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acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)

the most advanced, and fatal, stage of an HIV infection


any one of a large group of carcinomas derived from glandular tissue


located in the nasopharynx

adjuvant therapy

used after the primary treatments have been completed to decrease the chance that a cancer will recur


a substance that produces an allergic reaction in an individual

allergic reaction

occurs when the body's immune system reacts to a harmless allergen such as pollen, food, or animal dander as if it were a dangerous invader


specializes in diagnosing and treating conditions of altered immunologic reactivity, such as allergic reactions


an overreaction by the body to a particular antigen


a severe response to an allergen in which the symptoms develop quickly, and without help, the patient can die within a few minutes.


the process through which the tumor supports its growth by creating its own blood supply


a form of treatment that disrupts this blood supply to the tumor

antibiotic resistant bacteria

develop when an antibiotic fails to kill all of the bacteria it targets


medications that are capable of inhibiting growth, or killing pathogenic bacterial microorganisms


a disease-fighting protein created by the immune system in response to the presence of a specific antigen


an agent that destroys or inhibits the growth of fungi


any substance that the body regards as being foreign, and includes viruses, bacteria, toxins, and transplanted tissues

antigen-antibody reaction

a reaction that labels a potentially dangerous antigen so that it can be recognized, and destroyed, by other cells of the immune system


medications administered to relieve or prevent the symptoms of hay fever and other types of allergies


medication that blocks the development, growth, or proliferation of malignant cells

antiviral drug

used to treat viral infections or to provide temporary immunity

autoimmune disorder

any of a large group of diseases characterized by a condition in which the immune system produces antibodies against its own tissues

axillary lymph nodes

located under the arms in the armpits

B cells

specialized lymphocytes that produce and secrete antibodies


rod-shaped spore-forming bacteria


one-celled microscopic organisms, some of which are pathogenic

benign tumor

a noncancerous growth


the use of radioactive materials in contact with, or implanted into, the tissues to be treated

breast cancer

a carcinoma that develops from the cells of the breast and can spread to adjacent lymph nodes and other body sites

breast self-examination

an essential self-care procedure for the early detection of breast cancer


a class of diseases characterized by the uncontrolled division of cells and the ability of these cells to invade other tissues, either by invasion through direct growth into adjacent tissue or by spreading into distant sites by metastasizing


infections occurring on the skin or mucous membranes in the warm, moist areas such as the vagina or the mouth


a malignant tumor that occurs in epithelial tissue

carcinoma in situ

describes a malignant tumor in its original position that has not yet disturbed or invaded the surrounding tissues

cervical lymph nodes

located along the sides of the neck


the use of natural or synthetic substances such as drugs or vitamins to reduce the risk of developing cancer, or to reduce the chance that cancer will recur


the use of chemical agents and drugs in combinations selected to destroy malignant cells and tissues


a group of proteins that normally circulate in the blood in an inactive form and are activated by contact with nonspecific antigens such as foreign blood cells or bacteria

corticosteroid drug

a hormone-like preparation administered primarily as a anti-inflammatory and as an immunosuppressant


a member of the herpesvirus family that cause a variety of diseases

cytotoxic drug

a medication that kills or damages cells

dendritic cells

specialized white blood cells that patrol the body searching for antigens that produce infections

ductal carcinoma in situ

breast cancer at its earliest stage before the cancer has broken through the wall of the milk duct


enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, a blood test used to screen for the presence of HIV antibodies


a simple parasitic organism


destroying worn-out red blood cells and releasing their hemoglobin for reuse

herpes zoster

an acute viral infection characterized by painful skin eruptions that follow the underlying route of an inflamed nerve

