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A set of signs used to help identify melanoma. The letters stand for: A=Asymmetry, B=Border, C=Colour, D=Diameter and E=Evolving.

The part of the body between the chest and hips, which contains the stomach, spleen, pancreas, liver, gall bladder, bowel, bladder and kidneys. Also known as the belly.

An operation for rectal cancer. This involves removing the sigmoid colon, rectum and anus, and creating a permanent colostomy.

Inserting needles or probes into the cancer to destroy cancer cells with heat, cold or alcohol.

A type of material that is made from donated animal or human tissue. It is used as a soft tissue substitute.

See schwannoma.

A red, scaly spot on the skin that is a sign of sun damage. Also called a sunspot.

The compound in a medicine that works on the body.

When a person does not receive immediate treatment, but instead has their health monitored regularly, with the option of future treatment if necessary. Sometimes called careful monitoring or watch and wait.

When a person does not receive immediate treatment, but instead has their health monitored regularly, with the option of future treatment if necessary. Also called observation.

Aims to control or cure the cancer.

An ancient technique that is similar to acupuncture. It involves applying pressure to specific points on the body to unblock energy.

A form of traditional Chinese medicine in which fine, sterile needles are inserted into points along energy channels (meridians) in the body to reduce symptoms of ill health.

Sudden loss of ovarian function.

Pain that starts suddenly and may be mild or severe. It lasts for a short time, perhaps only days or weeks.

When a person uses drugs even though they know it can harm them.

A cancer that starts in the mucus-producing (glandular) cells that form part of the lining of internal organs.

Silicone stick-on nipple.

A treatment given after the main treatment to lower the risk that the cancer will come back.

When a child is placed into the permanent care of a person who isn’t their biological parent.

Triangular glands on top of each kidney that make adrenaline and other hormones.

A hormone produced by the adrenal glands in response to physical or emotional stress

A written document intended to apply to a point in the future when a person doesn’t have the capacity to make medical treatment decisions. It provides a legal means for a competent adult to appoint a substitute decision-maker or record their preferences for future medical and personal care. May also be called a health direction, an advance health directive or an advance personal plan.

When a person thinks about their future health care and discusses their preferences with their family, friends and health care team. The written record of these wishes may be known
by different names, such as an advance care directive, advanced care plan or “living will”.

Cancer that is unlikely to be cured. In most cases, the cancer has spread to other parts of the body (secondary or metastatic cancer). Treatment can often still control the cancer and manage symptoms.

Action that negatively affects someone’s employment. It is unlawful if the action is taken because an employee has a disability, is caring for someone with a disability or takes paid personal leave.

An unintended and possibly harmful occurrence related to taking a medicine or using a medical device.

Campaigning, speaking out and making recommendations for positive change on behalf of oneself or other people.

A form of exercise that causes heart and breathing rates to rise, and that uses large muscle groups.

The main protein found in the blood. The protein level provides some indication of overall health and nutritional status.

A type of tumour ablation treatment that directs pure alcohol into a tumour to destroy the cancer cells.

A method of realigning posture.

An enzyme in the blood that helps break down proteins.

A university qualified professional who works with others in a health care team to support a person’s medical care. Examples include psychologists, social workers, occupational
therapists, physiotherapists and dietitians.

A process that involves taking stem cells or tissues from one person and giving them to another.

A chemical found in the blood of some people with non-seminoma testicular cancer.

A therapy that is used in place of a conventional treatment, often in the hope that it will provide a cure.

The tiny air sacs in the lungs, where oxygen enters the blood, and carbon dioxide leaves it.

A reduction in the number or quality of red blood cells in the body.

A drug that stops a person feeling pain during a medical procedure. Local and regional anaesthetics numb part of the body; a general anaesthetic causes a temporary loss of consciousness.

A medicine used to relieve pain.

The joining together of two tubes, such as two cut ends of the bowel.

A treatment that blocks the body’s natural hormones that help cancer grow. Also called hormone therapy.

Male sex hormones that produce physical characteristics such as facial hair or a deep voice. The main androgen, testosterone, is produced by the testicles.

Evidence based on personal experience that has not been scientifically tested.

An x-ray image of blood vessels.

Research using animals to check the safety and effectiveness of a treatment before it is tested on humans.

Paid time off work that builds up (accumulates) during employment. Must be applied for before taking.

A surgical procedure to remove cancer in part of the rectum.

Part of the body’s immune system. Antibodies are proteins made by the blood in response to an invader (antigen) in the body.

Grief that occurs before an impending loss, usually of a close friend or family member.

Medicine to help relieve the symptoms of depression.

A drug that helps to control nausea and vomiting.

Any substance that causes the immune system to respond.

The opening at the end of the bowel where solid waste matter normally leaves the body.

Strong feelings of fear, dread, worry or uneasiness. Physical symptoms can include racing heart, shallow or fast breathing, shaking, nausea and agitation.

When blood is removed from the body and passed through a machine to separate a component such as stem cells. The rest of the blood is returned to the body.

See stoma bag.

Thin plastic tubes (catheters) or cylinders that are used to insert a radiation source into the body for brachytherapy.

Coloured rim of tissue around the nipple.

Group of people who receive the same treatment in a randomised trial. Most randomised trials have two arms, but some have three or more arms.

Drugs that help reduce the amount of oestrogen in the body.

The use of essential oils extracted from plants to improve a person’s mood and physical symptoms.

The use of art to help people express their feelings.

Blocking the artery that supplies blood to a tumour.

A naturally occurring silicate mineral that forms long crystallised fibres.

Diseases caused by inhaling asbestos fibres. Includes lung cancer and mesothelioma as well as non-cancerous disorders such as asbestosis, pleural thickening, pleural plaques, pleural
effusion and rounded atelectasis.

A slowly progressing lung disease caused by asbestos in which the lungs are gradually replaced by scar tissue.

The right side of the bowel.

Collection of fluid between the two layers of tissue that line the abdomen and pelvis, making the abdomen swollen and bloated. Also known as peritoneal effusion.

Inhaling food or drink into the lungs when swallowing.

Something you own. It may include financial items such as money, bonds, shares or a bank account, or physical items such as a house, land or a car.

Procedures that help infertile people have a baby.

An abnormal but non-cancerous condition of the cells in the lining of the milk ducts.

A process that involves taking stem cells or bone marrow from a person’s own body and giving them back after high-dose chemotherapy.

The armpit.

Lymph nodes in and around the armpit.

The removal of some lymph nodes in the armpit

Tight cords of tissue running down the inside of the arm. Also known as cording.

A traditional medical system from India. It aims to balance the body’s systems using diet, herbal medicine, massage, meditation and yoga.

The symptoms of fever, night sweats and weight loss.

A type of lymphocyte (white blood cell) that makes antibodies to fight infection.

A gene created when cells don’t divide properly. It leads to an abnormal protein called tyrosine kinase being made.

A measure of a person’s relative weight based on their weight and height.

A non-inherited gene change that can tell cancer cells to multiply.

A gene change that increases the risk of getting breast, ovarian or prostate cancer.

A vaccine against tuberculosis that is also used as an immunotherapy treatment for some bladder cancers.

A diet that includes a wide variety of food to give you the energy, protein, vitamins and minerals you need to stay healthy.

A process for individuals to be legally declared as being unable to pay their debt obligations.

A set of criteria to guide management of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).

Abnormal changes in the cells that line the lower oesophagus. A risk factor for oesophageal adenocarcinoma.

Two small glands on either side of the vagina that produce mucus for lubrication.

One of the three types of cells that make up the top layer of the skin (epidermis).

An oil used in aromatherapy or massage that allows the therapist to work over the skin easily. Also known as carrier oil.

The rate payable to an employee for their ordinary hours of work.

A phase during a study when participants are not receiving any treatments. This is usually at the beginning of a trial before treatment is started.

Scientific research carried out in a laboratory to study tiny components of the body, including cells, compounds and molecules. Sometimes called test tube or laboratory research.

Research into how people’s behaviours affect their chances of getting or recovering from cancer.

The name of a light chain protein found in the urine of some people with myeloma. For these people, urine tests can be used to help diagnose and monitor the disease.

The amount paid by an insurer for an insured service.

Not cancerous or malignant. Benign tumours cannot spread to other parts of the body.

A non-cancerous increase in the size of the prostate.

The state of having experienced the loss of someone important to you.

