The part of the body below the chest where the spleen, stomach, pancreas, liver, gallbladder, bowel, bladder and kidneys are located.
Surgery to remove the rectum and anus, and then create a colostomy or stoma.
A treatment that destroys all or part of a cancer using heat or cold.
Aboriginal Health Worker
A health professional who cares for and supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Aboriginal Liaison Officer
A health professional who provides support to patients and families of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander background, and helps them access health services.
Damage to the genetic material in the cells that occurs during a person's life and is not not passed from parent to child.
A rare type of melanoma found on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet or around the big toenail.
When treatment is not started straight away and a person is watched for any changes. Also known as active surveillance.
A treatment plan that involves regular assessments by a doctor/specialist, including tests to see if prostate cancer is developing.
When treatment is not started straight away and a person is watched for any changes. Also known as active monitoring.
A cancer that starts in the mucus-producing (gland) cells that line many internal organs. Most cancers of the breast, pancreas, lung, prostate and colon are adenocarcinomas.
adenoid cystic cancer
A rare type of cancer that usually begins in the salivary glands.
Scar tissue that forms internally.
A treatment given after the main treatment to reduce the chance of a cancer coming back (for example, chemotherapy after surgery).
adolescent and young adult (AYA)
Young people aged 15-25 years old.
A specialist doctor with expertise in treating people with cancer in the 15 - 25 year age group.
Two glands located just above the kidneys which make hormones that control heart rate, blood pressure, and other important body functions.
Cancer that has spread from where it started to another part of the body.
A doctor who is undergoing further training to become a specialist, and works closely with the consultant.
A targeted therapy used to treat some non-small cell lung cancer with EFGR gene mutations.
A targeted therapy that interferes with the growth of cancer cells and slows their spread.
Fast growing and high grade.
An oral targeted therapy used to treat non-small cell lung cancer that has an ALK gene mutation.
allied health professional
Trained health care workers who provide expert advice and care e.g. psychologist, social worker, physiotherapist, occupational therapist, speech therapist, dietitian
A type of stem cell transplant where stem cells are taken from a donor and given to the patient, who has had high dose chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy.
The medical term for hair loss, which can be a side effect of some cancer treatments.
alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency
An inherited genetic disorder that causes lung and liver problems.
Tiny air sacs in the lungs, where oxygen enters the blood and carbon dioxide leaves it.
The surgical removal of all or part of an arm or leg or other body part.
A rare condition where plasma cells make an abnormal protein called amyloid.
A reduction in the number or quality of red blood cells, which carry oxygen around the body. Symptoms of anaemia include tiredness, breathlessness and looking pale.
A drug that stops a person feeling pain during a medical procedure. A local anaesthetic numbs part of the body, and a general anaesthetic puts a person to sleep for a period of time.
A doctor who specialises in administering anaesthetics.
Two muscles that control the opening and closing of the anus to allow faeces (poo) to leave the body.
Drugs given to reduce pain, also known as pain killers.
anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)
A gene which has a role in controlling the growth of cells. ALK mutations may increase the growth of cancer.
Joining two things together. For example, when part of the bowel is cut out and the two cut ends are joined together.
An anastomosis is the joining together of the bowel ends after part of the bowel has been removed. Sometimes after the ends are joined there is a leak from the bowel into the abdomen.
androgen deprivation therapy
Hormonal therapy that slows the production of testosterone.
A group of targeted therapy medications that stop new blood vessels from forming.
A very rare cancer that starts in the inner lining of blood vessels or lymph vessels.
Ann Arbor system
A staging system used to describe the extent of a persons lymphoma.
The medical term for loss of appetite.
An examination of the anus and lower part of the rectum using a small tube with a light at one end.
Surgery to remove part of the rectum and mesorectum; a stoma may need to be created until the bowel heals.
Proteins made by white blood cells, to protect the body against viruses and bacteria.
The opening through which bowel motions (poo, faeces) are passed out of the body
A procedure in which blood is removed from the person and separated by a cell separator machine, some parts of the blood are collected and the rest is returned to the person, also known as plasmapheresis.
The programmed death of normal cells, which is how the body usually gets rid of old or damaged or unneeded cells.
Drugs used to reduce the amount of the female hormone oestrogen in postmenopausal women. They are a type of hormonal therapy used to treat breast cancer.
A fibrous material which has been shown to cause some cancers. It was used for insulation and in building products but is now banned in Australia due to the harmful effects of exposure to it.
A collection of fluid in the abdomen that causes swelling and bloating.
A type of brain or spinal cord cancer that begins in cells called astrocytes.
A type of stem cell transplant where stem cells are collected from a patient and given back to them after high dose chemotherapy
An operation to remove some or all of the lymph nodes in the armpit.
BCG. An immunotherapy drug that contains a small amount of tuberculosis. It is used to treat bladder cancer by stimulating the immune system to stop the cancer.
A test that involves drinking a thick white liquid containing barium, followed by a series of X-rays to look for any swallowing problems.
Changes to cells in the lower part of the oesophagus caused by reflux of acid from the stomach into the oesophagus. It an lead to cancer of the oesophagus.
basal cell carcinoma
Cancer that begins in the lower part of the epidermis (the outer layer of the skin). It is the most common form of skin cancer. Also known as BCC.
A type of immunotherapy given into the bladder to treat bladder cancer. It is short for bacillus Calmette-Guerin, which was originally used to vaccinate against tuberculosis.
Bence Jones protein
A small protein made by plasma cells and found in the urine when someone has myeloma. Also called BJP or light chain myeloma.
Non-cancerous. Benign lumps do not spread to other parts of the body away from where they started.
The fruit of the areca palm which is chewed to give a stimulant effect.
A type of monoclonal antibody used to treat several types of cancers. It is given intravenously, and works by slowing the growth of new blood vessels.
Removal of both fallopian tubes.
Removal of both fallopian tubes and ovaries.
A tube that carries bile (fluid made by the liver) between the liver and gallbladder and the small intestine.
biliary bypass surgery
Surgery to relieve a blockage of the bile duct.
Therapies that work alone or with a patient's immune system to kill cancer cells or stop them growing or dividing.
A procedure used to take a small piece of tissue from part of the body. This is sent to a pathologist who checks it under a microscope to look for cancer cells or other abnormalities.
A hereditary condition associated with multiple benign skin lesions, lung cysts, benign kidney tumours and kidney cancer.
Drugs that help to slow down or prevent bone disease
Immature white blood cells (or myeloblasts). When there are too many blast cells in a persons blood it can mean they have leukaemia.
This stage occurs when the number of blast cells (immature cells) in the blood and bone marrow increases. It is when the leukaemia transforms into an acute leukaemia. Also known as blast crisis or blast phase.
A thickened lump of blood.
A procedure where a small amount of blood is taken from a vein. The blood sample is sent to a pathologist who tests it for any abnormalities.
A rare inherited disorder that causes shortness, a narrow face, high-pitched voice and fertility problems. People with this syndrome have an increased risk of developing some cancers, especially leukaemia and bone cancer.
How we imagine ourselves physically. This can change after a cancer diagnosis or treatment.
A spongy substance in the centre of some bones where blood cells are made.
bone marrow aspiration
The removal of some bone marrow using a long needle.
bone marrow biopsy
Removal of a small amount of bone marrow tissue with a needle for examination under a microscope.
An imaging test that gives important information about the bones, including the location of cancer that may have spread to the bones. It uses a small amount of radioactive material (radioisotope) which is given into a vein.
The lower part of the digestive system. It is divided into the small bowel and the large bowel (colon and rectum).
Cancer that starts in the bowel including the appendix, colon, rectum and anus.
The body’s waste after water is removed, also called faeces or poo
Blockage of the bowel.
A type of radiotherapy that delivers radiation from a source (such as radioactive seeds) directly to a cancer, or very close to the cancer.
A gene that makes a protein called BRAF that sends signals to cells telling them to grow.
Cancer that has spread from where it started and travelled to the brain.
An imaging test used to find anything that isn’t normal in the brain, including brain cancer and cancer that has spread to the brain from other places in the body.
A gene which, if faulty (mutated), puts a person at higher risk of developing breast, ovarian, prostate, and some other types of cancer.
A gene which, if faulty (mutated), puts a person at higher risk of developing breast, ovarian, prostate, and some other types of cancer.
Cancer that forms in the breast tissue.
breast conserving surgery
Surgery to remove a breast lump without removing the entire breast. It is also called a lumpectomy or wide local excision.
A doctor with specialist training in in the diagnosis and management of breast disease, including breast cancer.
The surgical rebuilding of a breast after a mastectomy.
