Adenocarcinoma (A-den-oh-KAR-sih-NOH-muh): Cancer that begins in cells that line certain internal organs and that have gland-like (secretory) properties.
Anesthetic (a-nes-THEH-tik): A substance that causes loss of feeling or awareness. Local anesthetics cause loss of feeling in a part of the body. General anesthetics put the person to sleep.
Barium solution: A liquid containing barium sulfate that is used in x-rays to highlight parts of the digestive system.
Barium swallow: A series of x-rays of the esophagus. The x-ray pictures are taken after the person drinks a solution that contains barium. The barium coats and outlines the esophagus on the x-ray. Also called esophagram and upper GI series.
Barrett’s esophagus (BA-ret ee-SAH-fuh-gus): A condition in which the cells lining the lower part of the esophagus have changed or been replaced with abnormal cells that could lead to cancer of the esophagus. The backing up of stomach contents (reflux) may irritate the esophagus and, over time, cause Barrett esophagus.
Benign (beh-NINE): Not cancerous. Benign tumors may grow larger but do not spread to other parts of the body.
Biopsy (BY-op-see): The removal of cells or tissues for examination by a pathologist. The pathologist may study the tissue under a microscope or perform other tests on the cells or tissue. There are many different types of biopsy procedures. The most common types include: (1) incisional biopsy, in which only a sample of tissue is removed; (2) excisional biopsy, in which an entire lump or suspicious area is removed; and (3) needle biopsy, in which a sample of tissue or fluid is removed with a needle. When a wide needle is used, the procedure is called a core biopsy. When a thin needle is used, the procedure is called a fine-needle aspiration biopsy.
Body Mass Index (BMI): Body mass index. A measure that relates body weight to height. BMI is sometimes used to measure total body fat and whether a person is a healthy weight. Excess body fat is linked to an increased risk of some diseases including heart disease and some cancers.
Bone scan: A technique to create images of bones on a computer screen or on film. A small amount of radioactive material is injected into a blood vessel and travels through the bloodstream; it collects in the bones and is detected by a scanner.
Brachytherapy (BRAY-kee-THAYR-uh-pee): A type of radiation therapy in which radioactive material sealed in needles, seeds, wires, or catheters is placed directly into or near a tumor. Also called radiation brachytherapy, internal radiation therapy, and implant radiation therapy.
Bronchoscopy (bron-KOS-koh-pee) A procedure that uses a bronchoscope to examine the inside of the trachea, bronchi (air passages that lead to the lungs), and lungs. A bronchoscope is a thin, tube-like instrument with a light and a lens for viewing. It may also have a tool to remove tissue to be checked under a microscope for signs of disease. The bronchoscope is inserted through the nose or mouth. Bronchoscopy may be used to detect cancer or to perform some treatment procedures.
Calcium (KAL-see-um): A mineral found in teeth, bones, and other body tissues.
Capecitabine (ka-peh-SITE-uh-been): A drug used to treat stage III colon cancer in patients who had surgery to remove the cancer. It is also used to treat metastatic breast cancer that has not improved after treatment with certain other anticancer drugs. Capecitabine is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It is taken up by cancer cells and breaks down into 5-fluorouracil, a substance that kills tumor cells. Capecitabine is a type of antimetabolite. Also called Xeloda.
Carboplatin (KAR-boh-pla-tin): A drug that is used to treat advanced ovarian cancer that has never been treated or symptoms of ovarian cancer that has come back after treatment with other anticancer drugs. It is also used with other drugs to treat advanced, metastatic, or recurrent non-small cell lung cancer and is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Carboplatin is a form of the anticancer drug cisplatin and causes fewer side effects in patients. It attaches to DNA in cells and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of platinum compound. Also called Paraplatin.
Cancer (KAN-ser): A term for diseases in which abnormal cells divide without control. Cancer cells can invade nearby tissues and can spread to other parts of the body through the blood and lymph systems.
