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311. Ritman, E.L., Robb R.A., Johnson, S.A., Chevalier, P.A., Glibert, B.K., Greenleaf, J.F., Sturm, R.E., and Wood, E.H.: Quantitative imaging of the structure and function of the heart, lungs and circulation. Mayo Clini- cal Proc ., 53:3, 1978.
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314. Stock, J.A.: The chemotherapy of cancer. In, The Biology of Cancer. (Ed. Ambrose, E.J., and Roe, F.J.C.), D. Van Nostrand Comp., London, 1966, p.176.
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318. Zubrod, C.G.: Introduction. In, Cancer Medicine . (Ed. Holland, J.F., and Frei, III, E.), Lea & Febiger, Philadelphia, 1974, p.601.
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Terms have been defined with reference to medicine in general and cancer in particular. An attempt has been made to go beyond the mere dictionary meaning so as to provide a wider perspective. Related words are mentioned in parenthesis at the end of the explanation.
|Adenocarcinoma||Cancer arising in a gland.|
|Allogenic||Originating in a genetically different individual, but|
|from the same species.|
|Analgesic||Pain-relieving drug, such as aspirin.|
Anoci-Association An association based on the Hippocratic motto
|primum non nocere , meaning that the least that a|
|therapy should do to a patient, is to do no harm.|
|Antigen||A substance, that on introduction into the body,|
|excites a highly specific response in the form of|
|antibody (a protein) and/or cells (lymphocytes). An|
|antigen's specific reactivity with antibody/cells|
|allows laboratory detection of its presence in blood|
|or tissue. Some cancers carry on their cells and/or|
|secrete into the blood antigens, of which the|
|carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) is an example.|
|CEA, found most commonly with cancer of the|
|gastrointestinal tract, is detected in the laboratory|
|by demonstrating its reactivity with a specific|
|antibody. CEA is a normal constitutent of human|
|plasma, and what tests detect is its elevated level in|
|Aphthous ulcer||Small, painful ulcer/s accompanying inflammation of|
|Arteriosclerosis||Thickening and hardening of arteries, a common|
|accompaniment of aging.|
|Autochthonous||Arising from an individual's own tissues; not|
|Benign||Not threatening health or life; opposite of malignant;|
|non- cancerous. A benign tumour/lump has|
|microscopic features resembling a normal tissue.|
|Bronchial cancer||A bronchus is a subdivision of the air-passages|
|beyond the trachea (windpipe). Cancer of the lung|
|usually starts in a large bronchus, and thus is often|
|referred to as bronchial cancer or bronchial|
|Burkitt's tumour||A lymphoma with characteristic microscopic picture,|
|commoner at younger age. Also called Burkitt's|
|Cancerability||It is the faculty of a normal cell to cancerate and thus|
|turn into a cancer cell.|
|Cancerogen||A substance supposedly producing cancer. Also|
|called, carcinogen. A substance that assists a|
|cancerogen is called cocancerogen , and one that|
|opposes its action is called anticancerogen. Similarly,|
|cocarcinogen and anticarcinogen.|
|Cancerogenesis||The production of cancer. Also called carcinogen-|
|Cancerologist||The cancer specialist. Also called oncologist . The|
|speciality is called cancerology or oncology .|
|Cancerotrophic||An agent promoting the growth of cancer.|
|Cancerrealism||An approach to cancer based on cancerologic,|
|cytologic and biologic facts. Such facts constitute|
|Celluloma||A lump or a mass made up of cells. - oma as a suffix|
|indicates swelling; hence, lipoma, fibroma,|
|astrocytoma, melanoma, etc.|
|Chemotherapy||Thearpy by drugs.|
|Cholelithiasis||Formation of stones in the biliary tract. Gall stones.|
|Choriocarcinoma,||A cancer arising from the chorionic covering of a|
|gestational||foetus, and growing in the uterus of the mother.|
|Chronic||Any illness characterized by long duration, or frequent|
|recurrence over a long time, and often by slowly|
|progressing severity; opposite of acute.|
|Chronic lymphocytic Often abbreviated as CLL. A type of slowly growing|
