Children's Cancer Foundation Over 30 years of caring service
Children's Palliative Care Foundation
Children's Palliative Care Foundation

About Childhood Cancer

About Childhood Cancer

Diagnosis & Treatment Glossary

Here are some of the common terms used in the diagnosis and treatment of childhood cancer.


Please select an alphabet to view a list of terms starting with that letter:

Haematopoietic stem cell

The cell from which all classes of blood cells are derived.

Haematopoietic stem cell transplant

A procedure in which progenitor cells capable of reconstituting normal bone marrow function are administered to a patient.  This procedure is often performed as part of therapy to eliminate a bone marrow infiltrative process, such as leukaemia, or to correct congenital immunodeficiency disorders.


A malignant tumour of the liver, originating in mature liver cells.

Hickman catheter (Central venous catheter)

A fine cannula inserted into a vein in the neck to allow administration of drugs and repeated blood samples.

Hodgkin’s disease

A malignant disease of lymphatic tissues – a form of lymphoma – usually characterised by painless enlargement of one or more groups of lymph nodes in the neck, armpits, groin, chest, or abdomen; the spleen, liver, bone marrow, and bones may also be involved. 


A substance that is produced in one part of the body, passes into the bloodstream and is carried to other organs or tissues, where it acts to modify their structure or function.


The therapeutic use of hormones.

Human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG)

A hormone, similar to the pituitary gonadotrophins that are produced by the placenta during pregnancy.


Oxford Concise English-Chinese Medical Dictionary (Second Edition 2000), Oxford University Press
Churchill’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary (Fourth Edition 2004), Longman
Online Merriam Webster dictionary at www.merriam-webster.com



Special thanks should be given to Mrs. Rosita Lie, Dr. Alan K.S. Chiang, Dr. Ha Shau-yin, Dr. Vincent Lee, Dr. Li Chi-keung, Dr. Li Chi-kong, Dr. Rever Li Chak-ho and Dr. Yuen Hui-leung for editorial review.