Carcinoma in situ (KAR-sih-NOH-muh in SY-too): A group of abnormal cells that remain in the tissue in which they first formed. These abnormal cells may become cancer and spread into nearby normal tissue.
Cell: The individual unit that makes up the tissues of the body. All living things are made up of one or more cells.
Chemotherapy (KEE-moh-THAYR-uh-pee): Treatment with drugs that kill cancer cells.
Cisplatin (sis-PLA-tin) A drug used to treat many types of cancer. Cisplatin contains the metal platinum. It kills cancer cells by damaging their DNA and stopping them from dividing. Cisplatin is a type of alkylating agent. Also called Platinol.
Clinical trial: A type of research study that tests how well new medical approaches work in people. These studies test new methods of screening, prevention, diagnosis, or treatment of a disease. Also called a clinical study.
Contrast material: A dye or other substance that helps to show abnormal areas inside the body. It is given by injection into a vein, by enema, or by mouth. Contrast material may be used with x-rays, CT scans, MRI, or other imaging tests.
CT scan: Computed tomography scan (kum-PYOO-ted tuh-MAH-gruh-fee skan). A series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body taken from different angles; the pictures are created by a computer linked to an x-ray machine. Also called computerized tomography and computerized axial tomography (CAT) scan.
Digestive tract (dy-JES-tiv): The organs through which food and liquids pass when they are swallowed, digested, and eliminated. These organs are the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small and large intestines, and rectum and anus.
Dumping syndrome: A condition that occurs when food or liquid moves too fast into the small intestine. Symptoms include cramps, nausea, diarrhea, sweating, weakness, and dizziness. Dumping syndrome sometimes occurs in people who have had part or all of their stomach removed.
Endoscope (EN-doh-SKOPE): A thin, tube-like instrument used to look at tissues inside the body. An endoscope has a light and a lens for viewing and may have a tool to remove tissue.
Endoscopic ultrasound (en-doh-SKAH-pik UL-truh-SOWND): EUS. A procedure in which an endoscope is inserted into the body. An endoscope is a thin, tube-like instrument that has a light and a lens for viewing. A probe at the end of the endoscope is used to bounce high-energy sound waves (ultrasound) off internal organs to make a picture (sonogram). Also called endosonography.
Endoscopy (en-DOSS-koh-pee): A procedure that uses an endoscope to examine the inside of the body. An endoscope is a thin, tube-like instrument with a light and a lens for viewing. It may also have a tool to remove tissue to be checked under a microscope for signs of disease.
Esophageal cancer (ee-SAH-fuh-JEE-ul KAN-ser): Cancer that forms in tissues lining the esophagus (the muscular tube through which food passes from the throat to the stomach). Two types of esophageal cancer are squamous cell carcinoma (cancer that begins in flat cells lining the esophagus) and adenocarcinoma (cancer that begins in cells that make and release mucus and other fluids).
Dilate (DYE-late): To widen or enlarge an opening or hollow structure beyond its usual size, such as the pupil of the eye or a blood vessel.
Dysphagia: Difficulty swallowing.
Ellence (eh-LENTS): A drug used together with other drugs to treat early breast cancer that has spread to lymph nodes. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Ellence is a type of anthracycline antibiotic. Also called epirubicin (ECF) and epirubicin hydrochloride.
Endoscope (EN-doh-SKOPE): a thin, tube-like instrument used to look at tissues inside the body. An endoscope has a light and a lens for viewing and may have a tool to remove tissue.
Epidermis (EH-pih-DER-mis): the outer layer of the two main layers of the skin.
Epithelium (EP-ih-THEE-lee-um): a thin layer of tissue that covers organs, glands, and other structures within the body.
Esophagus (ee-SAH-fuh-gus): the muscular tube through which food passes from the throat to the stomach.
Esophageal (ee-SAH-fuh-JEE-ul): having to do with the esophagus, the muscular tube through which food passes from the throat to the stomach.
