The belly , that part of the body that contains all of the structures
between the chest and the pelvis . The abdomen is separated
anatomically from the chest by the diaphragm , the powerful muscle
spanning the body cavity below the lungs .
Relating to the abdomen, the belly , that part of the body that
contains all of the structures between the chest and the pelvis . The
abdomen is separated anatomically from the chest by the diaphragm , the
powerful muscle spanning the body cavity below the lungs .
Not normal. Deviating from the usual structure, position, condition, or
behavior. In referring to a growth, abnormal may mean that it is
cancerous or premalignant (likely to become cancer ).
The Latin "adjuvans" means to help, particularly to reach a goal.
Therapy: Treatment that is given in addition to the primary
to anger, an emotional state that may range in intensity from mild
irritation to intense fury and rage. Anger has physical effects; it
raises the heart rate and blood pressure and the levels of adrenaline
and noradrenaline, and so on.
The ability to focus selectively on a selected stimulus, sustaining
that focus and shifting it at will. The ability to concentrate.
Single-celled microorganisms which can exist either as independent
(free-living) organisms or as parasites (dependent upon another
organism for life).
Not cancer. Not malignant . A benign tumor does not invade surrounding
tissue or spread to other parts of the body. A benign tumor may grow
but it stays put (in the same place).
familiar red fluid in the body that contains white and red blood cells,
platelets, proteins, and other elements. The blood is transported
throughout the body by the circulatory system. Blood functions in two
directions: arterial and venous. Arterial blood is the means by which
oxygen and nutrients are transported to tissues while venous blood is
the means by which carbon dioxide and metabolic by-products are
transported to the lungs and kidneys, respectively, for removal from
The blood pressure is the pressure of the blood within the arteries. It
is produced primarily by the contraction of the heart muscle. It's
measurement is recorded by two numbers. The first (systolic pressure)
is measured after the heart contracts and is highest. The second
(diastolic pressure) is measured before the heart contracts and lowest.
A blood pressure cuff is used to measure the pressure. Elevation of
blood pressure is called "hypertension".
That part of the central nervous system that is located within the
cranium ( skull ). The brain functions as the primary receiver,
organizer and distributor of information for the body. It has two
(right and left) halves called "hemispheres."
abnormal growth of cells which tend to proliferate in an uncontrolled
way and, in some cases, to metastasize (spread).
Cancer that begins in the skin or in tissues that line or cover body
organs. For example, carcinoma can arise in the breast , colon, liver,
lung, prostate, and stomach.
Pictures of structures within the body created by a computer that takes
the data from multiple X-ray images and turns them in pictures on a
screen. The CAT (computerized axial tomography) scan can reveal some
soft-tissue and other structures that cannot even be seen in
conventional X-rays. Using the same dosage of radiation as that of an
ordinary X-ray machine, an entire slice of the body can be made visible
with about 100 times more clarity with the CAT scan.
1. In the original sense, a chemical that binds to and specifically
kills microbes or tumor cells. The term chemotherapy was coined in this
regard by Paul Ehrlich (1854-1915).
2. In oncology, drug therapy for cancer. Also called "chemo" for short.
The area of the body located between the neck and the abdomen . The
chest contains the lungs , the heart and part of the aorta . The walls
of the chest are supported by the dorsal vertebrae , the ribs , and the
Commonly used to detect abnormalities in the lungs, but can also detect
abnormalities in the heart, aorta, and the bones of the thoracic area.
Metallic objects, such as jewelry are removed from the chest and neck
areas for a chest x-ray to avoid interference with x-ray penetration
and improve accuracy of the interpretation.
The time for a boy or girl from birth until he or she is an adult. (2)
The more circumscribed period of time from infancy to the onset of
A highly malignant tumor that arises from trophoblastic cells within
the uterus. Choriocarcinoma tends to be invasive and to metastasize
early and widely through both the venous and lymphatic systems.
Choriocarcinoma is one of the two types of gestational trophoblastic
tumor, the other being hydatidiform mole.
Tomography: An x-ray procedure that uses the help of a computer
to produce a detailed picture of a cross section of the body. Also
called a CT scan or CAT scan.
term "condition" has a number of biomedical meanings including the
- An unhealthy state, such as in "this is a
- A state of fitness, such as "getting into
- Something that is essential to the occurrence
of something else; essentially a "precondition."
