National Cancer Institute  www.cancer.gov  U.S. National Institutes of Health
 


Cancer Trends Progress Report – 2007 Update

Progress Report  Home

Progress Report Tools
 Print this page
 Generate custom report


Also in the Report
Report Highlights
Trends-at-a-Glance
Summary Tables
Prevention
Early Detection
Diagnosis
Treatment
Life After Cancer
End of Life


Related Resources
About this Report
Fact sheet (PDF)
FAQs
Quick tutorial
Dictionary


Dictionary
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V |


A
AAPC Average Annual Percent Change
acute lymphocytic leukemia A quickly progressing disease in which too many immature white blood cells called lymphoblasts are found in the blood and bone marrow. Also called acute lymphoblastic leukemia or ALL.
addict A person who is habituated to a substance or practice, especially one considered harmful or illegal.
adverse effects Problems that occur when treatment affects healthy cells. Common side effects of cancer treatment are fatigue, nausea, vomiting, decreased blood cell counts, hair loss, and mouth sores.
aggressive A quickly growing cancer that arises in the cells of the lymphatic system.
APC Annual Percent Change

B
benzene A natural part of crude oil, gasoline, and cigarette smoke. It is also used as a gasoline additive and in the manufacture of a number of products.
bidi Small, brown, hand-rolled, flavored cigarette.
bladder The organ that stores urine.
body mass index (BMI) A measurement found by dividing weight (in kilograms) by height (in meters) squared.
breast cancer Abnormal growth of cells within the breast tissue i.e. ducts, lobule, nipple. The malignant variety is one of the most common malignancies in females. Breast neoplasia has also been described in males, though it is rare in that population.
breast cancer screening Early detection of breast cancer involving asymptomatic women. Generally done in the population with higher risk, due to envirnomental or genetic factors.

C
cancer burden A measure of the incidence of cancer within the population and an estimate of the financial, emotional, or social impact it creates. The burden of disease is not borne equally by all population groups in the United States.
cancer cell Cells of, or derived from, a malignant tumor.
cancer continuum The spectrum of cancer-related experience, including prevention, early detection, diagnosis, treatment, life after cancer, and end of life.
cancer diagnosis General term for detecting and classifying cancer in patients.
cancer mortality rate The number of cancer deaths per 100,000 people per year.
cancer patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures for cancer.
cancer risk The probability that a cancer will arise.
cancer screening Any device, marker, or other means developed for the purpose of detecting the presence of a tumor early in its development, when it is theoretically more likely to be curable. Also education and promotion related to the benefits of early detection.
cancer survivor Individual who has survived the cancer, and is in a disease free or chronic or relatively stable stage.
cancer treatment Medical or surgical management of a malignant neoplasm.
carcinogen Any substance that causes cancer.
cell The basic unit of any living organism.
cervical cancer Malignant tumor of the tissues of the cervix.
cervix The lower, narrow end of the uterus that connects to the vagina.
chewing tobacco Spit tobacco (smokeless tobacco) comes in two forms: snuff and chew. Users put a pinch of snuff (called a "dip" or "rub") next to the gum and hold it there. Chewing tobacco is bulkier than snuff and, as it name suggests, is chewed.
childhood cancers Malignancies which occur in children from birth to adolescence.
chronic disease Disease or disorder which has persisted over a long period of time; post coordinate with specific disease or disorder if appropriate.
clinical trial A research study that tests how well new medical treatments or other interventions work in people.
clinician A health professional engaged in the care of patients, as distinguished from one working in other areas.
colon The division of the large intestine extending from the cecum to the rectum.
colonoscopy An examination in which the doctor looks at the colon through a flexible, lighted instrument called a colonoscope.
colorectal Related to the colon and rectum.
colorectal cancer Malignant tumor of the colon or rectum.
corpus uteri / endometrium The layer of tissue that lines the uterus.

