Cancer Term Glossary

F-18 16 alpha-fluoroestradiol(… AL-fuh-FLOOR-oh-es-truh-DY-ol)
A radiolabeled substance being studied as an imaging agent in breast cancer. F-18 16 alpha-fluoroestradiol binds to estrogen receptors and gives off radiation that can be detected by a PET scan. The PET scan forms an image that shows where cancer cells with estrogen receptors can be found in the body. It is a type of radioimaging agent. Also called F-18 FES.
F-18 FES
A radiolabeled substance being studied as an imaging agent in breast cancer. F-18 FES binds to estrogen receptors and gives off radiation that can be detected by a PET scan. The PET scan forms an image that shows where cancer cells with estrogen receptors can be found in the body. It is a type of radioimaging agent. Also called F-18 16 alpha-fluoroestradiol.
falimarev(fuh-LIM-uh-rev)
A cancer vaccine made with a form of a chicken virus that does not cause disease in humans. It is being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. The virus is changed in the laboratory to make human proteins that may help immune cells in the body kill tumor cells. Also called recombinant fowlpox-CEA-MUC-1-TRICOM vaccine.
fallopian tube(fuh-LOH-pee-in...)
A slender tube through which eggs pass from an ovary to the uterus. In the female reproductive tract, there is one ovary and one fallopian tube on each side of the uterus.
false-negative test result
A test result that indicates that a person does not have a specific disease or condition when the person actually does have the disease or condition.
false-positive result
A test result that indicates an individual is affected and/or has a certain gene mutation when he or she is actually unaffected and/or does not have the mutation; i.e., a positive test result in a truly unaffected or mutation-negative individual.
false-positive test result(fawls-PAH-zih-tiv ... reh-ZULT)
A test result that indicates that a person has a specific disease or condition when the person actually does not have the disease or condition.
familial
A phenotype or trait that occurs with greater frequency in a given family than in the general population; familial traits may have a genetic and/or nongenetic etiology.
familial adenomatous polyposis(fuh-MIH-lee-ul A-deh-NOH-muh-tus PAH-lee-POH-sis)
An inherited condition in which numerous polyps (growths that protrude from mucous membranes) form on the inside walls of the colon and rectum. It increases the risk of colorectal cancer. Also called familial polyposis and FAP.
familial atypical multiple mole melanoma syndrome
An inherited condition marked by the following: (1) one or more first- or second-degree relatives (parent, sibling, child, grandparent, grandchild, aunt, or uncle) with malignant melanoma; (2) many moles, some of which are atypical (asymmetrical, raised, and/or different shades of tan, brown, black, or red) and often of different sizes; and (3) moles that have specific features when examined under a microscope. FAMMM syndrome increases the risk of melanoma and may increase the risk of pancreatic cancer. Also called FAMMM syndrome.
familial cancer
Cancer that occurs in families more often than would be expected by chance. These cancers often occur at an early age, and may indicate the presence of a gene mutation that increases the risk of cancer. They may also be a sign of shared environmental or lifestyle factors.
familial dysplastic nevi(fuh-MIH-lee-ul dis-PLAS-tik NEE-vye)
A condition that runs in certain families in which at least two members have dysplastic nevi (atypical moles) and have a tendency to develop melanoma.
familial isolated hyperparathyroidism(fuh-MIH-lee-ul I-soh-LAY-ted HY-per-PAYR-uh-THY-roy-dih-zum)
A rare inherited condition in which one or more tumors form in the parathyroid glands (four pea-sized organs found on the thyroid) and cause them to make too much parathyroid hormone. The increased parathyroid hormone causes a loss of calcium from the bones and too much calcium in the blood. Also called FIHP.
familial medullary thyroid cancer(fuh-MIH-lee-ul MED-yoo-LAYR-ee THY-royd KAN-ser)
An inherited form of medullary thyroid cancer (cancer that forms in the cells of the thyroid that make the hormone calcitonin).
familial polyposis(fuh-MIH-lee-ul PAH-lee-POH-sis)
An inherited condition in which numerous polyps (growths that protrude from mucous membranes) form on the inside walls of the colon and rectum. It increases the risk of colorectal cancer. Also called familial adenomatous polyposis and FAP.
family history(FAM-ih-lee HIH-stuh-ree)
A record of the relationships among family members along with their medical histories. This includes current and past illnesses. A family history may show a pattern of certain diseases in a family. Also called family medical history.
family medical history(FAM-ih-lee MEH-dih-kul HIH-stuh-ree)
A record of the relationships among family members along with their medical histories. This includes current and past illnesses. A family medical history may show a pattern of certain diseases in a family. Also called family history.
family therapy(FAM-ih-lee THAYR-uh-pee)
A type of therapy in which the whole family talks with a professional counselor to solve family problems.
FAMMM syndrome
An inherited condition marked by the following: (1) one or more first- or second-degree relatives (parent, sibling, child, grandparent, grandchild, aunt, or uncle) with malignant melanoma; (2) many moles, some of which are atypical (asymmetrical, raised, and/or different shades of tan, brown, black, or red) and often of different sizes; and (3) moles that have specific features when examined under a microscope. FAMMM syndrome increases the risk of melanoma and may increase the risk of pancreatic cancer. Also called familial atypical multiple mole melanoma syndrome.
