the toxic effects of anticancer drugs.

deoxyribonucleic acid    listen   (dee-OK-see-RY-boh-noo-KLAY-ik A-sid)
The molecules inside cells that carry genetic information and pass it from one generation to the next. Also called DNA.

Depakene    listen   (DEH-puh-KEEN)
A drug used to treat epileptic seizures and bipolar disorder and to prevent migraine headaches. It is also being studied in the treatment of several types of cancer. It blocks an enzyme that cells need to grow and may cause cancer cells to die. It also blocks the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It is a type of anticonvulsant, histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor, antimaniacal, migraine headache prophylactic, and antiangiogenesis agent. Also called Stavzor and valproic acid.

Department of Health and Human Services    listen   (deh-PART-ment … helth … HYOO-mun SER-vih-ses)
The U.S. federal government agency responsible for protecting the public’s health and providing important services, especially for people in need. The Department of Health and Human Services works with state and local governments throughout the country to do research and provide public health services, food and drug safety programs, health insurance programs, and many other services. There are several federal agencies that are a part of the Department of Health and Human Services. They include the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMMS). Also called DHHS.

Depo-Cyt    listen   (DEE-poh-SITE)
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 cytarabine liposome and liposomal cytarabine.

depression    listen   (dee-PREH-shun)
A mental condition marked by ongoing feelings of sadness, despair, loss of energy, and difficulty dealing with normal daily life. Other symptoms of depression include feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness, loss of pleasure in activities, changes in eating or sleeping habits, and thoughts of death or suicide. Depression can affect anyone, and can be successfully treated. Depression affects 15-25% of cancer patients.

depsipeptide    listen   (DEP-see-PEP-tide)
A substance that is made naturally by some bacteria, fungi, and other organisms, and can also be made in the laboratory. Depsipeptides are being studied in the treatment of cancer.

derivative    listen   (deh-RIH-vuh-tiv)
In chemistry, a compound produced from or related to another.

dermabrasion    listen   (DER-muh-BRAY-zhun)
A type of surgery used to make the skin smooth and to improve the way deep scars, pits, and wrinkles look. After numbing the skin, a doctor removes the top layer of skin using sandpaper or a brush or burr (small file) that spins at a high speed.

dermatitis    listen   (DER-muh-TY-tis)
Inflammation of the skin.

dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans    listen   (DER-muh-toh-FY-broh-sar-KOH-muh proh-TOO-beh-ranz)
A type of tumor that begins as a hard nodule and grows slowly. These tumors are usually found in the dermis (the inner layer of the two main layers of tissue that make up the skin) of the limbs or trunk of the body. They can grow into surrounding tissue but do not spread to other parts of the body. These tumors are related to giant cell fibroblastomas.

dermatologist    listen   (der-muh-TAH-loh-jist)
A doctor who has special training to diagnose and treat skin problems.

dermis    listen   (DER-mis)
The inner layer of the two main layers of the skin. The dermis has connective tissue, blood vessels, oil and sweat glands, nerves, hair follicles, and other structures. It is made up of a thin upper layer called the papillary dermis, and a thick lower layer called the reticular dermis.

dermoid cyst    listen   (DER-moyd sist)
A type of benign (not cancer) germ cell tumor (type of tumor that begins in the cells that give rise to sperm or eggs) that often contains several different types of tissue such as hair, muscle, and bone. Also called mature teratoma.

DES      
A synthetic form of the hormone estrogen that was prescribed to pregnant women between about 1940 and 1971 because it was thought to prevent miscarriages. DES may increase the risk of uterine, ovarian, or breast cancer in women who took it. It also has been linked to an increased risk of clear cell carcinoma of the vagina or cervix in daughters exposed to DES before birth. Also called diethylstilbestrol.

deslorelin    listen   (DES-loh-REH-lin)
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer as a way to block sex hormones made by the ovaries or testicles. It is a type of gonadotropin-releasing hormone analog.

desmoid tumor    listen   (DEZ-moyd TOO-mer)
A tumor of the tissue that surrounds muscles, usually in the abdomen. A desmoid tumor rarely metastasizes (spreads to other parts of the body). It may be called aggressive fibromatosis when the tumor is outside of the abdomen.

desmoplastic    listen   (DES-moh-PLAS-tik)
Causing or forming adhesions or fibrous connective tissue within a tumor.

desmoplastic melanoma    listen   (DES-moh-PLAS-tik MEH-luh-NOH-muh)
A rare form of malignant melanoma marked by nonpigmented lesions on sun-exposed areas of the body, most commonly on the head and neck.

desmoplastic small round cell tumor    listen   (DES-moh-PLAS-tik ... TOO-mer)
A rare, aggressive cancer that usually affects young males and usually is located in the abdomen.

detoxify    listen   (dee-TOK-sih-fy)
To make something less poisonous or harmful. It may refer to the process of removing toxins, poisons, or other harmful substances from the body.

developmental stage    listen   (dee-VEH-lup-MEN-tul stayj)
The physical, mental, and emotional stages a child goes through as he or she grows and matures.

deviant    listen   (DEE-vee-unt)
Different from what is normal or standard, especially in terms of behavior.

device    listen   (dee-VISE)
An object that has a specific use. In medicine, wheelchairs, pumps, and artificial limbs are examples of devices.

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

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

dexamethasone    listen   (DEK-suh-MEH-thuh-sone)
A synthetic steroid (similar to steroid hormones produced naturally in the adrenal gland). Dexamethasone is used to treat leukemia and lymphoma and may be used to treat some of the problems caused by other cancers and their treatment.

dexmethylphenidate    listen   (dex-MEH-thul-FEH-nih-dayt)
A substance being studied in the treatment of fatigue and nervous system side effects caused by chemotherapy. It is a type of central nervous system stimulant.

dexrazoxane    listen   (DEX-ruh-ZOK-sane)
The active ingredient in a drug used to treat severe side effects caused by certain anticancer drugs. Under the brand name Totect it is used to treat the toxic effects of an anticancer drug that leaks from a vein into surrounding tissue and causes tissue damage. Under the brand name Zinecard it is used to reduce heart damage in women given doxorubicin for breast cancer that has spread. Dexrazoxane is also being studied in the treatment of cancer. It is a type of cardioprotective agent, a type of chemoprotective agent, and a type of topoisomerase inhibitor.

dexrazoxane hydrochloride    listen   (DEX-ruh-ZOK-sane HY-droh-KLOR-ide)
A drug used to treat severe side effects caused by certain anticancer drugs. It is used under the brand name Totect to treat the toxic effects of an anticancer drug that leaks from a vein into surrounding tissue and causes tissue damage. It is also used under the brand name Zinecard to reduce heart damage in women given doxorubicin for breast cancer that has spread. Dexrazoxane hydrochloride is also being studied in the treatment of cancer. It is a type of cardioprotective agent, a type of chemoprotective agent, and a type of topoisomerase inhibitor.

dextroamphetamine-amphetamine    listen   (DEK-stroh-am-FEH-tuh-meen-am-FEH-tuh-meen)
A combination of drugs used as a treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy (a sleep disorder). It is a type of stimulant. Also called Adderall.

dextromethorphan acetic acid    listen   (DEK-stroh-meh-THOR-fan uh-SEE-tik A-sid)
An anticancer drug that is a type of angiogenesis inhibitor.

