Publication - Consultation paper

Review of Upper GI Cancer Quality Performance Indicators Consultation

Published: 16 Dec 2016
Community Health and Social Care Directorate
Part of:
Health and social care

Inviting views on the revised upper gastrointestinal (GI) cancer Quality Performance Indicators (QPIs).

37 page PDF

599.2 kB

37 page PDF

599.2 kB

Review of Upper GI Cancer Quality Performance Indicators Consultation
Appendix 7: Glossary of Terms

37 page PDF

599.2 kB

Appendix 7: Glossary of Terms

Ablative therapy

See Cryotherapy and Radiofrequency Ablation

Active treatment

Treatment which is intended to improve the cancer and/or alleviate symptoms, as opposed to supportive care.

Adjuvant therapy / treatment

Additional cancer treatment given after the primary treatment to lower the risk that the cancer will come back. Adjuvant therapy may include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, targeted therapy, or biological therapy.


Removal of a sample of tissue from the body to assist in diagnosis of a disease.


Treatment that combines chemotherapy with radiotherapy.


The use of drugs that kill cancer cells, or prevent or slow their growth.

Circumferential resection margins

Margins of tissue surrounding a cancer after it has been removed.

Clinical trials

A type of research study that tests how well new medical approaches or medicines work. These studies test new methods of screening, prevention, diagnosis, or treatment of a disease.


The condition of having two or more diseases at the same time.

Computed Tomography ( CT)

An x-ray imaging technique, which allows detailed investigation of the internal organ of the body.


A symptom or medical condition that makes a particular treatment or procedure inadvisable because a person is likely to have a bad reaction.


A treatment which aims to eradicate cancer by freezing.

Curative treatment

Treatment which is given with the aim of curing the cancer.


The process of identifying a disease, such as cancer, from its signs and symptoms.


The application of the principles of nutrition to the selection of food and feeding.


Cutting apart and separation of body tissues and organs in the course of an operation.


A procedure that uses an endoscope to examine the inside of the body. An endoscope is a thin, tube-like instrument with a light and a lens for viewing. It may also have a tool to remove tissue to be checked under a microscope for signs of disease.

External Beam Radiotherapy ( EBRT)

Treatment by radiation emitted from a source located at a distance from the body.


Having to do with the stomach.

Gastric distension

A condition in which air fills the stomach.

High grade dysplasia

Represents a more advanced progression towards
malignant transformation.

Histological/ Histopathological

The study of the structure, composition and function of tissues under the microscope, and their abnormalities.

Intravenous contrast ( IV)

A substance administered directly into bloodstream to enhance the visibility of structures on imaging.


Cancer that can or has spread from its histological original site.


Tumour, mass, or other abnormality.


Pertaining to a measurement in the direction of the long axis of an object, body, or organ

Lymph nodes

Small bean shaped organs located along the lymphatic system. Nodes filter bacteria or cancer cells that might travel through the lymphatic system.


A surgical procedure in which the lymph nodes are removed and a sample of tissue is checked under a microscope for signs of cancer.


Cancerous. Malignant cells can invade and destroy nearby tissue and spread to other parts of the body


A condition that occurs from having an unbalanced diet in which certain nutrients are lacking.

Metastatic disease

Spread of cancer away from the primary site to somewhere else, e.g. via the bloodstream or the lymphatic system.


Either (1) the condition of being subject to death; or (2) the death rate, which reflects the number of deaths per unit of population in any specific region, age group, disease or other classification, usually expressed as deaths per 1000, 10,000 or 100,000.

Multi-disciplinary team meeting ( MDT)

A meeting which is held on a regular basis, which is made up of participants from various disciplines appropriate to the disease area, where diagnosis, management, and appropriate treatment of patients is discussed and decided.

Neo-adjuvant chemotherapy

Drug treatment which is given before the treatment of a primary tumour with the aim of improving the results of surgery and preventing the development of metastases.


Pertaining to the oesophagus and the stomach.

Oesophagus/ Oesophageal

The muscular membranous tube for the passage of food from the throat to the stomach; the gullet.


Anything which serves to alleviate symptoms due to the underlying cancer but is not expected to cure it.


The study of disease processes with the aim of understanding their nature and causes. This is achieved by observing samples of fluid and tissues obtained from the living patient by various methods, or at post mortem.


A doctor who identifies diseases by studying cells and tissues under a microscope.

Peer review

The process by which original articles and grants written by researchers are evaluated for technical and scientific quality and correctness by other experts in the same field.

Positive surgical margin

Margins of tissue that still have cancer cells present following surgery.

Primary tumour

The original tumour.


The likely outcome or course of a disease; the chance of recovery or recurrence.


In medicine, the course of a disease, such as cancer, as it becomes worse or spreads in the body.

Quality of life

The overall enjoyment of life. Many clinical trials assess the effects of cancer and its treatment on the quality of life. These studies measure aspects of an individual's sense of well-being and ability to carry out various activities.

R0 resection

A surgical procedure where the surgical margins are negative for cancer.

Radical treatment

Treatment that aims to get to completely get rid of a cancer.


Able to be removed (resected) by surgery

Resection Margin

The rim of normal tissue surrounding a cancer after removal. These can be distal, proximal, or radial.

Risk factor

Something that is known to increase your chances of getting a disease.


Tests carried out in people without symptoms to detect cancer.


Process of describing to what degree cancer has spread from its original site to another part of the body. Staging involves clinical, surgical and pathology assessments.

Stent insertion

A slender/thin rod that is inserted into a tubular structure within the body to provide support to that structure.

Surgical resection

Surgical removal of the tumour/lesion.

TNM staging system

TNM classification is a system for staging the extent of cancer. T describes the size and penetration of the local tissues of the tumour. N refers to the involvement of the lymph nodes. M refers to the presence of metastatic disease.

Treatment intent

The reason for which treatment is given, that is, whether the treatment is intended to cure the disease or to alleviate symptoms.