The glossary explains some of the words used across this website and covers some key cancer and research terms, which primarily focus on lung cancer.

Disability-adjusted life year (DALY)

A standardised measure used to statistically describe the burden of disease in a population. One DALY represents the loss of one year of perfect health; the total number of DALYs in a population will increase with the total number of years of life lost to due to premature mortality and years lived with a disability due to a disease that is being measured.4 See also ‘Cost-effectiveness analysis’, ‘Morbidity’ and ‘Quality-adjusted life year’

Decision aid

A communication tool that helps people become more involved in decision-making around their health by providing an overview of the potential benefits and harms of an intervention. Decision aids can be leaflets, information packs or multimedia resources.1-3 See also ‘Shared decision-making’


  1. Sands J, Tammemägi MC, Couraud S, et al. 2021. Lung screening benefits and challenges: a review of the data and outline for implementation. J Thorac Oncol 16(1): 37-53

  2. Politi MC, Studts JL, Hayslip JW. 2012. Shared decision making in oncology practice: what do oncologists need to know? The oncologist 17(1): 91-100

  3. Kauczor HU, Baird AM, Blum TG, et al. 2020. ESR/ERS statement paper on lung cancer screening. European Radiology 30(6): 3277-94

  4. World Health Organisation. Disability-adjusted life years (DALYs). Available from: [Accessed 12/04/22]