Anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer likely realized that they needed a crash course in cancer terminology right away. Oncologists, social workers, insurance representatives, and more all commonly throw around unfamiliar words—related to medications, treatments, side effects, and more—and patients often have to struggle to educate themselves about the meaning of all of these new words. In fact, the National Cancer Institute’s dictionary of cancer terminology includes more than 8,700 words.
Cancer Terminology You Should Be Familiar With
Avoid some of that legwork and review these 10 common terms you should know if you’ve been diagnosed:
- Orphan drug: This is a medication that aims to treat or prevent an orphan disease, or a rare condition experienced by fewer than 200,000 Americans annually. Drug companies are eligible for certain financial bonuses if they develop a safe orphan drug, particularly because such diseases are often life-threatening.
- Malignant: If you have been diagnosed with malignant cells, they are cancerous and potentially dangerous, as they have the ability to destroy tissue and spread throughout your body.
- Metastasis: This is the life-threatening process by which cancerous cells break away from a primary tumor and spread to other parts of the body.
- Immunotherapy: A type of therapy designed to stimulate or suppress the immune system as a way to kill cancer cells.
- Ablation: This is cancer terminology related to treatment, as it involves the removal or destruction of tissue. It can be performed through a variety of means, including drugs and surgery.
- Biopsy: Pathologists use a biopsy to remove cells from the body so they can study them more closely. This is often the first step toward a cancer diagnosis.
- Acute: This refers to symptoms that come on quickly and get worse just as fast. Alternately, chronic symptoms build gradually over time.
- Chemotherapy: This is among the most common forms of treatment for cancer. Chemotherapy involves the administration of drugs to kill cancer cells or stop them from multiplying and spreading.
- Treatment cycle: A cycle involves a regular schedule that includes active treatment followed by a period of rest before treatment begins again. The particular cycle schedule varies depending on the diagnosis.
- Cryoablation: In this treatment, physicians use cold liquid or tools to freeze and then kill cancerous tissue.
You may very well become an expert in cancer terminology over the course of your treatment. With such a wide range of things to learn about, don’t get too overwhelmed if you don’t know where to start. When it comes to the financials of cancer, Life Credit can help. Contact us today to learn more about a Living Benefit Loan and if you qualify to borrow from your life insurance’s death policy.