Collaborative and Compassionate Cancer Care: cancer strategy for children and young people 2021–2026

This Managed Service Network (MSN) for Children and Young People with cancer (CYPC) strategy celebrates the achievements to date as well as setting out ambitions for the coming 5 years.


Allied Health Professionals (AHP)

An umbrella term for a collective group of 12 distinct professions, each with its own scope of practice and unique body of knowledge. These include Arts Therapy, Diagnostic Radiography, Nutrition and Dietetics, Occupational Therapy, Orthoptics, Orthotics, Paramedics, Physiotherapy, Podiatry, Prosthetics, Speech and Language Therapy and Therapeutic Radiography


The work that staff do to understand how to treat, care for and support someone


A procedure to remove a piece of tissue (collection of cells) from the body for analysis in the laboratory to establish the diagnosis. For all children, and most teenagers and young adults, this will be performed under general anaesthetic

Birch-Alston Category

For young people (ages 15-24) cancers are described using the Birch-Alston classification. It groups cancers by their cell types rather than by the anatomical site of the cancer (which is used to group most adult cancers)


A term for diseases in which abnormal cells divide and grow uncontrollably and can invade nearby tissues. Cancer cells that have the ability to spread to other parts of the body through the blood and lymph nodes is a malignant cancer

Cancer Registry

The Scottish Cancer Registry is responsible for the collection of information on all new cases of cancer arising in residents of Scotland. More detailed information is available on the ISD website


Cancer treatment that uses one or more anti-cancer drugs in combination to kill cancer cells. The drugs can be given into a vein (intravenous chemotherapy), or as tablets or liquid (oral chemotherapy) or into the spinal fluid (intrathecal chemotherapy)

Clinical Governance

Defined as corporate accountability for clinical performance. It is an initiative to assure and improve clinical standards at a local level and throughout the NHS

Clinical Trial

A carefully designed research study looking at the effects of a procedure or treatment. All new treatments are tested through a series of clinical trial phases to assess if the treatments are safe and whether they work

Confidence Level

The interval or range of values that is likely to contain the true value of a parameter

Curative Treatment

This refers to treatment that is given with the goal of achieving a complete remission and preventing the recurrence of cancer

Diagnostic Investigation

People with suspected cancer will undergo a series of medical tests to establish the diagnosis. These may include blood tests, urine tests, scans (such as MRI or CT scans), and biopsy


For children (ages 0-14), cancers are described using the third edition of the International Classification of Childhood Cancer (ICCC-3). It groups cancers with more emphasis on the cell type rather than the anatomical site (which is used to group most adult cancers)


The 10th revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems produced by the World Health Organisation (WHO). It assigns codes to particular diseases and conditions, not only for cancer but for all diseases.


Incidence refers to the number of new cases of a condition in a defined population during a defined period, and is typically expressed as the number of new cases per million person-years at risk (or other suitable units)

Molecular Genetics

Molecular diagnostics are tests that detect genetic material, proteins or related molecules to provide information about the molecular changes in the cancer. This will give a more precise diagnosis to guide treatment

Multidisciplinary Teams (MDTs)

A group of health care professionals with expertise in cancer who work together to make decisions regarding recommended treatment of individual patients

Multidisciplinary Team Meetings (MDM)

Deliberate, regular meetings (either face-to-face or virtual) at which health professionals with expertise in a range of different specialties discuss the options for a patient's treatment and care prospectively


Area of medicine dealing with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer

Palliative Care

Palliative and end of life care are integral aspects of the care provided by health or social care professionals to people living with and dying from any advanced, progressive and incurable condition


Area of medicine which studies the cause and effect of diseases and injuries; the bridge between science and medicine

Patient Pathway

The route that a patient will take from their first contact when referred for treatment through to completion

Primary Care

Usually the first resource / point of access for health care including general practice, community pharmacy, dental and optometry (eye health) services

Secondary Care

Services provided by specialists focusing on a specific area of the body, condition or disease following referral by a primary care physician


Patients will undergo a series of tests to assess how much the cancer has grown and spread (metastases). This helps direct treatment and prognosis


A type of anti-cancer treatment using radiation (such as X-rays, gamma rays, protons) to kill cancer cells and shrink the tumour. This may be ionizing photon (x-rays or gamma rays) or charged particle radiotherapy – proton radiotherapy

Service Level Agreements

A commitment / contract between two or more parties against specific and measurable aspects in the delivery of a service

Tertiary Care

Services providing a higher level of speciality care, equipment, expertise and complex procedures

Third Sector

An umbrella term referring to different organisations that do not sit under public or private sector. Often referred to as voluntary, non-government and non-profit organisations

Tumour Banking

Tissue (e.g. tumour or blood) is collected during diagnostic or therapeutic procedures which can then be frozen and stored for future use, either directly for patient benefit or for scientific researchers with the aim of improving diagnosis and treatment


Teenagers and Young Adults. For the purposes of the Cancer Strategy the age bracket is 16-24



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