D
[D] link A text file that describes the contents of a graph or chart, which can be read by a screen reader, and is, therefore, accessible to the blind or visually-impaired user.
database A structured file of information or a set of logically related data stored and retrieved using computer-based means.
death rate An estimate of the proportion of the population that dies during a specified period, usually a year; the numerator is the number of people dying, the denominator is the number in the population, usually an estimate of the number at the mid-period. SYN crude death rate, mortality rate.
diabetes A disease in which the body does not properly control the amount of sugar in the blood. As a result, the level of sugar in the blood is too high. This disease occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin or does not use it properly.
diagnosis The process of identifying a disease by the signs and symptoms.
disease-free survival Period after successful treatment in which there is no appearance of the symptoms or effects of the disease.
download Copy an electronic file from the Internet onto the user's computer.

E
early detection Any device, marker, or other means developed for the purpose of detecting the presence of a tumor early in its development, when it is theoretically more likely to be curable. Also education and promotion related to the benefits of early detection.
endometrial cancer Malignant neoplasms of the endometrium.
environment Aggregate of surrounding conditions or influences including housing, community, and family.
environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) Smoke that comes from the burning of a tobacco product and smoke that is exhaled by smokers. Also called second-hand smoke. Inhaling ETS is called involuntary or passive smoking.
esophagus The tube through which food passes from the mouth to the stomach.
Excel file format for Microsoft Excel spreadsheets
exposure Proximity and/or contact with a source of a disease agent in such a manner that effective transmission of the agent or harmful effects of the agent may occur.

F
fatty acid A major component of fats that are used by the body for energy and tissue development.
fecal occult blood test (FOBT) An exam of the stool that can find hidden blood, a sign of possible colorectal cancer. The FOBT also can find bleeding from other disorders.
file format Format for encoding information in a file. Each different type of file has a different file format. The file format specifies first whether the file is a binary or ASCII file, and second, how the information is organized.
five year survival rate The proportion of patients still alive five years after a diagnosis or form of treatment is completed. Usually applied to statistics of survival of cancer patients, since after five years, recurrences are much less likely to occur.
flash Animated graphics format that permits the display of data "behind" a bar or graph when the cursor is moved over the bar or marker on the graph. "Drill down" from state to SEA or county is also permissible under this format.

G
gene The functional and physical unit of heredity passed from parent to offspring. Genes are pieces of DNA, and most genes contain the information for making a specific protein.

H
health care costs The actual costs of providing services related to the delivery of health care, including the costs of procedures, therapies, and medications. It is differentiated from HEALTH EXPENDITURES, which refers to the amount of money paid for the services, and from fees, which refers to the amount charged, regardless of cost.
Healthy People 2020 Provides science-based, 10-year national objectives for improving the health of all Americans.
Hispanic Populations of Spanish, Portuguese, or Latin American descent residing in countries other than the country of their origin.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Human T-cell lymphotropic virus type III; a cytopathic retrovirus (subfamily Lentvirinae, family Retroviridae) that is about 100 nm in diameter, has a lipid envelope, and has a characteristic dense cylindrical nucleoid containing core proteins and genomic RNA; it is the etiologic agent of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Formerly or also known as the lymphadenopathy virus (LAV) or the human T-cell lymphotropic virus type III (HTLV-III). Identified in 1984 by Luc Montagnier and colleagues. RNA; it is the etiologic agent of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).
Human Papillomavirus A virus that causes abnormal tissue growth (warts) and is associated with some types of cancer, including cervical cancer.

I
imaging techniques Any visual display of structural or functional patterns of organs or tissues for diagnostic evaluation. It includes measuring physiologic and metabolic responses to physical and chemical stimuli, as well as ultramicroscopy.
incidence The number of new cases of a given disease during a given period in a specified population. It also is used for the rate at which new events occur in a defined population. It is differentiated from PREVALENCE, which refers to all cases, new or old, in the population at a given time.
incidence rate (for cancer) The number of new cancer cases per 100,000 people, per year.
indicators In chemical analysis, a substance that changes color within a certain definite range of pH or oxidation potential, or in any way renders visible the completion of a chemical reaction; e.g., litmus, phenolsulfonphthalein.
intervention An action or ministration that produces an effect or that is intended to alter the course of a pathologic process.
invasive cancer Cancer that has spread beyond the layer of tissue in which it developed into surrounding, healthy tissue.

