Glossary of Cancer Terms


Fallopian tubes

Tubes on each side of the uterus through which an egg moves from the ovaries to the uterus.

False negative (mammogram)

Breast x-ray that misses breast cancer that is present.

False positive (mammogram)

Breast x-ray that indicates breast cancer is present when the disease is truly absent.

Familial Adenomatous Polyposis

A hereditary condition in which members of the same family develop intestinal polyps. Also called Gardner's syndrome, it is considered a risk factor for colorectal cancer.

Familial Cancer

Cancer, or a predisposition toward cancer, that runs in families.

Familial Dysplastic Nevi

A condition that runs in certain families in which at least two members have dysplastic nevi (atypical moles) and are at an increased risk to develop melanoma.

Fat Necrosis

Lumps of fatty material that form in response to a bruise or blow to the breast.

Fecal occult blood test

A test to check for hidden blood in the stool. ("Fecal" refers to the stool. "Occult" means hidden.)


The ability to produce children.


Benign fibrous tumor of the breast most common in young women.

Fibrocystic Disease

Term used to describe any benign condition in the breast.


Benign fibrous tumor of the uterus.

Fibrosarcoma Sarcomas are uncommon malignant tumors. They make up about 1% of cancers in adults and 15% in children. There are at least 56 different types of soft tissue sarcomas named according to the normal tissue from which the tumor is derived. The tissue of origin of a fibrosarcoma is connective (fibrous) tissue. There are three tumor categories related to the tumor's grade or activity; low, intermediate and high grade. High grade are the faster growing cancers.

Fine-needle aspiration

The removal of tissue or fluid with a needle for examination under a microscope. Also called a needle biopsy.


Keeping track of the health of people who participate in a clinical study for a period of time during the study and after the study ends.


Dividing the total dose of radiation into smaller doses in order to give healthy tissue time to repair itself.

Frozen section

A sliver of frozen biopsy tissue. This tissue provides the surgeon with a quick preliminary diagnosis but is not 100% reliable.


Destroying tissue using an electric current.


The upper, dome-shaped portion of the uterus.


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