T

Tamoxifen
(Nolvadex, Tamofen)

Hormone treatment for breast cancer. Stops breast cancer cells from picking up Estrogen. Estrogen can encourage breast cancer to grow.

Tamoxifen Retinopathy

A very rare long term side effect of Tamoxifen. The light sensitive cells at the back of the eye are affected which causes problems with vision. This side effect usually goes away when the drug is stopped. See Long Term Side Effects, Tamoxifen.

Taste Buds

Areas on the tongue which pick up different tastes - salty, sweet, sour and bitter. Can be damaged by radiotherapy. See Radiotherapy.

Taste Changes

Side effect of some chemotherapy drugs and of radiotherapy to the head. Some foods can taste metallic. Others may not taste of anything at all. Taste is usually back to normal after treatment is finished. But some radiotherapy treatment can cause permanent loss of taste. See Chemotherapy, Radiotherapy, Side Effects, Taste Buds.

Tattoo
(Tattoos, Pinprick Tattoos)

Permanent ink mark on the skin. Tiny pinprick tattoos are sometimes made during radiotherapy planning. These are used to help line up the machine for treatment. See Radiotherapy Planning.

Taxol
(Chemotherapy)

Anti-cancer drug.

T Cell Lymphoma

A cancer of the lymphatic system where the cells that have become cancerous are a type of white blood cell called T Lymphocytes. See Lymphatic System, T Lymphocytes.

Temperature

Means how hot or cold something is. Used commonly to mean a body temperature above normal (98.4oF or 37oC) as in "I have a temperature".

Temporary Colostomy

Colostomy that is formed after some bowel surgery. The colostomy is formed higher up the bowel in the transverse colon. It is done to allow the part of the bowel that has been operated on to heal. When the operation site has healed, the colostomy is reversed (closed up) in another operation. After this second operation, the bowel works normally again with waste matter being passed out of the anus. See Colostomy.

Temporary Infertility

Infertility that is not for ever. Some chemotherapy treatment can cause infertility while you are having the treatment. But your fertility can come back 6 months or so after treatment has finished. This will depend on the drugs, but also on other things such as your age and whether you are male or female. It is sometimes difficult for doctors to say whose infertility will be permanent and whose will be temporary.

Tendon

Fibrous tissue that attaches muscles to bones.

Ten Year Survival

The proportion (percentage) of people with a particular type of cancer who are still alive 10 years after the cancer was first diagnosed.

Teratoma

Type of testicular cancer most common in men between 20 an 30 years old.

Testes

Another word for testicles. Glands in the scrotum which produce sperm.

Testicular Cancer 

Cancer of one or both testicles.

Testicular Prosthesis

Fake testicle - silicon ball put into scrotum to replace removed testicle.

Testicular Self Examination
(TSE)

Process of feeling one's own testicles for lumps or other abnormalities.

Testosterone

Male sex hormone produced by the testicles.

Tetanus

(Tetanus Vaccine)
Infectious disease. You can have a vaccination against tetanus if you are having chemotherapy. See Vaccination.

Thalidomide

Infamous drug that caused birth defects. Now being investigated as a cancer treatment because it is antiangiogenic (stops blood vessels growing). See Angiogenesis, Antiangiogenic Drugs.

Thoracic Duct

The main channel of the lymphatic system that returns lymph fluid (circulating tissue fluid) to the blood circulation. The thoracic duct joins the blood circulatory system just above the heart. See Circulatory System, Lymph, Lymphatic System.

Thoracotomy

Surgical operation to open the chest cavity. Done to operate on the lungs. See Lungs.

Thromboembolism

Medical term for a blood clot. See Blood Clot.

Thrush

Fungus infection which usually affects the mouth or vagina. White patches appear and the surrounding skin is red and sore. Occurs most often in people with low resistance to infection (e.g. after chemotherapy) or in areas that have been treated with radiotherapy (e.g. in the mouth).

