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Adjuvant therapy

Adjuvant therapy is a medical term for a secondary form of treatment you receive for your cancer. Adjuvant therapy aims to reduce the likelihood of your cancer returning. Adjuvant therapies can include biological therapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy and radiotherapy.


Advanced cancer

If a doctor describes your cancer as ‘advanced’, they mean it has spread from where it started to another part of your body. Advanced cancers can not be cured.


Aggressive cancer

A clinician may describe your cancer as ‘aggressive’, which means that it grows or spreads quickly. It’s not a medical term to describe the progress of your disease.



Not all tumours are cancerous; some can be benign. A benign tumour is a medical term for a non-cancerous tumour. Benign tumours can cause medical problems if left untreated. Any abnormal growth, however slow-growing, should be assessed by a medical professional.


Biological therapy

Biological therapies use living organisms, or laboratory-produced synthetic versions, to treat cancer. Biological therapies include immunotherapy, which stimulates the body’s immune system to act against cancer cells within the body. Other forms of biological therapy can include treatments to slow the growth and progress of tumours or introducing antibodies which can disrupt cancer cell activity.



Biological markers (biomarkers) allow scientists to capture what’s happening within a cell or an organism at any moment. By studying biomarkers within the body, scientists can diagnose, monitor and even predict the risk of diseases such as cancer developing.



During a biopsy, a small sample of tissue is taken from your lump (tumour) for analysis in a laboratory. A specialist doctor called a pathologist will examine the tissue sample to see if it contains cancerous cells.


Blood cells

The blood in our bodies is made up of a mixture of a liquid called plasma and three types of blood cells. Red blood cells transport oxygen to tissues; white blood cells fight infections; platelets help stop the blood from clotting.



The bloodstream is a medical term used to describe the blood flow around the body.


Brain and spinal cord cancers

Brain and spinal cord cancers are caused by abnormal growth of tissue inside the skull or spinal column. They are also known as central nervous system cancers.



Cancer isn’t a single condition, but a name given to over 200 different forms of the disease.

Cancer begins when the cells within the body begin to change abnormally. Instead of dividing, cancer cells within the body continue to grow.


Cancer nurse specialist (CNS)

Cancer nurse specialists are nurses who have highly developed clinical skills. They provide case management, clinical guidance and mental health support to patients. They work closely with patients, keeping them informed and in control of their treatment.


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