Glossary of Terms
Advance directive: Document outlining your healthcare decisions and is used if you are unable to speak (or communicate) for yourself.
ANC: Absolute Neutrophil Count; the number of neutrophils in blood. Neutrophils are white blood cells that help the body to fight infections.
Anemia: Decreased number of red blood cells or the amount of hemoglobin in the blood.
Apheresis: A procedure in which stem cells are collected from your blood through a central line.
Autologous Stem Cell Transplant (ASTC): A proceedure in which high dose chemotherapy and /or radiation therapy is administered followed by infusion of previously harvested stem cells.
Bone Marrow: The soft, spongy material in the center of bones that produces blood cells.
Colony-stimulating factor: Proteins that stimulate the production of bone marrow cells. Also known as hematopoietic growth factors
Conditioning Regimen: Treatment with high-dose chemotherapy, sometimes in combination with high-dose radiation therapy, to prepare a patient for bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cell transplantation.
Consent form: Document (or written description) that defines the patient’s treatment plan, including medications and the possible risks and benefits of treatment. A patient reviews and signs this form before his/her treatment can begin.
Cyropreservation: Freezing stem cells.
Engraftment: When the marrow is repopulated by reinfused stem cells.
Granulocyte: A type of white blood cell, which helps the body to fight infections; also known as a neutrophil.
Harvest: Collection of stem cells.
Health care proxy: A document that identifies the person you have chosen to make health care decisions for you, if you are unable to make them for yourself.
Hematocrit: Measurement of red blood cells.
Hematopoietic growth factors: Proteins that stimulate the development of blood cells from stem cells. Also known as colony-stimulating factors.
Hemoglobin: A protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to all cells of the body. Hemoglobin gives blood its red color.
Informed consent: The process by which a patient reviews the details of his/her treatment plan in a written document, and agrees (or consents) to begin treatment.
Infusion: The introduction of a fluid, including drugs, into the bloodstream. Also known as intravenous infusion.
Intravenous catheter: A thin plastic tube that is inserted into a vein to allow the addition of substances to the blood.
Leukocytes: Also known as white blood cells; divided into three main subgroups: granulocytes, lymphocytes and monocytes.
Mucositis: Reddening and soreness of the tongue, lips mouth, throat and gastrointestinal tract from chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
Neutropenia: When absolute neutrophil count (ANC) drops below 500.
Neutrophil: See Granulocyte.
Peripheral blood stem cells: Stem cells that circulate in the blood.
Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Transplant (PBSCT): A type of ASCT in which blood stem cells are infused after high dose chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy have been given
Platelet: Blood cell that initiates blood clotting and prevents bleeding.
Stem cells: Primitive cells in the bone marrow and blood that are capable of producing mature blood cells.
Thrombycytopenia: An abnormal low numbe of platelets in the blood.
Stem cell harvest: A process in which cells are taken from the patient’s blood and frozen for later use.
Cancer Resources for Patients and Families
American Bone Marrow Donor Registry: A registry of bone marrow donors; provides information on donor searches and recruitment. 800-726-2824.
American Cancer Society: Publishes brochures about various cancers and treatment options; sponsors support groups for cancer patients and their families. 800-227-2345.
Aplastic Anemia Foundation of America: Medical referral information and emotional support; link to other patients; support groups in 24 states; free educational materials (i.e., brochures, newsletter). 800-747-2820.
Blood and Bone Marrow Transplant Newsletter: Monthly newsletter published by former BMT patient. 847-831-1913.
Bone Marrow Transplant Family Support Network: A telephone network for BMT patients and families. 919-471-4331.
BMT Link: An organization that serves as a clearinghouse for BMT patients and families; provides resource information ad peer support. 800-LINK-BMT.
Cancer Care, Inc.: Offers information, counseling and support groups; financial assistance for non-medical expenses; home visits by trained volunteers; and referrals to local services such as housekeeping, nursing care, and health aides. 212-302-2400.
Cancer Information Service: From the National Cancer Institute; provides information on cancer, treatment options, clinical research, etc. 800-422-6237 (800-4CANCER).
Friends Helping Friends: Bone Marrow Transplant Resource Guide; produced by Children’s Leukemia Foundation of Michigan; single copies available by calling 800-825-2536.
Leukemia Society of America: Information on hematologic malignancies and stem cell and marrow transplantation. 800-955-4LSA.
National Cancer Institute: Also referred to as Cancer Information Service in this list; provides information on cancer, treatment options, clinical research, etc. 800-4-CANCER.
National Marrow Donor Program: A registry of bone marrow donors; provides information on becoming a donor and organizing donor recruitment drives; a patient advocate is available to help with questions. 800-526-7809.