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Glossary
basal cell carcinoma: a slow-growing, invasive, but usually non-metastasizing neoplasm of the epidermis or hair follicles, most commonly arising in damaged skin of the elderly and fair-skinned.

benign: denoting the mild character of an illness or the nonmalignant character of a neoplasm.

biopsy: 1. Process of removing tissue from living patients for diagnostic examination. 2. A specimen obtained by biopsy.

epidermis: the most superficial or outermost layer of the skin.

excision: the act of cutting out; the surgical removal of part or all of a structure or organ. Synonymous with “resection.”

lymph node: one of numerous round, oval, or bean-shaped bodies located along the course of lymphatic vessels. Involved in immune response to foreign invaders of the body.

malignant: 1. Resistant to treatment; occurring in severe form and frequently fatal; tending to become worse. 2. In reference to a neoplasm, having the properties of locally invasive and destructive growth and metastasis.

melanocyte: a pigment-producing cell located in the epidermis with branching processes by means of which melanosomes are transferred to epidermal cells, resulting in pigmentation of the epidermis.

melanoma: a malignant neoplasm, arising most commonly in the skin or in the eye. Occurs mostly in adults and may originate on its own or from a mole.

melanosome: the generally oval pigment granule produced by melanocytes.

metastasize: 1. The shifting of a disease or its local manifestations, from one part of the body to another. 2. The spread of a disease process from one part of the body to another, as in the appearance of neoplasms in parts of the body remote from the site of the primary tumor.

neoplasm: abnormal tissue that grows more rapidly than normal tissue and continues to do so despite removal of the stimulus that initiated the growth. Synonymous with “tumor.”

primary site: the site of the original tumor.

risk factors: a factor that significantly increases risk for an event (e.g. skin cancer) to occur.

squamous cell carcinoma: a malignant neoplasm.

tumor: 1. Any swelling 2. Synonymous with neoplasm

ultraviolet (UV) light: one type of electromagnetic wave produced by the sun which is at a higher frequency than the visible spectrum (the range in which humans can see).


Reference: Stedman's Concise Medical Dictionary For The Health Profession - 4th Edition
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