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Glossary

Glossary Term Definition
AB Alberta
adjuvant chemotherapy Cancer chemotherapy (drugs) employed after the primary tumor has been removed by some other method.
age-standardized The same age-distribution as a given standard population.
age-standardized incidence The incidence rate of a particular disease in a population if that population had a standard age structure.
Ambulatory Oncology Patient Satisfaction Survey (AOPSS) A survey that reports on dimensions of the patient experience, in regards to the care received in outpatient cancer treatement settings.
AOPSS Ambulatory Oncology Patient Satisfaction Survey
AUS Australia
BC British Columbia
blood pressure The pressure exerted by blood against the walls of the blood vessel.
CAN Canada
case identification The diagnosis and staging of a cancer case.
Charlson Comorbidity Index The Charlson Comorbidity Index contains 19 categories of comorbidity and predicts the 10-year mortality for a patient who may have a range of co-morbid conditions.
chemotherapy One form of cancer treatment that uses powerful chemicals and drugs.
cholesterol A type of fat in your blood that may increase the risk for heart attack and stroke.
colonoscopy Examination of the inside of the colon using a colonoscope, inserted into the rectum. A colonoscope is a thin, tube-like instrument with a light and a lens for viewing.
comorbidity When a person has 1 or more diseases in addition to their primary disease. The comorbid diseases may influence the course or outcome of each other.
CT scan computerized tomography scan
determinants of health Biological and social factors that determine the health of a population.
Diagnosis to Referral The time between initial diagnosis and referral date.
Disease Pathway Management A clinical program of Cancer Care Ontario that applies a framework for examining the performance of the entire system across the cancer journey—from prevention to recovery and end-of-life care—and identifies any gaps and bottlenecks along the way.
dysphagia Difficulty swallowing.
ESAS Edmonton Symptom Assessment System scores
gene-environment interactions The phenotypic effect of interactions between genes and the environment.
glandular lesion Pre-cancerous lesions of the cervical glands that may develop into cervical cancer.
guideline Evidence-based recommendations for practice.
Health Tables Well-established boards, committees and advisory groups with a vested interest in First Nations, Inuit and Métis health. See Technical Information for more details.
human papillomavirus A type of virus that can cause abnormal tissue growth (e.g. warts) and other changes to cells. Infection for a long time with certain types of human papillomavirus can cause cervical cancer. Human papillomavirus may also play a role in some other types of cancer, such as anal, vaginal, vulvar, penile, oropharyngeal, and squamous cell skin cancers. Also called HPV.
IMRT intensity modulated radiation therapy
incidence The number of new cases within a specified period of time.
incidence rates The rates of newly diagnosed patients within specified periods of time.
incident The number of new cases within a specified period of time.
income The amount of monetary or other returns, either earned or unearned, accruing over a given period of time.
income quintile The division of a population into 5 groups based on income level.
intensity modulated radiation therapy An advanced type of high-precision radiotherapy that uses computer-controlled X-ray accelerators to deliver high doses of radiation to a cancer while significantly decreasing damage to surrounding healthy tissues and minimizing side effects.
JPN Japan
legislation Law which has been enacted by a legislature or other governing body.
malignant Cancerous cells that invade and destroy nearby tissue and spread to other parts of the body.
MB Manitoba
metastases The spread of cancer from its original or primary site to other parts of the body
metastasis The spread of cancer from its original or primary site to other parts of the body.
metastatic Having to do with metastasis, which is the spread of cancer from the primary site (place where it started) to other places in the body.
morbidity A diseased state or symptom : ill health.
mortality The number deaths in a population within a specified period of time.
mortality rates A measure of the number of deaths (in general, or due to a specific cause) in a population, scaled to the size of that population, per unit of time.
MRI magnetic resonance imaging
NB New Brunswick
neoadjuvant chemotherapy A form of chemotherapy that is used prior to the main form of treatment, usually surgery, to shrink the tumour
NL Newfoundland
NS Nova Scotia
NT The Northwest Territories
NU Nunavut
NZ New Zealand
ON Ontario
patterns Combinations of qualities, acts, tendencies etc. that form a consistent or characteristic arrangement.