A chemical found in the blood of some people with either seminoma or non-seminoma testicular cancer.

A protein found in the blood. High levels occur in people with active myeloma.

Human choices or other factors not related to the treatments being tested that might affect a study’s results.

The muscles on the top of the arm between the elbow and the shoulder.

Surgery that removes both breasts.

Surgery that removes both ovaries and fallopian tubes.

A substance produced by the liver and stored in the gall bladder. It helps the digestive system break down fats from food.

One of a series of tubes that carries bile from the gall bladder through the liver to the bowel. See also common bile duct.

A dark yellow-brown substance found in bile. If bilirubin builds up in the body, it can cause symptoms of jaundice.

The way the body works internally. Medicines, including drugs, herbs and dietary supplements, affect internal functioning, just as food does.

The removal of a sample of tissue from the body for examination under a microscope to help diagnose a disease.

Drugs that are similar, but not identical, copies of targeted therapy drugs.

A group of drugs that slow down or prevent bone breakdown.

The hollow, muscular organ that stores urine. It is located in the pelvis.

Putting saline (salt water) into the bladder through a catheter to wash out blood and blood clots.

The surgical creation of a new bladder from part of the bowel. The main types of bladder reconstruction are urostomy (ileal conduit), neobladder and continent urinary diversion.

Immature blood cells. Blast cells in the myeloid family are called myeloblasts. Blast cells in the lymphoid family are called lymphoblasts.

A watery body fluid that flows through the circulatory system. Blood comprises plasma, red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.

A thickened lump of blood.

A test that counts the number of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets in the blood.

The process of transferring donated or stored blood and blood products into the bloodstream.

How you feel about yourself and what you think when you look at yourself.

A range of therapies that involve touching the body or the energy field surrounding the body.

The soft, spongy material inside bones. Bone marrow produces stem cells that become red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.

The removal of a small amount of bone marrow liquid (aspirate) with a needle for examination under a microscope.

The removal of a small amount of bone marrow tissue with a needle for examination under a microscope.

The removal of a small piece of bone marrow tissue with a needle for examination under a microscope.

A technique to create images of bones on a computer screen. A small amount of radioactive dye is injected into a vein. It collects in the bones and is detected by a scanning machine.

Cancer that could be removed with surgery if other treatment can shrink the cancer first.

A type of ovarian tumour that is not considered cancerous.

The use of herbs taken by mouth or applied to the body to treat and prevent illness, and to strengthen the body. Also known as herbal medicine.

The long, tube-shaped organ in the abdomen that is part of the digestive tract. The bowel has two main parts: the small bowel and large bowel.

Cancer of the large bowel; also known as colorectal, colon or rectal cancer.

Defecation. To pass waste matter from the bowels.

When the bowel is blocked and faeces (poo) cannot pass through easily

The process of cleaning out the bowel before a test or scan.

A non-invasive bodywork technique involving light hand movements over the body to release tension.

A type of internal radiation therapy in which sealed radioactive sources are placed inside the body, close to or into the cancer. May be temporary or permanent.

Connects the cerebrum and the spinal cord. Controls life-supporting functions.

The name given to a medicine by the manufacturer. See also generic name.

A brief and often severe pain that occurs even though the person is taking pain medicine regularly.

A registered nurse specially trained to provide information and support to people diagnosed with breast cancer.

The term used by manufacturers for an artificial breast. See breast prosthesis.

The shape of a reconstructed breast.

Swelling caused by too much fluid in the breast tissue.

An artificial breast worn inside a bra or attached to the body with adhesive to re-create the shape of a natural breast. Also called a breast form.

Surgery that rebuilds the breast shape after all or part of the breast is removed.

Reducing the size of the breast using surgery.

A surgeon who performs breast surgery and biopsies; some breast surgeons also perform breast reconstruction and plastic surgery.

Surgery that removes a lump without removing the entire breast. Also called a lumpectomy or wide local excision.

The sensation of shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. Also called dyspnoea.

A description of a melanoma’s thickness in millimetres from the top layer of the skin to its deepest point in the skin.

The smallest airways (tubes) that carry air into the outer part of a lung.

A test that uses a flexible tube with a light and camera to examine the airways and lungs and take tissue samples.

The large airway or tube that carries air into the lung.

A detailed plan that shows how much money you have coming in and how much money you spend during a set time period.

When a doctor bills Medicare directly and accepts the Medicare benefit as full payment.

Repeated, unreasonable behaviour that causes a risk to your health and safety.

Remedies and ways of healing used traditionally by Aboriginal people.

A non-inherited gene change that can tell cancer cells to multiply.

A protein found in the blood that is often higher than normal in people with ovarian cancer.

A set of myeloma-defining events used to help identify people who need treatment. The letters stand for the events: C=calcium elevation; R=renal damage; A=anaemia; B=bone abnormalities. Often combined with the SLiM criteria to form the SLiM–CRAB criteria.

Computerised tomography scan. This scan uses x-rays to create cross-sectional pictures of the body.

A procedure that uses CT to guide the biopsy needle to an area to remove a sample.

Loss of body weight and muscle mass, and weakness.

The pouch at the start of the large bowel that receives waste from the small bowel.

A hormone produced by the thyroid that controls calcium levels in the blood.

A mineral found mainly in the hard part of bones, where it is stored.

Uncontrolled growth of cells that may result in abnormal blood cells or grow into a lump called a tumour. These cells may spread throughout the lymph system or bloodstream to form secondary (metastatic) tumours.

A diagnosis given when doctors find a secondary cancer in the body, but tests don’t show where the cancer first started growing (the primary site).

A person who has finished their active cancer treatment. The doctor has told them that treatment has finished. They are free from any signs of cancer.

Thinking and memory problems that may be experienced after treatment. Also called chemo brain or cancer fog.

A chemical in marijuana that acts on certain cells in the body. The main active ingredient is delta-9- tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

The dried leave and flowering tops of the cannabis plant. Cannabis contains active chemicals called cannabinoid. Also called marijuana.

A plastic tube inserted into a narrow opening (usually a vein) so that fluids can be introduced or removed.

Having the ability to understand and think things through to make decisions.

A build-up of fibrous or scar tissue around a breast implant, which makes the breast feel firm. It can cause discomfort and pain, and may change the shape of the breast.

A protective layer of scar tissue that may naturally form around a breast implant, which can become thick and tight. This may lead to capsular contracture.

The part of food made of sugar and starches. Main sources include grains such as rice, wheat, corn, barley, rye, oats; starchy vegetables (potato and sweet potato); lentils and peas; and
products made from grains, such as breads, cereals and pasta.

A protein found in the blood of some people with bowel cancer.

A cancer that starts in the tissue cells lining the skin and internal organs of the body.

A cancer in the tissue lining the skin and internal organs of the body.

A person providing unpaid care to someone who needs this assistance because of a disease such as cancer, a disability, mental illness or ageing.

When an employee takes payment for accrued annual leave instead of time off.

An employee who does not have regular or guaranteed hours of work. They are normally paid on an hourly or daily basis, and are not entitled to paid leave or termination notice periods.

A hollow, flexible tube through which fluids can be passed into the body or drained from it.

The basic building blocks of the body. A human is made of billions of cells that perform different functions.

An infection of the skin. It can occur after lymph glands have been removed.

A type of central venous access device used to give direct access to a vein in the chest or neck.

The brain and spinal cord.

A thin plastic tube inserted into a vein. The CVAD gives access to a vein so fluid or chemotherapy can be given, and blood can be taken. Types of CVADs include central lines, Hickman lines, peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) lines, and porta-caths (ports).

The part of the brain responsible for coordinating movement and regulating fear, pleasure, attention and language.

Clear, watery fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord.

The largest, upper part of the brain. The cerebrum is divided into right and left hemispheres.

A test that checks cells taken from the cervix for human papillomavirus (HPV). Replaced the Pap test.

The lower part of the uterus that connects the uterus to the vagina.

A medical appointment involving tests and scans after treatment has finished. Also known as a follow-up.

The use of drugs that work by helping the immune system to recognise and attack the cancer.

A drug that allows the immune system to pass “checkpoints” set up by the cancer to block the immune system.

Memory and cognitive problems sometimes experienced following cancer treatment, including difficulty concentrating and focusing.

Treatment that combines chemotherapy with radiation therapy. Also known as chemoradiotherapy.

