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Brain Cancer Glossary

Terms used to explain Brain Cancer can sometimes be confusing. To help you fully understand the articles and features related to this very important health topic, we have compiled a glossary of terms that can help.

Astrocytoma

as*tro*cy*to*ma
Pronunciation: \ˌas-trə-sī-ˈtō-mə\


Function: noun
pl -mas
also -ma*ta
Pronunciation: \-mət-ə\
: a nerve-tissue tumor composed of astrocytes

Benign

be*nign
Pronunciation: \bi-ˈnīn\


Function: adjective

1: of a mild type or character that does not threaten health or life <benign malaria> <a benign tumor> compare malignant 1
2: having a good prognosis : responding favorably to treatment <a benign psychosis>

Biopsy

1bi*op*sy
Pronunciation: \ˈbī-ˌäp-sē\


Function: noun
pl -sies
: the removal and examination of tissue, cells, or fluids from the living body

Blood-brain Barrier

blood–brain barrier
Function: noun
: a naturally occurring barrier created by the modification of brain capillaries (as by reduction in fenestration and formation of tight cell-to-cell contacts) that prevents many substances from leaving the blood and crossing the capillary walls into the brain tissues abbr. BBB

Brain Stem

brain stem
Pronunciation: \-ˌstem\


Function: noun
: the part of the brain composed of the midbrain, pons, and medulla oblongata and connecting the spinal cord with the forebrain and cerebrum

Cerebral

ce*re*bral
Pronunciation: \sə-ˈrē-brəl, ˈser-ə-\


Function: adjective

1: of or relating to the brain or the intellect
2: of, relating to, affecting, or being the cerebrum <cerebral blood flow> <cerebral toxoplasmosis>

Chemotherapy

che*mo*ther*a*py
Pronunciation: \-ˈther-ə-pē\


Function: noun
pl -pies
: the use of chemical agents in the treatment or control of disease or mental disorder

Craniotomy

cra*ni*ot*o*my
Pronunciation: \ˌkrā-nē-ˈät-ə-mē\


Function: noun
pl -mies

1: the operation of cutting or crushing the fetal head to effect delivery <fetal craniotomies…performed to save the life of the mother R. E. Frisch>
2: surgical opening of the skull

Hydrencephalus

hy*dren*ceph*a*lus
Pronunciation: \-ˈsef-ə-ləs\


Function: noun
pl -li
Pronunciation: \-ˌlī\
: see: hydrocephalus

MRI

MRI
Pronunciation: \ˌem-(ˌ)är-ˈī\


Function: noun
: see: magnetic resonance imaging; also: a procedure in which magnetic resonance imaging is used

Malignant

ma*lig*nant
Pronunciation: \mə-ˈlig-nənt\


Function: adjective

1: tending to produce death or deterioration <malignant malaria> ; esp: tending to infiltrate, metastasize, and terminate fatally <malignant tumors> compare benign 1
2: of unfavorable prognosis : not responding favorably to treatment <psychotic reactions with a malignant trend>

Myelin

my*e*lin
Pronunciation: \ˈmī-ə-lən\


Function: noun
: a soft white somewhat fatty material that forms a thick myelin sheath about the protoplasmic core of a myelinated nerve fiber

Myelogram

my*e*lo*gram
Pronunciation: \ˈmī-ə-lə-ˌgram\


Function: noun

1: a differential study of the cellular elements present in bone marrow usu. made on material obtained by sternal biopsy
2: a radiograph of the spinal cord made by myelography

Pituitary

1pi*tu*i*tary
Pronunciation: \pə-ˈt(y)ü-ə-ˌter-ē\


Function: adjective

1: of or relating to the pituitary gland
2: caused or characterized by secretory disturbances of the pituitary gland <a pituitary[1] dwarf>

Radiation Therapy

radiation therapy
Function: noun
: see: radiotherapy

Shunt

1shunt
Pronunciation: \ˈshənt\


Function: transitive verb
: to divert by or as if by a shunt; esp: to divert (blood) from one part to another by a surgical shunt

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© 2011 Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Inc.

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