Novemeber 12, 2001
Endometrial Cancer Glossary of Terms
Mario Kopljar, MD
- - common name for tubes and ovaries.
- - the largest blood vessel in the body that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body. It descends from the heart downwards.
- - a process of cancer formation. Can be simply explained as excessive and uncontrolled multiplication of cells.
- - part of the uterus that connects uterus to the vagina.
- - a part of Dilation&Curetage (DC) means taking samples of the uterine lining with an instrument called curette. Samples are then examined under microscope. More details here.
- - a process by which cells become specialized for certain functions. Genetic instruction is the same in all cells in the body, but they only read certain chapters. For instance, genetic material in blood cells and skin cells is the same, but different parts of genetic code are active in each cell type.
- Dilation and Curettage
- - this procedure is obligatory whenever extra menstrual or abnormal uterine bleeding occurs. First, cervical canal is widened, and then samples of cervical lining are taken. Then curettage is done. Procedure is done under anesthesia.
- - uterine lining.
- Fallopian tubes
- - or uterine tubes - see picture 1.They connect uterus with ovaries. After ovulation egg travels through the tubes to the uterus.
- - hormones that secure pregnancy. Their level is high during pregnancy and they add to relaxing (act against contracting) of the uterus and thus prevent premature contractions.
- - substances in the body that induce cells to behave in certain way. Each hormone makes cells behave differently.
- Hormonal therapy
- - giving hormones to control the cancer.
- - surgical removal of the uterus. See also Salpingo-oophorectomy.
- - see Radiation therapy.
- - thin layer of cells that covers the void of the uterus. Under the influence of hormone called estrogen these cells multiply, and under the influence of hormone called progesterone (that belongs to gestagens) they secrete liquid that provides food for the egg.
- Lymphatic nodes/vessels
- - lymph is see-through liquid that runs through tiny canals called lymphatic vessels. Lymphatic vessels connect lymphatic nodes where immune cells remove infectious and other harmful agents. Tumor cells may travel through lymphatic vessels and end up in lymphatic nodes where they multiply. Such group of tumor cells is called lymphatic node metastasis. Lymphatic nodes with tumor cells are called positive lymphatic nodes. See also Nodes and picture 1.
- - could be taken as a synonym for differentiation.
- - cells that get detached from the main tumor may be taken to other parts of the body by lymphatic vessels or blood vessels (veins). Also, they can be scattered around the peritoneal cavity and form so called peritoneal metastases.
- - same as lining.
- - short for lymphatic nodes.
- - surgical removal of the ovaries if they are affected with cancer, or to stop the production of estrogen that can promote the multiplication of normal uterine lining cells as well as cells of the cancer.
- - close to aorta. Some nodes are located just alongside the aorta. Lymph runs from those nodes to the heart via lymphatic duct and then from the heart to entire body. That is how tumor can spread.
- - the lowest part of the abdomen containing the uterus, ovaries, urinary bladder and bowels as well as pelvic lymphatic nodes.
- - see Gestagens.
- Radiation therapy
- - exposure to radiation. Radioactive material can be inserted into vagina (so called intracavitary radiation therapy or brachytherapy) or the source of radiation can be outside the body (external radiation therapy).
- - substances inside cells that bind hormones. Such hormone-receptor complex then activates certain processes in cells (division etc...). If there are no receptors, hormones can not act.
- - salpinx (salpingo) is Latin for uterine tube. Oophoron is Greek for ovary. This term means removal of both tubes and ovaries, usually if they are affected with cancer.
- - see picture 2. It is a thin layer of cells that covers the uterus.
- - see picture 1 Fallopian tubes.
- - see picture 1 This is pear shaped hollow organ. In its void fetus grows.
- - canal shaped organ that connects the uterus to the surface of the body. At the time of delivery it gets wider and is called a part of birth canal (along with cervix and lower part of the uterus).
Mario Kopljar, MD
Department of Surgery
University Hospital Sestre milosrdnice
10000 Zagreb, Croatia