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Glossary of Lung-Cancer Related Terms

A - D, E - O, P - Z

Environmental factors
Any external factor that may contribute to a person's risk for cancer. Examples include air pollution and smoking cigarettes.
Five-year survival rate
The estimated percentage of patients who are alive five years after receiving a cancer diagnosis.
Genetics
The internal coding related to heredity. For some types of cancer, genetics can serve as a contributing risk factor.
Hemoptysis
A potential symptom of lung cancer that involves the coughing up of blood from the respiratory tract.
Hormone therapy
Any cancer treatment that seeks to remove, block or increase hormone activity.
Hyperthermia
A cancer treatment that exposes localized areas of the body to high levels of heat in an attempt to kill off or damage cancer cells. The process may also be used to improve cancer cell sensitivity to radiation or chemotherapy.
Industrial substances
Any hazardous material that may increase the risk of cancer. Examples include diesel exhaust, coal products, arsenic, uranium, nickel chromates, gasoline and mustard gas.
Immunotherapy
A type of cancer treatment that seeks to bolster a patient's own immune system in order to fight off a disease.
Induction therapy
An initial regimen of chemotherapy treatments that is designed to spur remission.
Invasive cancer
Any cancer that has spread beyond the initial point of development.
Laser therapy
A cancer treatment that uses the heat from laser light to target and kill off cancer cells.
Lobectomy
A type of surgical operation that involves the removal of a lung lobe that contains cancer cells. More.
Lymph nodes
Small glands found in the body that filter out foreign or invading bodies before they can enter the blood stream. Invasive lung cancer often spreads to the lymph nodes first.
Malignant
A tumor that is cancerous. Malignant tumors invade nearby tissues and eventually spread to additional parts of the body.
Mediastinum
The portion of tissues and internal organs found between the two lungs. Important members of the mediastinum include the heart, trachea, lymph nodes and esophagus.
Metaplasia
Occurs when healthy cell tissue transforms into abnormal cell tissue.
Metastasis
The spread of cancer to other parts of the body.
Micrometastases
When cancer has spread to other parts of the body, but at levels too small to detect by routine screening tests.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
A device used to create pictures of internal organs. Unlike CT scan, an MRI makes use of a magnetic field to create the image as opposed to X-rays.
The National Lung Screening Trial
A study that began in 2002 to compare the effectiveness of two different lung cancer screening options – CT scan and chest X-ray. Preliminary results of the study suggest CT scan screenings lower risk of death from lung cancer by 20 percent.
Neoadjuvant therapy
A treatment that involves the application of chemotherapy or radiation prior to surgery. The purpose of neoadjuvant therapy is to shrink tumor size and eliminate any potential micrometastases that may be present.
Non-small cell lung cancer
Lung cancer that is not of the small cell carcinoma variety. Examples of non-small cell lung cancer include adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.
Oncology
The specific field of medicine that is devoted to cancer treatment.
Opioid
Pain medications often prescribed to reduce pain during the chemotherapy process. Examples include morphine and codeine.