Terms You Should Know About Cancer

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Benign Tumor

An abnormal mass of tissue that is non-cancerous, does not spread to other parts of the body, and rarely causes death.


A medical test that removes cells or tissues to examine them.

Bone Marrow

The soft tissue found in the hollow interior of bones. It is where most new blood cells are produced.


A cancer-causing substance.


A method of treatment that uses chemical substances.


The study of diseases affecting the health of populations.

Free Radical

Atomic or molecular species which the body needs for killing bacteria; however, they can damage cells because of how reactive they are, and are often named as a cause of cancer.

Immune System

The system of organs that work together to prevent organisms from infection.


Cancer of the blood or bone marrow. It is characterized by the abnormal production by multiplication of blood cells, typically white blood cells.

Lymphatic System

A network of organs that produce and transport lymph fluids from tissues to the circulatory system. It is a major part of the immune system.

Lymphoma or Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

A cancer of the lymphoid tissue, in the lymphatic system.

Malignant Tumor

Very dangerous or harmful; when describing a tumor, it means that it can spread quickly and cause death.


A test that involves using a low dose x-ray to examine the human breast; to check for breast cancer.


The study of tumors.


The study of processes that cause disease or illness; in medicine, it means studying the changes in cells, molecules, tissues and organs that lead to diseases.


A doctor’s prediction of how a disease or illness will progress.

Radiation Therapy/Radiotherapy

A cancer treatment that uses ionizing radiation to treat malignant tumors.


A swelling; an abnormal growth of tissue.

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