|leukemia||leukemia characterized by the excessive proliferation|
|of lymphocytes all over. A disease mainly of the|
|middle and old age.|
|Chronic myeloid||Often abbreviated as CML. A type of slowly|
|leukemia||progressing leukemia, characterized by the|
|excessive proliferation of granular white blood cells,|
|starting in the bone marrow and then appearing in|
|the blood and elsewhere. A disease mainly of the|
|middle and old age.|
|Cirrhosis||A chronic disease characterized by progressive|
|destruction and hardening of the liver.|
|Collagen||The fibrous protein that provides the scaffold for the|
|animal body, being one of the principal skeletal|
|substance binding cells and tissues together.|
|Colposcopy||Examination of the vagina and cervix with an|
|instrument called colposcope that provides|
|illumination and magnification.|
Cytodifferentiation The process whereby a cell changes its character to
|turn into another type of cell. Also called differentia-|
|Cytokinetic||Related to the process of cell division and prolifera-|
|tion the science of which is called cytokinetics.|
|Cytologist||One specializing in the study of cells. (Cytology).|
|Cytotoxic||Toxic or lethal to cells. X-rays and 'anticancer' drugs|
|are cytotoxic agents, being indiscriminately toxic to|
|both normal and cancerous cells.|
|Diabetes mellitus||What is commonly known as diabetes is medically|
|termed as diabetes mellitus (sweet diabetes)|
|because of the patient passing sugar in the urine.|
|Such diabetes is to be distinguished from diabetes|
|insipidus, wherein the patient passes large qualities|
|of 'insipid' urine.|
|Disease||The term is derived from old French desaise ( des -|
|absence of, and aise - ease), and really means dis-|
|ease or lack of ease. The etymologic emphasis has|
|been lost in medical science so that the word disease|
|is freely used even though the so-called disease - a|
|cancerous mass in the prostate or the breast - in no|
|way dis-eases the owner.|
|Dysplasia||Literally, abnormality of a tissue. In current fashion,|
|it implies cellular abnormalities of the lining epithelium|
|of the cervix of the uterus, that 'a pathologist|
|recognizes as abnormal, yet not to a degree he is|
|willing to call cancer.'|
|E.coli||Short form for Escherichia coli, a bacterium normally|
|found in billions in the human and animal intestine.|
|Ectopic||Out of the normal place. A hormone is normally|
|secreted by its special gland. When it is also secreted|
|elsewhere by another tissue, it is called ectopic|
|EKGitis||A term to describe the inordinate faith of the doctor|
|or the patient in the diagnostic and prognostic|
|usefulness of the electrocardiogram (ECG),|
|sometimes abbreviated as EKG.|
|Follow-up||The medical practice of periodically reassessing and|
|recording the condition of a patient following|
|diagnosis and/or treatment.|
|Gaussian distribution A theoretical frequency distribution that is bell|
|shaped, symmetrical and of infinite extent. Also|
|called normal distribution. Many a biologic feature,|
|related to health or disease, exhibits gaussian|
|Gerontology||Science of aging, and of the problems of the aged.|
|Grading||A mode of describing the severity of a cancer by|
|grading it as Grade 1 through 4. The severity of a|
|cancer is assumed to be directly proportional to the|
|departure of its cells from normality when seen|
|through a microscope. A cancer belongs to Grade 1|
|when most of its cells are near-normal in appearance|
|and arrangement, and to Grade 4 when most cells|
|look abnormal in appearance and arrangement.|
|Histological||Related to the study of tissue - normal or cancerous|
|- with a microscope. (Histology, Histologist).|
|Hodgkin's disease||A form of lymphoma with special microscopic|
|Hysterectomy||Surgical removal of the uterus.|
|Iatrogenic||Produced by a doctor. Also called iatral .|
|Immunological||Related to the science of immunology that studies|
|the nature of antigen/antibody reactions and cells|
|that possibly mediate the immunity (defence|
|mechanisms) of the body against a disease. (Tumour|