- As a verb: to cause a change in something so
that a response that was previously associated with a certain stimulus
becomes associated with another stimulus; to condition a person, as in
Failure of descent of one or both of the
testes into the scrotum. The testes first develop within the abdomen
before birth and then normally descend into the scrotum. Cryptorchidism
is also called undescended testes.
Amenable to a cure, capable of being cured, to being healed and made
well. Most skin cancers, fortunately, are curable. From the word cure,
from the Latin cura meaning care, concern or attention.
- To heal, to make well, to restore to good
health. Cures are easy to claim and, all too often, difficult to
- A time without recurrence of a disease so that
the risk of recurrence is small, as in the 5-year cure rate for
malignant melanoma .
- Particularly in the past, a course of
treatment. For example, take a cure at a spa.
area of severed skin. Wash a cut or scrape it with soap and water, and
keep it clean and dry. Putting alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or iodine
into a wound can delay healing, and should be avoided. Seek medical
care if you think you might need stitches, as delay can increase the
rate of wound infection. If the cut results from a puncture wound
through the shoe, there is a high risk of infection, and you should see
your healthcare professional. Redness, swelling, increased pain, and
pus draining from the wound also indicate an infection that requires
nature of a disease ; the identification of an illness. 2. A conclusion or decision
reached by diagnosis. The diagnosis is rabies . 3. The identification of any
problem. The diagnosis was a plugged IV.
A familiar phenomenon with unusually frequent or unusually liquid bowel
movements, excessive watery evacuations of fecal material. The opposite
of constipation . The word "diarrhea" with its odd spelling is a near
steal from the Greek "diarrhoia" meaning "a flowing through." Plato and
Aristotle may have had diarrhoia while today we have diarrhea. There
are myriad infectious and noninfectious causes of diarrhea.
The earliest synthetic (man-made) form of the hormone estrogen .
Illness or sickness often characterized by typical patient problems
(symptoms) and physical findings (signs). Disruption sequence: The
events that occur when a fetus that is developing normally is subjected
to a destructive agent such as the rubella (German measles) virus.
To ejaculate is to release semen during an orgasm in a male.
Ejection of sperm and seminal fluid.
Carcinoma: A malignant germ cell tumor that occurs most often in
the testes and accounts for about 40% of testicular tumors. Under the
microscope, these tumors may resemble tissues of early embryos. This
type of tumor can grow rapidly and spread outside the testicle.
Embryonal carcinoma of the ovary is rare. It usually occurs before the
age of 30 and is often prepubertal.
1. A group
of individuals related by blood or marriage or by a feeling of
closeness. 2. A biological
classification of related plants or animals that is a division below
the order and above the genus. 3.
A group of genes related in structure and in function that descended
from an ancestral gene. 4.
A group of gene products similarly related in structure and function
and of shared genetic descent. 5.
Parents and their children. The most fundamental social group in humans.
traditional definition of female was "an individual of the sex that
bears young" or "that produces ova or eggs". However, things are not so
simple today. Female can be defined by physical appearance, by
chromosome constitution (see Female chromosome complement), or by
gender identification. Female chromosome complement: The large majority
of females have a 46, XX chromosome complement (46 chromosomes
including two X chromosomes). A minority of females have other
chromosome constitutions such as 45,X (45 chromosomes including only
one X chromosome) and 47,XXX (47 chromosomes including three X
ability to conceive and have children, the ability to become pregnant
through normal sexual activity. Infertility is defined as the failure
to conceive after a year of regular intercourse without contraception.
anatomy, the area where the upper thigh meets the trunk. More
precisely, the fold or depression marking the juncture of the lower
abdomen and the inner part of the thigh.
Hair loss is the thinning of hair on the scalp. The medical term for
hair loss is alopecia . Alopecia can be temporary or permanent. The
most common form of hair loss occurs gradually and is referred to as
“androgenetic alopecia,” meaning that a combination of hormones
(androgens are male hormones) and heredity ( genetics ) is needed to
develop the condition. Other types of hair loss include alopecia areata
(patches of baldness that usually grow back), telogen effluvium (rapid
shedding after childbirth, fever , or sudden weight loss); and traction
alopecia (thinning from tight braids or ponytails).
