Glossary of Cancer Terms

   
Gallbladder The pear-shaped organ that sits below the liver. The gall-bladder stores bile, which aids in the digestion of fat containing foods.
Gallbladder Cancer An extremely rare cancer which originates in the gall bladder (The pear-shaped organ that sits below the liver. The gall-bladder stores bile, which aids in the digestion of fat containing foods).

Gamma knife

A non-surgical procedure in which a machine that emits hundreds of powerful, highly focused gamma beams is aimed at a tumor in a single treatment session, as in treatment of a brain tumor.

Gamma rays

High-energy rays that come from a radioactive source such as cobalt-60.

Gangliocytoma (Ganglioneuroma) Rare benign tumors that arise from ganglia-type cells which are groups of nerve cells. These tumors are small, slow growing and have distinct margins; metastasis and malignancy are very rare.
Ganglioneuroma (Gangliocytoma) Rare benign tumors that arise from ganglia-type cells which are groups of nerve cells. These tumors are small, slow growing and have distinct margins; metastasis and malignancy are very rare.

Gastrectomy

Surgery to remove all or part of the stomach.

Gastric

Having to do with the stomach.

Gastric Atrophy

A condition in which that stomach muscles shrink and become weak. It results in a lack of digestive juices.

Gastric Cancer Cancer of the major organ that holds food for digestion. Stomach cancer (gastric cancer) can develop in any part of the stomach and spread to other organs.

Gastrointestinal

The digestive tract, which includes the mouth, esophagus, stomach, and intestines.

Gastrointestinal Cancer Cancer that develops within the stomach or intestines.
Gastrointestinal tract The stomach and intestines.

Gastroscope

A flexible, lighted instrument that is put through the mouth and esophagus to view the stomach. Tissue from the stomach can be removed through the gastroscope.

Gene alterations

Changes in the cells’ unit of inheritance that may be good or bad for the body.

Gene, genetic

A biologic unit of DNA capable of transmitting a single characteristic from parent to offspring.

Generic

A drug not protected by trademark. Also, the scientific name as opposed to the proprietary, brand name.

Genetic change

An alteration in a segment of DNA, which can disturb a gene’s behavior and sometimes leads to disease.

Geniturinary system

Organs and parts of the body that are concerned with the kidneys, urinary bladder and organs of reproduction.

Genome

All the genetic material in the chromosomes of a particular organism.

Germ cell tumors

Types of tumors arising from a germ cell (the reproductive cells of the body, either the egg or sperm cells). Most commonly found as tumors of the testis, about 5% of all ovarian cancers and as an uncommon childhood brain tumor occuring in young persons between the ages of 11 and 30.

Germ cells

The reproductive cells of the body, either egg or sperm cells.

Germinoma

The most common type of germ cell tumor of the brain.

Glands

A cell or group of cells which have the ability to manufacture a secretion that is discharged and used in some other part of the body.

Glioblastoma Multiforme

Fast growing astrocytomas that contain areas of dead tumor cells. While many tumors contain a mixture of cell types, GBM is the most mixed of brain tumors. It is this characteristic that makes it one of the most difficult brain tumors to treat. GBM's represent about 30% of all primary brain tumors and about 50% of the astrocytomas. It is more common in older adults, and affects more men than women. 9% of childhood brain tumors are glioblastomas.

Glioma

A general name for tumors that arise from the supportive tissue of the brain. Gliomas are the most common primary brain tumors.

Glottis

The middle part of the larynx, the area where the vocal cords are located.

Gonads Referring to the part of the reproductive system that produces and releases eggs (ovaries) or sperm (testicles/testes).

Grade of tumor

A way of classifying tumors by there appearance under the microscope. A "high-grade" tumor is immature, poorly differentiated (looks less like the normal cell that it originated from), fast growing and aggressive. A "low-grade" tumor is usually mature, well-differentiated (looks similar to the normal tissue that it originated from), slow growing and less aggressive. The grading of tumors is used to help determine cancer prognosis.

Graft-Versus-Host Disease (GVHD)

After bone marrow transplantation, immune cells in the donated (grafted) material may identify the patient's (host) tissue as foreign and try to destroy them. This can be a serious problem, and drugs are available to combat it. However, in some cases, a GVH reaction actually helps to control the cancer.

Gray

A measurement of the amount of radiation dose absorbed by the body; 1 Gray = 100 rads.

Groin

The area where the thigh meets the abdomen.

Growth factors (G-CSF, GM-CSF)

Also called colony stimulating factors. Substances that stimulate the production of certain blood cells. This treatment can help the bone marrow recover from the effects of chemotherapy and radiation.

Gynecologic Pertaining to the female reproductive tract, including the cervix, endometrium, fallopian tubes, ovaries, uterus, and vagina.
Gynecologic Cancer Cancer of the female reproductive tract, including the cervix, endometrium, fallopian tubes, ovaries, uterus, and vagina.

Gynecologic oncologist

A doctor who specializes in treating cancers of the female reproductive system.

Gynecologist

A doctor who specializes in the care and treatment of disorders of a woman’s reproductive system.

 

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