A Helpful Glossary

Adenocarcinoma: a cancer that forms in the glands.

Benign: mild, non-progressive tumors; most often a non-cancerous state.

Cancer: a disease in which a group of cells display uncontrolled growth, invasion and sometimes metastasis.

Carcinoma: cancer that arises from the epithelial cells, invading the surrounding tissues and organs and can possibly spreading to the lymph nodes.

Dysplasia: the earliest form of pre-cancerous lesion sometimes revealed by a pap smear; may be either low-grade which indicates little likelihood of it turning into cancer, or high risk which indicates the increased likelihood of it turning cancerous.

Grade: a system used to measure the progress of tumors and neoplasms:

GX: Grade cannot be assessed
G1: Well differentiated (low grade)
G2: Moderately differentiated (intermediate grade)
G3: Poorly differentiated (high grade)
G4: Undifferentiated (high grade)

Hyperplasia: the benign proliferation of cells.

Leukemia: cancer of the blood or bone marrow; can be either acute or chronic and is either lymphocytic or myelogenous.

Lymphoma: a cancer of the lymph glands.

Malignant: the tendency for tumors to become progressively worse, the term is most commonly used to depict cancers.

Melanoma: a malignant tumor of melanocytes most often found in the skin. Melanoma is not a very common form of skin cancer but is an aggressive form and is responsible for majority of skin cancer related deaths.

Metastasis: the spread of disease from one organ to another. Metastatic tumors are most common in late stages of cancer.

Neoplasia: abnormal growth of tissue and can be benign, pre-malignant or malignant.

Sarcoma: a term describing malignant cancer from connective tissue cells (bone, fat, cartilage)

Staging: a system from (I-IV) that determines how much the cancer has spread and is determined by the size of the tumor, how deeply penetrated it is and whether it has invaded adjacent organs. The stages are as follows:

Stage I: cancer is localized to one part of the body
Stage II: cancer is locally advanced
Stage III: poorer prognosis than stage II.
Stage IV: cancer has spread to other organs of the body

Thrombosis: formation of a blood clot inside a blood vessel obstructing the flow of blood through the circulatory system.

Tumor: a solid lesion formed by an abnormal growth of cells which looks like swelling and can be benign, pre-malignant or malignant.