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Glossary

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Acupressure: Treatment of symptoms by applying pressure with the fingers to specific pressure points on the body. Acupuncture: A procedure used in which specific body areas are pierced with fine needles for therapeutic purposes or to relieve pain or produce regional anesthesia.
Addiction: Emotional need for pain medication because of the feeling that is received from the medicine. Advanced cancer: Cancer is said to be “advanced” when it is unlikely to be eradicated by treatment.
Advanced care directive: Legal documents in which you give written instructions about your health care if, in the future, you cannot speak for yourself. Alternative therapies: Are used instead of conventional treatment. These therapies may be harmful if people with cancer delay or stop using conventional treatment in favour of them.
Anaesthetic: A drug that stops a person from feeling pain during a medical procedure. Analgesic: A drug used to relieve pain. Anaemia: Lower-than-normal number of red cells in the blood. Antibiotic: Medication used to fight germs or bacteria that cause infection.
Antiemetic: Medication used to stop or help prevent nausea and vomiting, common side-effects of some chemotherapy.
Anxiety: Uneasy feeling, or a feeling of apprehension.
Benign: Not cancerous, not malignant.
Biofeedback: Learning to control muscles to help control pain with the help of a licensed technician.
Biopsy: The removal of a small amount of tissue from the body, for examination under a microscope, to help diagnose a disease.
Brachytherapy: A type of radiotherapy treatment that implants radioactive material sealed in needles or seeds into or near the tumour.
Bone scan: Bone scans use nuclear medicine imaging to spot cancer in the bone. A radioactive substance is injected into a vein and is attracted to areas of cancer. The radioactivity is recorded by a special camera as a picture. There is a phenomenon called “normal physiological uptake,” which may vary from individual to individual. Also previous trauma or fractures can elicit a positive signal as well.
BRAT diet: Acronym for Banana, Rice, Apples and Toast.
 

 

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Life, Hope & Reality was developed and written by Afaf Girgis, Claire Johnson, and Sylvie Lambert with funding from the NHMRC and Cancer Council NSW.

Last updated 30 August 2015