Adjuvant therapy: Anticancer drugs or hormones given after surgery and/or radiation to help prevent the cancer from coming back.
Allocation: The system of ensuring that organs and tissues are distributed fairly to patients who are in need.
Alopecia: Hair loss.
Anemia: Having too few red blood cells. Symptoms of anemia include feeling tired, weak, and short of breath.
Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor: A drug used to decrease pressure inside blood vessels.
Anorexia: Poor apetite.
Antiemetic: A medicine that prevents or controls nausea and vomiting.
Arrhythmia: An irregular heartbeat.
Benign: A term used to describe a tumor that is not cancerous.
Beta blocker: A drug used to slow the heart rate and reduce pressure inside blood vessels. It also can regulate heart rhythm.
Biological therapy: Treatment to stimulate or restore the ability of the immune system to fight infection and disease. Also called immunotherapy.
Blood count: The number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets in a sample of blood. This is also called complete blood count (CBC).
Blood vessels: The arteries, veins and capillaries through which blood circulates. Blood vessels can be donated and transplanted.
Bone marrow: The inner, spongy tissue of bones where blood cells are made.
Brain Death: Occurs when a person's brain activity stops permanently. It is impossible to return to life after brain death.
Bronchoscopy: A lighted tube that the physician can see through is placed into the windpipe of a patient that has had sedation and/or anesthesia. The physician can identify visually the region to perform a biopsy. This technique also provides information whether the tumor may be removable by surgery. It works best for tumors near the central windpipes. Can usually be a same day procedure.
Cadaveric donors: Also called, non-living donors, are those who donate their organs or tissue after they have been declared brain dead.
Calcium channel blocker (or calcium blocker): A drug used to relax the blood vessel and heart muscle, causing pressure inside blood vessels to drop. It also can regulate heart rhythm.
Cancer: A general term for more than 100 diseases in which abnormal cells grow out of control; a malignant tumor.
Cardiac catheterization: A procedure in which a thin, hollow tube is inserted into a blood vessel. The tube is then advanced through the vessel into the heart, enabling a physician to study the heart and its pumping activity.
Cardiomyopathy: A disease of the heart muscle (myocardium).
Cardiomyoplasty: A surgical procedure that involves detaching one end of a back muscle and attaching it to the heart. An electric stimulator causes the muscle to contract to pump blood from the heart.
Catheter: A thin, flexible tube through which fluids enter or leave the body.
Central venous catheter: A special thin, flexible tube placed in a large vein. It remains there for as long as it is needed to deliver and withdraw fluids.
Chemotherapy: The use of drugs to treat cancer.
Chromosomes: Threadlike bodies found in the nucleus, or center part, of a cell that carry the information of heredity.
Clinical trials: Medical research studies conducted with volunteers. Each study is designed to answer scientific questions and to find better ways to prevent or treat cancer.
Colony-stimulating factors: Substances that stimulate the production of blood cells. Treatment with colony-stimulating factors (CSF) can help the blood-forming tissue recover from the effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. These include granulocyte colony-stimulating factors (G-CSF) and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factors (GM-CSF).
Combination chemotherapy: The use of more than one drug to treat cancer.
Congestion: Abnormal fluid accumulation in the body, especially the lungs.
Congestive heart failure: A heart disease condition that involves loss of pumping ability by the heart, generally accompanied by fluid accumulation in body tissues, especially the lungs.
CT scan biopsy: The patient is placed into the CT scan machine and using X-ray guidance, the area in question is biopsied using a thin needle placed through skin that has been carefully anesthetized. It works best for tumors near the edge of the lung. Can be a same day procedure.
Diastolic heart failure: Inability of the heart to relax properly and fill with blood as a result of stiffening of the heart muscle.
Digitalis: A drug used to increase the force of the heart's contraction and to regulate specific irregularities of heart rhythm.
Dilated cardiomyopathy: Heart muscle disease that leads to enlargement of the heart's chambers, robbing the heart of its pumping ability.
Diuretic: A drug that helps eliminate excess body fluid; usually used in the treatment of high blood pressure and heart failure.
Donation: Is the act of giving one's organs or tissue to someone else.
Dyspnea: Shortness of breath.
Echocardiography: Recording sound waves bounced off the heart to produce images of the heart.
Edema: Abnormal fluid accumulation in body tissues.
Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG): Measurement of electrical activity associated with heartbeats.
End-Stage Organ Disease: A disease that leads, ultimately, to functional failure of an organ. Some examples are emphysema (lungs), cardiomyopathy (heart), and polycystic kidney disease (kidneys).
Fluid cytology: If the patient is coughing up abnormal phlegm, has abnormal amounts of fluid around the lung, or has an enlarged gland elsewhere then a sputum sample or a needle placed in these other abnormal areas can obtain tumor cells to make a diagnosis.
Gastrointestinal: Having to do with the digestive tract, which includes the mouth, esophagus, stomach, and intestines.
Heart failure: Loss of pumping ability by the heart, often accompanied by fatigue, breathlessness, and excess fluid accumulation in body tissues.
Heart valves: A tissue that prevent the back flow of blood into the heart. The heart valves can be donated and transplanted.