DFMO      
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. Also called difluoromethylornithine.

DFS      
In cancer, the length of time after primary treatment for a cancer ends that the patient survives without any signs or symptoms of that cancer. In a clinical trial, measuring the DFS is one way to see how well a new treatment works. Also called disease-free survival, relapse-free survival, and RFS.

DHA-paclitaxel    listen   (...PA-klih-TAK-sil)
A combination of DHA (a natural fatty acid) and paclitaxel (an anticancer drug) being studied in the treatment of cancer. It is a type of mitotic inhibitor.

DHEA      
A substance being studied in the prevention of cancer. It is a type of steroid. Also called dehydroepiandrosterone.

DHFR inhibitor    listen   (… in-HIH-bih-ter)
A substance that can build up in cancer cells and block them from using folate. Folate is a nutrient that rapidly dividing cells need to make DNA. Blocking folate use helps keep cancer cells from growing and may kill them. Some DHFR inhibitors are used to treat cancer. A DHFR inhibitor is a type of antifolate. Also called dihydrofolate reductase inhibitor.

DHHS      
The U.S. federal government agency responsible for protecting the public’s health and providing important services, especially for people in need. The DHHS works with state and local governments throughout the country to do research and provide public health services, food and drug safety programs, health insurance programs, and many other services. There are several federal agencies that are a part of the DHHS. They include the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMMS). Also called Department of Health and Human Services.

DHPLN      
A childhood condition in which abnormal tissue grows on the outer part of one or both kidneys. DHPLN usually develops into Wilms tumor (a type of childhood kidney cancer) if not treated. Also called diffuse hyperplastic perilobar nephroblastomatosis.

DHT      
A hormone made from testosterone in the prostate, testes, and certain other tissues. It is needed to develop and maintain male sex characteristics, such as facial hair, deep voice, and muscle growth. High amounts of DHT may increase the growth of prostate cancer and make it harder to treat. Also called androstanolone and dihydrotestosterone.

di-dgA-RFB4      
An anticancer drug that is a combination of a monoclonal antibody (RFB4) and an immunotoxin (dgA).

diabetes    listen   (dy-uh-BEE-teez)
Any of several diseases in which the kidneys make a large amount of urine. Diabetes usually refers to diabetes mellitus in which there is also a high level of glucose (a type of sugar) in the blood because the body does not make enough insulin or use it the way it should.

diabetes insipidus    listen   (dy-uh-BEE-teez in-SIH-pih-dus)
A condition in which a person is very thirsty and makes large amounts of urine. The most common types of diabetes insipidus are central diabetes insipidus (a pituitary disorder) and nephrogenic diabetes insipidus (kidney failure). Diabetes insipidus is not related to diabetes mellitus, which is more common.

diabetes mellitus    listen   (dy-uh-BEE-teez MEH-lih-tus)
A disease in which the body does not control the amount of glucose (a type of sugar) in the blood and the kidneys make a large amount of urine. This disease occurs when the body does not make enough insulin or does not use it the way it should.

diagnosis    listen   (DY-ug-NOH-sis)
The process of identifying a disease, such as cancer, from its signs and symptoms.

diagnostic mammogram    listen   (DY-ug-NAH-stik MA-muh-gram)
X-ray of the breasts used to check for breast cancer after a lump or other sign or symptom of breast cancer has been found.

diagnostic procedure    listen   (DY-ug-NAH-stik proh-SEE-jer)
A type of test used to help diagnose a disease or condition. Mammograms and colonoscopies are examples of diagnostic procedures. Also called diagnostic test.

diagnostic technique    listen   (DY-ug-NAH-stik tek-NEEK)
A type of method or test used to help diagnose a disease or condition. Imaging tests and tests to measure blood pressure, pulse, and temperature are examples of diagnostic techniques.

diagnostic test    listen   (DY-ug-NAH-stik …)
A type of test used to help diagnose a disease or condition. Mammograms and colonoscopies are examples of diagnostic tests. Also called diagnostic procedure.

diagnostic trial    listen   (DY-ug-NAH-stik TRY-ul)
A research study that evaluates methods of detecting disease.

dialysis    listen   (dy-A-luh-sis)
The process of filtering the blood when the kidneys are not able to cleanse it.

diameter    listen   (dy-A-meh-ter)
The length of a straight line that extends from one edge of a tumor or other object, through its center and to the opposite edge. It is usually used to measure the size of round or spherical shapes.

Diamond-Blackfan anemia    listen   (DY-uh-mund-BLAK-fan 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 Diamond-Blackfan 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 hypoplastic anemia, congenital pure red cell aplasia, DBA, erythrogenesis imperfecta, and inherited erythroblastopenia.

diaphragm    listen   (DY-uh-fram)
The thin muscle below the lungs and heart that separates the chest from the abdomen.

diarrhea    listen   (dy-uh-REE-uh)
Frequent and watery bowel movements.

diathermy    listen   (DY-uh-THER-mee)
A procedure in which tissue is heated to destroy abnormal cells. The heat may come from electric currents, microwaves, radio waves, or ultrasound. Diathermy is a type of hyperthermia therapy. Also called electrodiathermy.

diazepam    listen   (dy-A-zeh-pam)
A drug used to treat mild to moderate anxiety and tension and to relax muscles. It is a type of benzodiazepine. Also called Valium.

diaziquone    listen   (dy-A-zih-kwone)
An anticancer drug that is able to cross the blood-brain barrier and kill cancer cells in the central nervous system. Also called AZQ.

diclofenac    listen   (dy-KLOH-feh-nak)
The active ingredient in a drug that is used to treat the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and is being studied in the prevention and treatment of some types of skin cancer. It blocks substances that cause inflammation and pain. It may also prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It is a type of cyclooxygenase inhibitor, a type of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), and a type of antiangiogenesis agent.

diclofenac sodium    listen   (dy-KLOH-feh-nak SOH-dee-um)
A drug that is used to treat the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and is being studied in the prevention and treatment of some types of skin cancer. It blocks substances that cause inflammation and pain. It may also prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It is a type of cyclooxygenase inhibitor, a type of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), and a type of antiangiogenesis agent. Also called Voltaren.

diclofenac sodium gel    listen   (dy-KLOH-feh-nak SOH-dee-um jel)
The gel form of a drug that is used to treat the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and is being studied in the prevention and treatment of some types of skin cancer. It blocks substances that cause inflammation and pain. It may also prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It is a type of cyclooxygenase inhibitor, a type of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), and a type of antiangiogenesis agent. Also called Voltaren gel.

didanosine    listen   (dy-DA-noh-seen)
A drug used in the treatment of infections caused by viruses.

