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Quality Of Life: The overall enjoyment of life. Many clinical trials assess the effects of cancer and its treatment on the quality of life. These studies measure an individual’s sense of well-being and ability to carry out normal life activities.

Radiation Therapy: Treatment with high-energy radiation from x-rays, gamma rays, neutrons, protons, and other sources, to kill cancer cells or shrink a tumor.

Randomized Trial: A study in which the participants in a clinical trial are assigned by chance to separate groups that compare different treatments. Neither the researchers nor the participants can choose which group.

Recurrence: Cancer that has recurred (come back) usually after a period of time during which the cancer could not be detected. The cancer could come back to the same place as the original tumor or to another place in the body. Also called Recurrent Cancer.

Refractory Cancer: This describes a disease or condition that does not respond to treatment.

Regional Cancer: Refers to cancer that has grown beyond the original tumor to nearby lymph nodes or organs and tissues.

Remission: Complete or partial disappearance of the signs and symptoms of cancer in response to treatment. A remission may not be a cure. In complete remission, all signs and symptoms of cancer have disappeared, although cancer still may be in the body.

Salpingo-Oophorectomy: Removal of the fallopian tubes and ovaries.

Scan: A look at structures within the body. Scans often used in diagnosing, staging, and monitoring disease include CAT scans and MRI scans.

Second-Look Surgery: Surgery performed after primary treatment to determine whether tumor cells remain.

Side Effects: Unwanted effects of treatment that can include hair loss, fatigue, nausea, mouth sores, and neuropathy (nerve damage).

Stable Disease: Cancer that is neither growing nor shrinking.

Stage: The extent of a cancer in the body. Staging is usually based on the size of the tumor, whether the cancer has spread from the other site to other parts of the body, and whether lymph nodes contain cancer. Ovarian cancer is divided into four stages by the location of the tumor cells at the time of the initial diagnosis.

Stromal Cell Tumors: These tumors start in the supporting connective tissue that holds the ovary together. The female hormones estrogen and progesterone are made in the stromal cells. The tumors can occur in women of any age, but they are uncommon.

Systemic: Affecting the entire body. Systemic chemotherapy employs drugs that travel through the bloodstream to cells all over the body.

Targeted Therapy: A type of treatment that uses drugs or other substances, such as monoclonal antibodies, to attack specific cancer cells. Targeted agents tend to have fewer side effects than conventional chemotherapy drugs.

Taxol: Trade name for the drug Paclitaxel.

Thrombocytopenia: An abnormally low numbers of platelets in the blood due to cancer or its treatment that can cause easy bruising and excessive bleeding.

Topotecan: Generic name for the drug Hycamtin. Used to treat recurrent ovarian cancer.

Transfusion: A procedure in which a person is given an infusion of donated blood.

Transvaginal Ultrasound: A procedure used to examine the vagina, uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, and bladder. An instrument is inserted into the vagina that causes sound waves to bounce off organs inside the pelvis. These sound waves create ultrasound echoes that are sent to a computer, which creates a picture (a sonogram). Transvaginal ultrasound is also referred to as transvaginal sonography and TVS.

Tumor: A lump or mass of cancerous or noncancerous cells.

Unresectable: Unable to be removed with surgery.

Uterus: The small, hollow, pear-shaped organ in a woman’s pelvis. It is the organ in which a fetus develops. Also called the womb.

Vagina: The muscular canal that goes from the uterus to the outside of the body. During birth, the baby passes through the vagina.

Vulva: The external female genital organs, including the clitoris, vaginal lips, and the opening to the vagina.

Source: Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance