Help us to stop bowel cancer

A-Z of medical terms

Abdomen                           

The part of the body underneath the ribs and above the hips.

Biological therapies      

Drugs that change the way cancer cells work to stop them growing. Also called targeted therapies.

Brachytherapy                 

Internal radiotherapy that uses a source of radiation inside the body for a short period of time.

Chemotherapy                

Treatment that uses drugs to kill cancer cells.

Colon                                   

The longest part of the large bowel, which ends just above the rectum.

Colonoscopy                     

A test that uses a long thin tube with a camera on the end to look inside the colon and rectum.

Colostomy                         

Where a section of the large bowel is brought out onto an opening on your abdomen, allowing bowel motions (poo) to pass into a pouch or bag.

CT scan                                

Computerised tomography scan.A scan that uses X-rays to take a series of pictures of the body.

FAP                                       

Familial Adenomatous Polyposis. A rare inherited bowel cancer syndrome that greatly increases the risk of getting bowel cancer. Causes a large number of growths (polyps) in the lining of the bowel.

Genes                                  

A set of instructions that control how the cells in your body grow and work. Genes are inherited from your parents. They control things like eye colour.

Ileostomy                          

Where a section of small bowel is brought out onto an opening on your abdomen, allowing bowel motions (poo) to pass into a pouch or bag.

Lymph nodes                    

Small glands that make up part of the lymphatic system, which defends the body against infection. They are a common place for colon or rectal cancer to spread to.

Lynch syndrome              

A rareinherited bowel cancer syndrome that increases the risk of bowel cancer and some other cancers.

MAP                                     

MUTYH Associated Polyposis. A rare inherited bowel cancer syndrome that causes growths (polyps) in the lining of the bowel and increases the risk of bowel cancer.

MRI                                       

Magnetic resonance imaging. A scan that uses magnets to produce pictures of the body.

Microwave ablation      

Treatment for bowel cancer that has spread to the liver. It uses heat from microwave energy to kill cancer cells.

Pathologist                        

A doctor who looks at cells under a microscope to see how normal or abnormal they look.

Pelvis                                   

The area of the body between the hips.

Polyp                                   

A non-cancerous growth. Polyps can grow in the lining of the body’s organs, including the bowel. Some polyps may develop into cancer over time.

PET scan                              

Positron emission tomography. A scan that uses a low dose of radiation to take pictures of the whole body.

Radiofrequency ablation  

Treatment for bowel cancer that has spread to the liver. It uses radio waves to heat cancer cells to a high temperature.

Radiotherapy                   

Treatment that uses high energy radiation to kill cancer cells.

Rectum                               

Part of the large bowel that sits between the colon and the anus. Bowel motions (poo) are stored here before passing out of the anus.

Selective internal radiotherapy (SIRT)  

Treatment for bowel cancer that has spread to the liver. It involves injecting millions of tiny radioactive beads into the liver.

Sigmoidoscopy                

A test that uses a long thin tube with a camera on the end to look inside the rectum and sigmoid colon.

Stereotactic radiotherapy  

Treatment for bowel cancer that has spread to the liver. It uses a machine, called Cyberknife, to target high doses of radiotherapy to the tumour, while limiting the dose to the surrounding healthy tissue.

Stoma                                  

An opening on the abdomen, where a section of bowel is brought out so bowel motions (poo) can be passed into a pouch or bag.

Ultrasound scan              

A scan that uses sound waves to build up a picture of the body.

 

Updated March 2016. Due for review March 2018