Glossary : Cancer Research UK
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  1. Ca
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List of terms beginning with Ca


Pouch connected at the point where the small and large intestines meet.

Call-recall system

System for inviting women to attend for initial and repeat (usually every three to five years) mammograms and smear tests as part of the national breast and cervical screening programmes.

Cancer registry

Collection of information about the types of cancer that have been diagnosed and treated in a given area or region. Governments and health services run cancer registries so that they can keep a count of cancer rates and monitor how effective their prevention, diagnosis and treatment strategies are.

Cancer vaccine

An experimental treatment designed to stimulate the immune system to fight a patient's cancer. Several cancer vaccines are now being evaluated in clinical trials.


A type of molecule containing atoms of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, such as sugars, starches, and cellulose.


A substance capable of causing cancer.


A malignant tumour derived from epithelial tissue. Carcinomas are the most common type of cancer.

Carcinoma in situ

An early cancer that has not invaded (grown into) surrounding tissues.

Carstairs deprivation index

A score of material deprivation derived from four census variables - car ownership, household overcrowding, head of household in social class IV or V and male unemployment.

Case mix

The classification of patients being treated in a health system that includes information on characteristics such as age, sex, health status and so forth.

Case study: Developing an effective media plan
Case-control study

A study designed to investigate whether a particular exposure (for example, exposure to an industrial pollutant) is associated with an outcome (for example, a particular type of cancer). First, the researchers identify the cases (people known to have the outcome) and the controls (people free of the outcome). Second, they look back in time to find out which people in each group had the exposure. Third, they compare the frequency of the exposure in the cases to that in the controls.

Updated: 29 July 2009