The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the nilotinib, Tasigna article.
Abnormal: 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).
Acute: Of abrupt onset, in reference to a disease. Acute often also connotes an illness that is of short duration, rapidly progressive, and in need of urgent care.
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia: An acute (sudden onset), rapidly progressing form of leukemia that is characterized by the presence in the blood and bone marrow of large numbers of unusually immature white blood cells destined to become lymphocytes. Acute lymphoblastic leukemia is also called acute lymphocytic leukemia and is abbreviated ALL (spoken not as the word "all", but as the three letters A-L-L). ALL is the most common cancer occurring in children, representing almost 25% of cancer among children. There is a sharp peak in the incidence of ALL incidence among children ages 2 to 3. This peak is approximately fourfold greater than that for infants and is nearly 10-fold greater than that for youths who are 19 years old.
Blood pressure: 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".
Brain: 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."
Breast milk: Milk from the breast. Human milk contains a balance of nutrients that closely matches infant requirements for brain development, growth and a healthy immune system. Human milk also contains immunologic agents and other compounds that act against viruses, bacteria, and parasites. Since an infant's immune system is not fully developed until age 2, human milk provides a distinct advantage over formula.
Calcium: A mineral found mainly in the hard part of bones, where it is stored. Calcium is added to bones by cells called osteoblasts and is removed from bones by cells called osteoclasts. Calcium is essential for healthy bones. It is also important for muscle contraction, heart action, nervous system maintenance, and normal blood clotting. Food sources of calcium include dairy foods, some leafy green vegetables such as broccoli and collards, canned salmon, clams, oysters, calcium-fortified foods, and tofu. According to the National Academy of Sciences, adequate intake of calcium is 1,200 milligrams a day (four glasses of milk) for men and women 51 and older, 1,000 milligrams a day for adults 19 through 50, and 1,300 milligrams a day for children 9 through 18. The upper limit for calcium intake is 2.5 grams daily.Learn more about calcium with evidence-based information on RxList.
Cancer: An abnormal growth of cells which tend to proliferate in an uncontrolled way and, in some cases, to metastasize (spread).
Capsule: Capsule has many meanings in medicine including the following:
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Cell: The basic structural and functional unit in people and all living things. Each cell is a small container of chemicals and water wrapped in a membrane.
Chromosome: A visible carrier of the genetic information.
Chronic: This important term in medicine comes from the Greek chronos, time and means lasting a long time.
Chronic myeloid leukemia: See: Chronic myelogenous leukemia.
Constipation: Infrequent (and frequently incomplete) bowel movements. The opposite of diarrhea, constipation is commonly caused by irritable bowel syndrome, diverticulosis, and medications (constipation can paradoxically be caused by overuse of laxatives). Colon cancer can narrow the colon and thereby cause constipation. The large bowel (colon) can be visualized by barium enema x-rays, sigmoidoscopy, and colonoscopy. Barring a condition such as cancer, high-fiber diets can frequently relieve the constipation.
Diarrhea: 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.
Dizziness: Painless head discomfort with many possible causes including disturbances of vision, the brain, balance (vestibular) system of the inner ear, and gastrointestinal system. Dizziness is a medically indistinct term which laypersons use to describe a variety of conditions ranging from lightheadedness, unsteadiness to vertigo.
FDA: The Food and Drug Administration, an agency within the U.S. Public Health Service, which is a part of the Department of Health and Human Services.
Fetus: The unborn offspring from the end of the 8th week after conception (when the major structures have formed) until birth. Up until the eighth week, the developing offspring is called an embryo.
Fever: Although a fever technically is any body temperature above the normal of 98.6 degrees F. (37 degrees C.), in practice a person is usually not considered to have a significant fever until the temperature is above 100.4 degrees F (38 degrees C.).
Gefitinib: A drug that attaches to the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) on the surfaces of cells. The drug was designed to treat non-small-cell lung cancer. Marketed under the brand name Iressa. For more information, see: gefitinib (Iressa).
Generic: 1. The chemical name of a drug. 2. A term referring to the chemical makeup of a drug rather than to the advertised brand name under which the drug may be sold. 3.A term referring to any drug marketed under its chemical name without advertising.
Glucose: The simple sugar (monosaccharide) that serves as the chief source of energy in the body. Glucose is the principal sugar the body makes. The body makes glucose from proteins, fats and, in largest part, carbohydrates. Glucose is carried to each cell through the bloodstream. Cells, however, cannot use glucose without the help of insulin. Glucose is also known as dextrose.
Hair loss: 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).
Headache: A pain in the head with the pain being above the eyes or the ears, behind the head (occipital), or in the back of the upper neck. Headache, like chest pain or back ache, has many causes.
Heart: The 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.
High blood pressure: Also known as hypertension, high blood pressure is, by definition, a repeatedly elevated blood pressure exceeding 140 over 90 mmHg -- a systolic pressure above 140 with a diastolic pressure above 90.
Hyperkalemia: Elevated blood potassium.
