NCCN Guidelines for Patients
: Caring for Adolescents and Young Adults
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Part 11: A cancer dictionary
Gastrointestinal (GI) tract
The group of organs that food passes
through when you eat.
Cells that develop into sperm (in men)
or eggs (in women).
Doctor who’s an expert in treating
cancer that starts in the female
reproductive organs (organs involved
in making babies).
Tube-like openings in the skin where
individual hairs develop and grow.
A measure of how much tumor cells
resemble healthy cells of the same
Chemicals in the body that activate
cells or organs.
The use of hypnosis to put patients
into a trance-like state of deep
relaxation during which they are more
accepting of suggestions.
Treatment that uses the immune
system to fight disease.
Surgery that removes a tissue sample
from the tumor to test for cancer cells.
Combining standard treatment with
complementary therapies that have
been shown to be safe and effective.
Radiation therapy that uses small
beams of different strengths based on
the thickness of the tissue.
Internal radiation therapy
Radiation received from a radioactive
object placed near or in the tumor.
Also called brachytherapy.
In vitro fertilization (IVF)
Procedure that removes eggs from
the ovaries and combines them with
sperm for fertilization in a lab.
Use of a thin, long tube with a light
and camera at the end inserted
through a small cut in the belly area
to view and remove tissue to test for
Surgery with a long surgical cut made
in the wall of the abdomen.
Cancer of the blood-forming tissue
Use of a thin needle inserted
into the lower part of the spinal
column to remove a small amount
of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) for
examination or to give drugs. Also
called a spinal tap.
A clear fluid containing white blood
Swelling due to buildup of lymph.
Small groups of special disease-
fighting cells located throughout the
A type of white blood cell.
Cancer that begins in cells of the
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
A test that uses radio waves and
powerful magnets to see the shape
and function of body parts.