Glossary of Terms


UCN-01

An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called staurosporine analogs.

UFT

A substance being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. It is a combination of tegafur and uracil. The tegafur is taken up by the cancer cells and breaks down into 5-FU, a substance that kills tumor cells. The uracil causes higher amounts of 5-FU to stay inside the cells and kill them. UFT is a type of antimetabolite. Also called Ftorafur and tegafur-uracil.

UGT1A1

A substance that is being studied as a treatment for cancer. It is an enzyme produced by the liver and intestine.

ulcer

listen (UL-ser) A break on the skin, in the lining of an organ, or on the surface of a tissue. An ulcer forms when the surface cells become inflamed, die, and are shed. Ulcers may be linked to cancer and other diseases.

ulceration

listen (UL-seh-RAY-shun) The formation of a break on the skin or on the surface of an organ. An ulcer forms when the surface cells die and are cast off. Ulcers may be associated with cancer and other diseases.

ulcerative colitis

listen (UL-seh-RUH-tiv koh-LY-tis) Chronic inflammation of the colon that produces ulcers in its lining. This condition is marked by abdominal pain, cramps, and loose discharges of pus, blood, and mucus from the bowel.

Ulmus fulva

listen (UL-mus FUL-vuh) The inner bark of this plant has been used in some cultures to treat certain medical problems. It may have antioxidant effects. Also called gray elm, Indian elm, red elm, slippery elm, sweet elm, and Ulmus rubra.

Ulmus rubra

listen (UL-mus ROO-bruh) The inner bark of this plant has been used in some cultures to treat certain medical problems. It may have antioxidant effects. Also called gray elm, Indian elm, red elm, slippery elm, sweet elm, and Ulmus fulva.

ultra light cigarette

listen (UL-truh lite SIH-guh-ret) A type of cigarette that is claimed to give off less tobacco tar than a regular or light (low-tar) cigarette when smoked. Ultra light cigarettes have been shown to be no safer than regular cigarettes, and smoking them does not lower the risk of cancer or other diseases. A person smoking an ultra light cigarette can inhale the same amount of tobacco tar, nicotine, and harmful, cancer-causing chemicals as in a regular cigarette, depending on how the cigarette is smoked. Cigarettes are no longer allowed to be labeled or advertised as ultra light cigarettes.

Ultram

listen (UL-tram) A drug used to treat moderate to severe pain in adults. It binds to opioid receptors in the central nervous system. Ultram is a type of analgesic agent and a type of opioid. Also called tramadol hydrochloride.

ultrasonogram

listen (UL-truh-SAH-noh-gram) A computer picture of areas inside the body created by high-energy sound waves. The sound waves are bounced off internal tissues or organs and make echoes. The echoes form a picture of the body tissues on a computer screen. An ultrasonogram may be used to help diagnose disease, such as cancer. It may also be used during pregnancy to check the fetus (unborn baby) and during medical procedures, such as biopsies. Also called sonogram.

ultrasonography

listen (UL-truh-soh-NAH-gruh-fee) A procedure that uses high-energy sound waves to look at tissues and organs inside the body. The sound waves make echoes that form pictures of the tissues and organs on a computer screen (sonogram). Ultrasonography may be used to help diagnose diseases, such as cancer. It may also be used during pregnancy to check the fetus (unborn baby) and during medical procedures, such as biopsies. Also called ultrasound.

ultrasound

listen (UL-truh-sownd) A procedure that uses high-energy sound waves to look at tissues and organs inside the body. The sound waves make echoes that form pictures of the tissues and organs on a computer screen (sonogram). Ultrasound may be used to help diagnose diseases, such as cancer. It may also be used during pregnancy to check the fetus (unborn baby) and during medical procedures, such as biopsies. Also called ultrasonography.

ultrasound biomicroscopy

listen (UL-truh-sownd BY-oh-my-KROS-koh-pee) A type of ultrasound eye exam that makes a more detailed image than regular ultrasound. High-energy sound waves are bounced off the inside of the eye and the echo patterns are shown on the screen of an ultrasound machine. This makes a picture called a sonogram.