DIEP flap    listen   (… flap)
A type of breast reconstruction in which blood vessels called deep inferior epigastric perforators (DIEP), and the skin and fat connected to them are removed from the lower abdomen and used for reconstruction. Muscle is left in place.

diet    listen   (DY-et)
The things a person eats and drinks.

dietary counseling    listen   (DY-uh-TAYR-ee KOWN-suh-ling)
A process by which a health professional with special training in nutrition helps people make healthy food choices and form healthy eating habits. In cancer treatment, the goal of dietary counseling is to help patients stay healthy during and after treatment and to stay strong enough to fight infections and the recurrence of disease. Also called nutritional counseling.

dietary protocol    listen   (DY-uh-TAYR-ee PROH-tuh-KOL)
A detailed diet plan that states what, how, and when a person will eat and drink. It may be used to test how a specific diet affects a health outcome, such as lower cholesterol.

Dietary Reference Intakes    listen   (DY-uh-TAYR-ee REH-frents IN-tayks)
A set of guidelines developed by U.S. and Canadian scientists to give information about the role of nutrients in human health. These guidelines include the Reference Daily Intakes (RDI), which are the recommended amounts of nutrients to be eaten each day to meet the needs of most healthy people. This system replaced the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA). Also called DRI.

dietary supplement    listen   (DY-uh-TAYR-ee SUH-pleh-ment)
A product that is added to the diet. A dietary supplement is taken by mouth, and usually contains one or more dietary ingredient (such as vitamin, mineral, herb, amino acid, and enzyme). Also called nutritional supplement.

diethylstilbestrol    listen   (dy-EH-thul-stil-BES-trol)
A synthetic form of the hormone estrogen that was prescribed to pregnant women between about 1940 and 1971 because it was thought to prevent miscarriages. Diethylstilbestrol may increase the risk of uterine, ovarian, or breast cancer in women who took it. It also has been linked to an increased risk of clear cell carcinoma of the vagina or cervix in daughters exposed to diethylstilbestrol before birth. Also called DES.

dietitian    listen   (dy-eh-TIH-shun)
A health professional with special training in nutrition who can help with dietary choices. Also called nutritionist.

differentiation    listen   (DIH-feh-REN-shee-AY-shun)
In biology, describes the processes by which immature cells become mature cells with specific functions. In cancer, this describes how much or how little tumor tissue looks like the normal tissue it came from. Well-differentiated cancer cells look more like normal cells and tend to grow and spread more slowly than poorly differentiated or undifferentiated cancer cells. Differentiation is used in tumor grading systems, which are different for each type of cancer.

diffuse    listen   (dih-FYOOS)
Widely spread; not localized or confined.

diffuse hyperplastic perilobar nephroblastomatosis    listen   (dih-FYOOS HY-per-PLAS-tik payr-ee-LOH-bar NEH-froh-blas-TOH-muh-TOH-sis)
A childhood condition in which abnormal tissue grows on the outer part of one or both kidneys. Diffuse hyperplastic perilobar nephroblastomatosis usually develops into Wilms tumor (a type of childhood kidney cancer) if not treated. Also called DHPLN.

diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma    listen   (dih-FYOOS in-TRIN-sik PON-teen glee-OH-muh)
A type of central nervous system tumor that forms from glial (supportive) tissue of the brain and spinal cord. Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma usually occurs in children. It forms in the brain stem.

diffuse large B-cell lymphoma    listen   (dih-FYOOS larj ... sel lim-FOH-muh)
A type of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (cancer of the immune system) that is usually aggressive (fast-growing). It is the most common type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and is marked by rapidly growing tumors in the lymph nodes, spleen, liver, bone marrow, or other organs. Other symptoms include fever, night sweats, and weight loss. There are several subtypes of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.

difluoromethylornithine    listen   (dy-FLOOR-oh-MEH-thul-OR-nih-theen)
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. Also called DFMO.

digestion    listen   (dy-JES-chun)
The process of breaking down food into substances the body can use for energy, tissue growth, and repair.

digestive system    listen   (dy-JES-tiv SIS-tem)
The organs that take in food and turn it into products that the body can use to stay healthy. Waste products the body cannot use leave the body through bowel movements. The digestive system includes the salivary glands, mouth, esophagus, stomach, liver, pancreas, gallbladder, small and large intestines, and rectum.

digestive tract    listen   (dy-JES-tiv trakt)
The organs through which food and liquids pass when they are swallowed, digested, and eliminated. These organs are the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small and large intestines, and rectum and anus.

digital image analysis    listen   (DIH-jih-tul IH-mij uh-NA-lih-sis)
A method in which an image or other type of data is changed into a series of dots or numbers so that it can be viewed and studied on a computer. In medicine, this type of image analysis is being used to study organs or tissues, and in the diagnosis and treatment of disease.

digital mammography    listen   (DIH-jih-tul ma-MAH-gruh-fee)
The use of a computer, rather than x-ray film, to create a picture of the breast.

digital photography    listen   (DIH-jih-tul fuh-TAH-gruh-fee)
A type of photography in which images can be viewed on a computer screen.

digital rectal examination    listen   (DIH-jih-tul REK-tul eg-ZA-mih-NAY-shun)
An examination in which a doctor inserts a lubricated, gloved finger into the rectum to feel for abnormalities. Also called DRE.

digitalis    listen   (DIH-jih-TA-lis)
A substance used to make drugs that are used to treat several heart conditions, including congestive heart failure. Digitalis is made from the dried leaves of Digitalis purpurea (common foxglove) plants. It is a type of cardiac glycoside.

digoxin    listen   (dih-JOK-sin)
A drug used to treat irregular heartbeat and some types of heart failure. It is also being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. Digoxin helps the heart work normally by controlling the amount of calcium that goes into the heart muscle. It also may kill cancer cells and make them more sensitive to anticancer drugs. It is a type of cardiac glycoside. Also called Lanoxin.

dihematoporphyrin ether    listen   (dy-HEE-muh-toh-POR-fih-rin EE-ther)
Used in photodynamic therapy, a drug that is absorbed by tumor cells; when exposed to light, it becomes active and kills the cancer cells.

dihydrofolate reductase inhibitor    listen   (dy-HY-droh-FOH-layt ree-DUK-tays in-HIH-bih-ter)
A substance that can build up in cancer cells and block them from using folate. Folate is a nutrient that rapidly dividing cells need to make DNA. Blocking folate use helps keep cancer cells from growing and may kill them. Some dihydrofolate reductase inhibitors are used to treat cancer. A dihydrofolate reductase inhibitor is a type of antifolate. Also called DHFR inhibitor.

dihydrotestosterone    listen   (dy-HY-droh-tes-TOS-teh-rone)
A hormone made from testosterone in the prostate, testes, and certain other tissues. It is needed to develop and maintain male sex characteristics, such as facial hair, deep voice, and muscle growth. High amounts of dihydrotestosterone may increase the growth of prostate cancer and make it harder to treat. Also called androstanolone and DHT.

diindolylmethane    listen   (dy-IN-doh-lil-MEH-thayn)
A substance being studied in the treatment of prostate cancer and in the prevention of cervical cancer. Diindolylmethane is found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, and kale. It is a type of plant indole. Also called DIM.

