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.

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’

Determinant (of health)

The factors that affect the health of individuals and communities. These include: the social and economic environment, the physical environment, and a person’s individual characteristics and behaviours.4

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.5 See also ‘Cost-effectiveness analysis’, ‘Morbidity’ and ‘Quality-adjusted life year’


Preventable differences in the burden of disease, injury, violence, and/or opportunities to achieve good health that are experienced by socially disadvantaged populations.6


  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]

  5. World Health Organization. 2017. Determinants of health. Available from: [Accessed 03/08/2023]

  6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2023. Health Disparities. Available from: [Accessed 04/08/2023]