Glossary and abbreviations

From Cancer Guidelines Wiki
Term Definition
5-fluorouracil5-fluorouracil is a systemic chemotherapy using fluorouracil. A chemotherapy drug commonly used to treat patients with cancer.
AbdomenThe part of the body between the chest and hips, which contains the stomach, spleen, pancreas, liver, gall bladder, bowel, bladder and kidneys. The part of the body between the chest and hips, which contains the stomach, spleen, pancreas, liver, gall bladder, bowel, bladder and kidneys.
Abdominoperineal resectionAn operation for rectal cancer. This involves removing part of the colon, and the rectum and anus, and creating a permanent colostomy. An operation for rectal cancer. This involves removing part of the colon, and the rectum and anus, and creating a permanent colostomy.
Absolute riskThe risk a subject has for developing the tested disease over a stated time period. The risk a subject has for developing the tested disease over a stated time period.
AdenocarcinomaA type of cancerous tumour that forms from glandular structures in epithelial tissue. A type of cancerous tumour that forms from glandular structures in epithelial tissue.
Adjuvant therapyA treatment given with or shortly after another treatment to make it more effective. This usually refers to surgery followed by chemotherapy or radiotherapy. A treatment given with or shortly after another treatment to make it more effective. This usually refers to surgery followed by chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
AnalgesicA type of drug used to achieve pain relief. A type of drug used to achieve pain relief.
AnaemiaA reduction in the oxygen-carrying component of the blood (haemoglobin or red blood cells). A reduction in the oxygen-carrying component of the blood (haemoglobin or red blood cells).
Anterior resectionA surgical procedure to remove cancer in the rectum with the bowel being re-joined to leave a functioning anus. A surgical procedure to remove cancer in the rectum with the bowel being re-joined to leave a functioning anus.
AntibioticA medicine that destroys or kills microorganisms. A medicine that destroys or kills microorganisms.
AnusThe opening between the buttocks at the end of the bowel, through which solid waste (poo, stool) leaves the body. The opening between the buttocks at the end of the bowel, through which solid waste (poo, stool) leaves the body.
AspirinA common medication used to treat pain, fever, and inflammation. Also known as acetylsalicylic acid (ASA). A common medication used to treat pain, fever, and inflammation. Also known as acetylsalicylic acid (ASA).
BiopsyThe removal of a small sample of tissue from the body for examination under a microscope to help diagnose a disease. The removal of a small sample of tissue from the body for examination under a microscope to help diagnose a disease.
BisphosphonatesMedication used to slow down or prevent bone loss. Medication used to slow down or prevent bone loss.
Bowel cancerCancer of the large bowel; also known as colorectal cancer, colon cancer or rectal cancer. Cancer of the large bowel; also known as colorectal cancer, colon cancer or rectal cancer.
Bowel obstructionPartial or complete blocking of the bowel, which prevents waste matter passing (bowel movements). Partial or complete blocking of the bowel, which prevents waste matter passing (bowel movements).
Bowel preparationThe process of cleaning out the bowel before a test, scan or operation to allow the doctor to see the bowel more clearly. The process of cleaning out the bowel before a test, scan or operation to allow the doctor to see the bowel more clearly.
Carcinoembryonic antigenA protein that may be found in the blood of a person with colorectal cancer. (CEACarcinoembryonic antigen. A protein that may be found in the blood of a person with colorectal cancer.) A protein that may be found in the blood of a person with colorectal cancer.
Close marginWhen cancer cells are close to the edge of the removed tissue. When cancer cells are close to the edge of the removed tissue.
ChemopreventionThe use of drugs or natural substances to prevent or delay the development of cancer. The use of drugs or natural substances to prevent or delay the development of cancer.
ColectomyThe surgical removal of all or part of the colon. The affected areas of the colon are cut out and the two ends are joined back together. Colectomies are named for the part removed. They include: right and left hemicolectomies, and transverse, sigmoid, subtotal and total colectomies. The surgical removal of all or part of the colon. The affected areas of the colon are cut out and the two ends are joined back together. Colectomies are named for the part removed. They include: right and left hemicolectomies, and transverse, sigmoid, subtotal and total colectomies.
