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Glossary

Glossary of lung cancer terms

Adenocarcinoma of the Lung
Adenocarcinoma of the lung is a form of non-small cell lung cancer.

Adjuvant Therapy
Your doctor may recommend adjuvant therapy as part of your treatment for cancer. What is adjuvant therapy?

Advance Directives
Medical definition of advance directive, a document that outlines your health care choices should you be unable to make them yourself.

Advanced Lung Cancer
Definition of advanced lung cancer, cancer that has spread.

Adverse Reaction - What is an Adverse Reaction
Adverse reactions to medications or treatments occur fairly often in medicine. What is an adverse reaction?

Allopathic Medicine
Definition of allopathic medicine, otherwise known as traditional or conventional Western medicine

Alopecia
Definition of alopecia, hair loss.

Alpha-1-Antitrypsin Deficiency
Definition of alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency, a genetic disorder.

Alternative Medicine
Alternative medicine is sometimes used to help control the symptoms of lung cancer. What is alternative medicine?

Alveoli
The alveoli are an important part of the respiratory system. What is an alveoli?

Analgesic
Definition of analgesic, a medication given to reduce pain.

What is Angiogenesis?
Angiogenesis is a process that is needed for cancers to grow. What is angiogenesis?

Anemia - Definition of Anemia
Learn the definition of anemia.

Angiogenesis Inhibitor
Definition of a type of drug to treat cancer.

Anorexia
Definition of anorexia, loss of appetite

Definition of Anticipatory Grief
Anticipatory grief is common among people who are facing the death of a loved one. What is anticipatory grief?

Antioxidant - Medical Definition of Antioxidant
Medical definition of antioxidant, a substance that protects cells from free radicals.

Anti-emetic
Medical definition of anti emetic, medications used to prevent or relieve nausea and vomiting (emesis).

Definition of Apnea
Episodes of apnea may occur during the late stages of lung cancer. What is the definition of apnea?

Apoptosis
Apoptosis refers to the natural death of a cell that is no longer needed or has become abnormal. What is apoptosis?

Asbestos
Definition of asbestos, a material that can cause lung cancer.

Atelectasis
Medical definition of atelectasis, collapse of a lung.

Asymptomatic
Medical definition of asymptomatic, lacking symptoms

BAC (Bronchioloalveolar Carcinoma) - Definition of BAC
Bronchioloalveolar Carcinoma (BAC) is a rare form of lung cancer. What exactly is BAC? Learn what the definition of BAC means here.

Benign
Medical definition of benign, a term meaning not cancerous

Beta-carotene
Definition of beta-carotene, a vitamin found in certain foods.

Biological Therapy
Medical definition of biological therapy, treatment to improve the immune system.

Biopsy
Medical definition of biopsy, a sampling of tissue

Biomarkers - What Are Biomarkers?
What are biomarkers?

What Is a Bone Scan for Cancer?
A bone scan for cancer may be recommended to evaluate symptoms you have, such as bone pain or unexpected fractures, or to to see if your cancer has spread (metastasized) to help determine the stage of your cancer. What is a bone scan?

Brachytherapy
Definition of brachytherapy, a form of radiation for cancer.

Definition of Bronchiectasis
Bronchiectasis is a form of COPD, and can be a complication of lung cancer. What is the definition of bronchiectasis?

Definition of Chronic Bronchitis
Chronic bronchitis is a serious lung disease that may increase the risk of lung cancer. What is the definition of chronic bronchitis?

Bronchopleural Fistula
A bronchopleural fistula is a complication that can occur following surgery for lung cancer. What is the definition of bronchopleural fistula?

Bronchorrhea - Definition of Bronchorrhea
What is bronchorrhea?

Bronchoscope
A bronchoscope is an instrument used during a bronchoscopy, a procedure that may be done to diagnose and treat lung cancer.

Bronchus
The bronchus is an important part of the respiratory system. What is the bronchus?

