Health & Wellness
The Garden City Telegram
Metro Creative Connection
cancer diagnosis can be difficult
to understand. When diagnosed
with cancer, men and women
are often told many things about
their disease, and the terminol-
ogy used can be confusing. The
following are some of the terms
those diagnosed with cancer
are likely to hear in discussions
with their physicians.
Cancer terms to know
Treatment that removes or destroys
all or part of a cancer. Ablation may
also be performed to remove or stop
the function of an organ.
A benign growth starting in the
This describes stages of cancer in
which the cancer has spread from
where it started to other parts of the
body. Cancer that has spread only to
nearby parts of the body is known as
locally advanced cancer, while cancer
that has spread to distant parts of the
body is known as metastatic cancer.
Basal cell carcinoma
The most common form of skin can-
cer, basal cell carcinoma begins in
the outer layer of the skin known as
the epidermis. Basal cell carcinoma
typically develops on sun-exposed
areas, such as the head and neck.
Non-malignant and not life-threat-
ening. A benign tumor is not cancer
and will not spread to other areas of
The removal of a tissue sample to
determine if cancer cells are present.
A group of diseases that cause cells
in the body to change and grow out
Any substance that causes cancer or
promotes its growth.
A cancer that begins in the lining
layer of organs. The American Can-
cer Society notes that 80 percent of
all cancers are carcinomas.
A cancer treatment option that
employs drugs to kill cancer cells.
Chemotherapy is often used to treat
cancer that has spread or come back
or when there is a strong chance the
cancer will come back.
Five-year survival rate
The percentage of people with a
given cancer who are alive five years
or longer after diagnosis.
The grade of a cancer indicates how
abnormal its cells look under a mi-
croscope. Different grading systems
exist for different types of cancers.
A state in which the immune system
is weak and unable to respond the
way it should. Immunosuppression
may be caused by some cancers or
In place, localized and confined to
one area. This is a very early stage of
Cancer that has spread beyond the
layer of cells where it initially began
and has grown into nearby tissues.
An area of abnormal body tissue.
This term may be used to describe a
lump, mass or tumor.
A non-cancerous tumor made of a
Cancer that is confined to the organ
where it started.
Cancerous. Tumors that are malig-
nant are likely to cause death if they
The spread of cancer cells to one or
more sites elsewhere in the body.
A doctor with special training in the
diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
The return of cancer after treatment.
Complete or partial disappearance of
the signs and symptoms of cancer in
response to treatment.
Cancer that starts in connective
tissue, such as cartilage, fat, muscle,
The extent of cancer, which is usually
assigned a number from I to IV.
Did you know?
cer claims thousands of lives
each and every year.
Due to its
widespread reach and ability to
affect both men and women, the
public should become educated
about the disease. Here’s a look at
colorectal cancer by the numbers.
Colorectal cancer ranks as the
third leading cause of cancer death in
both men and women in the United
The number of new cases
of colon cancer in the United States
The number of new cases
of rectal cancer in the United
States in 2012.
The number of new cases of
colorectal cancer in Canada in 2012.
The percentage of Canadian men
who will live for five years after re-
ceiving a colorectal cancer diagnosis.
The number, in millions, of U.S.
colorectal cancer survivors.
The number of years the cases of
colorectal cancer have been dropping
steadily thanks to increased aware-
ness and screening methods.
The number of feet in length of the
The number of sections in the
colon, which include the ascending
colon, transverse colon, descending
colon, and sigmoid colon.
Percentage of colorectal cancers
that are a type of cancer known as
adenocarcinomas, which start in cells
that form mucus for the colon.
Non-small cell lung cancer, or
is the most common
type of lung cancer, with about
85 to 90 percent of lung cancers
falling into this category.
There are three main subtypes of
NSCLC: squamous cell (epider-
moid) carcinoma, adenocarcinoma
and large cell (undifferentiated)
carcinoma. Roughly 25 to 30
percent of all lung cancers are
squamous cell carcinomas, which
start in the flat cells known as
squamous cells that line the inside
of the airways in the lung. Usually
found in the middle of the lungs,
these squamous cells are typically
linked to a history of smoking.
Adenocarcinomas account for
approximately 40 percent of lung
cancer diagnoses, and these start
in the early versions of the cells
that are normally responsible for
secreting mucus. Though adeno-
carcinoma is the most common
form of lung cancer found in
nonsmokers, it mainly occurs in
current or former smokers. Ad-
enocarcinoma if most often found
in the outer parts of the lung and
is likely to be discovered before it
spreads beyond the lung. That’s be-
cause adenocarcinoma grows more
slowly than other forms of lung
cancer, which is why the prognosis
for those with adenocarcinoma
is often better than it is for those
with other types of lung cancer.
Large cell carcinoma, which ac-
counts for about 10 to 15 percent
of lung cancers, can be found in
any part of the lung, and it tends to
grow and spread quickly.