Glossary of Terms


gabapentin

listen (GA-buh-PEN-tin) A substance that is being studied as a treatment for relieving hot flashes in women with breast cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called anticonvulsants.

GAD

A condition marked by excessive worry and feelings of fear, dread, and uneasiness that last six months or longer. Other symptoms of GAD include being restless, being tired or irritable, muscle tension, not being able to concentrate or sleep well, shortness of breath, fast heartbeat, sweating, and dizziness. Also called generalized anxiety disorder.

gadobenate dimeglumine

listen (GA-doh-BEH-nayt dy-MEG-loo-meen) A drug used in MRI to help make clear pictures of blood vessels in the brain, spine, and nearby tissues. It is also being studied as a way to find abnormal areas in the liver and other organs and to help diagnose cancer. Gadobenate dimeglumine is a type of contrast agent. Also called MultiHance.

gadolinium

listen (GA-duh-LIH-nee-um) A metal element that is used in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and other imaging methods. It is a contrast agent, which helps show abnormal tissue in the body during imaging with a special machine.

gadolinium texaphyrin

listen (GA-doh-LIH-nee-um tek-SA-fih-rin) A substance being studied in the treatment and diagnosis of some types of cancer. It builds up in some cancer cells, which may make them easier to kill with radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Gadolinium texaphyrin is also used in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to help find cancer cells in the body. It is a type of radiosensitizing agent, a type of chemosensitizing agent, and a type of contrast agent. Also called motexafin gadolinium.

gadopentetate dimeglumine

listen (GA-doh-PEN-teh-tayt dy-MEG-loo-meen) A substance used in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to help make clear pictures of the brain, spine, heart, soft tissue of joints, and inside bones. Gadopentetate dimeglumine is being studied in the diagnosis of cancer. It is a type of contrast agent. Also called Gd-DTPA and Magnevist.

Gail model

listen (... MAH-dul) A computer program that uses personal and family medical history information to estimate a womans chance of developing breast cancer. Also called Gail risk model.

Gail risk model

listen (... MAH-dul) A computer program that uses personal and family medical history information to estimate a womans chance of developing breast cancer. Also called Gail model.

galiximab

listen (guh-LIK-sih-mab) A substance being studied in the treatment of follicular non-Hodgkin lymphoma. It binds to the protein CD80, which is found on certain normal white blood cells and on white blood cells that are cancer. It is a type of monoclonal antibody.

gallbladder

listen (GAWL-bla-der) The pear-shaped organ found below the liver. Bile is concentrated and stored in the gallbladder.

gallbladder cancer

listen (GAWL-bla-der KAN-ser) Cancer that forms in tissues of the gallbladder. The gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ below the liver that collects and stores bile (a fluid made by the liver to digest fat). Gallbladder cancer begins in the innermost layer of tissue and spreads through the outer layers as it grows.

gallium nitrate

listen (GA-lee-um NY-trayt) A drug that lowers blood calcium. Used as treatment for hypercalcemia (too much calcium in the blood) and for cancer that has spread to the bone (bone metastases).

gallium scan

listen (GA-lee-um skan) A procedure to detect areas of the body where cells are dividing rapidly. It is used to locate cancer cells or areas of inflammation. A very small amount of radioactive gallium is injected into a vein and travels through the bloodstream. The gallium is taken up by rapidly dividing cells in the bones, tissues, and organs and is detected by a scanner.

gallstone

listen (GAWL-stone) Solid material that forms in the gallbladder or common bile duct. Gallstones are made of cholesterol or other substances found in the gallbladder. They may occur as one large stone or as many small ones, and vary from the size of a golf ball to a grain of sand. Also called cholelith.

galvanic skin response

listen (gal-VA-nik ... reh-SPONTS) A change in the heat and electricity passed through the skin by nerves and sweat. Galvanic skin response increases in certain emotional states and during hot flashes that happen with menopause. Also called electrodermal response and skin conduction.

gamma irradiation

listen (GA-muh ih-RAY-dee-AY-shun) A type of radiation therapy that uses gamma radiation. Gamma radiation is a type of high-energy radiation that is different from x-rays.

Gamma Knife therapy

listen (GA-muh nife THAYR-uh-pee) A treatment using gamma rays, a type of high-energy radiation that can be tightly focused on small tumors or other lesions in the head or neck, so very little normal tissue receives radiation. The gamma rays are aimed at the tumor from many different angles at once, and deliver a large dose of radiation exactly to the tumor in one treatment session. This procedure is a type of stereotactic radiosurgery. Gamma Knife therapy is not a knife and is not surgery. Gamma Knife is a registered trademark of Elekta Instruments, Inc.

gamma ray

listen (GA-muh ...) A type of high-energy radiation that is different from an x-ray.

ganciclovir

listen (gan-SY-kloh-veer) An antiviral agent used to prevent or treat cytomegalovirus infections that may occur when the body's immune system is suppressed. In gene therapy, ganciclovir is used with an altered herpes simplex virus-1 gene to kill advanced melanoma cells and brain tumor cells.

ganglioside

listen (GANG-glee-oh-side) A complex molecule that contains both lipids (fats) and carbohydrates (sugars) and is found in the plasma (outer) membrane of many kinds of cells. Several different types of gangliosides have been identified.

