Glossary of terms used on this site
Energy released in the form of particles or electromagnetic waves. Common sources of radiation include radon gas, cosmic rays from outer space, and medical x-rays.
A type of radiation therapy in which radioactive material sealed in needles, seeds, wires, or catheters is placed directly into or near a tumor. Also called brachytherapy, internal radiation therapy, and implant radiation therapy.
The use of high-energy radiation from x-rays, gamma rays, neutrons, protons, and other sources to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Radiation may come from a machine outside the body (external-beam radiation therapy), or it may come from radioactive material placed in the body near cancer cells (internal radiation therapy). Systemic radiation therapy uses a radioactive substance, such as a radiolabeled monoclonal antibody, that travels in the blood to tissues throughout the body. Also called radiotherapy and irradiation.
Surgery to remove the uterus, cervix, and part of the vagina. The ovaries, fallopian tubes, and nearby lymph nodes may also be removed.
|Radical local excision||
Surgery to remove a tumor and a large amount of normal tissue surrounding it. Nearby lymph nodes may also be removed.
|Radical lymph node dissection||
A surgical procedure to remove most or all of the lymph nodes that drain lymph from the area around a tumor. The lymph nodes are then examined under a microscope to see if cancer cells have spread to them.
Surgery for breast cancer in which the breast, chest muscles, and all of the lymph nodes under the arm are removed. For many years, this was the breast cancer operation used most often, but it is used rarely now. Doctors consider radical mastectomy only when the tumor has spread to the chest muscles. Also called Halsted radical mastectomy.
A small, radioactive pellet that is placed in or near a tumor. Cancer cells are killed by the energy given off as the radioactive material breaks down and becomes more stable.
The use of electrodes to heat and destroy abnormal tissue.
The use of radiation (such as x-rays) or other imaging technologies (such as ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging) to diagnose or treat disease.
A procedure that produces pictures (scans) of structures inside the body, including areas where there are cancer cells. Radionuclide scanning is used to diagnose, stage, and monitor disease. A small amount of a radioactive chemical (radionuclide) is injected into a vein or swallowed. Different radionuclides travel through the blood to different organs. A machine with a special camera moves over the person lying on a table and detects the type of radiation given off by the radionuclides. A computer forms an image of the areas where the radionuclide builds up. These areas may contain cancer cells. Also called scintigraphy.
A drug that contains a radioactive substance and is used to diagnose or treat disease, including cancer. Also called radioactive drug.
The use of high-energy radiation from x-rays, gamma rays, neutrons, protons, and other sources to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Radiation may come from a machine outside the body (external-beam radiation therapy), or it may come from radioactive material placed in the body near cancer cells (internal radiation therapy). Systemic radiotherapy uses a radioactive substance, such as a radiolabeled monoclonal antibody, that travels in the blood to tissues throughout the body. Also called radiation therapy and irradiation.
The active ingredient in a drug used to reduce the risk of invasive breast cancer in postmenopausal women who are at high risk of the disease or who have osteoporosis. It is also used to prevent and treat osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. It is also being studied in the prevention of breast cancer in certain premenopausal women and in the prevention and treatment of other conditions. Raloxifene blocks the effects of the hormone estrogen in the breast and increases the amount of calcium in bone. It is a type of selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM).
Cancer that forms in the tissues of the rectum (the last several inches of the large intestine before the anus).