Fanconi anemia(fan-KOH-nee uh-NEE-mee-uh)
A rare inherited disorder in which the bone marrow does not make blood cells. It is usually diagnosed in children between 2 and 15 years old. Symptoms include frequent infections, easy bleeding, and extreme tiredness. People with Fanconi anemia may have a small skeleton and brown spots on the skin. They also have an increased risk of developing certain types of cancer.
Fanconi syndrome(fan-KOH-nee SIN-drome)
A group of kidney disorders that cause protein, sugar, minerals, and other nutrients to be lost in the urine. Symptoms include weakness, bone pain, and passing a greater than normal amount of urine. One form of Fanconi syndrome is inherited and is usually found in infants. Fanconi’s syndrome may also be caused by other diseases, a lack of vitamin D, or exposure to heavy metals or chemicals, including certain anticancer drugs.
FAP
An inherited condition in which numerous polyps (growths that protrude from mucous membranes) form on the inside walls of the colon and rectum. It increases the risk of colorectal cancer. Also called familial adenomatous polyposis and familial polyposis.
Faridak(FA-rih-dak)
A drug being studied in the treatment of cancer. It blocks enzymes needed for cells to grow and divide and may kill cancer cells. Faridak may also prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It is a type of histone deacetylase inhibitor and a type of antiangiogenesis agent. Also called LBH589 and panobinostat.
Faslodex(FAZ-loh-dex)
A drug used to treat certain types of breast cancer in postmenopausal women. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Faslodex blocks estrogen activity in the body and is a type of antiestrogen. Also called fulvestrant and ICI 182780.
fast-neutron beam radiation(fast NOO-tron beem RAY-dee-AY-shun)
A type of radiation therapy that uses tiny particles called neutrons made by a machine called a cyclotron.
fat necrosis(… neh-KROH-sis)
A benign condition in which fat tissue in the breast or other organs is damaged by injury, surgery, or radiation therapy. The fat tissue in the breast may be replaced by a cyst or by scar tissue, which may feel like a round, firm lump. The skin around the lump may look red, bruised or dimpled.
fat-soluble vitamin(… SOL-yoo-bul VY-tuh-min)
A vitamin that can dissolve in fats and oils. Fat-soluble vitamins are absorbed along with fats in the diet and can be stored in the body’s fatty tissue. They come from plant and animal foods or dietary supplements. Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble.
fatigue
A condition marked by extreme tiredness and inability to function due lack of energy. Fatigue may be acute or chronic.
fatty acid
A major component of fats that is used by the body for energy and tissue development.
fatty-replaced breast tissue(FA-tee-rih-PLAYST brest TIH-shoo)
A term used in mammography that refers to the replacement of breast tissue with fatty tissue. This commonly occurs as a woman ages.
FAU
A substance being studied in the treatment of advanced solid tumors and lymphomas. It blocks the growth of cells and may cause cancer cells to die. It is a type of uracil analog. Also called 1-(2’-deoxy-2’-fluoro-ß-D-arabinofuranosyl) uracil.
fazarabine
An anticancer drug that is a type of antimetabolite.
FDA
An agency in the U.S. federal government whose mission is to protect public health by making sure that food, cosmetics, and nutritional supplements are safe to use and truthfully labeled. The FDA also makes sure that drugs, medical devices, and equipment are safe and effective, and that blood for transfusions and transplant tissue are safe. Also called Food and Drug Administration.
FdCyd
A substance being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. It may prevent the growth of tumors by stopping cancer cells from dividing and by killing them. It is a type of antimetabolite. Also called 5-fluoro-2-deoxycytidine.
FDR
The parents, brothers, sisters, or children of an individual. Also called first-degree relative.
febrile neutropenia(FEH-brile noo-troh-PEE-nee-uh)
A condition marked by fever and a lower-than-normal number of neutrophils in the blood. A neutrophil is a type of white blood cell that helps fight infection. Having too few neutrophils increases the risk of infection.
fecal incontinence(FEE-kal in-KAHN-tih-nens)
Inability to hold stool in the rectum.
fecal occult blood test(FEE-kul uh-KULT...)
A test to check for blood in the stool. Small samples of stool are placed on special cards and sent to a doctor or laboratory for testing. Blood in the stool may be a sign of colorectal cancer. Also called FOBT.
feces(FEE-seez)
The material in a bowel movement. Feces is made up of undigested food, bacteria, mucus, and cells from the lining of the intestines. Also called stool.