Esophagectomy (ee-SAH-fuh-JEK-toh-mee): an operation to remove a portion of the esophagus.
Esophagitis (ee-sof-uh-JY-tis): inflammation of the esophagus (the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach).
Etiology (EE-tee-AH-loh-jee) the cause or origin of disease.
Fluorouracil (5-FU): (floor-oh-YOOR-uh-sil): a drug used to treat symptoms of cancer of the colon, breast, stomach, and pancreas. It is also used in a cream to treat certain skin conditions. Fluorouracil stops cells from making DNA and it may kill cancer cells. It is a type of antimetabolite. Also called 5-fluorouracil and 5-FU.
Gastroenterologist (GAS-troh-EN-teh-RAH-loh-jist): A doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating disorders of the digestive system.
Gastroesophageal junction: The place where the esophagus is connected to the stomach.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
Hereditary (huh-REH-dih-tayr-ee): transmitted from parent to child by information contained in the genes.
Immune System (ih-MYOON SIS-tem): the complex group of organs and cells that defends the body against infections and other diseases.
Infection: Invasion and multiplication of germs in the body. Infections can occur in any part of the body and can spread throughout the body. The germs may be bacteria, viruses, yeast, or fungi. They can cause a fever and other problems, depending on where the infection occurs. When the body’s natural defense system is strong, it can often fight the germs and prevent infection. Some cancer treatments can weaken the natural defense system.
In situ (in SY-too): in its original place. For example, in carcinoma in situ, abnormal cells are found only in the place where they first formed. They have not spread.
Invasive Procedure: A medical procedure that invades (enters) the body, usually by cutting or puncturing the skin or by inserting instruments into the body.
Laser (LAY-zer): a device that forms light into intense, narrow beams that may be used to cut or destroy tissue, such as cancer tissue. It may also be used to reduce lymphedema (swelling caused by a buildup of lymph fluid in tissue) after breast cancer surgery. Lasers are used in microsurgery, photodynamic therapy, and many other procedures to diagnose and treat disease.
Localized: Restricted to the site of origin, without evidence of spread.
Lymph Nodes: (limf node): a rounded mass of lymphatic tissue that is surrounded by a capsule of connective tissue. Lymph nodes filter lymph (lymphatic fluid), and they store lymphocytes (white blood cells). They are located along lymphatic vessels. Also called lymph gland.
Malignant (muh-LIG-nunt): cancerous. Malignant cells can invade and destroy nearby tissue and spread to other parts of the body.
MIE : Minimally Invasive Esophagectomy.
Mucosa (myoo-KOH-suh): the moist, inner lining of some organs and body cavities (such as the nose, mouth, lungs, and stomach). Glands in the mucosa make mucus (a thick, slippery fluid). Also called mucous membrane.
Nausea: A feeling of sickness or discomfort in the stomach that may come with an urge to vomit. Nausea is a side effect of some types of cancer therapy.
No Evidence of Disease (NED)
Non-invasive: In medicine, it describes a procedure that does not require inserting an instrument through the skin or into a body opening. In cancer, it describes disease that has not spread outside the tissue in which it began.
Nurse: a health professional trained to care for people who are ill or disabled.
Odynophagia: difficulty swallowing, see Dysphagia
Oncologist (on-KAH-loh-jist): a doctor who specializes in treating cancer. Some oncologists specialize in a particular type of cancer treatment. For example, a radiation oncologist specializes in treating cancer with radiation.
Oxaliplatin (ok-SAL-ih-pla-tin): a drug used with other drugs to treat colorectal cancer that is advanced or has come back. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Oxaliplatin attaches to DNA in cells and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of platinum compound. Also called Eloxatin.
Oxygen: A colorless, odorless gas. It is needed for animal and plant life. Oxygen that is breathed in enters the blood from the lungs and travels to the tissues.