NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

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The NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms features 8,041 terms related to cancer and medicine.

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811 results found for: C
C cell
(… 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
(… 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
(… 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.
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
(... 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
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.
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.
cabazitaxel
(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.
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.
Cabometyx
(KA-boh-MEH-tix)
A drug used to treat advanced renal cell carcinoma (a type of kidney cancer) that was treated with antiangiogenesis therapy (a type of anticancer therapy). It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Cabometyx 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. Cabometyx contains the active ingredient cabozantinib-s-malate. It is a type of tyrosine kinase inhibitor and a type of angiogenesis inhibitor.
cabozantinib-s-malate
(KA-boh-ZAN-tih-nib ... MA-layt)
A drug used to treat advanced renal cell carcinoma (a type of kidney cancer) that was treated with antiangiogenesis therapy (a type of anticancer therapy). It is used under the brand name Cabometyx to treat this cancer. It is also used under the brand name Cometriq to treat progressive medullary thyroid cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. Cabozantinib-s-malate is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It 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. Cabozantinib-s-malate is a type of tyrosine kinase inhibitor and a type of angiogenesis inhibitor.
cachexia
(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
(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
(… 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
(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
(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
(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
(KAL-sih-NOH-sis)
A condition in which abnormal amounts of calcium salts are found in soft tissue, such as muscle.
calcitonin
(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
(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
(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 antagonist
(KAL-see-um an-TA-guh-nist)
A type of drug that keeps calcium from entering the muscle cells of the heart and blood vessels. This causes the blood vessels to relax and widen, which allows the blood to flow more easily and lowers blood pressure. Some calcium antagonists may also slow the heartbeat. Calcium antagonists are used to treat high blood pressure, chest pain (angina), abnormal heartbeat (arrhythmia), and several other conditions. Also called calcium channel blocker.
calcium carbonate
(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 channel blocker
(KAL-see-um CHA-nul BLAH-ker)
A type of drug that keeps calcium from entering the muscle cells of the heart and blood vessels. This causes the blood vessels to relax and widen, which allows the blood to flow more easily and lowers blood pressure. Some calcium channel blockers may also slow the heartbeat. Calcium channel blockers are used to treat high blood pressure, chest pain (angina), abnormal heartbeat (arrhythmia), and several other conditions. Also called calcium antagonist.
calcium gluconate
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(kuh-LOR-ik In-tayk)
Refers to the number of calories (energy content) consumed.
calorie
(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.
CALR gene
(… jeen)
A gene that makes a protein called calreticulin, which is involved in many cell functions. Calreticulin helps control the amount of calcium that is stored in cells. This is thought to play a role in the control of gene activity, cell growth and movement, the attachment of cells to one another, and cell death. Mutated (changed) forms of the CALR gene have been found in some types of blood conditions, including essential thrombocythemia and primary myelofibrosis.
CAM
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
(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
(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
(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
(KAMP-toh-THEH-kin)
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called topoisomerase inhibitors.
camptothecin analog
(KAMP-toh-THEH-kin A-nuh-log)
An anticancer drug related in structure to camptothecin, a topoisomerase inhibitor. One such drug is aminocamptothecin.
Cancell
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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.
cancer-related post-traumatic stress
(KAN-ser-ree-LAY-ted post-traw-MA-tik stress)
A condition that develops in some people who are diagnosed with cancer. Symptoms of cancer-related post-traumatic stress (PTS) include having frightening thoughts or trouble sleeping, being distracted or overexcited, feeling alone, or losing interest in daily activities. Symptoms may also include feelings of shock, fear, helplessness, or horror. Cancer-related PTS can occur anytime after diagnosis, including during or after treatment. Relaxation training, counseling, support groups, and certain medicines may be used to reduce symptoms of PTS.
candidiasis
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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.
CAPIRI
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used to treat colorectal cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. It is also used to treat esophageal cancer and stomach cancer that are advanced or have spread to other parts of the body. It includes the drugs capecitabine (Xeloda) and irinotecan hydrochloride. Also called CAPIRI regimen, XELIRI, and XELIRI regimen.
CAPIRI regimen
(... REH-jih-men)
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used to treat colorectal cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. It is also used to treat esophageal cancer and stomach cancer that are advanced or have spread to other parts of the body. It includes the drugs capecitabine (Xeloda) and irinotecan hydrochloride. Also called CAPIRI, XELIRI, and XELIRI regimen.
