• Palliative care – Palliative care focuses on controlling symptoms and improving quality of life for patients who have incurable diseases.
  • Palmar – plantar erythrodysesthesia (PPE)—PPE is commonly called “hand and foot syndrome.” A side effect of some chemotherapy, PPE is characterized by peeling, itching, burning, and reddened skin on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet.
  • Pathology – The study of the causes and characteristics of disease.
  • Peripheral neuropathy – A possible side effect of some chemotherapy, characterized by numbness, tingling, or burning in the hands and feet.
  • Peripheral stem cell transplant – During a peripheral stem cell transplant, peripheral stem cells are removed from a patient or donor and are processed and stored. The patient then receives high-dose chemotherapy to kill cancer cells. Afterward, the stem cells are given back to the patient to “rescue” the patient from the harmful effects of the chemotherapy. The stem cells find their way back to the patient’s bone marrow and begin making healthy blood cells. This procedure makes it possible to treat cancer with higher doses of chemotherapy because it replaces the cells damaged during chemotheraPY.
  • Placebo – A pill or infusion that has no active ingredients but looks just like a regular pill or infusion.
  • Platelets – One of the three tYPes of cells made in the bone marrow. The main function of platelets is to aid in clotting the blood following an injury.
  • Positron emission tomography (PET) – PET scans use whole-body imaging to allow doctors to view cellular activity of tissues inside the body. A sugar labeled with a radioactive isotope is injected into the patient’s vein. The scanner takes measurements of the cells as they use the sugar. The measurements produce a picture.
  • Prognosis – A prediction of the likely outcome of a disease based on the current health of the patient and the usual course of the disease.
  • Prosthesis – An artificial replacement for something that is missing on the body, such as a breast or limb.