Dilantin    listen   (dy-LAN-tin)
A drug used to treat or prevent seizures or convulsions that may be caused by epilepsy, brain surgery, or treatment for brain cancer. It is a type of anticonvulsant agent. Also called phenytoin sodium.

dilatation and curettage    listen   (DIH-luh-TAY-shun … kyoo-reh-TAZH)
A procedure to remove tissue from the cervical canal or the inner lining of the uterus. The cervix is dilated (made larger) and a curette (spoon-shaped instrument) is inserted into the uterus to remove tissue. Also called D&C and dilation and curettage.

dilate    listen   (DY-layt)
To widen or enlarge an opening or hollow structure beyond its usual size, such as the pupil of the eye or a blood vessel.

dilation and curettage    listen   (dy-LAY-shun … kyoo-reh-TAZH)
A procedure to remove tissue from the cervical canal or the inner lining of the uterus. The cervix is dilated (made larger) and a curette (spoon-shaped instrument) is inserted into the uterus to remove tissue. Also called D&C and dilatation and curettage.

dilator    listen   (DY-lay-ter)
A device used to stretch or enlarge an opening.

Dilaudid    listen   (dy-LAW-did)
A drug used to treat moderate to severe pain. It may also be used to treat certain types of cough. Dilaudid is made from morphine and binds to opioid receptors in the central nervous system. It is a type of opioid and a type of analgesic agent. Also called Exalgo, hydromorphone hydrochloride, and Hydrostat IR.

dilute    listen   (dy-LOOT)
To make something thinner, weaker, less concentrated, or less pure by adding something to it.

DIM      
A substance being studied in the treatment of prostate cancer and in the prevention of cervical cancer. DIM is found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, and kale. It is a type of plant indole. Also called diindolylmethane.

Dimericine    listen   (dy-MAYR-ih-seen)
A lotion being studied in the treatment of skin cancer and a skin condition called xeroderma pigmentosum. It has an enzyme contained in very tiny, fat-like particles. The enzyme repairs damage caused by ultraviolet radiation. Dimericine is a type of DNA repair enzyme topical agent. Also called T4N5 liposomal lotion.

dimesna    listen   (dy-MEZ-nuh)
A drug that belongs to the family of drugs called chemoprotective agents.

dimethyl sulfoxide    listen   (dy-MEH-thul sul-FOK-side)
A colorless liquid that readily dissolves many chemicals and penetrates animal and plant tissues. It is used in human medicine, veterinary medicine, and pharmaceuticals.

dimethylxanthenone acetic acid    listen   (dy-MEH-thul-ZAN-theh-none uh-SEE-tik A-sid)
An anticancer drug that is a type of angiogenesis inhibitor.

DIN      
A condition in which abnormal cells are found in the lining of a breast duct (milk duct). Having DIN may increase the risk of breast cancer in which these abnormal cells become cancer and spread outside the duct to other tissues in the breast. Types of DIN include atypical ductal hyperplasia and ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). Also called ductal intraepithelial neoplasia.

dinaciclib    listen   (dih-nuh-SY-klib)
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 CDK inhibitor SCH 727965.

diphenhydramine    listen   (dy-fen-HY-druh-meen)
A drug used to treat allergies and relieve cough and itching caused by insect bites, sunburn, and poison oak or ivy. It is also used to treat mild Parkinson disease, to prevent and treat motion sickness, to relieve cough and cold symptoms, and as a sleep aid. It is a type of antihistamine.

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

dipyridamole    listen   (DY-pih-RIH-duh-mole)
A drug that prevents blood cell clumping and enhances the effectiveness of fluorouracil and other chemotherapeutic agents.

direct ophthalmoscopy    listen   (duh-REKT OF-thul-MOS-koh-pee)
An exam of the inside of the back of the eye using an ophthalmoscope (a flashlight-sized instrument with a light source and a set of rotating lenses).

discharge    listen   (DIS-charj)
In medicine, a fluid that comes out of the body. Discharge can be normal or a sign of disease. Discharge also means release of a patient from care.

disease progression    listen   (dih-ZEEZ pruh-GREH-shun)
Cancer that continues to grow or spread.

disease-free survival    listen   (dih-ZEEZ ... ser-VY-vul)
In cancer, the length of time after primary treatment for a cancer ends that the patient survives without any signs or symptoms of that cancer. In a clinical trial, measuring the disease-free survival is one way to see how well a new treatment works. Also called DFS, relapse-free survival, and RFS.

disease-specific survival rate    listen   (dih-ZEEZ-speh-SIH-fik ser-VY-vul rayt)
The percentage of people in a study or treatment group who have not died from a specific disease in a defined period of time. The time period usually begins at the time of diagnosis or at the start of treatment and ends at the time of death. Patients who died from causes other than the disease being studied are not counted in this measurement.

disinfectant    listen   (DIS-in-fek-tunt)
Any substance or process that is used primarily on non-living objects to kill germs, such as viruses, bacteria, and other microorganisms that can cause infection and disease. Most disinfectants are harsh chemicals but sometimes heat or radiation may be used.

disorder    listen   (dis-OR-der)
In medicine, a disturbance of normal functioning of the mind or body. Disorders may be caused by genetic factors, disease, or trauma.

disorientation    listen   (dis-OR-ee-en-TAY-shun)
A mental state marked by confusion about time, place, or who one is.

disseminate    listen   (dih-SEH-mih-NAYT)
Scatter or distribute over a large area or range.

distal    listen   (DIS-tul)
In medicine, refers to a part of the body that is farther away from the center of the body than another part. For example, the fingers are distal to the shoulder. The opposite is proximal.

distal colon    listen   (DIS-tul KOH-lun)
The last part of the colon. The distal colon includes the descending colon (the left side of the colon) and the sigmoid colon (the S-shaped section of the colon that connects to the rectum).

distal pancreatectomy    listen   (DIS-tul PAN-kree-uh-TEK-toh-mee)
Removal of the body and tail of the pancreas.

distal urethra    listen   (DIS-tul yoo-REE-thruh)
The part of the urethra closest to the outside of the body. The urethra is the tube through which urine leaves the body. In women, the distal urethra is approximately the last ½ inch, and in men it is the part of the urethra in the penis.

distal urethral cancer    listen   (DIS-tul yoo-REE-thrul KAN-ser)
A rare cancer that forms in the part of the urethra that is closest to the outside of the body. The cancer often has not spread deeply into the tissue.

distant cancer    listen   (DIS-tunt KAN-ser)
Refers to cancer that has spread from the original (primary) tumor to distant organs or distant lymph nodes. Also known as distant metastasis.

distant metastasis    listen   (DIS-tunt meh-TAS-tuh-sis)
Refers to cancer that has spread from the original (primary) tumor to distant organs or distant lymph nodes. Also known as distant cancer.

distraction    listen   (dis-TRAK-shun)
In medicine, a pain relief method that takes the patient's attention away from the pain.

