Advanced Vocabulary for IELTS 7.0 +: MEDICAL AND HEALTH ISSUES – Practice Exercises and Answer Key


Word Association

(a) Complete the following exercise by linking each adjective (Column A) to the noun with which it collocates (Column B). If in doubt, the strongest collocation should be selected.

Column A Answer Column B
(a) allergic(b) infectious

(c) malignant

(d) clinical

(e) general

(f) digestive

(g) cardiac

(h) surgical

(i) biological

(j) critical

(k) congenital

(1) post-operative

(m) terminal

(n) bipolar

(i) tumour(ii) trial

(iii) anaesthetic

(iv) procedure

(v) clock

(vi) condition

(vii) disorder

(viii) arrest

(ix) system

(x) illness

(xi) consultation

(xii) disease

(xiii) reaction

(xiv) disorder

(b) Now match the collocations with their definitions:

Collocation Definition
a mental condition characterised by extremes of happiness and sadnessa condition that will result in death no matter what

an extremely serious state of health that is immediately life threatening

a medical operation that involves making incisions into the body

a condition whereby the heart stops functioning

the part of the body that processes the food we eat

a drug administered to a patient which puts them to sleep

the progression of time in a woman from puberty to menopause

an illness which can be passed from one person to another

an aggressive form of cancer that will spread around the body

when the immune system responds in a harmful way to exposure to something

a way of testing a new form of medicine or treatment on human subjects

a health problem present at and from birth

a meeting with a doctor after having undergone surgery

(c) Complete the following paragraph using some of the collocations above. Use each collocation once only:

Coming to Terms with Cancer

The prognosis was not good; I may not have had a(n) terminal illness, but the cancer was at an advanced stage and had spread to the lymph nodes. All this I learned at a rather intense ­­­­­­­­­­­__________ I had with my doctor following the excision of the lump on my throat for biopsy. The doctor had assured me the lump was probably benign, so, as you can probably imagine, it came as quite a shock to learn that I had a(n)_______________ , and that the cancer had already spread. As if that wasn’t traumatic enough, I then had to prepare myself for another _____________ the doctor would perform the very next day – he said it couldn’t wait. I would be put under ____________ again and would be out for about one hour. I would feel very groggy for a good two hours after waking up. ‘Why not try chemo?’ I asked him. Turns out I have a history of ____________ to this form of treatment in my family – it nearly killed my uncle. Apparently, chemo would do more harm than good where my body is concerned.

At the moment my head is all over the place. The last few days have been a lot to take in. And the situation is complicated by the fact that my partner and I were planning to have a baby. That will have to be postponed indefinitely. But, the thing is, I’m 33 now and my ___________ is ticking. Will I ever be able to have a child?


Word Association


a xiii    b. xii    c. i       d. ii      e. iii     f. ix      g. viii

h iv      i. v       j. vi      k. vii    l. xi      m. x     n. xiv


1 Bipolar disorder 2. terminal illness 3. critical condition

4 surgical procedure 5. cardiac arrest 6. digestive system

7 general anaesthetic 8. biological clock 9. infectious disease

10 malignant tumour 11. allergic reaction 12. clinical trial

13 congenital disorder 14. post- operative consultation


Post-operative consultation / malignant tumour / surgical procedure / general anaesthetic / allergic reaction / biological clock

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