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Glossary - T

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  • T cell

    (... sel)

    A type of white blood cell. T cells are part of the immune system and develop from stem cells in the bone marrow. They help protect the body from infection and may help fight cancer. Also called T lymphocyte and thymocyte.

  • T-cell ALL

    (T-sel ...)

    T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. An aggressive (fast-growing) type of leukemia (blood cancer) in which too many T-cell lymphoblasts (immature white blood cells) are found in the bone marrow and blood. Also called precursor T-lymphoblastic leukemia and T-cell acute lymphocytic leukemia.

  • Targeted therapy

    (TAR-geh-ted THAYR-uh-pee)

    A type of treatment that uses drugs or other substances to identify and attack specific types of cancer cells with less harm to normal cells. Some targeted therapies block the action of certain enzymes, proteins, or other molecules involved in the growth and spread of cancer cells. Other types of targeted therapies help the immune system kill cancer cells or deliver toxic substances directly to cancer cells and kill them. Targeted therapy may have fewer side effects than other types of cancer treatment. Most targeted therapies are either small molecule drugs or monoclonal antibodies.

  • Temperature

    A measurement of the heat in a person's body.

  • Temperature spike

    When your temperature suddenly becomes elevated or goes up.

  • Testes


    Two egg-shaped glands inside the scrotum that produce sperm and male hormones. Also called testicles.

  • Testicles


    Two egg-shaped glands inside the scrotum that produce sperm and male hormones. Also called testes.

  • Testicular mass

    A swelling of your testis or testicle, the male reproductive gland.

  • Testosterone


    A hormone made mainly in the testes (part of the male reproductive system). It is needed to develop and maintain male sex characteristics, such as facial hair, deep voice, and muscle growth. Testosterone may also be made in the laboratory and is used to treat certain medical conditions.

  • Therapeutic medical play

    (THAYR-uh-PYOO-tik MEH-dih-kul …)

    The use of games, toys, books, art, and role playing, sometimes with real or pretend medical equipment, to help children understand and become more comfortable with medical tests, procedures, treatments, and their illness. Therapeutic medical play gives children a way to express their feelings, fears, and anxieties and helps them learn ways to cope with things that may be stressful or upsetting.

  • Thrombocytopenia


    A decrease in the number of platelets in your blood; can be a side effect of chemotherapy.

  • Thrombophlebitis


    An inflammation of a vein.

  • Thyroid cancer

    (THY-royd KAN-ser)

    Cancer that forms in the thyroid gland (an organ at the base of the throat that makes hormones that help control heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and weight). Four main types of thyroid cancer are papillary, follicular, medullary, and anaplastic thyroid cancer. The four types are based on how the cancer cells look under a microscope.

  • Tinnitus


    Ringing in your ears.

  • Tissue

    An aggregate of cells usually of a particular kind together with their intercellular substance that form one of the structural materials of a plant or an animal.

  • Toxicity


    A word used to describe the undesirable side effects caused by a drug.

  • Toxins

    Poisonous substances; may be produced by germs.

  • Tracer


    A substance (such as a radioisotope) used in imaging procedures.

  • Trachea


    The windpipe.

  • Transfusion reaction

    An allergic response to blood products. You may experience hives, chills or headaches.

  • Transplantation


    A surgical procedure in which tissue or an organ is transferred from one area of a person’s body to another area, or from one person (the donor) to another person (the recipient).

  • Treatments

    The action or manner of caring for a patient medically or surgically.

  • Trisomy 18

    (TRY-soh-mee …)

    A genetic disorder caused by having an extra chromosome 18 in some or all of the body’s cells. Trisomy 18 is marked by a low birth weight and certain abnormal features. These include a small, abnormally shaped head; a small jaw and mouth; clenched fists with overlapping fingers; and heart, lung, kidney, intestine, and stomach defects. Many babies with trisomy 18 die before birth or within the first month of life, but some children live for several years. Having trisomy 18 increases the risk of certain types of cancer, such as hepatoblastoma (a type of liver cancer) and Wilms tumor (a type of kidney cancer). Also called Edwards syndrome.

  • Tuberculosis


    A disease caused by a specific type of bacteria that spreads from one person to another through the air. Tuberculosis can affect many parts of the body, but most often affects the lungs. A person may not have symptoms of tuberculosis for years, but they may appear when the patient becomes ill with a serious condition like diabetes, AIDS, or cancer. Tuberculosis can usually be treated and cured with antibiotics. Also called TB.

  • Tumor


    An abnormal mass of tissue that results when cells divide more than they should or do not die when they should. Tumors may be benign (not cancer), or malignant (cancer). Also called neoplasm.

  • Tumor grade

    (TOO-mer grayd)

    A description of a tumor based on how abnormal the cancer cells and tissue look under a microscope and how quickly the cancer cells are likely to grow and spread. Low-grade cancer cells look more like normal cells and tend to grow and spread more slowly than high-grade cancer cells. Grading systems are different for each type of cancer. They are used to help plan treatment and determine prognosis. Also called grade and histologic grade.

  • Tumor lysis syndrome

    (TOO-mer LY-sis SIN-drome)

    A condition that can occur after treatment of a fast-growing cancer, especially certain leukemias and lymphomas (cancers of the blood). As tumor cells die, they break apart and release their contents into the blood. This causes a change in certain chemicals in the blood, which may cause damage to organs, including the kidneys, heart, and liver.

  • Tyrosine kinase inhibitor

    (TY-ruh-seen KY-nays in-HIH-bih-ter)

    A substance that blocks the action of enzymes called tyrosine kinases. Tyrosine kinases are a part of many cell functions, including cell signaling, growth, and division. These enzymes may be too active or found at high levels in some types of cancer cells, and blocking them may help keep cancer cells from growing. Some tyrosine kinase inhibitors are used to treat cancer. They are a type of targeted therapy.

  • Tyrosinemia


    A rare, inherited disorder marked by high blood levels of a protein building block called tyrosine. This can cause a harmful buildup of tyrosine and other substances in the body’s tissues and organs, especially in the liver, kidney, and nervous system. This can lead to serious medical problems and may increase the risk of liver cancer. Tyrosinemia is caused by mutations (changes) in certain genes that make enzymes needed to break down tyrosine.