Services at Cardon Children's Medical Center  

Glossary of Cancer Terms


At Cardon Children's Medical Center we understand that children and adults have questions about cancer. Learn more about common terms:

Biological Response Modifier (BRM) or Immunotherapy
BRM is a generic term which covers all chemical or biological agents that alter the body’s immune system or change the body’s response (defense mechanism) to the cancer.

First Course Treatment
Generally the initial tumor-directed treatment or series of treatments, usually initiated within the first four months following diagnosis.

Observed Survival Rate
The literal survival rate from counting each case in the Registry.

Relative Survival Rate
Survival rate that takes the normal life expectancy into account. This avoids the bias the figures may have with the majority of patients being older but having expired due to causes other than cancer.

State of Disease
Determined at first course of treatment. American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) Cancer Staging Manual is used except where otherwise indicated.

In Situ
Neoplasm (tumor) which fulfills all microscopic criteria for malignancy except invasion.

Neoplasm (tumor) that appears entirely confined to the organ of origin.

Neoplasm (tumor) has spread by direct extension to immediately adjacent organs or tissues and/or has metastasized to regional lymph nodes or organs and appears not to have spread any further.

Neoplasm (tumor) has spread beyond immediately adjacent organs or tissues by direct extension and/or has either developed secondary or metastatic tumors, metastasized to distant lymph nodes, or has been determined to be systemic in origin.

Unknown or Not Recorded
Tumor is said to be unknown when the state cannot be determined from the medical record or a medical authority.

Cardon Children's Medical Center
1400 S. Dobson Road
Mesa, AZ 85202
(480) 412-KIDS (5437)
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