Nurse who specializes in giving advice about
coping with symptoms (for example, pain, sickness) in people with cancer.
Can be based in hospital, or visit people in their own homes.
Type of white blood cells that are part of the
immune system. They are found in the lymph nodes where they help to fight
infection. They swallow up and kill foreign cells, including cancer cells.
See Immune Response, Immune
Popular name for targeted treatment using monoclonal
antibodies. See Monoclonal Antibodies.
(MRI, MRI Scan, NMR, Nuclear
Scan using magnetism to build up a picture of
the organs inside the body. These scans are painless, but are very noisy.
You should tell your doctor if you have a pacemaker or any metal parts
inside your body (such as joint replacements or surgical clips) as this
may mean you cannot have this type of scan.
Cancerous. Opposite of benign.
X ray examination of the breast to look for
early signs of cancer.
Using X rays to examine the breast for signs
Chemical substance produced by a cancer and
used to monitor the progress of the disease. Usually measured by a blood
Marie Curie Nurse
Nurse who looks after cancer patients in their
own homes, often overnight, to give relatives a break. Can be contacted
through the district nurse.
(Face Mold, Face Mask, Mold,
Clear plastic mask of the head made to hold
the head and neck still. Worn during radiotherapy treatment.
Rubbing or kneading the body to stimulate the
circulation and relax tension in the muscles. Can produce general feeling
of relaxation and well being.
Operation to remove the breast.
Bras designed for women who have had a breast
removed. Each cup has a pocket inside it to hold a Prosthesis.
Exercises designed to be done after surgery
to remove a breast. Aim to increase movement in the arm and shoulder.
Swimsuits designed for women who have had a
breast removed. Each cup has a pocket inside it to hold a Prosthesis.
Fully developed. In terms of cells, means fully
differentiated. See Cell, Cell
The highest dose of a drug or radiotherapy that
can be safely given.
Meals On Wheels
Cooked midday meals delivered people in their
own homes. Can be arranged through social services for anyone who lives
alone and cannot shop or cook for themselves.
An infectious disease caused by a virus. Measles
can be dangerous to people who have low resistance to infection, for instance
after chemotherapy. There is a vaccination for measles, but it should NOT
be given during chemotherapy treatment as it is a live virus vaccine. See
Medical examination of the mediastinum. The
doctor makes a small cut at the base of the neck. He puts a small tube
through the cut and into the mediastinum. He can look through this tube
to examine the area. He can also take tissue samples which will be looked
at under the microscope to see if there are any cancer cells. See Mediastinum.
Area at the center of the chest which contains
the heart, windpipe (trachea), gullet (esophagus) large main blood vessels
and the lymph nodes that surround the heart.
Record of a person's illnesses, allergies, operations
and other medical treatments. All doctors ask for this information when
they first see a patient.
Specialist in radiation. Makes sure equipment
is accurate and safe, and advises doctors on the best type of machine to
Medical Research Council
Independent body that oversees a number of medical
Man-made form of progesterone (Female Sex Hormone)
used to treat breast cancer.
Type of brain tumor. Commonest type in children.
Sometimes called Primitive Neuroectodermal Tumors (PNET's) because they
develop from primitive (poorly developed) nerve cells in the brain.
Man made form of progesterone (Female Sex Hormone)
used to treat breast cancer.
Type of brain tumor. Usually benign. Develop
from the covering of the brain (meninges). Can be anywhere in the brain
or spinal cord.
'Change of life'. Period of time between the
early forties and late fifties when women stop producing sex hormones.
Periods become irregular and stop and women can't become pregnant any longer.
(Menopausal Side Effects, Menopause
Side effects from the menopause such as hot
flushes, sweating, putting on weight, feeling anxious. These happen because
the body is getting used to lower levels of sex hormones (estrogen and
progesterone). See Hot Flushes, Menopause,
Type of cancer. Most commonly found in the pleural
membrane. This is the sheet of skin covering each lung. Mesothelioma is
sometimes also found in the peritoneum. This is the membrane which covers
all the digestive system organs in the abdomen. Mesothelioma can be caused
by exposure to asbestos, but may not develop for many years. See Asbestos.
Taking the results of lots of trials that have
tested the same treatment, and looking at the results all together. This
can give a more accurate picture than looking at the results separately.
(Metastasis, Secondary Cancer,
Areas of cancer spread - for example, areas
in the liver where cancer has spread from another part of the body are
called liver metastases.
Metastatic Breast Cancer
Breast cancer which has spread to other parts
of the body.
An anti-cancer drug.
This means cancer that has spread, but the spread
is too small to be seen on scans or with the naked eye during surgery.
In some types of cancer that are known to spread quite quickly, doctors
sometimes assume that the cancer is elsewhere in the body even if they
cannot find it. So, they will then treat with chemotherapy (which treats
the whole body) rather than surgery or radiotherapy (which are more local
treatments). See Chemotherapy, Radiotherapy,
An anti-cancer drug (chemotherapy).
An anti-cancer drug (chemotherapy).
Cancer containing more than one type of cell
(for example, teratoma and seminoma).
Glioma which contains more than one type of
cell. See Glioma.
Combination vaccination against measles, mumps
and rubella. You should not have this vaccination if you are having
chemotherapy as it is live. See Vaccination.
Modified Radical Mastectomy
Operation to remove the breast and the lymph
glands under the arm.
Single antibodies that can be made in the laboratory
and used for targeted cancer treatment. This type of treatment is experimental.
Morning After Pill
Pill to prevent pregnancy. Can be taken for
up to 72 hours after unprotected sex has taken place.
Room in hospital where masks (molds) are made.
Painful area of broken skin inside the mouth.
Liquid used to clean the mouth by swilling it
around. Usually not swallowed.
A slimy substance produced by mucous membranes
in the body. Mucous membranes are the moist tissues that line the inside
of the body openings, for example the mouth and throat, the vagina. Mucus
is produced to make body tissues slippery and reduce damage from friction.
Trial where patients are recruited from more
than one hospital. Many multi-center trials recruit patients from different
countries. See Clinical Trial.
Means 'many factors involved'. When used about
a disease, means it has more than one cause. For example, someone may develop
a cancer partly because of their genetic make up, partly because of their
diet and partly because of other factors in their environment.
Infectious disease. You should not have
a vaccination against mumps if you are having chemotherapy, as the vaccine
is live. See Vaccination.
Type of plastic surgery which uses muscle tissue
to rebuild part of the body which has been removed during surgery (for
example, the breast).
A change in a gene. Genes are really codes that
tell a cell to make a particular protein. If a gene is mutated, the protein
it makes will be abnormal. Mutation can also alter how a gene works by
permanently switching it on or off. See Chromosome,
A very rare type of non Hodgkin's lymphoma that
affects the skin. It is one of a group of conditions called cutaneous T
cell lymphomas. MF usually begins with red scaly patches forming on the
skin. These can be very itchy. In the second stage raised red plaques (patches)
can form. The last stage is raised lumps forming on the skin which are
tumors. It is a very slow disease and some people do not progress beyond
the first or second stages. MF is treated with chemotherapy or steroid
creams, radiotherapy and ultraviolet light. See Chemotherapy,
T Cell Lymphoma,
Cancer of a muscle.