(Caesium 137, Caesium Wires)
radioactive source used to treat cancers of the cervix, uterus and vagina.
Also used in the form of fine wires to treat other types of cancer. See
substance which is essential to life. Calcium salts are needed for healthy
bones and teeth. A small amount of calcium is necessary in the blood. If
this level is too high (hypercalcaemia) or too low (hypocalcaemia) this
can be dangerous. Measured with a blood test. See Blood
Relief Macmillan Fund
which provides grants (money) for people with cancer in need. Also pays
for and supports Macmillan nurses.
treatment currently being researched that may be able to limit cancer growth
or eventually, stop people getting cancers. Research for this type of treatment
is at a very early stage.
into the body for putting in, or draining off, fluids. Usually means a
fine tube that goes into a vein.
of the smallest blood vessels found in every body organ. The capillaries
connect the arteries and the veins and take oxygen and nutrients directly
to the body cells. See Blood
of Breast Reconstruction when a Breast Implant has been put in. After the
operation, a fibrous covering naturally forms over the implant. This can
shrink and become tight, causing the implant to change shape. See Breast
gas from the body tissues. The carbon dioxide filters back into the alveoli
and is breathed out from the lungs. See Alveoli.
marker used to help diagnose some types of cancer (eg bowel cancer). Can
also be used to check whether the cancer may have recurred (come back).
CEA is not always a reliable test for cancer. The level goes up with other
illnesses and does not go up in everyone with bowel cancer. See Marker.
that causes cancer.
cancer of the epithelial or skin tissue that covers all the body organs
and lines all the body cavities. Most cancers are carcinomas.
early cancer that has not broken through the basement membrane of the tissue
it is growing in. So it cannot spread anywhere else in the body and can
usually be cured by removing it surgically. See Basement
tissue that lines the joints. A cancer of cartilage is called a chondrosarcoma.
See Connective tissue.
that is passed into the body to drain fluid. Usually urinary catheter which
drains urine from the bladder.
building block of the body. Every part of the body is made up of individual
cells. Cells are basically very similar. But each type of cell is specialized
for the part of the body it makes up. For example, the liver is made up
of liver cells. Cancer is a disease that starts with one cell becoming
sticking together, so that they stay in the right place in the body. Most
normal cells must do this to survive. See Cell.
cells become specialized as they become fully grown and developed. They
are said to 'differentiate' into mature blood cells or bone cells for example.
Very young cells are not very specialized. They haven't differentiated.
(Doubling, Growth, Multiplying)
cells multiply and so body tissues grow. Each cell can split into two,
reproducing itself exactly. This is called doubling. Normally, this is
a slow, well controlled process. In cancer, it becomes out of control.
Cell division happens too often and so a lump is formed. See Cell.
(Hickman Line, Portacath)
plastic tube (like a drip) that goes into a large vein near the heart.
Central lines can be used for taking blood samples and giving drugs, including
chemotherapy. In some types the tube comes out of the body at the side
of the neck, or into the chest. An injection can be given into the tube,
or a drip attached to it. In other types called 'ports' a small chamber
or reservoir is placed at the end of the tube under the skin in the chest
or arm. A needle is put into the chamber for giving injections or attaching
Nervous System Lymphoma
of the lymphatic system which is growing in the brain or spinal cord. See
of the womb.
made available to people in need, usually for particular things eg extra
heating costs, travel expenses. See Cancer Relief Macmillan
test that helps to show if there is a real difference between different
treatments being tested in a controlled clinical trial. See Clinical
cancer of cartilage tissue. See Connective
route the blood follows when it flows through the body. The blood flows
from the right side of the heart to the lungs where it picks up oxygen.
It goes back to the left side of the heart and is then pumped around the
body. After it has traveled around the body, it goes back to the right
side of the heart.
(Continuous Hyperfractionated Accelerated Radiotherapy)
for Continuous Hyperfractionated Accelerated Radiotherapy. A way of giving
radiotherapy where more than one treatment (fraction) per day is given.
appointment after treatment has finished to see how the patient is.
treatment - usually used to mean with anti-cancer drugs. Normally a course
of six treatments are given about a month apart.