Femara(FEM-uh-ruh)
A drug used to treat advanced breast cancer in postmenopausal women. Femara causes a decrease in the amount of estrogen made by the body. It is a type of aromatase inhibitor. Also called letrozole.
fenofibrate(FEN-oh-FY-brayt)
A drug used to treat high levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood. Fenofibrate is being studied in the treatment of advanced cancers in young patients and in the treatment of other conditions. It is a type of antilipidemic agent. Also called Lofibra and TriCor.
fenretinide(fen-REH-tih-nide)
A substance being studied in the treatment and prevention of some types of cancer. Fenretinide may cause ceramide (a wax-like substance) to build up in tumor cells and kill them. It is a type of retinoid, which are substances related to vitamin A.
fenretinide LXS(fen-REH-tih-nide…)
A powdered form of fenretinide that is being studied in the treatment of neuroblastoma. It may be used by the body more easily than the pill form. Fenretinide may cause ceramide (a wax-like substance) to build up in tumor cells and kill them. It is a type of retinoid, which are substances related to vitamin A. Also called fenretinide Lym-X-Sorb.
fenretinide Lym-X-Sorb(fen-REH-tih-nide…)
A powdered form of fenretinide that is being studied in the treatment of neuroblastoma. It may be used by the body more easily than the pill form. Fenretinide may cause ceramide (a wax-like substance) to build up in tumor cells and kill them. It is a type of retinoid, which are substances related to vitamin A. Also called fenretinide LXS.
fentanyl citrate(FEN-tuh-nil SIH-trayt)
A drug used to treat severe cancer pain in that occurs even though the patient is already taking opioids. It is also used during anesthesia for surgery. Fentanyl citrate binds to opioid receptors in the central nervous system. It is a type of analgesic agent and a type of opioid.
fentanyl sublingual spray(FEN-tuh-nil sub-LING-wul …)
A form of the drug fentanyl that is sprayed under the tongue and then absorbed into the blood. It is being studied in the treatment of breakthrough pain (pain that occurs even when pain-control medication is already being used) in cancer patients. Fentanyl is a type of opioid analgesic.
Ferrlecit(fer-LEH-sit)
A form of the mineral iron that is used to treat anemia caused by low amounts of iron in the blood. Anemia is a condition in which the number of red blood cells is below normal. Ferrlecit is a type of hematinic and a dietary supplement. Also called sodium ferric gluconate.
ferrous sulfate(FEH-rus SUL-fayt)
A form of the mineral iron that is used to treat anemia caused by low amounts of iron in the blood. Anemia is a condition in which the number of red blood cells is below normal. Ferrous sulfate is a type of hematinic and a type of dietary supplement.
fertile(FER-tul)
Able to produce children.
fertility(fer-TIL-i-tee)
The ability to produce children.
ferumoxtran-10(fayr-yoo-MOX-tran…)
A substance being studied as a way of improving magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in diagnosing cancer and finding lymph nodes to which cancer has spread. Ferumoxtran-10 is made of nanoparticles (ultrasmall pieces) of iron oxide coated with dextran (a type of sugar). It is injected into the blood of the patient and the particles collect in lymph nodes, liver, spleen, or brain tissue where they can be seen using MRI. Ferumoxtran-10 later breaks down and passes from the body in urine.
ferumoxytol
A nanoparticle form of iron made in the laboratory that is being studied for use in iron replacement therapy, and as a contrast agent for magnetic resonance imaging. Contrast agents are substances that are injected into the body and taken up by certain tissues, making the tissues easier to see in imaging scans.
fetus(FEET-us)
The developing offspring from 7 to 8 weeks after conception until birth.
fever(FEE-ver)
An increase in body temperature above normal (98.6 degrees F), usually caused by disease.
fexofenadine(fex-oh-FEN-uh-deen)
A drug used to treat certain allergy symptoms. It blocks a chemical released during an allergic response that causes itching, sneezing, runny nose, wheezing, and watery eyes. It is a type of antihistamine. Also called Allegra.
fiber(FY-ber)
In food, fiber is the part of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains that cannot be digested. The fiber in food may help prevent cancer. In the body, fiber refers to tissue made of long threadlike cells, such as muscle fiber or nerve fiber.
fiberoptic(FY-ber-OP-tik)
Describes the use of a coated, thin, clear, glass or plastic fiber that can carry light and send information, including images. In medicine, flexible fiberoptic instruments are used to look inside the body. Fiberoptics are also used to deliver laser light to tumors injected with a type of drug that kills cancer cells when it is exposed to laser light.
fibrin sealant
A type of surgical glue that is made from human blood-clotting proteins, and that is used during surgery to control bleeding.
fibroadenoma(FY-broh-a-deh-NOH-muh)
A benign (not cancer) tumor that usually forms in the breast from both fibrous and glandular tissue. Fibroadenomas are the most common benign breast tumors.
fibroblast
A connective tissue cell that makes and secretes collagen proteins.
fibrocystic breast changes(FY-broh-SIS-tik brest CHAYN-jiz)
A common condition marked by benign (not cancer) changes in breast tissue. These changes may include irregular lumps or cysts, breast discomfort, sensitive nipples, and itching. These symptoms may change throughout the menstrual cycle and usually stop after menopause. Also called benign breast disease, fibrocystic breast disease, and mammary dysplasia.