distress    listen   (dih-STRES)
Emotional, social, spiritual, or physical pain or suffering that may cause a person to feel sad, afraid, depressed, anxious, or lonely. People in distress may also feel that they are not able to manage or cope with changes caused by normal life activities or by having a disease, such as cancer. Cancer patients may have trouble coping with their diagnosis, physical symptoms, or treatment.

disulfiram    listen   (dy-SUL-fih-ram)
A drug that slows the metabolism of retinoids, allowing them to act over a longer period of time.

diuresis    listen   (DY-yoo-REE-sis)
An increase in the amount of urine made by the kidney and passed from the body.

diuretic    listen   (DY-yoo-REH-tik)
A type of drug that causes the kidneys to make more urine. Diuretics help the body get rid of extra fluid and salt. They are used to treat high blood pressure, edema (extra fluid in the tissues), and other conditions. There are many different types of diuretics. They are sometimes called water pills.

diverticulitis    listen   (DY-ver-TIH-kyoo-LY-tis)
Inflammation of one or more pouches or sacs that bulge out from the wall of a hollow organ, such as the colon. Symptoms include muscle spasms and cramps in the abdomen.

diverticulosis    listen   (DY-ver-TIH-kyoo-LOH-sis)
A condition marked by small sacs or pouches in the walls of a hollow organ, such as the colon. These sacs can become inflamed and cause a condition called diverticulitis.

diverticulum    listen   (DY-ver-TIH-kyoo-lum)
A small pouch or sac that bulges out from the wall of a hollow organ, such as the colon.

DJ-927      
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. It is a type of taxane derivative.

DNA      
The molecules inside cells that carry genetic information and pass it from one generation to the next. Also called deoxyribonucleic acid.

DNA gene-expression microarray    listen   (… jeen-ek-SPREH-shun MY-kroh-uh-RAY)
A process that allows thousands of pieces of DNA that are fixed to a glass slide to be analyzed at one time. It is used to identify the genes (pieces of DNA) in specific cells or tissue that are actively used to make RNA, which then may be used to make proteins.

DNA methylase    listen   (… MEH-thih-LAYS)
An enzyme (a protein that speeds up chemical reactions in the body) that attaches methyl groups to DNA. A methyl group is a chemical group containing one carbon and three hydrogen atoms. Also called DNA methyltransferase.

DNA methyltransferase    listen   (... MEH-thul-TRANZ-feh-rays)
An enzyme (a protein that speeds up chemical reactions in the body) that attaches methyl groups to DNA. A methyl group is a chemical group containing one carbon and three hydrogen atoms. Also called DNA methylase.

DNA replication    listen   (… reh-plih-KAY-shun)
The process by which a copy of the DNA in a cell is made before the cell divides.

DNA sequencing    listen   (… SEE-kwen-sing)
A laboratory process used to learn the exact sequence (order) of the four building blocks, or bases, that make up DNA. Information is stored in DNA in a code made by arranging the four bases (identified by the letters A, C, G, and T) in different orders. DNA sequencing can be used to find DNA mutations (changes) that may cause diseases, such as cancer.

DNR order    listen   (… OR-der)
A type of advance directive in which a person states that healthcare providers should not perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (restarting the heart) if his or her heart or breathing stops. Also called do not resuscitate order.

do not resuscitate order    listen   (… ree-SUH-sih-TAYT …)
A type of advance directive in which a person states that healthcare providers should not perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (restarting the heart) if his or her heart or breathing stops. Also called DNR order.

docetaxel    listen   (DOH-seh-TAK-sil)
A drug used to treat certain types of cancers of the breast, stomach, lung, prostate, and head and neck. It is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Docetaxel kills cancer cells by stopping them from dividing. It is a type of taxane. Also called Taxotere.

dock    listen   (dok)
A plant that has been used in some cultures to treat certain medical problems. It may have anticancer effects. The scientific name is Rumex acetosella. Also called sheep sorrel and sorrel.

dolasetron mesylate    listen   (doh-LAH-seh-tron MEH-zih-layt)
A drug used to prevent nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy. It is also used to prevent nausea and vomiting after surgery. Dolasetron mesylate blocks the action of the chemical serotonin, which binds to certain nerves and may trigger nausea and vomiting. Blocking serotonin may help lessen nausea and vomiting. It is a type of serotonin receptor antagonist and a type of antiemetic. Also called Anzemet.

dolastatin 10    listen   (DOH-luh-STA-tin …)
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. It binds to a protein that cells need to divide and it may kill cancer cells. Dolastatin 10 comes from a marine organism. It is a type of mitotic inhibitor.

donepezil    listen   (doh-NEH-peh-zil)
A drug that is used to treat Alzheimer disease and is being studied in the treatment of side effects caused by radiation therapy to the brain. It is a type of cholinesterase inhibitor.

dong quai    listen   (dong kwye)
An herb native to China. A substance taken from the roots has been used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat menstrual and menopausal problems. Dong quai may increase the effect of the drug warfarin (a blood-thinner). The scientific name is Angelica sinensis.

donor    listen   (DOH-ner)
In medicine, a person who gives blood, cells, tissue, or an organ for use in another person, such as in a blood transfusion or an organ transplant.

donor lymphocyte infusion    listen   (DOH-ner LIM-foh-site in-FYOO-zhun)
A type of therapy in which lymphocytes from the blood of a donor are given to a patient who has already received a stem cell transplant from the same donor. The donor lymphocytes may kill remaining cancer cells. Donor lymphocyte infusion is used to treat chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) that has come back and myeloma. It is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer.

dornase alfa inhalation solution    listen   (DOR-nays AL-fuh in-huh-LAY-shun suh-LOO-shun)
A drug given in an aerosol mist to decrease the thickness of mucus in the lungs of patients with cystic fibrosis. It is also being studied as a treatment to reduce the thickness of saliva in patients being treated for head and neck cancer. Dornase alfa inhalation solution contains an enzyme that breaks the DNA in mucus into small pieces and makes the mucus thinner. Also called Pulmozyme.

dose    listen   (dose)
The amount of medicine taken, or radiation given, at one time.

dose-dense chemotherapy    listen   (dose-dents KEE-moh-THAYR-uh-pee)
A chemotherapy treatment plan in which drugs are given with less time between treatments than in a standard chemotherapy treatment plan.

dose-dependent    listen   (dose-deh-PEN-dent)
Refers to the effects of treatment with a drug. If the effects change when the dose of the drug is changed, the effects are said to be dose-dependent.

dose-limiting    listen   (dose-LIH-mih-ting)
Describes side effects of a drug or other treatment that are serious enough to prevent an increase in dose or level of that treatment.

dose-rate    listen   (dose-rayt)
The strength of a treatment given over a period of time.

dosimetrist    listen   (doh-SIH-meh-trist)
A person who determines the proper radiation dose for treatment.

dosimetry    listen   (doh-SIH-meh-tree)
Measurement of radiation exposure from x-rays, gamma rays, or other types of radiation used in the treatment or detection of diseases, including cancer.

