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Glossary

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List of terms beginning with Le

Lead screens

Large pieces of lead put in front of patients having internal radiotherapy. The screens protect hospital staff and visitors from radiation.

Leiomyosarcoma

A type of cancer that starts in smooth muscle cells. These are muscles that are not under our conscious control, for example the muscles of the womb or the walls of the stomach or bowel.

Lesch-Nyhan syndrome

Lesch-Nyhan syndrome is a disorder passed down through families. It affects how the body builds and breaks down proteins called purines. These are a normal part of human tissue and are a part of the body's genetic blueprint. They are found in many different foods. This syndrome mostly occurs in boys. People with the syndrome have very low levels of an enzyme called hypoxanthine guanine phosphoribosyltransferase 1 (HGP). The body needs HGP to recycle purines. Without it, abnormally high levels of uric acid build up in the body causing gout like swelling in some of the joints, and sometimes kidney and bladder stones.

Lesion

A lesion is an area of abnormal tissue that may be benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer).

Leukaemia

Cancer of the white blood cells. There are two main groups of leukaemias, acute leukaemias and chronic leukaemias. Each of these can affect white blood cells that develop from cells called lymphoblasts or myeloblasts (myeloid type cells). So there are acute lymphoblastic, acute myeloblastic, chronic lymphoblastic and chronic myeloid leukaemias.

Leukencephalopathy

Breakdown of the nerve coverings of the brain. It is a very rare side effect of some medical treatment. Has been known to occur after intensive radiotherapy to the brain and treatment with some chemotherapy or biological therapy drugs.

Leukoencephalopathy

Leukoencephalopathy is the breakdown of the white matter of the brain. The white matter is the name for the covering of the nerves within the brain. It speeds up the passage of impulses (messages) along the nerves. The effects of leukoencephalopathy can be very severe, including mental confusion, fits, and paralysis. This is very, very rare.

Levamisole

A drug used to treat bowel cancer. It is given along with fluorouracil chemotherapy after surgery. It may increase the effectiveness of the chemotherapy, possibly by boosting the immune system.

Updated: 29 June 2016