A cancer treatment that uses drugs to kill cancer cells or slow their growth. May be given alone or in combination with other treatments.

A portable device that delivers a controlled amount of chemotherapy. It is usually attached to a central line. It allows a person to have chemotherapy at home.

The area enclosed by the ribs that includes the lungs (covered by the pleura) and the heart. Also known as the thoracic cavity.

Irregular breathing pattern of loud, deep breaths and long pauses.

A health professional who helps children manage the stress and anxiety of being in hospital through play and other coping strategies.

A scoring system used to measure how well the liver is working based on the level of damage caused by cirrhosis.

The use of herbs originating from Asia to help strengthen vitality, overcome illness and improve patient outcomes.

A threadlike structure found in all body cells (except red blood cells). Chromosomes are made up of strings of proteins called genes.

An illness or disease that is long lasting.

Pain that can range from mild to severe and lasts a long time, usually more than three months. Also known as persistent pain.

A condition in which healthy liver cells are replaced by scar tissue.

A number (1–5) that describes how many layers of skin a melanoma has gone through.

The peak of sexual response. Also known as orgasm.

A research study that tests new approaches to prevention, screening, diagnosis or treatment, to see if they are better than current approaches.

The main sexual pleasure organ for females. It is made up of erectile tissue with rich sensory nerve endings, and becomes erect during arousal.

A list of professional rules that health care providers must follow so that patients receive safe, fair and ethical health care.

An alternative therapy that involves inserting coffee into the anus to open the bowels, cleanse the colon and remove toxins from the body.

A common type of counselling that helps people change how they respond to negative situations or emotions by identifying unhelpful thoughts and behaviours.

Therapies to improve cognitive skills, such as concentration, memory, problem-solving and language skills.

A cap that is connected to a cooling system and worn on the head during chemotherapy to help prevent hair loss.

An operation in which cancerous areas of the colon are cut out and the healthy parts are sewn back together. Colectomies are named for the part removed. They include right and
left hemicolectomies, and sigmoid, subtotal and total colectomies.

Inflammation of the inner lining of the colon and rectum (large bowel).

The main working area of the large bowel, where water is removed from solid waste matter. Its four parts are the ascending colon, transverse colon, descending colon and sigmoid colon.

Cancer that develops in the main part of the large bowel, the colon.

An internal pouch surgically created using the lining of the large bowel to increase the capacity of the “new” rectum.

An examination of the large bowel with a camera on a flexible tube (colonoscope), which is passed through the anus.

A surgically created opening (stoma) in the abdomen to the outside of the body. It is made from the colon (part of the large bowel). Also, the operation that creates this stoma.

Examination of the cervix, vulva and vagina from outside the body with a colposcope (a magnifying instrument).

The tube through which bile travels from the liver and gall bladder to the bowel.

A nurse who provides health care to people in their homes and communities, and may coordinate their palliative care. Community nurses usually work for local health services.

Supportive treatments used alongside conventional treatment. They may improve general health, wellbeing and quality of life, and help manage side effects of treatment.

The disappearance of all signs of cancer in response to treatment.

When a person feels ‘stuck’ in grief for a prolonged period. They may find it hard to manage the tasks of daily living, seem unable to accept the loss, or struggle with anger about the loss
for a long time. Sometimes occurs after a traumatic death or when the relationship with the person who died was challenging.

Unexpected problems that affect the patient during or after surgery. Most are minor, but some can be serious.

To create an embryo by fertilising an egg.

An informal type of resolution using a mediator or negotiator who communicates between two parties to settle differences and problems. Also called mediation.

The removal of a cone-shaped piece of the cervix for examination under a microscope.

A problem that happens while a baby is still developing in the womb. This may affect how the body looks or functions or both.

When you agree to something.

Difficulty passing a bowel motion regularly or often.

Ability to control urination and bowel movements.

A surgical procedure that uses a piece of bowel to form a pouch to store urine. The urine is emptied through an opening (stoma) on the surface of the abdomen.

Deliberate measures to prevent pregnancy as a result of sexual intercourse (e.g. condoms, the pill).

A substance injected into a vein or taken orally before a scan (such as a CT or MRI scan), which helps make pictures clearer. Also called a contrast medium or dye.

Scientifically proven treatments for cancer, including surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, immunotherapy and pharmaceutical medicines.

Tight cords of tissue running down the inside of the arm. Also known as axillary web syndrome.

A type of biopsy where a tissue sample is removed with a wide needle for examination under a microscope.

The stomach and lower back muscles that stabilise the body as it moves.

A type of biopsy where a tissue sample is removed with a wide needle.

A band of nerve fibres that transfers information between the left and right hemispheres of the brain.

A process of talking through personal issues with a trained professional to help you explore options and develop strategies.

The surgical removal of part of the nasal cavity or sinuses. Also known as skull base surgery.

An operation to open the skull to access the brain.

A company or institution, such as a bank, building society, department store or car dealer, that offers to lend you money. Also called lender or creditor.

An estimate of a person’s ability to fulfil financial commitments, based on their borrowing and repayment history.

A report that details your credit history and rating, including every time you have applied for credit or not made a repayment on time (defaulted). It is held by a credit reporting agency.

An organisation that collects credit information on individuals and companies.

A person or business you owe money to. May also be known as your lender.

A process that freezes cells, tissue, semen or other substances.

The process of inserting a probe into a tumour to freeze and destroy cancer cells. Also called cryosurgery.

Treatment given with the aim of causing signs and symptoms of cancer to reduce or disappear. Also known as definitive treatment.

The surgical removal of skin cancer using a small, spoon-shaped instrument with a sharp edge called a curette.

A period of chemotherapy treatment that is repeated on a regular schedule with periods of rest in between.

Surgical removal of part of the bladder (partial cystectomy) or all of the bladder and surrounding lymph nodes (radical cystectomy). In males, the prostate, urethra and seminal vesicles may also be removed. In females, the uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, urethra and part of the vagina are often removed.

Inflammation of the bladder lining.

A thin viewing instrument with a light and camera on the end that is inserted into the urethra and advanced into the bladder. The cystoscope may be flexible or rigid.

A procedure that uses a cystoscope, a tube with a light and camera, to examine the vagina, cervix, urethra and bladder.

A test that checks whether cells have an abnormality in their chromosomes.

Surgical removal of a kidney. This may be used when cancer has spread.

A substance (e.g. chemotherapy) that is toxic to cells, so it can kill or slow the growth of cancer cells.

A substance (e.g. chemotherapy) that is toxic to cells, so it can kill or slow the growth of cancer cells.

Money you owe.

When several debts are combined into one, with the aim of reducing repayments. Also known as loan consolidation.

The cancelling of a debt, in whole or in part. Also called debt relief or debt waiver.

A person or business that owes you money.

Surgery to remove as much of a tumour as possible. This makes it easier to treat the cancer that is left and helps to increase the effectiveness of other treatments.

Surgical removal of any tumours from the surface of the lung, chest wall and diaphragm to allow the lung to re-expand.

A deep blood vessel that passes through the abdominal wall to supply blood to the skin and fat of the lower abdomen.

A type of flap reconstruction that uses blood vessels called deep inferior epigastric perforators along with fat and skin but no muscle.

A blood clot in the deep veins of the leg or pelvis, often caused by immobility after surgery or long-distance travel.

Automatic judgement made when you don’t respond to a statement of claim or appear at a court hearing. Without a hearing and without notifying you, the court will order that you must pay the money claimed by the creditor.

When a debt does not need to be repaid until some point in the future.

Reconstructing the breast shape at some time after the initial breast cancer surgery.

A disturbed mental state that can have a range of physical causes and can involve: a lower level of consciousness; memory loss; seeing things that aren’t there; mood swings; and sleep disturbances. It is sometimes experienced near the end of life.

Refusing to accept the truth about something.

A silky, thin sheet of latex used when having protected oral sex.

When stopping a drug causes physical withdrawal symptoms.

Very low mood and loss of interest or enjoyment in life, lasting than two weeks. It can cause both physical and emotional changes.

A doctor who specialises in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of skin conditions, including skin cancer and non-cancerous skin spots.

The lower layer of the two main layers that make up the skin.

The left side of the colon.

A health condition in which blood sugars are not taken up in the body properly because the pancreas does not make enough of the hormone insulin, or the body has become resistant to the effect of insulin.