A way of detecting breast cancer early. It involves women having a mammogram every two years to look for changes that could be cancer.
A surgeon skilled in operating on the breast.
Feeling short of breath or having difficulty breathing.
A way to describe how thick or deep a melanoma is.
The smallest airways in the lungs. They connect the smallest bronchi to the alveoli (air sacs) where oxygen is absorbed into the blood stream.
A long flexible tube with a light and camera to look into the trachea (windpipe) and airways in the lungs.
A test where the doctor uses a long flexible tube with a light and camera to look into the trachea (windpipe) and airways in the lungs.
A large airway that leads from the trachea (windpipe) to a lung. The plural of bronchus is bronchi.
When a doctor bills Medicare directly and accepts the Medicare benefit as full payment.
A term used to describe the size of any lymphoma mass that is greater than 5-6 cm.
(BL) - a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that occurs most often in children or young adults. It is fast growing. People with AIDS are susceptible to developing BL.
A blood test to measure levels of cancer antigen 125, a protein which is often raised in women with ovarian cancer but also in some other situations.
A not-for -profit organisation that supports people with cancer who live in country NSW.
cancer care coordinator
A health professional who coordinates care for cancer patients and is a point of contact between home and the hospital.
cancer care coordinator
Specialist cancer nurses who coordinate patient care and provide referrals to other health professionals when needed
cancer genetics service
A service to assist people who have a family history of cancer by providing information about their risk of developing cancer. They provide counselling, genetic testing, support and advice.
cancer of unknown primary (CUP)
A cancer in which cancer cells are found in the body but the place where the cancer began is not known.
A type of neuroendocrine tumour - neuroendocrine cells release hormones into the blood. Also known as NETs or carcinoid syndrome.
Cancer that starts in epithelial cells in the skin or the tissues that line or cover internal organs.
carcinoma in situ
A group of abnormal cells that are still in the place where they first formed and have not spread anywhere else. These abnormal cells may become cancer.
A surgeon with specialist training in treating diseases affecting the organs inside the chest, like the heart and lungs.
The basic building block of the body. We are made of trillions of cells, and different types of cells form the tissues and organs of the body.
The process where a cell divides into two identical daughter cells.
A type of intravenous line that is inserted into a large vein through which a patient can be given fluids, medications, blood products and have blood taken for blood tests. It can stay in place for a few days or up to a few months. Also known as a central venous catheter.
central venous access device
A plastic tube inserted into a large vein. (Types of CVADs include central lines, Hickmans, peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs) and port-a-caths, or ports). Can be inserted under local anaesthetic or general anaesthetic. Also known as a CVAD.
cervical screening test
A procedure that checks a sample of cells from the cervix for evidence of the human papilloma virus (HPV).
Is the lowest part of the uterus (womb) that connects it to the vagina.
When chemotherapy is injected directly into the cancer while the blood vessels to the tumour are blocked. Also called transarterial chemoembolisation or TACE.
Treatment that combines chemotherapy with radiotherapy.
The use of drugs to kill or slow the growth of cancer cells.
The time from the start of one round of treatment until the start of the next. Chemotherapy normally involves several cycles of treatment.
A specialist nurse who gives patients their chemotherapy drugs, and monitors the patients during their treatment. Also known as a cancer nurse.
The information about the drugs, their dose and how often they are given to treat cancer. Also called a chemotherapy regimen.
The information about the drugs, their dose and how often they are given to treat cancer. Also called a chemotherapy protocol.
An imaging test used to take a picture of the inside of the chest.
A rare cancer that starts in the cells of the bile duct and is also called bile duct cancer.
Inflammation of the bile duct system, which carries bile from the liver and gallbladder into the small intestine. Cholangitis is often caused by a bacterial infection.
Inflammation of the gallbladder.
A rare congenital abnormality of the bile ducts where there is widening of the bile ducts due to the presence of cysts.
A type of bone cancer that forms in the cartilage. It is rare and can occur at any age but is more common in people older than 40 years.
A cancer that develops from the trophoblastic cells – cells that help the embryo attach to the uterus. Can start in the uterus, testicle or ovary.
A rare type of kidney cancer.
Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia, or CIN, is a precancerous condition where cells on the surface of the cervix become abnormal. It is usually caused by HPV infection.
Scarring of the liver.
These cells have a large clear cytoplasm.
clear cell RCC
The most common type of kidney cancer.
clinical nurse consultant
Nurses with extensive knowledge and experience in cancer care, who may specialise in a particular cancer area
clinical nurse specialist
Specialist cancer nurses who provide patient assessment, support and advice
A research study used to test treatments or other areas of health care.
A network of nerves at the back of the abdomen. Some tumours can press on these nerves and cause pain.
coeliac plexus block
The injection of local anaesthetic into or around the coeliac plexus to relieve pain.
The mental ability of knowing, learning, reasoning, perception and memory.
Part of the bowel. It is also known as the large intestine.
A procedure that involves inserting a long flexible tube (with a camera and light) into the back passage via the anus, while the patient is sedated, to examine the lining of the bowel.
A surgeon with specialist training in the surgical management of diseases of the large intestine (bowel), including the colon, rectum and anus.
Surgery to create an artificial opening in the abdomen (tummy) where an end of bowel (colon) is bought through the abdominal wall. Bowel contents (poo) will come out of the opening (stoma) and be collected in a bag or pouch that covers the stoma.
A special magnifying instrument used to examine the vagina, vulva and cervix.
A procedure where a special magnifying instrument called a colposcope is used to examine the cervix, vagina and vulva.
A nurse who provides health care to people in their homes or a community health centre.
Surgery to remove a group of muscles.
When medication is supplied at a reduced cost by a drug company because it is not funded by the Australian Government Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
Treatments that are sometimes used in addition to standard medical treatments, for example acupuncture, massage therapy, hypnosis, and meditation.
When there are no signs of cancer after treatment is completed.
A surgical procedure to remove the entire vulva and deep tissues, including the clitoris.
A medical problem that occurs during a disease, or after a procedure or treatment.
Removal of a cone-shaped section of tissue from the cervix. It is usually done under a general anaesthetic.
Tissue that supports and surrounds other tissues or organs. Connective tissue includes bone, cartilage, muscle and fat. Cancer of connective tissue is called sarcoma.
Difficulty with, or infrequent bowel movements.
The team leader, who is an experienced specialist doctor.
A deliberate measure to prevent pregnancy, e.g. use of condoms or contraceptive pill.
A surgeon cuts into the body to reach the cancer
A possible side effect of breast cancer surgery. Cording creates rope like structure under the skin of the armpit (axilla) or inner arm. This can cause a feeling of tightness or pain. It is also known as axillary web syndrome.
Taking a sample of tissue (biopsy) through a needle.
A drug that is used to treat blood cancers. Also called steroids.
Surgery to remove a piece of bone from the skull to expose the brain and allow a neurosurgeon to operate on it..
A targeted therapy used to treat non-small cell lung cancer with an ALK gene mutation.
Chronic inflammation of the bowel.
A procedure where a special instrument is inserted into a cancerous tumour to freeze and kill the cancer cells. Also called cryotherapy or cryosurgery.
A procedure in which extreme cold is used to freeze and destroy abnormal tissue. It is also called cryoablation.
An imaging procedure used to look at organs inside the body. A CT scan (also called computed tomography or a CAT scan) is series of x-rays taken by a specialised machine.
Surgery to remove a tumour and any cancer that might have spread into nearby tissue or lymph nodes.
The removal of tissue using a surgical instrument that has a scoop or loop, called a curette
cutaneous T cell lymphoma
(CTCL) - a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that begins in the skin causing itching, red rash and thickening.
Surgery to remove the bladder.
A genetic condition that causes the mucous in the lungs and the airways to be very thick. This causes breathing problems and chest infections. It can also affect other organs in the body such as the gut and pancreas.
Examination of the bladder using a special instrument called a cystoscope. It is a thin tube with a light and camera and sometimes has a tool so biopsies can be taken. Done under a local or general anaesthetic.
Examination of the bladder under anaesthetic, using a thin tube-like instrument with a light and lens for viewing the lining of the bladder.
Something that kills or damages cells. Some anticancer treatments, such as chemotherapy, are cytotoxic.
An operation to remove as much of a cancer as possible when it cannot be removed completely.
A specialist doctor trained in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the skin, including skin cancers.
A special magnifying instrument used to examine the skin.
A rare type of melanoma.
A disease caused when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin. It can happen because of pancreatic cancer or pancreatic surgery.
The process of working out what disease or illness a person has.
Surgery used to help diagnose a disease or condition.
The procedure for filtering the blood when the kidneys are not working.
Passing bowel motions (stools or poo) more often than usual. The motions can be soft and watery.
