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Adjuvant Therapy

Assisting primary treatment. Drugs are given early in the course of treatment, along with surgery and radiation to attack deposits of cancer cells that may be too small to be detected by diagnostic techniques.

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Alkylating agents

Synthetic chemicals containing alkyl groups that attack DNA, causing strand breaks.

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Anaplasia

Loss of differentiation of cells; reversion to a more primitive cell type.

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Angiogenesis

Process of forming new blood vessels.

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Antibiotics

Chemical substance, produced by bacteria or primitive plants. They inhibit the growth of cells and are used in cancer chemotherapy.

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Antimetabolites

Chemicals the prevent cell division by inhabiting formation of substances necessary to make DNA; used in cancer chemotherapy.

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Antimitotics

Drugs that block mitosis (cell division). Taxol is an antimitoic used to treat breast and ovarian cancers.

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Apoptosis

Programmed cell death. Normal cells undergo apoptosis when damaged or aging. Some cancer cells have lost the ability to undergo apoptosis, and the live forever.

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Benign tumor

Noncancerous growth (neoplasm).

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Biological response modifiers

Substance produced by normal cells the either directly block tumor growth or stimulate the immune system to fight cancer.

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Biological therapy

Use of the body's own defenses to destroy tumor cells.

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Brachytherapy

Radiotherapy the uses insertion of sealed containers into body cavities or radioactive seeds directly into the tumor.

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Carcinogens

Agents that cause cancer; chemicals and drugs, radiation, and viruses.

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Carcinoma

Cancerous tumor made up cells of epithelial origin.

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Cellular oncogenes

Pieces of DNA that, when activated by mutations or by dislocation, can cause a normal cell to become malignant.

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Chemotherapy

Treatment with drugs,

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Combination chemotherapy

Use of several chemotherapeutic agents together for the treatment of tumors.

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Dedifferentiation

Loss of differentiation of cells; reversion to a mor primitive, embryonic cell type; Anaplasia or undifferentiation.

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Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)

Genetic material within the nucleus of a cell; controls cell division and protein synthesis.

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Differentiating agents

Drugs the promote tumor cells to differentiate, stop growing, and die.

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Differentiation

Specialization of cells.

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Electron beams

Low-energy beams of radiation for treatment of skin or surface tumor.

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Encapsulated

Surrounded by a capsule; benign tumors are encapsulated.

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External beam irradiation

Applying radiation to a tumor from a source outside the body.

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Fields

Dimensions of the area of the body undergoing irradiation.

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Fractionation

Giving radiation in small, repeated doses.

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Genetic screening

Family members are tested to determine whether they have inherited a cancer-causing gene.

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Grading of tumors

Evaluating the degree of maturity of tumor cells or indication of malignant transformation.

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Gray (Gy)

Unit of absorbed radiation dose.

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Gross description of tumors

Visual appearance of tumors to the naked eye: cystic, fungating, inflammatory, medullary, necrotic, polypoid, ulcerating, or verrucous.

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Infiltrative

Extending beyond normal tissue boundaries into adjacent tissues.

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Invasive

Having the ability to enter and destroy surrounding tissue.

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Irradiation

Exposure to any form of radiant energy such as light, heat, or x-rays.

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Linear accelerator

Large electric device that produces high-energy x-ray beams for treatment of deep-seated tumors.

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Malignant tumor

A tumor having the characteristics of continuous growth, invasiveness, and metastasis.

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Mesenchymal

Embryonic connective tissue. This is the tissue from which connective tissues arise.

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Metastasis

Spread of malignant tumor to a secondary site; literally, beyond control.

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Microscopic description of tumors

Appearance of tumors when viewed under a microscope: alveolar, carcinoma in situ, diffuse, dysplastic, epidermoid, follicular, papillary, pleomorphic, scirrhous, or undifferentiated.

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Mitosis

Replication of cells; a stage in a cell's life cycle involving the production of two identical cells from a parent cell.

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Mixed-tissue tumors

Tumors composed of different types of tissue (epithelial as well as connective tissue).

