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ESMO Patient Guides COVID19 1000x250


A condition in which there is a shortage of haemoglobin


A build up of fluid in the abdomen

Bile duct

The tube through which bile passes in and out of the liver


Relating to bile or the bile duct

Cognitive impairment

Problems with memory, language, thinking and judgment that are greater than normal age-related changes


A group of viruses that cause disease in mammals and birds but may also affect humans


A disease caused by a type of coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)

The formation of a blood clot in a deep vein of the leg or lower pelvis


An abrupt change in the brain that causes mental confusion and emotional disruption. It makes it difficult to think, remember, sleep or pay attention. People with severe delirium may not recognise people and their level of consciousness may fluctuate


A synthetic steroid used in the treatment of some types of cancer. It is administered orally


A protein responsible for transporting oxygen in the blood

Indwelling catheter (PleurX)

A tube placed inside your body and connected to a bottle outside of your body to help drain and collect fluid, typically from a pleural effusion or ascites

Intestinal obstruction

A partial or complete block of the small or large intestine that keeps food, liquid, gas and stool from moving through the intestines in a normal way


A condition in which the skin and the whites of the eyes become yellow, urine darkens and stools becomes lighter than normal. Occurs when the liver is not working properly or a bile duct is blocked


Cancerous tumours that have originated from a primary tumour/growth in another part of the body

Nasogastric tube (NGT)

A tube that is used to deliver food to the stomach via the nose

Pericardial tamponade

A build up of fluid in the sack around the heart, resulting in compression of the heart

Pleural effusion

A condition in which extra fluid collects between the thin layers of tissue lining the lung and the chest cavity wall

Pulmonary embolus

A blockage of an artery in the lungs


Treatment involving the use of high-energy radiation, which is commonly used to treat cancer

Refractory (disease)

A disease that does not respond to treatment


A sudden, uncontrolled electrical disturbance in the brain that can cause changes in behaviour, movements or feelings, and in levels of consciousness

Spinal cord compression

Pressure on the spinal cord, possible caused by a tumour, that can cause pain, numbness, or weakness in the arms, hands, legs or feet


A small tube that is used to keep a tubular structure of the body open

Superior vena cava

A large vein that returns blood to the heart

Tense ascites

A large, abnormal build up of fluid in the abdomen


A decrease in the number of platelets in the blood, which reduces the ability of the blood to clot


A lump or growth of abnormal cells. Tumours may be benign (not cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). In this guide, the term ‘tumour’ refers to a cancerous growth, unless otherwise stated

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