A synthetic form of oestrogen that was previously prescribed to pregnant women to prevent miscarriages.
A health professional who specialises in nutrition and diet.
diffuse large B cell lymphoma
(DLBCL) - the most common type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma - it is usually fast growing.
The breakdown of food in the stomach and bowel so the body can use the nutrients from the food.
The body system that processes food and drink, absorbs nutrients and disposes of waste.
digital rectal examination
A physical examination in which a doctor inserts a gloved finger into the back passage (anus) to feel for abnormalities in the rectum or prostate gland. Also known as DRT.
A hormone that is made from testosterone.
Widening or making larger.
Small dips in the skin, sometimes described as being like orange peel.
When cancer continues to grow and spread.
The length of time after treatment that a patient survives with no sign of the disease. Disease-free survival may be used in a clinical study or trial to help measure how well a treatment works.
Surgery to remove both breasts.
Having an orgasm without the release of semen from the penis.
ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)
When the cells inside some of the ducts of the breast have become abnormal, but have not started to spread into the surrounding breast tissue.
Tubes or channels which carry liquid or chemicals from one part of the body to another. For example, ducts in the breasts carry milk to the nipple.
The first part of the small bowel, which lies between the stomach and the rest of the small bowel.
ear, nose and throat surgeon
A specialist surgeon trained in the treatment of diseases of the ear, nose throat and other parts of the head and neck including the mouth, nasal sinuses, pharynx and larynx (voice box). Also known as an ENT surgeon.
Finding cancer as early as possible, either by recognising early symptoms of cancer, or by screening to find cancers before they cause any symptoms.
ECOG performance status
The Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) Performance Status describes a person’s level of functioning including caring for themselves and carrying out daily activities. It is a way of assessing how well patients are likely to cope with cancer treatments.
A type of energy that can be natural or man-made. Different types of electromagnetic radiation include sunlight, radio waves, microwaves, x-rays and gamma rays.
Stops the blood supply to a cancer by blocking the blood vessels to the tumour.
embryonal cell tumours
A mass of rapidly growing cells that begin in embryonic (foetal) tissue. Can be benign or malignant.
Limited to a specific, localized area and surrounded by a thin layer of tissue.
Changes to how the brain works - it can cause confusion.
A procedure where a fine flexible tube with a camera and an ultrasound probe is inserted into your airways to look at the inside of, and the areas around your lungs. Also known as an EBUS.
Tissues or organs that make and release hormones into the bloodstream. Examples of endocrine tissues are the pituitary, thyroid, and adrenal glands.
Cancer that occurs in endocrine tissues, which are found in organs of the body that secrete hormones. These include the thyroid, pituitary, parathyroid glands, adrenal glands and pancreas.
A specialist surgeon who has had further training in surgery of some endocrine organs, including the thyroid gland, parathyroid glands, adrenal glands and the pancreas.
A specialist doctor trained in the diagnosis and management of diseases related to the glands, the tissues in the body that secrete hormones. This includes the thyroid, pituitary, parathyroid glands, adrenal gland and pancreas.
Relating to the endometrium, which is the lining of the uterus (womb).
Cancer that starts in the tissue lining the uterus.
An abnormal overgrowth of the endometrium.
A type of cancer that resembles the endometrium (lining of the uterus).
A benign condition (not cancerous) in which tissue that looks like endometrial tissue grows in abnormal places in the abdomen.
The lining of the uterus (womb).
A tube-like instrument used to look at tissues inside the body. An endoscope has a light at one end and a lens for viewing at the other. It may also have a tool to remove tissue.
endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography
A procedure that uses an endoscope to examine the pancreatic duct, hepatic duct, common bile duct, duodenal papilla, and gallbladder. Also known as ERCP.
An endoscope is used to take biopsies or perform surgery.
Surgery that uses an endoscope which is a flexible tube with a light, camera and instruments to remove tissue.
endoscopic trans-sphenoidal surgery
A surgical procedure that is performed through the nose to remove pituitary tumours.
A test where a tube is passed into the mouth and throat to look at the oesophagus using ultrasound. Also known as an EUS.
A health professional trained in the use of an endoscope. This is a long flexible instrument, with a light and camera on the end, which is used to examine the interior of a hollow organ or cavity in the body.
A test that uses a tube with a light and camera on the end to perform an internal examination.
A program conducted by the Cancer Council to improve the quality of life of people after cancer treatment.
A doctor with advanced surgical training in diagnosing and treating ear, nose and throat problems.
A protein that speeds up chemical reactions in the body.
epidermal growth factor receptor (EFGR)
A receptor which occurs in high levels on the surface of some cancer cells. This can make these cells grow quickly when epidermal growth factor is present.
The outer layer of skin.
The cells that line or cover the internal and external surfaces of the body.
A common virus also called infectious mononucleosis or EBV.
The inability, or reduced ability to have an erection in order to have sexual intercourse.
A targeted therapy that interferes with the growth and division of cancer cells. Used to treat non-small cell lung cancer and pancreatic cancer.
A targeted therapy that interferes with the growth of cancer cells and slows their spread.
A type of bone cancer that usually affects children or young people.
A type of bone cancer that usually affects children or young people.
A type of biopsy where the lesion is cut out so it can be looked at under a microscope.
A health professional who specialises in exercise for the prevention and management of chronic diseases and injuries.
Relating to a gland that makes substances and secretes them through a duct, e.g. sweat glands and salivary glands.
external beam radiotherapy
A type of radiotherapy that is delivered to the cancer from outside the body. Also called EBRT.
external beam radiotherapy (EBRT)
A type of radiotherapy that is delivered to the cancer from outside the body.
extrahepatic bile duct cancer
A rare cancer that starts in the bile ducts outside the liver
Radical surgery to remove the pleura, lung, diaphragm and part of the pericardium on one side of the chest.
faecal occult blood test
A test that checks faeces (bowel motion, poo) for small amounts of blood. It is the test used in the National Bowel Screening Program as blood in faeces can be an early sign of bowel cancer. Also known as FOBT or iFOBT.
Waste matter from digested food that is passed out of the bowel through the anus. Also called poo, bowel motions or stools.
The two thin tubes that extend from the ovaries to the uterus. The tubes carry sperm to the egg, and a fertilised egg from the ovaries to the uterus.
familial adenomatous polyposis
A rare, genetically inherited condition where many polyps form in the bowel. These polyps are not cancerous to begin with, but can become cancerous over time if they are not removed surgically (usually during a colonoscopy). Also known as FAP. People with FAP have an increased chance of getting bowel cancer.
familial atypical multiple mole melanoma
An inherited condition that increases the risk of developing melanoma and possibly pancreatic cancer. Also known as FAMMM.
A rare inherited genetic condition. It is associated with recurrent pancreatitis - inflammation of the pancreas. People with hereditary pancreatitis have an increased risk of developing pancreatic cancer.
Health information about a person and their direct relatives. A family history may show a pattern of certain diseases in a family
A feeling of extreme tiredness and lack of energy.
An abnormal gene or gene mutation. This can be inherited from parents or happen spontaneously. Some faulty genes can increase the risk of certain cancers.
The ability to have children.
A disorder where normal bone is replaced with fibrous tissue causing the bone to be weak and prone to fractures.
fine needle biopsy
A type of biopsy where tissue or fluid is removed using a thin needle, and examined under a microscope.
Sudden and uncontrolled body movements or convulsion.
(FL)- a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that is slow growing.
A type of high energy radiation that is different from x-rays.
A rare inherited disorder where many polyps are formed in the bowel. People with this syndrome have a high risk of developing bowel cancer, and an increased risk of developing some other types of cancer. Also known as Gardener’s syndrome.
A specialist doctor trained in the diagnosis and management of diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, including the oesophagus, stomach, liver, bile ducts, pancreas, small intestine, colon, rectum and anus.
A specialist doctor trained in the diagnosis and management of diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, including the oesophagus, stomach, liver, bile ducts, small intestine, colon, rectum and anus.
gastrointestinal stromal tumour
A rare type of cancer which starts in cells in the gastrointestinal tract. Also called a GIST.
A surgeon who specialises in surgery of the gastrointestinal tract, including the stomach, liver, pancreas, oesophagus and intestines.
gastro-oesophageal reflux disease
A condition caused by reflux, which is when acid from the stomach comes up the oesophagus.
A type of endoscopy used to examine the oesphagus, stomach and duodenum. A gastroscope is inserted through the mouth.
A type of targeted therapy used for cancer that has a epidermal growth factor receptor (EFGR) gene mutation.
An abnormal or faulty gene. This can be inherited from parents or happen spontaneously. Some gene mutations can increase the risk of certain cancers.
