substance that can cause cancer
million fibers per liter - a measure of asbestos concentration in the air
parts per million - used to identify the concentration of contaminants such as asbestos in water
CAT scan
Computerized tomography - a diagnostic medical test that uses X-Rays to create a 3-dimensional image of part of the body
magnetic resonance imaging - a diagnostic medical test that uses magnetic fields to create a 3-dimensional image of part of the body
Glandular cancer or carcinoma. Also called "nonsmall cell lung cancer". Tumors include cube or column-shaped cells found along the outer edges of the lungs and under the membrane lining of the bronchi
A class of drugs used in chemotherapy.
A mineral fiber. Breathing high levels of asbestos fibers can lead to lung cancer.
The use of anticancer drugs, generally administered through an IV, to treat cancer.
The use of skilled and scientific methods to establish the cause and nature of a disease.
The study of a disease that is widespread and rapidly spreading. More.
The science and study of the causes, origins and reasons of diseases and their mode of operation.
PET Scan
Explanation here.
The incidental development of a disease due to a series of changes in the structure and functions of cells.
Lining of the abdominal organs and cavity
The "sac" or membrane that surrounds the heart.
The thin covering that protects and cushions the lungs and chest cavity. The pleura is made up of two membrane (layers of tissue) that are separated by a small amount of fluid.
study of abnormal (diseased) tissue conditions.
Treatment that is not expected to cure, but rather to slow down the progress of a disease and make the person comfortable and as happy as possible throughout the process.
The formation of new blood vessels. Angiogenesis is essential for the growth of tumors. Tumor cells release chemicals to encourage blood vessel growth.
Prevention of the growth of new blood vessels. Drug designers use this strategy to try to slow tumor growth.
angiogenesis inhibitor
A chemical which signals the process of angiogenesis to stop and thereby prevents the formation of blood vessels. In anticancer therapy, an angiogenesis inhibitor prevents the growth of blood vessels from surrounding tissue to a solid tumor.
Clinical trial in which participants do not know what treatment they are receiving. The doctors and nurses treating them don't know either. Researchers keep this information secret until each patient's health status is known, usually after at least a year or more of treatments.
Clinical Trials
Studies which compare a well-known, or standard, treatment with a newly developed treatment. Clinical trials are usually done in three phases. Phase I tests the safety of the treatment on a small number of patients. Phase II assesses the effectiveness of the treatment and usually involves a larger group of people. Phase III provides in-depth information about the effectiveness and safety, by comparing experimental treatment with the standard protocol. Phase III trials usually involve several thousand patients nationwide. Randomized clinical trials, considered the "gold standard" of scientific research, involve study participants who are randomly assigned to different treatment groups and then compared.
Adjuvant therapy
Chemotherapy drugs (including hormones) given after surgery or radiation or both to help prevent the cancer from coming back.
Having too few red blood cells. Common side effect of chemotherapy. Symptoms of anemia include feeling tired, weak, and short of breath.
Biologic therapy
Treatment that stimulates the body's immune defense system to fight infection and disease. Also called immunotherapy. Some doctors consider this a type of chemotherapy, but it is usually classified as a separate type of treatment.
Wasting Syndrome. More on cachexia and mesothelioma patients.
Clinical trials
Medical research studies conducted with volunteers. Each study is designed to answer scientific questions and to find better ways to detect, prevent, or treat cancer. Combination chemotherapy: The use of more than one drug to treat cancer.
The spread of cancer cells to distant areas of the body through the lymph system or bloodstream.
Radiation therapy
The use of high-energy rays or subatomic particles to treat disease. Types of radiation include x-ray, electron beam, alpha and beta particle, and gamma ray.


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