ColonThe main part of the large bowel, which absorbs water and electrolytes from undigested food (solid waste). Its four parts are the ascending colon, transverse colon, descending colon and sigmoid colon. The main part of the large bowel, which absorbs water and electrolytes from undigested food (solid waste). Its four parts are the ascending colon, transverse colon, descending colon and sigmoid colon.
ColonoscopyAn examination of the large bowel using a camera on a flexible tube, which is passed through the anus. An examination of the large bowel using a camera on a flexible tube, which is passed through the anus.
ColorectalReferring to the large bowel, comprising the colon and rectum. Referring to the large bowel, comprising the colon and rectum.
Confidence intervalA measure that quantifies the uncertainty in measurement. When reported as 95% CI, it is the range of values within which we can be 95% sure that the true value for the whole population lies. A measure that quantifies the uncertainty in measurement. When reported as 95% CI, it is the range of values within which we can be 95% sure that the true value for the whole population lies.
Consensus-based recommendationA recommendation formulated in the absence of quality evidence, after a systematic review of the evidence was conducted and failed to identify admissible evidence on the clinical question. A recommendation formulated in the absence of quality evidence, after a systematic review of the evidence was conducted and failed to identify admissible evidence on the clinical question.
Cost-effectiveness analysisA form of economic analysis comparing the relative costs and outcomes (effects) of different courses of action. A form of economic analysis comparing the relative costs and outcomes (effects) of different courses of action.
CT colonographyAlso known as virtual colonoscopy, a medical imaging procedure that uses low dose radiation CT scanning to obtain an interior view of the colon (the large bowel) that is otherwise only seen with a more invasive procedure where an endoscope is inserted into the rectum and passed through the entire colon. Also known as virtual colonoscopy, a medical imaging procedure that uses low dose radiation CT scanning to obtain an interior view of the colon (the large bowel) that is otherwise only seen with a more invasive procedure where an endoscope is inserted into the rectum and passed through the entire colon.
CT scanA computerised tomography (CT) scan, which x-ray equipment to create detailed digital images, or scans, of areas inside the body. A computerised tomography (CT) scan, which x-ray equipment to create detailed digital images, or scans, of areas inside the body.
Cytoreductive surgeryA surgery to remove as much cancerous growth as possible from multiple sites in the abdomen. A surgery to remove as much cancerous growth as possible from multiple sites in the abdomen.
DehiscenceA surgical complication where a wound ruptures along a surgical incision. A surgical complication where a wound ruptures along a surgical incision.
Distant metastasisCancer that has spread from the original (primary) tumour to distant organs or distant lymph nodes. Cancer that has spread from the original (primary) tumour to distant organs or distant lymph nodes.
Distant recurrenceWhen the cancer has spread (metastasised) to organs or tissues far from the place of the original cancer. When the cancer has spread (metastasised) to organs or tissues far from the place of the original cancer.
DyspepsiaIndigestion. Indigestion.
Endorectal ultrasoundAn imaging procedure where a probe is inserted into the rectum and high frequency sound waves (ultrasound waves) are generated to look for abnormalities in the rectum and nearby structures. (ERUSAn imaging procedure where a probe is inserted into the rectum and high frequency sound waves (ultrasound waves) are generated to look for abnormalities in the rectum and nearby structures.) An imaging procedure where a probe is inserted into the rectum and high frequency sound waves (ultrasound waves) are generated to look for abnormalities in the rectum and nearby structures.
Evidence-based recommendationA recommendation formulated after a systematic review of the evidence, indicating supporting references. A recommendation formulated after a systematic review of the evidence, indicating supporting references.
Faecal immunochemical testSee FOBT. (FiTSee FOBT.) See FOBT.
Faecal occult blood test (FOBT)A test that can detect microscopic amounts of blood in stools. Types of FOBT include immunochemical FOBTs (iFOBTs), which directly detect haemoglobin using antibodies specific for the globin moiety of human haemoglobin, and guaiac FOBTs (gFOBTs), which detect peroxidase activity, an indirect method for identification of haemoglobin. A test that can detect microscopic amounts of blood in stools. Types of FOBT include immunochemical FOBTs (iFOBTs), which directly detect haemoglobin using antibodies specific for the globin moiety of human haemoglobin, and guaiac FOBTs (gFOBTs), which detect peroxidase activity, an indirect method for identification of haemoglobin.