The identification and naming of a person’s disease.

A dome-like sheet of muscle that divides the chest cavity from the abdomen and is used in breathing.

Opening the bowels very frequently. Motions may be watery.

Nourishment given to increase the nutritional intake of kilojoules/calories (energy), vitamins and minerals.

A university-qualified health professional who supports and educates patients about nutrition and diet during treatment and recovery.

The breakdown of food in the stomach and bowel so the nutrients can be used by the body.

The body system that processes food and drink, absorbs nutrients and disposes of solid waste. Also called the gastrointestinal (GI) tract or gut.

An examination in which a doctor slides a gloved finger into the anus to feel for abnormalities in the prostate, rectum or anus.

A type of medical procedure. An object (dilator) is inserted into the oesophagus to stretch the walls and widen the opening.

A procedure that widens (dilates) the cervix, then uses a surgical instrument called a curette to scrape out the endometrium.

When, because of their disability, a person is harassed or treated less favourably than someone without a disability in the same or similar circumstances. Under law, cancer is considered a disability.

When tests show the cancer is increasing and needs treatment. Also known as relapse or recurrence.

Surgery to remove tumours in the tail and body of the pancreas.

Emotional, mental, social or spiritual suffering. Distress may include feelings of vulnerability and sadness, and stronger feelings of grief, depression, anxiety, panic and isolation.

The person who gives blood, tissue or an organ to another person for transplantation.

An egg that is given to another person and used to conceive a baby.

Sperm that is given to another person and used to conceive a baby.

The amount of medicine that a person should take at one time.

Sexual climax without the release of semen from the penis (ejaculation).

An enclosed tube or passage in the body.

When partially digested food moves into the small bowel too quickly, causing symptoms such as cramps and dizziness.

The first section of the small bowel.

Difficulty swallowing.

A mole with an irregular shape and uneven colour.

The medical term for difficulty breathing. Also called breathlessness.

Cancer that has not spread beyond the breast or the axillary lymph nodes.

Chemotherapy given soon after surgery as a single course and delivered directly into the abdomen through a thin tube. May be used after a peritonectomy.

A broad term for therapies that began in Asian countries like China, Japan and India. These therapies are generally not based on scientific evidence but have been used for centuries.

The outer surface of the part of the cervix that opens into the vagina.

The collection of eggs through the vagina, using ultrasound guidance.

When semen passes through the urethra and out of the penis during orgasm.

A technique that uses heat to stop bleeding after curettage. Also called cautery.

Applying mild electric currents to the body to stimulate nerves and reduce pain, e.g. transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS).

A procedure to cut off the blood supply to a cancer by blocking the blood vessels.

The earliest stage of development after the egg is fertilised by sperm.

A document that provides direction and instructions to allow someone else to provide the care that you would usually provide.

A non-cancerous condition in which the alveoli of the lungs are enlarged and damaged, usually due to smoking. It reduces the lung surface, causing breathing difficulties.

Removing organs as a whole.

Health care provided in the final days and hours of life.

An end-of-life doula works with other professionals, family and friends in a non-medical role providing services in home, palliative care unit, hospital and aged care settings. They provide emotional support, resources, education and companionship to the dying person and their family, friends and carers.

A type of bronchoscopy that uses a flexible tube with a small ultrasound probe to examine the airways and lungs and take tissue samples.

The inner surface of the cervix. Also called the cervical canal.

A gland that releases hormones that control the amount of sugar in the blood.

The system of the body that produces hormones.

A doctor who specialises in treating people with disorders of the endocrine system.

Removing cells from the lining of the uterus with a long, thin tube called a pipelle.

The lining of the uterus (womb).

A flexible tube with a light and camera on the end. It is used during diagnostic tests known as endoscopies.

A type of procedure for early-stage stomach or oesophageal cancer. Tissue is removed using an endoscope.

A procedure that uses an endoscope to examine the pancreas and bile ducts.

The use of an endoscope to put a small, thin tube into a duct to unblock it. Often used to unblock the bile duct and reduce symptoms of jaundice.

A type of surgery for cancers that can be reached through the nose or mouth. Tissue is removed using a thin, flexible tube with a fine cutting instrument and a camera on the end.

A test using an endoscope with an ultrasound probe.

A type of internal examination or diagnostic test. A thin, flexible tube with a light and camera (endoscope) is used to examine the inside of the body.

See substitute decision-maker.

A liquid solution put into the rectum to wash out the lower bowel.

Energy is counted in kilojoules or calories and provides fuel for daily activities. Energy is obtained from food and drink.

Vital energy or life force called qi. Energy is believed to surround the body in an energy field, as well as running along invisible meridians inside the body.

Therapies based on the concept of energy or vital force surrounding and running through the body.

The process by which transplanted stem cells develop into new blood cells. It takes about 2–4 weeks.

Inflammation of the inner lining of the small bowel.

Proteins that aid digestion and are essential for the normal functioning and performance of the body.

The top, outer layer of the two main layers that make up the skin.

A tightly coiled tube located at the back of each testicle. It stores immature sperm and connects the testicle to the spermatic cord, which contains the vas deferens.

An injection of anaesthetic drugs into the spinal column.

The small flap that prevents food from going into the windpipe (trachea) when a person swallows.

Layers of cells covering internal and external surfaces of the body.

A common human virus in the herpes family that may increase a person’s risk of developing some types of cancer. Also called glandular fever or infectious mononucleosis.

Inability to get or keep an erection firm enough for penetration. Also called impotence.

An enlarged, rigid penis (sexual excitement).

Areas of the body that respond to sexual stimulation.

Aromatic oil extracted from different parts of a plant, such as seeds, bark, flowers and leaves.

A one-off fee that may be charged when you set up a personal or other type of loan.

Sinuses located above the nose and between the eyes.

The act or practice of deliberately ending the life of a person suffering from a terminal illness or incurable condition. It is illegal in Australia.

Treatments that have been tested scientifically and shown to be beneficial over and over again.

When health care providers make decisions based on research that shows how well a particular treatment works.

The amount you pay towards your hospital admission before your private health insurer pays a benefit.

A surgical procedure to remove diseased tissue. The surgeon may cut out the cancer and some tissue around it.

A type of biopsy where an area of abnormal tissue is surgically removed (excised).

Person responsible for carrying out the terms of a will.

A university-trained professional who specialises in using exercise as medicine, particularly for people with medical conditions. Also known as Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP).

A university-trained professional who specialises in designing exercise programs for healthy people.

A gland that releases substances (such as digestive juices, sweat, saliva or milk) through a duct.

Radiation therapy delivered to the cancer from outside the body.

A free independent service to help resolve disputes – an alternative to going to court.

An artificial body part that is worn on the outside of the body, such as a breast form.

A precancerous condition of the vulva. It may have an associated cancer at diagnosis or may develop into cancer.

This surgery removes the affected lung, plus parts of the lining of the heart (pericardium), lining of the chest (parietal pleura) and diaphragm.

Fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography scan. A person is injected with a low level radioactive drug (fluorodeoxyglucose or FDG) that helps show up cancer cells. When combined with a PET scan, it is called an FDG-PET.

A major nerve in the skull that controls muscle movement in the face. It runs through the parotid gland.

Inability to control bowel movements, resulting in accidental loss of faeces.

Waste matter that normally leaves the body through the anus. Also known as stools or poo.

Two thin tubes in the female reproductive system. They carry sperm from the uterus to the ovaries, and eggs from the ovaries to the uterus.

A benign condition that causes hundreds of polyps to form in the large bowel. The polyps will become cancerous if untreated.

A medical clinic that offers genetic counselling and other services for people with a family history of cancer. Also called a familial cancer centre.

Damaged or dead tissue.

Extreme feeling of tiredness and lack of energy that may not go away with rest.

A build-up of fats in the liver that can damage the organ.

A flexible tube used to provide liquid nutrition to people having difficulty eating.

A system of gentle movements that encourage self-awareness to improve movement and posture.

The ability to conceive a child.

Procedures used before cancer treatment to help people remain fertile.

An unborn human more than eight weeks after conception.

The part of plant foods that cannot be digested. It helps the body move food through the digestive system.

Benign (non-cancerous) growth in the muscle layer of the womb.

Tissue developed at a wound site that forms a scar.

