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Jargon/Glossary Of Terms

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... 0-9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A

Anaesthetic
The use of a drug either locally to numb an area or generally to put someone to sleep
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B

Benign
This is a growth, which although abnormal in the body is not a cancer. Although it may grow and spread locally it does not metastasise or spread to other areas of the body
Biopsy
This is the removal of a small portion of tissue usually from the lung but may also be from the liver, skin or other areas to look at under the microscope
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C

Cancer
The term given for a growth which is out of the body's normal control. Cancers tends to spread either locally, i.e. within the lung or may spread to other areas
Cannula
This is the needle or very fine tube that is inserted into a blood vessel in the hand or the arm in order to deliver drugs
Chemotherapy
This is drug therapy usually targeting small cell lung cancer. It may be given in the form of tablets or more likely by injection
Curative
This is a word used by doctors when they believe that the treatment they are going to give you is going to take away all the cancer and therefore cure you of the disease. Although it is impossible to tell immediately after treatment whether you have been cured or not the doctor will be able to tell you whether the treatment you are going to receive is likely to result in a cure
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G

Growth
This is another name for a tumour. Both growths and tumours can be benign or malignant. Sometimes a doctor may use the term tumour or growth because they are trying to avoid using the word cancer. It is important then that you ask whether this growth or tumour is benign or malignant
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M

Malignant
This is a cancer. The word malignant describes the fact that the cancer is not under normal control and that it has the potential to spread both locally and to distant areas
Metastases
These are the areas of the body where a cancer has spread. For example, a lung cancer may spread to the brain and this will be called a brain metastasis. It is not a brain cancer but simply a spread of the same cells that were in the lung into the brain
Multidisciplinary team (MDT)
A term used to describe all the different health professionals who may be involved in your care
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P

Palliative
This is treatment that you may receive from the doctor which although will help your cancer will not cure you. Palliative treatment takes many forms including chemotherapy or radiotherapy or may be drug treatment such as painkillers to relieve some of the symptoms that patients may experience
Pleural effusion
This is fluid that collects between the lung and the outer bag. This fluid may result in the chest not being able to expand as easily at it would do normally. This can make you short of breath. It is detected by the doctor tapping over your chest with his hands and then listening and is confirmed by the use of an X-ray
Pleurodesis
This is a simple procedure where a pleural effusion is drained and some chemicals are left in the space where the fluid was. It is hoped that these chemicals will cause the layers around the lung to knit together therefore allowing no space for the pleural effusion to come back again. This procedure can be done very simply on the ward and does not require an anaesthetic or cause a large wound
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S

Signs
The doctor or nurse looks for signs when they examine you. These may include a lump or bump in your stomach or abdomen, a swollen gland in your neck or an abnormal sound when the doctor taps it
Staging
These are medical tests to establish the extent of a cancer
Symptoms
These are a collection of things that you experience. A cough for example is a symptom as is feeling short of breath
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T

Tumour
This is another name for a growth. Both growths and tumours can be benign or malignant. Sometimes a doctor may use the term tumour or growth because they are trying to avoid using the word cancer. It is important then that you ask whether this growth or tumour is benign or malignant
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