Skip to content

    Colorectal Cancer Health Center

    Font Size

    Colorectal Cancer Glossary of Terms

    Abdominoperineal resection: usually performed for a lower rectal or anal cancer. Involves the surgical removal of the anus, rectum, and sigmoid colon, along with associated lymph nodes, resulting in the need for a permanent colostomy.

    Accidental Bowel Leakage: also called fecal incontinence. The inability to retain stool, resulting in bowel accidents.

    Recommended Related to Colorectal Cancer

    Colonoscopy Risks

    Going for your first colonoscopy? This lets a doctor check your colon and rectum for cancer and polyps -- growths that can be early signs of cancer. It saves lives, so if your doctor suggests you get one, be sure you do. It’s a fairly safe exam. On average, just 2 serious complications occur for every 1,000 procedures performed. But it’s not without risks. Here are four you should talk to your doctor about.

    Read the Colonoscopy Risks article > >

    Acetaminophen: a drug that reduces pain and fever, but not inflammation. It is sold under the brand name Tylenol.

    Acute: abrupt onset that usually is severe; happens for a short period of time.

    Adenoma: benign (non-cancerous) polyps, or growths, that are considered the first step toward colon and rectal cancer.

    Adhesion: a band of scar tissue that connects two surfaces of the body that are normally separate. Usually due to inflammation or injury, including surgery.

    Adjuvant therapy: additional treatment, or add-on treatment, provided with the primary treatment to prevent cancer recurrence.

    Adverse effect: a negative or harmful effect.

    Analgesic: medicine to relieve pain.

    Anemia: a condition in which a person has a low red blood cell count. It occurs when there is not enough hemoglobin in a person's blood. Hemoglobin is the substance in the red blood cells that enables the blood to transport oxygen throughout the body.

    Antibiotic: medication used to treat bacterial infections.

    Antibodies: proteins produced by the body to protect itself from foreign substances, such as bacteria or viruses.

    Antigens: substances that provoke an immune response in the body. The body produces antibodies to fight antigens, or harmful substances, to try to eliminate them.

    Anti-inflammatory: medication used to reduce pain, swelling, or other irritation caused by inflammation.

    Air contrast barium enema: also called double contrast barium enema -- an X-ray examination of the entire large intestine (colon) and rectum in which barium and air are introduced gradually into the colon by a rectal tube.

    Anal fissure: a split or crack in the lining of the anal opening, usually caused by the passage of very hard or watery stools.

    Anastomosis: a surgical joining of two ducts, blood vessels, or bowel segments to allow flow from one to the other.

    1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14

    Today on WebMD

    Colorectal cancer cells
    The right diagnosis is the most important factor.
    man with a doctor
    Our health check will steer you in the right direction.
    sauteed cherry tomatoes
    Fight cancer one plate at a time.
    bladder cancer x-ray
    Do you know the warning signs?
    Colon vs Rectal Cancer
    New Colorectal Treatments
    can lack of sleep affect your immune system
    Cancer Facts Quiz
    Virtual Colonoscopy
    Picture of the Colon
    Vitamin D