Thymus

A small gland under the top of the breast bone. It is part of the immune system. See Immune System.

Thyroid

Gland at the base of the neck that produces hormones which control the metabolic rate (how much energy the body uses) and level of calcium in the blood. Cancer of the thyroid is often treated with Iodine 131. See Hormones, Iodine 131.

Tissue Expander
(Tissue Expansion)

Type of breast reconstruction. The skin where the breast was is slowly stretched by an inflatable implant until it is the same size as the natural breast.

T Lymphocytes
(T cells)

Type of white blood cell. Lymphocytes make up a quarter to a third of the white blood cells. Then there are two types of lymphocytes, B and T cells. The T lymphocytes help the B cells make antibodies as part of the immune response. A cancer of the T lymphocytes is called a T cell lymphoma. See Antibodies, B lymphocytes, Immune Response, White Blood Cells.

Tomudex

Anti-cancer (chemotherapy) drug.

Tonsils

Lymph glands at the back of the nose and throat. Fight infections in the throat and respiratory system (lungs and airways). See Lymphatic System.

Total Androgen Blockade

Treatment with Anti Androgens and Pituitary Down regulators at the same time. Completely blocks the production and effects of the sex hormones. Used in the treatment of prostate cancer.

Total Body Irradiation
(TBI)

Giving radiotherapy to the whole body. Can be part of the treatment necessary for a bone marrow or stem cell transplant. See Bone Marrow Transplant, Radiotherapy, Stem Cell Transplant.

Total Prostatectomy

Operation to remove the whole prostate. The operation cannot be done via the penis (transurethrally) so there will be a scar. The lymph glands around the prostate are usually removed as well. Also called a Radical Prostatectomy.

Toxicity

Side effects.

Trachea
(Windpipe)

Main airway that runs from the base of the throat down to the lungs. Divides into the two main bronchi (right and left) that supply each lung with air. See Airways, Bronchi.

Tram Flap

Type of breast reconstruction. Part of the rectus abdominus muscle in the Abdomen is transplanted to the chest wall and used to create a new breast shape. Sometimes an implant is also used.

Transitional Cell(s)

Cell type found in the bladder. Transitional cell tissue can stretch, as it does when the bladder fills up. Transitional cell cancer is the commonest type of bladder cancer in the UK.

Transurethral Resection 
(TUR, TURP)

Operation to remove the part of an enlarged prostate which is pressing on the urethra (tube which carries urine from the bladder out of the penis). The prostate is chipped away in tiny pieces removed through the urethra and so there is no scar. Can be done for benign enlarged prostate or prostate cancer.

Treatment Angle

Term used in radiotherapy planning. Radiotherapy is often given at an angle to the body rather than directly from in front or behind the patient. This is to prevent major body organs from being in the radiotherapy field as much as possible. See Radiotherapy Field, Radiotherapy Planning.

T Test

Statistical test that helps to show if there is a real difference between different treatments being tested in a controlled clinical trial. See Clinical Trial.

Tube Feeding

Feeding through a tube. Can be either a tube from the nose to the stomach (nasogastric tube), or a tube that goes directly into the stomach from the outside (gastrostomy tube).

Tuberculosis

Infectious disease. See BCG.

Tumor

Another word for cancerous lump. 'Benign tumor' can be used to mean non cancerous lump.

Tumor Flare

Temporary increase in symptoms from a cancer after starting treatment. Happens when prostate cancer is treated with Pituitary Down regulators if Anti Androgens are not given for the first few weeks.

Tumor Suppressor Genes

Genes which switch off cell multiplication. Tumor suppressor genes can mutate and then fail to switch off cell multiplication which contributes to a cancer forming. See Cell Division, Genes, Oncogenes, p53.

Typhoid

Infectious disease. There are two types of vaccination for typhoid. You can have an injection of typhoid vaccine, as it is not live. You should not have the oral vaccine, as it is live. See Vaccination.


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