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A term for diseases in which abnormal cells divide without control and can invade nearby tissues. Cancer cells can also spread to other parts of the body through the blood and lymph systems. There are several main types of cancer (carcinomas, sarcomas, leukemias, lymphomas and multiple myelomas)

Carcinoma is a cancer that begins in the skin or in tissues that line or cover internal organs. Sarcoma is a cancer that begins in bone, cartilage, fat, muscle, blood vessels, or other connective or supportive tissue.

Sarcoma is a cancer that begins in bone, cartilage, fat, muscle, blood vessels, or other connective or supportive tissue.

Leukemia is a cancer that starts in blood-forming tissue such as the bone marrow, and causes large numbers of abnormal blood cells to be produced and enter the blood.

Lymphoma/Multiple Myelomas
Lymphoma and multiple myeloma are cancers that begin in the cells of the immune system. Central nervous system cancers are cancers that begin in the tissues of the brain and spinal cord.

Medical Oncologist

A doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating cancer using chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, biological therapy, and targeted therapy. A medical oncologist often is the main health care provider for someone who has cancer. A medical oncologist also gives supportive care and may coordinate treatment given by other specialists.

A type of cancer treament that utilizes drugs to reduce and kill cancer cells.

Radiation Therapy
A type of cancer treatment that utilizes high-energy radiation from x-rays, gamma rays, neutrons, protons, and other sources to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors.

A CBC (complete blood count) is a blood test used to evaluate your blood and detect a wide range of disorders, including anemia, infection and leukemia. A complete blood count test measures several components and features of your blood, including:
  • Red blood cells (RBCs): carry oxygen
  • White blood cells (WBCs): fight infection
  • Hemoglobin (Hgb): oxygen carrying protein in RBCs
  • Hematocrit (Hct): proportion of RBCs to the plasma (fluid component) in your blood
  • Platelets (plts): help with blood clotting
Abnormal increases/decreases in cell counts may indicate a condition requiring further evaluation.

Tumor Marker
Tumor markers measure a substance found in tissue, blood, or other body fluids that may be a sign of cancer or certain benign (noncancerous) conditions. Most tumor markers are made by both normal cells and cancer cells, but they are made in larger amounts by cancer cells. A tumor marker may help to diagnose cancer, plan treatment, or find out how well treatment is working or if cancer has come back. Examples of tumor markers include CA-125 (in ovarian cancer), CA 15-3 (in breast cancer), CEA (in colon cancer), and PSA (in prostate cancer).

CT scan
A CT scan (computerized tomography) combines a series of x-ray views taken from many different.


An MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is a technique that uses a magnetic field and radio waves to create detailed images of the organs and tissues within your body.

PET scan
A procedure in which a small amount of radioactive glucose is injected into a vein, and a scanner is used to make detailed, computerized pictures of areas inside the body where the glucose is used. Because cancer cells often use more glucose than normal cells, the pictures can be used to detect cancer cells in the body.

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