Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): A diagnostic test that uses a combination of magnetism and radio waves to create three-dimensional sectional images of part of a person’s body. MRIs are particularly good for soft tissue, brain and spinal cord, joints and abdomen and may be used for detecting some cancers or for following their progress.
Malignant: Cancerous: Malignant cells can spread (metastasise) and can eventually cause death if they cannot be treated.
Mammogram: An x-ray of the breast which can pick up cancers when they are still too small to be felt.
Mastectomy: Surgical removal of the whole breast.
Metastasis: Also known as a secondary cancer. A cancer that has spread from another part of the body.
Morphine: Strong and effective painkiller, which is commonly used to treat people with cancer who have pain.
Multidisciplinary team: A health care team consisting of a group of experts, which may include doctors, nurses, a general practitioner, a surgeon, a medical oncologist, a radiation oncologist, a palliative care specialist, a nurse consultant, nurses, a dietician, a physiotherapist, an occupational therapist, a social worker, a psychologist, a counsellor and/or a pastoral care worker who specialise in the treatment of specific types of cancer. Most doctors who treat the common types of cancer work with experts in a multidisciplinary team. Nerve block: Pain medication that is injected directly into or around a nerve or into the spine to block pain.
Nutrition: Process of eating and digesting the necessary food the body needs.
Nutrition supplement: Food or drink that provides extra energy, protein and/or vitamins. Nutritious/nourishing: Food that is a good source of energy (calories) and/or protein as well as vitamins and minerals. Occupational therapist: Rehabilitation professional who assists individuals to compensate for functional limitations as a result of an injury, illness or disability by learning skills and techniques needed to perform activities of daily living and optimise independence. Oncologist: doctor who specialises in the study and treatment of cancer. Oncology: Study of tumours or cancer. Opioids: Strongest pain relievers available. Include morphine, fentanyl, codeine, oxycodone, hydromorphone and methadone.
Over-the-counter medicines: Medicines you can buy without a doctor’s prescription.
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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