As officially defined by the World Health Organization, a state of
complete physical, mental, and social well-being, not merely the
absence of disease or infirmity.
muscle that pumps blood received from veins into arteries throughout
the body. It is positioned in the chest behind the sternum (breastbone;
in front of the trachea, esophagus, and aorta; and above the diaphragm
muscle that separates the chest and abdominal cavities. The normal
heart is about the size of a closed fist, and weighs about 10.5 ounces.
It is cone-shaped, with the point of the cone pointing down to the
left. Two-thirds of the heart lies in the left side of the chest with
the balance in the right chest.
chemical substance produced in the body that controls and regulates the
activity of certain cells or organs.
It may seem unnecessary to define a "hospital" since everyone knows the
nature of a hospital. A hospital began as a charitable institution for
the needy, aged, infirm, or young.
Implant: 1. To embed; to set in firmly.
In embryology, the fertilized egg implants in the uterine lining 6 or 7
days after conception (fertilization). In medicine today, many things
may be implanted.
which is embedded. For example: lens implants, breast implants,
cochlear implants, defibrillator implants, pacemaker implants, etc.
growth of a parasitic organism within the body. (A parasitic organism
is one that lives on or in another organism and draws its nourishment
therefrom.) A person with an infection has another organism (a "germ")
growing within him, drawing its nourishment from the person.
Having to do with the groin.
Orchiectomy: Surgery to remove the testicle, with the incision
made through the groin.
Harm or hurt. The term "injury" may be applied in medicine to damage
inflicted upon oneself as in a hamstring injury or by an external agent
on as in a cold injury. The injury may be accidental or deliberate, as
with a needlestick injury. The term "injury" may be synonymous
(depending on the context) with a wound or with trauma.
use of high-energy radiation from x-rays, gamma rays, neutrons, and
other sources to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Radiation may
come from a machine outside the body (external-beam radiation therapy)
or from materials called radioisotopes. Radioisotopes produce radiation
and can be placed in or near the tumor or in the area near cancer
cells. This type of radiation treatment is called internal radiation
therapy, implant radiation, interstitial radiation, or brachytherapy.
Systemic radiation therapy uses a radioactive substance, such as a
radiolabeled monoclonal antibody, that circulates throughout the body.
Irradiation is also called radiation therapy, radiotherapy, and x-ray
treatment: Treatment that affects the tumor and the area close
An almost colorless fluid that travels through vessels called
lymphatics in the lymphatic system and carries cells that help fight
infection and disease.
traditional definition of male was "an individual of the sex that
produces sperm" (or some such). However, things are not so simple
today. Male can be defined by physical appearance, by chromosome
constitution (see Male chromosome complement), or by gender
Malignant: 1. Tending to be severe and
become progressively worse, as in malignant hypertension. 2. In regard to a tumor, having
the properties of a malignancy that can invade and destroy nearby
tissue and that may spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body.
piece of DNA that lies on a chromosome so close to a gene that the
marker and the gene are inherited together. A marker is thus an
identifiable heritable spot on a chromosome. A marker can be an
expressed region of DNA (a gene) or a segment of DNA with no known
coding function. All that matters is that the marker can be detected
History: 1. In
clinical medicine, the patient's past and present which may contain
clues bearing on their health past, present, and future. The medical
history, being an account of all medical events and problems a person
has experienced, including psychiatric illness, is especially helpful
when a differential diagnosis is needed.
history of medicine.
1. A drug
or medicine. 2. The
administration of a drug or medicine. (Note that "medication" does not
have the dangerous double meaning of "drug.")
Memory: 1. The ability to recover
information about past events or knowledge. 2. The process of recovering
information about past events or knowledge. 3. Cognitive reconstruction. The
brain engages in a remarkable reshuffling process in an attempt to
extract what is general and what is particular about each passing
Metastasis: 1. The process by which cancer
spreads from the place at which it first arose as a primary tumor to
distant locations in the body.
cancer resulting from the spread of the primary tumor. For example,
someone with melanoma may have a metastasis in their brain. And a
person with colon cancer may, fortunately, show no metastases.
