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Glossary - E


Showing 1-48 out of 48 Terms

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  • Early-stage cancer

    (ER-lee-stayj KAN-ser)

    A term used to describe cancer that is early in its growth, and may not have spread to other parts of the body. What is called early stage may differ between cancer types.

  • Echo cardiogram

    A method of obtaining a graphic picture of the internal structure, and position and motion of your heart through the use of sound waves directed through your chest.

  • Edema


    Swelling caused by excess fluid in body tissues.

  • Electrocardiogram


    A line graph that shows changes in the electrical activity of the heart over time. It is made by an instrument called an electrocardiograph. The graph can show that there are abnormal conditions, such as blocked arteries, changes in electrolytes (particles with electrical charges), and changes in the way electrical currents pass through the heart tissue. Also called ECG and EKG.

  • Electrodes


    In medicine, a device such as a small metal plate or needle that carries electricity from an instrument to a patient for treatment or surgery. Electrodes can also carry electrical signals from muscles, brain, heart, skin, or other body parts to recording devices to help diagnose certain conditions.

  • Electrolytes

    A general term for the many minerals necessary to provide the proper environment for the cells of your body. Common electrolytes include calcium, sodium, potassium and chloride.

  • Eligibility criteria

    (EH-lih-jih-BIH-lih-tee kry-TEER-ee-uh)

    In clinical trials, requirements that must be met for a person to be included in a trial. These requirements help make sure that participants in a trial are like each other in terms of specific factors such as age, type and stage of cancer, general health, and previous treatment. When all participants meet the same eligibility criteria, it is more likely that results of the study are caused by the intervention being tested and not by other factors or by chance.

  • Emesis


    To vomit.

  • Emetic


    Describes a substance that causes vomiting. Also called emetogenic.

  • Encapsulated


    Confined to a specific, localized area and surrounded by a thin layer of tissue.

  • End-of-life care

    (... kayr)

    Care given to people who are near the end of life and have stopped treatment to cure or control their disease. End-of-life care includes physical, emotional, social, and spiritual support for patients and their families. The goal of end-of-life care is to control pain and other symptoms so the patient can be as comfortable as possible. End-of-life care may include palliative care, supportive care, and hospice care.

  • End-stage cancer

    (... stayj KAN-ser)

    Cancer that cannot be cured and leads to death. Also called terminal cancer.

  • Endocrine


    Refers to tissue that makes and releases hormones that travel in the bloodstream and control the actions of other cells or organs. Some examples of endocrine tissues are the pituitary, thyroid, and adrenal glands.

  • Endocrine cancer

    Cancer that occurs in endocrine tissue, the tissue in the body that secretes hormones.

  • Endocrine system

    (EN-doh-krin SIS-tem)

    A system of glands and cells that make hormones that are released directly into the blood and travel to tissues and organs all over the body. The endocrine system controls growth, sexual development, sleep, hunger, and the way the body uses food.

  • Endocrinologist


    A doctor who has special training in diagnosing and treating disorders of the endocrine system (the glands and organs that make hormones). These disorders include diabetes, infertility, and thyroid, adrenal, and pituitary gland problems.

  • Endocrinology


    A branch of medicine that specializes in diagnosing and treating disorders of the endocrine system, which includes the glands and organs that make hormones.

  • Endoscopy


    A procedure that uses an endoscope to examine the inside of the body. An endoscope is a thin, tube-like instrument with a light and a lens for viewing. It may also have a tool to remove tissue to be checked under a microscope for signs of disease.

  • Endpoint


    In clinical trials, an event or outcome that can be measured objectively to determine whether the intervention being studied is beneficial. The endpoints of a clinical trial are usually included in the study objectives. Some examples of endpoints are survival, improvements in quality of life, relief of symptoms, and disappearance of the tumor.

  • Enema


    The injection of a liquid through the anus into the large bowel.

  • Energy therapy

    A form of complementary and alternative medicine based on the belief that a vital energy flows through the human body. The goal of energy therapy is to balance the energy flow in the patient. It is used to reduce stress and anxiety and promote well-being. Energy therapy is being studied in patients receiving cancer therapy, to find out if it can improve quality of life, boost the immune system, or reduce side effects. Also called energy healing.

  • Enteral nutrition

    (EN-teh-rul noo-TRIH-shun)

    A form of nutrition that is delivered into the digestive system as a liquid. Drinking nutrition beverages or formulas and tubefeeding are forms of enteral nutrition. People who are unable to meet their needs with food and beverages alone, and who do not have vomiting or uncontrollable diarrhea may be given tubefeedings. Tubefeeding can be used to add to what a person is able to eat or can be the only source of nutrition. A small feeding tube may be placed through the nose into the stomach or the small intestine, or it may be surgically placed into the stomach or the intestinal tract through an opening made on the outside of the abdomen, depending on how long it will be used.

  • Enzyme


    A protein that speeds up chemical reactions in the body.

  • Enzymes


    Proteins that speed up chemical reactions in the body.

