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Understanding Cancer Related Terms

Over the time, medical science has achieved a lot by identifying new viruses, diseases and their treatment also. Though clinically, doctors have discovered much about various types of cancer and medical procedures to treat the disease but even now people get very scared when they hear the word ‘cancer’. Complex language / words read somewhere, and frightening thoughts pop-up instantly. Let’s understand these terms:

…continued from the previous post (124 to 140 words)

124. Sarcoma: A kind of malignant tumour which starts from connective (fat and muscle) tissue that supports the body. In this disease bones have unusual growth (or swelling) which is initially painless.

125. Screening: This means conducting tests to check and diagnose if a person is developing any disease even though there are no specific symptoms.

126. Secondary Cancer: This term has two different meaning as per the health condition of a person.

a) When a new primary cancer (of different type) develops after treatment for the first type of cancer.
b) Cancer that has spread to other parts of the body from the place where it started.

127. Sigmoidoscopy : A procedure in which a scope is used to view the sigmoid flexure, a part of the colon that's shaped like the letter S.

128. Skin-Cancer: This cancer is very common and occurs mainly in light coloured skin people who have high exposure to sunlight. Three major types of skin cancer are Basal Cell Carcinomas, Squamous Cell Carcinoma and Melanoma.

129. Stage: With reference to cancer diseases, this means the location, extent till it has spread and malfunction of other organs in the body due to tumour. Cancer stage is determined by the various tests available in medical science. Normally low stage means localised tumour that can be removed easily but high stage patients have metastases which means cancerous cells have spread to other locations too. Knowing cancer stage helps the doctor to plan treatment option.

130. Syndrome: A combination of symptoms and signs that together indicates towards a particular disease.

131. Squamous-Cell-Carcinoma: A type of skin cancer arising in squamous cells (the flat, scaly cells on the surface of the skin). If it is detected at an early stage, cure rate is very high.

132. Stem-Cells: Stem cell is unspecialised (original) cell which has the character to split into different specialized cells. In this way these cells develop and change into several different types of mature cells.

134. T-Cell: A small lymphocyte present in the bone marrow which circulates through the bloodstream. T-cells have several functions including strengthening immune system.

135. Tumour: An unusual lump of tissue. When normal cells begin to change and grow uncontrollably, body mass is formed. Tumour are of two types (i) Benign (noncancerous) and (ii) Malignant (cancerous)

136. Tumour-Marker: A substance present in the body that may specify existence of cancer disease. Markers may be secreted by the tumour itself or produced by the body in response to the cancer. Tumour markers helps to confirm diagnosis or give more details about the progress of treatment.

137. Ultrasound: The use of sound waves to image the underlying structures of the body. Ultrasonic waves are reflected differently depending on the type of tissue they pass through, aiding the detection of abnormal tissues.

138. Wilms' Tumour: This tumour develops in the kidneys which is also known as nephroblastoma commonly found in children under 5 years of age and different from adult kidney cancers. This cancerous tumour can be in one kidney or in both kidneys (bilateral).

139. White-Blood-Cell: infection-fighting cells (lymphocytes) which are found in the blood and bone marrow.

140. Transformation of the Tumour – This refers to change of a low grade tumour to a high grade tumour.

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