Glossary of Terms

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

19 results found
Advance Directives The legal documents that state exactly how the survivor wants to be cared for and who they want to make decisions for them if they become unable to communicate their wishes.
Benign A term used to describe a growth that is not cancerous. Benign tumors do not spread to or invade nearby tissues or other parts of the body.
Blood Clot A clump of blood that forms in a vein either just under the skin surface or in a deep vein. A blood clot that forms in a deep vein is called deep vein thrombosis, or DVT. See Deep Vein Thrombosis.
Efficacy The ability of a treatment to produce the intended response. The efficacy of a treatment is evaluated during Phase II and Phase III clinical trials.
Enzyme A protein that induces a chemical reaction in the body. Pancreatic enzymes aid in food digestion.
Epidemiology A branch of medicine that studies the incidence, distribution, and control of diseases in populations.
Experimental Treatment A drug, medical device, or a combination of treatments being tested in humans for use in a specific disease or disorder. An experimental treatment for pancreatic cancer may or may not already have FDA approval to treat another disease or condition. Also called an investigational treatment/therapy.
Forceps An instrument used by a surgeon for grasping or extracting tissue.
Genetic Counselor A health professional with a graduate degree in medical genetics and counseling. Genetic counselors work with families who may be at risk for a variety of inherited conditions. They help families identify and understand inherited diseases and help them interpret how that information applies to their individual situation.
Immunotherapy A type of treatment that stimulates the body’s immune system to fight cancer. Immunotherapies may fight the cancer or control side effects from other cancer treatments.
Obese The state of having too much body fat. Adults with a body max index of 30 or over are considered obese.
Open Label Trial A clinical trial in which both the participant and the medical staff are aware of which treatment the person is receiving.
Pancreatic Enzymes The proteins made by the pancreas that aid in the digestion of food. The three types are amylase, lipase, and protease. Together these enzymes are commonly referred to as pancreatic juice.
Referring Order A referral made by the survivor's physician certifying that life expectancy is six months or less if the pancreatic cancer runs its likely course.
Risk Factor A characteristic or behavior that has been associated with an increased chance of developing a disease. It is not necessarily a cause of the disease but increases the likelihood of developing the disease.
Spleen An organ in the upper left side of the abdomen that serves to filter the blood. It is located near the tail of the pancreas.
Stable Disease A cancerous tumor that has neither increased nor decreased in size or location.
Stage A measure of how far the cancer has grown, using size of the tumor, lymph node involvement and locations to which it has spread. Stages range from I to IV, with I describing the earliest form of cancer.
Tarceva® (erlotinib) See Erlotinib.

The information and services provided by the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, Inc. are for informational purposes only. The information and services are not intended to be substitutes for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are ill, or suspect that you are ill, see a doctor immediately! The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network does not recommend nor endorse any specific physicians, products or treatments even though they may be mentioned on this site. In addition, please note that any personal information you provide to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network's associates during telephone and/or email consultations may be stored in a secure database to assist the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, Inc. in providing you with the best service possible. Portions of the constituent data stored in this database may be used to inform future programs and services of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, Inc., and may be provided in aggregate form to third parties to guide future pancreatic cancer research and treatment efforts. The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, Inc. will not provide personal identifying information (such as your name or contact information) to third parties without your advanced written consent. 080828

Facing Pancreatic Cancer

Learn about Pancreatic Cancer
Recently Diagnosed
Treatment Options

We Can Help

Patient Services and Support
Free Clinical Trials Searches
Know Your Tumor Service
Patient Registry
Seminars & Webinars
For Healthcare Professionals
For Researchers

Get Involved

Volunteer with Us
Attend a Local Event
Subscribe to Our Newsletter
Apply for a Grant
Shop Purple

Who We Are

About Us
Annual Reports
Contact Us

shop for pancreatic cancer gear

Our 11th Consecutive Year