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Glossary*

Benign

"Benign" refers to a condition, tumor, or growth that is not cancerous. This means that it does not spread to other parts of the body. It does not change or destroy nearby tissue. Sometimes, a condition is called benign to suggest it is not dangerous or serious.

Biopsy

The removal and examination of tissue, cells, or fluids from the living body.

Cancer

Cancer is the general name for a group of more than 100 diseases. Although there are many kinds of cancer, all cancers start because abnormal cells grow out of control. Untreated cancers can cause serious illness and death.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy (chemo) is the use of medicines or drugs to treat cancer.

Clinical trial

A scientifically controlled study of the safety and effectiveness of a therapeutic agent (as a drug or vaccine) using consenting human subjects.

Diarrhea

Abnormally frequent intestinal evacuations with more or less fluid stools.

Dosing

The measured quantity of a therapeutic agent to be taken at 1 time.

Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)

A molecule that is found on the surface of cancer cells and normal cells.

Hypoallergenic

Having little likelihood of causing an allergic response.

Keratitis

Inflammation of the cornea of the eye characterized by burning or smarting, blurring of vision, and sensitivity to light.

Malignant

The term "malignancy" refers to cancerous cells that have the ability to spread to other sites in the body (metastasize) or to invade and destroy tissues. Malignant cells tend to have fast, uncontrolled growth due to changes in their genetic makeup.

Metastatic

Metastatic cancer is cancer that has spread from the place where it first started to another place in the body. A tumor formed by metastatic cancer cells is called a metastatic tumor or a metastasis. The process by which cancer cells spread to other parts of the body is also called metastasis.

Mutation

Any alteration in a gene from its natural state.

Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)

The most common form of lung cancer. NSCLC gets its name from how doctors classify this particular type.

Paronychia

Inflammation of the tissues adjacent to the nail of a finger or toe usually accompanied by infection and pus formation.

Physiological

Characteristic of or appropriate to an organism's normal functioning.

Side effect

A secondary and usually adverse effect of a drug.

Stomatitis

Any of numerous inflammatory diseases of the mouth having various causes (as mechanical trauma, allergy, vitamin deficiency, or infection).

Ulcer

A break in the skin or mucous membrane with loss of surface tissue, disintegration, and necrosis of epithelial tissue, and often pus.

Tumor

Tumors are abnormal growths in the body. They are made up of extra cells. Tumors can be either benign or malignant.

*The definitions were sourced from the following organizations’ Web sites: National Institutes of Health, American Cancer Society, Lung Cancer Foundation of America, and Merriam-Webster’s Medical Dictionary.