Glossary


Adjuvant therapy
Treatment given after surgery to remove a cancer, with the aim of reducing the risk of the cancer returning

Advanced cancer
A general term describing stages of cancer in which the disease has spread from where it started (the primary site) to other parts of the body

Alopecia
Loss of hair

Cancer
Abnormal overgrowth of body cells, caused by abnormal and uncontrolled cell division

Anxiety
A multi-component response to a perceived threat or danger which can include psychological, physiological, cognitive and behavioural elements

Benign
Non-cancerous tumours that grow slowly in one place and once removed by surgery tend not to recur

Biopsy
Removal and examination of a sample of tissue from an area of the body

Carcinogen
A carcinogen is a substance or agent that can cause cancer or it increases the risk of developing cancer

Carcinoma
A form of cancer that comes from the lining of an organ or system

Chemotherapy
Use of drugs to treat cancer

Consultant
An experienced medical specialist or a senior doctor

Counselling
The opportunity to talk things over with a trained counsellor

Dermatologist
A physician who specialises in skin diseases

Hormone therapy 
Treatment with hormones to control cancer growth

HSE
Health and Safety Executive

Immune system
The body’s main defence system against infections or foreign substances

Lung cancer
A disease of uncontrolled cell growth in tissues of the lung

Malignant 
A mass of cancer cells that may invade nearby tissues or spread to distant areas of the body

Mesothelioma
A type of cancer that most often starts in the covering of the lungs

Metastatic cancer
Any cancer that has spread to other parts of the body

Nurse specialist
A nurse who has undergone further training and has additional skills and experiences in order to practice in a particular area of nursing

Occupational cancer
A cancer that is caused wholly or partly by exposure to a carcinogen at work

Occupational health nurse
Occupational health nursing is a nursing specialism which covers health and well-being in the workplace

Occupational physician
An occupational physician is a doctor with specialist training and qualifications in occupational medicine

Oncology
The study of cancer, its causes and treatment

Oncologist
A physician with special training in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer

Prognosis
An assessment of the expected future course and outcome of a person’s disease

Radiation therapy  
Treatment with high-energy rays to kill cancer cells and shrink tumours

Radiologist
The one who specialises in understanding and interpreting scans and x-rays

Radiology 
The use of x-rays and scans in the diagnosis and treatment of disease

Rehabilitation
This term is often used in a clinical context to describe the process whereby an individual uses the services of various professionals (eg doctors, nurses, physiotherapists) to restore any functionality they’ve lost due to illness or injury

Terminal cancer
A term mainly used for a cancer that can no longer be treated or cured

Tumour 
An abnormal growth of cells or tissues

Work-related conditions
Medical conditions related to a person's work or occupation, such as workplace chemical exposures

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Stress | Musculoskeletal | Occupational cancer | Skin disorders | Inhalation | Non-work related conditions