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Glossary


L

  • Lactate Dehydrogenase (LDH) - An enzyme found in the blood and many body tissues such as the liver, kidney, brain, and lungs. LDH levels are determined by a simple blood test. Elevated levels of LDH may indicate the presence of metastatic disease.
  • Laser - An acronym for "light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation." An intense light focused on a tiny area that can vaporize and cut tissue with very little damage to surrounding structures.
  • Laser Therapy - A treatment using intense beams of light to precisely cut, burn, or destroy tissue.
  • Lentigo - A flat, brown spot that is associated with aging or sun damage. Lentigenes are commonly referred to as sunspots, age spots, or liver spots, although they have no relation to the liver or liver function.
  • Lentigo Maligna Melanoma - Melanoma arising from a lentigo rather than a mole and representing about 5% of all melanomas. It occurs most often in older adults, usually on the face and other chronically sun-exposed areas. The melanomas are generally large, flat, tan-colored lesions containing differing shades of brown. Usually they grow and invade more slowly than other types of melanoma.
  • Lesion - A general term to describe any irregular area on the skin. A lesion may be a cut or scratch, an insect bite, as well as benign growths such as moles or freckles. Malignant growths, including melanomas and other skin cancers, are also called lesions.
  • Local Therapy - Treatment that affects cells in the primary tumor and the area close to it.
  • Localized - In the area of the primary tumor.
  • Lomustine (CCNU) - A chemotherapy agent occasionally used to treat metastatic melanoma. It belongs to a class of chemotherapeutic agents called nitrosoureas.
  • Loupe - A magnifying lens that may be handheld or attached to glasses; it is used in skin examinations and surgery.
  • Lymph - The almost colorless fluid that travels through the lymphatic system and carries cells that help fight infection and disease.
  • Lymph Node Capsule - Membrane of connective tissue surrounding a lymph node.
  • Lymph Nodes/Lymph Gland - Bean-shaped collections of lymphatic tissue that filter lymph, trap foreign bodies (including cancer cells), and fight infection and disease. Lymph nodes are packed full of immune cells. Since lymph nodes receive drainage from tumor cells, they are potential sites for metastasis.
  • Lymph System - The network of nodes and vessels in the body that carries lymph throughut the body. It can also be an avenue for the spread of cancer cells.
  • Lymph Vessels - A network of vessels that circulate lymph and branch into all the tissues of the body.
  • Lymphatic Mapping - A procedure In which a tiny amount of radioactive tracer is injected into the skin to map the way lymph drains from a tumor to its corresponding lymph nodes.
  • Lymphedema - A condition in which excess lymph collects in tissue and causes swelling. It may occur in the arm or leg after lymph vessels or lymph nodes in the underarm or groin are removed.
  • Lymphocele - A pocket of lymph accumulation at the site of lymph node removal.
  • Lymphocyte - A type of white blood cell that is an important part of the immune system.
  • Lymphoscintigraphy - See Lymphatic Mapping