OVARIAN CANCER

Abdomen: The part of the body below the diaphragm between the chest and pelvis that contains organs such as the liver, the bowel, the bladder, the kidneys, the ovaries and the uterus

Antiemetic: A medication given to prevent nausea and vomiting

Benign: Noncancerous

Biopsy: Microscopic examination of tissues and cells removed from the body to determine the presence of cancer

CA125: A blood protein that can be measured and is an important tumor marker in ovarian cancer

Cancer: A general term for more than 100 diseases characterized by uncontrolled, abnormal growth of cells in different parts of the body that can spread to other parts of the body

Carcinoma: One of the basic types of cancer in which the cancerous tumor begins in the tissues that line the skin and mucous membrane in the glands, lung, ovary, etc.

Cell: The basic structure of living tissues; all plants and animals are made of one or more cells

Chemotherapy: Treatment or control of cancer using anticancer drugs that destroy cancer cells by interfering with their growth and/or preventing their reproduction

Combination Chemotherapy: More than one (generally between 2 and 4) different anticancer drugs used together to treat cancer

CT or CAT Scan (Computerized Axial Tomography): A diagnostic procedure that combines an x-ray with a computer to produce highly-detailed, cross-sectional, three-dimensional pictures of the entire body. These tests are generally 100 times more sensitive than x-rays

Cyst: A fluid-filled sac

Diagnosis: The procedure by which a disease is identified

Drug Resistance: A condition in which a person's cancer cells no longer respond to chemotherapy

Epithelial: A type of tissue lining the skin and hollow organs

Gene: The biologic unit of heredity that determines the traits a person gets from past generations

Hysterectomy: Surgical removal of the uterus

Intravenously: Through a vein

Invasive: Growing into and destroying normal tissue

Laparoscopy: Examination of abdominal organs with a laparoscope (a lighted tubular instrument) passed through a small incision in the abdominal wall

Laparotomy: Any surgical procedure which involves opening the abdominal cavity for examination (exploratory laparotomy) or to perform additional surgery

Lymph Nodes: Small glands located throughout the body that filter out and destroy bacteria and that can collect cancer cells

Malignant: Cancerous

Metastasis: A spread of cancer from one part of the body to another

MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging): A new, sophisticated technique to examine the body using powerful electromagnets, radiofrequency waves, and a computer to produce internal pictures of the body

Oncologist: A doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer

Oophorectomy: Surgical removal of one (unilateral) or both (bilateral) diseased ovaries

Pap (Papanicolaou) Smear: The microscopic examination of cells from the vagina or the cervix of the uterus

Peritoneum: A transparent membrane that lines the inside of the abdomen

Prognosis: A prediction about the possible outcome of a disease

Recurrence: Reappearance of a cancer

Remission: A decrease or disappearance of disease

Staging: A method to describe the extent of cancer, using such characteristics as the size of the tumor, lymph node involvement, and where it has spread

Tumor: An abnormal growth of cells that can be benign or malignant

Ultrasound (ultrasonography, Sonogram): An examination to locate and measure cystic tumors using very high frequency sound waves, which the human ear cannot hear

Vaccine: A substance used for injection that contains part of the antigen from an infectious agent. It protects against infection from that organism in the future by stimulating the immune response to it

White Blood Cells: The blood cells responsible for fighting infection