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Colon Cancer Glossary

Terms used to explain Colorectal 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.


Pronunciation: \-ˌkärs-ən-ˈō-mə\

Function: noun
pl -mas
also -ma*ta
Pronunciation: \-mət-ə\
: a malignant tumor originating in glandular epithelium


Pronunciation: \ˌad-ən-ˈō-mə\

Function: noun
pl -mas
also -ma*ta
Pronunciation: \-mət-ə\

: a benign tumor of a glandular structure or of glandular origin


Pronunciation: \ˈbī-ˌäp-sē\

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

CT Scan

CT scan
Pronunciation: \(ˈ)sē-ˈtē-\

Function: noun
: see: cat scan


Pronunciation: \-ˈther-ə-pē\

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


Pronunciation: \ˌkō-lə-ˈnäs-kə-pē, ˌkäl-ə-\

Function: noun
pl -pies
: endoscopic examination of the colon <transabdominal colonoscopy with a sigmoidoscope via colotomy>


Pronunciation: \ˈen-də-ˌskōp\

Function: noun
: an illuminated usu. fiber-optic flexible or rigid tubular instrument for visualizing the interior of a hollow organ or part (as the bladder or esophagus) for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes that typically has one or more channels to enable passage of instruments (as forceps or scissors)


Function: abbreviation
fecal occult blood test; fecal occult blood testing

Lymph Nodule

lymph nodule
Function: noun
: a small simple lymph node


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>


Pronunciation: \ˌməs-kyə-ˈlar-əs\

Function: noun

1: the smooth muscular layer of the wall of various more or less contractile organs (as the bladder)
2: the thin layer of smooth muscle that forms part of a mucous membrane (as in the esophagus)


Pronunciation: \ˈpäl-əp\

Function: noun
: a projecting mass of swollen and hypertrophied or tumorous membrane (as in the nasal cavity or the intestine) —called also polypus

Radiation Therapy

radiation therapy
Function: noun
: see: radiotherapy

Sigmoid Colon

sigmoid colon
Function: noun
: the contracted and crooked part of the colon immediately above the rectum —called also pelvic colon, sigmoid flexure


Pronunciation: \ˌsig-ˌmoi-ˈdäs-kə-pē\

Function: noun
pl -pies
: the process of using a sigmoidoscope —called also proctosigmoidoscopy


Pronunciation: \ˈəl-trə-ˌsaund\

Function: noun

1: vibrations of the same physical nature as sound but with frequencies above the range of human hearing compare infrasound
2: the diagnostic or therapeutic use of ultrasound and esp. a noninvasive technique involving the formation of a two-dimensional image used for the examination and measurement of internal body structures and the detection of bodily abnormalities —called also echography, sonography, ultrasonography
3: a diagnostic examination using ultrasound

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

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