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Cancer-Related Terms (H-O)

High dose rate remote brachytherapy (HDR) – HDR temporary brachytherapy involves placing very tiny plastic catheters into the treatment area, and then giving radiation treatments through these catheters over a temporary period. With HDR temporary brachytherapy, a computer-controlled machine pushes a single highly radioactive source into the catheters one by one.

Internal radiation – A procedure in which radioactive material sealed in needles, seeds, wires, or
catheters is placed directly into or near a tumour. Also called brachytherapy, implant radiation, or interstitial radiotherapy.

Intracavitary radiation – A radioactive source (implant) placed in a body cavity such as the cervix or oesophagus.

Low dose rate brachytherapy (LDR) – Brachytherapy in which sources are left in place for the
duration of treatment. This includes temporary LDR in which patients are hospitalized for several days of temporary brachytherapy. It also includes permanent LDR in which seeds are permanently placed.

Lymph node (lymph gland) – A rounded mass of lymphatic tissue that is surrounded by a capsule of
connective tissue. Lymph nodes are spread out along lymphatic vessels and contain many lymphocytes, which filter the lymphatic fluid (lymph). Lymph nodes are part of the body’s immune system.

Malignant – A cancerous growth with a tendency to invade and destroy nearby tissue and spread to
other parts of the body.

Medical oncologist – A doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating cancer using chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, and biological therapy.

Metastasis – The spread of cancer from one part of the body to another. Tumours formed from cells
that have spread are called secondary tumours and contain cells that are like those in the original (primary) tumour.

Oncologist – A doctor who specializes in treating cancer. Some oncologists specialize in a particular
type of cancer treatment. For example, a radiation oncologist specializes in treating cancer with radiation.

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