Glossary of terms used on this site
Care given to improve the quality of life of patients who have a serious or life-threatening disease. The goal of palliative care is to prevent or treat as early as possible the symptoms of a disease, side effects caused by treatment of a disease, and psychological, social, and spiritual problems related to a disease or its treatment. Also called comfort care, supportive care, and symptom management.
A glandular organ located in the abdomen. It makes pancreatic juices, which contain enzymes that aid in digestion, and it produces several hormones, including insulin. The pancreas is surrounded by the stomach, intestines, and other organs.
Surgery to remove all or part of the pancreas. In a total pancreatectomy, part of the stomach, part of the small intestine, the common bile duct, gallbladder, spleen, and nearby lymph nodes also are removed.
A disease in which malignant (cancer) cells are found in the tissues of the pancreas. Also called exocrine cancer.
A form of nutrition that is delivered into a vein. Parenteral nutrition does not use the digestive system. It may be given to people who are unable to absorb nutrients through the intestinal tract because of vomiting that won't stop, severe diarrhea, or intestinal disease. It may also be given to those undergoing high-dose chemotherapy or radiation and bone marrow transplantation. It is possible to give all of the protein, calories, vitamins and minerals a person needs using parenteral nutrition. Also called hyperalimentation, total parenteral nutrition, and TPN.
A decrease in the size of a tumor, or in the extent of cancer in the body, in response to treatment. Also called partial response.
A decrease in the size of a tumor, or in the extent of cancer in the body, in response to treatment. Also called partial remission.
A doctor who identifies diseases by studying cells and tissues under a microscope.
The description of cells and tissues made by a pathologist based on microscopic evidence, and sometimes used to make a diagnosis of a disease.
A person who helps a patient work with others who have an effect on the patient's health, including doctors, insurance companies, employers, case managers, and lawyers. A patient advocate helps resolve issues about health care, medical bills, and job discrimination related to a patient's medical condition. Cancer advocacy groups try to raise public awareness about important cancer issues, such as the need for cancer support services, education, and research. Such groups work to bring about change that will help cancer patients and their families.
Primary care provider. A health care professional (usually a physician) who is responsible for monitoring an individual's overall health care needs. Typically, a PCP refers the individual to more specialized physicians for specialist care.
Surgery to remove the lower colon, rectum, and bladder, and create stomata (openings) through which urine and stool are passed out of the body. In women, the cervix, vagina, ovaries, and nearby lymph nodes are also removed.
Surgery to remove lymph nodes in the pelvis for examination under a microscope to see if they contain cancer.
The area of the body between the anus and the vulva in females, and between the anus and the scrotum in males.
Blood circulating throughout the body.