Glossary of terms

Adjuvant treatment: This is chemotherapy or chemoradiotherapy given AFTER surgery to help try and improve the outcome.

Barrett’s oesophagus: a potentially serious complication of GERD,which stands for gastroeosophageal reflux disease.In Barrett’s oesophagus,normal tissue lining the esophagus or gullet , the tube carrying food from mouth to stomach changes to tissue that resembles the lining of the intestine.

Chemoradiotherapy: This is a combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy used to help treat cancer. It may be given on its own or as part of a package including surgery.

Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is usually a drug or drugs used to treat cancer. This may be as an infusion or as tablets. Chemotherapy may be given to help try and cure the disease (with surgery) or it may be given as palliative treatment (non-curative) to try and control the disease.

CT scan: This is a polo-shaped machine that you lie in which takes a type of x-ray to give more information than a standard x-ray.

Enhanced Recovery: Patients having surgery will be treated according to our “enhanced recovery pathway”.

Endoscopy: Also referred to as an OGD (oesophagogastroduedenoscopy) or a gastroscopy. This is the passage of a flexible tube with a camera through the mouth to visualise the gullet, stomach and duodenum (first part of the small bowel after the stomach) . It is usually done with you awake using either some sedation or some spray to numb the back of your throat to stop gagging.

Endoscopic UltraSound (EUS): This is a similar test to an endoscopy. Usually an endoscopy is done first, and then this is followed by the endoscopic ultrasound. This is a flexible tube with a camera and a small ultrasound probe at the end which is passed into the gullet and stomach. The allows the doctor to look “through” the wall of the tissue to see if lymph nodes are involved or possibly how deep a growth is in the tissue wall. It can also allow the doctor to look at different types of lumps to try and determine what they actually are.

Feeding Jejunostomy: This is a tube to help provide nutrition, most commonly used in our patients have an oesophagectomy. It is usually put in at the time of the operation. In some patients that are struggling it may be put in before chemotherapy is started. An operation is done to pass a small plastic tube through the abdominal wall and into the small bowel (jejunum). This allows nutrition to be put into the body.  

Gastrectomy: An operation to remove all of your stomach

Neoadjuvant: This is chemotherapy or chemoradiotherapy that is given BEFORE surgery to help and improve the outcome.

Oesophagectomy: An operation to remove your oesophagus. Usually this involves removing most of your oesophagus and leaving a small amount at the top.

Oesophagus (Gullet/ food pipe):  the muscular organ that transports food from your throat to your stomach.

Palliative Treatment: This is treatment given for cancer where the intention is not to cure the disease but to try and control it to help give quality of life and extend life.

PET scan:

Radical Treatment: This is treatment given for cancer with the intention of trying to cure the disease.

Stage of Disease: After diagnosis, several investigations will be carried out to try and “stage” the disease. This gives information about the depth through the wall of the organ of the tumour (also called the “T” stage), whether nearby lymph nodes are involved (“N” stage) and whether there is distant disease that makes it incurable – also know as metastatic disease (“m” stage).

Staging Laparoscopy: This  is a key hole test used to inspect the inside of your abdominal cavity and look at different organs. You are given a general anaesthetic so you are completely asleep. The surgeon usually uses two or three cuts that are half a centimetre to 1 cm long to put small ports through you abdominal wall. You abdomen is then inflated with carbon-dioxide to allow good views and a camera (laparoscope) is used to inspect the inside of you abdomen. It usually allows a good view of abdominal organs such as the liver, stomach, bowel and the lining of the abdomen (peritoneum).

Stomach: The next part of your digestive system after your gullet and before your small bowel. It has a large capacity to allow you to eat bigger portions and helps with digestion of food and absorption of nutrients.

Subtotal Gastrectomy: An operation to remove most of  the bottom part of your stomach (typically 70-80%).