Medical Glossary
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GCSF See growth factors
Gene A segment of the DNA strand that contains the information on hereditary characteristics and the susceptibility to certain diseases.
Gene Therapy A treatment that changes a gene. Gene therapy is used to help the body fight cancer. It can also be used to make cancer cells more sensitive to treatment.
Genetic Counseling The process of counseling at-risk individuals who may be at risk for developing a cancer from a gene defect.
Genetic Testing The process of determining the occurrence or risk of occurrence of a genetic disorder within a family, and of providing appropriate information and advice about the courses of action that are available. Family history and medical history will help determine if an individual should receive genetic testing.
Grade The tumor receives a “grade” determination. This is done by the pathologist when the tumor cells from the biopsy are examined under the microscope. There are several different grading systems for different types of cancer but the concept is basically the same. The grade is how abnormal the cells appear or do not appear. Generally, the more abnormal appearing the cancer cell, the greater the tendency for the cell to behave more aggressively.
Graft-versus-host-disease (GVHD) A stem cell transplant term where the new marrow (graft) recognizes the patient as foreign and sends out lymphocytes (white blood cells) to attack . The most common areas of involvement are the skin, stomach, intestines and liver.
Granulocyte Another name for the white blood cell which is the cell that fights infection.
Granulocyte Another name for a white blood cell.
Growth Factors Growth factors are proteins normally produced by the body that stimulate the development of blood cells from stem cells. These substances can also be manufactured in the laboratory and made into a shot. They are used to increase the low red blood cell count or the low white blood cell count as a result of cancer treatments. They are given as an injection under the skin. Most common side effects include bone pain and low grade fevers.
Guiac Test A way to test for blood in the stool. Also called a stool guiac test or a hemocult test.