The spread from one part of the body to another. When cancer cells
metastasize and cause secondary tumors, the cells in the metastatic
tumor are like those in the original cancer.
optical instrument that augments the power of the eye to see small
objects. The name microscope was coined by Johannes Faber (1574-1629)
who in 1628 borrowed from the Greek to combined micro-, small with
skopein, to view. Although the first microscopes were simple
microscopes, most (if not all) optical microscopes today are compound
Inadvertent loss of a pregnancy before the fetus is viable. A
considerable proportion of pregnancies end in a miscarriage. Also
called a spontaneous abortion.
Mouth: 1. The upper opening of the
digestive tract, beginning with the lips and containing the teeth,
gums, and tongue. Foodstuffs are broken down mechanically in the mouth
by chewing and saliva is added as a lubricant. Saliva contains amylase,
an enzyme that digests starch. 2.
Any opening or aperture in the body. The mouth in both senses of the
word is also called the os, the Latin word for an opening, or mouth.
The o in os is pronounced as in hope. The genitive form of os is oris
from which comes the word oral.
is the tissue of the body which primarily functions as a source of
power. There are three types of muscle in the body. Muscle which is
responsible for moving extremities and external areas of the body is
called "skeletal muscle." Heart muscle is called "cardiac muscle."
Muscle that is in the walls of arteries and bowel is called "smooth
is the urge to vomit. It can be brought by many causes including,
systemic illnesses, such as influenza, medications, pain, and inner ear
National Institutes of Health. The NIH is an important U.S. health
agency. It is devoted to medical research. Administratively under the
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the NIH consists of
20-some separate Institutes and Centers. NIH's program activities are
represented by these Institutes and Centers.
A classification of testicular cancers that arise in specialized sex
cells called germ cells. Nonseminomas include embryonal carcinoma,
teratoma, choriocarcinoma, and yolk sac tumor.
science or practice of taking in and utilizing foods. 2) A nourishing substance, such
as nutritional solutions delivered to hospitalized patients via an IV
or IG tube.
there are many meanings to the word "operation", in medicine it refers
to a surgical procedure.
surgical removal of one or both testes.
climax of coitus, consisting of a series of involuntary muscle
contractions in the anus, lower pelvic muscles, and sexual organs,
accompanied by a sudden release of endorphins providing a feeling of
patient who is not an inpatient (not hospitalized) but instead is cared
for elsewhere -- as in a doctor's office, clinic, or day surgery
center. The term outpatient dates back at least to 1715. Outpatient
care today is also called ambulatory care.
unpleasant sensation that can range from mild, localized discomfort to
agony. Pain has both physical and emotional components. The physical
part of pain results from nerve stimulation. Pain may be contained to a
discrete area, as in an injury, or it can be more diffuse, as in
disorders like fibromyalgia . Pain is mediated by specific nerve fibers
that carry the pain impulses to the brain where their conscious
appreciation may be modified by many factors.
A doctor who identifies diseases by studying cells and tissues under a
external male sex organ used to copulate and ejaculate semen and to
convey urine outside the body. In Latin, the word "penis" originally
meant "a tail ." The Latin "penis" is related to the verb pendere
meaning "to hang down."
state of carrying a developing embryo or fetus within the female body.
This condition can be indicated by positive results on an
over-the-counter urine test, and confirmed through a blood test,
ultrasound, detection of fetal heartbeat, or an X-ray. Pregnancy lasts
for about nine months, measured from the date of the woman's last
menstrual period (LMP). It is conventionally divided into three
trimesters, each roughly three months long.
or existing before birth.
An artificial substitute or replacement of a part of the body such as a
tooth , eye, a facial bone, the palate , a hip, a knee or another joint
, the leg, an arm, etc. A prosthesis is designed for functional or
cosmetic reasons or both.
large molecule composed of one or more chains of amino acids in a
specific order determined by the base sequence of nucleotides in the
DNA coding for the protein.
rhythmic contraction and expansion of an artery due to the surge of
blood from the beat of the heart. The pulse is most often measured by
feeling the arteries of the wrist. There is also a pulse, although far
weaker, in veins.
1. Rays of
energy. Gamma rays and X-rays are two of the types of energy waves
often used in medicine. 2.
