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6: Cancer

QuestionAnswer
adenocarcinoma cancers of glandular epithelial cells
adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) a dominant tumor suppressor gene on chromosome 5. Mutations of APC are associated with familial adenomatous polyposis or FAP
anaplasia loss of normal shape and organization of cells and tissues associated with malignant transformation
anemia reduction in the number of red blood cells, often causing fatigue
anorexia loss of appetite
benign non-cancerous
benign tumors non-cancerous tumors
blood dyscrasias an imbalance of the cellular components of the blood
BRCA1 a dominant tumor suppressor gene on chromosome 17 that repairs damaged DNA. BRCA-1 mutations are found in about 7% of women with a history of breast cancer
BRCA-2 a dominant tumor suppressor gene on chromosome 13 that repairs damaged DNA. BRCA-1 and 2 mutations are responsible for about 5-10% of all breast cancers
cachexia general physical wasting and malnutrition associated with chronic disease
cancer any neoplasm that demonstrates uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells and is associated with invasive spread and metastasis
carcinoma cancers of squamous epithelial cells
carcinoma in situ (cis) he earliest stage in development of carcinomas when cancer cells have not spread beyond their immediate site of origin, as when epithelial cells have not yet invaded through the basement membrane of their extracellular cell matrix
caretaker genes genes that produce the proteins that repair damaged DNA
cellular proto-oncogenes (c-onc) any of at least 50 different genes in the human genome such as ras that are expressed during the cell growth cycle. Cancer of a cell is usually the result of multiple mutations in c-onc genes.
differentiation the process of anatomic and functional maturation demonstrated by normal cells and tissues. Progressively more undifferentiated malignancies are more primitive, under less genetic regulatory control, and are more aggressive
ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) the pre-invasive stage of breast duct cell cancer
dysplasia abnormally appearing cells usually of squamous epithelium considered to be a pre-malignant change
erythrocytes red blood cells
familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) a familial form of colon cancer caused by mutations of the APC gene, characterized by development of thousands of polyps of the colon resulting in colon cancer before the third or fourth decade of life
five-year survival the customary method of describing prognosis as the percent likelihood that an individual with a cancer of a specific stage and grade will be alive in five years
hereditary non-polyposis colon cancer (HNPCC) ("Lynch syndrome") colon cancer associated with mutations of any of five different genes on chromosomes 2, 3, and 7 that comprise 5-15 % of all cases of colon cancer
homologous replication DNA repair accomplished by certain caretaker genes by copying the correct (non-mutated) nucleotide(s) from another homologous strand, either on the other chromosome, a sister chromatid, or homologous repeat sequences on the same chromosome
HPC1 a mutated dominant gene on chromosome 1 associated with familial prostate cancer that increases the risk of developing cancer before 55 years of age
hyperplasia increased proliferation of cells with normal appearance in tissue often involving glandular epithelium and considered a pre-malignant change
leucopenia reduction in the number of white blood cells that may cause decreased immune responsiveness, including reduced resistance to infection
leukemia cancer of the white blood cells that may be chronic or acute and is named for the type of white blood cell most prominently involved
lymphoma cancer of the lymphoid tissue
malignancy cancer
malignant tumors cancerous tumors
mesothelioma malignancy of the pleura, or fibrous covering of the lung, constituting about 5% of all forms of lung cancer
metastasis transfer of any disease causing agent from one part of the body to another associated with the development of the same pathologic changes in the new location
mitotic index the number of cells within a microscopic field that are undergoing mitosis; a high mitotic index is associated with more rapid cell proliferation and, usually a more virulent malignancy
neoplasm a new growth of tissue that serves no physiologic purpose; a tumor
oncogenes genes that are uncontrollably activated by mutations or loss of control by regulator genes, leading to malignant transformation
oncogenesis the induction or formation of tumors
oncology the medical discipline that studies and treats various forms of cancer
p53 a gene on chromosome 17 that produces a protein that suppresses cell division and/or induces cellular apoptosis. Mutations of p53 are associated with 60% of lung cancers and more rapid progression of cancers of bladder, brain, breast, cervix, gastrointest
pleura the connective tissue covering of the lung
prostate specific antigen (PSA) an enzyme secreted by the epithelial cells of the prostate gland that is used as a screening test for prostate cancer
ras a gene on chromosome 11 that produces a signaling enzyme that activates other genes initiating mitosis. Mutations in ras irreversibly switch on mitosis. Ras mutations are present in 30% of cancers and are associated with cancers of the colon, lung, and pa
sarcoma cancers of cells of mesodermal origin such as muscle or bone
tamoxifen a drug that modulates estrogen receptors used to treat estrogen receptor-positive cancers
thrombocytopenia reduction in the number of thrombocytes or platelets associated with uncontrolled bleeding due to impaired coagulation of blood
tumor grade a clinical system to classify the degree of anaplasia of a cancer. Higher grades mean that the cancer is more undifferentiated and this is associated with higher virulence and a poorer prognosis
tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) a cytokine produced by monocytes and macrophages that mediates a variety of inflammatory responses including activation of IL-1, initiation of apoptosis, and some forms of tumor cell destruction. TNF-α is also associated with cachexia.
tumor stage a clinical system to classify the extent of cancer spread. Higher stages mean more extensive spread and are associated with a poorer prognosis
Created by: kvp on 2012-02-23



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