fibrocystic breast disease(FY-broh-SISS-tik brest dih-ZEEZ)
A common condition marked by benign (not cancer) changes in breast tissue. These changes may include irregular lumps or cysts, breast discomfort, sensitive nipples, and itching. These symptoms may change throughout the menstrual cycle and usually stop after menopause. Also called benign breast disease, fibrocystic breast changes, and mammary dysplasia.
fibroid(FY-broyd)
A benign smooth-muscle tumor, usually in the uterus or gastrointestinal tract. Also called leiomyoma.
fibromatosis(fy-BROH-muh-TOH-sis)
A condition in which multiple fibromas develop. Fibromas are tumors (usually benign) that affect connective tissue.
fibrosarcoma
A type of soft tissue sarcoma that begins in fibrous tissue, which holds bones, muscles, and other organs in place.
fibrosis
The growth of fibrous tissue.
fibrous
Containing or resembling fibers.
fifth cranial nerve
The main sensory nerve of the head and face, and the motor nerve of the muscles used in chewing. Also called trigeminal nerve.
FIHP
A rare inherited condition in which one or more tumors form in the parathyroid glands (four pea-sized organs found on the thyroid) and cause them to make too much parathyroid hormone. The increased parathyroid hormone causes a loss of calcium from the bones and too much calcium in the blood. Also called familial isolated hyperparathyroidism.
filgrastim
A colony-stimulating factor that stimulates the production of neutrophils (a type of white blood cell). It is a cytokine that is a type of hematopoietic (blood-forming) agent. Also called G-CSF and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor.
filgrastim-SD/01(fil-GRAS-tim)
A drug used to increase numbers of white blood cells in patients who are receiving chemotherapy. It is a type of colony-stimulating factor. Also called Neulasta and pegfilgrastim.
filler
An inactive substance used to make a product bigger or easier to handle. For example, fillers are often used to make pills or capsules because the amount of active drug is too small to be handled conveniently.
film mammography(... ma-MAH-gruh-fee)
The use of x-rays to create a picture of the breast on a film.
finasteride(fi-NAS-ta-ride)
A drug used to reduce the amount of male hormone (testosterone) produced by the body.
fine-needle aspiration biopsy(... NEE-dul as-per-AY-shun BY-op-see)
The removal of tissue or fluid with a thin needle for examination under a microscope. Also called FNA biopsy.
first-degree relative
The parents, brothers, sisters, or children of an individual. Also called FDR.
first-line therapy(... THAYR-uh-pee)
Initial treatment used to reduce a cancer. First-line therapy is followed by other treatments, such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and hormone therapy to get rid of cancer that remains. Also called induction therapy, primary therapy, and primary treatment.
FISH
A laboratory technique used to look at genes or chromosomes in cells and tissues. Pieces of DNA that contain a fluorescent dye are made in the laboratory and added to cells or tissues on a glass slide. When these pieces of DNA bind to specific genes or areas of chromosomes on the slide, they light up when viewed under a microscope with a special light. Also called fluorescence in situ hybridization.
fistula(fis-CHUH-luh)
An abnormal opening or passage between two organs or between an organ and the surface of the body. Fistulas may be caused by injury, infection, or inflammation, or may be created during surgery.
five element acupuncture(five EL-eh-ment AK-yoo-PUNK-cher)
An ancient form of acupuncture based on the principle that there are five universal elements (wood, fire, earth, metal, and water) that affect a person's emotions, personality, health, and response to treatment. Each person is affected by one element more than the others. Also called traditional acupuncture.
five-year survival rate(... ser-VY-vul ...)
The percentage of people in a study or treatment group who are alive five years after they were diagnosed with or treated for a disease, such as cancer. The disease may or may not have come back.
FK463
An antibiotic/antifungal drug used to treat infection.
Flagyl
A drug that is used to treat infection and is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It is type of antibacterial, antiprotozoal, and anthelmintic. Also called metronidazole.
flavonoid
A member of a group of substances found in many plants and plant-based foods. Flavonoids have shown antioxidant effects.
flavopiridol(FLAH-voh-PIH-rih-dol)
A substance being studied in the treatment of several types of cancer. It stops cells from dividing and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitor. Also called alvocidib and HMR 1275.
flaxseed
The seed of the flax plant. It is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acid, fiber, and a compound called lignin. It is being studied in the prevention of prostate cancer. Also called linseed.
flecainide
A drug used to treat abnormal heart rhythms. It may also relieve neuropathic pain, the burning, stabbing, or stinging pain that may arise from damage to nerves caused by some types of cancer or cancer treatment.
Flomax(FLOH-max)
A drug used to treat urinary problems caused by an enlarged prostate. Flomax relaxes the muscles of the prostate and bladder, which helps the flow of urine. It is a type of alpha blocker. Also called tamsulosin and tamsulosin hydrochloride.
flow chart(FLOH …)
A diagram that shows the order of steps in a complex process. Also called flow sheet.
flow cytometry
A method of measuring the number of cells in a sample, the percentage of live cells in a sample, and certain characteristics of cells, such as size, shape, and the presence of tumor markers on the cell surface. The cells are stained with a light-sensitive dye, placed in a fluid, and passed in a stream before a laser or other type of light. The measurements are based on how the light-sensitive dye reacts to the light.
flow sheet(FLOH …)
A diagram that shows the order of steps in a complex process. Also called flow chart.
floxuridine
A drug used in the treatment of cancer. It is a type of antimetabolite.
flt3L
A drug that increases the number of immune cells and may stimulate the immune system to kill cancer cells.
fluconazole
A drug that treats infections caused by fungi.
flucytosine
A drug that treats infections caused by fungi.