Drugs given to causes a temporary loss of consciousness. An anaesthetist gives a general anaesthetic to stop a person feeling pain during surgery.
A specially trained doctor who delivers health care in the community. Often called a GP.
A specialist doctor trained in the treatment of injury or disease using surgery. General surgeons often undertake gastrointestinal and breast surgery.
Pieces of DNA that contain information for making proteins. They determine how the body's cells grow and behave.
A health professional who provides advice and counselling for people with a family history of cancer.
A specialist doctor trained in medical oncology and cancer genetics.
Using blood tests or other tests to look for gene mutations (faulty genes).
A specialist doctor trained in genetics who can evaluate, diagnose, and manage patients with hereditary conditions.
The reproductive cells that produce eggs in females and sperm in males.
Surgery to remove the glans (tip of the penis). Skin grafts may be used to rebuild the glans after surgery.
A system of grading prostate cancer based on how the cells look under the microscope. It can be an indication of how likely the prostate cancer will spread.
A fast growing cancer that begins in the brain or spinal cord. It starts in glial cells which support the nerve cells. Also called GBM.
A cancer of the brain which begins in the glial cells that support nerve cells.
Surgery to remove all or part of the tongue.
A hormone produced by the pancreas. It increases the amount of glucose in the bloodstream.
A genetic condition that causes unusual facial features and disorders of the skin, bones, nervous system, eyes, and endocrine glands. People with Gorlin syndrome have an increased risk of developing basal cell carcinomas and brain tumours
A system for classifying cancer cells in terms of how abnormal they appear when examined under a microscope.
Cancer of the female reproductive tract, including the cervix, endometrium, fallopian tubes, ovaries, uterus, vulvar and vagina.
A specialist doctor trained in the diagnosis and management of cancers of the female reproductive system, including ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, vaginal cancer, cervical cancer, and vulvar cancer.
A specialist doctor trained in the diagnosis and management of disorders of the female reproductive system.
Cancer of the blood cells or bone marrow, such as leukaemia, lymphoma, myelodysplastic syndrome or multiple myeloma.
A specialist doctor trained in diseases of the blood.
The branch of medicine that deals with diseases of the blood, including blood cancers.
The formation of blood cells from the haematopoietic stem cells.
haematopoietic stem cell
An immature cell that can develop into any type of blood cells.
When there is blood in the urine.
A condition where people absorb or retain too much iron from their diet. The excess iron is stored in the body and can lead to iron overload, and organ or tissue damage.
A condition where the body absorbs more iron from food than usual.
Coughing up sputum (spit) with blood in it.
head and neck cancer
Cancer that starts in the head or neck area. This can include cancer of the mouth, tongue, gums, tonsils, oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, nasal cavity, paranasal sinuses and salivary glands.It does not include brain tumours.
head and neck surgeon
A doctor with advanced surgical training in surgery to the head and neck (not including the brain).
health care team
A group of health care professionals who work together to treat people who are ill.
A type of bacteria (infection) that causes inflammation and ulcers in the stomach.Also called H. pylori.
Surgery to remove part of the colon/bowel.
hepatic artery embolisation
A procedure that aims to block the blood supply to a tumour in the liver because the tumour can't survive without a blood supply.
A specialist surgeon trained in surgery of the liver, pancreas, gallbladder and bile ducts.
A specialist surgeon trained in surgery of the liver, pancreas, gall bladder and bile ducts.
The most common type of liver cancer which develops from the main liver cells called hepatocytes. Also known as hepatoma.
A specialist doctor trained in the management of diseases of the liver, gallbladder, bile ducts and pancreas.
A specialist doctor trained in the management of diseases of the liver, gall bladder, bile ducts and pancreas.
A drug used to treat breast cancer. It is a monoclonal antibody that targets HER2 receptors, and is given intravenously or subcutaneously.
A genetic condition where the person affected has recurrent episodes of inflammation of the pancreas.
hereditary papillary renal cell carcinoma
A hereditary condition that increases the risk of developing papillary renal cell cancer.
Human immunodeficiency virus, this virus causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).
Abnormal voice changes that sound strained.
Drugs that stop or slow the growth of cancer cells by affecting the production or activity of hormones in the body.
hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
Drug therapy that supplies the body with hormones it can no longer produce. It is used to relieve menopausal symptoms.
Chemicals that are produced by glands in the body. They travel in the bloodstream to tissues and organs in different parts of the body. They can affect how some cells grow and reproduce.
human epidermal growth factor receptor 2
A protein involved in normal cell growth. Some cancer cells, for example breast, ovarian and pancreatic cells, have increased amounts of this protein on their surface.
human papilloma virus
A virus that can cause abnormal tissue growth, such as warts, and changes to cells. It is a risk factor for some types of cancer. Also known as HPV.
human papilloma virus (HPV)
A virus that can cause abnormal tissue growth (for example, warts) and other changes to cells. It is a risk factor for some types of cancer.
An increase in the number of cells in an organ or tissue. These cells appear normal under a microscope. They are not cancer, but may become cancer.
hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy
Giving heated chemotherapy directly into the abdominal cavity. It is used after some types of cancer surgery to destroy cancer cells remaining in the abdomen.
The lowest part of the pharynx (throat). Also called the laryngopharynx.
Removal of the uterus and possibly surrounding tissue.
T cell lymphoma
A type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that can be fast growing and can occur in people from young adults to mature aged people.
Drugs that target particular cells in some cancers. There are several different types of targeted therapy.
The use of telecommunication systems, e.g. video conferencing, for health appointments. It is helpful for people who live in rural and remote communities.
A type of germ cell tumour that may contain different types of tissue such as hair, bone or muscle. These occur in the ovaries in females and testicles in males.
A hormone that is mainly made in the testes.
Procedure that involves inserting needles into the cancer and applying heat to them to kill the cancer. A CT scan is used to guide the needle placement.
Removal of fluid from the pleural cavity, which is the space between the layers of pleura that cover the lungs and line the chest wall. Also known as pleurocentesis or a pleural tap.
Examination of the pleural cavity using a special type of endoscope known as a thorascope.
An operation that involves opening the chest.
A gland in the neck, which helps with growth regulation and metabolism.
A group of cells that work together to perform a specific function.
A staging system used for cancer to identify how far a cancer has spread. It stands for T - tumour , N - nodes and M - metastases.
Relating to the surface of the body. It is often used to describe medicines or creams that are applied to the skin.
Surgery to remove all of the large intestine not including the rectum.
Removal of the uterus and cervix.
total mesorectal excision
Surgery to remove the rectum and some of the surrounding fatty tissue known as the mesorectum.
Surgery to remove the whole penis.
Removal of the whole cervix but not the uterus (womb).
transanal endoscopic microsurgery
An operation using special instruments to allow surgery to be performed through the anus (back passage) into the rectum.
transarterial chemoembolisation (TACE)
A procedure that involves giving anticancer drugs into blood vessels near the tumour, and then blocking the blood supply to the tumour. This allows a higher amount of drug to reach the tumour for a longer period of time.
The area where the squamous cells outside the cervix meet the glandular cells inside the cervix.
transitional cell cancer
A rare type of cancer which starts in cells that line the urinary system.
Surgery to remove a cancer through the mouth. This may be done using a laser or a robot (known as trans-oral robotic surgery or TORS).
An ultrasound probe is inserted into the rectum, and uses sound waves to make images of the prostate and surrounding area to diagnose prostate abnormalities such as cancer and other benign disorders. Also known as TRUS, and endorectal ultrasound (ERUS).
transurethral resection of the prostate
Surgery to remove tissue from the prostate using an instrument that is inserted into the urethra (tip of the penis).A local anaesthetic gel is used first.
An ultrasound that looks at the female organs from inside the vagina. A device called a transducer is inserted into the vagina that shows the uterus, cervix, endometrium, fallopian tubes, ovaries and bladder.
Surgery to remove the middle part of the bowel; the ends are then joined together (anastomosis).
A targeted therapy that is used to treat HER2-positive breast cancer.
A plan which includes detailed information of the patient's disease and the treatment that has been agreed on. It also includes plans for follow up when treatment is finished.
An inherited condition where benign tumours form in the kidneys, eyes, heart, brain, skin and lungs.
A new or abnormal growth of tissue on or in the body. A tumour may be benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer).
A rare, inherited disorder in which polyps (abnormal growths of tissue) form on the inside walls of the colon and rectum, and tumours form in the brain. People with Turcot syndrome have a higher-than-normal risk of colorectal cancer and brain cancer, especially glioblastoma and medulloblastoma.
A genetic condition that occurs in females who have a missing or abnormal X chromosome (sex chromosome).