The use of energy waves to diagnose or treat disease. See also:
therapy: The use of high-energy rays to damage cancer cells,
stopping them from growing and dividing. Like surgery, radiation
therapy is a local treatment that affects cancer cells only in the
treatment of disease with ionizing radiation. Also called radiation
occur again. To return. Any symptom (such as fatigue), any sign (such
as a heart murmur), or any disease can recur.
return of a sign, symptom or disease after a remission. The
reappearance of cancer cells at the same site or in another location
is, unfortunately, a familiar form of recurrence.
The process of restoration of skills by a
person who has had an illness or injury so as to regain maximum
self-sufficiency and function in a normal or as near normal manner as
possible. For example, rehabilitation after a stroke may help the
patient walk again and speak clearly again.
Opposition to something, or the ability to withstand it. For example,
some forms of staphylococcus are resistant to treatment with
See the entire definition of Resistance
Rest: 1. Repose. Relaxation.
fragment of embryonic tissue that has been retained after the period of
embryonic development. Also called an embryonic rest.
a noun, the data or image obtained from the examination of organs or
regions of the body by gathering information with a sensing device.
pouch of skin which contains the testes, epididymides, and lower
portions of the spermatic cords.
Section: 1) In anatomy, a slice of
tissue. A biopsy obtained by surgery is usually sectioned (sliced), and
these sections are inspected under a microscope. 2) In obstetrics,
short for Caesarian section. 3) In surgery, the division of tissue
during an operation.
Side Effects: Problems
that occur when treatment goes beyond the desired effect. Or problems
that occur in addition to the desired therapeutic effect.
skin is the body's outer covering. It protects us against heat and
light, injury, and infection. It regulates body temperature and stores
water, fat, and vitamin D. Weighing about 6 pounds, the skin is the
body's largest organ. It is made up of two main layers; the outer
epidermis and the inner dermis.
sperm is the male "gamete" or sex cell. It combines with the female
"gamete," called an ovum, to form a zygote. The formation process is
called "fertilization." (see ovum, zygote).
As regards cancer , the extent of a cancer, especially whether the
disease has spread from the original site to other parts of the body.
See also: Staging .
In regard to cancer, the process of doing examinations and tests to
learn the extent of the cancer, especially whether it has metastasized
(spread) from its original site to other parts of the body.
A physician who treats disease, injury, or deformity by operative or
manual methods. A medical doctor specialized in the removal of organs,
masses and tumors and in doing other procedures using a knife
(scalpel). The definition of a "surgeon" has begun to blur in recent
years as surgeons have begun to minimize the cutting, employ new
technologies that are "minimally invasive," use scopes, etc.
The word "surgery" has multiple meanings. It is the branch of medicine
concerned with diseases and conditions which require or are amenable to
operative procedures. Surgery is the work done by a surgeon. By
analogy, the work of an editor wielding his pen as a scalpel is s form
of surgery. A surgery in England (and some other countries) is a
physician's or dentist's office.
Affecting the entire body. A systemic disease such as diabetes can
affect the whole body. Systemic chemotherapy employs drugs that travel
through the bloodstream and reach and affect cells all over the body.
temperature is the specific degree of hotness or coldness of the body.
It is usually measured with a thermometer.
type of germ cell tumor that may contain several different types of
tissue and sometimes mature elements such as hair, muscle, and bone.
Teratomas occur most often in the ovary, testis, and in the
sacrococcygeal region (near the tailbone) in children. A teratoma may
be benign or malignant.
The male sex glands. They are located behind the penis in a pouch of
skin called the scrotum. The testes produce and store sperm, and are
also the body's main source of male hormones, such as testosterone.
These hormones control the development of the reproductive organs and
other male characteristics, such as body and facial hair, low voice,
and wide shoulders.
The testicles (also called testes or gonads) are the male sex glands.
They are located behind the penis in a pouch of skin called the
scrotum. The testicles produce and store sperm, and they are also the
body's main source of male hormones (testosterone). These hormones
control the development of the reproductive organs and other male
characteristics, such as body and facial hair, low voice, and wide
Cancer: Cancer of the male sex organ, the testicle, that
normally produces the hormone testosterone. One of the most common
cancers in young men. Most testicular cancers are found by men in
themselves as a lump in the testicle.
