• Carcinogen – A carcinogen is anything that causes cancer. Carcinogens can be physical, chemical, or viral, but many are not known.
  • Carcinoma in situ – A cancer that has not spread to other parts of the body or invaded nearby tissue. Carcinoma in situ, an early form of cancer, is highly curable.
  • Chemotherapy – The use of drugs to destroy cancer cells. A person on chemotherapy may take one drug or a combination of drugs. Most often these drugs are given by vein using intravenous (IV) infusion. Some can be taken by mouth or given in a shot.
  • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) – CLL is a disease that makes immature lymphocytic cells. Unlike in acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), these cells can carry out some of their normal functions. As a result, chronic leukemia gets worse gradually.
  • Clinical trials – Tests of new and promising ways to treat cancer. The goal of all clinical trials is to find better treatments to fight cancer. Clinical trials can test new surgical procedures, radiation therapies, and drugs.
    • Phase lclinical trial – The stage of drug development when the investigational product is first researched in humans and when drug safety is determined. Usually a small number of healthy volunteers, but occasionally patients, participate in these studies.
    • Phase 2 clinical trial – The stage in which drug effectiveness is determined preliminarily in patients with the targeted medical condition. These studies are aimed at assessing short-term safety and therapeutic dose-range (minimum and maximum doses), and determining short-term side effects and risks associated with the investigational product. Usually a moderate number of patients (100-250) participate in these studies.
    • Phase 3 clinical trial – The stage in which large-scale safety and effectiveness are ascertained in a larger number of patients who ultimately will receive the investigational product. These studies are aimed at demonstrating short- and long-term safety and efficacy, and assessing overall therapeutic value as well as determining the benefit/risk relationship of the investigational product.
    • Protocol – A set of strict rules or guidelines to follow during a clinical trial. These rules include the clinical trial start and finish dates, blood tests and x-rays required, and interviews and questionnaires to complete. A protocol has been called a “recipe” for how to conduct a clinical trial.
    • Study arm – Study arms are the options for treatment in a clinical trial. For example, one arm of a study may be those patients who take the research drug, while another arm of the study may be those who take the standard-of-care drug. A study may have multiple arms.
    • Blind studies – In a single-blind study, patients are assigned to a study group (either research drug, “standard-of-care” drug, or standard-of-care drug plus placebo) but do not know which group they are in. In a double-blind study, neither the patient nor the doctor knows which study group the patient is in. This reduces the effects of Prejudgment by patients and doctors.
  • Colony-stimulating factors – Also called CSFs, colony-stimulating factors are drugs that promote the production of various blood cells. Examples of CSFs are NeulastaR (pegfilgrastim) and AranespR (darbepoetin alfa).
  • Combination chemotherapy – Using more than one anticancer medication together, with the goal of destroying more cancer cells.
  • Complete blood count (CBC) – The CBC is a test that determines the number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets in the blood.
  • Computed axial tomography (CT/CAT) — CT/CAT scans use x-rays to see the body in a three-dimensional way. Doctors use CT scanning to diagnose and stage cancer. Sometimes it is necessary to use a contrast medium for the images to show up on the computer. One type of contrast medium is injected into a vein and contains iodine. If you are allergic to iodine or shellfish (shellfish contain iodine), please let your technician know. Another type of contrast medium is used when the CT scan involves the gastrointestinal tract. Following the CT scan, you are encouraged to drink fluids to promote elimination of the dye.
  • Constipation – Constipation is difficulty passing stool. It can also refer to a decrease in the normal frequency of bowel movements. It may be accompanied by gas, pain, or pressure in the abdomen.
  • Creatinine – A compound excreted in the urine that is used to monitor kidney function. Creatinine levels are measured to determine if a patient has kidney problems or if a treatment is producing side effects related to the kidney.
  • Cultures – Laboratory tests that encourage the growth of microorganisms for the purpose of identifying and diagnosing an infection.
  • Cycle—Chemotherapy can be given in a variety of time arrangements, such as daily, weekly, or monthly. Chemotherapy is generally given in cycles. A cycle can last lor more days but usually lasts 3 or 4 weeks.