Glossary: A List of Cancer-Related Terms
Cancer: A group of more than 100 diseases in which cells in a part of the body begin to grow out of control.
Carcinogen: Any substance that causes cancer or helps cancer grow.
Caregiver: A caregiver is anyone who provides physical, emotional, spiritual, financial, or logistical support to a loved one with a chronic, disabling or life-threatening illness.
Chemotherapy: Treatment with drugs to destroy cancer cells.
Gene: A section of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) that has information on hereditary traits such as hair color, eye color, and height, as well as susceptibility to certain diseases.
Malignant: Cancerous; A tumor that is cancerous is called malignant.
Melanocytes: Cells that make the skin coloring.
Melanoma: A cancerous (malignant) tumor that begins in the melanocytes.
Oncologist: A doctor with special training in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
Prognosis: A prediction of the course of disease. The outlook for the chances of survival.
Radiation: The use of high-energy particles to destroy or damage cancer cells. It is one of the most common treatments for cancer.
Remission: Complete or partial disappearance of the signs and symptoms of cancer in response to treatment; the period during which a disease is under control.
Risk-Factor: Anything that is related to a person's chance of getting a disease such as cancer.
Secondhand Smoke: Also known as environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) or passive smoke. It is a mixture of 2 forms of smoke that come from burning tobacco: sidestream smoke (smoke that comes from the end of a lighted cigarette, pipe, or cigar) and mainstream smoke (smoke that is exhaled by a smoker).
Surgery: An operation for the removal or change of a particular part of the body typically performed under an anesthetic.
Symptom: A change in the body caused by an illness or condition, as described by the person experiencing it.