Antigens: substances that provoke an immune response in the body. The body produces antibodies to fight antigens, or harmful substances, to try to eliminate them.
Benign tumor: a non-cancerous growth that usually does not spread to nearby tissues or other parts of the body.
Cancer: a general term for more than 100 diseases in which there is an uncontrolled, abnormal growth of cells. Cancer cells can spread to other parts of the body.
Duodenum: the first part of the small intestine, connecting with the lower opening of the stomach and extending to the jejunum.
Enema: injection of fluid into the rectum and colon to cause a bowel movement.
Fistula: an abnormal connection that forms between two internal organs or between two different parts of the intestine. This is a common complication of Crohn’s disease.
Gas: a product of digestion that is made primarily of odorless vapors. The unpleasant odor is due to bacteria in the large intestine. Everyone has gas and eliminates it by burping or passing it through the rectum. Most people produce one to three pints of intestinal gas in 24 hours, and pass gas an average of 14 times a day.
Hormones: chemicals produced by glands in the body. Hormones control the actions of certain cells or organs.
Incontinence (bowel): loss of bowel control.
Jejunum: the second portion of the small intestine extending from the duodenum to the ileum.
Keloid: A thick, irregular scar caused by excessive tissue growth at the site of an incision or wound.
Lymph: clear fluid that travels through the lymphatic system and carries cells that help fight infection and disease.
Malignant: cancerous; can spread to other parts of the body.
Nitrates: substances found in some foods, especially meats, prepared by drying, smoking, salting or pickling. Nitrates are thought to cause cancer.
Oncologist, surgical: a doctor who performs biopsies and other surgical procedures to diagnose and treat cancer.
Polyps (colon): small growths on the inner colon lining. Certain types of polyps, such as adenomas, may develop into cancer. Other types of polyps have no risk of developing into cancer. Colorectal screening is important to detect polyps and early cancer.
Remission: the disappearance of any signs and symptoms of cancer. A remission can be temporary or permanent.
Stage: a scoring system used to describe the extent of the cancer. The stage of colon cancer depends on the penetration of the tumor into and through the walls of colon and whether it has spread from its original site to other parts of the body.
Tumor: a spontaneous new growth of tissue forming an abnormal mass.
Ultrasound: a test used to diagnose a wide range of diseases and conditions in which high-frequency sound waves, inaudible to the human ear, are transmitted through body tissues. The echoes are recorded and translated into video or photographic images that are displayed on a monitor.
Vaccine: A substance or group of substances meant to cause the immune system to respond to a tumor or to microorganisms, such as bacteria or viruses. A vaccine can help the body recognize and destroy cancer cells or microorganisms.
White Blood Cell: A type of blood cell that is made in the bone marrow and found in the blood and lymph tissue.