Familial syndromesGenetic disorders in which inherited genetic mutations in one or more genes predispose a person to developing cancer, particularly at an early age. Genetic disorders in which inherited genetic mutations in one or more genes predispose a person to developing cancer, particularly at an early age.
First presentationIn this guideline, first presentation is defined as a positive screening iFOBT. In this guideline, first presentation is defined as a positive screening iFOBTA test that can detect microscopic amounts of blood in stools. Types of FOBT include immunochemical FOBTs (iFOBTs), which directly detect haemoglobin using antibodies specific for the globin moiety of human haemoglobin, and guaiac FOBTs (gFOBTs), which detect peroxidase activity, an indirect method for identification of haemoglobin..
Flexible sigmoidoscopyA procedure used by physicians to examine the inner lining of the rectum, particularly the lower portion of the colon (unlike the colonoscopy that examines the entirety of the colon). It consists of a flexible tube that is approximately 60 cm long, a small light and a camera attached at the tip of the tube. A procedure used by physicians to examine the inner lining of the rectum, particularly the lower portion of the colon (unlike the colonoscopy that examines the entirety of the colon). It consists of a flexible tube that is approximately 60 cm long, a small light and a camera attached at the tip of the tube.
FOLFOXSystemic chemotherapy using a combination of the drugs Leucovorin (folinic acid), Fluorouracil, and Oxaliplatin. Systemic chemotherapyAnti-cancer drugs that are injected into a vein or given by mouth. These drugs travel through the bloodstream to all parts of the body. using a combination of the drugs Leucovorin (folinic acid), Fluorouracil, and Oxaliplatin.
General practitonerA medical professional who treats acute and chronic illnesses and provides preventive care and health education to a wide range of patients. (GPA medical professional who treats acute and chronic illnesses and provides preventive care and health education to a wide range of patients.) A medical professional who treats acute and chronic illnesses and provides preventive care and health education to a wide range of patients.
Hazard ratioA measure of how often a particular event happens in one group compared to how often it happens in another group, over time. In cancer research, hazard ratios are often used in clinical trials to measure survival at any particular moment in a group of patients who have been given a specific treatment or a placebo. A hazard ratio of one means that there is no difference in survival between the two groups. A hazard ratio of greater than one or less than one means that survival was better in one of the groups. A measure of how often a particular event happens in one group compared to how often it happens in another group, over time. In cancer research, hazard ratios are often used in clinical trials to measure survival at any particular moment in a group of patients who have been given a specific treatment or a placebo. A hazard ratio of one means that there is no difference in survival between the two groups. A hazard ratio of greater than one or less than one means that survival was better in one of the groups.
Helicobacter pyloriA type of bacteria that grows in the digestive tract. A type of bacteria that grows in the digestive tract.
High anterior resectionA type of surgical procedure sometimes referred to as sigmoid colectomy or sigmoidectomy, where the sigmoid colon is removed, along with the upper rectum and a portion of the left colon. A type of surgical procedure sometimes referred to as sigmoid colectomy or sigmoidectomy, where the sigmoid colon is removed, along with the upper rectum and a portion of the left colon.
Hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapyA highly concentrated, heated chemotherapy treatment that is delivered directly to the abdomen during surgery. A highly concentrated, heated chemotherapy treatment that is delivered directly to the abdomen during surgery.
ImagingUsing scans, including nuclear medicine, to create images of the interior of a body for clinical analysis and medical intervention. Using scans, including nuclear medicine, to create images of the interior of a body for clinical analysis and medical intervention.
IncidenceAn epidemiological term reporting number of new cases in a population within a specified period of time. An epidemiological term reporting number of new cases in a population within a specified period of time.
Incisional herniaA type of hernia caused by an incompletely healed surgical wound. A type of hernia caused by an incompletely healed surgical wound.
Intention-to-treat analysisThis analysis includes all subjects originally enrolled and allocated to treatment irrespective of whether treatment was adhered to, treatment changed or even if they were lost to follow-up. This analysis includes all subjects originally enrolled and allocated to treatment irrespective of whether treatment was adhered to, treatment changed or even if they were lost to follow-up.
Laparoscopic surgeryA procedure where small multiple incisions are made to perform an operation, rather than making a large open incision. A procedure where small multiple incisions are made to perform an operation, rather than making a large open incision.
