Radiography

Radiography is the use of x-rays, and other techniques, in diagnosis or in treatment of disease.

Radiographer

A radiographer is a person who is trained in radiography. Radiographers specialise in diagnostic radiography or therapeutic radiography. Diagnostic radiographers take x-rays, MRI or CAT scans to assist in diagnosis of disease or injuries. Therapeutic radiographers use x-rays, or other forms of radiation in treatment of disease.

Radiologist

A radiologist is a qualified doctor who specialises in diagnosis using X-rays or other scanning methods or in treatment using radiation.

Radiology

The use of X-rays in the diagnosis of a disease.

Radiotherapy

The use of X-rays and other kinds of radiation in treatment. Radiotherapy kills cancer cells in the area of the body being treated, so it can be an effective treatment for localised disease, particularly in lymphoma and multiple myeloma. Side effects vary according to the type of treatment and the hospital staff will discuss these with the patient.

Rai system

A system for staging of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) based on the clinical findings and on laboratory tests. It is used to decide whether to start treatment. An international or Binet staging system may also be used.

Stage 0 = Lymphocyte count greater than 5 x 109/1

Stage i = As stage 0 plus enlarged lymph nodes

Stage ii = As stage 0 plus enlarged liver or spleen

Stage iii = As stage 0 plus Haemoglobin less than 10g/dl

Stage iv = As stage 0 plus platelet count less than 100 x 109/l

The Rai system is used more often in the United States. The Binet system is used more widely in Europe.

Red blood cells (Erythrocytes)

The cells of the blood which contain the red protein haemoglobin and carry oxygen to all the tissues of the body. They give the blood its red colour.

Reed Sternberg cells

are a type of white blood cell called a B lymphocyte, that has become cancerous.

Refractory

Not responding to treatment.

Refractory anaemia

A form of myelodysplasia which mostly affects red cell production by the bone marrow. In some cases the developing red cells show an internal ring of iron granules. These cells are called sideroblasts. Refractory anameia (RA) and refractory anaemia with sideroblasts (RAS) are the msot common forms of myelodysplasia.

Relapse

This is when the disease comes back. In leukaemia this may show up in changes in the blood, bone marrow, CNS or tests even before the patient experiences any symptoms.

Remission

This is when the blood, bone marrow and general health of the patient return to normal, after treatment.

Reticulocytes

Immature red blood cells present in the blood stream in very low numbers (0.2-2%). Reticulocytes develop and mature in the bone marrow and then circulate for about a day in the blood stream before developing into mature red blood cells.

Raised numbers of reticulocytes may be found as a result of increased red cell production in the bone marrow, for example following haemorrhage.

Reticulocyte count is used to help determine if the bone marrow is responding adequately to the body’s need for red blood cells. The proportion of reticulocytes, haemoglobin and/or haematocrit in the blood can be used to evaluate the severity of any anaemia.

Retrovirus

A class of virus including the HTLV-1 retrovirus that causes a rare form of human leukaemia.

Rituximab

Rituximab is a chimeric monoclonal antibody against the protein CD20, which is primarily found on the surface of immune system B cells. Rituximab destroys B cells and is therefore used to treat diseases which are characterized by excessive numbers of B cells, overactive B cells, or dysfunctional B cells.

Richter syndrome

Development of a high grade, often localised, lymphoma in a patient who has Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia (CLL).