double balloon endoscopy    listen   (DUH-bul buh-LOON en-DOS-koh-pee)
A procedure used to look at the inside of the small intestine. A special instrument made up of two tubes (one inside the other) is inserted through the mouth or rectum and into the small intestine. The inside tube, which is an endoscope with a light and lens for viewing, is moved through part of the small intestine, and a balloon at the end of it is inflated to keep the endoscope in place. Next, the outer tube is moved through the small intestine to reach the end of the endoscope, and a balloon at the end of the outer tube is inflated to keep it in place. Then, the balloon at the end of the endoscope is deflated, and the endoscope is moved through the next part of the small intestine. These steps are repeated many times as the tubes move through the whole small intestine. This allows the doctor to see all of the small intestine. Tissue samples may be removed so they can be checked under a microscope for signs of disease. Also called DBE and double balloon enteroscopy.

double balloon enteroscopy    listen   (DUH-bul buh-LOON en-teh-ROS-koh-pee)
A procedure used to look at the inside of the small intestine. A special instrument made up of two tubes (one inside the other) is inserted through the mouth or rectum and into the small intestine. The inside tube, which is an endoscope with a light and lens for viewing, is moved through part of the small intestine, and a balloon at the end of it is inflated to keep the endoscope in place. Next, the outer tube is moved through the small intestine to reach the end of the endoscope, and a balloon at the end of the outer tube is inflated to keep it in place. Then, the balloon at the end of the endoscope is deflated, and the endoscope is moved through the next part of the small intestine. These steps are repeated many times as the tubes move through the whole small intestine. This allows the doctor to see all of the small intestine. Tissue samples may be removed so they can be checked under a microscope for signs of disease. Also called DBE and double balloon endoscopy.

double-blinded    listen   (DUH-bul BLINE-ded)
A clinical trial in which the medical staff, the patient, and the people who analyze the results do not know the specific type of treatment the patient receives until after the clinical trial is over.

double-contrast barium enema    listen   (DUH-bul-KON-trast BAYR-ee-um EH-neh-muh)
A procedure in which x-rays of the colon and rectum are taken after a liquid containing barium is put into the rectum. Barium is a silver-white metallic compound that outlines the colon and rectum on an x-ray and helps show abnormalities. Air is put into the rectum and colon to further enhance the x-ray.

doubling time    listen   (DUH-bling...)
In biology, the amount of time it takes for one cell to divide or for a group of cells (such as a tumor) to double in size. The doubling time is different for different kinds of cancer cells or tumors.

douche    listen   (doosh)
A procedure in which the vagina is washed with water or a cleansing solution. Most cleansing solutions contain water mixed with vinegar, baking soda, or iodine. Regular douching can wash away some of the bacteria that normally live in the vagina. This may allow yeast or harmful types of bacteria to grow and cause infection. Douching may also cause other health problems, such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and problems during pregnancy. Most doctors do not recommend douching.

Down syndrome    listen   (...SIN-drome)
A disorder caused by the presence of an extra chromosome 21 and characterized by mental retardation and distinguishing physical features.

Dox-SL      
A form of the anticancer drug doxorubicin that is contained in very tiny, fat-like particles. It may have fewer side effects and work better than doxorubicin. Dox-SL is used to treat ovarian cancer, AIDS-related Kaposi sarcoma, and multiple myeloma in patients whose disease has not gotten better after treatment with other anticancer drugs. It may be used together with other anticancer drugs. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Dox-SL is a type of anthracycline antitumor antibiotic. Also called Doxil, doxorubicin hydrochloride liposome, Evacet, LipoDox, and liposomal doxorubicin hydrochloride.

doxazosin    listen   (dok-SAY-zoh-sin)
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. Doxazosin is a type of alpha blocker. Also called Cardura and doxazosin mesylate.

doxazosin mesylate    listen   (dok-SAY-zoh-sin MEH-zih-layt)
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. Doxazosin mesylate is a type of alpha blocker. Also called Cardura and doxazosin.

doxercalciferol    listen   (DOK-ser-kal-SIH-feh-rol)
A substance being studied in the prevention of recurrent prostate cancer. It is a type of vitamin D analog.

Doxil    listen   (DOK-sil)
A form of the anticancer drug doxorubicin that is contained in very tiny, fat-like particles. It may have fewer side effects and work better than doxorubicin. Doxil is used to treat ovarian cancer, AIDS-related Kaposi sarcoma, and multiple myeloma in patients whose disease has not gotten better after treatment with other anticancer drugs. It may be used together with other anticancer drugs. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Doxil is a type of anthracycline antitumor antibiotic. Also called Dox-SL, doxorubicin hydrochloride liposome, Evacet, LipoDox, and liposomal doxorubicin hydrochloride.

doxorubicin    listen   (DOK-soh-ROO-bih-sin)
A drug that is used to treat many types of cancer and is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Doxorubicin comes from the bacterium Streptomyces peucetius. It damages DNA and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of anthracycline antitumor antibiotic. Also called Adriamycin PFS, Adriamycin RDF, doxorubicin hydrochloride, hydroxydaunorubicin, and Rubex.

doxorubicin hydrochloride    listen   (DOK-soh-ROO-bih-sin HY-droh-KLOR-ide)
A drug that is used to treat many types of cancer and is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Doxorubicin hydrochloride comes from the bacterium Streptomyces peucetius. It damages DNA and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of anthracycline antitumor antibiotic. Also called Adriamycin PFS, Adriamycin RDF, doxorubicin, hydroxydaunorubicin, and Rubex.

doxorubicin hydrochloride liposome    listen   (DOK-soh-ROO-bih-sin HY-droh-KLOR-ide LY-poh-some)
A form of the anticancer drug doxorubicin that is contained in very tiny, fat-like particles. It may have fewer side effects and work better than doxorubicin. Doxorubicin hydrochloride liposome is used to treat ovarian cancer, AIDS-related Kaposi sarcoma, and multiple myeloma in patients whose disease has not gotten better after treatment with other anticancer drugs. It may be used together with other anticancer drugs. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Doxorubicin hydrochloride liposome is a type of anthracycline antitumor antibiotic. Also called Dox-SL, Doxil, Evacet, LipoDox, and liposomal doxorubicin hydrochloride.

doxycycline    listen   (DOK-suh-SY-kleen)
A drug used to treat many types of bacterial infections. It stops the growth of bacteria by keeping them from making proteins. It is a type of antibiotic. Also called doxycycline hyclate.

doxycycline hyclate    listen   (DOK-suh-SY-kleen HY-klayt)
A drug used to treat many types of bacterial infections. It stops the growth of bacteria by keeping them from making proteins. It is a type of antibiotic. Also called doxycycline.

DPA      
A type of power of attorney. A power of attorney is a legal document that gives one person (such as a relative, lawyer, or friend) the authority to make legal, medical, or financial decisions for another person. It may go into effect right away, or when that person is no longer able to make decisions for himself or herself. A DPA remains in effect until the person who grants it dies or cancels it. It does not need to be renewed over time. Also called durable power of attorney.

DPPE      
Belongs to a group of antihormone drugs.

