Glossary

R

Rad

Short for ‘radiation absorbed dose’, a measure of radiation absorbed by tissues (100Rad=1Gray)

Radiation Oncologist

A doctor who specializes in the utilization of X-rays to treat disease. Generally certified in the specialty by the American Board of Radiology (ABR)

Radiation Physicist

A physicist who specializes in the medical applications of radiation. Generally certified in the specialty by the American Board of Radiology (ABR)

Radiation Therapist

A technologist with special training who runs the equipment which delivers radiation treatments. Generally certified in the specialty by the ARRT

Radiation therapy, or Radiotherapy

Use of high energy rays or particles to treat disease. Types include X-Ray, Electron Beam, Gamma rays from Cobalt, Radium, Iridium, Cesium.

Radiologist

A doctor who specializes in the utilization of X-rays to diagnose disease. Generally certified in the specialty by the American Board of Radiology (ABR)

Recurrence

The reappearance of a disease after a period of remission.

Red blood cells (Erythrocytes)

Cells in the blood that deliver oxygen to tissues and take carbon dioxide from them.

Red blood count (RBC)

The number of red blood cells seen in a blood sample.

Refractory

A term commonly used to describe a situation where the disease is no longer controlled by current therapy.

Regression

The shrinkage of a mass.

Relapse

The reappearance of a disease after its apparent cessation.

Remission

Complete or partial disappearance of the signs and symptoms of disease. A remission does not necessarily mean a cure.

Risk factor

Anything that increases a person's chances of developing cancer, for example, smoking is a risk factor of lung and head/neck cancer.

S

Sarcoma

A malignant tumor of soft tissue or bone.
Chondrosarcoma
Cancer of cartilage that usually occurs near the ends of the long bones.
Ewing's sarcoma
A cancer starting in bone, affecting the bones of extremities. It often appears before the age of 20.

Shingles

Herpes Zoster.

Side effects

Secondary effects of drugs used for disease treatment.

Sigmoidoscopy

The visual examination of the rectum and lower colon using a tubular instrument called a sigmoidoscope.

Simulation

A procedure involving obtaining special X-Ray pictures that are used to to plan the delivery of radiation therapy. It is performed before and occasionally during radiation therapy to insure accurate treatment.

Sputum

Secretions produced by the lungs.

Staging

A medical term for the process of determining if a known cancer is still confined within the primary site, or if it has spread outside of the original area. The staging system that is most widely used is the AJCC system. It includes the tumor size (T), lymph node status (N) and metastatic status (M).

Stoma

An artificial opening between two cavities or between a cavity and the surface of the body.

Stomatitis

Temporary inflammation and soreness of the mouth.

Subcutaneous injection

Into the fatty tissue under the skin.

Systemic disease

A disease that affects the entire body instead of a specific organ.

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