A system for urine drainage where the surgeon uses a small piece of intestine to come out through an opening created in the abdomen, creating a stoma as a pathway for the urine.
Surgery to create an artificial opening in the abdomen (tummy) where an end of bowel (ileum) is bought through an opening (stoma) in the abdomen (tummy). Bowel contents (poo) will come out of the opening (stoma) and be collected in a bag or pouch that covers the stoma.
A mask made to fit your head perfectly to keep you in the exact position during radiotherapy so the radiation is given to the correct area. Also called a radiotherapy mask.
The network of cells and organs that defends the body against attacks by bacteria, viruses and other organisms.
Immunochemical faecal occult blood test (iFOBT)
A test that looks for blood in the bowel motion, and is used to screen for bowel cancer.
Proteins produced by the plasma cells to fight infections. Also known as antibodies.
A specialist doctor trained in immunology (the study of the body's defence mechanisms) and allergy.
Drugs that can stimulate or suppress the immune system and may help to attack cancer cells.
A treatment that stimulates the body's immune system to fight cancer.
The inability to have an erection.
The number of new cancers diagnosed in a particular time period.
Inability to control the flow of urine from the bladder (urinary incontinence) or the escape of faeces (poo) from the rectum (faecal incontinence).
Slow growing and low grade.
inflammatory breast cancer
A type of breast cancer that affects lymphatic vessels in the skin of the breast. It causes the breast to become red and swollen.
A decision made after receiving and understanding all the appropriate information.
Passed down from parents to their children.
Medical care that takes place when a patient is admitted to a hospital.
A hormone produced by the pancreas to control the amount of sugar in the blood.
The provision of seamless, effective and efficient care that reflects the whole of a person's health needs.
A doctor who is in their first year after university and completing their training.
A trained professional who helps patients and their families communicate with doctors and others in their own language.
A specialist doctor trained in the use of image guided procedures to diagnose and treat disease.
Inside the arteries, e.g. intra-arterial chemotherapy is given into an artery.
Inside the muscles, e.g. intramuscular injection is an injection into a muscle.
Inside the peritoneum, which lines the abdomen. e.g. intraperitoneal chemotherapy is given into the space around the abdominal organs.
Inside the fluid-filled space around the spinal cord or brain.
Inside the veins, e.g. intravenous chemotherapy is given into a vein.
Intravenous pyelogram (IVP)
Examination of the kidneys, ureters and bladder using a contrast material that is injected into the vein before taking x-rays. It is done to help diagnose problems in the kidneys, ureters or bladder.
Within the bladder, e.g. chemotherapy can be put directly into the bladder to treat bladder cancer.
Within the bladder, e.g., chemotherapy can be put directly into the bladder to treat bladder cancer (intravesical chemotherapy).
Cancer that has spread past the layer of tissue where it started and is growing into surrounding healthy tissues.
lactate dehydrogenase (LDH)
An enzyme found in cells throughout the body. High levels in the blood can be a sign of cell damage.
Surgery to remove the back part of a vertebra, to relieve pressure on the spinal cord or allow a neurosurgeon to operate on it.
A surgeon performs surgery inside the abdomen using a laparoscope through small cuts in the abdominal wall.
A type of surgery also known as key hole surgery. A surgeon uses small instruments and a camera to look inside the body.
A type of surgery in which a cut is made in the abdomen to examine the internal organs.
A targeted therapy drug used to treat breast cancer that is HER2 positive.
large cell carcinoma
A type of lung cancer where the cells look large under the microscope. Also known as large cell undifferentiated carcinoma.
A thin tube with a light and camera on the end is inserted through the mouth to look at the larynx or voice box.
The part of the pharynx (throat) that contains the vocal cords. Also called the voice box.
Surgery that uses a laser beam to cut or destroy tissue.
Loop electrosurgical excision procedure – a technique to remove or treat abnormal cells in the cervix. Also called LLETZ or LOOP excision.
A type of soft tissue sarcoma which starts in which starts in smooth muscle. It occurs most often in the uterus or abdomen.
A type of melanoma found on sun-damaged skin which usually develops slowly.
A cancer of the blood which begins when white blood cells become abnormal and grow out of control. These white cells are immature and abnormal, and don't carry out their infection fighting function.
The desire for sexual intercourse; sex drive.
A condition that causes thin, white patches of skin, usually in the genital area.
A rare, inherited disorder that increases the risk of developing many types of cancer. Cancers often develop at an early age, and more than one type of cancer may occur in the same person.
light chain myeloma
A type of myeloma where there is incomplete production of immunoglobulins. The light chains (kappa and lambda) are found in the urine and cause kidney damage.
limb sparing surgery
Surgery to remove a tumour in a limb (arm or leg) without removing the whole limb.
A machine used to create the high-energy radiation used in external beam radiotherapy.
A type of soft tissue sarcoma which starts in fatty tissue.
A bacteria that can be found in the environment and raw foods.
A large organ in the upper abdomen.
A type of parasite infection that can occur from eating raw or undercooked freshwater fish that contain flukes.
The diseased liver is replaced using a liver from a donor. This is not an option for all patients.
Large loop excision of the transformation zone – a procedure that involves removing abnormal cells using a thin wire that is heated with an electric current.
An operation to remove a whole lobe of an organ, e.g. a lobe of the lung or liver.
lobular carcinoma in situ
Abnormal cells in the lobules of the breast that increase the risk of developing breast cancer.
The milk producing glands of the breast.
A drug used to block pain in a certain area of the body. It causes temporary loss of feeling.
When cancer is limited to the area it started and hasn't spread to nearby structures or other parts of the body.
Removal of abnormal tissue from the cervix using a heated wire loop. It is also known as LEEP (loop electrosurgical excision procedure) or LLETZ (large loop excision of the transformation zone).
A staging system used to describe the extent of a persons lymphoma.
A test used to look at the fluid that surrounds the spinal cord and brain (cerebrospinal fluid or CSF). A needle is inserted into the spine in the lower back to collect a small sample of CSF. The sample is checked for cancer cells or abnormal substances, such as blood or proteins.
An operation to remove a breast cancer and some normal tissue around it. Also called breast-conserving surgery or partial mastectomy.
A pair of organs in the chest that supply the body with oxygen and remove carbon dioxide.
Cancer that forms in the tissues of the lung, usually in the cells lining the air passages.
Lung Cancer Network
An Australian not-for-profit organisation that provides education and support to people affected by lung cancer.
A clear fluid that travels throughout the lymphatic system and carries cells that help fight infections and other diseases.
A small bean shaped structure that is part of the immune system. The lymph nodes filter lymph fluid and help fight infection and diseases. They are in many parts of the body including under the arms and in the neck.
lymph node biopsy
A procedure where all or part of a lymph node is removed. It is then sent to be examined by a pathologist.
lymph node resection
The surgical removal of lymph nodes.
Small bean shaped structures that are part of the immune system. The lymph nodes filter lymph fluid and help fight infection and diseases. They are in many parts of the body including under the arms and in the neck.
The surgical removal of lymph nodes.
The tissues that make and store lymphocytes, and the vessels that carry lymph fluid around the body, also called the lymphatic system.
A network of tissues and organs found throughout the body. It produces, stores, and carries white blood cells that fight infections and other diseases. It includes the bone marrow, spleen, thymus, lymph nodes and lymphatic vessels.
A type of white blood cell that helps fight infection.
A rare type of Hodgkin lymphoma, which is aggressive and often diagnosed when it has spread throughout the body.
A rare type of Hodgkin lymphoma that usually occurs in adults and often diagnosed early.
A swelling of a part of the body caused by the lymphatic vessels or nodes being damaged or not forming correctly. Some people can get lymphoedema after surgery or radiotherapy for certain cancers.
A trained health professional who manages the effects of lymphoedema and teaches self management techniques to people affected by lymphoedema.
A type of blood cancer which starts in cells called lymphocytes.
An inherited condition which can increase the chance of developing bowel cancer and some other types of cancer.
A condition where the skin and whites of the eyes become yellow and urine becomes darker. This happens when the liver isn't working properly.
A type of soft tissue sarcoma which usually starts in tissues below the surface of the skin.
A lymphoma that effects the kidneys.
A cancer that develops in cells that line the bile ducts in the liver, where the right and left ducts meet. It is a type of cholangiocarcinoma.
A disorder that affects men who are born with an extra X chromosome. It isn't inherited.
A gene that can increase the risk of cancer when there is a mutation in it. The KRAS gene is involved in cell growth and cell death (apoptosis).
magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography
A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test to look at the liver, gallbladder, bile ducts and pancreas. It gives very detailed images. Also known as MRCP.
magnetic resonance imaging
An imaging procedure used to look at organs inside the body. It uses radio waves and a powerful magnet linked to a computer to create detailed pictures of areas inside the body.