DR4      
A protein on the surface of certain cells that binds another protein called TRAIL, which may kill some cancer cells. An increase in the amount or activity of DR4 on cancer cells may kill more cells. Also called death receptor 4, TRAIL receptor 1, TRAIL-R1, and tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily member 10A.

DR5      
A protein on the surface of certain cells that binds another protein called TRAIL, which may kill some cancer cells. An increase in the amount or activity of DR5 on cancer cells may kill more cells. Also called death receptor 5, TRAIL receptor 2, TRAIL-R2, and tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily member 10B.

drain    listen   (drayn)
In medicine, to remove fluid as it collects; or, a tube or wick-like device used to remove fluid from a body cavity, wound, or infected area.

DRE      
An examination in which a doctor inserts a lubricated, gloved finger into the rectum to feel for abnormalities. Also called digital rectal examination.

DRI      
A set of guidelines developed by U.S. and Canadian scientists to give information about the role of nutrients in human health. These guidelines include the Reference Daily Intakes (RDI), which are the recommended amounts of nutrients to be eaten each day to meet the needs of most healthy people. This system replaced the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA). Also called Dietary Reference Intakes.

dronabinol    listen   (droh-NA-bih-nol)
A synthetic pill form of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), an active ingredient in marijuana that is used to treat nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy.

droperidol    listen   (droh-PAYR-ih-dol)
A drug used to prevent nausea and vomiting in patients who receive anesthesia before surgery. It is also used to treat anxiety. Droperidol is a type of antiemetic, adjunct anesthesia, and antipsychotic.

drug    listen   (drug)
Any substance, other than food, that is used to prevent, diagnose, treat or relieve symptoms of a disease or abnormal condition. Also refers to a substance that alters mood or body function, or that can be habit-forming or addictive, especially a narcotic.

drug abuse    listen   (...uh-BYOOS)
The use of illegal drugs or the use of prescription or over-the-counter drugs for purposes other than those for which they are meant to be used, or in large amounts. Drug abuse may lead to social, physical, emotional, and job-related problems.

Drug Accountability Record    listen   (… uh-KOWN-tuh-BIH-lih-tee REH-kurd)
A log of study drugs kept by an investigator running a clinical trial. It lists many things about each drug, including the drug name, lot number, expiration date, the amount of drug received, used, returned, or thrown away, and the amount left. Drug Accountability Records help make sure that a clinical trial is done safely and correctly. Drug Accountability Records are required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Also called DAR.

drug interaction    listen   (… IN-teh-RAK-shun)
A change in the way a drug acts in the body when taken with certain other drugs, herbals, or foods, or when taken with certain medical conditions. Drug interactions may cause the drug to be more or less effective, or cause effects on the body that are not expected.

drug resistance    listen   (... reh-ZIH-stunts)
The failure of cancer cells, viruses, or bacteria to respond to a drug used to kill or weaken them. The cells, viruses, or bacteria may be resistant to the drug at the beginning of treatment, or may become resistant after being exposed to the drug.

drug therapy    listen   (… THAYR-uh-pee)
Treatment with any substance, other than food, that is used to prevent, diagnose, treat, or relieve symptoms of a disease or abnormal condition.

drug tolerance    listen   (... TAH-leh-runts)
A condition that occurs when the body gets used to a medicine so that either more medicine is needed or different medicine is needed.

dry orgasm    listen   (dry OR-ga-zum)
Sexual climax without the release of semen from the penis.

DSMB      
Data and Safety Monitoring Board. An impartial group that oversees a clinical trial and reviews the results to see if they are acceptable. This group determines if the trial should be changed or closed. Also called Data and Safety Monitoring Board.

DT2219ARL immunotoxin    listen   (… IH-myoo-noh-TOK-sin)
A substance being studied in the treatment of some types of B-cell cancer. It contains an antibody linked to a toxic substance. The antibody binds to proteins called CD19 and CD22 on the surface of B cells, and the toxic substance kills the cells. It is a type of bispecific ligand-directed toxin.

DT388IL3 fusion protein    listen   (...FYOO-zhun PROH-teen)
A substance being studied in the treatment of myeloid leukemia (a disease in which too many immature non-lymphocyte white blood cells are found in the blood and bone marrow). DT388IL3 fusion protein is made by combining IL-3 with a toxic substance. The IL-3 attaches to the cancer cells and the toxic substance kills them.

DTGM fusion protein    listen   (... FYOO-zhun PROH-teen)
An anticancer drug formed by the combination of diphtheria toxin and a colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF). The colony-stimulating factor is attracted to cancer cells, and the diphtheria toxin kills the cells.

DTH      
An inflammatory response that develops 24 to 72 hours after exposure to an antigen that the immune system recognizes as foreign. This type of immune response involves mainly T cells rather than antibodies (which are made by B cells). Also called delayed-type hypersensitivity response.

DTIC-Dome    listen  
A drug that is used to treat Hodgkin lymphoma and malignant melanoma and is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It attaches to DNA in cells and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of alkylating agent. Also called dacarbazine.

DU 145      
A cell line made from human prostate cancer cells that is used in the laboratory to study the way prostate cancer cells grow.

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

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

duct    listen   (dukt)
In medicine, a tube or vessel of the body through which fluids pass.

ductal carcinoma    listen   (DUK-tul KAR-sih-NOH-muh)
The most common type of breast cancer. It begins in the lining of the milk ducts (thin tubes that carry milk from the lobules of the breast to the nipple). Ductal carcinoma may be either ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) or invasive ductal carcinoma. DCIS is a noninvasive condition in which abnormal cells are found in the lining of a breast duct and have not spread outside the duct to other tissues in the breast. In some cases, DCIS may become invasive cancer. In invasive ductal carcinoma, cancer has spread outside the breast duct to surrounding normal tissue. It can also spread through the blood and lymph systems to other parts of the body.

ductal carcinoma in situ    listen   (DUK-tul KAR-sih-NOH-muh in SY-too)
A noninvasive condition in which abnormal cells are found in the lining of a breast duct. The abnormal cells have not spread outside the duct to other tissues in the breast. In some cases, ductal carcinoma in situ may become invasive cancer and spread to other tissues. At this time, there is no way to know which lesions could become invasive. Also called DCIS and intraductal carcinoma.

ductal intraepithelial neoplasia    listen   (DUK-tul IN-truh-eh-pih-THEE-lee-ul NEE-oh-PLAY-zhuh)
A condition in which abnormal cells are found in the lining of a breast duct (milk duct). Having ductal intraepithelial neoplasia may increase the risk of breast cancer in which these abnormal cells become cancer and spread outside the duct to other tissues in the breast. Types of ductal intraepithelial neoplasia include atypical ductal hyperplasia and ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). Also called DIN.

ductal lavage    listen   (DUK-tul luh-VAZH)
A method used to collect cells from milk ducts in the breast. A hair-size catheter (tube) is inserted into the nipple, and a small amount of salt water is released into the duct. The water picks up breast cells, and is removed. The cells are checked under a microscope. Ductal lavage may be used in addition to clinical breast examination and mammography to detect breast cancer.

