Large Cell Lung Cancer

Type of lung cancer. Named after the large rounded cells that can be seen when this type of cancer is looked at under the microscope.


Voice box.


Intense beam of light that is so strong it can cut through body tissue.

Laser Therapy
(Laser Treatment)

Surgery using a laser instead of a knife. A laser can be used very precisely. There is also less bleeding because the laser cauterizes (seals) any damaged blood vessels as it cuts. See Laser.

Latissimus Dorsi

Back muscle used in one type of breast reconstruction. See Breast Reconstruction.


Medicine which makes the bowels move.

Lead Screens

Large pieces of lead put in front of patients having internal radiotherapy to block radiation from hospital staff and visitors. See Internal Radiotherapy.


See Formestane.


Cancer of the white blood cells.


Means breakdown of the nerve coverings of the brain. A very rare side effect of some medical treatment. Has been known to occur after intensive radiotherapy to the brain. There are also reports of rare cases of leukencephalopathy after treatment with 5FU and Levamisole. See Chemotherapy, Radiotherapy, Side Effects.


Drug used to treat bowel cancer. It is given along with Fluorouracil (chemotherapy) after surgery. Thought that it may increase the effectiveness of the chemotherapy, possibly by boosting the immune system. See Fluorouracil, Immune System.

LHRH Analogues

See Pituitary Down regulators.

LHRH Regulators

See Pituitary Downregulators.


Sex drive.

Limited Disease

Limited disease means cancer that is only in one area or organ of the body. 'Limited disease' is also a stage of small cell lung cancer. It means the cancer can only be seen in one lung and in nearby lymph nodes.


The largest organ in the body. Responsible for making blood proteins and substances that help the blood to clot; storing vitamins; cleaning bacteria and worn out red blood cells out of the blood; getting rid of waste products, drugs and other chemicals and processing carbohydrates, fats and proteins from digestion.

Liver Cancer

Cancer of the liver. This should only mean cancer that has started in the liver, but in practice, it is also used to mean cancer that has spread to the liver from somewhere else in the body.

Liver Function
(Liver Function Tests)

Blood tests to see how well the liver is working. See Blood Tests, Liver.

Liver Ultrasound

Scan of the liver using sound waves.

Live Vaccines
(Live Virus Vaccines)

Vaccines which contain tiny amounts of live cells of the disease. In healthy people, this is just enough to give them protection against infection. But these vaccines can be dangerous in people having chemotherapy and they should not have them. Includes vaccines for Polio, Measles, Rubella, BCG, Yellow Fever, Typhoid.


A section of an organ. There are lobes of the brain, thyroid, liver and lungs. The right lung has three lobes and the left only two.


An operation to remove a lobe of an organ eg to remove a lobe of a lung. See Lobe.

Local Recurrence

When a cancer comes back in the same place. (In breast cancer, also means when the cancer comes back under the arm on the same side as the affected breast.)

Local Resection

A small operation to remove an early cancer which has not spread away from where it started growing.

Local Spread
(Local Invasion)

Growth of a cancer into the area of the body around where it started.

Long Term Side Effects
(Long Term Effects)

Unwanted effects of treatment that last for a long time after treatment has finished or may be permanent. With radiotherapy treatment, long term side effects may not appear until some time after treatment has finished (in some cases, several years).

Local Treatment

A treatment that treats one part of the body. Surgery and radiotherapy are both local treatments. Chemotherapy travels through the bloodstream and so treats the whole body. See Chemotherapy, Radiotherapy, Systemic Treatment.

Long Term Side Effects

Unwanted effects of treatment that last for a long time after treatment has finished or may be permanent. With radiotherapy treatment, long term side effects may not appear until some time after treatment has finished (in some cases, several years).

Low Blood Count
(Low Blood Counts)

Lower than normal levels of red or white blood cells, or platelets. Measured by a blood test. See Blood Cells.

Low Density Lipoproteins

Type of fats found in the blood. Cholesterol is a lipoprotein that can be high or low density.

