Daughter Cells
The two identical cells that are formed when a cell reproduces itself by splitting into two. See Cell Division.


Operation to remove as much of a large tumor as can be removed. This is done to make it easier to treat the cancer that is left.

Delayed Reconstruction

Breast Reconstruction carried out some time after the operation to remove the breast.


Someone is said to be in denial when they cannot accept or believe what has happened to them.

Dental Floss

Fine thread or tape specially made for cleaning between the teeth.


Low mood. Feeling sad, lacking in energy, often dwelling on problems and feelings of guilt.

Descended Testicle

Testicle which is correctly placed in the scrotum.


Finding something, as in detecting cancer.


Finding out what is wrong - usually used about illness.


Pronounced 'diafram'. Sheet of muscle under the rib cage. Moves up and down when we breathe. Separates the thoracic cavity (containing the lungs and the heart) from the abdominal cavity (containing the organs of the digestive system).


Passing frequent, loose stools from the bowels.


Person trained to provide advice on diet during illness and using diet to manage symptoms.

Diffuse Large Cell

A type of lymphoma. The lymphocyte cells appear large under the microscope and are spread out rather than clumped together. This is an intermediate grade lymphoma. See Diffuse Type, Grade: Lymphomas, Lymphoma.

Diffuse Mixed Cell

A type of lymphoma. Under the microscope the cells are mixed small and large lymphocytes and are spread out rather than clumped together. This is an intermediate grade lymphoma. See Diffuse Type, Grade: Lymphomas, Lymphoma.

Diffuse Small Cleaved

A type of lymphoma. Under the microscope the lymphocytes appear small and have a split in them (cleaved). They are spread out rather than clumped together. This is an intermediate grade lymphoma. See Diffuse Type, Grade: Lymphomas, Lymphoma.

Diffuse Type

Relates to types of lymphoma. Lymphoma can be follicular (sometimes called nodular) or diffuse. Under the microscope the cells in follicular type are grouped together. In diffuse type they are spread out. Diffuse type lymphoma can be B or T cell. See B Cell Lymphoma, Follicular Type, Lymphoma, T Cell Lymphoma.

Digestive System

Body system that digests food. Includes the mouth, stomach, large and small intestines, and rectum (back passage).


Used in relation to breast cancer to mean obvious dips and puckering in the skin over the breast. Can be a sign of breast cancer.

(Diptheria Vaccine)

Infectious disease. You can have a vaccination against diptheria if you are having chemotherapy. See Vaccination.


Abnormal leaking of fluid from a wound or part of the body - for example, vaginal discharge.

District Nurse
(Community Nurse)

Nurse that is specially trained to visit and treat people in their own homes. The community nurse can make assessments about how you are managing and arrange other services such as home help. The nurse can also dress wounds, remove stitches and attend to central lines. Some also take blood and give drug treatment at home.


Stands for DeoxyriboNucleic Acid. Genes are made of DNA. DNA is the ‘Genetic Code’ that controls how the body’S cells behave by controlling the type of protein they make. We inherit half our DNA code from our mother and half from our father. See Chromosome, Gene, Heredity.

Dose Of Radiotherapy

When radiotherapy treatment is planned, the total dose needed to kill the cancer is worked out. This depends on where in the body is being treated. The total dose is then broken down into a number of treatments called fractions. Usually one fraction is given per day. All the fractions added together add up to the total dose. See Fraction, Radiotherapy, Radiotherapy Planning.

Double Blind Trial

Trial where neither the doctor nor the patient know which treatment the patient is having. This is done to try to prevent bias affecting the trial results. See Clinical Trial, Bias.


An anti-cancer drug.

See Flutamide.


Feeling sleepy.


Tube or channel which carries the output of a gland. For example, there are ducts in the breasts which carry milk to the nipple.

Ductal Carcinoma In Situ

Type of early breast cancer affecting the ducts of the breast. Means the cancer cells are all inside the Ducts (passageways) of the breast and have not broken out. This is important as it means the chance of the cancer cells having spread anywhere else in the body is very low indeed.

Duke's A

Stage of bowel cancer. Means the cancer is just in the lining of the bowel and has not grown into the wall of the bowel.

Duke's B

Stage of bowel cancer. Means the cancer is growing into the wall of the bowel. But there is no cancer in any of the lymph nodes around the bowel.

Duke's C

Stage of bowel cancer. Means that at least one of the lymph nodes near the bowel contains cancer cells.

Duke's D

Stage of bowel cancer. Means that the cancer has spread to another part of the body.

Duke's System

Way of classifying bowel cancer according to stage. There are four groups, Duke's A to Duke's D. 'A' is the earliest cancer and 'D' a cancer that has spread. See Stage.

Duration Of Response

How long a response to a treatment lasts. For example, if a treatment stops a cancer from growing, the duration of response is the time between having the treatment and the cancer beginning to grow again.

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