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Glossary of Terms

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A blood or tissue test which gives information about the function of a part of the body or tumour.


A small sample of cells taken surgically under local or general anaesthetic from a tumour to be examined under a microscope to look for cancer cells.


The organ in the body that collects and empties urine.

Blood cells

Minute structures produced in the bone marrow; they consist of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.

Blood count

The number of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets in a sample of blood.

Bone marrow

The spongy material found inside the bones. Most blood cells are made in the bone marrow.

Bone marrow biopsy and aspiration

A procedure where a needle is inserted into a bone to withdraw a sample of bone marrow.

Bone marrow suppression

A decrease in the production of bone marrow.

Bone marrow transplant

(also called bone marrow reinfusion or auto-transplant) The infusion of bone marrow in to a patient who has been treated with high dose chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Patients can use their own marrow, which has sometimes been frozen or marrow from a... more

Bone scan

A picture of the bones using a radioactive dye that shows any injury, disease or healing. This test can tell if cancer has spread to the bones, if anticancer therapy has been successful and if bones are healing


Numerous small tubes that branch from each bronchus into the lungs. They get smaller and smaller.

Bronchogenic carcinoma

A cancer originating in the lungs or airways.


The insertion of a flexible, lighted tube through the mouth in to the lungs to examine the lungs and airways.


A branch of the trachea that goes from the trachea into the lung (plural - bronchi)


A group of diseases in which malignant cells grow out of control and can spread to other parts of the body.

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