Glossary S to Z

The process of planning radiation therapy to allow the radiation to be delivered to the intended location.

Skin Cancer
Cancer that begins in the tissues of the skin. Skin cancer develops in the epidermis, which is the upper or outer layer of the skin. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. The primary cause of skin cancer is prolonged exposure to sunlight.

Small Cell Lung Cancer
An aggressive cancer which forms in the tissues of the lung. Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) often starts in the bronchi, and tends to spread widely to lymph nodes and other organs in the body.

Small Intestine Cancer
A rare cancer that begins in the tissues of the small intestine. The longest section of the gastrointestinal (digestive) tract, the small intestine (or small bowel) connects the stomach to the large intestine. 

Stomach Cancer
Cancer that begins in the stomach. Part of the gastrointestinal (digestive) system, the stomach is a sac-like organ that holds food for digestion. It is located in the upper abdomen, between the esophagus and the small intestine. Most stomach cancers are adenocarcinomas, and develop from cells lining the mucosa (innermost layer of the stomach).

Systemic radiation therapy
The use of radioactive isotopes that can travel throughout the body to treat certain cancers.

Treatment plan
A radiation oncologist’s prescription describing how a patient should be treated with radiation therapy. The radiation oncology team uses sophisticated treatment planning software to maximize radiation to the tumor while sparing healthy tissue.

An abnormal lump or mass of tissue.