A person or authorised representative of an organisation licensed by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) to provide advice on some or all of these areas: investing, superannuation, retirement planning, estate planning, risk management, insurance and taxation. Also known as a financial planner.

A person who gives free, confidential and independent assistance to people with financial problems. Financial counselling services are usually provided by community or welfare organisations.

When you find it hard to pay your bills and loan repayments on time because of circumstances beyond your control.

A person or authorised representative of an organisation licensed by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) to provide advice on some or all of these areas: investing, superannuation, retirement planning, estate planning, risk management, insurance and taxation. Also known as a financial adviser.

The removal of a tissue sample with a fine needle. Also called fine needle biopsy.

The removal of a tissue sample with a fine needle. Also called a fine needle aspiration.

The first treatment used to target cancer.

The percentage of people alive five years after diagnosis.

A type of breast reconstruction that uses muscle, fat and skin from other parts of the body, such as the abdomen or back, to build a breast shape.

The range of movement in a joint (e.g. knee) or series of joints (e.g. leg).

A procedure in which a doctor inserts a sigmoidoscope into the anus to examine the rectum and lower colon.

Work practices that allow an employee to change their work conditions to suit them, e.g. changing hours or patterns of work.

Natural medicines extracted from flowers and diluted several times so that no active ingredient remains. Also known as flower essences.

A test that uses special dyes to look for abnormal chromosomes.

A cavity in the ovary that contains a maturing egg.

A hormone produced by the pituitary gland. It regulates the function of both the ovaries and testicles.

One of the two main types of cells that make up the thyroid. They produce and store the thyroid hormones T3 and T4, and make the protein thyroglobulin (Tg).

Medical appointments to follow your progress after treatment.

Illness caused by eating food that contains bacteria, viruses or parasites.

When a lender begins the legal process of recovering an unpaid home loan debt (mortgage) by forcing the sale of the house or land.

When an adult takes responsibility for a child, but does not have parental status.

The individual, usually daily, dose of radiation that makes up part of a course of radiation therapy.

Tissue transplanted from one site of the body to another.

How often medicine is taken.

Part of the brain responsible for thinking, planning and problem-solving (executive function), emotions and personality, and body movement (motor function).

Sinuses located behind the forehead.

A treatment technique that uses electric current to destroy tissue by heat.

A test that measures the number, size and maturity of each type of blood cell. Also known as a complete blood count.

A type of neuroendocrine tumour that releases hormones that may cause symptoms.

A small, pear-shaped organ on the underside of the liver that stores bile.

The difference between the Medicare Benefits Schedule fee and the doctor’s fee.

The surgical removal of part or all of the stomach.

A pancreatic neuroendocrine tumour. It makes and releases abnormal amounts of a hormone called gastrin.

The point where the stomach meets the oesophagus.

A condition where stomach acid leaks into the oesophagus, causing irritation. This is caused by the muscle at the end of the oesophagus not closing properly.

A doctor who specialises in diagnosing and treating disorders of the digestive system.

The passage from the mouth to the anus that allows a person to digest food and eliminate waste. The lower GI tract includes the colon, rectum and anus. The upper GI tract includes the
oesophagus and stomach.

A type of internal examination or diagnostic test. A thin, flexible tube with a light and camera (endoscope) is used to examine the inside of the body. Also called endoscopy.

A feeding tube inserted directly into the stomach through the abdomen. Also called a PEG or RIG tube.

An instrument used to measure radiation levels.

A doctor based in the community who treats all illnesses, referring patients to specialists as needed. Sometimes known as a family doctor.

The name given to a medicine based on its key (active) ingredient. See also brand name.

The microscopic units that determine how the body’s cells grow and behave. Genes are found in every cell of the body and are inherited from both parents.

A health professional who has been trained in genetics and counselling.

A gene or DNA sequence associated with a particular characteristic.

Testing that looks for faulty genes that may increase the risk of getting certain cancers.

The sex organs. Often used to mean the external sexual organs.

A test that provides information about the risk of the cancer coming back and whether chemotherapy will be of benefit. Also called a molecular assay.

A series of tests that looks for patterns of abnormalities within cancer cells.

Cells that produce eggs in females and sperm in males. Also called germinal cells.

An alternative nutritional therapy based on pure fruit and vegetable juices and coffee enemas to detoxify the body.

Specialised organs or groups of cells that make various fluids that are used in the body or excreted.

Cells that release mucus, hormones or other substances.

A way of grading prostate cancer. Being replaced by the Grade Group system.

A type of nervous system cell that surrounds and holds neurons in place, nourishes them and gets rid of dead cells and germs. Also called neuroglia.

A type of high-grade astrocytoma. Previously known as glioblastoma multiforme.

A brain tumour that begins in the glial cells. Types of glioma include astrocytoma, glioblastoma, oligodendroglioma and ependymoma.

The surgical removal of part or all of the tongue.

The part of the larynx containing the vocal cords.

A hormone that increases the sugar (glucose) levels in the blood.

A type of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumour that releases too much glucagon.

The muscles that make up the bottom.

An enlarged thyroid, usually benign.

Long-acting hormone produced in the brain that tells the pituitary gland to release sex hormones, which in turn stimulate the ovaries and the testicles.

Synthetically produced long-acting hormone that mimics the naturally produced GnRH, and which is used to slow or stop the function of the ovaries.

A score that describes how quickly a tumour is likely to grow.

A way of grading prostate cancer on a scale of 1 to 5, with higher numbers indicating faster-growing cancer.

A possible complication of allogeneic stem cell transplants. It happens when immune cells in the transplanted tissue (the graft) attack the cells of the person receiving the transplant (the host).

A type of white blood cell of the myeloid family. There are four different kinds of granulocytes: neutrophils, eosinophils, basophils and mast cells.

A protein that helps the bone marrow produce more neutrophils to reduce the risk of infection.

The way we process and adjust to loss. Grief can affect all parts of your life.

The area between the abdomen and thigh on either side of the body. The adjective is inguinal (e.g. inguinal hernia).

A protein that stimulates the development and growth of cells.

A type of meditation in which a person is led through imagining a series of scenes that promote healing thoughts to achieve peace and relaxation.

Cancers of the female reproductive system. They include cervical, ovarian, uterine, vaginal and vulvar cancers.

A gynaecologist who specialises in treating cancer of the female reproductive organs.

A doctor who specialises in diseases of the female reproductive system.

Enlargement of male breast tissue.

Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2. A type of protein that is involved in cell growth.

The virus that causes AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome).

A test that can detect the human papillomavirus (HPV).

A doctor who specialises in studying and treating diseases of the blood, bone marrow and lymphatic system.

A collection of blood that clots to form a solid swelling.

Blood in the urine.

A condition that causes the body to absorb more iron than usual from food.

The muscles on the back of the leg between the knee and the hip.

Any form of behaviour, including a one-off incident, that is unwelcome, offensive, humiliating, threatening or intimidating. Harassment is considered discrimination if it occurs because of a person’s disability.

A formal process where you ask your credit provider to vary the terms of your loan contract because you are temporarily unable to make the loan repayments.

The use of soft touch or passing hands over the body to restore harmony and balance by working with the flow of vital energy in the body.

A group of health professionals who are responsible for treating the person you care for. This may also be called the multidisciplinary team (MDT).

A sensation of tightness or burning in the chest. Heartburn is caused by stomach acid being released back up into the oesophagus and throat (reflux).

Chemotherapy in which the drugs are heated and inserted directly into the abdomen for 60–90 minutes during a peritonectomy. Sometimes called “hot chemotherapy”.

Long chains of proteins in an antibody such as paraprotein.

A type of highly targeted external beam radiation therapy that uses a machine that rotates around you.

Bacteria that can live in the stomach and small bowel and may lead to stomach ulcers and cancer. Also called H. pylori.

The surgical removal of part of the thyroid. Also called a partial thyroidectomy.

Surgery to remove all or part of the liver.

The main blood vessel carrying blood from the heart to the liver.

A build-up of toxins in the body, which can affect brain function.

Inflammation in the liver, usually caused by a virus.

A rare type of primary liver cancer that affects young children.

The main cell type in the liver; makes up about 60% of the liver.

A part of a plant, such as leaves, flowers, roots or berries.

The use of herbs taken by mouth or applied to the body to treat and prevent illness, and to strengthen the body. Also known as botanical medicine.

When an organ or tissue sticks out (protrudes) from its usual location due to a weakness of the muscle surrounding it.