Cachexia
Medical definition of cachexia, a state of wasting seen with chronic diseases, such as cancer.

Cancer Survivor
Definition of cancer survivor, someone who has been diagnosed with cancer.

Capillaries - Definition of Capillaries
Capillaries are small blood vessels involved in oxygen exchange. What is the definition of capillaries?

Carcinogen
Definition of carcinogen, something that causes cancer.

Carcinoma In Situ
Definition of carcinoma in situ, cancer confined to the tissue it began in.

Carotenoids - What Are Carotenoids
Some carotenoids may lower the risk of cancer. What are carotenoids?

What is a Chest Tube, How Is it Used, and How Is it Done?
A chest tube may be placed after lung cancer surgery or for a collapsed lung. What is a chest tube, when is a chest tube used, and how is it done?

What is a Chemosensitizer?
Chemosensitizers are being studied for the treatment of lung cancer. What are chemosensitizers?

Chemoprevention
Medical definition of chemoprevention, the use of a substance to prevent, or prevent the recurrence of cancer.

What Is Chemotherapy?
Chemotherapy is a common treatment for lung cancer. What is chemotherapy, and when is it used?

Cheyne-Stokes Respirations
Cheyne-stokes respirations are often seen at the end of life. What is the definition of cheyne-stokes respirations?

Clinical Trial
Definition of clinical trial, a study to evaluate new methods to treat disease.

Phase 1 Clinical Trials - Definition of Phase 1 Clinical Trials
Phase 1 clinical trials are done to evaluate the safety of a drug or treatment. What is the definition of phase 1 clinical trials?

Phase 2 Clinical Trials - Definition of Phase 2 Clinical Trials
Phase 2 clinical trials are done to evaluate a drug or treatment to see if it works. What is the definition of phase 2 clinical trials.

Phase 3 Clinical Trials - Definition of Phase 3 Clinical Trials
Phase 3 clinical trials are done before an experimental medication or treatment is approved for public use by the FDA. What is the definition of phase 3 clinical trials?

Phase 4 Clinical Trials - Definition of Phase 4 Clinical Trials
Phase 4 clinical trials are done after a medication or treatment has already been approved by the FDA. What is the definition of phase 4 clinical trials?

COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) - Definition of COPD
COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is a lung disease that can increase the risk of developing lung cancer. What is the definition of COPD?

Cyanosis
Medical definition of cyanosis, a bluish discoloration of the skin

Clubbing
Clubbing is a deformity of the fingers that may be a sign of lung cancer. What is clubbing?

Complete Blood Count (CBC)
Definition of complete blood count (CBC), a blood test to determine levels of certain cells in the blood.

Cytotoxic
Definition of cytotoxic, causing cell death.

Definition of Death Rattle
The "death rattle" is a common sound at the end of life. What is the definition of death rattle?

Diaphragm - What is the Diaphragm?
The diaphragm is an important muscle used in breathing. What is the diaphragm?

Diffusing Capacity of the Lungs
Diffusing capacity is a test that may be ordered before lung cancer surgery. What is diffusing capacity?

Drug Resistance - What is Drug Resistance?
Your oncologist said that you are developing drug resistance to your cancer medication. What is the definition of drug resistance?

DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) - What is a DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis)?
His doctor says he has a DVT (deep vein thrombosis). What is a DVT?

Dyspnea
Definition of dyspnea, shortness of breath

Dysphagia
Definition of dysphagia, difficulty swallowing.

Dysguesia
Definition of dysguesia, an altered sensation of taste.

Early Stage Lung Cancer
Many people talk about “early stage lung cancer,” which may be confusing if your doctor has described the stage of your cancer with a number. How do you know if your lung cancer is classified as early stage lung cancer?

Ecchymosis - What Is An Ecchymosis?
An ecchymosis can be a sign of a low platelet count. What is an ecchymosis?