ultrasound energy

listen (UL-truh-sownd EH-ner-jee) A form of therapy being studied as an anticancer treatment. Intensified ultrasound energy can be directed at cancer cells to heat them and kill them.

ultrasound transducer

listen (UL-truh-sownd tranz-DOO-ser) A device that produces sound waves that bounce off body tissues and make echoes. The transducer also receives the echoes and sends them to a computer that uses them to create a picture called a sonogram. Transducers (probes) come in different shapes and sizes for use in making pictures of different parts of the body. The transducer may be passed over the surface of the body or inserted into an opening such as the rectum or vagina.

ultrasound-guided biopsy

listen (UL-truh-sownd-GY-ded BY-op-see) A biopsy procedure that uses an ultrasound imaging device to find an abnormal area of tissue and guide its removal for examination under a microscope.

ultraviolet A radiation

listen (UL-truh-VY-oh-let A RAY-dee-AY-shun) Invisible rays that are part of the energy that comes from the sun. Ultraviolet A radiation also comes from sun lamps and tanning beds. Ultraviolet A radiation may cause premature aging of the skin and skin cancer. It may also cause problems with the eyes and the immune system. Skin specialists recommend that people use sunscreens that protect the skin from ultraviolet radiation. In medicine, ultraviolet A radiation also comes from special lamps or a laser and is used to treat certain skin conditions such as psoriasis, vitiligo, and skin tumors of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. Also called UVA radiation.

ultraviolet B radiation

listen (UL-truh-VY-oh-let B RAY-dee-AY-shun) Invisible rays that are part of the energy that comes from the sun. Ultraviolet B radiation causes sunburn, darkening and thickening of the outer layer of the skin, and melanoma and other types of skin cancer. It may also cause problems with the eyes and the immune system. Skin specialists recommend that people use sunscreens that protect the skin from ultraviolet radiation. In medicine, ultraviolet B radiation also comes from special lamps or a laser and is used to treat certain skin conditions such as psoriasis, vitiligo, and skin tumors of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. Also called UVB radiation.

ultraviolet C radiation

listen (UL-truh-VY-oh-let C RAY-dee-AY-shun) Invisible rays that are part of the energy that comes from the sun. Most ultraviolet C radiation from the sun is blocked from the Earths surface by the ozone layer. In medicine, ultraviolet C radiation may also come from special lamps or a laser and is used to kill germs or to help heal wounds. It is also used to treat certain skin conditions such as psoriasis, vitiligo, and skin nodules of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma Also called UVC radiation.

ultraviolet radiation

listen (UL-truh-VY-oh-let RAY-dee-AY-shun) Invisible rays that are part of the energy that comes from the sun. Ultraviolet radiation that reaches the Earth's surface is made up of two types of rays, called UVA and UVB. Ultraviolet radiation also comes from sun lamps and tanning beds. It can cause skin damage, premature aging, melanoma, and other types of skin cancer. It can also cause problems with the eyes and the immune system. Skin specialists recommend that people use sunscreens that protect the skin from both kinds of ultraviolet radiation. In medicine, ultraviolet radiation also comes from special lamps or a laser and is used to treat certain skin conditions such as psoriasis, vitiligo, and skin tumors of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. Also called UV radiation.

ultraviolet radiation therapy

listen (UL-truh-VY-oh-let RAY-dee-AY-shun THAYR-uh-pee) A form of radiation used in the treatment of cancer.

umbilical cord blood

listen (um-BIH-lih-kul KORD blud) Blood from the umbilical cord of a newborn baby. This blood contains high concentrations of stem cells (cells from which all blood cells develop).

umbilical cord blood transplantation

listen (um-BIH-lih-kul kord blud tranz-plan-TAY-shun) The injection of umbilical cord blood to restore an individual's own blood production system suppressed by anticancer drugs, radiation therapy, or both. It is being studied in the treatment of cancer and severe blood disorders such as aplastic anemia. Cord blood contains high concentrations of stem cells (cells from which all blood cells develop).

