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Glossary

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List of terms beginning with Li

Li-Fraumeni syndrome

Li Fraumeni syndrome is an inherited condition caused by a faulty TP53 gene. People with this syndrome have a higher risk of getting breast cancer, soft tissue sarcomas, brain tumours, osteosarcoma, and adrenal gland cancers compared to the general population.

Libido

Sex drive.

Licensed drugs

Drugs that have been given the go ahead for marketing in the UK. Also called marketing authorisation, being approved or being registered. Drugs then have to be launched in the UK before doctors can prescribe them for patients.

Lichen planus

Lichen planus is an uncommon skin condition. It starts as an itchy rash. It can occur on the arms and legs, in the mouth, on the nails and scalp or on the vulva, vagina or penis. The cause is not known. Many cases of lichen planus of the skin clear up on their own within 6 to 9 months but some may continue. It can affect men or women but in the mouth (oral lichen planus) it is more common among females.

Lichen sclerosus

Lichen sclerosus is an uncommon long term skin disorder that most often affects the skin around the genital area, for example the vagina, vulva or penis. It can occur in men or women but most often affects women aged over 50. The cause is not known. The skin develops very itchy or sore white spots. Itchy spots can sometimes also develop on the skin around the anus (bottom). Occasionally, non itchy white patches develop on the back and shoulders.

Limb salvage surgery

An operation where part of a bone affected by cancer is removed. It can be replaced with a piece of metal or a piece of bone taken from another part of the body.

Limited disease

Limited disease means cancer that is only in one area or organ of the body. Limited disease is also a term used to describe an early stage of small cell lung cancer. It means the cancer can only be seen in one lung and in nearby lymph nodes.

Lindane

An insecticide that has been researched as a health hazard including as a possible cause of breast cancer. This has not yet been proved. Lindane has been banned in some European countries but is still used in the UK for crop spraying and wood treatment.

Linear accelerator

A linear accelerator is a machine which makes and gives external radiotherapy. It uses electricity to create high energy radiation beams which treats cancer. It is also called a LINAC.

Lipomas

Non cancerous (benign) lumps under the skin caused by a collection of fatty tissue.

Liposarcoma

A type of cancer that starts in the body's fat cells. It can occur anywhere in the body.

Liquid based cytology

Liquid based cytology is a test in which a nurse or doctor takes a sample of cells from the neck of the womb (cervix) using a small brush. They put the brush and cells into a pot and send it to the laboratory for testing.

Live vaccines

Vaccines which contain tiny amounts of live cells of a particular disease. They are also called live virus vaccines.  In healthy people, this is just enough to give them protection against infection. But these vaccines can be dangerous in people having some cancer drugs that lower immunity. They should not have them, unless under specialist supervision. This includes vaccines for measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), TB (BCG vaccine), yellow fever, and the oral typhoid vaccine.

Liver

The liver is the second largest organ in the body after the skin. It sits just below your right lung in your upper abdomen and is protected by the ribs on that side. It has a number of functions including making bile which helps digestion, it stores nutrients, helps to clot blood, stores fats for energy and it removes harmful substances form the body including drugs and alcohol. Doctors often take blood tests to check how well the liver is working.

Liver cancer

Cancer of the liver. This term should only be used to refer to cancer that has started in the liver (primary liver cancer). But some people also use it to mean cancer that has spread to the liver from somewhere else in the body (metastatic liver cancer).

Liver cirrhosis

Cirrhosis (pronounced sur-oh-sis) is scarring of the liver due to continuous, long term liver damage. The scar tissue stops the liver from working properly. The most common causes of cirrhosis in the UK are drinking too much alcohol (alcohol misuse) and hepatitis C virus infection.

Liver function tests

Liver function tests are also called LFTs. They are blood tests to see how well the liver is working.

Liver ultrasound

A scan of the liver using soundwaves.

Updated: 29 June 2016