Glossary of Cancer Terms



A test in which sound waves are bounced off tissues and echoes are converted to a picture. Ultrasounds can be external (abdominal) or internal (transvaginal, transrectal).

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation

Invisible rays coming from the sun that can burn the skin. UV radiation can cause melanoma and other types of skin cancer.

Unconventional cancer treatments

Approaches that use substances or methods of treating cancer that have NOT been shown to be effective by accepted scientific measures. Unconventional therapies often publish outcomes that cannot be substantiated by scientific research. This differs from clinical trials in that clinical trials are reviewed and scrutinized by the scientific community with full disclosure of risks and benefits.

Upper GI series

A series of x-rays of the esophagus, stomach, and small intestine (upper gastrointestinal, or GI, tract) that are taken after the patient drinks a barium solution. (Barium is a white, chalky substance that outlines the organs on the x-ray).


The tubes that carry urine from each kidney to the bladder.


The tube that empties urine from the bladder.


A frequently performed screening test that gives a general indication of the person’s overall state of health, as well as the health of the urinary tract. The dipstick reagent strip method is commonly used to measure H, ketones, protein, sugars and other reducing substances. A urinalysis can also measure specific gravity, red blood cells, white blood cells, and color.

Urinary system

The organs of the body that produce and discharge urine. These include the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and the urethra.


Fluid containing water and waste products. Urine is made by the kidneys, stored in the bladder, and leaves the body through the urethra.

Urologic Concerning the urinary organs in females and the urinary and sex organs in males.
Urologic Cancer Cancer of the urinary organs in females (kidneys, bladder, or urothelial tract) and in urinary and sex organs in males (kidneys, bladder, urothelial tract, prostate, and testicles).


A doctor who specializes in disease of the urinary organs in females and the urinary and sex organs of men.


An operation that diverts urine from exiting through the urethra to a stoma created on the abdomen. A small plastic bag is worn over the stoma on the abdomen to contain urine. The bag is emptied into the toilet at regular intervals.

Uterine Cancer Cancer of the uterus. The most common type of uterine cancer is in the lining of the uterus (endometrium). Uterine sarcomas are much less common.
Uterus The small, hollow, pear-shaped organ in a woman's pelvis. This is the organ in which a fetus develops. Also called the womb.


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