Hodgkin's lymphoma

distinguished from other lymphomas by the presence of large, cancerous lymphocytes known as Reed-Sternberg cells

human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)

a bloodborne infection in which the virus damages or kills the cells of the immune system, causing it to progressively fail


the state of being resistant to a specific disease

immunodeficiency disorder

occurs when the immune response is compromised

immunoglobulin A

the class of antibodies produced predominantly against ingested antigens; found in body secretions such as saliva, sweat, or tears, and function to prevent the attachment of viruses and bacteria to the epithelial surfaces that line most organs

immunoglobulin D

the class of antibodies found only on the surface of B cells; important in B cell activation

immunoglobulin E

the class of antibodies produced in the lungs, skin, and mucous membranes; responsible for allergic reactions

immunoglobulin G

the most abundant class of antibodies; found in blood serum and lymph; active against bacteria, fungi, viruses, and foreign particles

immunoglobulin M

the class of antibodies that are found in circulating body fluids; the first antibodies to appear in response to an initial exposure to an antigen


bind with specific antigens in the antigen-antibody response


specializes in diagnosing and treating disorders of the immune system


a substance that prevents or reduces the body's normal immune response


treatment to repress or interfere with the ability of the immune system to respond to stimulation by antigens


a disease treatment that involves either stimulating or repressing the immune response

infectious mononucleosis

an infection caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) that is characterized by fever, a sore throat, and enlarged lymph nodes

infiltrating ductal carcinoma

starts in the milk duct, breaks through the wall of that duct, and invades the fatty breast tissue

infiltrating lobular carcinoma

cancer that starts in the milk glands, breaks through the wall of the gland, and invades the fatty tissue of the breast

inflammatory breast cancer

the most aggressive and least common form of breast cancer

inguinal lymph nodes

located in the inguinal (groin) area of the lower abdomen

intact skin

wraps the body in a physical barrier that prevents invading organisms from entering the body


a family of proteins produced by the T cells whose specialty is fighting viruses by slowing or stopping their multiplication

interstitial fluid

plasma from arterial blood that flows out of the capillaries and into the spaces between the cells

Kaposi's sarcoma

a cancer that causes patches of abnormal tissue to grow under the skin, in the lining of the mouth, nose, and throat, or in other organs; frequently associated with HIV


specialized structures of the lymphatic system

lingual tonsils

located at the base of the tongue

localized allergic response

includes redness, itching, and burning where the skin has come into contact with an allergen


the surgical removal of only the cancerous tissue and a surrounding margin of normal tissue

Lyme disease

caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected deer tick


a clear, watery fluid that transports waste products and proteins out of the spaces between the cells of the body tissues; it also destroys bacteria or other pathogens that are present in the tissues

lymph node

contains specialized lymphocytes that are capable of destroying pathogens

lymph node dissection

a surgical procedure in which all of the lymph nodes in a major group are removed to determine or slow the spread of cancer


inflammation of the lymph nodes


any disease process affecting a lymph node or nodes


a benign tumor formed by an abnormal collection of lymphatic vessels due to a congenital malformation of the lymphatic system

lymphatic capillaries

microscopic, blind-ended tubes located near the surface of the body

lymphatic circulation

transports lymph from tissues throughout the body and eventually returns this fluid to the venous circulation

lymphatic vessels

lymph flows from the lymphatic capillaries into these progressively larger vessels, which are located deeper within the tissues


swelling due to an abnormal accumulation of lymph fluid within the tissues


white blood cells that are formed in bone marrow as stem cells


direct the antigen-antibody response by signaling between the cells of the immune system


a general term applied to malignancies affecting lymphoid tissues


a diagnostic test that is performed to detect damage or malformations of the lymphatic vessels


a type of white blood cell that surrounds and kills invading cells


a disease caused by a parasite that lives in certain mosquitoes that is transferred to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito

male breast cancer

can occur in the small amount of breast tissue that is normally present in men

malignant tumor

harmful, capable of spreading to distant body sites including other body systems, can become progressively worse, and is progressively life-threatening


a radiographic examination of the breasts to detect the presence of tumors or precancerous cells


the surgical removal of the entire breast and nipple


an acute, highly contagious infection caused by the rubeola virus and transmitted by respiratory droplets

measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination

prevents these three viral conditions


a new cancer site that results from the spreading process


the process by which cancer spreads from one place to another

methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus


modified radical mastectomy

the surgical removal of the entire breast and all of the axillary lymph nodes under the adjacent arm

monoclonal antibodies

any of a class of antibodies produced in the laboratory by identical offspring of a clone of specific cells


an acute viral disease characterized by the swelling of the parotid glands, which are the salivary glands located just in front of the ears


a benign tumor made up of muscle tissue


a malignant tumor derived from muscle tissue

needle breast biopsy

a technique in which an x-ray guided needle is used to remove small samples of tissue from the breast

Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma

the term used to describe all lymphomas other than Hodgkin's lymphoma


a physician who specializes in diagnosing and treating malignant disorders such as tumors and cancer


the study of the prevention, causes, and treatment of tumors and cancer

opportunistic infection

caused by a pathogen that does not normally produce an illness in healthy humans


a malignant tumor usually involving the upper shaft of long bones, the pelvis, or knee

palatine tonsils

located on the left and right sides of the throat in the area that is visible through the mouth


a plant or animal that lives on, or within, another living organism at the expense of that organism


a microorganism that causes a disease in humans

Peyer's patches

located on the walls of the ileum; work with the immune system to protect against the entry of pathogens through the digestive system


a large white blood cell that can destroy substances such as cell debris, dust, pollen, and pathogens by the process of phagocytosis

plasma cells

specialized white blood cells that produce antibodies coded to destroy specific antigens

primary lymphedema

a heredity disorder due to malformation of the lymphatic system

professional palpation of the breast

performed to feel the texture, size, and consistency of the breast


an acute viral infection that is most commonly transmitted to humans by the bite or saliva of an infected animal

radiation therapy

used in the treatment of some cancers

radical mastectomy

the surgical removal of an entire breast and many of the surrounding tissues


a small bacterium that lives in lice, fleas, ticks, and mites

right lymphatic duct

collects lymph from the right side of the head and neck, the upper right quadrant of the body, and the right arm; empties into the right subclavian vein

Rocky Mountain spotted fever

caused by Rickettsis rickettsii and is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected tick


a viral infection characterized by a low-grade fever, swollen glands, inflamed eyes, and a fine, pink rash


a malignant tumor that arises from connective tissues, including hard tissues, soft tissues, and liquid tissues

scratch test

a diagnostic test to identify commonly troublesome allergens such as tree pollen and ragweed

secondary lymphedema

caused by damage to the lymphatic system that most commonly produces swelling in the limb nearest to the damaged lymphatic vessels

septic shock

a serious condition that occurs when an overwhelming bacterial infection affects the body


spiral-shaped bacteria that have flexible walls and are capable of movement


a saclike mass of lymphoid tissue located in the left upper quadrant of the abdomen, just inferior to (below) the diaphragm and posterior to (behind) the stomach


abnormal enlargement of the spleen


bleeding from the spleen


the process of classifying tumors with respect to how far the disease has progressed, the potential for its responding to therapy, and the patient's prognosis


a group of about 30 species of bacteria that form irregular groups or clusters resembling grapes

staphylococcus aureus

a form of staphylococci that commonly infects wounds and causes serious problems such as toxic shock syndrome or produces food poisoning


bacteria that form a chain

surgical biopsy

the removal of a small piece of tissue for examination to confirm or establish a diagnosis

synovial sarcoma

a malignant tumor of the tissue surrounding a synovial joint

synthetic immunoglobulins

used as a postexposure preventive measure against certain viruses

synthetic interferon

used in the treatment of multiple sclerosis, hepatitis C, and some cancers

systemic reaction or anaphylaxis

a severe response to an allergen

T cells

small lymphocytes that mature in the thymus as a result of exposure to the hormone thymosin, which is secreted by the thymus

targeted therapy

a developing form of anti-cancer drug therapy that uses drugs or other substances to identify and attack specific cancer cells without harming normal cells


radiation therapy administered at a distance from the body


caused by the bacillus Clostridium tetani and is transmitted through a cut or wound

thoracic duct

collects lymph from the left side of the head and neck, the upper left quadrant of the trunk, the left arm, and the entire lower portion of the trunk and both legs; empties into the left subclavian vein


located superior to (above) the heart

tinea pedis

a fungal infection that commonly develops between the toes and on the feet

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