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Modality

Method of treatment, such as surgery, chemotherapy, or irradiation.

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Molecularly targeted drugs

Anticancer drugs designed to block the function of growth factors, their receptors, and signaling pathways in specific tumor cells.

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Morbidity

Condition of being unwell or deficient in normal function.

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Mucinous

Containing mucus.

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Mutation

Change in the genetic material (DNA) of a cell; may be caused by chemicals, radiation, or viruses or may occur spontaneously.

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Neoplasm

New growth; benign or malignant tumor

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Nucleotide

Unit of DNA (gene) composed of sugar, phosphate, and abase. The sequence or arrangement of nucleotides on a gene is the genetic code.

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Oncogene

Region of DNA in tumor cells or in viruses that cause cancer. Oncogenes are designed by a three letter name, such as abl, erb, jun, myc, ras, and src.

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Palliative

Relieving but not curing symptoms.

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Pedunculated

Possessing a stem or stalk; characteristic of some polypoid tumors.

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Photon therapy

Radiation therapy using energy in the form of x-rays or gamma rays.

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Protocol

Detailed plan for treatment of an illness.

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Proton therapy

Subatomic positively changed particles produced by a cyclotron deposit a dose of radiation at tightly focused point in the body.

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Radiation

Energy carried by stream of particles.

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Radiocurable tumor

Tumor that is destroyed by radiation therapy.

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Radioresistant tumor

Tumor the requires large doses of radiation to be destroyed.

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Radiosensitive tumor

Tumor in which radiation can cause the death of cells without serious damage to surrounding tissue.

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Radiosensitizers

Drugs that increase the sensitivity of tumors to x-rays.

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Radiotherapy

Treatment of tumors using doses of radiation; radiation oncology.

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Relapse

Recurrence of tumor after treatment.

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Remission

Partial or complete disappearance of symptoms of disease.

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Ribonucleic acid (RNA)

Cellular substance the represents a copy of DNA and directs the formation of new protein inside cells.

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Sarcoma

Cancerous tumor derived from connective of flesh tissue.

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Serous

Having the appearance of a thin, watery fluid (serum).

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Sessile

Having no stem; characteristic of some polypoid tumors.

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Simulation

Study using CT scan or MRI to map treatment before with radiotherapy is given.

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Solid tumor

Tumor composed of a mass of cells.

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Staging of tumors

System of evaluating the extent of spread of tumors.

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Stereotactic radiosurgery

Delivery of dose of radiation under stereotactic guidance.

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Steroids

Complex, naturally occurring chemicals derived from cholesterol. Some are used in cancer chemotherapy.

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Surgical procedures to treat cancer

Methods of removing cancerous tissue: cryosurgery, cauterization, en bloc resection, excisional biopsy, exenteration, fulguration, incisional biopsy.

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Viral Ocongenes

Pieces of DNA from viruses that infect a normal ell and cause it to become malignant.

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Virus

An infectious agent the reproduces by entering a host cell and using the host's genetic material to make copies of itself.

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alveol/o

small sac

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cac/o

bad

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carcin/o

cancer, cancerous

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cauter/o

burn, heat

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chem/o

chemical, drug

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cry/o

cold

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cyst/o

sac of fluid

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fibr/o

fibers

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follicul/o

small glandular sacs

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fung/i

fungus, mushroom

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medull/o

soft, inner part

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mucos/o

mucous membrane

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mut/a

genetic change

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mutagen/o

causing genetic change

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necr/o

death

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neur/o

nerve

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onc/o

tumor

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papill/o

nipple-like

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plas/o

formation

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ple/o

many

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polyp/o

polyp

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prot/o

first

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radi/o

rays

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sarc/o

flesh, connective tissue

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scirrh/o

hard

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xer/o

dry

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ana-

backward

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apo-

off, away

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brachy-

short (distant)

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epi-

upon

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meta-

beyond; change

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tele-

far

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-blastoma

immature tumor

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-genesis

formation

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-oma

mass, tumor

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-plasia

formation, gowth

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-plasm

formation, growth

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-suppression

to stop

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-therapy

treatment