A type of central venous access device inserted into a vein in the chest.

Care of the whole person. It can include different types of therapies and services to ensure that a person’s physical, emotional, cultural, social and spiritual needs are met. Palliative care is holistic care.

Health care that assesses the causes and effects of disease, and the way the different systems of the body impact on each other.

Based on the idea of treating “like with like”. Treats disease with very small amounts of natural substances that in larger amounts would produce symptoms of the disease.

Proteins in a cell that bind to specific hormones.

See menopause hormone therapy (MHT).

A treatment that blocks the body’s natural hormones, which sometimes help cancer cells grow. Also called endocrine or hormone-blocking therapy.

Chemicals in the body that send information between cells. Hormones control many of the body’s functions, including how you grow, develop and reproduce.

A place that provides comprehensive care for people with a life-limiting illness. This may include inpatient medical care, respite care and end-of-life care. It may also offer day care facilities and home visiting teams. Also known as a palliative care unit.

A group of viruses that can cause infection in the skin surfaces of different areas of the body, including the genital areas. HPV is a risk factor for some types of cancer. Also called the wart virus.

The section of an organisation that deals with employees and issues relating to employees, e.g. work health and safety, leave, recruitment, grievance handling, staff training.

The build-up of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain.

Higher than normal levels of calcium in the blood.

Chemotherapy in which the drugs are heated and inserted directly into the abdomen for 60–90 minutes during a peritonectomy.

A benign condition that occurs when the thyroid produces too many hormones. Also known as overactive thyroid.

A syndrome triggered when blood thickens and starts to circulate more slowly.

A type of counselling. The practitioner induces a deep relaxation to allow the patient’s subconscious (inner) mind to communicate its thoughts with their conscious (aware) mind.

The surgical removal of part of the lower throat.

The lowest part of the back of the throat.

A birth defect in which the opening of the urethra is not in its normal place.

An endocrine gland in the brain that controls the release of hormones from the pituitary gland.

A benign condition that occurs when the thyroid produces too few hormones. Also known as underactive thyroid.

Surgical removal of the uterus. A total hysterectomy also removes the cervix.

A procedure to look inside the uterus using a hysteroscope, a long tube with a tiny light and camera.

A form of iodine often used for imaging tests or as a treatment for thyroid cancer. Also known as radioactive iodine (RAI).

A surgically created opening (stoma) in the abdomen to the outside of the body. It is made from the ileum (part of the small bowel). Also, the operation that creates this stoma.

The lowest section of the small bowel; transfers waste to the large bowel.

The use of imaging techniques, such as x-ray or CT scans, at the start of each radiation therapy session. IGRT allows positioning to be very finely adjusted.

Reconstructing the breast shape at the same time as the initial breast cancer surgery.

A medicine that releases quickly and lasts only 30 minutes.

A device, such as a mask, breast board or cushion, that helps keep a person in a fixed position during radiation therapy.

A network of cells and organs that defends the body against attacks by foreign invaders, such as bacteria and viruses. Includes the lymphatic system.

A test that checks faeces for microscopic traces of blood.

Weakening of the immune system, often caused by disease or treatment.

A protein that is produced by plasma cells and fights infections.

Drugs that interact with the immune system to attack cancer cells in a number of different ways.

A test that looks for certain markers on the surface of cells.

A medicine that reduces the actions of the immune system.

Drugs that use the body’s own immune system to fight cancer.

An artificial device that is surgically inserted into the body to replace tissue or an organ that has been damaged or removed, such as a breast.

A type of breast reconstruction that reconstructs the breast by inserting an implant under or above the chest muscle.

Inability to get or keep an erection firm enough for penetration. Also called erectile dysfunction.

When an egg is fertilised with sperm in a laboratory and later implanted into a female body.

A cut made into the body during surgery

Money you receive through wages, investments (such as shares or property), superannuation or government benefits.

A type of insurance that can help you manage your expenses if you are unable to work for a certain amount of time. If you claim this type of insurance, you are usually paid a proportion of your salary for the period you are unable to work or a specified time. Also called salary continuance insurance.

A series of regular income payments from your superannuation made directly to you by your fund. Sometimes called a superannuation pension.

The accidental or involuntary loss of urine (wee or pee) or faeces (poo).

A thin tube inserted into either the pleural or peritoneal cavity to help drain a build-up of fluid. Sometimes called an indwelling drain.

The inability to conceive a child.

A benign condition that causes inflammation of the bowel.

Cancer that affects the lymphatic vessels in the skin of the breast causing the breast to become red and swollen.

Receiving and understanding all relevant information, such as potential risks, before agreeing to or declining medical treatment.

Receiving and understanding all relevant information about the likely cost of treatment.

A herbal remedy prepared by steeping dried herbs in hot or boiling water. Also known as herbal tea.

A bulge in the groin caused when some bowel or fatty tissue comes out through a weak spot in the abdominal muscles.

Surgical removal of lymph nodes from the groin area.

A task, duty, responsibility or element that is an essential part of a job.

Not able to be removed with surgery. Also called unresectable.

A person who stays in hospital while having treatment.

The deliberate injection of semen into a female body for the purpose of achieving conception/pregnancy.

Trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep, or waking up in the early morning and not being able to get back to sleep.

Small parts of a debt that are paid at set times, as agreed with your lender.

A hormone released by the pancreas to regulate the amount of sugar (glucose) in the blood. If your body does not produce enough insulin, you will develop diabetes.

A contract between a company and an individual that guarantees a payment in the case of covered loss, accidents or death.

The combined use of evidence-based complementary therapies and conventional medicine. Also known as integrative medicine.

A highly accurate type of external beam radiation therapy that shapes and divides multiple radiation beams into many beamlets that vary in strength.

The rate that a lender charges a borrower for the use of the loan. This is usually expressed as a percentage of the total amount loaned.

A substance that occurs naturally within the body and which enhances the immune system’s fight against viruses.

Radiation therapy delivered to the cancer from within the body. Brachytherapy is the most common type of internal radiation therapy. Other types include radionuclide therapy and SIRT (selective internal radiation therapy).

A specialist doctor who uses imaging scans to diagnose cancer, may perform a biopsy under ultrasound or CT, and may deliver some treatments.

Being physically and emotionally close to someone.

Inability to digest a particular food properly.

Increased pressure in the skull caused by a brain tumour taking up too much space or blocking the flow of cerebrospinal fluid, or by swelling after surgery.

An IVF procedure in which a single sperm is injected directly into an egg.

A technique of putting chemotherapy into the abdominal cavity.

Blood that collects in the scrotum.

Chemotherapy drugs that are delivered through a lumbar puncture.

A non-invasive condition that may turn into testicular cancer.

Depositing sperm directly into the uterus to increase the chances of conceiving. Also called artificial insemination.

Injected into a vein.

Chemotherapy delivered into a vein through a drip or pump.

A slow injection of a substance into a vein.

Cancer that has spread from the lining of the breast ducts or lobules into the surrounding breast tissue.

An element that allows the thyroid to produce hormones. Iodine is found in foods such as seafood, iodised table salt, eggs and some breads.

The band of tissue that connects the two lobes of the thyroid.

A condition caused by high levels of a substance called bilirubin in the blood. This can occur when the bile ducts are blocked or the liver is not working properly. Jaundice causes yellow, itchy skin; the whites of the eyes to turn yellow; pale stools (poo); and dark urine.

Surgery done through small cuts in the body using a thin viewing instrument with a light and camera. Also known as minimally invasive surgery or laparoscopic surgery.

A pair of organs in the abdomen that remove waste from the blood and make urine.

A genetic disorder in males caused by having an extra X chromosome (XXY) instead of one (XY).

A common abbreviation for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer, asexual and questioning community.

The lips of the vulva. The labia majora are the outer lips. The labia minora are the inner lips.

A chemical found in the blood of some people with seminoma or non-seminoma testicular cancer.

A type of sugar found in milk and some milk products. Lactose is digested by an enzyme found in the digestive system called lactase.

A layer of tissue and blood vessels surrounding the inner layer of the bladder (urothelium).

Surgery that involves cutting into the spinal column and removing a spinal cord tumour.

A thin viewing instrument with a light and camera that is inserted through a cut in the abdomen to look inside the abdomen and pelvis during keyhole surgery.

