Holistic care: Care that incorporates different types of therapies and services to ensure that your physical, emotional, spiritual and practical needs are met.
Hormone: Substance that affects how your body works. Some hormones control growth, others control reproduction. They are distributed around the body through the bloodstream.
Hormone replacement therapy: Use of hormones to treat the symptoms of menopause.
Hormone therapy: Treatment to block the body’s natural hormones that help cancer grow.
Hospice: A place which provides comprehensive care for people with a life-threatening illness. This includes inpatient medical care, respite care and care of dying person if he or she is not able/or wish to to die at home.
Immunotherapy: A treatment that attempts to use the body’s own defences to fight cancer by trying to strengthen the immune system so it will destroy the cancer cells.
Incontinence: Inability to hold or control the loss of urine or faeces.
Informed consent form: Form a person signs to show that they understand the information they have been given about a trial and they agree to take part.
Infusion: Refers to a number of sleep complaints including difficulties falling asleep, difficulties staying asleep, poor sleep quality and daytime tiredness.
Insomnia: A long period of time when you are unable to fall sleep.
Interferon: Substance that occurs naturally within your body and which enhances your immune system’s fight against viruses. Interferon is manufactured for use as a medication and has shown anti-tumour activity against some uncommon cancers.
Intolerance: Unable to digest properly.
Intravenous: Into a vein. An intravenous drip gives drugs directly into a vein.
Investigator: Researcher in a treatment trial.
Laxative: Something to relieve constipation.
Lymph: Clear fluid that circulates around the body through the lymphatic system, carrying cells that fight infection.
Lymph nodes: Also called lymph glands. Small bean-shaped structures scattered along the lymphatic vessels, particularly in the neck, armpit and groin. They filter the lymph to remove bacteria and other harmful agents to prevent them from entering the bloodstream. Lymph nodes also produce lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell.
Lymph vessels: Network of thin tubes that transport lymph into tissues all over the body.
Lymphatic system: Network of vessels that carry a clear fluid called lymph from the body’s tissues to the bloodstream. The lymphatic system is part of the body’s immune system and helps the body fight infection.
Lymphoedema: Swelling caused by a build-up of lymph fluid. This happens when lymph nodes do not drain properly, usually after lymph glands are removed.
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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