bone marrow transplantation: Procedure in which doctors replace marrow destroyed by treatment with high doses of anticancer drugs or radiation. The replacement marrow may be taken from the patient before treatment or may be donated by another person.
bone scan: Technique to create images of bones on a computer screen or on film. A small amount of radioactive material is injected and travels through the bloodstream. It collects in the bones, especially in abnormal areas of the bones, and is detected by a scanner.
brachytherapy: Internal radiation therapy using an implant of radioactive material placed directly into or near the tumor.
BRCA1: Gene located on chromosome 17 that normally helps restrain cell growth. Inheriting an altered version of BRCA1 predisposes an individual to breast, ovarian, or prostate cancer.
BRCA2: Gene located on chromosome 13 that scientists believe may account for 30 to 40 percent of all inherited breast cancer.
breast reconstruction: Surgery to rebuild a breast's shape after a mastectomy.
Burkitt lymphoma: Type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that most often occurs in young people between the ages of 12 and 30. The disease usually causes a rapidly growing tumor in the abdomen.
cancer: Term for a group of more than 100 diseases in which abnormal cells divide without control. Cancer cells can invade nearby tissues and can spread through the bloodstream and lymphocytic system to other parts of the body.
carcinogen: Any substance that is known to cause cancer.
carcinogenesis: Process by which normal cells are transformed into cancer cells.
carcinoma: Cancer that begins in the lining or covering of an organ.
carcinoma in situ: Cancer that involves only the cells in which it began and has not spread to other tissues.
CEA assay: Laboratory test to measure the level of carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), a substance that is sometimes found in an increased amount in the blood of patients with certain cancers.
cell cycle: Sequence of events by which cells enlarge and divide. Includes stages typically named G1, S, G2, and M.
chemoprevention: Use of natural or laboratory-made substances to prevent cancer.
chemotherapy: Treatment with anticancer drugs.
chronic lymphocytic leukemia: Type of blood cancer that involves overproduction of mature lymphocytes.
chronic myelogenous leukemia: Type of blood cancer that involves accumulation of granulocytes (a type of white blood cell) in the bone marrow and bloodstream.
clinical trial: Research study that involves patients. Each study is designed to find better ways to prevent, detect, diagnose, or treat cancer and to answer scientific questions.
colonoscopy: Procedure that uses a flexible fiber optic endoscope to examine the internal surface of the colon along its entire length.
combination chemotherapy: Treatment in which two or more chemicals are used to obtain more effective results.
computed tomography: X-ray procedure that uses a computer to produce a detailed picture of a cross section of the body; also called CAT or CT scan.
contact inhibition: Inhibition of cell division in normal (noncancerous) cells when they contact a neighboring cell.
CT (or CAT) scan: See computed tomography.
cytotoxic: Poisonous to cells. In chemotherapy, used to describe an agent that is poisonous to cancer cells.
dysplasia: Abnormal cells that are not cancer.
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