Ovarian Cancer A-Z

Here you will find an index of words associated with ovarian cancer

  1. A
  2. B
  3. C
  4. D
  5. E
  6. F
  7. G
  8. H
  9. I
  10. J
  11. K
  12. L
  13. M
  14. N
  15. O
  16. P
  17. Q
  18. R
  19. S
  20. T
  21. U
  22. V
  23. W
  24. X
  25. Y
  26. Z
  • A

  • Abdominal CT scan

    A series of x-ray pictures taken of the abdomen by a machine that encircles the body like a giant tube. Computers are then used to generate cross-sectional images of the inside of the body.

  • Adjuvant chemotherapy

    One or more anticancer drugs or hormones used in combination with surgery or radiation therapy in order to remove any remaining cancer cells in patients whose cancer is likely to recur.

  • Antiemetic drugs

    Can prevent or reduce nausea and vomiting, which can be side effects of some chemotherapy drugs.

  • Ascites

    Excess fluid in the space between the membranes lining the abdomen and abdominal organs.

  • B

  • Benign tumours

    Benign tumours are not cancer. Benign tumours are only very rarely life-threatening. They do not spread and invade other tissues. Benign tumours can usually be removed and only infrequently grow back.

  • Bilateral salpingo-oopherectomy

    Removal of both ovaries and fallopian tubes.

  • Bioinformatics

    The management and analysis of biological information using computers techniques to accelerate and enhance biological research.

  • Biomarker

    A molecular indicator of a specific biological property; a biochemical feature or facet that can be used to measure the progress of disease or the effects of treatment.

  • Borderline or low malignant potential (LMP) tumours

    A borderline form of cancer that may eventually spread and invade other tissues. This is a grey zone. Most of these tumours are benign but a few spread and progress. There are certain features that allow the pathologist to predict with some degree of confidence how one of these tumours will behave.

  • C

  • CA125 blood test

    CA125 is a protein released by ovarian cancer tissue which is often found to be at high levels in the bloodstream in women with ovarian cancer. It is used to diagnose and follow up ovarian tumours before and after treatment. However, to date, it has not shown to be effective at picking up early stage ovarian cancer, and levels of CA125 can be raised by many normal tissues or other conditions, such as endometriosis. Currently it is not yet specific or accurate enough to be used as a widespread screening tool.

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

     A talking therapy that can help you manage your problems by changing the way you think and behave.

  • Cytoreduction (debulking)

    Removal of as much of the tumour as possible although it cannot be completely removed. This is believed to improve to improve a woman's chance of survival.

  • E

  • Endometriosis

    Presence and growth of endometrial tissue (the lining of the womb) in places other than the uterus (womb), that often results in severe pain and infertility.

  • F

  • Fallopian Tubes

    Also known as the uterine tubes – a pair of 4-inch (10cm) long narrow tubes connecting the ovaries to the uterus.

  • Fanconi Syndrome

    A disorder of the kidney tubes where certain substances normally absorbed into the bloodstream by the kidneys are released into the urine instead. Seen when a child inherits a BRCA2 gene mutation from both their mother and father.

  • Functional Genomics

    The use of genetic technology to determine the function of newly discovered genes by determining their role in one or more model organisms.

  • G

  • Gene

    The basic biological unit of heredity. It consists of a sequence of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) needed to contribute to a specific functional product.

  • Gene expression

    The process by which a gene's coded information is converted into the structures present and operating in the cell. Expressed genes include those that are transcribed into mRNA and then translated into protein and those that are transcribed into RNA but not translated into protein (e.g., transfer and ribosomal RNAs).

  • Genetic Counselling

    A service that provides support, information and advice about genetic conditions. It is conducted by healthcare professionals who have been specially trained in the science of human genetics (a genetic counsellor or a clinical geneticist).

  • Genome

    All of the genetic information or hereditary material of a particular individual.

  • Genomics

    The study of the structure and function of genomes, which consist of all the genetic information or hereditary material of a particular individual.

  • Grading

    The grading of ovarian cancer gives doctors important information about the disease and which kind of treatment would be best. It describes how similar or dissimilar the tumour is to normal tissue.

  • H

  • Histology

    The minute structure of tissue as viewed through a microscope.

  • Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)

    A treatment used to relieve symptoms of the menopause. It replaces female hormones that are at a lower level as you approach the menopause.

  • Hysterectomy

    A surgical procedure to remove the womb (uterus).