(Course Of Chemotherapy)
series of anti-cancer drug treatments. Usually about six treatments make
up a course. A treatment is given every two, three or four weeks. So a
course can take six months.
(Chemotherapy Pumps, Infusion Pumps)
which controls how fast anti-cancer drugs are given. Some types of pump
are attached to a drip. Other types are small, portable pumps which hold
their own syringe or bag of drugs. The portable pumps can be used at home,
with trips to the hospital only to change the syringe or bag.
of treatment with anti-cancer drugs. Includes which drugs are given, doses,
and when they are to be given.
effects of treatment with anti-cancer drugs (sickness, hair loss etc).
that can be taken by mouth. Most chemotherapy drugs cannot be given as
tablets, either because the drug is too toxic to the stomach, or because
the digestive juices destroy it. But some can be taken as tablets, for
example, chlorambucil, hydroxyurea. See Chemotherapy.
study looking at a particular chemotherapy treatment. Usually compares
the new treatment with existing treatment to see which works best and find
out the benefits and drawbacks. See Clinical
called thorax. Part of the body between the neck and bottom of the rib
cage. Contains the lungs and heart.
of the lungs or airways.
covering the chest behind the breasts.
of the inside of the chest, mainly of the lungs, taken using high energy
disease caused by a virus called herpes zoster. Can be dangerous to people
who have had chemotherapy, especially high dose for bone marrow or stem
cell transplant. The virus can also cause shingles.
disease. You can have a vaccination against cholera if you are having chemotherapy.
metal used in the dyeing and leather tanning industries. Also used to cover
other metals for decoration and to protect them from rusting. Thought to
be a factor in the cause of some cancers.
in the nucleus (centre) of all human cells, the chromosomes are made of
millions of genes. The genes are codes that control the cell. One set of
chromosomes is inherited from each parent through the egg and sperm that
join together when an egg is fertilised during conception. See Genes,
classification of diseases puts different diseases into groups that have
similar characteristics. Different varieties of a type of cancer can be
classified according to the appearance of the cells under the microscope.
For example, low grade and high grade can be grouped together. Doctors
use classifications to help them decide how best to treat a particular
cancer. See Grade.
means removing any cancer cells that may still be in marrow that has been
harvested for autologous bone marrow transplant. See Autologous
who specialises in treating cancer.
(Clinical Trials, Trial, Trials)
studies involving people to see which treatments work best and find out
the benefits and drawbacks.
(Blood Clot, Blood Clots)
lump of blood.
way the body stops bleeding. Some of the blood will thicken and form a
clot. This will block the bleeding point or wound.
test to see how fast the blood clots. Measured during a chemotherapy course.
It can be dangerous if the clotting time is too slow as bleeding can happen
inside the body.
radioactive source which gives off gamma rays (radiation). See Radiation.
be worn during chemotherapy treatment. Makes the skin of the head very
cold. This slows the blood flow through the scalp and so reduces the amount
of anti-cancer drugs reaching the hair follicles. Can help to prevent hair
loss, but not suitable for everyone. See Hair
in the testicles where sperm develop.
(Bowel, Large Bowel, Large Intestine)
part of the digestive system. Also called the large bowel, large intestine,
or the bowel. Waste left from digested food passes through the bowel to
the rectum (back passage) and then through the anus to the outside of the
body. See Anus,
of the colon (Large Bowel) using a colonoscope. The colonoscope is a long
thin bendy tube which is put up into the colon through the anus. The tube
is connected to an eyepiece which allows the doctor to see inside the bowel.
And to take biopsies (samples of tissue) for examination under the microscope.