What Is Emphysema?
Emphysema is a chronic lung disease. What is the definition of emphysema?

Definition of Empyema
An empyema can occur as a complication of pneumonia or surgery for lung cancer. What is the definition of empyema?

Endobronchial Ultrasound
Endobronchial ultrasound is a technique that is sometimes used to help diagnose and stage lung cancer. What is an endobronchial ultrasound?

Definition of Endotracheal Tube
An endotracheal tube is placed through the mouth into the windpipe during lung cancer surgery. What is the definition of endotracheal tube?

Empyema
An empyema can occur as a complication of pneumonia or surgery for lung cancer. What is the definition of empyema?

Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR)
Definition of EGFR, a receptor found on the surface of cells.

Esophagitis
Definition of esophagitis, inflammation of the esophagus.

Esophagus
Definition of esophagus, the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach

Extrapleural Pneumonectomy - What is an Extrapleural Pneumonectomy?
An extrapleural pneumonectomy is a type of surgery for mesothelioma. What is an extrapleural pneumonectomy?

What Does False Positive Mean?
False positive results are an issue that affects lung cancer screening. What is a false positive?

Definition of False Negative
A false negative result may occur when screening for lung cancer. What is the definition of false negative?

Fast Track (FDA Designation)
Medical definition of fast track (FDA designation) - an accelerated approval process for a treatment for a serious disease that addresses an unmet need.

Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsy (FNA) - What is a Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsy?
A fine needle aspiration(FNA)biopsy is a procedure that is sometimes used to diagnose lung cancer. What is FNA? Learn the definition here.

First-Line Treatment - Definition of First-Line Treatment
The initial treatment for a disease or illness.

Flavonoids
Definition of flavonoids, a group of substances found in plant-based foods.

Definition of Free Radicals
Free radicals may play a role in the development of cancer. What is the definition of free radicals.

What Are Genetic Markers?
Genetic markers may help us determine who is at risk for lung cancer in the future. What are genetic markers?

Genetic Predisposition
An individual may have a genetic predisposition to lung cancer if a family member has lung cancer. What is the definition of genetic predisposition.

Definition of Hematocrit
A blood test measuring hematocrit is often done for people going through cancer treatment. What is the definition of hematocrit?

Definition of Hemoglobin
A blood test for hemoglobin is often done for people going through cancer treatment. What is the definition of hemoglobin?

Hemoptysis
Medical definition of hemoptysis, coughing up blood.

Hemothorax
A hemothorax can occur as a result of trauma or due to a condition such as lung cancer. What is the definition of hemothorax?

Hilum - Definition of Hilum
The region of each lung where the bronchi, blood vessels, and nerves enter and leave the lungs.

Homeopathic Medicine - Definition of Homeopathic Medicine
Homeopathic medicine is a form of complementary/alternative medicine. How does homeopathic medicine differ from traditional medicine?

What Is Hypercalcemia?
Your oncologist said hypercalcemia is causing your symptoms. What is the definition of hypercalcemia?

Hypoxemia
An inadequate level of oxygen in the blood.

What is Hypoxia
A deficiency in the amount of oxygen delivered to body tissues.

Incidence
The number of cases of a disease diagnosed during a specific period of time.

Inoperable Lung Cancer
Definition of inoperable lung cancer, a lung cancer where surgery is not the most appropriate treatment option.

Integrative Medicine - What is Integrative Medicine
Integrative medicine is a treatment approach that is now offered at many cancer centers. What is integrative medicine?

In Vitro - What Does In Vitro Mean?
The new drug has been studied in vitro. What is the definition of in vitro?

In Vivo - What Does In Vivo Mean?
They said the drug worked in vivo as well as in vitro. What does in vivo mean?

Large Cell Lung Cancer
Large cell lung cancer is an uncommon form of non-small cell lung cancer.

Lobectomy
Medical definition of a surgical treatment for lung cancer.