Hormones: Natural substances released by an organ that can influence the function of other organs in the body.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy: Heart muscle disease that leads to thickening of the heart walls, interfering with the heart's ability to fill with and pump blood.
Idiopathic: Results from an unknown cause.
Immunosuppressive Drugs: Chemical agents that cause the human body not to produce antibodies that normally fight off foreign material in the body. The production of these antibodies needs to be suppressed in order to permit the acceptance of a donor organ by the recipient's body.
Infusion: Slow and/or prolonged intravenous delivery of a drug or fluids.
Injection: Using a syringe and needle to push fluids or drugs into the body; often called a "shot."
Intra-arterial (IA): Into an artery.
Intracavitary (IC): Into a cavity or space, specifically the abdomen, pelvis, or the chest.
Intralesional (IL): Into the cancerous area in the skin.
Intramuscular (IM): Into a muscle.
Intrathecal (IT): Into the spinal fluid.
Intravenous (IV): Into a vein.
Left ventricular assist device (LVAD): A mechanical device used to increase the heart's pumping ability.
Living Donors: Are persons who donate a kidney, part of a lung or part of a liver while they are still alive.
Lungs: A pair of two spongy organs that remove carbon dioxide from the blood and provide it with oxygen. The lungs can be donated and transplanted.
Malignant: Used to describe a cancerous tumor.
Mediastinoscopy or mediastinotomy: These methods are described in the section under Staging. Can be a same day procedure.
Metastasis: When cancer cells break away from their original site and spread to other parts of the body.
Operation: Sometimes, less invasive methods to confirm the cause of the lung lump fail and surgery is required. A definite diagnosis is not always needed before an operation such as when the risk of the lump being cancer is high, the risk of an operation is low, and an operation to potentially cure the patient would be appropriate. The most efficient means to obtain a diagnosis is a biopsy at the same time that the definitive operation is carried out.
Organ Procurement Organizations (OPO): Organizations that coordinate activities relating to organ retrieval (procurement) in a designated area. OPO activities include: evaluating potential donors, discussing donation with surviving family members, arranging for the surgical removal and transport of donated organs, and educating the public about the need for donations.
Palliative care: Treatment to relieve, rather than cure, symptoms caused by cancer. Palliative care can help people live more comfortably.
Per os (PO): By mouth; orally.
Peripheral neuropathy: A condition of the nervous system that usually begins in the hands and/or feet with symptoms of numbness, tingling, burning and/or weakness. Can be caused by certain anticancer drugs.
Platelets: Special blood cells that help stop bleeding.
Port: A small plastic or metal container surgically placed under the skin and attached to a central venous catheter inside the body. Blood and fluids can enter or leave the body through the port using a special needle.
Procurement: The process of retrieving organs and/or tissue from a donor.
Pulmonary congestion (or edema): Fluid accumulation in the lungs.
Pulmonary congestion (or edema): Fluid accumulation in the lungs.
Pulmonary suffusion: A minimally invasive technique designed to deliver a high dose of a chemical substance (like chemotherapy) to tumors or other diseases within the chest.
Radiation therapy: Cancer treatment with radiation (high-energy rays)
Recipient: A person who receives an organ or tissue transplant.
Red blood cells: Cells that supply oxygen to tissues throughout the body.
Remission: The partial or complete disappearance of signs and symptoms of disease.
Restrictive cardiomyopathy: Heart muscle disease in which the muscle walls become stiff and lose their flexibility.
Septum: In the heart, a muscle wall separating the chambers.
Stomatitis: Sores on the lining of the mouth.
Subcutaneous (SQ or SC): Under the skin.
Sudden death, sudden cardiac death: Cardiac arrest caused by an irregular heartbeat. The term "death" is somewhat misleading, because some patients survive.
Systolic heart failure: Inability of the heart to contract with enough force to pump adequate amounts of blood through the body.
Transplant Centers: Hospitals or medical centers that perform organ and/or tissue transplants.
Transplantation: The transfer of cells, tissues, or organs from an area of the body to another of from one organism to another.
Transplantation, allogeneic (allograft): Transplantation between genetically different members of the same species. Nearly all organ and bone marrow transplants are allografts. These may be between brothers and sisters, parents and children, or between donors and recipients who are not related to each other.
Transplantation, autologous: Transplantation of an organism's own cell or tissues; autologous transplantation may be used to repair or replace damaged tissue; autologous bone marrow transplantation permits the usage of more severe and toxic cancer therapies by replacing bone marrow damaged by the treatment with marrow that was removed and stored prior to treatment.
Transplantation, xenogeneic (xenograft): Transplantation between members of different species; for example, the transplantation of animal organs into humans.
Tumor: An abnormal growth of cells or tissues. Tumors may be benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous).
Valves: Flap-like structures that control the direction of blood flow through the heart.
Ventricles: The two lower chambers of the heart. The left ventricle is the main pumping chamber in the heart.
Ventricular fibrillation: Rapid, irregular quivering of the heart's ventricles, with no effective heartbeat.
White blood cells: The blood cells that fight infection.