A cancerous tumour that can invade and destroy nearby tissue and spread to other parts of the body.
An x-ray of the breast that can be used to check for cancer.
mantle cell lymphoma
(MCL) - a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that is fast growing and usually occurs in middle-aged or older adults.
The surgical removal of the whole breast.
A test that uses a tube with a light and camera at the end to examine inside the chest, e.g. the lungs and nearby lymph nodes. It may also have a tool to take a sample of tissue to be checked under a microscope for signs of disease.
The use of different technologies to produce images of the body to help with diagnosis or management of medical conditions. Examples include x-rays, ultrasound, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
A doctor who specialises in treating cancer using drugs, including chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, and targeted therapy.
An allied health professional involved in radiotherapy treatment planning. They monitor radiation safety, and ensure the radiotherapy machines and computers are set up correctly.
Australia's public health scheme that is funded by the federal government. It provides Australian citizens with affordable health care.
Medicare Safety Net
A government scheme that provides benefits for people who require frequent medical attention. This is to try to limit medical costs for these people.
A form of skin cancer that begins in cells called melanocytes.
A slow growing tumour that begins in the meninges – thin layers of tissue that cover and protect the brain and spinal cord. Most meningiomas are benign.
A type of cancer that starts from mesothelial cells. These cells line the outer surface of most of the body's internal organs
A tumour formed by cancer cells that have spread from a primary tumour in another part of the body. It can also be called a metastatic tumour or secondary cancer.
Describes cancer that has spread from where it started to another part of the body.
A type of Hodgkin lymphoma that is more common in men and usually affects older adults.
Used to describe the grade of a cancer. The cells don't look the same as normal cells, and are dividing faster than normal.
Special surgery to remove cancers from the skin. Thin layers of skin tissue are removed and examined under a microscope for cancer cells. The surgeon continues to remove tissue until all the cancer is removed.
A benign growth on the skin that is usually dark in colour.
A group of targeted therapies that interfere with how the cancer cells grow and divide.
monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance
A condition where there is a higher than normal level of M-protein. It is not cancer but this condition can progress to myeloma, and needs monitoring by a doctor. Also called MGUS.
An imaging procedure used to look at organs inside the body. It uses radio waves and a powerful magnet linked to a computer to create detailed pictures of areas inside the body. MRI is short for magnetic resonance imaging.
Cells that line some internal organs and produce mucin.
A type of melanoma that occurs in the mucous membranes that line cavities within the body, e.g., the mouth.
multidisciplinary cancer care team
A team of doctors, nurses and allied health professionals who meet regularly to plan treatment for people with newly diagnosed cancer and to review the treatment plans of existing patients during or after their treatment. Also known as a multidisciplinary team or MDT
When doctors, nurses and allied health professionals work together to manage the care of patients.
A team of doctors, nurses and allied health professionals who meet regularly to plan treatment for people with newly diagnosed cancer and to review the treatment plans of existing patients during or after their treatment. Also known as an MDT
A permanent change to the DNA of a gene. Some mutations can increase the chance of developing cancers.
A group of cancers in which the bone marrow produces abnormal, immature blood cells.
A type of cancer that develops from plasma cells in the bone marrow.
A cancer of the plasma cells, which is a type of white blood cell, also called multiple myeloma.
MYH-associated polyposis (MAP)
A form of Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) although it is milder, and both parents must carry a genetic mutation for MAP in order for the condition to develop in any of their children.
Looks like a naevus, which is a skin spot such as a mole or birthmark.
A procedure that involves inserting needles (electrodes) into the cancer and sending electrical impulses to kill the cancer.
A thin tube with a light and camera is inserted through the nose to look for changes inside the nose.
The part of the pharynx (throat) that is behind the nose.
National Bowel Screening Program
A national screening program for bowel cancer. It involves testing people who don’t have any symptoms of bowel cancer.
Feeling sick or as though you are going to vomit.
Treatment that is given before the main (primary) treatment.
Urinary pouch made from a piece of intestine, that replaces the bladder that has been removed.
A doctor who specialises in diagnosing and treating problems with the kidneys.
Having to do with interactions between the nervous system and the endocrine system. Neuroendocrine cells in the body release hormones in response to signals from the nervous system.
A tumour that starts in neuroendocrine cells which release hormones into the blood. Also known as NETs or carcinoid tumours.
A condition caused by an inherited faulty gene. People with neurofibromatosis have an increased risk of developing some cancers.
Cancer that starts in cells in the nervous system, such as the brain or spinal cord.
A doctor who has special training in surgery on the brain, spinal cord, and other parts of the nervous system.
A decrease in the number of neutrophils, a type of white blood cell, that are important in fighting infection.
A type of immunotherapy treatment used to treat some cancers.
A type of melanoma that is dome shaped and which grows quickly.
nodular lymphocyte predominant
A rare type of Hodgkin lymphoma that tends to grow more slowly.
The most common type of Hodgkin lymphoma.
A swelling or lump which may be cancerous.
Cancer that has not spread from where it started.
non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)
One of the main types of lung cancer. It is further divided into adenocarcinoma, squamous cell and large cell lung cancers.
A medical specialty which uses radioactive material to diagnose and treat disease.
nuclear medicine physician
Specialist doctor who performs some special tests, like PET scans and bone scans
Registered nurse who has completed extra training and can see patients in clinics and prescribe medications.
Being very overweight. It is a risk for developing some forms of cancer.
Having a high amount of body fat that is unhealthy.
A health professional who assesses people's daily activities and helps them to manage problems caused by illness.
A rare type of melanoma that develops in the cells either in or around the eye.
Relating to the oesophagus or 'food pipe' which connects the back of the mouth to the stomach.
The 'food pipe' that takes food and drink from the mouth to the stomach
One of the female sex hormones.
A rare cancer of the brain or spinal cord. It begins in the cells that cover and protect nerve cells.
Removal of the omentum (a sheet of fatty tissue that lies in front of the abdominal organs)
A pharmacist who specialises in cancer medications.
Oncotype DX test
A test to help predict how some breast cancers will behave and respond to treatment.
optimal cancer care pathways
Guides to help explain what happens from diagnosis and throughout people's cancer care. They describe the recommended care for specific types of cancer.
optimal care pathways
Guides to help explain what happens from diagnosis and throughout a person's cancer care. They describe the recommended care for a specific type of cancer.
oral and maxillofacial surgeon
A medical and dental specialist who treats the entire facial area including the mouth, jaws, neck and face.
oral and maxillofacial surgeon
A doctor with advanced training in surgery to the mouth and face.
The surgical removal of one or both testicles (testes).
A part of the body that is made up of different tissues and performs a specific function e.g. the heart.
The part of the pharynx (throat) that is behind the nose.
orthopaedic oncologist surgeon
A specialist orthopaedic surgeon who manages bone and soft tissue tumours.
A special x-ray of the mouth and teeth.
A targeted therapy used to treat some advanced cancers.
Thinning or weakening of the bones.
A cancer of the bone that usually affects the large bones of the arm or leg. It occurs most commonly in young people.
Medical care that takes place without being admitted to hospital.
When specialists from large cancer centres provide services to smaller regional locations, in person or through telemedicine.
Relating to the ovaries. These are the female reproductive organs that contains eggs (ova).
The female egg that is produced by the ovaries.
A doctor who specialises in treating cancers in children, adolescents and young adults.
A specialist surgeon trained in the surgical management of disease in infants, children, adolescents and young adults.
Paget’s disease of the bone
A disorder where there is increased breakdown and regrowth of bone.
Paget’s disease of the nipple
A rare form of breast cancer that affects the nipple and the area around it. It can be red, scaly and itchy.
An abnormal inherited gene that can increase the risk of developing breast cancer.
Care to control symptoms and improve quality of life. It includes the treatment of physical symptoms as well as helping with emotional, spiritual and social needs.
palliative care physician
A doctor who specialises in palliative care, to manage symptoms and improve the quality of life of patients.
Surgery used to relieve symptoms.
A not-for-profit organisation that provides information and support for people affected by pancreatic cancer and other upper gastrointestinal cancers.
An organ in the digestive system. It produces enzymes that help with digestion, and insulin that helps to regulate the body's blood sugar level.
pancreatic neuroendocrine tumours (PNET)
A tumour that forms in islet cells (hormone-making cells) of the pancreas. PNETs may be benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer).
A complex surgical procedure that removes part of the pancreas and surrounding tissues. Also called a Whipple procedure.
Inflammation of the pancreas.