Fludara(floo-DAR-uh)
A drug used to treat B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) that has not responded to treatment with other anticancer drugs or that has gotten worse. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Fludara blocks cells from making DNA and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of purine antagonist and a type of ribonucleotide reductase inhibitor. Also called fludarabine phosphate.
fludarabine(floo-DAR-uh-been)
The active ingredient in a drug used to treat B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) that has not responded to treatment with other anticancer drugs or that has gotten worse. Fludarabine blocks cells from making DNA and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of purine antagonist and a type of ribonucleotide reductase inhibitor.
fludarabine phosphate(floo-DAR-uh-been FOS-fayt)
A drug used to treat B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) that has not responded to treatment with other anticancer drugs or that has gotten worse. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Fludarabine phosphate blocks cells from making DNA and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of purine antagonist and a type of ribonucleotide reductase inhibitor. Also called Fludara.
fludeoxyglucose F 18
The radioactive form of glucose used in positron emission tomography (PET), a diagnostic imaging procedure.
fludrocortisone(floo-droh-KOR-tih-sone)
A synthetic corticosteroid. It is used to replace steroid hormones normally produced by the adrenal gland.
fluid(FLOO-id)
A substance that flows smoothly and takes the shape of its container. Liquids and gases are fluids.
fluorescence in situ hybridization(floor-EH-sents in SY-too HY-brih-dih-ZAY-shun)
A laboratory technique used to look at genes or chromosomes in cells and tissues. Pieces of DNA that contain a fluorescent dye are made in the laboratory and added to cells or tissues on a glass slide. When these pieces of DNA bind to specific genes or areas of chromosomes on the slide, they light up when viewed under a microscope with a special light. Also called FISH.
fluorescence microscopy(floor-EH-sents my-KROS-koh-pee)
The use of a special microscope to see objects that give off fluorescent light. For example, cells or tissue can be treated with a substance that contains a fluorescent dye. The dye lights up when viewed under a microscope with a special light.
fluoride(FLOOR-ide)
A form of the element fluorine that helps prevent tooth decay. Fluoride may be naturally present in drinking water or may be added to it. Fluoride may also be put directly on the teeth, as a gel, toothpaste, or a rinse.
fluorine F 18 EF5(FLOR-een...)
A substance being studied in positron emission tomography (PET) imaging to detect tumor hypoxia (a low level of oxygen in the tumor). This may help predict how the tumor will respond to treatment. It is a type of radiopharmaceutical. Also called 18F-EF5.
fluorine F 18 FEQA(FLOOR-een …)
A radioactive substance being studied in positron emission tomography (PET) imaging to detect cancer and to monitor the response of some types of cancer to treatment. Fluorine F 18 FEQA attaches to the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) found on the surface of some tumor cells. It is a type of radiopharmaceutical.
fluoropyrimidine
One of a group of substances used to treat cancer. A fluoropyrimidine is a type of antimetabolite. Examples are capecitabine, floxuridine, and fluorouracil (5-FU).
fluoroscope(FLOOR-oh-skope)
An x-ray machine that makes it possible to see internal organs in motion.
fluoroscopy(floor-AHS-ko-pee)
An x-ray procedure that makes it possible to see internal organs in motion.
fluorothymidine F 18(FLOOR-oh-THY-mih-DEEN…)
A radioactive substance being studied in the diagnosis of cancer. Fluorothymidine F 18 is injected into the blood and builds up in cells that are dividing, including cancer cells. The radiation that it gives off as it decays (breaks down) helps make clear pictures of tumors during positron emission tomography (PET) scans. It is a type of radiopharmaceutical. Also called 18F-FLT and 3’-deoxy-3’-(18F) fluorothymidine.
fluorouracil(floor-oh-YOOR-uh-sil)
A drug used to treat symptoms of cancer of the colon, breast, stomach, and pancreas. It is also used in a cream to treat certain skin conditions. Fluorouracil stops cells from making DNA and it may kill cancer cells. It is a type of antimetabolite. Also called 5-fluorouracil and 5-FU.
fluoxetine
A drug used to treat depression. It is a type of antidepressant.
fluphenazine(floo-FEH-nuh-ZEEN)
A drug that is used to treat mental and emotional disorders and is being studied in the treatment of multiple myeloma. Fluphenazine may stop tumor growth by keeping myeloma cells from dividing and causing them to die. It is a type of antipsychotic. Also called fluphenazine hydrochloride.
fluphenazine hydrochloride(floo-FEH-nuh-ZEEN HY-droh-KLOR-ide)
A drug that is used to treat mental and emotional disorders and is being studied in the treatment of multiple myeloma. Fluphenazine hydrochloride may stop tumor growth by keeping myeloma cells from dividing and causing them to die. It is a type of antipsychotic. Also called fluphenazine.
flutamide(FLOO-ta-mide)
An anticancer drug that is a type of antiandrogen.
fluvoxamine(floo-VOX-uh-meen)
A drug used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder. It is a type of antidepressant agent and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). Also called Luvox.
