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Glossary of Terms

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There are currently 21 names in this directory beginning with the letter M.
Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP)
Imaging method that is safe and fast; a form of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) used to view the bile duct and pancreatic duct.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
Imaging method that uses powerful magnets to view internal organs and structures; the energy from the magnets is absorbed by the body and released. A computer translates the energy patterns into detailed images of areas inside the body.
Magnetic resonance spectroscopy
A test that measures chemicals in cells without removing tissue from the body.
Main pancreatic duct
A tube-shaped vessel that drains digestive fluids from the pancreas into the gut.
Maintenance treatment
Treatment given to help sustain good treatment results.
Malignant
Cancerous; malignant tumors can invade and destroy nearby tissues and spread to other parts of the body.
Medical oncologist
A physician who is trained to prescribe anticancer medications.
Melanoma
Serious form of skin cancer that begins in melanocytes (cells that make the pigment melanin).
Metastatic
Cancer that has spread beyond the area of the affected organ or part of the body and involves other organs, such as the liver or lungs, or other areas.
Microsatellitosis
Tiny tumors near the main tumor that can only be seen with a microscope.
Microscopic metastases
Cancer cells that have spread from the first tumor and cannot be seen by the naked eye.
Minimal residual disease (MRD)
A very small number of cancer cells left in the body after treatment that can’t be seen with a microscope.
Minimally invasive surgery
The use of small tools inserted through small incisions to do surgery.
Mitomycin C
One of the approved chemotherapy drugs for pancreatic cancer, it works by sticking the cancer cell’s DNA (the cell’s genetic code) together so that it can't come apart again. The cell can't divide so the cancer cannot grow.
Monitoring tests
Tests done during treatment to check if treatment is working.
Monoclonal antibody
A type of immune system protein made in a lab that can attach to substances in the body such as cancer cells.
Multiagent chemotherapy
The use of two or more cancer drugs in one treatment, to get a stronger effect against the disease.
Multidetector row helical CT (MDCT) Scan
Helical CT scanner with multiple detector rows; advantages over other CT scanners include improved image resolution and rapid scanning of large volumes.
Multidisciplinary care
Team approach to the care of patients with cancer in which physicians in many different areas of specialization join to provide their expertise and experience.
Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 syndrome (MEN1; Wermer’s syndrome)
A rare, inherited disorder that affects the endocrine glands and can cause tumors in the pancreas and other organs, which usually are not cancerous.
Mutations
Errors in the DNA code that occur in the process of cell replication and division; certain mutations may lead to cancer or other diseases. (See also Inherited Mutations.)
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