|Intercurrent disease The occurrence of an unrelated disease in a cancer|
|Leukemia||Cancer of the white blood cells.|
|Linear accelerator Specialized machine for X-ray treatment of cancer.|
|Such a machine, by the tremendous acceleration it|
|imparts to electrons, produces high energy, X-ray|
|beams, that allow a patient to be treated 'in one or|
|Lumpolytic||An agent that causes dissolution, albeit temporary,|
|of a cancerous lump.|
|Lymphoma||Cancer arising in lymphoid tissues. Unlike in|
|leukemias, the involvement of the bone marrow by|
|the cancerous cells, and their presence in the blood|
|stream are uncommon.|
|Malignancy||In cancerology, used as a synonym for cancer: hence,|
|malignant tumour or malignant lesion. In medicine|
|in general, malignant implies grave severity of a|
|disease: thus, malignant fever, malignant|
|hypertension, malignant malaria. A malignant|
|tumour shows microscopic features supposedly|
|characteristic of cancer. Opposite of benign.|
|Mammography||Study of the breast by X-rays.|
|Melanoma||A skin cancer arising from its pigmented cells; can|
|also arise from the eye, mucous membrane, and|
|Metastasis||Spread or transfer of disease (cancer, infection) from|
|its site of origin to another site nor directly connected|
|with it. (Metastatic, Metastasize).|
|Multifactorial||See Polygenic inheritance.|
|Mitral stenosis||Narrowing of the mitral valve of the heart.|
|Nasopharyngeal||Cancer of the nasopharynx, the region of the throat|
|carcinoma||behind the cavity of the nose.|
|Nephritis||Inflammation of the kidney.|
|Nephrosis||Non-inflammatory, degenerative disorder of the|
|Neoplastic||Development of cancer. Neoplasm, literally meaning|
|development||new (ly formed) tissue connotes cancer, although|
|such process also occurs in inflammation, wound|
|Ontolysis||Dissolution of one's own self.|
|Palliative||Any therapeutic measure that affords relief, but no|
|freedom from the disease. (Palliation, Palliatable).|
|Pernicious anaemia||A form of anaemia which, before the discovery of its|
|therapy with vitamin B 12 was inexorably fatal.|
Polygenic inheritance The occurrence of cancer in an individual is governed by many unidentifiable genes (hence called polygenic/multi-factorial inheritance) which in coordination with the genes of the entire herd,
|determine whether or not cancer would occur. And|
|such genetic governance in an individual is|
|quantitative and not qualifative. All humans can|
|develop cancer; only some do, for in them the|
|quantitative gene effect is sufficient enough to carry|
|them beyond a certain genetic threshold.|
|Polygenic inheritance has been invoked to explain|
|the occurrence of a wide variety of diseases ranging|
|from congenital malformations like cleft plata to|
|common diseases like peptic ulcer, heart attack,|
|diabetes, or hypertension.|
|Primary||In cancerology, it refers to the site where the cancer|
|first originates; hence, primary site, primary cancer,|
|primary growth, and so on. When a cancer, taking|
|off from the primary site, establishes itself at other|
|additional site/s physically discontinuous from the|
|primary, it is said to have formed secondary or|
|metastatic cancer. From the secondary site, the|
|whole process of metastasis can be repeated.|
|Probability||Etymologically and simply, it means likelihood.|
|Epistemologically, it implies a state of knowledge that|
|is less than certainly but greater than ignorance.|
|Epidemiologically, it means certainty at the herd level|
|which, being numerically smaller than the number|
|forming the herd, must of necessity be a matter of|
|chance, likelihood or probability when expressed at|
|an individual level. Such measurement or quantitation|
|of uncertainty is called probability.|
|The epidemiologic concept of probability can be best|
|amplified by acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a form|
|of blood cancer. Globally, it occurs at the rate of 2 to|
|3 cases per 100,000 population per year with little|
|variation from country to country. Here, the certainty|
|is 2 to 3 cases per 100,0|