FMISO
A radioactive substance being studied as an imaging agent in head and neck cancers and other types of cancer. It binds to large molecules in tumor cells that have a low level of oxygen. Radiation given off by FMISO is detected by a PET scan. The amount of FMISO in the tumor may help decide the best treatment and help predict whether the cancer will come back after treatment. FMISO is a type of radioimaging agent. Also called 18F-fluoromisonidazole and 18F-MISO.
FNA biopsy(... BY-op-see)
The removal of tissue or fluid with a thin needle for examination under a microscope. Also called fine-needle aspiration biopsy.
FOBT
A test to check for blood in the stool. Small samples of stool are placed on special cards and sent to a doctor or laboratory for testing. Blood in the stool may be a sign of colorectal cancer. Also called fecal occult blood test.
focal
In terms of cancer, limited to a specific area.
folate(FOH-layt)
A nutrient in the vitamin B complex that the body needs in small amounts to function and stay healthy. Folate helps to make red blood cells. It is found in whole-grain breads and cereals, liver, green vegetables, orange juice, lentils, beans, and yeast. Folate is water-soluble (can dissolve in water) and must be taken in every day. Not enough folate can cause anemia (a condition in which the number of red blood cells is below normal), diseases of the heart and blood vessels, and defects in the brain and spinal cord in a fetus. Folate is being studied with vitamin B12 in the prevention and treatment of cancer. Also called folic acid.
folate antagonist(FOH-layt an-TA-guh-nist)
A substance that blocks the activity of folic acid. Folate antagonists are used to treat cancer. Also called antifolate.
FOLFIRI
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used to treat advanced colorectal cancer that has spread. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It includes the drugs leucovorin (folinic acid), fluorouracil, and irinotecan. Also called FOLFIRI regimen.
FOLFIRI regimen(… REH-jih-men)
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used to treat advanced colorectal cancer that has spread. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It includes the drugs leucovorin (folinic acid), fluorouracil, and irinotecan. Also called FOLFIRI.
FOLFOX
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used to treat colorectal cancer that is advanced or has come back. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It includes the drugs leucovorin calcium (folinic acid), fluorouracil, and oxaliplatin. FOLFOX-4, FOLFOX-6, and FOLFOX-7 are different in the doses of the three drugs and the ways they are given. Also called FOLFOX regimen.
FOLFOX regimen(… REH-jih-men)
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used to treat colorectal cancer that is advanced or has come back. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It includes the drugs leucovorin calcium (folinic acid), fluorouracil, and oxaliplatin. FOLFOX-4, FOLFOX-6, and FOLFOX-7 are different in the doses of the three drugs and the ways they are given. Also called FOLFOX.
folic acid(FOH-lik A-sid)
A nutrient in the vitamin B complex that the body needs in small amounts to function and stay healthy. Folic acid helps to make red blood cells. It is found in whole-grain breads and cereals, liver, green vegetables, orange juice, lentils, beans, and yeast. Folic acid is water-soluble (can dissolve in water) and must be taken in every day. Not enough folic acid can cause anemia (a condition in which the number of red blood cells is below normal), diseases of the heart and blood vessels, and defects in the brain and spinal cord in a fetus. Folic acid is being studied with vitamin B12 in the prevention and treatment of cancer. Also called folate.
folinic acid(foh-LIN-ik A-sid)
The active ingredient in a drug used to lessen the toxic effects of substances that block the action of folic acid, especially the anticancer drug methotrexate. Folinic acid is used to treat some types of anemia and is also used together with fluorouracil to treat colorectal cancer. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer and other conditions. Folinic acid is a form of folic acid. It is a type of chemoprotective agent and a type of chemosensitizing agent. Also called leucovorin.
follicle(FAH-lih-kul)
A sac or pouch-like cavity formed by a group of cells. In the ovaries, one follicle contains one egg. In the skin, one follicle contains one hair.
follicle-stimulating hormone(FAH-lih-kul-STIM-yoo-LAY-ting HOR-mone)
A hormone made in the pituitary gland. In females, it acts on the ovaries to make the follicles and eggs grow. In males, it acts on the testes to make sperm. Also called follitropin and FSH.
follicular large cell lymphoma(fuh-LIH-kyoo-ler larj sel lim-FOH-muh)
A rare type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (cancer of the lymphatic system) with large cells that look cleaved (split) or non-cleaved under the microscope. It is an indolent (slow-growing) type of lymphoma.
follicular lymphoma(fuh-LIH-kyoo-ler lim-FOH-muh)
A type of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (cancer of the immune system) that is usually indolent (slow-growing). The tumor cells grow as groups to form nodules. There are several subtypes of follicular lymphoma.
