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Radiation therapy (radiotherapy)
The use of high-energy radiation from x-rays, gamma rays, neutrons, and other sources to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Radiation may come from a machine outside the body (external-beam radiation therapy), or it may come from radioactive material placed in the body near cancer cells (internal radiation therapy, implant radiation, or brachytherapy). Systemic radiation therapy uses a radioactive substance, such as a radiolabeled monoclonal antibody, that circulates throughout the body. Also called radiotherapy.
Radio frequency ablation (RFA)
Radiofrequency ablation , laser therapy, and microwave therapy all use heat to kill the cancer cells. RFA is probably the most widely used palliative treatment. It may be applied under sedation through the skin, at laparoscopy, or during a surgical operation.
Radioisotope
A radioactive material frequently used in imaging procedures to safely diagnose or treat disease, or to evaluate response to treatment.
Radiologist
A doctor who specializes in the use of x-rays to diagnose and treat diseases.
Receptor
A molecule inside or on the surface of a cell that binds to a specific substance and causes a specific physiologic effect in the cell.
Recurrence
The reappearance of a disease after a period of remission.
Red blood cells (Erythrocytes)
Cells in the blood that deliver oxygen to tissues and take carbon dioxide from them.
Red blood count (RBC)
The number of red blood cells seen in a blood sample.
Regression
The shrinkage of cancer growth.
Relapse
The reappearance of a disease after its apparent cessation.
Remission
Complete or partial disappearance of the signs and symptoms of disease.
RFA
See Radiofrequency Ablation.
Risk factor
Anything that increases a person's chances of developing cancer, for example, smoking and lung cancer.