Larynx
The larynx is part of the respiratory tract. What is the definition of larynx?

Lymph Nodes - What Are Lymph Nodes?
Your doctor said your cancer is in your lymph nodes. What are lymph nodes?

Maintenance Therapy - What Is Maintenance Therapy
Maintenance therapy is a treatment for cancer that has responded to intial therapy. What is maintenance therapy?

Malignant
Medical definition of malignant, a term that means dangerous to health.

Mediastinum
Definition of mediastinum, the area in the chest between the lungs.

Median Survival Definition
Median survival if often used when referring to lung cancer survival rates. What is the definition of median survival?

What Is Mesothelioma?
My doctor diagnosed me with mesothelioma. What is the definition of mesothelioma?

Mesothelium
Mesothelioma begins in tissue called the mesothelium. What is the definition of mesothelium?

Metastasis
Medical definition of metastasis, a term referring to the spread of cancer.

Micrometastases - Definition of Micrometastases
Micrometastases can affect treatment recommendations and prognosis with cancer. What is the definition of micrometastases?

Mucositis
Definition of mucositis, inflammation of mucous membranes

What Are Natural Killer Cells?
Natural killer cells (NK cells) are a part of the immune system that plays an important role in cancer. What are natural killer cells?

Myelosuppression
A decrease in production of blood cells by the bone marrow.

Neoadjuvant Therapy
Definition of neoadjuvant therapy, treatment given before the main treatment for a disease.

Neutropenia
Definition of neutropenia, a decrease in white blood cells.

Neutrophils - What Are Neutrophils
A low level of neutrophils can raise the risk of infection. What are neutrophils?

Oat Cell Carcinoma
oat cell carcinoma, oat cell lung cancer,oat cell cancer

Occult Lung Cancer - Definition of Occult Lung Cancer?
Your doctor said the results of your test showed occult lung cancer. What is occult lung cancer?

Oncologist
Medical definition of oncologist, a physician that specializes in treating cancer.

Oncogenes - What Are Oncogenes
Oncogenes can promote the development of cancer. What are oncogenes?

Oximetry
Medical definition of oximetry, a measurement of oxygen in the blood.

Definition of Pack-Years
Pack-years is a measure of how much someone has smoked. What is the definition of pack-years?

Definition of Palliative Sedation
Palliative sedation may be used for some people with intractable symptoms from cancer. What is the definition of palliative sedation?

Palliative Therapy
Medical definition of palliative therapy, a form of cancer management.

Pancoast Tumor - Definition of Pancoast Tumor
A pancoast tumor is a form of lung cancer that grows in the upper parts of the lung. What is the definition of pancoast tumor?

Definition of Pancytopenia
Chemotherapy for cancer can cause pancytopenia. What is pancytopenia?

Partial Response
Medical definition of a partial response to treatment.

Paraneoplastic Syndrome
Definition of paraneoplastic syndrome, a variety of symptoms due to the presence of a tumor in the body.

Passive Smoking - Definition of Passive Smoking
Passive smoking may contribute to lung cancer risk as well as other diseases. What is passive smoking?

Pathologist
A physician who specializes in the diagnosis of disease by examining body tissues.

Performance Status
A good performance status is needed for many cancer trials. What is performance status?

Pericardial Effusion
A pericardial effusion may occur when lung cancer spreads to the area between the lungs. What is a pericardial effusion?

Pericardium - What is the Pericardium
The pericardium helps protect the heart. What is the pericardium?

Peripheral Neuropathy
Definition of peripheral neuropathy, a nerve-related health condition.

Petechiae - What Are Petechiae?
Petechiae can be a sign of a low platelet count. What are petechiae?

What is a PET Scan (Positron Emission Tomography)?
What is a PET Scan, and how does it differ from other radiological tests that are done to stage and follow cancer?

Photodynamic Therapy
Definition of photodynamic therapy, a treatment that uses a drug plus a special type of light to kill cancer cells.

