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Lung Cancer

Asbestos Cancer Glossary

Alveoli Tiny air sacs in the lungs where oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange places. Asbestos fibers cause scar tissue to form on the alveoli, decreasing oxygen intake.
Asbestos Commercial name given to a fibrous mineral that was commonly used in construction materials and other products because of high heat resistance, strength and durability. Exposure over time can lead to a number of serious health problems.
Asbestos Cancer Mesothelioma. The type of cancer caused by inhalation of asbestos fibers.
Asbestos Lung Cancer Usually an oxymoron reference to mesothelioma. Strictly speaking, asbestos causes a cancer called mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is not lung cancer, but it affects the thoracic cavity, so people often call it that.
Biopsy The removal of cells or tissues for examination under a microscope.
Bronchi The two main air passages leading from the trachea. They allow air to travel in and out of the lungs.
Cancer An abnormal growth of cells which grow in an uncontrolled way and can spread to other areas of the body.
Chemotherapy Using drug treatments to destroy cancer cells.
Chrysotile Form of asbestos with a white curly fibers, chrysotile accounts for 90% of asbestos in industrial use.
CT Scan X-ray that generates cross-sections of the body for more accurate analysis
Epithelial Cells that line the internal and external surfaces of the body; the most common type of mesothelioma affects the epithelial cells that line the lungs.
Immunotherapy Administration of biological agents to induce a cancer fighting response from your immune system
Lung Cancer An uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the lungs.
Metastasis Spread of a tumor from one part of the body to other areas.
Mesothelium Tissue lining the chest, abdominal cavities and outer surfaces of most internal organs. The tissue is made of mesothelial cells.
Mesothelioma A type of cancer that has been linked to asbestos exposure. It can be found in the lining of the chest (pleural mesothelioma), abdomen (peritoneal mesothelioma), or the lining of the heart (pericardial mesothelioma).
Parietal Pleura The tissue lining the inside of the chest wall and is a target for asbestos related mesothelioma.
Palliative Treatment Therapy that aims to relieve symptoms of cancer, but is not likely to cure the disease. The goal is improving a patient’s quality of life.
PET Scan: (Positron Emission Tomography Scan) A procedure in which a small amount of radioactive glucose (sugar) is injected into a vein, and a scan maps areas where it is used. Cancer cells often use more glucose than normal cells, so the scan data can be used to identify cancerous cells.
Peritoneum Tissue composed of mesothelial cells that lines the abdominal wall and is the site for peritoneal mesothelioma
Pleura Thin sheet of cells that protects and cushions the lungs. The pleura is composed of two layers separated by a small amount of fluid. This is the most common site for mesothelioma.
Pleural Cavity The space between the layers of the pleura.
Pleural Effusion Accumulation of fluid between the lining of the lungs and chest cavity.
Pleural Mesothelioma Cancer of the pleura
Radiation Therapy Treatment with high-energy rays to eliminate cancer cells. Can also destroy healthy cells.
Radiology The use of radiation (x-ray, MRI) to diagnose or treat disease.
Tumor An abnormal mass of tissue that results from uncontrolled cell division from damaged cells. Tumors can be benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer).
Vermiculite Mineral used for insulation, can sometimes be contaminated with asbestos. More.