Gardasil

listen (GAR-duh-sil) A vaccine used to prevent anal, cervical, vulvar, and vaginal cancer caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) types 16 and 18 and genital warts caused by HPV types 6 and 11. Gardasil is approved for use in males and females aged 9 to 26 years. It is a type of quadrivalent vaccine (a vaccine that works against four different viruses or other microorganisms). Also called recombinant human papillomavirus quadrivalent vaccine.

Gardasil 9

listen (GAR-duh-sil ) A vaccine used to prevent anal, cervical, vulvar, and vaginal cancer caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) types 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52 and 58 and genital warts caused by HPV types 6 and 11. Gardasil 9 is approved for use in males aged 9 to 15 years and females aged 9 to 26 years. It is a type of nonavalent vaccine (a vaccine that works against nine different viruses or other microorganisms). Also called recombinant human papillomavirus nonavalent vaccine.

garden heliotrope

listen (GAR-den HEE-lee-oh-TROPE) A plant whose roots are used as a sedative and to treat certain medical conditions. It is being studied as a way to improve sleep in cancer patients undergoing treatment. Also called garden valerian, Indian valerian, Mexican valerian, Pacific valerian, valerian, Valeriana officinalis, and Valerianae radix.

garden valerian

listen (GAR-den vuh-LEER-ee-un) A plant whose roots are used as a sedative and to treat certain medical conditions. It is being studied as a way to improve sleep in cancer patients undergoing treatment. Also called garden heliotrope, Indian valerian, Mexican valerian, Pacific valerian, valerian, Valeriana officinalis, and Valerianae radix.

garlic

listen (GAR-lik) A European plant that has a bulb used to flavor food. It has also been used in some cultures to treat certain medical conditions including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, infections, and cancer. The scientific name is Allium sativum.

gastrectomy

listen (ga-STREK-toh-mee) An operation to remove all or part of the stomach.

gastric

listen (GAS-trik) Having to do with the stomach.

gastric acid

listen (GAS-trik A-sid) Acid that is released into the stomach from glands in the stomach wall. It helps digest food. Gastric acid is made of hydrochloric acid.

gastric acid secretion test

listen (GAS-trik A-sid seh-KREE-shun ) A test used to measure the amount of gastric acid made by the stomach. The patient receives an injection of the hormone gastrin or insulin. A tube is put through the nose or throat into the stomach and samples are taken from the stomach and sent to a laboratory for testing. Also called stomach acid stimulation test and stomach acid test.

gastric atrophy

listen (GAS-trik A-troh-fee) A condition marked by thinning of the inner lining of the stomach wall and the loss of gland cells in the lining that release substances that help with digestion. It may be caused by infection with the bacterium H. pylori or by certain autoimmune conditions. Gastric atrophy may increase the risk of stomach cancer.

gastric cancer

listen (GAS-trik KAN-ser) Cancer that forms in tissues lining the stomach. Also called stomach cancer.

gastric feeding tube

listen (GAS-trik FEE-ding toob) A tube that is inserted through the nose, down the throat and esophagus, and into the stomach. It can be used to give drugs, liquids, and liquid food, or used to remove substances from the stomach. Giving food through a gastric feeding tube is a type of enteral nutrition. Also called nasogastric tube and NG tube.

gastric mucosal hypertrophy

listen (GAS-trik myoo-KOH-sul hy-PER-troh-fee) A condition marked by inflammation and ulcers (breaks on the skin or on the surface of an organ) of the mucosa (inner lining) of the stomach and by overgrowth of the cells that make up the mucosa. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, and weight loss. Patients with gastric mucosal hypertrophy may be at a higher risk of stomach cancer. Also called giant hypertrophic gastritis and Mntrier disease.

gastric reflux

listen (GAS-trik REE-flux) The backward flow of stomach acid contents into the esophagus (the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach). Also called esophageal reflux and gastroesophageal reflux.

gastric scirrhous carcinoma

listen (GAS-trik SKIR-us KAR-sih-NOH-muh) A rare type of stomach cancer that begins in the lining of the stomach and spreads to the muscles of the stomach wall. This causes the wall of the stomach to become thick, hard, and rubbery, which leads to trouble digesting food. Also called linitis plastica.

gastrin

listen (GAS-trin) A hormone released from special cells in the lining of the stomach after eating. Gastrin causes the stomach to release an acid that helps digest food.

gastrinoma

listen (gas-trih-NOH-muh) A tumor that causes overproduction of gastric acid. It usually begins in the duodenum (first part of the small intestine that connects to the stomach) or the islet cells of the pancreas. Rarely, it may also begin in other organs, including the stomach, liver, jejunum (the middle part of the small intestine), biliary tract (organs and ducts that make and store bile), mesentery, or heart. It is a type of neuroendocrine tumor, and it may metastasize (spread) to the liver and the lymph nodes.

gastritis

listen (gas-TRY-tis) Inflammation of the lining of the stomach.

gastroenteritis

listen (GAS-troh-EN-teh-RY-tis) Inflammation of the lining of the stomach and the intestines. Symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps (dull or sharp pains). Gastroenteritis may be caused by infection with bacteria, parasites, or viruses. It may also be caused by food poisoning, allergic reactions, or reactions to certain medicines or foods.

gastroenterologist

listen (GAS-troh-EN-teh-RAH-loh-jist) A doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating disorders of the digestive system.

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