  • Ependymoma


    A type of brain tumor that begins in cells lining the spinal cord central canal (fluid-filled space down the center) or the ventricles (fluid-filled spaces of the brain). Ependymomas may also form in the choroid plexus (tissue in the ventricles that makes cerebrospinal fluid). Also called ependymal tumor.

  • Epidural


    Having to do with the space between the wall of the spinal canal and the covering of the spinal cord. An epidural injection is given into this space.

  • Epstein-Barr virus

    (ep-stine-BAR VY-rus)

    A common virus that remains dormant in most people. Epstein-Barr virus causes infectious mononucleosis and has been associated with certain cancers, including Burkitt lymphoma, immunoblastic lymphoma, nasopharyngeal cancer, and stomach (gastric) cancer.

  • Erection


    In medicine, the swelling of the penis with blood, causing it to become firm.

  • Esophageal


    Having to do with the esophagus, the muscular tube through which food passes from the throat to the stomach.

  • Esophagus


    The muscular tube through which food passes from the throat to the stomach.

  • Esr (Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate)

    (eh-RITH-roh-site SEH-dih-men-TAY-shun ...)

    The distance red blood cells travel in one hour in a sample of blood as they settle to the bottom of a test tube. The sedimentation rate is increased in inflammation, infection, cancer, rheumatic diseases, and diseases of the blood and bone marrow. Also called ESR and sedimentation rate.

  • Estradiol


    A form of the hormone estrogen.

  • Estrogen


    A type of hormone made by the body that helps develop and maintain female sex characteristics and the growth of long bones. Estrogens can also be made in the laboratory. They may be used as a type of birth control and to treat symptoms of menopause, menstrual disorders, osteoporosis, and other conditions.

  • Etiology


    The cause or origin of disease.

  • Etoposide


    The active ingredient in a drug used with other drugs to treat small cell lung cancer. It is also used with other drugs to treat testicular cancer that has not gotten better after other anticancer treatment. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Etoposide blocks certain enzymes needed for cell division and DNA repair, and it may kill cancer cells. It is a type of podophyllotoxin derivative and a type of topoisomerase inhibitor. Also called VP-16.

  • Evaluable disease

    (ee-VAL-yoo-uh-bul dih-ZEEZ)

    Disease that cannot be measured directly by the size of the tumor but can be evaluated by other methods specific to a particular clinical trial.

  • Evaluable patients

    (ee-VAL-yoo-uh-bul PAY-shunts)

    Patients whose response to a treatment can be measured because enough information has been collected.

  • Event-free survival

    (eh-VENT ... ser-VY-vul)

    In cancer, the length of time after primary treatment for a cancer ends that the patient remains free of certain complications or events that the treatment was intended to prevent or delay. These events may include the return of the cancer or the onset of certain symptoms, such as bone pain from cancer that has spread to the bone. In a clinical trial, measuring the event-free survival is one way to see how well a new treatment works. Also called EFS.

  • Ewing sarcoma

    YOO-ing sar-KOH-muh

    A type of cancer that forms in bone or soft tissue. Also called peripheral primitive neuroectodermal tumor and PPNET.

  • Excision


    Surgical removal of tissue.

  • Excisional biopsy

    (ek-SIH-zhuh-nul BY-op-see)

    A surgical procedure in which an entire lump or suspicious area is removed for diagnosis. The tissue is then examined under a microscope.

  • Expectorant

    Medicine that makes mucous in your respiratory tract thinner and easier to cough out.

  • Experimental drug

    (ek-SPAYR-ih-men-tul ...)

    A substance that has been tested in the laboratory and has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for testing in people. Clinical trials test how well experimental drugs work and whether they are safe to use. An experimental drug may be approved by the FDA for use in one disease or condition but still be considered investigational in other diseases or conditions. Also called IND, investigational agent, investigational drug, and investigational new drug.

  • Experimental group

    (ek-SPAYR-ih-MEN-tul groop)

    The group in a clinical research study that receives the drug, vaccine, or other intervention being tested. Interventions may also include medical procedures (such as radiation therapy and surgery), medical devices, behavior changes (such as diet and exercise), education programs, and counseling. Also called intervention group and investigational group.

  • Exploratory surgery

    (ek-SPLOR-uh-TOR-ee SER-juh-ree)

    Surgery undertaken to investigate a situation that other, primarily external diagnostic tests have failed to clarify.

  • External beam radiation

    A type of radiation therapy that uses a machine to aim high-energy rays at the cancer from outside of the body. Also called external radiation therapy.

  • Extracorporeal photopheresis

    Listen to pronunciation (EK-struh-kor-POR-ee-ul FOH-toh-feh-REE-sis)

    A procedure in which blood is removed from the body and treated with ultraviolet light and drugs that become active when exposed to light. The blood is then returned to the body. It is being studied in the treatment of some blood and bone marrow diseases and graft-vs-host disease (GVHD). Also called photopheresis.

  • Extremity


    A limb of the body, such as the arm or leg.