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ESMO Patient Guides COVID19 1000x250

Adjuvant (treatment)

Additional treatment given after the primary treatment to reduce the chance of the cancer coming back

Bile duct

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

Biliary stent

A small tube that is used to keep your bile duct open

Biopsy

A medical procedure in which a small sample of cells or tissue is taken for examination under a microscope

Borderline resectable pancreatic cancer

A pancreatic tumour that is neither clearly resectable nor clearly unresectable

Chemotherapy

A type of cancer treatment using medicine that kills the cancer cells by damaging them so that they cannot reproduce and spread

Cholangitis

An inflammation of the bile duct system

Clinical trial

A study that compares the effects of one treatment with another

Coronavirus

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

COVID-19

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

First-line (treatment)

The initial treatment(s) given to a patient

Growth factor

A type of drug used to increase the production of white blood cells in order to reduce the risk of infection

Immune system

The organs and processes of the body that help to prevent and fight off infections

Jaundice

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

Metastatic

A cancer that has spread from its site of origin to different parts of the body

Multidisciplinary team

A group of healthcare workers who are members of different disciplines (e.g. oncologist, nurse specialist, physiotherapist, radiologist) and provide specific services to the patient. The activities of the team are brought together using a care plan

Neoadjuvant therapy

Treatment given as a first step to shrink a tumour before the main treatment, which is usually surgery

Palliative

Treatment given to relieve symptoms and reduce the suffering caused by cancer

Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) tube

A tube that is passed into a patient's stomach through the abdominal wall, most commonly to provide a means of feeding when oral intake is not adequate

Prophylactic

A drug that is given to prevent disease

Relapse

Return of a cancer or deterioration in a person’s state of health

Resectable

Able to be removed by surgery

Second-line (treatment)

The second treatment given to a patient once the initial (first-line) therapy has not worked or has been stopped because of the occurrence of side effects or other concerns

Stage or staging (of cancer)

The process of determining the extent to which a cancer has grown and spread

Steroid

A type of drug used to relieve swelling and inflammation. Some steroid drugs also have antitumour effects

Tumour

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

Unresectable

Unable to be removed (resected) by surgery

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