Glossary of Terms
Benign Tumor - An abnormal growth that is not cancer and does not spread to other areas of the body.
Brachytherapy - Form of radiation therapy in which radioactive materials are implanted.
Cancer - A generic term for more than 100 different diseases that are characterized by the uncontrolled, abnormal growth of cells. Cancer cells usually invade and destroy normal tissue. Cancer cells can travel through the bloodstream lymphatic system to reach other parts of the body.
Carcinoma - A cancerous tumor originating in epithelial cells (the surface cells of tissues). Carcinomas tend to spread into surrounding tissues and to metastasize to other parts of the body.
Chemotherapy - Treatment with toxic chemicals (e.g., anti-cancer drugs).
Computed Tomography (CT) - A form of x-ray imaging in which 2D sections of a patient's anatomy are reconstructed from x-rays projected through the body from many different angles. CT images display sharp contrast based upon tissue density, and exhibit high spatial accuracy.
Conformal Radiosurgery - Involves geometrically shaping the beam so that the beam's contour corresponds to the shape area in the beam's eye view. The beam generally delivers consistent dose across the targeted area.
Dosimetrist - A member of the radiation oncology team who helps develop the patient's treatment plan and performs calculations to carry out the radiation dose prescription, in collaboration with the medical physicist and radiation oncologist.
Fractionated Stereotactic Radiotherapy - A series of radiation treatments over a period of time.
Lesion - A change in body tissue.
Malignant Tumor - A mass of cancer cells that may invade surrounding tissues or spread (metastasize) to distant areas of the body.
Medical Physicist - Medical physicists work with the physician in radiosurgery treatment planning and in the accurate measurement of the radiation output from radiation sources used in cancer therapy. Other important services performed are regular monitoring and testing of equipment performance, organization of quality control, design of radiation installations and control of radiation hazards.
Multidisciplinary Care - Multidisciplinary care refers to doctors who specialize in different medical areas working together to provide a comprehensive treatment plan for a patient. The PAMF Radiosurgery Program combines experts in the fields of neurosurgery, radiation oncology and medical oncology working together to provide the best plan for each person during treatment.
Radiation Therapist - Radiation therapist is a health professional who plans and administers radiation treatments to cancer patients.
Radiotherapy - The use of high-energy radiation from x-rays, gamma rays, neutrons and other sources to treat tumors and destroy cancer cells.
Radiosurgery - A radiation therapy procedure that delivers a large dose of radiation to a tumor over one to five treatment sessions.
Stereotactic Radiosurgery - Radiation treatment of a tumor that is applied in a single session with a high dose of radiation.
Tumor - An abnormal lump or mass of tissue. Tumors can be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).