Photosensitivity - What Is Photosensitivity?
Both radiation and some chemotherapy medications can cause photosensitivity during cancer treatment. What is photosensitivity?

Placebo - Definition of Placebo
A placebo is often used in clinical trials for cancer. What is a placebo?

Platelets - What Are Platelets?
Platelets are a type of blood cell. What are platelets?

Lung Plethysmography
Lung plethysmography is one type of test done to see how the lungs are working. What is lung plethysmography?

Pleura
Definition of pleura, the membrane lining the lungs.

Pleural Effusion
Medical definition of pleural effusion, fluid build-up in the lining of the lungs.

Pleurectomy - What is a Pleurectomy?
Pleurectomy is one type of surgical procedure done for mesothelioma. What exactly does a pleurectomy entail?

Pleurodesis - What Type of Procedure is a Pleurodesis?
Pleurodesis is a procedure sometimes performed with lung cancer. What does a pleurodesis entail?

Pleuroscopy - What is a Pleuroscopy?
A pleuroscopy is a procedure that may be done to diagnose or treat complications of lung cancer. What is a pleuroscopy?

Pneumonectomy
Medical definition for removal of one of the lungs

Postpneumonectomy Syndrome
Postpneumonectomy syndrome is a rare complication that can occur months to years following a pneumonectomy. What is postpneumonectomy syndrome?

Primary Cancer - Definition of Primary Cancer
The original organ or tissue where a cancer began.

Progressive Disease
Definition of a disease that is worsening.

Pneumothorax
Definition of pneumothorax, the leakage of air into the chest cavity.

Prevalence
The number of people living with a particular disease during a given amount of time.

Prognosis
Medical definition of prognosis, the likely outcome of a disease.

Progression-Free Survival (PFS)
Definition of progression-free survival (PFS), a period of time during cancer treatment.

Prophylactic Cranial Irradiation (PCI)
Medical definition of a cancer therapy

Pulmonary Fibrosis - Definition of Pulmonary Fibrosis
Pulmonary fibrosis is one of those clinical terms a lung cancer patient may hear, perhaps in relation to his radiation therapy. What does it mean exactly? Learn the full definition here.

Pulmonary Embolism
Pulmonary Embolism is a serious complication during lung cancer treatment. What is the definition of pulmonary embolism?

Pulmonologist
Definition of pulmonologist, a physician who specialized in lung diseases.

What Is Qigong?
Qigong is an alternative medical practice that is sometimes used to help with cancer symptoms. What is qigong?

Lung Cancer Recurrence
Lung cancer recurrence can be confusing in addition to very frightening. What is the definition of lung cancer recurrence?

Radiofrequency Ablation
Radiofrequency ablation is a procedure that may be used to treat cancer. What is radiofrequency ablation for cancer?

Radiation Oncologist
You may see a radiation oncologist as part of your cancer care team. What is a radiation oncologist and what do they do?

Radiation Pneumonitis - Definition of Radiation Pneumonitis
Radiation Pneumonitis can occur as a complication of radiation therapy for lung cancer. What is the definition of radiation pneumonitis?

Radon
Radon is a very important cause of lung cancer. What is radon?

Red Blood Cells (RBC's)
Red blood cells (RBC's) can be affected by chemotherapy for lung cancer. What are red blood cells (RBC's)?

Reflexology - What is Reflexology
Reflexology is a form of alternative medicine sometimes used for the symptoms of lung cancer. What is reflexology?

Remission
Medical definition of remission, no detectable sign of cancer

(SBRT) Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy - What is SBRT?
SBRT (stereotactic body radiotherapy) is a new treatment for lung cancer. What is SBRT?

Secondary Cancer - What Is a Secondary Cancer?
Your doctor called your lung cancer a secondary cancer. What is the definition of secondary cancer?