Surgery to remove all of the bowel including the rectum and anus.
The second most common type of kidney cancer. It starts in the filtering area of the kidneys.
Removal of fluid from the abdominal cavity.
A condition in which the muscles of the intestines do not work properly, resulting in a blocked intestine. It can occur after abdominal surgery.
A substance made when plasma cells multiply abnormally. Also called M-protein or monoclonal protein.
A type of surgery where part of the liver is removed.
partial neck dissection
Surgery to remove lymph nodes in the neck that are in the area of the cancer.
Surgery to remove part of one kidney or a kidney tumour, but not the whole kidney.
Surgery to remove part of the penis.
Removal of part of the pleura on one side of the chest.
When a cancer has reduced in size but hasn't been cured.
Surgery to remove an affected area of the vulva along with a small amount of surrounding normal tissue.
A specialist doctor who examines cells or tissues to identify abnormalities or diagnose cancer.
Surgery to remove all the organs from the pelvic cavity. This includes the rectum, anus, bladder and urethra. For women it also includes the uterus, cervix and vagina.
Test that uses sound waves to create pictures of the tissues and organs inside the pelvis.
A targeted therapy.
peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT)
A treatment for some neuroendocrine cancers. A radiopeptide is used to deliver a small amount of radioactive material directly to the cancer cells.
percutaneous alcohol injections
Small needles are used to inject alcohol through the skin directly into the tumour to kill the cancer cells.
percutaneous trans hepatic cholangiography (PTC)
A test where contrast is injected into a bile duct in the liver and X-rays are taken. This test is used to see the biliary tract.
Damage to the nerves caused by some cancer or cancer treatments, which commonly affects nerves in the hands and feet.
Relating to the peritoneum which is a thin membrane lining the abdominal cavity.
Surgery to remove the peritoneum, which lines the abdominal cavity and covers most abdominal organs. It may also involve removing part of some organs. It is a type of cytoreductive surgery used to remove as much visible cancer as possible.
The lining of the abdomen.
Changes in the way a person thinks, feels, and behaves. The changes may not align with the person's beliefs and values.
A monoclonal antibody given to treat some types of breast cancer.
An imaging procedure used to look at organs inside the body. A small amount of radioactive material is injected into a vein. Then a PET scanner makes images of areas in the body where it is used. PET is short for positron emission tomography. It is often combined with a CT scan (PET/CT).
An inherited condition. People with this condition have an increased risk of developing some cancers.
Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS)
A government funded scheme that subsidises the costs of some medications.
A health professional who prepares and dispenses medicines (drugs).
A muscular tube that connects the mouth and nose to the oesophagus, also called the throat.
When a doctor examines the whole body or parts of the body.
A health professional who assesses, diagnoses and treats patients through physical means. Physiotherapists are specialists in how the body moves and functions.
A types of white blood cell that makes antibodies to protect the body from viruses and bacteria.
A type of cancer that begins in the plasma cells
A procedure in which blood is removed from the person and separated by a cell separator machine, some parts of the blood are collected and the rest is returned to the person, also known as apheresis.
Cells in the blood that are involved with blood clotting.
A thin layer of tissue that covers the lungs and lines the interior wall of the chest cavity.
pleurectomy and decortication
Surgery for pleural mesothelioma, which involves removing the mesothelioma and the pleura on that side of the chest.
A procedure used to prevent the build-up of fluid between the layers of the pleura. Talc or other chemicals are used to cause inflammation of the pleura making the layers stick together.
The surgical removal of a lung.
An abnormal amount of air in the chest cavity and around the lung.
An abnormal growth in the lining of the bowel.
A rare type of melanoma and a sub-type of nodular melanoma. It is aggressive.
A tumour grade, where the cancer cells appear very abnormal and different from normal cells.
A rare condition where calcium builds up on the walls of the gallbladder, causing it to become hard. Thought to be caused by gallstones.
post cholecystectomy syndrome (PCS)
A possible side effect when the gallbladder is removed. Symptoms include heartburn, indigestion, persistent pain in the upper-right or lower abdomen, diarrhoea, bloating or gas, fever or jaundice. The symptoms are usually mild and short lived.
When a women has gone through the change of life (menopause).
A form of genetic testing to see if family members of a person with a gene mutation (faulty gene) also have the mutation.
Improving a patient's health before they start treatment.
When a women has not been through the change of life (menopause).
The number of people in a population with a certain illness at a particular time, or over a period of time.
Cancer when it first starts in the body. Cancer cells from a primary cancer may spread to other parts of the body and form secondary cancers.
primary sclerosing cholangitis
A disease of the bile ducts where there is chronic inflammation that causes scaring in the bile ducts.
The main treatment for a cancer, e.g. surgery.
An examination of the anus and rectum using a thin, tube-like instrument called a proctoscope. This has a light and a lens for viewing, and may also have a tool to remove tissue samples.
One of the female sex hormones.
The likely outcome of someone's disease.
Surgery to reduce a person's risk of getting cancer. Usually done for people with a high risk of developing a particular cancer.
A gland in the male reproductive system. It produces a fluid that forms part of the semen.
prostate specific antigen
A protein produced in the prostate called prostate specific antigen. Also known as PSA.
Drugs that block the work of proteasomes - proteasomes break down proteins when the proteins are no longer needed.
A health professional who specialises in providing emotional support and managing emotional difficulties such as anxiety, distress and depression.
A health professional who specialises in providing psychological support for people with cancer.
A biopsy where a small round piece of tissue is removed. The tissue is reviewed by a pathologist.
A doctor who specialises in treating cancer using radiotherapy.
radiation oncology nurse
A specialist nurse who works with other radiotherapy team members to support and care for the patients during their treatment.
A health professional who helps to plan and give radiotherapy.
Removal of the cervix and uterus, top of the vagina, and surrounding tissue and lymph nodes.
Surgery to remove an entire kidney and surrounding tissue, including adrenal gland and lymph nodes.
The surgical removal of the entire prostate and some of the tissue around it.
Removal of the whole cervix and some surrounding tissues, but not the uterus.
A substance that gives out radiation energy.
Giving out radiation energy.
A procedure that involves putting radioactive pellets into blood vessels that lead to a tumour. This blocks the blood supply to the tumour and makes sure the radiation is given directly into it.
A procedure which uses radio waves to heat and destroy cancer cells.
A health professional who performs medical imaging tests, such as x-rays and scans.
radioisotope (radionuclide) scan
An imaging procedure used to show the function of organs inside the body. Small amounts of radioactive material are injected into a vein, breathed in or swallowed, and a machine called a gamma camera is used to produce images.
A treatment that uses radioactive materials (radioisotopes) to treat diseases including cancer.
A doctor who specialises in diagnosing and treating diseases using medical imaging techniques, such as x-rays, computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
The use of radiation to kill or damage cancer cells and stop them from growing and multiplying.
A group of genes that make proteins that control cell growth and cell death. Mutation of the RAS gene can cause cancer cells to grow and spread.
A special area on the surface on a cell, that some substances can attach to. This can change the way the cell works. There are many types of receptors.
A doctor with advanced surgical training in restoring the appearance or function of parts of the body affected by injuries or diseases, including cancer. Also known as a plastic surgeon.
Surgery to reshape or rebuild a part of the body that has been damaged or operated on previously, e.g. breast reconstruction following a mastectomy.
The final part of the bowel, where faeces/poo is stored before it is passed out of the body via the anus
When cancer comes back after treatment.
red blood cells
A type of blood cell, containing haemoglobin, which carries oxygen around the body.
The use of medication to numb an area of the body.
When a cancer has spread from where it started to nearby tissue.
A doctor who has completed several years of training, and works closely with the consultant.
Doctors undergoing training to become consultants in a particular specialty.
Helping people to improve their strength, function and independence after illness.
The return of cancer following a time when it was controlled.
Where the signs and symptoms of cancer disappear and there is no evidence of active cancer.
A rare type of kidney cancer that develops in the soft tissue of the kidney.
A doctor with advanced training in diagnosing and treating kidney problems
A doctor who has completed at least year of training since leaving university.
A specialist physician trained in the diagnosis and treatment of lung conditions.
The system in the body responsible for breathing. It includes the nose, throat, trachea (windpipe), and lungs.
The number or percentage of people who benefit from a cancer treatment.
Cancer that forms in the retina – part of the eye. It can be hereditary.
A type of soft tissue sarcoma which starts in skeletal muscle.
Something that increases a person's chance of getting cancer.
Surgery performed using a robot controlled by a surgeon.
A gene that affects cell growth. ROS1 gene mutations have been found in some types of cancer.
The watery fluid in the mouth - sometimes called spit.