CAPOX
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
(… 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
(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
(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
(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
(KAP-sul)
In medicine, a sac of tissue and blood vessels that surrounds an organ, joint, or tumor. A capsule is also a form used for medicine that is taken by mouth. It usually has a shell made of gelatin with the medicine inside.
capsule endoscope
(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
(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
(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.
CAR T-cell therapy
(kar T-sel THAYR-uh-pee)
A type of treatment in which a patient's T cells (a type of immune system cell) are changed in the laboratory so they will attack cancer cells. T cells are taken from a patient’s blood. Then the gene for a special receptor that binds to a certain protein on the patient’s cancer cells is added in the laboratory. The special receptor is called a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR). Large numbers of the CAR T cells are grown in the laboratory and given to the patient by infusion. CAR T-cell therapy is being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. Also called chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy.
Carac
(KAYR-ak)
A drug used to treat cancers of the breast, colon, rectum, stomach, and pancreas. Under the brand names Carac, Tolak, Efudex, and Fluoroplex, it is used as a cream to treat actinic keratosis (a skin condition that may become cancer). It is also used under the brand name Efudex as a cream to treat basal cell skin cancer that is superficial (not invasive) and cannot be removed by surgery. Carac is being studied in the treatment of other conditions and types of cancer. It stops cells from making DNA and may kill cancer cells. Carac is a type of antimetabolite. Also called 5-fluorouracil, 5-FU, Efudex, Fluoroplex, fluorouracil, and Tolak.
carbamide
(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
(kar-BEN-duh-zim)
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called antifungal agents.
carbogen
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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.
Carbo-Tax regimen
(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.
carboxyamidotriazole
(kar-BOK-see-uh-MEE-doh-TRY-uh-zole)
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called angiogenesis inhibitors.
carboxypeptidase-G2
(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
(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
(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
(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
(kar-SIH-noh-jin)
Any substance that causes cancer.
carcinogenesis
(KAR-sih-noh-JEH-neh-sis)
The process by which normal cells are transformed into cancer cells.
carcinoid syndrome
(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.
carcinoid tumor
(KAR-sih-noyd TOO-mer)
A slow-growing type of tumor usually found in the gastrointestinal system (most often in the small intestine and rectum), 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.
carcinoma
(KAR-sih-NOH-muh)
Cancer that begins in the skin or in tissues that line or cover internal organs.
carcinoma in situ
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(KAR-sih-noh-STAT-ik)
Pertaining to slowing or stopping the growth of cancer.
cardiac
(KAR-dee-ak)
Having to do with the heart.
cardiac pacemaker
(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
(KAR-dee-ak sar-KOH-muh)
A rare cancer that develops in tissues of the heart. Also called heart cancer.
cardin
(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.
cardiologist
(KAR-dee-AH-loh-jist)
A doctor who has special training to diagnose and treat diseases of the heart and blood vessels.
cardiology
(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
(KAR-dee-oh-PUL-muh-NAYR-ee)
Having to do with the heart and lungs.
cardiopulmonary resuscitation
(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
(KAR-dee-oh-tok-SIH-sih-tee)
Toxicity that affects the heart.
cardiovascular
(KAR-dee-oh-VAS-kyoo-ler)
Having to do with the heart and blood vessels.
cardiovascular disease
(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
(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
(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
(kar-FIL-zoh-mib)
A drug used alone or with other drugs to treat multiple myeloma that has gotten worse or come back after treatment with other anticancer therapy. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Carfilzomib blocks the action of enzymes called proteasomes, which may help keep cancer cells from growing and may kill them. It is a type of proteasome inhibitor. Also called Kyprolis.
carina of trachea
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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).
cART
Treatment that uses a combination of three or more drugs to treat HIV infection. cART stops the virus from making copies of itself in the body. This may lessen the damage to the immune system caused by HIV and may slow down the development of AIDS. It may also help prevent transmission of HIV to others, including from mother to child during birth. Also called combination antiretroviral therapy, HAART, and highly active antiretroviral therapy.
cartilage
(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
(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
(kar-ZEH-leh-sin)
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called alkylating agents.
case management nurse
(... 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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(… 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
(… 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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(KA-theh-ter)
A flexible tube used to deliver fluids into or withdraw fluids from the body.
cause-specific survival
(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
(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
(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
(… 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
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.
