Have you been diagnosed with a brain tumour? Order your free information pack.

Jargon Buster

  • Steroids

    Substances that are made naturally in the body that affect various functions of the body. They can also be made artificially in the laboratory. There are different types of steroids. The ones used in brain tumour treatment are called corticosteroids. They help to reduce swelling caused by the tumour or its treatment. They are NOT anabolic steroids, that athletes sometimes use to bulk up their muscles.

  • Stroke

    A brain attack. When blood circulation is cut off from a specific part of the brain. The damage a stroke can cause depends on where in the brain it happens

  • support bubble

    A support bubble provides more support for single parents and adults living alone by enabling them to spend time with another household. The adult and any dependent children living with them will be able to form a support bubble with another household and act as if they live together. This means they can spend time together inside each other’s homes and do not need to stay 2 metres apart.

    It’s important to remember that support bubbles should be exclusive. This means you should not switch the household you are in a bubble with or connect with multiple households.

  • Supratentorial

    The area of the brain above the membrane known as the tentorium. The supratentorial region includes the cerebrum.

  • Synapse

    The junction between two nerve cells (neurons). It is a minute gap across which nerve impulses pass with the aid of a chemical substance called a neurotransmitter.

  • Syndrome

    A collection of signs and symptoms that appear together and form a disease or medical condition.

  • Synergistic

    When two or more things work together, making a stronger effect than if they were alone.

  • Temporal lobe

    The part of each cerebral hemisphere of the brain located at the middle, lower half of the brain. It is involved in many ‘higher’ functions, such as intellect and behaviour. It also plays a large role in hearing and processing the meaning of speech.

  • Tentorium

    A supportive membrane that sits above the cerebellum and below the cerebral cortex

  • Terminal illness

    A disease that cannot be cured and that is reasonably expected to result in death within a short period of time.

  • Therapeutics

    Treatments or medicines that help people feel better or get well.

  • Thrombocytopenia

    A condition where there are not enough platelets in the blood. This causes bleeding into the tissues, bruising and slow blood clotting after injury.

  • Thrombosis

    The formation of a blood clot. The clot itself is called a thrombus.

  • Tissue bank

    A facility (usually within a hospital) where samples of human body tissue or fluid are stored.

  • Tissue banking

    The process of collecting and storing body fluids or tissue, e.g. a sample of your tumour. This can then be used in research to help with the understanding of the disease.

  • TME-targeted

    Focused on the environment around a tumour, where cancer cells interact with other cells.

  • Toxicity

    How harmful or poisonous a substance is.

  • Transfusion

    Receiving someone else’s blood through the veins in order to replace blood, or components of the blood, lost during illness or trauma.

  • Treatment mask

    A mask that is made specifically to fit your head, that is attached to the treatment table and holds your head in position during radiotherapy treatment. This is important, as you need to stay very still during the treatment, so that the radiotherapy is directed to the correct part of the brain i.e. the tumour. The mask may be made of plastic or Plaster of Paris, and is moulded to the shape of your head.

  • Treatment plan

    The plan and schedule of treatment(s) based on what is considered to be the best treatment option(s) for you. This will depend on many factors, including your tumour type, location and your wishes. Your treatment plan should be a joint decision between you and your health team (MDT).

  • Tumour progression

    When a tumour starts to grow more quickly, or starts to spread and invade other cells.

  • Type-2 diabetes

    A condition whereby a person does not produce enough insulin or their cells are resistant to it. Insulin is a hormone that regulates how much sugar from the blood can be used by the cells. This condition is occurs more often in people over 40. People with diabetes are more likely to develop heart disease or have a stroke.

  • Unlicensed medicine

    Medicines which are not licensed to be used in the UK or which are used outside the terms specified in their license. Doctors might prescribe unlicensed medicine if they deem that it is in the best interest of the patient

  • Ventilator

    A machine which forces air in and out of a person’s lungs. The machine is used when a person is physically unable to breath on their own

  • Ventricle

    A cavity or space. In the brain, they produce, and so are filled with, the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). They are also concerned with CSF circulation. There are four ventricles in the brain, which are all connected. (Two lateral ventricles, the third ventricle and the fourth ventricle).

  • Vestibular nerve

    The nerve which connects the inner ear to the brain. It is involved in hearing, balance and body position.

  • Visual cortex

    An area at the back of the brain which helps us make sense of visual information.

  • Visuospatial

    Relating to the visual perception of the relationships between objects in a space. Visuospatial skills allow us to move around an environment e.g. move around a room without bumping into things or retrace our way across a city because we have a visual map in our memory from the last time. Visuospatial perception is also involved in our ability to accurately reach for objects in our visual field and our ability to shift our gaze to different points in space.

  • Watch and wait

    A treatment strategy where no immediate treatment is given, but you are closely monitored with regular appointments and scans until symptoms develop or worsen, or your scan changes. This treatment option is often used for low grade, slow growing tumours, where treatment has the risk of causing more harm than doing nothing.

  • Well-tolerated

    A medicine or treatment which has mild, or no, side-effects

  • White blood cell

    A type of cell present in the blood. As part of the immune system, they help the body fight infection and disease

  • White matter

    Particular types of cells that are found in the deeper parts of the brain and cerebellum, and also parts of the spinal cord. It acts to help transmit signals from one part of the brain to another.

  • WNT-medulloblastoma

    A type of brain cancer related to a group of proteins called WNT.