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Cancer Terminology

CT Scan (computerized Tomography Scanning): Specialized, computerized x-ray studies often used to diagnose cancer and other conditions.

Chemotherapy: Drug treatment for cancer either through pills or injections.

Hospice: A concept of psychological and supportive care that meets the special needs of patients and families during the terminal stages of illness.

Malignant Tumor: A mass of cancer cells that may spread to other parts of the body.

Metastasis: The spread of cancer cells to distant areas of the body by way of the lymph system or blood stream.

MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging): A technique using magnetic fields to produce images of the body to diagnose cancer and other conditions.

Oncology: The science dealing with all aspects of cancer.

Palliative Care: Treatment that relieves symptoms, including pain, but does not alter the course of disease. The primary goal is to improve the quality of life.

Prognosis: A projection of the course of the disease and the future prospects for the patient.

Radiation Therapy: Treatment of cancer with high-energy radiation.

Respite Care: Care provided to a patient in the home or hospital by professionals that allows the usual caretakers (i.e., the family) to have a break from continuous care.

Screening: The search for disease in people without known symptoms.

Tumor: An abnormal tissue swelling or mass that may or may not be cancer.