CC49-streptavidin
(… 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.
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.
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 Gleostine 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
(... 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
(... AN-tih-jen)
A protein found on the surface of some bone marrow and blood cells.
CD40-ligand
(... LIH-gund)
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It binds to certain immune cells and may suppress cancer growth.
CD4-positive T lymphocyte
(… 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.
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
(... 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
(… 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
(... 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
(...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
(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
(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
(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.
cefepime
(SEH-feh-peem)
A drug used to treat infection. It belongs to the family of drugs called cephalosporin antibiotics.
cefixime
(seh-FIK-seem)
An antibiotic drug used to treat infection. It belongs to the family of drugs called cephalosporins.
ceftriaxone
(SEF-try-AK-sone)
A drug used to treat infection. It belongs to the family of drugs called cephalosporin antibiotics.
celecoxib
(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
(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
(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
(sel)
In biology, the smallest unit that can live on its own and that makes up all living organisms and the tissues of the body. A cell has three main parts: the cell membrane, the nucleus, and the cytoplasm. The cell membrane surrounds the cell and controls the substances that go into and out of the cell. The nucleus is a structure inside the cell that contains the nucleolus and most of the cell’s DNA. It is also where most RNA is made. The cytoplasm is the fluid inside the cell. It contains other tiny cell parts that have specific functions, including the Golgi complex, the mitochondria, and the endoplasmic reticulum. The cytoplasm is where most chemical reactions take place and most proteins get made. The human body has more than 30 trillion cells.
cell culture
(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
(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 cycle inhibitor
(sel SY-kul in-HIH-bih-ter)
A substance used to block the cell division cycle, which is a series of steps a cell goes through each time it divides. There are many different types of cell cycle inhibitors. Some only work at specific steps in the cell cycle. Others work at any point in the cell cycle. Certain drugs that inhibit the cell cycle are being studied in the treatment of cancer.
cell differentiation
(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
(sel moh-TIH-lih-tee)
The ability of a cell to move.
cell proliferation
(sel proh-LIH-feh-RAY-shun)
An increase in the number of cells as a result of cell growth and cell division.
cell respiration
(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
(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
(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.
CellCept
(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.
cell-cycle regulation
(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
(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.
cellular adhesion
(SEL-yoo-ler ad-HEE-zhun)
The close adherence (bonding) to adjoining cell surfaces.
cellular adoptive immunotherapy
(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
(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
(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
(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.
CEM
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used to treat high-risk neuroblastoma. It includes the drugs carboplatin, etoposide, and melphalan. Also called CEM regimen.
CEM regimen
(… REH-jih-men)
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used to treat high-risk neuroblastoma. It includes the drugs carboplatin, etoposide, and melphalan. Also called CEM.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(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
(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
(SEN-trul NER-vus SIS-tem)
The brain and spinal cord. Also called CNS.
central nervous system depressant
(SEN-trul NER-vus SIS-tem dee-PREH-sunt)
A type of drug that slows down brain activity, which causes the muscles to relax and calms and soothes a person. Central nervous system depressants are used to treat insomnia (trouble sleeping), anxiety, panic attacks, and seizures. They may also be used to relieve anxiety and tension before surgery. Examples of central nervous system depressants are benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and certain sleep medicines. Central nervous system depressants are sometimes called sedatives or tranquilizers. Also called CNS depressant.
central nervous system metastasis
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(SEN-trul VEE-nus AK-ses KA-theh-ter)
A device used to draw blood and give treatments, including intravenous fluids, drugs, or blood transfusions. A thin, flexible tube is inserted into a vein, usually below the collarbone. It is guided (threaded) into a large vein above the right side of the heart called the superior vena cava. A needle is inserted into a port outside of the body to draw blood or give fluids. A central venous access catheter may stay in place for weeks or months and helps avoid the need for repeated needle sticks. There are several types of central venous access catheters.
CEP-2563 dihydrochloride
(... 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
(seh-fuh-LEK-sin)
An antibiotic drug that belongs to the family of drugs called cephalosporins.
cephalosporin
(SEH-fuh-loh-SPOR-in)
A drug used to treat bacterial infections. It belongs to the family of drugs called antibiotics.
ceramide
(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.