Hypocalcemia: Lower-than-normal blood calcium. Low blood calcium makes the nervous system highly irritable with tetany (spasms of the hands and feet, muscle cramps, abdominal cramps, and overly active reflexes). Chronic hypocalcemia contributes to poor mineralization of bones, soft bones (osteomalacia) and osteoporosis. In children, hypocalcemia leads to rickets and impaired growth. Food sources of calcium include dairy foods, some leafy green vegetables such as broccoli and collards, canned salmon, clams, oysters, calcium-fortified foods, and tofu. According to the National Academy of Sciences, adequate intake of calcium is 1 gram daily for both men and women. The upper limit for calcium intake is 2.5 grams daily.
Hypokalemia: Low blood potassium.
Hyponatremia: An abnormally low concentration of sodium in the blood. Too little sodium can cause cells to malfunction, and extremely low sodium can be fatal. Hyponatremia has many causes including medications such as diuretics and antidepressants, hypothyroidism, cortisone deficiency (such as in Addison's disease), dehydration, vomiting or diarrhea, severe burns, kidney or heart failure, and cirrhosis.
Infant: A child up to 2 years (24 months) of age.
Infection: The 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.
Iressa: Brand name for gefitinib, a drug that attaches to the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) on the surfaces of cells . People with non-small-cell lung cancer who have a mutation in the gene for EGFR enjoy a rapid and often dramatic response to the drug. For more information, see: gefitinib (Iressa)
Itching: An uncomfortable sensation in the skin that feels as if something is crawling on the skin or in the skin, and makes the person want to scratch the affected area.
Leukemia: Cancer of the blood cells. The growth and development of the blood cells are abnormal. Strictly speaking, leukemia should refer only to cancer of the white blood cells (the leukocytes) but in practice it can apply to malignancy of any cellular element in the blood or bone marrow, as in red cell leukemia (erythroleukemia).
Liver: An organ in the upper abdomen that aids in digestion and removes waste products and worn-out cells from the blood. The liver is the largest solid organ in the body. The liver weighs about three and a half pounds (1.6 kilograms). It measures about 8 inches (20 cm) horizontally (across) and 6.5 inches (17 cm) vertically (down) and is 4.5 inches (12 cm) thick.
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Magnesium: A mineral involved in many processes in the body including nerve signaling, the building of healthy bones, and normal muscle contraction. About 350 enzymes are known to depend on magnesium.
Muscle: Muscle 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 muscle."
Myeloid: Referring to the nonlymphocytic groups of white blood cells, including the granulocytes, monocytes and platelets.
Nausea: Nausea, is the urge to vomit. It can be brought by many causes including, systemic illnesses, such as influenza, medications, pain, and inner ear disease. When nausea and/or vomiting are persistent, or when they are accompanied by other severe symptoms such as abdominal pain, jaundice, fever, or bleeding, a physician should be consulted.
Nose: The external midline projection from the face.
Nursing: 1) Profession concerned with the provision of services essential to the maintenance and restoration of health by attending the needs of sick persons. 2) Feeding a infant at the breast.
Pain: An 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.
Pancreatitis: Inflammation of the pancreas. Of the many diverse causes of pancreatitis, the most common are alcohol and gallstones.
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Phosphate: A form of phosphoric acid. Calcium phosphate makes bones and teeth hard.
Potassium: The major positive ion (cation) found inside of cells. The chemical notation for potassium is K+.
Pregnancy: The 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.
Prescription: A physician's order for the preparation and administration of a drug or device for a patient. A prescription has several parts. They include the superscription or heading with the symbol "R" or "Rx", which stands for the word recipe (meaning, in Latin, to take); the inscription, which contains the names and quantities of the ingredients; the subscription or directions for compounding the drug; and the signature which is often preceded by the sign "s" standing for signa (Latin for mark), giving the directions to be marked on the container.
Proteins: Large molecules 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.
Rash: Breaking out (eruption) of the skin. Medically, a rash is referred to as an exanthem.
Red blood cell: The blood cell that carries oxygen. Red cells contain hemoglobin and it is the hemoglobin which permits them to transport oxygen (and carbon dioxide). Hemoglobin, aside from being a transport molecule, is a pigment. It gives the cell its red color (and name).
Sodium: The major positive ion (cation) in fluid outside of cells. The chemical notation for sodium is Na+. When combined with chloride, the resulting substance is table salt.
Stomach: 1. The sac-shaped digestive organ that is located in the upper abdomen, under the ribs. The upper part of the stomach connects to the esophagus, and the lower part leads into the small intestine.
Stuffy nose: The presence of increased secretions and mucus in the nasal passages, most commonly arising as a result of a common cold, allergic reaction, or inflammation or infection of the paranasal sinuses (sinus infection).
Teaspoon: An old-fashioned but convenient household measure. A teaspoon holds about 5 cc of liquid.
Therapy: The treatment of disease.
Thyroid: 1. The thyroid gland. Also, pertaining to the thyroid gland. 2. A preparation of the thyroid gland used to treat hypothyroidism. 3. Shaped like a shield. (The thyroid gland was so-named by Thomas Wharton in 1656 because it was shaped like an ancient Greek shield.)
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