These are words that you may hear from your health team.
A small container of radioactive material placed in or near a cancer.
IMRT (Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy):
A state-of-the-art cancer treatment method that delivers high doses of radiation directly to cancer cells in a very targeted way, much more precisely that is possible with conventional radiotherapy.
A type of therapy in which a radioactive substance is implanted into or close to the area needing treatment.
- Adjuvant therapy:
- A treatment method used in addition to the primary therapy. Radiation therapy often is used as an adjuvant to surgery.
- Hair loss.
- Loss of feeling or sensation resulting from the use of certain drugs or gases.
- Antiemetic (an-tee-eh-MET-ik):
- A medicine to prevent or relieve nausea or vomiting.
- Benign tumor:
- A growth that is not a cancer and does not spread to other parts of the body.
- Biological therapy:
- Treatment by stimulation of the body's immune defense system.
- The removal of a sample of tissue to see whether cancer cells are present.
- Brachytherapy (BRAK-ee-THER-ah-pee):
- Internal radiation treatment achieved by implanting radioactive material directly into the tumor or very close to it. Sometimes called "internal radiation therapy."
- A general term for more than 100 diseases that have uncontrolled, abnormal growth of cells that can invade and destroy healthy tissues.
- A thin, flexible tube through which fluids enter or leave the body.
- Treatment with anticancer drugs.
- Cobalt 60:
- A radioactive substance used as a radiation source to treat cancer.
- Dietitian (also registered dietitian):
- A professional who plans diet programs for proper nutrition.
- Dosimetrist (do-SIM-uh-trist):
- A person who plans and calculates the proper radiation dose for treatment.
- Electron beam:
- A stream of particles that produces high-energy radiation to treat cancer.
- External radiation:
- Radiation therapy that uses a machine located outside of the body to aim high-energy rays at cancer cells.
- A chemical applied to the teeth to prevent tooth decay.
- Gamma rays:
- High-energy rays that come from a radio active source such as cobalt-60.
- A measurement of absorbed radiation dose; 1 Gray = 100 rads.
- High dose rate remote brachytherapy:
- A type of internal radiation in which each treatment is given in a few minutes while the radioactive source is in place. The source of radioactivity is removed between treatments. Also known as high dose rate remote radiation therapy.
- Hyperfractionated radiation:
- Division of the total dose of radiation into smaller doses that are given more than once a day.
A radioactive source (implant) placed directly into the tissue (not in a body cavity).
A radioactive source (implant) placed in a body cavity such as the chest cavity or the vagina.
A type of external radiation used to deliver a large dose of radiation therapy to the tumor bed and surrounding tissue at the time of surgery.
A machine that creates high-energy radiation to treat cancers, using electricity to form a stream of fast-moving subatomic particles. Also called mega-voltage (MeV) linear accelerator or a linac.
Cancerous (see cancer).
A doctor who specializes in using chemotherapy to treat cancer.
The spread of a cancer from one part of the body to another. Cells in the second tumor are like those in the original tumor.
A doctor who specializes in treating cancer.
Treatment to relieve, rather than cure, symptoms caused by cancer. Palliative care can help people live more comfortably.
A health professional trained in the use of treatments such as exercise and massage.
Special blood cells that help stop bleeding.
An artificial replacement of a part of the body.
Short form for "radiation absorbed dose"; a measurement of the amount of radiation absorbed by tissues (100 rad = 1 Gray).
Energy carried by waves or a stream of particles.
A doctor who specializes in using radiation to treat cancer.
A person trained to ensure that the radiation machine delivers the right amount of radiation to the treatment site.
A person with special training who runs the equipment that delivers the radiation.
The use of high-energy penetrating rays or subatomic particles to treat disease. Types of radiation include x-ray, electron beam, alpha and beta particles, and gamma rays. Radioactive substances include cobalt, radium, iridium, and cesium. (See also gamma rays, brachytherapy, teletherapy, and x-ray.)
A physician with special training in reading diagnostic x-rays and performing specialized
See radiation therapy.
See high dose rate remote brachytherapy.
A process involving special x-ray pictures that are used to plan radiation treatment so that the area to be treated is precisely located and marked.
Treatment in which the radiation source is at a distance from the body. Linear accelerators and cobalt machines are used in teletherapy.
Treatment port or field:
The place on the body at which the radiation beam is aimed.
An abnormal mass of tissue. Tumors are either benign or malignant.
Unsealed internal radiation therapy:
Internal radiation therapy given by injecting a radioactive substance into the bloodstream or a body cavity. This substance is not sealed in a container.
White blood cells:
The blood cells that fight infection.
High-energy radiation that can be used at low levels to diagnose disease or at high levels to treat cancer.