Disease & Drug Info

Glossary of Terms

C-11 choline

listen ( KOH-leen) A radioactive substance being studied in PET imaging to detect certain types of cancer. C-11 choline gets taken up by cells in the body and more of it is taken up by tumor cells than by normal cells. A PET scanner is used to detect which cells in the body have taken up C-11 choline. It is a type of radioimaging agent.

C-11 choline PET-CT scan

listen ( KOH-leen skan) A procedure in which a small amount of C-11 choline (a radioactive form of the vitamin choline) is injected into a vein. A scanner and a computer are used to make detailed pictures of areas inside the body where the C-11 choline collects. Cancer cells take up more C-11 choline than normal cells, so the pictures can be used to find cancer cells in the body. Also called carbon-11 choline PET-CT scan.

CA 15-3

A protein found on epithelial cells that is part of a larger protein called MUC 1. CA 15-3 may be found in higher than normal amounts in patients with some types of cancer, including breast cancer. Measuring the amount of CA 15-3 in the blood may be useful in checking how well cancer treatment is working or if cancer has come back. CA 15-3 is a type of tumor marker.

CA 19-9

A substance released into the bloodstream by both cancer cells and normal cells. Too much CA 19-9 in the blood can be a sign of pancreatic cancer or other types of cancer or conditions. The amount of CA 19-9 in the blood can be used to help keep track of how well cancer treatments are working or if cancer has come back. It is a type of tumor marker.

CA 19-9 assay

listen (... A-say) A laboratory test that measures the level of CA 19-9 in the blood. CA 19-9 is a substance released into the blood by both cancer cells and normal cells. Higher than normal amounts of CA 19-9 in the blood can be a sign of pancreatic or other types of cancer or other conditions. The amount of CA 19-9 in the blood can be used to help keep track of how well cancer treatments are working or if cancer has come back. CA 19-9 is a type of tumor marker.

CA 27.29

A protein found on epithelial cells, which line the inside and outside surfaces of the body. It is part of a larger protein called MUC 1. CA 27.29 may be found in higher than normal amounts in patients with some types of cancer, including breast cancer. Measuring the amount of CA 27.29 in the blood may help to find out how well cancer treatment is working or if cancer has come back. CA 27.29 is a type of tumor marker.

CA-125

A substance that may be found in high amounts in the blood of patients with certain types of cancer, including ovarian cancer. CA-125 levels may also help monitor how well cancer treatments are working or if cancer has come back. Also called cancer antigen 125.

CAB

Surgery in which a healthy blood vessel taken from another part of the body is used to make a new path for blood around a blocked artery leading to the heart. This restores the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the heart. Also called aortocoronary bypass and coronary artery bypass.

CAB

In medicine, a group of non-scientist volunteers that serves as a link between a community and clinical trial researchers. A CAB may review and monitor clinical trials and help teach the community about the trials. Also called Community Advisory Board.

cabazitaxel

listen (kuh-BA-zih-TAK-sil) A drug used with prednisone to treat hormone-resistant prostate cancer that has spread and that had been treated with docetaxel. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Cabazitaxel blocks cell growth by stopping cell division and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of antimitotic agent. Also called Jevtana and taxoid XRP6258.

c-ABL

An enzyme that is involved in many cell processes, such as cell division. The gene for c-ABL is on chromosome 9. In most patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), the part of chromosome 9 with c-ABL has broken off and traded places with part of chromosome 22 to form the BCR-ABL fusion gene.

Cabometyx

(KA-boh-MEH-tix) A drug used to treat advanced renal cell carcinoma (a type of kidney cancer) that was treated with antiangiogenesis therapy (a type of anticancer therapy). It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Cabometyx blocks certain proteins, which may help keep cancer cells from growing. It may also prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. Cabometyx contains the active ingredient cabozantinib-s-malate. It is a type of tyrosine kinase inhibitor and a type of angiogenesis inhibitor.

cabozantinib-s-malate

listen (KA-boh-ZAN-tih-nib ... MA-layt) A drug used to treat advanced renal cell carcinoma (a type of kidney cancer) that was treated with antiangiogenesis therapy (a type of anticancer therapy). It is used under the brand name Cabometyx to treat this cancer. It is also used under the brand name Cometriq to treat progressive medullary thyroid cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. Cabozantinib-s-malate is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It blocks certain proteins, which may help keep cancer cells from growing. It may also prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. Cabozantinib-s-malate is a type of tyrosine kinase inhibitor and a type of angiogenesis inhibitor.

cachexia

listen (kuh-KEK-see-uh) Loss of body weight and muscle mass, and weakness that may occur in patients with cancer, AIDS, or other chronic diseases.

