Lahey Health is now part of Beth Israel Lahey Health.  Explore Lahey locations below or reach Lahey Hospital & Medical Center, Beverly Hospital and Winchester Hospital.

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.