LaparotomyA surgical procedure involving a large incision through the abdominal wall to gain access into the abdominal cavity. A surgical procedure involving a large incision through the abdominal wall to gain access into the abdominal cavity.
Local recurrenceThe reappearance of cancer at a site that was previously treated and responded to therapy. The reappearance of cancer at a site that was previously treated and responded to therapy.
Local transanal resectionThe local resection of tumour through the anus. The local resection of tumour through the anus.
LymphorrheaThe leakage of the lymph node which can be through cutting, tearing or the bursting of blood vessels. The leakage of the lymph node which can be through cutting, tearing or the bursting of blood vessels.
Medical Benefits Schedule (MBS)A listing of Medicare services subsidised by the Australian Government. A listing of Medicare services subsidised by the Australian Government.
MetastasisThe spread of cancer cells to new areas of the body (often by way of the lymph system or bloodstream). The spread of cancer cells to new areas of the body (often by way of the lymph system or bloodstream).
MetastaticCancer that has spread from the primary site of origin (where it started) into different area(s) of the body. Cancer that has spread from the primary site of origin (where it started) into different area(s) of the body.
MetforminA medication used to control blood sugar levels. A medication used to control blood sugar levels.
MRI scanMagnetic resonance imaging scan. A procedure in which radio waves and a magnet linked to a computer are used to create detailed digital images of areas inside the body. Magnetic resonance imaging scan. A procedure in which radio waves and a magnet linked to a computer are used to create detailed digital images of areas inside the body.
NarcoticDrugs used to treat severe pain. Drugs used to treat severe pain.
National Bowel Cancer Screening ProgramAn Australian screening program that aims to reduce illness and death from bowel cancer through early detection or prevention of the disease. (NBCSPThe National Bowel Cancer Screening Program. An Australian screening program that aims to reduce illness and death from bowel cancer through early detection or prevention of the disease.) An Australian screening program that aims to reduce illness and death from bowel cancer through early detection or prevention of the disease.
Negative marginWhen cancer cells are not at the edge of the tissue. When cancer cells are not at the edge of the tissue.
Neoadjuvant therapyA type of treatment given as a first step to shrink a tumour before main treatment (usually surgery) is given. A type of treatment given as a first step to shrink a tumour before main treatment (usually surgery) is given.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDsMedications commonly used to manage the pain and inflammation.) Medications commonly used to manage the pain and inflammation.
NormothermiaNormal body temperature. Normal body temperature.
Odds ratioA comparison of the odds (probability) of something happening in 1 group with the odds of it happening in another. A comparison of the odds (probability) of something happening in 1 group with the odds of it happening in another.
PathologyA medical specialty that determines the cause and nature of diseases by examining and testing body tissues, for instance from laboratory examination of samples of body tissue. A medical specialty that determines the cause and nature of diseases by examining and testing body tissues, for instance from laboratory examination of samples of body tissue.
Peri-operative optimisationMeasures and interventions used at or around the time of surgery to improve patient outcomes. Measures and interventions used at or around the time of surgery to improve patient outcomes.
Peritoneal involvementA tumour that occurs in the peritoneal cavity. A tumour that occurs in the peritoneal cavity.
PeritonectomyA surgical procedure to remove the cancerous part of the lining of the abdominal cavity. A surgical procedure to remove the cancerous part of the lining of the abdominal cavity.
PolypA small growth protruding from a mucous membrane, such as the lining of the bowel. A small growth protruding from a mucous membrane, such as the lining of the bowel.
PolypectomyThe removal of polyps from the bowel. The removal of polyps from the bowel.
Positive marginWhen cancer cells are located all the way to the edge of the removed tissue. When cancer cells are located all the way to the edge of the removed tissue.
Positive predictive valueA measure for the likelihood (probability) that the subject with a positive screening result has the disease being tested for. A measure for the likelihood (probability) that the subject with a positive screening result has the disease being tested for.
Positron emission tomographyA scan in which a person is injected with a small amount of radioactive glucose solution to find cancerous areas. (PET) A scan in which a person is injected with a small amount of radioactive glucose solution to find cancerous areas.
Practice pointA recommendation on a subject that is outside the scope of the search strategy for the systematic review, based on expert opinion and formulated by a consensus process. A recommendation on a subject that is outside the scope of the search strategy for the systematic review, based on expert opinion and formulated by a consensus process.