CAD

A disease in which there is a narrowing or blockage of thecoronary arteries (blood vessels that carry blood and oxygen to the heart). CAD is usually caused by atherosclerosis (a buildup of fatty material and plaque inside the coronary arteries). The disease may cause chest pain, shortness of breath during exercise, and heart attacks. The risk of CAD is increased by having a family history of CAD before age 50, older age, smoking tobacco, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, lack of exercise, and obesity. Also called coronary artery disease and coronary heart disease.

cadmium

listen (KAD-mee-um) A metallic element that occurs naturally in tiny amounts in air, water, soil, and food. It is a byproduct of zinc refining and is used to make batteries, pigments, plastics, alloys, and electroplate. It is also found in tobacco and tobacco smoke. Exposure to high levels of cadmium may cause certain cancers and other health problems.

CAF

An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used alone or together with other therapies to treat breast cancer. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It includes the drugs cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin hydrochloride (Adriamycin), and fluorouracil. Also called CAF regimen.

CAF regimen

listen ( REH-jih-men) An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used alone or together with other therapies to treat breast cancer. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It includes the drugs cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin hydrochloride (Adriamycin), and fluorouracil. Also called CAF.

caffeine

listen (ka-FEEN) A substance found in the leaves and beans of the coffee tree, in tea, yerba mate, guarana berries, and in small amounts in cocoa. It can also be made in the laboratory, and is added to some soft drinks, foods, and medicines. Caffeine increases brain activity, alertness, attention, and energy. It may also increase blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, and the loss of water from the body in urine.

calbindin

listen (KAL-bine-din) A group of proteins that bind calcium and move it into cells. Calbindins are found in many different tissues in the body.

calcification

listen (KAL-sih-fih-KAY-shun) Deposits of calcium in the tissues. Calcification in the breast can be seen on a mammogram, but cannot be detected by touch. There are two types of breast calcification, macrocalcification and microcalcification. Macrocalcifications are large deposits and are usually not related to cancer. Microcalcifications are specks of calcium that may be found in an area of rapidly dividing cells. Many microcalcifications clustered together may be a sign of cancer.

calcinosis

listen (KAL-sih-NOH-sis) A condition in which abnormal amounts of calcium salts are found in soft tissue, such as muscle.

calcitonin

listen (KAL-sih-TOH-nin) A hormone formed by the C cells of the thyroid gland. It helps maintain a healthy level of calcium in the blood. When the calcium level is too high, calcitonin lowers it.

calcitriol

listen (KAL-sih-TRY-ol) The active form of vitamin D. Calcitriol is formed in the kidneys or made in the laboratory. It is used as a drug to increase calcium levels in the body in order to treat skeletal and tissue-related calcium deficiencies caused by kidney or thyroid disorders.

calcium

listen (KAL-see-um) A mineral needed for healthy teeth, bones, and other body tissues. It is the most common mineral in the body. A deposit of calcium in body tissues, such as breast tissue, may be a sign of disease.

calcium antagonist

listen (KAL-see-um an-TA-guh-nist) A type of drug that keeps calcium from entering the muscle cells of the heart and blood vessels. This causes the blood vessels to relax and widen, which allows the blood to flow more easily and lowers blood pressure. Some calcium antagonists may also slow the heartbeat. Calcium antagonists are used to treat high blood pressure, chest pain (angina), abnormal heartbeat (arrhythmia), and several other conditions. Also called calcium channel blocker.

calcium carbonate

listen (KAL-see-um KAR-buh-nayt) A form of the mineral calcium that is used to prevent or treat osteoporosis (a decrease in bone mass and density) and to treat heartburn and upset stomach. It is also being studied in the prevention of bone problems in people with cancer. It is a type of dietary supplement.

calcium channel blocker

listen (KAL-see-um CHA-nul BLAH-ker) A type of drug that keeps calcium from entering the muscle cells of the heart and blood vessels. This causes the blood vessels to relax and widen, which allows the blood to flow more easily and lowers blood pressure. Some calcium channel blockers may also slow the heartbeat. Calcium channel blockers are used to treat high blood pressure, chest pain (angina), abnormal heartbeat (arrhythmia), and several other conditions. Also called calcium antagonist.

