Glossary

Benign
Not cancerous.

Biopsy
The removal of a small sample of tissue from the body for examination under a microscope to help in diagnosing a disease.

Cerebrospinal fluid
The clear watery fluid that surrounds and protects the brain and the spinal canal.

Chemotherapy
The use of particular drugs to kill cancer cells or slow their growth.

Computerised Tomography scan (CT scan)
A technique for constructing pictures from cross sections of the body by x-raying the part of the body to be examined from many different angles.

Craniotomy
The surgical removal of a portion of the skull.

Hydrocephalus
A building up of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
A diagnostic test that uses a combination of magnetism and radiowaves to build up detailed cross section pictures of part of a person’s body.

Malignant
Cancerous

Metastasis
A secondary tumour which develops in a part of the body separate from the original (primary) tumour.

Neurologist
A specialist in the structure, functioning and diseases of the nervous system including the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves.

Neurosurgeon
A surgeon who specialises in operations on the nervous system.

Primary tumour
The malignant, original tumour before it spreads, leading to the development of secondary tumours.

Radiation therapist
A health professional (not a medical doctor) who administers radiotherapy

Secondary tumour
See metastasis

Steroids
Drugs composed of organic hormones used in the treatment of disease.

Source: Anti-Cancer Council of Victoria “Brain Cancer: A Guide for People with Cancer, Their Families and Friends”