Dukes A colorectal cancer    listen   (dooks ... KOH-loh-REK-tul KAN-ser)
Cancer has spread from the mucosa (innermost layer) of the colon and/or rectal wall to the submucosa (layer of tissue under the mucosa) of the colon and/or rectal wall. Cancer may have spread to the muscle layer of the colon and/or rectal wall. Also called stage I colorectal cancer.

Dukes B colorectal cancer    listen   (dooks ... KOH-loh-REK-tul KAN-ser)
Cancer has spread (1) through the muscle layer of the colon and/or rectal wall to the serosa (outermost layer) of the colon and/or rectal wall; or (2) through the serosa of the colon and/or rectal wall but has not spread to nearby organs; or (3) through the serosa of the colon and/or rectal wall to nearby organs. Also called stage II colorectal cancer.

Dukes C colorectal cancer    listen   (dooks ... KOH-loh-REK-tul KAN-ser)
Cancer (1) may have spread through the mucosa (innermost layer) of the colon and/or rectal wall to the submucosa (layer of tissue under the mucosa) and may have spread to the muscle layer of the colon and/or rectal wall. Cancer has spread to at least one but not more than 3 nearby lymph nodes, or cancer cells have formed in tissues near the lymph nodes; or cancer has spread through the mucosa of the colon and/or rectal wall to the submucosa. Cancer has spread to at least 4 but not more than 6 nearby lymph nodes. OR, (2) cancer has spread through the muscle layer of the colon and/or rectal wall to the serosa (outermost layer) of the colon and/or rectal wall or has spread through the serosa but not to nearby organs. Cancer has spread to at least one but not more than 3 nearby lymph nodes, or cancer cells have formed in tissues near the lymph nodes; or cancer has spread to the muscle layer of the colon and/or rectal wall or to the serosa of the colon and/or rectal wall. Cancer has spread to at least 4 but not more than 6 nearby lymph nodes; or cancer has spread through the mucosa of the colon and/or rectal wall to the submucosa and may have spread to the muscle layer of the colon and/or rectal wall. Cancer has spread to 7 or more nearby lymph nodes. OR, (3) cancer has spread through the serosa of the colon and/or rectal wall but has not spread to nearby organs. Cancer has spread to at least 4 but not more than 6 nearby lymph nodes; or cancer has spread through the muscle layer of the colon and/or rectal wall to the serosa of the colon and/or rectal wall or has spread through the serosa but has not spread to nearby organs. Cancer has spread to 7 or more nearby lymph nodes; or cancer has spread through the serosa of the colon and/or rectal wall and has spread to nearby organs. Cancer has spread to one or more nearby lymph nodes, or cancer cells have formed in tissues near the lymph nodes. Also called stage III colorectal cancer.

Dukes classification    listen   (dooks KLA-sih-fih-KAY-shun)
A staging system used to describe the extent of colorectal cancer. Stages range from A (early stage) to D (advanced stage).

duloxetine    listen   (duh-LOK-suh-teen)
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. Duloxetine 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 Cymbalta and duloxetine hydrochloride.

duloxetine hydrochloride    listen   (duh-LOK-suh-teen HY-droh-KLOR-ide)
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. Duloxetine hydrochloride 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 Cymbalta and duloxetine.

dumping syndrome    listen   (DUM-ping SIN-drome)
A condition that occurs when food or liquid moves too fast into the small intestine. Symptoms include cramps, nausea, diarrhea, sweating, weakness, and dizziness. Dumping syndrome sometimes occurs in people who have had part or all of their stomach removed.

duodenitis    listen   (DOO-ah-deh-NY-tis)
Inflammation of the duodenum (the first part of the small intestine that connects to the stomach).

duodenum    listen   (DOO-ah-DEE-num)
The first part of the small intestine. It connects to the stomach. The duodenum helps to further digest food coming from the stomach. It absorbs nutrients (vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, proteins) and water from food so they can be used by the body.

dura mater    listen   (DER-uh MAY-ter)
The tough outer layer of tissue that covers and protects the brain and spinal cord and is closest to the skull. The dura mater is one of the three layers that form the meninges.

durable power of attorney    listen   (DER-uh-bul...uh-TER-nee)
A type of power of attorney. A power of attorney is a legal document that gives one person (such as a relative, lawyer, or friend) the authority to make legal, medical, or financial decisions for another person. It may go into effect right away, or when that person is no longer able to make decisions for himself or herself. A durable power of attorney remains in effect until the person who grants it dies or cancels it. It does not need to be renewed over time. Also called DPA.

dutasteride    listen   (doo-TAS-teh-ride)
A drug used to treat symptoms of an enlarged prostate gland. It is being studied in the treatment of male hair loss and prostate cancer. Dutasteride blocks enzymes the body needs to make male sex hormones. It is a type of 5-alpha reductase inhibitor. Also called Avodart and GG745.

DVT      
The formation of a blood clot in a deep vein of the leg or lower pelvis. Symptoms may include pain, swelling, warmth, and redness in the affected area. Also called deep vein thrombosis.

DX-52-1      
An anticancer drug that is a type of antitumor antibiotic. It is an anthracycline.

DX-8951f      
An anticancer drug that is a type of topoisomerase inhibitor. Also called exatecan mesylate.

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

dyscrasia    listen   (dis-KRAY-zhuh)
Disease. Usually refers to diseases of the blood.

dysesthesia    listen   (DIH-ses-THEE-zhuh)
A condition in which a sense, especially touch, is distorted. Dysesthesia can cause an ordinary stimulus to be unpleasant or painful. It can also cause insensitivity to a stimulus.

dysfunction    listen   (dis-FUNK-shun)
A state of not functioning normally.

dysgerminoma    listen   (DIS-jer-mih-NOH-muh)
A type of tumor that begins in the type of cells that give rise to egg cells and is most often found in the ovaries. Dysgerminomas may also occur in other places in the body, including the central nervous system. They are the most common type of ovarian germ cell tumor and can spread to other parts of the body. They are most common in females who are younger than 20 years old.

dysgeusia    listen   (dis-GOO-zee-uh)
A bad taste in the mouth. Also called parageusia.

dyspepsia    listen   (dis-PEP-see-uh)
Upset stomach.

dysphagia    listen   (dis-FAY-jee-uh)
Difficulty swallowing.

dysphonia    listen   (dis-FOH-nee-uh)
Trouble with the voice when trying to talk, including hoarseness and change in pitch or quality or voice.

dysplasia    listen   (dis-PLAY-zhuh)
Cells that look abnormal under a microscope but are not cancer.

dysplastic nevus    listen   (dis-PLAS-tik NEE-vus)
A type of nevus (mole) that looks different from a common mole. A dysplastic nevus is often larger with borders that are not easy to see. Its color is usually uneven and can range from pink to dark brown. Parts of the mole may be raised above the skin surface. A dysplastic nevus may develop into malignant melanoma (a type of skin cancer). Also called atypical mole.

dyspnea    listen   (DISP-nee-uh)
Difficult, painful breathing or shortness of breath.

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