uncontrolled study

listen (UN-kun-TROLD STUH-dee) A clinical study that lacks a comparison (i.e., a control) group.

unconventional cancer treatments

listen (UN-kun-VEN-shuh-nul KAN-ser TREET-ments) Approaches that use substances or methods of treating cancer that have not been shown to be effective by accepted scientific methods, such as carefully designed clinical trials.

underactive thyroid

listen (... THY-royd) Too little thyroid hormone. Symptoms include weight gain, constipation, dry skin, and sensitivity to the cold. Also called hypothyroidism.

undescended testicles

listen (UN-deh-SEN-ded TES-tih-kuls) A condition in which one or both testicles fail to move from the abdomen, where they develop before birth, into the scrotum. Undescended testicles may increase the risk for development of testicular cancer. Also called cryptorchidism.

undifferentiated

listen (un-DIH-feh-REN-shee-AY-ted) A term used to describe cells or tissues that do not have specialized ("mature") structures or functions. Undifferentiated cancer cells often grow and spread quickly.

unguent

listen (UNG-gwent) A substance used on the skin to soothe or heal wounds, burns, rashes, scrapes, or other skin problems. Also called ointment.

unilateral

listen (YOO-nih-LA-teh-rul) Having to do with one side of the body.

unilateral salpingo-oophorectomy

listen (YOO-nih-LA-teh-rul sal-PIN-goh-oh-oh-foh-REK-toh-mee) Surgery to remove the ovary and fallopian tube on one side of the body.

United States Preventive Services Task Force

listen (yoo-NY-ted stayts pree-VEN-tiv SER-vih-ses ) A volunteer group of health experts who review published research and make recommendations about prevention health care methods such as screening tests, counseling, immunizations, and medicines. Before making a recommendation, the United States Preventive Services Task Force looks at the strength (scientific quality and correctness) of the evidence found in the research and the benefits and harms of each method being reviewed. Recommendations are made to help healthcare providers and patients decide whether a specific method is right for a patients needs. The recommendations may change as new research studies are published. Also called USPSTF.

Unituxin

listen (yoo-nih-TUK-sin) A drug used with granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), aldesleukin (IL-2), and 13-cis-retinoic acid to treat high-risk neuroblastoma. It is used in children whose disease has improved with other anticancer treatment. Unituxin binds to a substance called GD2, which is found on some types of cancer cells. Unituxin may block GD2 and help the immune system kill cancer cells. It is a type of monoclonal antibody. Also called Ch14.18, dinutuximab, MOAB Ch14.18, and monoclonal antibody Ch14.18.

unresectable

listen (UN-ree-SEK-tuh-bul) Unable to be removed with surgery.

unresectable gallbladder cancer

listen (UN-ree-SEK-tuh-bul GAWL-bla-der KAN-ser) Cancer that has spread to the tissues around the gallbladder (such as the liver, stomach, pancreas, intestine, or lymph nodes in the area) and cannot be surgically removed.

unresected

listen (UN-ree-SEK-ted) Describes an organ, tissue, or cancer that has not been either partly or completely removed by surgery.

unsealed internal radiation therapy

listen (...RAY-dee-AY-shun THAYR-uh-pee) Radiation therapy given by injecting a radioactive substance into the bloodstream or a body cavity, or by swallowing it. This substance is not sealed in a container.

uPA

An enzyme that is made in the kidney and found in the urine. A form of this enzyme is made in the laboratory and used to dissolve blood clots or to prevent them from forming. Also called u-plasminogen activator, urokinase, and urokinase-plasminogen activator.

u-plasminogen activator

listen (u-plaz-MIH-noh-jen AK-tih-vay-ter) An enzyme that is made in the kidney and found in the urine. A form of this enzyme is made in the laboratory and used to dissolve blood clots or to prevent them from forming. Also called uPA, urokinase, and urokinase-plasminogen activator.

Next Page