Glossary of Terms

  • Unusual Phrases
  • NHL Terminology

This glossary lists only terms specific to NHL. For a comprehensive glossary of cancer medical terminology, see Roberta Altman’s The Cancer Dictionary. For more general medical terms, any one of several inexpensive medical dictionaries available in bookstores and libraries should suffice.

Guides to pronunciation are included.

But first, unusual phrases

There are a few specific words and phrases that may be jarring because they mean something other in medicine than they do in everyday usage:

Anecdotal
When used in a medical context, it does not mean a funny story. It means a single case report not yet substantiated by studies using large numbers of people.

Impressive or not impressive
When used in a medical context, it does not mean anything derogatory. It means that, when the patient was examined, a particular feature did not strike the examiner as overwhelmingly unusual. For instance, after palpating your abdomen, the doctor may note in your medical record that your spleen was “not impressive.” This means it did not feel enlarged, and that you did not report pain when she pressed on it.