J
JPEG stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group and is a commonly used image file format

K
kidneys (KID-neez) A pair of organs in the abdomen that remove waste from the blood. The waste leaves the body as urine.

L
larynx The voice box.
leukemia Cancer of the blood-forming tissue.
liver A large, glandular organ, located in the upper abdomen, that cleanses the blood and aids in digestion by secreting bile.
lung cancer Malignant neoplasms of the lung.
lymphoma Cancer that arises in cells of the lymphatic system.

M
malignant neoplasm A cancerous tumor that can invade and destroy nearby tissue and spread to other parts of the body.
malignant skin melanoma A form of skin cancer that arises in melanocytes, the cells that produce pigment. Melanoma usually begins in a mole.
mammogram The record produced by mammography.
mammography The use of x-rays to create a picture of the breast (mammogram) that can show signs of breast cancer before it can be felt.
measure A specified magnitude of a physical quantity.
media campaign Public communication via television, radio, newspapers, pamphlets, telephone, and other media to influence health or social behaviors.
melanoma A form of skin cancer that arises in melanocytes, the cells that produce pigment. Melanoma usually begins in a mole.
microgram One-millionth of a gram.
mortality All deaths reported in a given population.
mortality rate (for cancer) The number of cancer deaths per 100,000 people, per year.

N
Native Americans Native populations of North and South America and the Caribbean Islands, with the exception of Eskimos.
neoplasms Abnormal and uncontrolled cell growth.
nicotine A poisonous volatile alkaloid derived from tobacco and responsible for many of the effects of tobacco.

O
obesity Increase in body weight beyond skeletal and physical standards as the result of an excessive accumulation of fat in the body. More than two times the ideal weight is considered OBESITY, MORBID.
oral cavity The lip, tongue, mouth, and throat.
outcomes The outcomes of cancer care are the end results of interventions to prevent, detect, and treat cancer on the health and well-being of people and populations. Such outcomes include survival and disease-free survival, health-related quality of life (including ability to carry out usual activities), patient symptoms (such as pain and shortness of breath), economic burden, and patient and family experience and satisfaction with care.

P
pancreas A glandular organ located in the abdomen. It makes pancreatic juices, and it produces several hormones, including insulin. The pancreas is surrounded by the stomach, intestines, and other organs.
Pap smear The collection of cells from the cervix (the lower, narrow end of the uterus that forms a canal between the uterus and vagina) and their examination under a microscope. The Pap smear (or Pap test) is used to detect changes that may be cancer or may lead to cancer.
PDF Short for Portable Document Format, a file format developed by Adobe Systems. PDF captures formatting information from a variety of desktop publishing applications making it possible to send formatted documents and have them appear on the recipient's monitor or printer as they were intended. To view a file in PDF format, you need Adobe Acrobat Reader, a free application distributed by Adobe Systems.
person-years The sum of the number of years that each member of a population has been afflicted by a certain condition; e.g., years of treatment with a certain drug.
person-years of life lost (PYLL) The years of life lost due to early death from a particular cause.
person-years of life lost (PYLL) due to cancer The difference between the actual age of death due to a cancer and the expected age of death in the absence of cancer.
pharynx The throat.
practitioner A person who practices medicine or one of the allied health care professions.
prevalence The total number of cases of a given disease in a specified population at a designated time. It is differentiated from INCIDENCE, which refers to the number of new cases in the population at a given time.
prevention An attempt to prevent disease.
proctosigmoidoscopy An examination of the rectum and the lower part of the colon using a thin, lighted instrument called a sigmoidoscope.
prostate cancer Malignant neoplasm of the prostate gland.
prostate gland A gland in the male reproductive system just below the bladder. It surrounds part of the urethra, the canal that empties the bladder. It produces a fluid that forms part of semen.
PSA - Prostate Specific Antigen A substance that may be found in an increased amount in the blood of men who have prostate cancer or benign prostatic hyperplasia.
Public health Branch of medicine concerned with the prevention and control of disease and disability, and the promotion of physical and mental health of the population on the international, national, state, or municipal level.
PYLL See person-years of life lost.

