Bladder Cancer

Glossary of Terms

A - C

Abdominal CT scan
A series of x-ray pictures taken of the abdomen by a machine that encircles the body like a giant tube. Computers are then used to generate cross-sectional images of the inside of the body.
Abscess
A pus-filled cavity.
Adenoma
A benign (non-cancerous) tumor made up of cells that form glands (collections of cells surrounding an empty space.)
Adjuvant chemotherapy
Chemotherapy given to patients after their cancers have been surgically removed. It is a secondary treatment given to supplement surgical treatment. (see Neoadjuvant chemotherapy)
Anaplastic cancer
Cancer cells that divide rapidly and revert to an undifferentiated form with no orientation to one another
Anemia
A condition characterized by a deficiency in red blood cells. This can lead to fatigue among other symptoms.
Angiography
A radiographic technique used to visualize blood vessels. A contrast medium (a dye) is usually injected into the vessels to make them appear white on the x-rays.
Anorexia
A condition marked by a diminished apetite and aversion to food. Often results in physical signs of wasting.
Antibody
Any of a large number of proteins that are produced normally by specialized B cells after stimulation by an antigen and act specifically against the antigen in an immune response
Antigen
Usually a protein or carbohydrate substance capable of stimulating an immune response
Ascites
The collection of excess amounts of fluid in the abdominal cavity (belly). It often is a sign that the cancer has spread to either the liver or the portal vein that goes to the liver. If normal liver function is affected, a complex set of biochemical checks and balances is disrupted and abnormal amounts of fluid are retained.
Assay
Analysis to determine the presence, absence, or quantity of one or more components
BCG (Bacille Calmette-Guerin)
Intravesical drug used to treat superficial bladder cancers.
Benign tumor
A tumor which is non-cancerous. These generally grow slowly and do not invade adjacent organs or spread (metastasize) beyond the bladder
Biomarker
A distinctive usually biochemical indicator of a biological or geochemical process or event
Biopsy
The removal and microscopic examination of a tissue sample.
Cachexia
A dramatic weight loss and general wasting that occurs during chronic disease.
Cancer
A malignant tumor. It has the potential of invading into the adjacent tissues, spreading to other organs and may eventually lead to the patient's death.
Carboplatin
Generic name for chemotherapy drug Paraplatin(r)
Carcinogen
A cancer-causing agent.
Carcinoma
A malignant (cancerous) new growth. These tumors infiltrate into surrounding tissues and, if untreated, will spread to other organs, and may eventually lead to the patient's death.
Catheter
A small, flexible tube inserted into the body to inject or suck out fluids.
Chemotherapy
The treatment of a cancer by chemicals. For bladder cancer these include: cisplatin (Platinol(r)), doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan(r)), methotrexate, vinblastine, gemcitabine and paclitaxel (Taxol(r)), and others.
Cisplatin
Generic name for chemotherapy drug Platinol(r)
Cohort
A group of individuals who share a common characteristic.
e.g. a group of individuals entered in a prospective study
Colonoscopy
Visual examination of the inside of the colon (large intestine) by means of a colonoscope (elongated flexible fiberoptic endoscope).
Computed tomography (CT) scan
A series of x-ray pictures taken by a machine that encircles the body like a giant tube. Computers are then used to generate cross-sectional images of the inside of the body.
Contrast agent (or medium)
A dye, taken by mouth or injected, that is sometimes used during x-ray examinations to highlight areas that otherwise might not be seen.
Cyclophosphamide
Generic name for chemotherapy drug Cytoxan(r)
Cystectomy
Surgical removal of the bladder
Cystoprostatectomy
Surgical removal of the bladder and prostate
Cystoscopy
Visual examination of the inside of the bladder by means of a cystoscope (Instrument that is passed through the urethra and allows visualization and biopsy of the bladder).
Cytoxan(r)
Trade/brand name for chemotherapy drug cyclophosphamide