This glossary reviews the meaning of some words used in "Chemotherapy
and You." It also explains some words related to chemotherapy that are
not mentioned in this booklet but that you may hear from your doctor or
Anticancer drugs or hormones given after surgery and/or radiation to help
prevent the cancer from coming back.
Having too few red blood cells. Symptoms of anemia include feeling tired,
weak, and short of breath.
A medicine that prevents or controls nausea and vomiting.
A term used to describe a tumor that is not cancerous.
Treatment to stimulate or restore the ability of the immune system to fight
infection and disease. Also called immunotherapy.
The number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets in a sample
of blood. This is also called the complete blood count (CBC).
The inner, spongy tissue of bones where red blood cells, white blood cells.
A general name for more than 100 diseases in which abnormal cells grow
out of control; a malignant tumor.
A thin flexible tube through which fluids can enter or leave the body.
Central venous catheter:
A special thin, flexible tube placed in a large vein. It remains there
for as long as it is needed to deliver and withdraw fluids.
The use of drugs to treat cancer.
Threadlike bodies found in the nucleus, or center part, of a cell that
carry the information of heredity.
Medical research studies conducted with volunteers. Each study is designed
to answer scientific questions and to find better ways to prevent or treat
Substances that stimulate the producation of blood cells. Treatment with
colony-stimulating factors (CSF) can help the blood-forming tissue recover
from the effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. These include granulocyte
colony-stimulating factors (G-CSF) and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating
The use of more than one drug to treat cancer.
Drugs that help the body get rid of excess water and salt.
Having to do with the digestive tract, which includes the mouth, esophagus,
stomach, and intestines.
Natural substances released by an organ that can influence the function
of other organs in the body.
Slow and/or prolonged intravenous delivery of a drug or fluids.
Using a syringe and needle to push fluids or drugs into the body; often
called a "shot."
Into an artery.
Into a cavity, or space, specifically the abdomen, pelvis, or the chest.
Into the cancerous area in the skin.
Into a muscle.
Into the spinal fluid.
Into a vein.
Used to describe a cancerous tumor.
When cancer cells break away from their original site and spread to other
parts of the body.
Treatment to relieve, rather than cure, symptoms caused by cancer. Palliative
care can help people live more comfortably.
A condition of the nervous system that usually begins in the hands and/or
feet with symptoms of numbness, tingling, burning and/or weakness. Can
be caused by certain anticancer drugs.
Per os (PO):
By mouth, orally.
Special blood cells that help stop bleeding.
A small plastic or metal container surgically placed under the skin and
attached to a central venous catheter inside the body. Blood and fluids
can enter or leave the body through the port using a special needle.
Cancer treatment with radiation (high-energy rays).
Red blood cells:
Cells that supply oxygen to tissues throughout the body.
The disappearance of signs and symptoms of disease.
Sores on the inside lining of the mouth.
Subcutaneous (SQ or SC):
Under the skin.
An abnormal growth of cells or tissues. Tumors may be benign (non- cancerous)
or malignant (cancerous).