Glossary of lung cancer information and definitions
If you are diagnosed with lung cancer, or even if you have been told
that there is a possibility of having lung cancer, you are likely to fund
yourselves overwhelmed by a plethora of unfamiliar terms, treatments,
medicines and more. This glossary of lung cancer information is presented
to help you understand these terms better and therefore communicate better
with your care providers.
adjuvant therapy (ADD-joo-vent THAIR-uh-pee): Refers to treatment
used after the primary treatment for effecting a cure. In the case of lung
cancer, chemotherapy is often used as an adjuvant therapy - it is often
given after surgery to eliminate remaining cancerous cells.
biological therapy (bye-uh-LAH-juh-kul THAIR-uh-pee): Also known as
immunotherapy. This type of treatment aims to boost the body's immune
response to fight cancer.
bronchi (BRAHNK-eye): These are the main airways that go from the
windpipe to the lungs.
bronchial carcinoma (BRAHN-kee-yul kar-sin-OH-muh): Another name
for cancer that affects the bronchi.
cervical mediastinoscopy (SUR-vuh-kul MEE-dee-eh-stye-NAH-skuh-pee):
This is a procedure, involving surgery, that allows doctors to view the
central area of the chest. A small incision is made in the neck and a
specially designed instrument is inserted into the chest cavity. This
procedure is used to determine the extent to which cancer has spread and
whether it has affected the lymph nodes.
clinical trial: A research study in which patients volunteer to try
out new medications, diagnostic methods, etc. In the case of diseases like
lung cancer, clinical trials may offer patients a chance to try out new
treatments that may not become widely available for several more years.
Thus, clinical trials may offer some patients a chance of survival when
all other options have been exhausted.
EGFR inhibitors: EFGR stands for epidermal growth factor receptor.
EFGR inhibitors are a type of medications that prevent cancer cells from
growing or reproducing.
extensive stage SCLC: An advanced stage of small cell lung cancer.
Here, the malignancy has spread to other parts of the body.
gene therapy: A type of therapy that alters the structure of the
genes. It can make cancer cells more receptive to treatment, to cite one
lobectomy: Surgical removal of a single lobe of a lung.
mesothelioma (mez-uh-thee-lee-YOH-muh): A type of lung tumor that
occurs almost always as a result of asbestos exposure.
metastasized: Cancer that spreads beyond its original location. For
instance, lung cancer that spreads to the liver.
neoadjuvant therapy (NEE-oh-ADD-joo-vent THAIR-uh-pee): Treatment
used prior to the main treatment, often to enhance the effect of the main
oat cell cancer: Better known as small cell lung cancer. The name
oat cell cancer describes the appearance of the cancerous cells - they
look like grains of oat.
peripheral neuropathy (puh-RIF-uh-rul noo-RAH-puh-thee): A side
effect of certain medications used to treat cancer. The patient may
experience tingling sensations of numbness in the hands or feet.
pneumonectomy (noo-muh-NEK-tuh-mee): Lung removal through surgery.
prognosis (prahg-NOH-sis): The likely course followed by a disease
and the probable outcome.
radiation therapy (ray-dee-AY-shin THAIR-a-pee): A type of
treatment for cancer where the affected cells are killed by exposing them
resection: Surgical removal of a part of an organ or the entire
organ. Resections are often used to treat lung cancer in its early stages.
The above lung cancer information should allow you to be better equipped
to deal with medical professionals when discussing lung cancer.