  • I

  • Interval debulking

    The term used for surgery which takes place after an initial course of chemotherapy.

  • In vitro fertilisation (IVF)

    One of several techniques available to help people with fertility problems have a baby.

  • L

  • Laparoscopy

    Often called key hole surgery. It involves inserting a telescope through the umbilicus (belly button) so that the contents of the abdomen can be inspected. It is also sometimes possible to perform operations through the laparoscope, but major surgery for ovarian cancer is not usually possible.

  • Laparotomy

    A laparotomy is what most people call an operation in which a cut is made in the abdomen. This is the sort of operation which is usually required to remove an ovarian cancer.

  • Leukopenia

    A decrease in the number of white blood cells which can lead to infection.

  • Lymphadenectomy

    Removal of one or more lymph nodes.

  • Lymph nodes

    Small bean shaped, pea sized glands clustered in the neck, armpits, abdomen and groin. They have a defensive role and serve as a barrier to the spread of infection.

  • M

  • Malignant Tumours

    Malignant tumours are cancer. Malignant cancer will spread beyond the ovary, invading and damaging other organs of the body. The spread of cancer beyond its tissue of origin is called metastasis.

  • Mastectomy

    An operation to remove the breast that is used to treat breast cancer in women or men. It can also be used to reduce the risk of cancer developing in the breast.

  • Menopause

    When a woman stops having periods and is no longer able to get pregnant naturally.

  • Microarray

    A tool used to sift through and analyse the information contained within a genome. A microarray consists of different nucleic acid probes that are chemically attached to a substrate, which can be a microchip, a glass slide or a microsphere-sized bead.

  • MRI Scan

    Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a type of scan that uses strong magnetic fields and radio waves to produce detailed images of the inside of the body.

  • N

  • Neutropenia

    A shortage of white blood cells meaning that it is sometimes difficult to fight off infections.

  • O

  • Omenectomy

    Removal of fatty tissue that covers the bowels.

  • Omentum

    The fatty tissue from the upper part of the abdominal cavity near the stomach and intestines.

  • Oncologist

    A doctor who treats cancer.

  • Oopherectomy

    Removal of one (unilateral) or both (bilateral) ovaries.

  • Oral Contraceptive Pill

    A contraceptive in the form of a pill containing oestrogen and progestin to inhibit ovulation and prevent conception.

  • Ovary

    A female reproductive organ in which ova or eggs are produced, present in humans and other vertebrates as a pair.

  • P

  • Paracentesis

    A process by which fluid build up in the abdomen, which can occur with ovarian cancer, is removed by inserting a needle into the affected area, and drained off.

  • Protein

    Large molecules composed of amino acids whose specific order is determined by the DNA sequence in the gene that encodes it. Proteins each have unique functions to perform a wide variety of activities and, as such, they are essential to the life of the cell.

  • Proteome

    Proteins expressed by a cell or organ at a given time and under specific conditions.

  • Proteomics

    The study of the structure and function of all of the proteins encoded by a genome.

  • R

  • Recurrent

    A tumour which returns after the completion of treatment.

  • Remission

    No evidence of disease after treatment has been completed.

  • S

  • Salpingectomy

    Removal of one (unilateral) or both (bilateral) fallopian tubes.

  • Staging

    The staging of ovarian cancer gives doctors important information about the disease and which kind of treatment would be best. It describes how far the cancer has spread. The FIGO staging system is used which goes from 1 to 4 (1 is the earliest stage).

  • T

  • Thoracentesis

    A process in which fluid build up, as a result of ovarian cancer is drained from the chest cavity by inserting a needle.

  • Thrombocytopenia

    Decreased number of platelets that can lead to bleeding.

  • Trans vaginal ultrasound scan

    A way of looking at the ovaries without surgery. It involves the insertion of a probe into the vagina and offers a clearer view than by scanning through the abdominal wall.

  • Tumour suppressor gene

    A gene encoding a protein that normally limits cell growth and can suppress or block the development of cancer. Loss of function of these genes is believed to be a necessary prerequisite for tumour development. BRCA1 and p53 are well-known tumour suppressor genes.

  • V

  • Variants of Uncertain Significance

    Mutated BRCA1/2 genes that are not yet associated with an increased risk of cancer.

  • W

  • Womb (uterus)

    An organ of the female reproductive system that is responsible for the development of the embryo and foetus during pregnancy.