Surgery done through small cuts in the abdomen using a thin viewing instrument called a laparoscope.

A type of open surgery in which a long cut is made in the abdomen to examine and remove internal organs.

Part of the lower digestive system. The large bowel stores waste until it leaves the body as faeces. Its main sections are the colon and rectum. Also called the large intestine.

A procedure to remove cervical tissue for examination and to treat some precancerous changes of the cervix. Also called loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP).

The surgical removal of the larynx. In a partial laryngectomy, part of the larynx is removed. In a total laryngectomy, the whole larynx is removed.

The surgical removal of all of the larynx and most of the pharynx.

A procedure that allows the doctor to closely examine the back of the throat, including the larynx and pharynx. See also endoscopy and microlaryngoscopy.

The voice box. The larynx is the part of the throat that contains the vocal cords and connects the throat with the windpipe.

The use of a laser beam to remove tissue.

Side effects of cancer treatment that occur several months or years after treatment has been completed.

The interval between exposure to a cancer-causing material and the clinical appearance of disease.

A type of flap reconstruction that reconstructs the breast shape using the latissimus dorsi muscle.

A broad, flat muscle in the back.

A medicine that stimulates bowel motions and relieves constipation.

An area of abnormal tissue.

In Australia, a type of cancer that has between 6 and 12 incidences per year per 100,000 population.

A procedure to quickly reduce the white blood cell count to a safe level.

Sex drive, sexual desire.

A type of counselling in which a coach collaborates with the client to set goals and work out ways to change the client’s life to achieve them.

An illness that is unlikely to be cured and will cause death at some stage in the future. A person with a life-limiting illness may live for weeks, months or even years.

Factors that help give a holistic (well-rounded) picture of your health and wellbeing. These include what you eat and drink; how much you exercise; your occupation and its risks; relationships; stress and pressures in your life; and whether you smoke.

Short chains of proteins in an antibody such as paraprotein.

A machine used to create high-energy x-ray or electron radiation beams for use in external beam radiation therapy.

The surgical transfer of fat from one part of the body to another using liposuction. The fat is injected under the skin to improve shape and contour.

Herbal remedies in which the herb is extracted in a concentrated form into a solution of water and alcohol. The extract is further diluted in water when taken.

A substance that is applied to the skin to freeze and kill abnormal skin cells.

A test that looks for cervical cell abnormalities if the cervical screening test finds HPV. Similar to the Pap test.

A large organ in the top right side of the abdomen. Its functions include making bile, which helps digestion.

A blood test to see how well the liver is working before, during and after treatment.

A section of an organ.

An operation to remove a lobe of an organ.

The milk-producing glands in the breast.

A medicine that blocks the feeling of pain in a specific location in the body for a short time.

A surgical cut to remove a small lesion.

Cancer that has spread to nearby organs or blood vessels and cannot be removed with surgery.

A type of leave that’s generally available to employees after they’ve spent a long period of time with a single employer.

A casual employee who has been employed by the same employer regularly and on a systematic basis for at least 12 months, and who has a reasonable expectation of continuing employment.

A procedure to remove cervical tissue for examination and to treat some precancerous changes of the cervix. Also called large loop excision of the transformation zone (LLETZ).

Activity that is easy and doesn’t cause much exertion.

A test in which a needle is inserted into the spinal column to collect a sample of cerebrospinal fluid. Also called a spinal tap.

Surgery that removes a lump without removing the entire breast. Also called breast-conserving surgery or wide local excision.

The two spongy organs in the chest. The lungs are made up of many tiny air sacs and are used for breathing. They are part of the respiratory system.

A hormone produced by the pituitary gland. It tells an ovary to release an egg and the testicles to make testosterone.

A clear fluid that circulates around the body through the lymphatic system. It carries white blood cells (lymphocytes) that help fight infection.

Removal of the lymph nodes from a part of the body. Also called lymphadenectomy.

Small, bean-shaped structures found in groups throughout the body. They help protect the body against disease and infection. Also called lymph glands.

Thin tubes that carry the clear fluid known as lymph all over the body.

Removal of the lymph nodes from a part of the body. Also called a lymph node dissection.

A type of specialised massage designed to stimulate the flow of lymph in the body’s tissues.

A network of vessels, nodes and organs that removes excess fluid from tissues, absorbs fatty acids, transports fat and produces immune cells.

A collection of fluid under a wound after an operation. Also called a seroma.

A type of white blood cell that helps fight infection. Lymphocytes destroy bacteria, viruses and other harmful substances.

Swelling caused by a build-up of lymph fluid. Can develop in the neck, arm or leg.

One of the two families of white blood cells. The lymphoid family only produces white blood cells.

A disease that increases the risk of developing some types of cancer such as bowel, ovarian or uterus.

Areas where bone has been damaged.

Magnetic resonance imaging scan. A scan that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to take detailed cross-sectional pictures of the body.

Drugs that block mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), an enzyme that tells cancer cells to grow and spread.

A more detailed MRI scan that can check the bile duct for blockages.

Chemotherapy given for months or years after the initial treatment to prevent the cancer coming back.

Treatment given for months or years after the initial treatment to prevent the cancer coming back.

Cancerous. Malignant cells can spread (metastasise) and eventually cause death if they cannot be treated.

An imbalance of nutrients in the body, which can affect overall health and how the body responds to cancer treatment and recovery.

A low-dose x-ray of the breast.

The lower jaw.

The surgical removal of part or all of the lower jaw.

Cutting through the lower jaw to reach the mouth or throat.

The edge of tissue removed during surgery. Clear or negative margin means no cancer cells were found on the edge of the removed tissue. Positive margin means cancer cells were found on the edge of the tissue.

A bodywork therapy in which muscles are stimulated, stretched and relaxed through specialised pressure.

Surgery to remove the whole breast.

A bra designed for women who have had a breast removed. Each cup has a pocket to hold a breast prosthesis. Also called a pocketed bra.

Stimulation of the genitals without sexual intercourse to reach orgasm.

The upper jaw.

Sinuses located under the eyes and in the cheek area.

The surgical removal of part or all of the upper jaw.

An assessment of someone’s financial situation to work out whether they are eligible for financial assistance.

The use of a battery-powered device such as an electrolarynx to create vocal sounds.

A surgical procedure for examining the lymph nodes at the centre of the chest and removing a sample, if necessary.

The area in the chest between the lungs. It contains the heart and large blood vessels, the oesophagus, the trachea and many lymph nodes.

An informal type of resolution using a mediator or negotiator who communicates between two parties to settle differences and problems. Also called conciliation.

When a health care provider is proven to have breached their duty of care to a patient, causing injury or personal loss.

A doctor who treats cancer with drug therapies such as chemotherapy, targeted therapy and immunotherapy.

Notes about a person’s health care history (e.g. scan and test results and doctors’ recommendations).

Cannabis that is approved for medical use.

A mind–body technique that focuses on breathing, learning to still the mind, and thinking only about the present.

Dark pigment produced in melanocytes that gives skin its colour.

One of the three types of cells that make up the top layer of the skin (epidermis). Melanocytes produce melanin.

The thin layers of protective tissue (membranes) that surround the brain and spinal cord.

A low-grade brain or spinal cord tumour that starts in the meninges.

When a woman stops having periods (menstruating). This can happen naturally; because of cancer treatment; or because the ovaries have been removed.

Drug therapy that supplies the body with hormones that it is no longer able to produce naturally. Previously known as hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

A woman’s monthly bleed from the vagina. Also called periods.

An invisible energy channel in the body. In traditional Chinese medicine, the body is believed to have meridians through which vital energy called qi flows to keep people balanced and healthy.

A type of cell located in the epidermis.

The cells of the mesothelium.

A membrane that lines the chest cavity (pleura) and abdominal cavity (peritoneum), and surrounds the heart (pericardium).

The chemical process by which food is changed into energy in the body.

Surgical removal of tumours that have spread from cancer that started in another organ in the body.

Cancer that has spread from a primary cancer in another part of the body. Also called secondary cancer.

A procedure using a stainless steel instrument called a laryngoscope to examine the throat and voice box and take a tissue sample. It is done under general anaesthetic.

Surgery on very small structures of the body using miniature instruments under a microscope.

Learning to live more fully in the here-and-now by intentionally bringing your attention to the present moment.

A type of meditation based on the concept of being “mindful”. This means paying attention to the present.

