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Cancer Glossary - F

fallopian tubes  (fa-LO-pee-in)
Part of the female reproductive tract. The long slender tubes through which eggs pass from the ovaries to the uterus.
familial adenomatous polyposis  
FAP. An inherited condition in which numerous polyps (growths that protrude from mucous membranes) form on the inside walls of the colon and rectum. It increases the risk for colon cancer. Also called familial polyposis.
familial dysplastic nevi  (fa-MI-lee-yul dis-PLAS-tik NEE-vye)
A condition that runs in certain families in which at least two members have dysplastic nevi (atypical moles) and have a tendency to develop melanoma.
familial polyposis  (pah-li-PO-sis)
An inherited condition in which numerous polyps (growths that protrude from mucous membranes) form on the inside walls of the colon and rectum. It increases the risk for colon cancer. Also called familial adenomatous polyposis or FAP.
Fanconi anemia  
A rare and often fatal inherited disease in which the bone marrow fails to produce red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, or a combination of these cells. The disease may transform into myelodysplastic syndrome or leukemia. Also called Fanconi's syndrome.
Fanconi's anemia  
A rare and often fatal inherited disease in which the bone marrow fails to produce red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, or a combination of these cells. The disease may transform into myelodysplastic syndrome or leukemia. Also called Fanconi's syndrome.
Fanconi's syndrome  
A rare and often fatal inherited disease in which the bone marrow fails to produce red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, or a combination of these cells. The disease may transform into myelodysplastic syndrome or leukemia. Also called Fanconi anemia.
FAP  
An inherited condition in which numerous polyps (growths that protrude from mucous membranes) form on the inside walls of the colon and rectum. It increases the risk for colon cancer. Also called familial adenomatous polyposis or familial polyposis.
fatty acids  
A major component of fats that are used by the body for energy and tissue development.
fatty-replaced breast tissue  
A term used in mammography that refers to the replacement of fibrous breast tissue with fatty tissue. This commonly occurs as a woman ages.
fazarabine  
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called antimetabolites.
fecal occult blood test  (FEE-kul o-KULT)
A test to check for blood in stool. (Fecal refers to stool; occult means hidden.)
fenretinide  
A drug being studied for cancer prevention. It belongs to the family of drugs called retinoids.
fentanyl  
A narcotic opioid drug that is used in the treatment of pain.
fertility  (fer-TIL-i-tee)
The ability to produce children.
fetus  (FEET-us)
The developing offspring from 7 to 8 weeks after conception until birth.
fiber  
The parts of fruits and vegetables that cannot be digested. Also called bulk or roughage. Fiber may be effective in preventing cancer.
fibroblast  
A connective tissue cell that makes and secretes collagen proteins.
fibroid  (FYE-broyd)
A benign smooth-muscle tumor, usually in the uterus or gastrointestinal tract. Also called leiomyoma.
fibrosarcoma  
A type of soft tissue sarcoma that begins in fibrous tissue, which holds bones, muscles, and other organs in place.
fibrosis  
The growth of fibrous tissue.
filgrastim  
A colony-stimulating factor that stimulates the production of neutrophils (a type of white blood cell). It is a cytokine that belongs to the family of drugs called hematopoietic (blood-forming) agents. Also called granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF).
filgrastim-SD/01  
A substance that is being studied for its ability to increase numbers of white blood cells in people who are receiving chemotherapy. It belongs to the family of drugs called colony-stimulating factors.
filler  
An inactive substance used to make a product bigger or easier to handle. For example, fillers are often used to make pills or capsules because the amount of active drug is too small to be handled conveniently.
finasteride  
A drug used to reduce the amount of male hormone (testosterone) produced by the body.
fine-needle aspiration  
The removal of tissue or fluid with a needle for examination under a microscope. Also called needle biopsy.
FK463  
An antibiotic/antifungal drug used to treat infection.
flavopiridol  
A substance that is being studied as an anticancer drug. It belongs to the family of drugs called flavanoids.
flecainide  
A drug that is used to treat abnormal heart rhythms. It may also relieve neuropathic pain, the burning, stabbing, or stinging pain that may arise from damage to nerves caused by some types of cancer or cancer treatment.
floxuridine  
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called antimetabolites.
flt3L  
A drug that increases the number of immune cells and may stimulate the immune system to kill cancer cells.
fluconazole  
A drug that treats infections caused by fungi.
flucytosine  
A drug that treats infections caused by fungi.
fludarabine  
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called antimetabolites.
fludeoxyglucose F 18  
The radioactive form of glucose used in positron emission tomography (PET), a diagnostic imaging procedure.
fludrocortisone  
A synthetic corticosteroid. It is used to replace steroid hormones normally produced by the adrenal gland.
fluids  
Liquids.
fluoride  
A chemical that helps prevent tooth decay. Fluoride may be present in drinking water or applied to the teeth.
fluoroscope  (FLOOR-o-skope)
An x-ray machine that makes it possible to see internal organs in motion.
fluoroscopy  (floor-AHS-ko-pee)
An x-ray procedure that makes it possible to see internal organs in motion.
fluorouracil  (floor-o-YOOR-a-sil)
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called antimetabolites. Also called 5-FU.
fluoxetine  
A drug used to treat depression. It belongs to the family of drugs called antidepressants.
flutamide  
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called antiandrogens.
focal  
In terms of cancer, limited to a specific area.
folate  
A B-complex vitamin that is being studied as a cancer prevention agent. Also called folic acid.
folic acid  
A B-complex vitamin that is being studied as a cancer prevention agent. Also called folate.
follicles  (FOL-i-kuls)
Shafts through which hair grows.
follicular large cell lymphoma  (foll-IK-yew-lar large cell lim-FO-ma)
A rare type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (cancer of the lymphatic system) with large cells that look cleaved (split) or non-cleaved under the microscope. It is an indolent (slow-growing) type of lymphoma.
follicular thyroid cancer  (fo-LIK-yu-ler)
Cancer that develops from cells in the follicular areas of the thyroid. One of the slow-growing, highly treatable types of thyroid cancer.
follow-up  
Monitoring a person's health over time after treatment. This includes keeping track of the health of people who participate in a clinical study or clinical trial for a period of time, both during the study and after the study ends.
FR901228  
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called depsipeptides.
fractionation  
Dividing the total dose of radiation therapy into several smaller, equal doses delivered over a period of several days.
free radicals  
Highly reactive chemicals that often contain oxygen and are produced when molecules are split to give products that have unpaired electrons. This process is called oxidation. Free radicals can damage important cellular molecules such as DNA or lipids or other parts of the cell.
freeze-dried  
A method used to dry substances, such as food, to make them last longer. The substance is frozen and then dried in a vacuum.
fulguration  (ful-gyoor-AY-shun)
Destroying tissue using an electric current.
functional magnetic resonance imaging  
A noninvasive tool used to observe functioning in the brain or other organs by detecting changes in chemical composition, blood flow, or both.
fundus  
The larger part of a hollow organ that is farthest away from the organ's opening. The bladder, gallbladder, stomach, uterus, eye, and cavity of the middle ear all have a fundus.
fungi  
Parasitic or semiparasitic plant-like organisms that do not make chlorophyll. The singular is fungus. Mushroom, yeasts, and molds are examples.
fusion protein  
A protein created by joining two genes together. Fusion proteins may occur naturally or can be created in the laboratory for research.

 

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