Primary careThe first point of contact people have with the health system, generally through a general practitioner. The first point of contact people have with the health system, generally through a general practitioner.
Primary preventionMeasures to prevent the onset of disease. This may include prevention strategies to modify cancer risk factors, such as dietary and lifestyle interventions, and medical interventions to enhance resistance to the effects of exposure to a disease agent, such as chemoprevention and vaccines. Measures to prevent the onset of disease. This may include prevention strategies to modify cancer risk factors, such as dietary and lifestyle interventions, and medical interventions to enhance resistance to the effects of exposure to a disease agent, such as chemoprevention and vaccines.
ProphylaxisTreatment given or action taken to prevent disease. Treatment given or action taken to prevent disease.
Quality-adjusted life yearA generic measure of disease burden, including both the quality and the quantity of life lived. It is used in economic evaluation to assess the value for money of medical interventions. A generic measure of disease burden, including both the quality and the quantity of life lived. It is used in economic evaluation to assess the value for money of medical interventions.
Randomised controlled trialA study in which people are allocated at random (by chance alone) to receive one of several clinical interventions. One of these interventions is the standard of comparison or control. (RCTA study in which people are allocated at random (by chance alone) to receive one of several clinical interventions. One of these interventions is the standard of comparison or control.) A study in which people are allocated at random (by chance alone) to receive one of several clinical interventions. One of these interventions is the standard of comparison or control.
RectumThe final section of the large bowel, ending at the anus. The final section of the large bowel, ending at the anus.
Regional recurrenceTumour growth in the lymph nodes or tissues near the place of the original cancer. Tumour growth in the lymph nodes or tissues near the place of the original cancer.
Robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgeryA method to perform laparoscopic surgery using small tools attached to a robotic arm. The surgeon controls the robotic arm with a computer. A method to perform laparoscopic surgery using small tools attached to a robotic arm. The surgeon controls the robotic arm with a computer.
ScreeningPerforming tests to identify disease in people before any symptoms appear. Performing tests to identify disease in people before any symptoms appear.
Secondary preventionStrategies such as screening and early detection programs to identify a disease or condition early in its development, to reduce the morbidity and mortality by improving the outcome of disease that has already developed. Strategies such as screening and early detection programs to identify a disease or condition early in its development, to reduce the morbidity and mortality by improving the outcome of disease that has already developed.
Sigmoid colonThe last section of the colon before it connects to the rectum. The last section of the colon before it connects to the rectum.
StagingThe last section of the colon before it connects to the rectum. The last section of the colon before it connects to the rectum.
Statins Drugs used to reduce levels of cholesterol in the blood.
Systemic chemotherapyAnti-cancer drugs that are injected into a vein or given by mouth. These drugs travel through the bloodstream to all parts of the body. Anti-cancer drugs that are injected into a vein or given by mouth. These drugs travel through the bloodstream to all parts of the body.
ThromboembolismThe obstruction of a blood vessel by a blood clot that has become dislodged from another site. The obstruction of a blood vessel by a blood clot that has become dislodged from another site.
Total mesorectal excisionA procedure used in the treatment of colorectal cancer in which a significant length of the bowel around the tumour is removed. A procedure used in the treatment of colorectal cancer in which a significant length of the bowel around the tumour is removed.
Transanal excisionA local excision of rectal cancer performed through the anus. A local excision of rectal cancer performed through the anus.
Transanal minimally invasive surgeryA surgical approach to remove benign polyps and some cancerous tumours within the rectum and lower sigmoid colon without making an excision. A surgical approach to remove benign polyps and some cancerous tumours within the rectum and lower sigmoid colon without making an excision.
Transverse colectomySurgical removal of the middle part of the colon. Surgical removal of the middle part of the colon.
TNMA system that describes the amount and spread of cancer in a patient’s body. T describes the size of the tumour and its spread into nearby tissue; N describes the spread to nearby lymph nodes and M describes metastasis (spread of cancer to other parts of the body). staging system A system that describes the amount and spread of cancer in a patient’s body. T describes the size of the tumour and its spread into nearby tissue; N describes the spread to nearby lymph nodes and M describes metastasis (spread of cancer to other parts of the body).
Venous thromboembolismThe formation of blood clots in the vein. The formation of blood clots in the vein.