Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Pancreatic Cancer: Glossary of Terms (B)

- B –

Back pain: Pain felt in the low or upper back. Causes of pain in the low and upper back include conditions affecting the bony spine; discs between the vertebrae; ligaments around the spine and discs; spinal inflammation; spinal cord and nerves; muscles; internal organs of the pelvis, chest, and abdomen; tumors; and the skin.

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Barium solution: A liquid containing barium sulfate that is used in x-rays to highlight parts of the digestive system.

Belly: That part of the body that contains all of the structures between the chest and the pelvis. Also called the abdomen.

Benign tumors: Tumors which are non-cancerous. These generally grow slowly and do not invade adjacent organs or spread (metastasize) beyond the pancreas.

Bile: Bile is a yellow-green fluid that is made by the liver, stored in the gallbladder and passes through the common bile duct into the duodenum where it helps digest fat. The principal components of bile are cholesterol, bile salts, and the pigment bilirubin.

Bile duct: A duct that carries bile from the liver to the intestine. This term may refer to the hepatic, cystic or common bile duct.

Biliary: Having to do with the gallbladder, bile ducts, or bile. The biliary system itself consists of the gallbladder and bile ducts and, of course, the bile.

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Bilirubin: A substance produced in the liver when the body breaks down hemoglobin, the molecule in red blood cells that carries oxygen. Bilirubin is yellowish green in color and is eliminated in the bile.

Biological therapy: Treatment to stimulate or restore the ability of the immune system to fight infection and disease (also called immunotherapy).

Biopsy: The removal of a sample of tissue for examination under a microscope to check for cancer cells or other abnormalities.

Bladder: The hollow organ that stores urine.

Blood count: The amount of white cells, red cells and platelets in a sample of blood drawn from a patient’s body. An elevation or decrease in the blood count may indicate infection, anemia, or danger of excessive bleeding from cuts and injuries.

Blood pressure: The blood pressure is the pressure of the blood within the arteries. It is produced primarily by the contraction of the heart muscle. It's measurement is recorded by two numbers. The first (systolic pressure) is measured after the heart contracts and is highest. The second (diastolic pressure) is measured before the heart contracts and lowest. A blood pressure cuff is used to measure the pressure. Elevation of blood pressure is called "hypertension".

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Blood sugar: The glucose in the blood; also: its concentration (as in milligrams per 100 milliliters).

Body of the pancreas: The middle part of gland between the neck and the tail. The superior mesenteric blood vessels run behind this part of the gland.

Bowel: The small and large intestine.

BRCA2: BRCA2 (Breast Cancer Type 2 susceptibility protein) is a human gene that is involved in the repair of chromosomal damage and belongs to a class of genes known as tumor suppressor genes. Tumor suppressor genes regulate the cycle of cell division by keeping cells from growing and dividing too rapidly or in an uncontrolled way.

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Brush Biopsy: In a brush biopsy, a small brush is inserted through the endoscope during an ERCP procedure and directly into your bile duct or pancreatic duct. Cells rub off onto the brush and can be examined using a microscope. 

Bypass: An operation in which the doctor creates a new pathway for the flow of body fluids.

Sources and Additional Information:

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