follicular mixed cell lymphoma(fuh-LIH-kyoo-ler miks'd sel lim-FOH-muh)
An indolent (slow-growing) type of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (cancer of the lymphatic system) in which there are both small and large cancer cells.
follicular thyroid cancer(fuh-LIH-kyoo-ler THY-royd KAN-ser)
Cancer that forms in follicular cells in the thyroid. It grows slowly and is highly treatable.
folliculitis(fuh-LIH-kyoo-LY-tis)
Inflammation of a follicle (a sac or pouch-like cavity), usually a hair follicle.
follitropin(FAH-lih-TROH-pin)
A hormone made in the pituitary gland. In females, it acts on the ovaries to make the follicles and eggs grow. In males, it acts on the testes to make sperm. Also called follicle-stimulating hormone and FSH.
follow-up
Monitoring a person's health over time after treatment. This includes keeping track of the health of people who participate in a clinical study or clinical trial for a period of time, both during the study and after the study ends.
FOLOTYN(FOH-loh-tin)
A drug used in the treatment of peripheral T-cell lymphoma (a fast-growing form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma). It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. FOLOTYN may block the growth of cancer cells and cause them to die. It is a type of dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) inhibitor. Also called pralatrexate.
fondaparinux(fon-duh-PAYR-ih-nux)
A drug used to prevent blood clots from forming inside blood vessels in the leg. It is being studied in the prevention of blood clots in some cancer patients, including women having surgery for cancer of the reproductive tract. It is a type of anticoagulant. Also called Arixtra and fondaparinux sodium.
fondaparinux sodium(fon-duh-PAYR-ih-nux SOH-dee-um)
A drug used to prevent blood clots from forming inside blood vessels in the leg. It is being studied in the prevention of blood clots in some cancer patients, including women having surgery for cancer of the reproductive tract. It is a type of anticoagulant. Also called Arixtra and fondaparinux.
Food and Drug Administration
An agency in the U.S. federal government whose mission is to protect public health by making sure that food, cosmetics, and nutritional supplements are safe to use and truthfully labeled. The Food and Drug Administration also makes sure that drugs, medical devices, and equipment are safe and effective, and that blood for transfusions and transplant tissue are safe. Also called FDA.
foreskin(FOR-skin)
The loose skin that covers the head of the penis.
Form FDA 1572-Statement of Investigator(... in-VEH-stih-GAYT-er)
A form that must be filed by an investigator running a clinical trial to study a new drug or agent. The investigator agrees to follow the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Code of Federal Regulations for the clinical trial. The investigator verifies that he or she has the experience and background needed to conduct the trial and that it will be done in a way that is ethical and scientifically sound. Also called 1572 form.
formaldehyde(for-MAL-duh-hide)
A chemical used in manufacturing and chemical industries, and as a preservative by anatomists, embalmers, and pathologists. Being exposed to formaldehyde may increase the risk of developing leukemia and brain cancer.
forodesine(FOR-oh-deh-seen)
A substance being studied in the treatment of some types of leukemia and lymphoma. It is a type of purine nucleoside phosphorylase (PNP) inhibitor. Also called BCX-1777 and forodesine hydrochloride.
forodesine hydrochloride(FOR-oh-deh-seen HY-droh-KLOR-ide)
A substance being studied in the treatment of some types of leukemia and lymphoma. It is a type of purine nucleoside phosphorylase (PNP) inhibitor. Also called BCX-1777 and forodesine.
fortified food(FOR-tih-fide …)
A food that has extra nutrients added to it or has nutrients added that are not normally there. Examples are milk with vitamin D added and salt with iodine added.
Fosamax(FAH-suh-max)
A drug used to treat certain bone conditions, such as osteoporosis and Paget disease of the bone. It is also being studied in the treatment of hypercalcemia (high levels of calcium in the blood) and bone pain caused by cancer. Fosamax slows the breakdown of bone and prevents the loss of calcium. It is a type of bisphosphonate. Also called alendronate sodium.
fosaprepitant dimeglumine(FOS-uh-PREH-pih-tunt dy-MEG-loo-meen)
A drug used together with other drugs to prevent and control nausea and vomiting caused by cancer treatment. It is given in a vein. It is a type of antiemetic and a type of substance P/neurokinin 1 receptor antagonist. Also called Emend for Injection.
fostamatinib disodium(FOS-tuh-MA-tih-nib dy-SOH-dee-um)
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer and certain other diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis. It may block tumor cell signaling and growth. It is a type of tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Also called R788 sodium and Syk kinase inhibitor R-935788.
fotemustine
A substance being studied in the treatment of brain tumors and metastatic melanoma of the eye. It is a type of nitrosourea.
founder effect
A gene mutation observed with high frequency in a population founded by a small ancestral group that was once geographically or culturally isolated, and in which one or more of the founders was a carrier of the mutant gene.
FR901228
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. FR901228 is a type of depsipeptide and histone deacetylase inhibitor. Also called Istodax and romidepsin.
fractionation(FRAK-shun-AY-shun)
Dividing the total dose of radiation therapy into several smaller, equal doses delivered over a period of several days.