The surgical removal of the fallopian tubes and ovaries
Cancer of the bone, cartilage, fat, muscle, blood vessels, or other connective or supportive tissue.
A small service providing cancer treatment and support, generally in a regional area, which is linked to a larger cancer service.
A test that makes pictures of the inside of the body. There are several types of scans that include ultrasound, CT, MRI and PET.
The amount the government recommends as a charge for a medical service. Benefits received from Medicare are based on the schedule fees. Health service providers can charge more than the schedule fee.
A tumour of the peripheral nervous system that begins in the nerve sheath covering the nerves. It is usually benign and rarely malignant.
Testing large groups of people to diagnose cancer early before there are symptoms e.g. breast screening mammograms.
Getting another doctor's opinion about your diagnosis or treatment.
A cancer that starts to grow in a distant part of the body, from cells that have broken away from the original (primary) cancer. It can also be called a metastatic cancer or a metastasis.
Giving someone a medication to make them calm and relaxed.
Sudden, uncontrolled body movements and changes in behaviour that occur because of abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Symptoms include loss of awareness, changes in emotion, loss of muscle control, and shaking
Cancer that begins in the germ cells. These are cells that form sperm in males or eggs in females.
sentinel node biopsy
Procedure to identify the first lymph node a cancer is likely to spread to, and remove it to test for cancer.
A collection of fluid under the wound after an operation.
A type of cell that secretes fluid.
Unwanted effects of treatment.
Surgery to remove a part of the bowel called the sigmoid colon.
A procedure where a flexible tube (with a camera and light) is inserted into the back passage via the anus, while the patient is sedated, to look at a section of the colon, known as the sigmoid colon, for any abnormalities.
signet ring cancer
An aggressive type of cancer where the cells look like signet rings under the microscope.
single photon emission computerised tomography
An imaging test that shows the blood flow to tissues or organs. A small amount of a radioactive substance is injected into a vein and travels around the bloodstream while a scanner takes detailed images.
Cancer that forms in the tissues of the skin.
small cell carcinomas
Cancer cells which look smaller than normal cells under a microscope.
small cell lung cancer
One of the main types of lung cancer.
A white or yellow material, formed from dead cells and oily secretions, that collects under the foreskin in men and in the folds of skin around the clitoris in women.
An early form of myeloma without symptoms. It may develop into myeloma, and needs monitoring by a doctor.
A mass or lump of tissue that does not contain any fluid. Solid tumours can be malignant (cancer) or benign (not cancer).
A health professional who performs diagnostic ultrasound scans.
A health professional trained in the diagnosis, management and treatment of people who have problems communicating, or who have difficulty with eating and swallowing.
An allied health professional who specialises in diagnosing and treating speech and eating/swallowing difficulties.
An organ in the abdominal cavity that produces lymphocytes and filters bacteria, abnormal cells and old blood cells in the blood and destroys them.
The surgical removal of the spleen.
The examination of sputum (spit) under a microscope to look for any cancer cells.
squamous cell carcinoma
Cancer that begins in squamous cells. These are found in the tissue that forms the surface of the skin, and the lining of some internal organs. Also known as SCC.
Finding out the size of a cancer and how far it has spread. It usually involves having scans and other tests.
A type of maths that involves collecting and interpreting large amounts of information.
An unspecialised cell from which other cells develop.
stem cell collection
A procedure where blood is removed from the body, stem cells are separated out and the rest of the blood is given back to the patient. Stem cells may also be collected from the bone marrow. This is a different procedure from apharesis.
stem cell transplant
A treatment where diseased blood cells are destroyed with high dose chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy and replaced with healthy stem cells. Also called a bone marrow transplant.
A hollow tube that is placed in the body to relieve a blockage.
stereotactic body radiation therapy
A specialised and highly targeted type of external beam radiotherapy. Also known as stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR).
A type of external beam radiotherapy that precisely delivers high dose radiation to the cancer in a single dose.
An artificial opening on the outside of the abdomen (tummy).
stomal therapy nurse
A nurse responsible for the care and education of people who have a stoma. This is an artificial opening created by surgery to get rid of body wastes, such as urine or faeces. A stoma may be permanent or temporary.
A type of cell that makes up certain types of connective tissue (supporting tissue that surrounds other tissues and organs).
Relates to the layer of fat just under the skin, e.g. some chemotherapy can be given as a subcutaneous injection.
An operation that removes part of the stomach.
A targeted therapy.
The most common type of melanoma.
Treatments to help manage the damage caused by cancer and the complications or side effects of cancer treatment.
A specialist doctor who treats diseases using surgery.
A type of treatment that involves operations, for example to remove a tumour from the body.
A specialist surgeon trained in the surgical management of benign and malignant tumours.
The number or percentage of people diagnosed with a particular type of cancer who are alive after a certain period of time.
Changes to the body that a person notices e.g. a lump, pain, or a cough.
A rare type of soft tissue sarcoma which can start in many areas of the body, including tissues around the joints.
Affecting the whole body.
Inflammation and ulceration of the lining of the bowel.
An imaging procedure used to look at organs inside the body. It uses high-energy sound waves (ultrasound) to form a picture of body tissues.
A tumour grade, where the cancer cells have not specialised and don't look normal.
undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma
A type of soft tissue sarcoma thought to start in primitive mesenchymal (connective tissue) cells. Also known as malignant fibrous histiocytoma (MFH).
Removal of one fallopian tube and ovary.
upper gastrointestinal cancer
Cancer of the stomach, oesophagus, pancreas, small intestine, liver, gallbladder or spleen.
upper gastrointestinal surgeon
A specialist surgeon trained in surgery of the upper parts of the gastrointestinal tract. These include the oesophagus, stomach, pancreas, liver and gallbladder. Also called an Upper GI Surgeon.
An unstoppable urge to pass urine (wee).
The need to pass urine right away.
A test in which a urine sample is checked for blood, proteins, bacteria, cancer cells or other abnormalities.
Having to pass urine more often than usual.
Loss of control when passing urine. Passing urine when you don't mean to.
Cancer of the urinary tract in both men and women, or of the male genitalia. Urogenital cancer includes cancer of the prostate, bladder, kidney, testes and penis.
A specialist doctor trained in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the urinary tract in both men and women, and male reproductive diseases.
Surgery that sends urine through a new passage and opening in the abdomen (belly).
A substance given to make a person's immune system develop a resistance to a particular disease.
A type of biopsy where a small amount of tissue is removed using a vacuum.
vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia (VAIN)
An abnormal change in the cells that line the vagina. It is not a cancer but may become a cancer.
Where the bladder, uterus and or bowel protrudes into the vagina.
A surgical procedure to create a new or artificial vagina after a vaginectomy.
Surgery to remove part or all of the vagina.
A specialist surgeon trained in the surgical treatment of diseases of the blood vessels (arteries and veins).
A rare type of slow growing and low-grade squamous cell carcinoma.
video-assisted thorascopic surgery - VATS
Taking biopsies or performing surgery inside the chest using a type of endoscope known as a thorascope.
A technique that uses x-rays to create two and three dimensional images of the bowel.
von Hippel-Lindau disease
A rare inherited disorder that causes tumours and cysts to grow in parts of the body. People with this disorder have an increased risk of developing kidney and pancreatic cancer.
von Hippel-Lindau syndrome
A rare genetic disorder where there is an abnormal growth of blood vessels. People with von Hippel-Lindau syndrome have a higher risk of developing some cancers.
vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia (VIN)
A precancerous skin condition affecting the vulva. It is not cancer but can become cancerous.
Examination of the vulva using a special microscope (colposcope) to view the area.
Regular reviews with a doctor are done (with regard to a condition/disorder that has been diagnosed), and if symptoms develop then treatment may be started.
Closely watching a person's condition without giving treatment unless their condition changes.
An operation where a small V-shaped piece of tissue is removed.
A tumour grade, where the cells and tissues look similar to normal cells when viewed under a microscope.
An inherited disorder that causes rapid aging from early adolescence. It is associated with an increased risk of developing some cancers.
A high pitched whistling sound when breathing. It indicates that a person is having breathing problems.
A complex surgical procedure that removes part of the pancreas and surrounding tissues. Also known as a pancreaticoduodenectomy.
white blood cells
There are several different types of white blood cells that all play a part in the immune system, which defends the body against infections and disease.
wide local excision
Surgery to remove a cancer and an area of healthy tissue around it.
Kidney cancer that is most common in children. Mainly treated with radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
An imaging procedure which uses radiation (x-rays) to take pictures of parts of the body, for example the bones and the lungs.
yolk sac tumours
A rare type of cancer that begins in the germ cells (cells that form sperm or eggs)