Q
quality of care The levels of excellence which characterize the health service or health care provided based on accepted standards of quality.
quality of life The overall enjoyment of life. Many clinical trials measure aspects of a person's sense of well-being and ability to perform various tasks in order to assess the effects that cancer and its treatment have on the person.

R
radiation, x-rays High-energy radiation used in low doses to diagnose diseases and in high doses to treat cancer.
radon An invisible, odorless, tasteless gas that is released from rocks and soil.
rectum The last 8 to 10 inches of the large intestine.
recurrence The return of cancer, at the same site as the original (primary) tumor or in another location, after it had disappeared.
risk The probability that an event will occur. It encompasses a variety of measures of the probability of a generally unfavorable outcome.
risk factor Anything that increases the chance of developing a disease.

S
saturated fatty acid A fatty acid, the carbon chain of which contains no ethylenic or other unsaturated linkages between carbon atoms (e.g., stearic acid and palmitic acid); called saturated because it is incapable of absorbing any more hydrogen.
screening Using tests to check for a disease in its early stage, when there are no symptoms. For example, mammography is a screening test that can find breast cancer before it can be felt.
secondhand smoke Also known as environmental tobacco smoke, it is what comes from a burning cigarette, pipe, or cigar, plus what the smoker exhales.
sigmoidoscopy An exam of the rectum and the lower part of the colon with a thin, flexible, lighted tube to find polyps, abnormal areas, and tumors. Also called proctosigmoidoscopy.
smokeless tobacco Tobacco whose use does not produce smoke; associated with increased risk of oral cancer. Also known as spit tobacco.
smoking To inhale and exhale the smoke produced by the combustion of a substance.
socioeconomic status A measure of a person's relative standing in society, frequently based on a combination of income, education, and occupation.
stage The stage of a cancer shows how far the disease has progressed. The lower the stage at diagnosis, the better the chances for cure.
statistical methods The use of statistics to analyze and summarize data.
statistical significance (of a trend) Results of a test to find out if a trend really is rising or falling, or whether any apparent rise or fall can be explained by random variation in the measurement.
statistics The science and art of collecting, summarizing, and analyzing data that are subject to random variation. The term is also applied to the data themselves and to the summarization of the data.
sunscreen A substance that helps to block the effect of the sun's harmful rays. Using lotions or creams that contain sunscreens can help protect the skin from premature skin aging and damage that may lead to skin cancer.
surveillance Research studies assessing trends in risk factors, behaviors, and health services to determine changes over time and the influence of these trends on incidence, morbidity, mortality, and survival rates.
survey 1. An investigation in which information is systematically collected but in which the experimental method is not used. 2. a comprehensive examination or group of examinations to screen for one or more findings. 3. a series of questions administered to a sample of individuals in a population.
survival (cancer) As used in this report, the proportion of cancer patients alive 5 years after their cancer diagnosis.

T
trend The general direction (for example, rising, falling, or stable) of change over time.

U
URL Abbreviation of Uniform Resource Locator, the global address of documents and other resources on the World Wide Web.
uterus (YOO-ter-us) The small, hollow, pear-shaped organ in a woman's pelvis. This is the organ in which a fetus develops. Also called the womb.

V
virus Microscopic organisms that cause infectious disease. In cancer therapy, some viruses may be made into vaccines that help the body build an immune response to kill tumor cells.

National Cancer InstituteDepartment of Health and Human ServicesNational Institutes of HealthUSA.gov