calcium gluconate

listen (KAL-see-um GLOO-koh-nayt) The mineral calcium combined with a form of the sugar glucose. It is used to prevent and treat osteoporosis (a decrease in bone mass and density). It is also being studied in the treatment of bone loss and nerve damage caused by chemotherapy. It is a type of dietary supplement.

calcium infusion test

listen (KAL-see-um in-FYOO-zhun ) A test used to help diagnose a type of pancreatic islet cell tumor called a gastrinoma. The patient receives a 3-hour infusion of a substance called calcium gluconate and the amount of gastrin in the blood is measured. An increase in the level of gastrin in the blood after the infusion may be a sign of a gastrinoma.

calcium levoleucovorin

listen (KAL-see-um LEE-voh-LOO-koh-VOR-in) A drug used to lessen the toxic effects of substances that block the action of folic acid, especially the anticancer drug methotrexate. Calcium levoleucovorin is used to treat some types of anemia and is also used with fluorouracil to treat colorectal cancer. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer and other conditions. Calcium levoleucovorin is a form of folic acid. It is a type of chemoprotective agent and a type of chemosensitizing agent. Also called citrovorum factor, leucovorin calcium, and Wellcovorin.

calcium-41 (41Ca) chloride aqueous solution

listen (KAL-see-um KLOR-ide AY-kwee-us suh-LOO-shun) A substance used to diagnose and monitor cancer that has spread to the bones. It is also used to study the turnover of bone tissue and to diagnose other conditions that affect the bones, such as osteoporosis. Calcium-41 (41Ca) is a form of calcium that gives off radiation. It is passed from the body in the urine.

calcium-46 (46Ca) chloride aqueous solution

listen (KAL-see-um KLOR-ide AY-kwee-us suh-LOO-shun) A substance used to study the turnover of bone tissue in certain diseases, such as osteoporosis or cancer that has spread to the bone. Calcium-46 (46Ca) is a form of calcium. It is passed from the body in the urine.

calendula ointment

listen (kuh-LEN-juh-luh OYNT-ment) A substance made from the flower of the marigold plant Calendula officinalis. Calendula-based skin products have been used to treat minor cuts, burns, and skin irritation. The products that are available in the United States may not contain the same amount or mixture of ingredients and may not be effective. Another product, Calendula ointment, is being studied in France in the prevention of dermatitis in patients having radiation therapy for breast cancer. The ointment being studied is not available in the United States.

calgranulin A

listen (kal-GRAN-yoo-lin ...) A protein that is made by many different types of cells and is involved in processes that take place both inside and outside of the cell. It is made in larger amounts in inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, and in some types of cancer. It is being studied as a biomarker for breast cancer. Also called S100 calcium binding protein A8.

calgranulin B

listen (kal-GRAN-yoo-lin ...) A protein that is made by many different types of cells and is involved in processes that take place both inside and outside of the cell. It is made in larger amounts in inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, and in some types of cancer. It is being studied as a biomarker for breast cancer. Also called S100 calcium binding protein A9.

caloric intake

listen (kuh-LOR-ik In-tayk) Refers to the number of calories (energy content) consumed.

calorie

listen (KA-luh-ree) A measurement of the energy content of food. The body needs calories as to perform its functions, such as breathing, circulating the blood, and physical activity. When a person is sick, their body may need extra calories to fight fever or other problems.

CALR gene

listen ( jeen) A gene that makes a protein called calreticulin, which is involved in many cell functions. Calreticulin helps control the amount of calcium that is stored in cells. This is thought to play a role in the control of gene activity, cell growth and movement, the attachment of cells to one another, and cell death. Mutated (changed) forms of the CALR gene have been found in some types of blood conditions, including essential thrombocythemia and primary myelofibrosis.

CAM

listen Forms of treatment that are used in addition to (complementary) or instead of (alternative) standard treatments. These practices generally are not considered standard medical approaches. Standard treatments go through a long and careful research process to prove they are safe and effective, but less is known about most types of CAM. CAM may include dietary supplements, megadose vitamins, herbal preparations, special teas, acupuncture, massage therapy, magnet therapy, spiritual healing, and meditation. Also called complementary and alternative medicine.

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