Glossary: S

scan (skan)

A picture of structures inside the body. Scans often used in diagnosing, staging, and monitoring disease include liver scans, bone scans, and computed tomography (CT) or computerized axial tomography (CAT) scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. In liver scanning and bone scanning, radioactive substances that are injected into the bloodstream collect in these organs…. Read more »

scanner (SKA-ner)

In medicine, an instrument that takes pictures of the inside of the body.

scapula (SKA-pyoo-luh)

One of a pair of triangular bones at the back of the shoulder. The scapula connects the collarbone with the upper arm bone. Also called shoulder blade.

screening (SKREE-ning)

Checking for disease when there are no symptoms. Since screening may find diseases at an early stage, there may be a better chance of curing the disease. Examples of cancer screening tests are the mammogram (breast), colonoscopy (colon), and the Pap test and HPV test (cervix). Screening can also include checking for a person’s risk… Read more »

sentinel lymph node (SEN-tih-nul limf node)

The first lymph node to which cancer is likely to spread from the primary tumor. When cancer spreads, the cancer cells may appear first in the sentinel node before spreading to other lymph nodes.