Understanding Medical Terminology Associated With Cancer Cancer can be difficult enough to understand without trying to interpret complex medical terminology. A basic understanding of these terms can make dealing with a cancer diagnosis less complex. Find out what some often used terms mean before your follow up appointment with your doctor and talking to your loved ones.
Benign growths are noncancerous but some benign growths have the potential to become cancerous if left untreated. Usually, benign tumors are contained within a sheath, which prevents them from metastasizing into other parts of the body. Benign tumors must normally be removed surgically because they do not respond to chemotherapy or radiation treatment. The two major issues surrounding benign tumors are the fact that they may be precancerous and the growth of the tumor pressing against and interfering with the processes of vital organs. Malignant tumors have the ability to progress into cancer, metastasize into other areas, and may result in the death of the patient. Malignant tumors involve unregulated cell growth and uncontrolled cell division.
Metastasis in the term used to describe cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. Metastasis may involve the local, surrounding area, the lymph or blood system, organs that are near to the origin or distant organs. Staging of cancer takes several things into account including the extent and severity of metastasis.
Morbidity is used to define the incidence of cancer within the population. Mortality or mortality rate refers to the number of people within a defined population who die from a specific disease. The survival rate defines the number of people with cancer who have lived beyond a specified period of time after being diagnosed or treated for the disease. These rates give you a very general idea of how may people are affected with cancer, how many people die from cancer and the percentage of cancer patients who were able to survive cancer. These rates are available as a whole or broken down by each type of cancer. For example, the mortality rate is much higher for people with lung cancer than it is for people with skin cancer. However, the rate of morbidity is higher for skin cancer than it is for lung cancer.
Systemic therapy uses chemicals, radioactive substances or hormones injected into the bloodstream to reach all cells throughout the body. While many types of systemic therapies are highly effective, they also affect noncancerous cells and create a wide range of serious side effects. Chemotherapy, radiation and biological therapy are the most widely used treatments to destroy cancer cells and
prevent them from reproducing.
Remission is used to describe the period of time after treatment when the symptoms of cancer are reduced or ended. Remission can be temporary or a permanent cure. Recurrence is the return of cancer symptoms after a period of being symptom-free.
Learning the terminology will not make your fight against cancer easier but it can simplify the process of understanding and discussing what is happening. Know what these terms mean and how they affect your health. Click Here For More Information
Published on Jun 19, 2012
Published on Jun 19, 2012
survival rate defines the number of people with cancer who have lived beyond a specified period of