Words to Know

ligation

The process of tying off blood vessels so that blood cannot flow to a part of the body or to a tumor.

linac

A machine that uses electricity to form a stream of fast-moving subatomic particles. This creates high-energy radiation that may be used to treat cancer. Also called linear accelerator, mega-voltage linear accelerator and MeV linear accelerator.

linear accelerator

A machine that uses electricity to form a stream of fast-moving subatomic particles. This creates high-energy radiation that may be used to treat cancer. Also called linac, mega-voltage linear accelerator and MeV linear accelerator.

lipoma

A benign (not cancer) tumor made of fat cells.

lisofylline

A medicine that may protect healthy cells from chemotherapy and radiation without inhibiting the effects of these therapies on tumor cells.

liver metastasis

Cancer that has spread from the original (primary) tumor to the liver.

liver scan

An image of the liver created on a computer screen or on film. A radioactive substance is injected into a blood vessel and travels through the bloodstream. It collects in the liver, especially in abnormal areas, and can be detected by the scanner.

living will

A type of legal advance directive in which a person describes specific treatment guidelines that are to be followed by healthcare providers if he or she becomes terminally ill and cannot communicate. A living will usually has instructions about whether to use aggressive medical treatment to keep a person alive, such as CPR, artificial nutrition, use of a respirator.

lobaplatin

A substance that contains the metal platinum and may kill cancer cells by damaging their DNA and stopping them from dividing. It is a type of alkylating agent.

lobectomy

Surgical removal of a lobe (section) of an organ, such as the breast, lungs, liver, brain or thyroid gland.

lobe

A portion of an organ, such as the breast, liver, lung, thyroid or brain.

lobular carcinoma

Cancer that begins in the lobules (the glands that make milk) of the breast. Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) is a condition in which abnormal cells are found only in the lobules. When cancer has spread from the lobules to surrounding tissues, it is invasive lobular carcinoma. LCIS does not become invasive lobular carcinoma very often, but having LCIS in one breast increases the risk of developing invasive cancer in either breast.

lobular carcinoma in situ

Also called LCIS. A condition in which abnormal cells are found in the lobules of the breast. Lobular carcinoma in situ seldom becomes invasive cancer; however, having it in one breast increases the risk of developing breast cancer in either breast.

lobule

A small lobe or a subdivision of a lobe.

local anesthesia

A temporary loss of feeling in one small area of the body caused by special medicine or other substances called anesthetics. The individual stays awake but has no feeling in the area of the body treated with the anesthetic.

local cancer

An invasive malignant cancer confined entirely to the organ where the cancer began.

local therapy

Treatment that affects cells in the tumor and the area close to it.

localization

The process of determining or marking the location or site of a lesion or disease. May also refer to the process of keeping a lesion or disease in a specific location or site.

localized

Restricted to the site of origin, without evidence of spread.

locally advanced cancer

Cancer that has spread from where it started to nearby tissue or lymph nodes.