PE Prince Edward Island
point-in-time Wait time at a particular point in the month, collected to give us a snapshot of the wait time.
positive predictive value Quality measure that assesses the likelihood that someone with an abnormal screening test result has a pre-invasive cancer (cervical) or a cancer (breast).
pre-cancerous Of, relating to, or being a condition or lesion that typically precedes or develops into a cancer.
prevalence The total number of people in a population who have been diagnosed with a given condition (e.g. cancer) or who are exposed to a given risk factor or behaviour (e.g. smoking) at a given point in time. It is often expressed as percentage of the population and when applied to cancer, includes both new and existing cases.
prevalence rates The rate of cases in a defined population at a given time. It includes both incident (new) and ongoing cases of the disease.
prevalent The total number of cases in a defined population at a given time. It includes both incident (new) and ongoing cases of the disease.
prevalent case The total number of cases in a defined population at a given time. It includes both incident (new) and ongoing cases of the disease.
prevalent patients The total number of patients in a defined population at a given time. It includes both incident (new) and ongoing (existing) patients with the disease.
priority access The priority of the case, determined by the surgeon. Depends on many factors, such as the type of cancer, patient complexity and progression of the disease.
QC Quebec
radiation One of the main methods of treating cancer. It uses high-energy radiation to destroy or shrink cancer cells by damaging their DNA.
RCP Regional Cancer Program
Ready-to-treat to start of treatment The time between being ready for treatment and receiving first treatment.
recurrence The return of cancer in a cancer survivor.
Referral to Consult The time between referral date and consultation date.
Regional Cancer Programs Networks of stakeholders, healthcare professionals and organizations involved in cancer prevention and care within each of Ontario's 14 Local Health Integration Networks.
relative survival ratio The ratio of the proportion of observed survivors in a cohort of cancer patients to the proportion of expected survivors in a comparable set of cancer-free individuals.
reoperation A secondary surgical procedure that is required as a result of direct or indirect complications from the initial surgery they underwent.
resected An organ, tissue or cancer that has been either partly or completely removed by surgery.
resection The procedure of partially or completely removing an organ, tissue or cancer by surgery.
risk The probability of developing a given condition.
risk factor A substance or condition that affects the probability of developing a given condition
screen-eligible Individuals in a population who meet the criteria for a particular screening test.
screening patterns The overall screening rates for various types of cancers in a population.
SK Saskatchawan
SPA Spain
stage Prognostically similar groups of patients with cancer according to the extent of the disease.
stages I or II Stage I is divided into stages IA and IB. In stage IA, the tumor is 2 centimeters or smaller. Cancer has not spread outside the breast. In stage IB, small clusters of breast cancer cells (larger than 0.2 millimeter but not larger than 2 millimeters) are found in the lymph nodes and either: (1) no tumor is found in the breast or (2) the tumor is 2 centimeters or smaller.
staging The extent or severity of a person's cancer based on the size and/or extension of the original (primary) tumour and how far it has spread in the body.
standardized symptom screening The use of a standardized tool to assess and manage patients' symptoms.
surgery The treatment of disorders or injuries of the body using incisions.
surveillance The monitoring of cancer in a patient.
surveillance colonoscopy Examination of the inside of the colon using a colonoscope, inserted into the rectum to check for recurrence in cancer survivors.
survival Being alive for a given period of time after a diagnosis.
survival ratios The proportion of individuals alive for a given period of time after a diagnosis.
synoptic pathology reports Electronic reports in discrete data field format that allow for the standardized collection, transmission, storage, retrieval and sharing of data between clinical information systems.
systemic (drug) therapy Drug treatment form of chemotherapy.
UK England, Wales and Northern Ireland
unresected An organ, tissue or cancer that has not been either partly or completely removed by surgery.
urban or rural residence Living in a census metropolitan area (CMA) with a core population of 10,000 or more and 50% or more of the population commute to an urban CMA (urban residence), or an area with a core population of less than 10,000 and 30% to 49% of the population commute to an urban area (rural residence).
USA United States of America
utilization Utilization represents the proportion of patients with a new diagnosis of carcinoma that receives at least one course of radiotherapy during the course of their illness.
YK Yukon