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
(… 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.
cerebellar hemangioblastoma
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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 dysplasia
(SER-vih-kul dis-PLAY-zhuh)
The abnormal growth of cells on the surface of the cervix. Cervical dysplasia is usually caused by certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV) and is found when a Pap test or cervical biopsy is done. It can be mild, moderate, or severe, depending on how abnormal the cells look under a microscope and how much of the cervical tissue is affected. Cervical dysplasia is not cancer, but may become cancer and spread to nearby normal tissue.
cervical intraepithelial neoplasia
(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 intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2/3
(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 squamous cell carcinoma
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(SER-vix)
The lower, narrow end of the uterus that forms a canal between the uterus and vagina.
Cesamet
(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
(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.
CEV
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used to treat retinoblastoma in children. It includes the drugs carboplatin, etoposide, and vincristine. Also called CEV regimen.
CEV regimen
(... REH-jih-men)
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used to treat retinoblastoma in children. It includes the drugs carboplatin, etoposide, and vincristine. Also called CEV.
cevimeline hydrochloride
(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.
c-fos antisense oligonucleotide
(… 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.
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 drug used with granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), aldesleukin (IL-2), and 13-cis-retinoic acid to treat high-risk neuroblastoma. It is used in children whose disease has improved with other anticancer treatment. Ch14.18 binds to a substance called GD2, which is found on some types of cancer cells. Ch14.18 may block GD2 and help the immune system kill cancer cells. It is a type of monoclonal antibody. Also called dinutuximab, MOAB Ch14.18, monoclonal antibody Ch14.18, and Unituxin.
Chamberlain procedure
(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
(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
(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
(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
(… 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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(KEH-mih-kul)
A substance made up of elements, such as hydrogen or sodium.
chemical imbalance
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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 agent
(KEE-moh-proh-TEK-tiv AY-jent)
A type of drug that helps protect healthy tissue from some of the side effects caused by certain anticancer drugs. For example, in patients receiving certain anticancer drugs, amifostine helps protect the kidneys, mesna helps protect the bladder, and dexrazoxane (Zinecard) helps reduce heart damage.
chemoradiation
(KEE-moh-RAY-dee-AY-shun)
Treatment that combines chemotherapy with radiation therapy. Also called chemoradiotherapy.
chemoradiotherapy
(KEE-moh-RAY-dee-oh-THAYR-uh-pee)
Treatment that combines chemotherapy with radiation therapy. Also called chemoradiation.
chemoreduction
(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
(KEE-moh-SEN-sih-TIH-vih-tee)
The susceptibility of tumor cells to the cell-killing effects of anticancer drugs.
chemosensitivity assay
(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
(KEE-moh-SEN-sih-TY-zer)
A drug that makes tumor cells more sensitive to the effects of chemotherapy.
chemotherapeutic agent
(KEE-moh-THAYR-uh-PYOO-tik AY-jent)
A drug used to treat cancer.
chemotherapy
(KEE-moh-THAYR-uh-pee)
Treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing. Chemotherapy may be given by mouth, injection, or infusion, or on the skin, depending on the type and stage of the cancer being treated. It may be given alone or with other treatments, such as surgery, radiation therapy, or biologic therapy.
chest wall
The muscles, bones, and joints that make up the area of the body between the neck and the abdomen.
chest x-ray
(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
(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
(ky-AZ-muh)
An anatomy term for an X-shaped crossing (for example, of nerves or tendons).
childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia risk group system
(... 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
(… 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
(… 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.
child-life specialist
(… 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
(… 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.
Children's Oncology Group
(… 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
(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.
chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy
(ky-MEER-ik AN-tih-jen reh-SEP-ter T-sel THAYR-uh-pee)
A type of treatment in which a patient's T cells (a type of immune system cell) are changed in the laboratory so they will attack cancer cells. T cells are taken from a patient’s blood. Then the gene for a special receptor that binds to a certain protein on the patient’s cancer cells is added in the laboratory. The special receptor is called a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR). Large numbers of the CAR T cells are grown in the laboratory and given to the patient by infusion. Chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy is being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. Also called CAR T-cell therapy.
Chinese meridian theory
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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.
Chlamydophila psittaci
(kluh-mih-doh-FIH-luh see-TAH-chee)
A type of bacterium that can infect humans and animals. It spreads to humans from infected birds and can cause a lung infection called psittacosis. It may also cause an infection of the conjunctiva (the membrane that lines the eyelids and covers the white part of the eye). This may increase the risk of a type of lymphoma called ocular adnexa MALT lymphoma, which is a type of B-cell lymphoma.
chlorambucil
(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
(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
(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
(KLOR-een)
A chemical used in manufacturing, as a bleach, and to kill bacteria and other organisms in water.
chloroma
(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
(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
(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
(koh-LAN-jee-oh-KAR-sih-NOH-muh)
A rare cancer that forms in the bile ducts. A bile duct is a tube that carries bile (fluid made by the liver) between the liver and gallbladder and the small intestine. Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma is found inside the liver. Extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma is found outside the liver. Also called bile duct cancer.
cholangiosarcoma
(koh-LAN-jee-oh-sar-KOH-muh)
A tumor of the connective tissues of the bile ducts.
cholecalciferol
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(KON-droh-site)
Cartilage cell. Chondrocytes make the structural components of cartilage.
chondroitin sulfate
(kon-DROY-tin SUL-fayt)
The major glycosaminoglycan (a type of sugar molecule) in cartilage.
chondrosarcoma
(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
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
(… 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
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
(… 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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(KROH-muh-some)
Part of a cell that contains genetic information. Except for sperm and eggs, all human cells contain 46 chromosomes.
chromosome 17
(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
(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
(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
(KRAH-nik)
A disease or condition that persists or progresses over a long period of time.
chronic bacterial prostatitis
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(KRAH-nik GRAN-yoo-loh-SIH-tik loo-KEE-mee-uh)
An indolent (slow-growing) cancer in which too many myeloblasts are found in the blood and bone marrow. Myeloblasts are a type of immature blood cell that makes white blood cells called myeloid cells. Chronic granulocytic leukemia may get worse over time as the number of myeloblasts increases in the blood and bone marrow. This may cause fever, fatigue, easy bleeding, anemia, infection, a swollen spleen, bone pain, or other signs and symptoms. Chronic granulocytic leukemia is usually marked by a chromosome change called the Philadelphia chromosome, in which a piece of chromosome 9 and a piece of chromosome 22 break off and trade places with each other. It usually occurs in older adults and rarely occurs in children. Also called chronic myelogenous leukemia, chronic myeloid leukemia, and CML.
chronic heart failure
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(KRAH-nik MY-eh-LAH-jeh-nus loo-KEE-mee-uh)
An indolent (slow-growing) cancer in which too many myeloblasts are found in the blood and bone marrow. Myeloblasts are a type of immature blood cell that makes white blood cells called myeloid cells. Chronic myelogenous leukemia may get worse over time as the number of myeloblasts increases in the blood and bone marrow. This may cause fever, fatigue, easy bleeding, anemia, infection, a swollen spleen, bone pain, or other signs and symptoms. Chronic myelogenous leukemia is usually marked by a chromosome change called the Philadelphia chromosome, in which a piece of chromosome 9 and a piece of chromosome 22 break off and trade places with each other. It usually occurs in older adults and rarely occurs in children. Also called chronic granulocytic leukemia, chronic myeloid leukemia, and CML.
chronic myeloid leukemia
(KRAH-nik MY-eh-loyd loo-KEE-mee-uh)
An indolent (slow-growing) cancer in which too many myeloblasts are found in the blood and bone marrow. Myeloblasts are a type of immature blood cell that makes white blood cells called myeloid cells. Chronic myeloid leukemia may get worse over time as the number of myeloblasts increases in the blood and bone marrow. This may cause fever, fatigue, easy bleeding, anemia, infection, a swollen spleen, bone pain, or other signs and symptoms. Chronic myeloid leukemia is usually marked by a chromosome change called the Philadelphia chromosome, in which a piece of chromosome 9 and a piece of chromosome 22 break off and trade places with each other. It usually occurs in older adults and rarely occurs in children. Also called chronic granulocytic leukemia, chronic myelogenous leukemia, and CML.
chronic myelomonocytic leukemia
(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
(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
(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
(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
(KRAH-nik payn)
Pain that can range from mild to severe, and persists or progresses over a long period of time.
chronic phase
(KRAH-nik fayz)
Refers to the early stages of chronic myelogenous leuk