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Lung Cancer Glossary

Terms used to explain Lung 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: \as-ˈbes-təs, az-\

Function: noun
: any of several minerals that readily separate into long flexible fibers, that have been implicated as causes of certain cancers, and that have been used esp. formerly as fireproof insulating materials


Pronunciation: \ˈbī-ˌäp-sē\

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


Pronunciation: \ˈbräŋ-kē-əl\

Function: adjective
: of or relating to the bronchi or their ramifications in the lungs


Pronunciation: \brän-ˈkäs-kə-pē, bräŋ-\

Function: noun
pl -pies
: the use of a bronchoscope in the examination or treatment of the bronchi


Pronunciation: \kär-ˈsin-ə-jən, ˈkärs-ən-ə-ˌjen\

Function: noun
: a substance or agent causing cancer


Pronunciation: \-ˈther-ə-pē\

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


Pronunciation: \ˌem(p)-fə-ˈzē-mə, -ˈsē-\
Function: noun
1: a condition characterized by air-filled expansions in interstitial or subcutaneous tissues; specif: a condition of the lung that is marked by distension and eventual rupture of the alveoli with progressive loss of pulmonary elasticity, that is accompanied by shortness of breath with or without cough, and that may lead to impairment of heart action

Gene Therapy

gene therapy
Function: noun
: the insertion of usu. genetically altered genes into cells esp. to replace defective genes in the treatment of genetic disorders or to provide a specialized disease-fighting function (as the destruction of tumor cells)


Pronunciation: \-ˈther-ə-pē\

Function: noun
pl -pies
: treatment of or prophylaxis against disease by attempting to produce active or passive immunity —called also immune therapy


Pronunciation: \lō-ˈbek-tə-mē\

Function: noun
pl -mies
: surgical removal of a lobe of an organ (as a lung) or gland (as the thyroid); specif: excision of a lobe of the lung compare lobotomy


Pronunciation: \ˌmez-ə-ˌthē-lē-ˈō-mə, ˌmēz-, ˌmēs-, ˌmes-\

Function: noun
pl -mas
also -ma*ta
Pronunciation: \-mət-ə\
: a tumor derived from mesothelial tissue (as that lining the peritoneum or pleura)

Peripheral Neuropathy

peripheral neuropathy
Function: noun
: a disease or degenerative state (as polyneuropathy) of the peripheral nerves in which motor, sensory, or vasomotor nerve fibers may be affected and which is marked by muscle weakness and atrophy, pain, and numbness

Secondhand Smoke

sec*ond*hand smoke
Pronunciation: \ˌsek-ən(d)-ˌhan(d)-\

Function: noun
: tobacco smoke that is exhaled by a smoker or is given off by burning tobacco (as of a cigarette) and is inhaled by persons nearby —called also passive smoke

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

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If you're a smoker, quitting now won't reduce your risk of developing lung cancer.