Low Grade: Lymphomas
(Low Grade Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma)

Low grade lymphomas are slower growing and more chronic diseases than high or intermediate grade. They are usually treated with mild chemotherapy. If they are not causing any symptoms they may just be watched. Although it is difficult to cure them completely, they can often be kept under control for many years. See Chemotherapy, Grade: Lymphomas.

Low Grade: Solid Tumors

Means the cells do not look very like normal cells. This can mean the cancer tends to be fast growing and might be more likely to spread. See Grade: Solid Tumours.


Something which moistens, or makes slippery.

Lubricating Jelly

Jelly which moistens or makes slippery.


Operation to remove a lump. Usually used about operation to remove breast lump.

Lung Function Tests
(Breathing Tests)

There are a number of different tests that can be done to find out how well your lungs are working. For example, doctors can measure the volume of air you breathe in or out normally; the amount you can breathe in or out when you are trying as hard as you can; or the extra you can breathe in when you try after you have breathed in normally. All these measurements tell them more about the workings of your lungs. Lung function tests will be done before any lung surgery to see if you are fit enough to have the operation.


There are two lungs (right and left) inside the rib cage in the chest. When we breathe in, air passes into the lungs. Oxygen from the air filters through the lungs into the bloodstream. Waste carbon dioxide filters back into the lungs and is breathed out. See Bronchi.


Body fluid which circulates through the lymphatic system. Carries food supplies to, and waste products away from the body tissues. See Lymphatic System.

Lymph Glands
(Lymph Nodes)

Glands found throughout the body - particularly in the armpits, neck and groins which fight infection and filter body fluid.

Lymph Nodes

See Lymph Glands.

Lymph Node Biopsy (Lymph Gland Biopsy)

Taking out a lymph node to look at it under the microscope. This is to see if it contains any cancer cells. It is a very small operation. It is normally done under a general anaesthetic, but you should be able to go home the same day. See Biopsy, General Anaesthetic, Lymph Glands.


X ray scan of the lymph glands using dye injected into the bloodstream. See Lymph Glands, Lymphatic System.

Lymphatic System

System of tubes and glands in the body which filters body fluid and fights infection. Made up of the lymph glands, lymphatic vessels and the spleen. See Lymphatic Vessels, Lymph Glands, Spleen.

Lymphatic Vessels
(Lymph Vessels)

The channels, or pipelines, of the lymphatic system. See Lymph Glands, Lymphatic System.


Lymphoblasts are early types of white blood cell that the B and T lymphocytes develop from. Lymphoblastic lymphoma is a type of non Hodgkin's lymphoma that involves the lymphoblasts. It is a high grade lymphoma. There is also a type of leukemia called Acute Lymphoblastic (or Lymphocytic) leukemia (ALL). See B Lymphocytes, Grade: Lymphomas, High Grade: Lymphomas, T Lymphocytes.


Type of white blood cell. There are two types of lymphocytes, B lymphocytes and T lymphocytes. They are part of the body's defense against disease, the immune response. B lymphocytes produce antibodies, helped by T lymphocytes. See Antibodies, B Lymphocytes, Immunity, T Lymphocytes.


Swelling (usually of an arm or leg) due to blockage of the Lymph Vessels. This can happen after surgery or radiotherapy to the armpit or groin, or because the cancer is affecting the lymph glands. See Lymphatic System.


See Lymphangiogram.


A collective name for the interleukin growth factors. The interleukins are produced mainly by T cells. They are the 'hormones' of the immune system. Their job is to stimulate other cells of the immune system to grow and mature. See Interleukin 2, Interleukin 3, Interleukin 6, T Cells.


Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system. There are two main types of lymphoma: Hodgkin's Disease and Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Both have similar symptoms: enlarged lymph nodes (glands), tiredness and often heavy sweating, unexplained high temperatures and weight loss. They are often treated similarly but are different diseases. See Hodgkin's Disease, Lymphatic System, Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

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