Self-Examination: A monthly procedure for detecting the early
signs of testicular cancer. Men should check the testes visually for
new swelling or other changes on the skin of the scrotum, roll each
testicle between thumb and fingers to detect internal growths, and
check the cord (epididymis) on the top and back of each testicle for
growths. A warm bath or shower will relax the scrotum, making
examination easier. Early detection of testicular cancer greatly
improves the likelihood of successful treatment.
treatment of disease .
feeling of a lessened capacity for work and reduced efficiency of
accomplishment, usually accompanied by a sense of weariness and
tissue in medicine is not like a piece of tissue paper. It is a broad
term that is applied to any group of cells that perform specific
functions. A tissue in medicine need not form a layer. Thus,
- The bone marrow is a tissue;
- Connective tissue consists of cells that make
up fibers in the framework supporting other body tissues; and
- Lymphoid tissue is the part of the body's
immune system that helps protect it from bacteria and other foreign
The process for generating a tomogram , a two-dimensional image of a
slice or section through a three-dimensional object. Tomography
achieves this remarkable result by simply moving an x-ray source in one
direction as the x-ray film is moved in the opposite direction during
the exposure to sharpen structures in the focal plane, while structures
in other planes appear blurred. The tomogram is the picture; the
tomograph is the apparatus; and tomography is the process.
An abnormal mass of tissue. Tumors are a classic sign of inflammation,
and can be benign or malignant (cancerous). There are dozens of
different types of tumors. Their names usually reflect the kind of
tissue they arise in, and may also tell you something about their shape
or how they grow. For example, a medulloblastoma is a tumor that arises
from embryonic cells (a blastoma) in the inner part of the brain (the
medulla). Diagnosis depends on the type and location of the tumor.
Tumor marker tests and imaging may be used; some tumors can be seen
(for example, tumors on the exterior of the skin) or felt (palpated
with the hands).
Tumor Marker: Tumor
markers are substances that can be detected in higher-than-normal
amounts in the blood, urine, or body tissues of some patients with
certain types of cancer . A tumor marker may be made by a tumor itself
or by the body in response to the tumor. Such a substance serves to
"mark" the tumor; it is a "tumor marker."
Having to do with the kidneys, ureters, and bladder. The urinary system
represents the functional and anatomic aspects of the kidneys, ureters,
Liquid waste. The urine is a clear, transparent fluid. It normally has
an amber color. The average amount of urine excreted in 24 hours is
from 40 to 60 ounces (about 1,200 cubic centimeters). Chemically, the
urine is mainly an aqueous (watery) solution of salt (sodium chloride)
and substances called urea and uric acid. Normally, it contains about
960 parts of water to 40 parts of solid matter. Abnormally, it may
contain sugar (in diabetes), albumen (a protein) (as in some forms of
kidney disease), bile pigments (as in jaundice), or abnormal quantities
of one or another of its normal components.
tube in the body that carries fluids: blood vessels or lymph vessels.
in accordance with the conscious will of the individual. The opposite
Weight loss is a decrease in body weight resulting from either
voluntary (diet, exercise) or involuntary (illness) circumstances. Most
instances of weight loss arise due to the loss of body fat, but in
cases of extreme or severe weight loss, protein and other substances in
the body can also be depleted. Examples of involuntary weight loss
include the weight loss associated with cancer, malabsorption (such as
from chronic diarrheal illnesses ), and chronic inflammation (such as
with rheumatoid arthritis).
X-ray: 1. High-energy radiation with
waves shorter than those of visible light. X-rays possess the
properties of penetrating most substances (to varying extents), of
acting on a photographic film or plate (permitting radiography), and of
causing a fluorescent screen to give off light (permitting
fluoroscopy). In low doses X-rays are used for making images that help
to diagnose disease, and in high doses to treat cancer . Formerly
called a Roentgen ray. 2.
An image obtained by means of X-rays.
See the entire definition of X-ray
Yolk Sac: Not
all yolk has to do with birds' eggs. Human embryos have a yolk sac,
too. The human yolk sac is a membrane outside the embryo that is
connected by a tube (the yolk stalk) though the umbilical opening to
the embryo's midgut. The yolk sac serves as an early site for the
formation of blood and in time is incorporated into the primitive gut
of the embryo.