Techniques that help people address emotional issues and other problems that have a mental component, such as anxiety, depression, stress and pain.

A highly processed and refined colourless and odourless oil used by some massage therapists.

Components of food that are needed to keep the body healthy, e.g. iron, zinc and calcium.

The lowest amount that must be paid in each repayment period on a loan, credit card or other debt.

Genes that help the cell’s DNA repair itself.

A measure of how quickly melanoma cells divide.

Activity that isn’t too hard, but is hard enough to be of benefit. Breathing and heart rates increase during moderate intensity activity.

Specialised surgery to remove skin cancers one segment at a time until only healthy cells remain. Also called microscopically controlled excision.

A small, dark spot on the skin that arises from skin cells called melanocytes. Also called a naevus.

Testing that looks for changes in the genes involved in cancer.

A blood condition that resembles chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, but is not classed as leukaemia as there are not enough abnormal cells present. It sometimes turns into chronic
lymphocytic leukaemia.

A group of drugs that lock onto a protein on the surface of cancer cells to interfere with the growth or survival of the cancer cells.

A non-cancerous condition in which low levels of paraprotein are present in the blood. This condition may increase the risk of developing myeloma.

The area of fatty tissue above the labia. It is covered with pubic hair.

The movement of sperm.

The outward expression of sorrow for a loss, often influenced by cultural customs and rituals (e.g. wearing black, lowering flags at half-mast).

A multi-parametric magnetic resonance imaging scan. It’s a type of MRI scan.

Moist tissue that lines organs of the body.

Sores in the mouth or throat.

A slippery, stringy substance produced by the lungs, nose and sinuses.

A system where all members of the treatment team discuss a patient’s physical and emotional needs.

A clinic with a team of pain specialists and allied health professionals specialising in the treatment of chronic pain.

A team of health professionals who work together to discuss a patient’s physical and emotional needs and decide on which treatment to recommend.

A benign condition that increases the risk of developing endocrine tumours.

The thickest layer of tissue in the bladder; made up of muscle. Also known as the muscle layer.

The use of music to improve health and wellbeing.

A change in a gene causing a permanent change in the DNA sequence that makes up the gene.

A disease that affects the production of healthy blood cells in the bone marrow and sometimes develops into acute myeloid leukaemia.

One of the two families of white blood cells. The myeloid family produces some types of white blood cells, all red blood cells and all platelets.

Smooth muscle tissue that makes up most of the uterus.

The least common type of lymphocyte.

A non-inherited gene change that can cause cells to grow and divide uncontrollably. It increases the risk of developing a melanoma.

A small, dark spot on the skin that arises from skin cells called melanocytes. Also called a mole.

The large, hollow space located behind the nose and in the middle of the face.

An internal examination of the nose and upper airways using a thin, flexible tube with a light and camera on the end.

A thin feeding tube that is passed through a nostril, down the throat and into the stomach.

The upper part of the pharynx that lies behind the nose and above the soft palate.

A board authorised by the government to oversee the registration and professional standards of health care practitioners.

The minimum standards of employment that apply to national system employees from 1 January 2010. They are set out in the Fair Work Act 2009.

A form of nutrition based on the principles of naturopathy. Specific foods are chosen to correct problems in the digestive system and to enhance digestion and absorption of nutrients.

A holistic system of health care incorporating diet, bodywork and herbal medicine to stimulate the body’s own healing system.

Feeling sick or wanting to be sick.

Surgery to remove lymph nodes from the neck. Also known as lymphadenectomy.

Fine, sterile needles inserted into the body during acupuncture. Press needles are like studs, which are covered with tape to help them stay in place.

Chemotherapy given before surgery to make treatment more successful.

A treatment given before another treatment to make that treatment more successful.

A new bladder formed from a section of the small bowel.

Surgical removal of a whole kidney (radical nephrectomy) or part of a kidney (partial nephrectomy). In a radical nephrectomy, the fatty tissue around the kidney and sometimes the adrenal gland and nearby lymph nodes are removed too.

A doctor who specialises in diagnosing and treating kidney disease.

The tiny parts of the kidney that filter blood and form urine.

Surgical removal of the kidney, ureter and the top part of the bladder.

Pain medicine that is injected directly into or around a nerve or into the spine to block pain.

A type of surgery to save the nerves that affect ejaculation and urination.

A doctor who specialises in the brain and nervous system, and treats tumours that do not need surgery.

A cell that transmits electrical impulses that carry information from one part of the body to the other.

Pain caused by pressure on nerves or the spinal cord, or by damage to nerves. Also called nerve pain.

A psychologist who specialises in helping people with brain impairments.

A surgeon who specialises in surgery on the brain and nervous system.

A low level of neutrophils. It can make you more prone to infections.

A type of white blood cell that defends the body against bacteria and yeast.

When you are unable to have food or drink for a period of time before or after surgery.

Constructing the nipple and areola.

A type of mastectomy where the breast skin, nipple and areola are not removed.

A community program that provides interest-free loans for people on low incomes.

A swelling or lump that may be cancerous or non-cancerous.

A type of neuroendocrine tumour that does not produce hormones that cause symptoms.

Precancerous breast condition that is confined to the ducts or lobules of the breast. Also called carcinoma in situ.

Available without a prescription, often from pharmacies and supermarkets. Includes some pain medicines, cold medicines, vitamins and herbal remedies.

A type of mild pain relief often used to reduce inflammation and swelling.

Chemotherapy given as a long-term course directly into the abdomen after a peritonectomy.

Coordinates the delivery of radioactive iodine treatment and nuclear scans.

Nourishing substances that help living things to survive, repair and reproduce. Nutrients from food are processed by the digestive system and carried by the blood to cells throughout the body.

The process of eating and digesting the food that the body needs.

A health professional who provides information and support about nutrition. May be a qualified nutrition scientist or naturopathic nutritionist.

Food that is a good source of energy (kilojoules/calories) and/or protein, as well as vitamins and minerals.

Part of the brain responsible for processing visual information.

A doctor who specialises in managing illness and injury in the workplace. Can formally assess a person’s capacity to return to work and identify suitable workplace changes.

A health professional who helps people solve physical and practical problems after illness, so they can lead independent lives.

Forcing air into the top of the oesophagus and then out again to produce a voice.

The surgical removal of part or all of the oesophagus.

Inflammation or loss of tissue in the lining of the oesophagus.

The examination of the oesophagus with an endoscope.

The food pipe. The passage that carries food from the throat into the stomach.

One of the two major sex hormones in females. It is produced mainly by the ovaries and helps regulate the female reproductive cycle.

Surgical removal of the omentum.

A protective apron of fatty tissue over the abdominal organs.

A doctor who specialises in the study and treatment of cancer.

A surgeon who specialises in using plastic surgery techniques to reconstruct breast tissue after surgery.

An operation in which the cancer is removed, and plastic surgery techniques are used to preserve the appearance of the breast as much as possible.

A type of implant reconstruction completed in one operation; also called direct-to-implant reconstruction.

The surgical removal of an ovary. If both ovaries are removed, it is called a bilateral oophorectomy.

The surgical relocation of one or both ovaries to another area of the body to protect ovarian function. Also called ovarian transposition.

A surgical method that involves one large cut (incision) in the body to view and access the organs.

The strongest pain medicines available. They are used to reduce some types of pain.

The mouth, including the gums, cheek linings, the roof and floor of the mouth, front two-thirds of the tongue, and the small area behind the wisdom teeth.

Chemotherapy given by mouth as tablets or capsules.

A medicine taken by mouth.

The surgical removal of the eye and other tissue around the eye socket.

An operation to remove a testicle and spermatic cord through a cut (incision) in the lower abdomen.

Sexual climax.

Surgical removal of some of the throat behind the mouth.

The middle part of the throat behind the mouth. It includes the soft palate, tonsils and tongue base.

Special x-ray used to examine the jaw and teeth of people with mouth cancer

A condition in which bone tissue of the jaw breaks down, causing pain.

Thinning and weakening of the bones that can lead to bone pain and fractures.

A potential side effect of radiation therapy in which bone tissue breaks down.

The difference between what you are charged, and the amount Medicare or your health fund will pay.

A person who receives medical treatment without being admitted into hospital.

Stopping the ovaries from producing oestrogen by surgically removing the ovaries (oophorectomy) or giving a dose of radiation therapy to the ovaries.