Glossary of Terms


hA20

A substance being studied in the treatment of several types of lymphoma. It binds to the protein CD20, which is found on B cells (a type of immune system cell) and some types of lymphoma cells. This causes the immune system to kill the cancer cells. hA20 is a type of monoclonal antibody. Also called HCD20, IMMU-106, and veltuzumab.

HAART

listen Treatment for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection that uses a combination of several antiretroviral drugs. The drugs inhibit the ability of the virus to multiply in the body, and they slow down the development of AIDS. Also called highly active antiretroviral therapy.

hair follicle

listen ( FAH-lih-kul) A shaft or opening on the surface of the skin through which hair grows.

hairy cell leukemia

listen (HAYR-ee sel loo-KEE-mee-uh) A rare type of leukemia in which abnormal B-lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell) are present in the bone marrow, spleen, and peripheral blood. When viewed under a microscope, these cells appear to be covered with tiny hair-like projections.

Halaven

listen (HA-lih-ven) A drug used to treat metastatic breast cancer in patients who have already been treated with other chemotherapy. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Halaven may block cancer cell growth by stopping cell division. It belongs to the family of drugs called antitubulin agents. Also called E7389 and eribulin mesylate.

Haldol

listen (HAL-dol) A drug used to treat certain mental and neurological disorders. It is also being studied in the treatment of nausea and vomiting caused by some cancer treatments. It is a type of antiemetic and a type of antipsychotic. Also called haloperidol.

half-sibling

listen (haf-SIB-ling) A persons brother or sister who has one parent in common.

hallucination

listen (huh-LOO-sih-NAY-shun) A sight, sound, smell, taste, or touch that a person believes to be real but is not real. Hallucinations can be caused by nervous system disease, certain drugs, or mental disorders.

halofuginone hydrobromide

listen (HA-loh-FYOO-jih-none HY-droh-BROH-mide) A substance that is being studied for its ability to slow the growth of connective tissue and to prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It is a type of quinazolinone alkaloid and a type of antiangiogenesis agent.

haloperidol

listen (ha-loh-PAYR-ih-dol) A drug used to treat certain mental and neurological disorders. It is also being studied in the treatment of nausea and vomiting caused by some cancer treatments. It is a type of antiemetic and a type of antipsychotic. Also called Haldol.

Halsted radical mastectomy

listen (HAWL-sted RA-dih-kul ma-STEK-toh-mee) Surgery for breast cancer in which the breast, chest muscles, and all of the lymph nodes under the arm are removed. For many years, this was the breast cancer operation used most often, but it is used rarely now. Doctors consider radical mastectomy only when the tumor has spread to the chest muscles. Also called radical mastectomy.

hamartoma

listen (HA-mar-TOH-muh) A benign (not cancer) growth made up of an abnormal mixture of cells and tissues normally found in the area of the body where the growth occurs.

hand-foot syndrome

listen (... SIN-drome) A condition marked by pain, swelling, numbness, tingling, or redness of the hands or feet. It sometimes occurs as a side effect of certain anticancer drugs. Also called palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia.

happy major

listen (HA-pee MAY-jer) A plant whose seeds and root have been used in some cultures to treat certain medical problems. It may have antioxidant effects. The scientific name is Arctium lappa. Also called burdock and lappa.

hard palate

listen (... PAL-et) The front, bony part of the roof of the mouth.

Hashimoto disease

listen (HAH-shee-MOH-toh dih-ZEEZ) An autoimmune condition of the thyroid gland (a gland located beneath the larynx). It is caused by the formation of antibodies that attack the thyroid gland and it usually causes hypothyroidism (too little thyroid hormone). Symptoms include fatigue, weight gain, constipation, dry skin, depression, and the inability to exercise. It is more common in females and can run in families. Also called autoimmune thyroiditis and Hashimoto thyroiditis.

Hashimoto thyroiditis

listen (HAH-shee-MOH-toh thy-roy-DY-tis) An autoimmune condition of the thyroid gland (a gland located beneath the larynx). It is caused by the formation of antibodies that attack the thyroid gland and it usually causes hypothyroidism (too little thyroid hormone). Symptoms include fatigue, weight gain, constipation, dry skin, depression, and the inability to exercise. It is more common in females and can run in families. Also called autoimmune thyroiditis and Hashimoto disease.

hawthorn fruit

listen (HAW-thorn froot) The fruit of the hawthorn tree or bush. It has been used in some cultures to treat certain medical problems, including heart problems and gastrointestinal problems.

hazard ratio

listen (HA-zurd RAY-shee-oh) A measure of how often a particular event happens in one group compared to how often it happens in another group, over time. In cancer research, hazard ratios are often used in clinical trials to measure survival at any point in time in a group of patients who have been given a specific treatment compared to a control group given another treatment or a placebo. A hazard ratio of one means that there is no difference in survival between the two groups. A hazard ratio of greater than one or less than one means that survival was better in one of the groups.

HBOC syndrome

listen ( SIN-drome) An inherited disorder in which the risk of breast cancer (especially before the age of 50) and ovarian cancer is higher than normal. Most cases of HBOC syndrome are caused by certain mutations (changes) in the BRCA1 or the BRCA2 gene. People with HBOC syndrome may also have an increased risk of other types of cancer, including pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer, and melanoma. Also called hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome.

