Glossary

u-plasminogen activator
An enzyme that is made in the kidney and found in the urine. A form of this enzyme is made in the laboratory and used to dissolve blood clots or to prevent them from forming. Also called uPA, urokinase, and urokinase-plasminogen activator.
ubiquinone
A nutrient that the body needs in small amounts to function and stay healthy. Ubiquinone helps mitochondria (small structures in the cell) make energy. It is an antioxidant that helps prevent cell damage caused by free radicals (highly reactive chemicals). Ubiquinone is fat-soluble (can dissolve in fats and oils) and is found in fatty fish, beef, soybeans, peanuts, and spinach. It is being studied in the prevention and treatment of some types of cancer and heart disease and in the relief of side effects caused by some cancer treatments. Also called coenzyme Q10, CoQ10, Q10, and vitamin Q10.
UCN-01
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called staurosporine analogs.
UFT
A substance being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. It is a combination of tegafur and uracil. The tegafur is taken up by the cancer cells and breaks down into 5-FU, a substance that kills tumor cells. The uracil causes higher amounts of 5-FU to stay inside the cells and kill them. UFT is a type of antimetabolite. Also called Ftorafur and tegafur-uracil.
UGT1A1
A substance that is being studied as a treatment for cancer. It is an enzyme produced by the liver and intestine.
ulcer
A break on the skin, in the lining of an organ, or on the surface of a tissue. An ulcer forms when the surface cells become inflamed, die, and are shed. Ulcers may be linked to cancer and other diseases.
ulceration
The formation of a break on the skin or on the surface of an organ. An ulcer forms when the surface cells die and are cast off. Ulcers may be associated with cancer and other diseases.
ulcerative colitis
Chronic inflammation of the colon that produces ulcers in its lining. This condition is marked by abdominal pain, cramps, and loose discharges of pus, blood, and mucus from the bowel.
Ulmus fulva
The inner bark of this plant has been used in some cultures to treat certain medical problems. It may have antioxidant effects. Also called gray elm, Indian elm, red elm, slippery elm, sweet elm, and Ulmus rubra.
Ulmus rubra
The inner bark of this plant has been used in some cultures to treat certain medical problems. It may have antioxidant effects. Also called gray elm, Indian elm, red elm, slippery elm, sweet elm, and Ulmus fulva.
ultra light cigarette
A type of cigarette that is claimed to give off less tobacco tar than a regular or light (“low-tar”) cigarette when smoked. Ultra light cigarettes have been shown to be no safer than regular cigarettes, and smoking them does not lower the risk of cancer or other diseases. A person smoking an ultra light cigarette can inhale the same amount of tobacco tar, nicotine, and harmful, cancer-causing chemicals as in a regular cigarette, depending on how the cigarette is smoked. Cigarettes are no longer allowed to be labeled or advertised as ultra light cigarettes.
Ultram
A drug used to treat moderate to severe pain in adults. It binds to opioid receptors in the central nervous system. Ultram is a type of analgesic agent and a type of opioid. Also called tramadol hydrochloride.
ultrasonogram
A computer picture of areas inside the body created by high-energy sound waves. The sound waves are bounced off internal tissues or organs and make echoes. The echoes form a picture of the body tissues on a computer screen. An ultrasonogram may be used to help diagnose disease, such as cancer. It may also be used during pregnancy to check the fetus (unborn baby) and during medical procedures, such as biopsies. Also called sonogram.
ultrasonography
A procedure that uses high-energy sound waves to look at tissues and organs inside the body. The sound waves make echoes that form pictures of the tissues and organs on a computer screen (sonogram). Ultrasonography may be used to help diagnose diseases, such as cancer. It may also be used during pregnancy to check the fetus (unborn baby) and during medical procedures, such as biopsies. Also called ultrasound.
ultrasound
A procedure that uses high-energy sound waves to look at tissues and organs inside the body. The sound waves make echoes that form pictures of the tissues and organs on a computer screen (sonogram). Ultrasound may be used to help diagnose diseases, such as cancer. It may also be used during pregnancy to check the fetus (unborn baby) and during medical procedures, such as biopsies. Also called ultrasonography.
ultrasound biomicroscopy
A type of ultrasound eye exam that makes a more detailed image than regular ultrasound. High-energy sound waves are bounced off the inside of the eye and the echo patterns are shown on the screen of an ultrasound machine. This makes a picture called a sonogram.
ultrasound energy
A form of therapy being studied as an anticancer treatment. Intensified ultrasound energy can be directed at cancer cells to heat them and kill them.
ultrasound transducer
A device that produces sound waves that bounce off body tissues and make echoes. The transducer also receives the echoes and sends them to a computer that uses them to create a picture called a sonogram. Transducers (probes) come in different shapes and sizes for use in making pictures of different parts of the body. The transducer may be passed over the surface of the body or inserted into an opening such as the rectum or vagina.
ultrasound-guided biopsy
A biopsy procedure that uses an ultrasound imaging device to find an abnormal area of tissue and guide its removal for examination under a microscope.
ultraviolet A radiation
Invisible rays that are part of the energy that comes from the sun. Ultraviolet A radiation also comes from sun lamps and tanning beds. Ultraviolet A radiation may cause premature aging of the skin and skin cancer. It may also cause problems with the eyes and the immune system. Skin specialists recommend that people use sunscreens that protect the skin from ultraviolet radiation. In medicine, ultraviolet A radiation also comes from special lamps or a laser and is used to treat certain skin conditions such as psoriasis, vitiligo, and skin tumors of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. Also called UVA radiation.
ultraviolet B radiation
Invisible rays that are part of the energy that comes from the sun. Ultraviolet B radiation causes sunburn, darkening and thickening of the outer layer of the skin, and melanoma and other types of skin cancer. It may also cause problems with the eyes and the immune system. Skin specialists recommend that people use sunscreens that protect the skin from ultraviolet radiation. In medicine, ultraviolet B radiation also comes from special lamps or a laser and is used to treat certain skin conditions such as psoriasis, vitiligo, and skin tumors of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. Also called UVB radiation.
ultraviolet C radiation
Invisible rays that are part of the energy that comes from the sun. Most ultraviolet C radiation from the sun is blocked from the Earth’s surface by the ozone layer. In medicine, ultraviolet C radiation may also come from special lamps or a laser and is used to kill germs or to help heal wounds. It is also used to treat certain skin conditions such as psoriasis, vitiligo, and skin nodules of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma Also called UVC radiation.
ultraviolet radiation
Invisible rays that are part of the energy that comes from the sun. Ultraviolet radiation that reaches the Earth's surface is made up of two types of rays, called UVA and UVB. Ultraviolet radiation also comes from sun lamps and tanning beds. It can cause skin damage, premature aging, melanoma, and other types of skin cancer. It can also cause problems with the eyes and the immune system. Skin specialists recommend that people use sunscreens that protect the skin from both kinds of ultraviolet radiation. In medicine, ultraviolet radiation also comes from special lamps or a laser and is used to treat certain skin conditions such as psoriasis, vitiligo, and skin tumors of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. Also called UV radiation.
ultraviolet radiation therapy
A form of radiation used in the treatment of cancer.
umbilical cord blood
Blood from the umbilical cord of a newborn baby. This blood contains high concentrations of stem cells (cells from which all blood cells develop).
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