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Glossary

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List of terms beginning with Ly

Lymph

Lymph is also called lymphatic fluid. It is a body fluid that circulates in the lymphatic system. It carries fluid and waste products away from the body tissues.

Lymph glands

A network of glands throughout the body – particularly in the armpits, neck and groins. These glands are also called lymph nodes. They drain away waste fluid, waste products and damaged cells, and contain cells that fight infection.

Lymph node biopsy

Lymph node biopsy may also be called a lymph gland biopsy. It means taking out a lymph node to look at it under the microscope. This is to see if it contains any cancer cells. It is a very small operation. You should be able to go home the same day.

Lymph node dissection

Removing lymph nodes from a particular area of the body. You may have the nodes removed to see if the cancer has spread (to find out the stage of the cancer), or to remove cancer that is already in the lymph nodes.

Lymph nodes

Lymph nodes form a network of glands throughout the body – particularly in the armpits, neck and groins. They drain away waste fluid, waste products and damaged cells, and contain cells that fight infection.

Lymph vessels

The channels, or tubes, of the lymphatic system.

Lymphadenectomy

An operation to remove lymph nodes.

Lymphangiogram

An X-ray scan of the lymph glands using dye injected into the bloodstream. This test is also called a lymphogram. It is rarely used now, because CT scans and MRI scans can check the lymph glands.

Lymphangitis

Lymphangitis means inflammation of the lymphatic vessels. The lymphatic vessels are part of the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is a network of vessels (channels), glands (nodes) and organs. It works to protect against and fight infection, inflammation and cancers. It also carries fluids, fats, proteins, and other substances around the body. The lymph glands (also called lymph nodes) filter the lymph fluid. When the lymphatic vessels are inflamed they become swollen. Depending on where they are in the body they can cause particular symptoms.

Lymphatic system

The system of tubes and glands in the body which filters body fluid and fights infection. It is made up of the lymph glands, lymphatic vessels and the spleen.

Lympho vascular invasion

Lympho vascular invasion means that cancer cells have spread into lymph vessels or blood vessels in the area of the cancer.

Lymphoblastic

Lymphoblasts are early types of white blood cell that the B and T lymphocytes develop from. Lymphoblastic lymphoma is a type of non Hodgkin lymphoma that involves the lymphoblasts. It is a high grade lymphoma. There is also a type of leukaemia called acute lymphoblastic (or lymphocytic) leukaemia (ALL).

Lymphocytes

A type of white blood cell. There are two types of lymphocytes, B lymphocytes and T lymphocytes. They are part of the body's defense against disease, the immune response. B lymphocytes produce antibodies, helped by T lymphocytes.

Lymphoedema

Swelling of a part of the body due to blockage of the lymph vessels. An arm or leg are most commonly affected. Lymphoedema can occur after surgery or radiotherapy which damage the lymph glands, or because cancer is blocking the lymph glands.

Lymphogram

An X-ray test using dye that shows lymph nodes and how lymphatic fluid circulates. It is sometimes used to try to pick out which lymph node is the first to drain lymph fluid from a particular organ, or part of an organ.

Lymphokines

A collective name for the interleukin growth factors. The interleukins are produced mainly by T cells. They stimulate other cells of the immune system to grow and mature.

Lymphoma

Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system. There are two main types of lymphoma – Hodgkin lymphoma and non Hodgkin lymphoma. Both have similar symptoms, such as enlarged lymph nodes (glands) and tiredness, and often heavy sweating, unexplained high temperatures and weight loss.

Lymphoscintigraphy

Lymphoscintigraphy is a test to find out how well your lymphatic system is working. You have an injection of a small amount of radioactive substance into the lymph vessels. Then you have a scan. The scan shows the dye moving through the lymphatic system and shows up any blockages.

Lynch syndrome

Lynch syndrome is also known as hereditary non polyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC). People with HNPCC have inherited faulty genes that give them a high risk of developing bowel cancer. They also have a higher risk of some other cancers than the general population, including womb cancer and ovarian cancer.

Updated: 29 June 2016