HBV

A virus that causes hepatitis (inflammation of the liver). It is carried and passed to others through the blood and other body fluids. Different ways the virus is spread include sharing needles with an infected person and being stuck accidentally by a needle contaminated with the virus. Infants born to infected mothers may also become infected with the virus. Although many patients who are infected with HBV may not have symptoms, long-term infection may lead to cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) and liver cancer. Also called hepatitis B virus.

HCA

A chemical that is formed when meat, poultry, or fish is cooked at high temperatures, such as frying, broiling, and barbecuing. HCAs are carcinogens (substances that may cause cancer). Also called heterocyclic amine.

HCD20

A substance being studied in the treatment of several types of lymphoma. It binds to the protein CD20, which is found on B cells (a type of immune system cell) and some types of lymphoma cells. This causes the immune system to kill the cancer cells. HCD20 is a type of monoclonal antibody. Also called hA20, IMMU-106, and veltuzumab.

HCP

Healthcare proxy. A type of advance directive that gives a person (such as a relative, lawyer, or friend) the authority to make healthcare decisions for another person. It becomes active when that person loses the ability to make decisions for himself or herself. Also called healthcare proxy.

hCRF

A substance being studied in the treatment of brain cancer. It is made naturally by the hypothalamus (a part of the brain) and can also be made in the laboratory. hCRF may help reduce symptoms caused by edema (swelling) of the brain. It is a type of neurohormone. Also called human corticotropin-releasing factor.

HCT

The amount of whole blood that is made up of red blood cells. It depends on the number and size of red blood cells. A HCT test is usually part of a complete blood count (CBC). It may be used to check for conditions such as anemia, dehydration, malnutrition, and leukemia. Also called hematocrit.

HCV

A virus that causes hepatitis (inflammation of the liver). It is carried and passed to others through the blood and other body fluids. Different ways the virus is spread include sharing needles with an infected person and being stuck accidentally by a needle contaminated with the virus. Infants born to infected mothers may also become infected with the virus. Although patients who are infected with HCV may not have symptoms, long-term infection may lead to cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) and liver cancer. These patients may also have an increased risk for certain types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Also called hepatitis C virus.

HDAC

An enzyme that removes a small molecule called an acetyl group from histones (proteins found in chromosomes). This changes the way the histones bind to DNA and may affect its activity. HDAC inhibitors are being studied in the treatment of cancer. Also called histone deacetylase.

HDAC inhibitor

listen (...in-HIH-bih-ter) A substance that causes a chemical change that stops tumor cells from dividing. HDAC inhibitors are being studied in the treatment of cancer. Also called histone deacetylase inhibitor.

HDAC inhibitor SNDX-275

listen (... in-HIH-bih-ter ...) A substance being studied in the treatment of several types of cancer. It blocks enzymes needed for cell division and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor. Also called entinostat and SNDX-275.

HDR

An amount of radiation that is greater than that given in typical radiation therapy. HDR is precisely directed at the tumor to avoid damaging healthy tissue, and may kill more cancer cells in fewer treatments. Also called high-dose radiation.

HE4

A protein found on cells that line the lungs and reproductive organs, such as the ovaries. HE4 may be found in higher than normal amounts in patients with some types of cancer, including ovarian epithelial cancer. Measuring the amount of HE4 in the blood may help plan cancer treatment or find out if cancer is getting worse or has come back. It is a type of tumor marker. Also called human epididymis protein 4.

head and neck cancer

listen (... KAN-ser) Cancer that arises in the head or neck region (in the nasal cavity, sinuses, lips, mouth, salivary glands, throat, or larynx [voice box]).

healing touch

listen (HEEL-ing tuch) A form of complementary and alternative medicine based on the belief that vital energy flows through the human body. This energy is said to be balanced or made stronger by practitioners who pass their hands over, or gently touch, a patient's body. Healing touch is being studied in patients receiving cancer therapy, to find out if it can improve quality of life, boost the immune system, or reduce side effects. Healing touch is a type of energy therapy. Also called therapeutic touch.

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act

listen (helth in-SHOOR-ents por-tuh-BIH-lih-tee ... uh-KOWN-tuh-BIH-lih-tee ...) A 1996 U.S. law that allows workers and their families to keep their health insurance when they change or lose their jobs. The law also includes standards for setting up secure electronic health records and to protect the privacy of a persons health information and to keep it from being misused. Also called HIPAA and Kassebaum Kennedy Act.

healthcare provider

listen (HELTH-kayr proh-VY-der) A licensed person or organization that provides healthcare services.

healthcare proxy

listen (HELTH-kayr PRAK-see) A type of advance directive that gives a person (such as a relative, lawyer, or friend) the authority to make healthcare decisions for another person. It becomes active when that person loses the ability to make decisions for himself or herself. Also called HCP.

healthy control

listen (HEL-thee kun-TROLE) In a clinical study, a person who does not have the disorder or disease being studied. Results from healthy controls are compared to results from the group being studied.

heart cancer

listen (hart KAN-ser) A rare cancer that develops in tissues of the heart. Also called cardiac sarcoma.

heart disease

listen (hart dih-ZEEZ) A type of disease that affects the heart or blood vessels. The risk of certain heart diseases may be increased by smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, and obesity. The most common heart disease is coronary artery disease (narrow or blocked coronary arteries), which can lead to chest pain, heart attacks, or stroke. Other heart diseases include congestive heart failure, heart rhythm problems, congenital heart disease (heart disease at birth), and endocarditis (inflamed inner layer of the heart). Also called cardiovascular disease.

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