Second-Line Treatment - Definition of Second-Line Treatment
Treatment for a disease or condition after first-line treatment has failed.

What Is a Small Cell Carcinoma?
Small cell carcinomas can occur in the lungs as well as other parts of the body. What is a small cell carcinoma?

Solitary Pulmonary Nodule
Your doctor found a solitary pulmonary nodule on your chest x-ray. What is the definition of solitary pulmonary nodule?

Spirometry
Spirometry is a test your doctor may order to understand how well your lungs are functioning. What is spirometry?

Sputum - What is Sputum
Sputum is sometimes looked at to test for lung cancer. What is sputum?

Sputum Cytology
Definition of sputum cytology, a method of sampling sputum (mucous) for cancerous cells.

Squamous Cell Lung Cancer
Squamous cell lung cancer is a form of non-small cell lung cancer. What is squamous cell lung cancer?

Stable Disease
Stable disease is a term oncologists use in describing the response to cancer treatment. What is the definition of stable disease?

Stomatitis
Definition of stomatitis, inflammation of the mucous membranes in the mouth.

Superior Vena Cava - What is the Superior Vena Cava
The superior vena cava is a large vessel that can become obstructed with lung cancer. What is the superior vena cava?

SVC Syndrome (Superior Vena Cava Syndrome) - Definition of SVC Syndrome
SVC syndrome is an uncommon complication of lung cancer. What is SVC syndrome?

Survival Rate
Medical definition of survival rate, the percent of people who survive a disease for a specific amount of time.

Surfactant
Medical definition of surfactant, a substance produced by the lungs that keeps them expanded.

Definition of Tachypnea
Tachypnea can be a sign with lung cancer that you aren't getting enough oxygen. What is the definition of tachypnea?

Definition of Targeted Therapy
Targeted therapy is a type of treatment for cancer. What is the definition of targeted therapy?

Thrombocytopenia
An abnormally low number of platelets in the blood.

Thoracentesis
Definition of thoracentesis, a procedure to remove fluid from the chest.

Thoracoscopy - Definition of Thoracoscopy
Thoracoscopy can be used to diagnose and sometimes treat lung cancer. What is thoracoscopy?

What is a Thoracotomy?
A thoracotomy is often performed to remove a lung or a portion of a lung for lung cancer. What is a thoracotomy?

Trachea - Definition of Trachea
The trachea is a major airway in the respiratory system. What is the trachea?

Tumor Markers
Definition of tumor markers, substances that may be elevated in the body when a tumor is present.

Tumor Suppressor Genes - What Are Tumor Suppressor Genes?
Tumor suppressor genes can prevent the growth of tumors. What are tumor suppressor genes?

Unresectable
Definition of unresectable - a tumor that is unable to be removed by surgery.

Uranium
Definition of uranium, a radioactive metal found in nature.

Video-Assisted Thorascopic Surgery (VATS) - Definition of VATS
Definition of video-assisted thorascopic surgery (VATS), and procedure used to operate inside the chest.

Visualization - Medical Definition of Visualization
Visualization is a mind-body practice. What does it entail exactly? Learn the definition of visualization here.

What Does Watchful Waiting Mean?
Watchful waiting is one approach after a diagnosis of cancer or the identification of a suspicious nodule. What is watchful waiting?

Definition of WBCs
White blood cells (WBCs)are an important part of the immune system. What are white blood cells?

Wedge Resection
Definition of wedge resection, a type of lung cancer surgery.

Wheezing - Definition of Wheezing
Wheezing can be a symptom of lung cancer as well as many other lung conditions. What is wheezing?

What is the Definition of Lung Cancer?
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in both men and women in the United States. What is the definition of lung cancer?

Pleural Cavity
The pleural cavity plays an important role in the normal functioning of the lungs. What is the pleural cavity and why is it important?

What is Pleural Fluid?
Pleural fluid is a thin substance that plays a role in respiration. What is pleural fluid, and why is it important?

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