Fragmin(FRAG-min)
A drug used to prevent blood clots from forming or to treat blood clots that have formed in patients with cancer or other conditions. Fragmin is a type of anticoagulant. Also called dalteparin and dalteparin sodium.
fragrance(FRAY-grants)
A pleasant, sweet odor.
frameshift mutation
An insertion or deletion involving a number of base pairs that is not a multiple of three, which consequently disrupts the triplet reading frame of a DNA sequence. Such mutations usually lead to the creation of a premature termination (stop) codon, and result in a truncated (shorter-than-normal) protein product.
frankincense tree(FRAN-kin-SENTS…)
A tree that belongs to the incense tree family. The tree’s amber-colored resin is used in incense. The resin has anti-inflammatory effects and has been used to treat arthritis, asthma, and ulcerative colitis. It is also being studied in the treatment of brain tumors. Also called Boswellia serrata.
free PSA
The amount of the protein prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in the blood that is not attached to other proteins. It is compared with the amount of PSA in the blood that is attached to other proteins. The amount of free PSA is higher in men with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).The amount of PSA attached to other proteins is higher in men with prostate cancer.
free radical
A highly reactive chemical that often contains oxygen and is produced when molecules are split to give products that have unpaired electrons (a process called oxidation). Free radicals can damage important cellular molecules such as DNA or lipids or other parts of the cell.
freeze-dried
A method used to dry substances, such as food, to make them last longer. The substance is frozen and then dried in a vacuum.
frontal sinus(FRUN-tul SY-nus)
A type of paranasal sinus (a hollow space in the bones around the nose). There are two, large frontal sinuses in the frontal bone, which forms the lower part of the forehead and reaches over the eye sockets and eyebrows. The frontal sinuses are lined with cells that make mucus to keep the nose from drying out.
fruit acid(FROOT A-sid)
One of a group of substances that are found in several types of fruit and in milk. They are used in skin care products to reduce wrinkles and soften the skin. Examples of fruit acids are glycolic acid, lactic acid, and citric acid. Also called AHA and alpha hydroxyl acid.
FSH
A hormone made in the pituitary gland. In females, it acts on the ovaries to make the follicles and eggs grow. In males, it acts on the testes to make sperm. Also called follicle-stimulating hormone and follitropin.
Ftorafur
A substance being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. It is a combination of tegafur and uracil. The tegafur is taken up by the cancer cells and breaks down into 5-FU, a substance that kills tumor cells. The uracil causes higher amounts of 5-FU to stay inside the cells and kill them. Ftorafur is a type of antimetabolite. Also called tegafur-uracil, UFT, and Uftoral.
fulguration(ful-guh-RAY-shun)
A procedure to destroy tissue (such as a tumor) using an electric current. Also called electrofulguration.
fulvestrant(fool-VES-trant)
A drug used to treat certain types of breast cancer in postmenopausal women. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Fulvestrant blocks estrogen activity in the body and is a type of antiestrogen. Also called Faslodex and ICI 182780.
functional magnetic resonance imaging(FUNK-shuh-nul mag-NEH-tik REH-zuh-nunts IH-muh-jing)
A noninvasive tool used to observe functioning in the brain or other organs by detecting changes in chemical composition, blood flow, or both.
functioning tumor(FUNK-shuh-ning TOO-mer)
A tumor that is found in endocrine tissue and makes hormones (chemicals that travel in the bloodstream and control the actions of other cells or organs).
fundus
The larger part of a hollow organ that is farthest away from the organ's opening. The bladder, gallbladder, stomach, uterus, eye, and cavity of the middle ear all have a fundus.
fungating lesion(FUN-gayt-ing LEE-zhun)
A type of skin lesion that is marked by ulcerations (breaks on the skin or surface of an organ) and necrosis (death of living tissue) and that usually has a bad smell. This kind of lesion may occur in many types of cancer, including breast cancer, melanoma, and squamous cell carcinoma, and especially in advanced disease.
fungicide(FUN-jih-side)
Any substance used to kill fungi (plant-like organisms that do not make chlorophyll), such as yeast and molds.
fungus(FUN-gus)
A plant-like organism that does not make chlorophyll. Mushrooms, yeasts, and molds are examples. The plural is fungi.
fusion gene(FYOO-zhun JEEN)
A gene made by joining parts of two different genes. Fusion genes may occur naturally in the body by transfer of DNA between chromosomes. For example, the BCR-ABL gene found in some types of leukemia is a fusion gene. Fusion genes can also be made in the laboratory by combining genes or parts of genes from the same or different organisms.
fusion protein(FYOO-zhun PROH-teen)
A protein made from a fusion gene, which is created by joining parts of two different genes. Fusion genes may occur naturally in the body by transfer of DNA between chromosomes. For example, the BCR-ABL gene found in some types of leukemia is a fusion gene that makes the BCR-ABL fusion protein. Fusion genes and proteins can also be made in the laboratory by combining genes or parts of genes from the same or different organisms.

The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James) 300 W. 10th Ave. Columbus, OH 43210 Phone: 1-800-293-5066 | Email: jamesline@osumc.edu