lung cancer information - glossary
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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 possible result.

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 treatment.

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 to radiation.

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.

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