A colonoscopy can see further up into the bowel than any other investigation
of this type. See Proctoscopy,
of the colon and rectum. These are grouped together and called colorectal
cancer because they both affect the bowel and so the treatment is often
similar (although not exactly the same). In practice it is very rare to
have both. Most patients will have one or the other.
of the bowel onto the surface of the abdomen (tummy). A bag is worn to
collect the waste matter from digestion that would normally be passed from
the body as a bowel motion. See Permanent
that is made for use with a colostomy. Most commonly a seal called a flange
is stuck over the stoma with a special glue and the bag is attached to
the flange. There are many different designs and it may take a few tries
to find one that suits you. Your stoma nurse will help find the right one
for you. See Colostomy,
the bags, seals, clips etc that are made for use with a colostomy. See
with more than one anti-cancer drug at a time.
to prevent pregnancy containing both the female sex hormones (oestrogen
given to make up for harm done.
treatment that is not part of traditional Western medicine, but that is
used alongside. Usually used to help reduce stress and promote a feeling
of well being. Often help to control cancer symptoms and treatment side
a researcher, this means the disappearance of all cancer for at least four
sheath which covers the penis during sex to prevent pregnancy and infections.
of values that researchers believe an experimental result lies between.
What they are really saying with a 95% confidence interval, is that while
their result might not be exactly right, they are 95% sure that the real
result lies between the upper and lower limits they have given.
connective tissues of the body are the tissues that hold the organs and
other body structures in place. Specialized connective tissues include
bones, cartilage, muscles, and nerves. Cancers of connective tissue are
that you are asked to sign before treatment (especially surgery). The form
says that you have been told about the treatment and any possible complications.
So it is important that you think about what you need to know and ask your
doctor any questions before you sign the form.
having bowel movements as often as normal.
contagious disease is one that is spread from one person to another by
(Continuous 5-Fluorouracil, 5FU)
chemotherapy treatment with the drug 5-FU or 5-Fluorouracil. See Continuous
means chemotherapy given all the time that you can walk around with! Usually
used to mean treatment with a small (personal stereo sized) pump that is
worn under the clothes. See Chemotherapy Pump,
of giving chemotherapy treatment. The chemotherapy drug is given all the
time, through a pump that runs over 24 hours. See
used to prevent pregnancy (for example, sheath, cap, pill).
to prevent pregnancy.
substance used to make scan results show up more clearly. Can be a drink
or injection given to a patient before a CT scan, for example.
research, a group of patients not having the treatment being tested. Their
results are compared to the treatment group. Usually the control group
will be having the best current treatment. See Best
clinical trial where one group of patients is compared to another. Usually
the patients are put into the two groups at random to help stop the results
being biased. See Clinical Trial, Control
someone to work through their feelings or problems by listening to them
and supporting them.
who is trained to provide Counselling.
(CAT Scan, CT Scans)
tomography scan. X-ray scan using a computer to construct pictures of the
body in cross section.
used for CT scan (computerised tomography scan) which is an X ray scan
using a computer to construct pictures of the body in cross section.
breast shaped pad worn in the bra after an operation to remove a breast
until the scar has healed. Then a Breast Prosthesis will be fitted.
which is aiming to cure a disease.
T Cell Lymphoma
rare type of lymphoma that affects the skin. Begins with red scaly patches
forming on the skin. These may be very itchy. The two main types of T cell
lymphoma of the skin are Mycosis Fungoides and Sezary Syndrome. Often treated
with ultraviolet light and with chemotherapy and steroids. See Chemotherapy,
anti-cancer drug (chemotherapy).
tablet (also called Cyprostat). Blocks the effects of testosterone (the
male sex hormone).
filled sack or lump.
(Bladder Infection, UTI)
or urinary tract infection.
instrument for looking at the inside of the bladder, the prostate gland
tube of a cystoscope is passed into the bladder under general anaesthetic
and the surgeon uses it to look at the inside of the bladder and urethra
and check to see if anything is wrong.
to cells' - anti-cancer treatment.
(Killer T Cells)
of the immune system that kill other cells that are foreign to the body
(for example, bacteria, viruses and cancer cells) including cells that
have been marked with antibodies. Cytotoxic T cells are a type of white
blood cells. See Antibodies,
with anti-cancer drugs. Another name for chemotherapy.