Lung Cancer Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Lung Cancer article.

Abdomen: The belly, that part of the body that contains all of the structures between the...

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Abdominal: Relating to the abdomen, the belly, that part of the body that contains all of ...

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Abdominal cavity: The cavity within the abdomen, the space between the abdominal wall and...

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Abnormal: Outside the expected norm, or uncharacteristic of a particular patient.See the entire definition of Abnormal

Adenocarcinoma: A cancer that develops in the lining or inner surface of an organ and usua...

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Adjuvant: A substance that helps and enhances the effect of a drug, treatment, or biologic...

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Adjuvant chemotherapy: Chemotherapy given after removal of a cancerous tumor to further he...

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Analysis: In psychology, a term for conversation-based therapeutic processes used to gain ...

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Anesthetic: A substance that causes lack of feeling or awareness, dulling pain to permit s...

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Anxiety: A feeling of apprehension and fear, characterized by physical symptoms such as pa...

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Arms: An appendage in anatomy and in clinical trials. See: Arm.

Arsenic: A metallic element that forms a number of poisonous compounds, arsenic is found i...

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Asbestos: A natural material made up of tiny fibers that is used as thermal insulation. In...

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Aspiration: Removal by suction of fluid and cells through a needle. Aspiration also refer...

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Backbone: The spine. A flexible row of bones stretching from the base of the skull to the...

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Biopsy: The removal of a sample of tissue for examination under a microscope to check for ...

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Blood clots: Blood that has been converted from a liquid to a solid state. Also called a t...

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Bone scan: A nuclear medicine technique for creating images of bones on a computer screen ...

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Brain: The portion of the central nervous system that is located within the skull. It func...

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Breast cancer: Cancer of the tissue containing or involving the milk glands (mammary tissu...

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Breathing: The process of respiration, during which air is inhaled into the lungs through ...

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Bronchi: The plural of bronchus.

Bronchitis: Inflammation and swelling of the bronchi. Bronchitis can be acute or chronic....

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Bronchoscope: A thin, flexible instrument with a lighted viewing tube that is used to visu...

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Bronchoscopy: A procedure that permits the doctor to see the breathing passages through a...

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Calcium: A mineral found mainly in the hard part of bones, where it is stored. Calcium is ...

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Cancer: An abnormal growth of cells which tend to proliferate in an uncontrolled way and, ...

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Cancer causes: In most individual cases of cancer, the exact cause of cancer is unknown. T...

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Carcinoid tumor: A tumor which secretes large amounts of the hormone serotonin. Carcinoid ...

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Carcinoma: Cancer that begins in the skin or in tissues that line or cover body organs. Ex...

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Cell: The basic structural and functional unit of any living thing. Each cell is a small c...

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Chemotherapy: 1. In the original sense, a chemical that binds to and specifically k...

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Chest: The area of the body located between the neck and the abdomen. The chest contains t...

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Chest pain: Pain in the chest that can be a result of many things, including angina, heart...

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Chest X-ray: A type of X-ray commonly used to detect abnormalities in the lungs. A chest X...

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Chronic: In medicine, lasting a long time. A chronic condition is one that lasts 3 months ...

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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: COPD. Any disorder that persistently obstructs bron...

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Colon: The long, coiled, tubelike organ that removes water from digested food. The remaini...

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Colon cancer: A malignant tumor arising from the inner wall of the large intestine (the co...

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Contrast: Short for "contrast media." Contrast media are X-ray dyes used to provide contra...

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COPD: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Any disorder that persistently obstructs bron...

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Cough: A rapid expulsion of air from the lungs, typically in order to clear the lung airwa...

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Coughing up blood: see hemoptysis.

CT scan: Computed tomography scan. Detailed images of internal organs are obtained by this...

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Cure: 1. To heal, to make well, to restore to good health. 2. A time withou...

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Cytology: The medical and scientific study of cells. Cytology refers to a branch of pathol...

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Depression: An illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts and that affects the way...

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Diagnosis: 1 The nature of a disease; the identification of an illness. 2 A ...

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Effusion: Too much fluid, an outpouring of fluid. For example, a pleural effusion is an ab...

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Emergency department: The department of a hospital responsible for the provision of medica...

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Endoscopic ultrasound: Abbreviated EUS. A procedure that combines endoscopy and ultrasound...

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Endoscopy: Examination of the inside of the body by using a lighted, flexible instrument c...

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Fatigue: A condition characterized by a lessened capacity for work and reduced efficiency ...

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Genes: The basic biological units of heredity. Segments of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) nee...

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Hemoptysis: Spitting up blood or blood-tinged sputum from the respiratory tract. Hemoptysi...

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Hoarseness: Hoarseness is a term referring to abnormal voice changes. Hoarseness may be ma...

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Hospice: A program or facility that provides special care for people who are near the end ...

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Hospice care: Care designed to give supportive care to people in the final phase of a term...

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Incidence: The frequency with which something, such as a disease or trait, appears in a pa...

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Incision: A cut through skin or other tissue performed by a health care professional. ...

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Inflammation: A localized reaction that produces redness, warmth, swelling, and pain as a ...

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Lesion: An area of abnormal tissue change. Lesions vary in severity from harmless to serio...

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Liver: The largest solid organ in the body, situated in the upper part of the abdomen on t...

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Lobe: Part of an organ that appears to be separate in some way from the rest. A lobe may b...

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Lung cancer: Cancer of the major organ of respiration - the lung. Lung cancer is one of th...

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Lungs: The lungs are a pair of breathing organs located with the chest which remove carbon...

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Lymph: The almost colorless fluid that travels through the lymphatic system, carrying cell...

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Lymph node: One of many small, bean-shaped organs located throughout the lymphatic system....

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Lymphatic: Pertaining to a small, thin channel that is similar to a blood vessel and that ...

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Lymphoma: A tumor of the lymphoid tissue. The major types of lymphoma are Hodgkin's diseas...

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Malignant: 1. Tending to be severe and become progressively worse, as in malignant ...

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Median: The middle, as in the median strip in a highway. For example, the median nerve is ...

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Mediastinoscopy: A procedure in which the physician inserts a tube into the chest to view ...

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Mediastinum: The area between the lungs. The organs in the mediastinum include the heart a...

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Medicaid: A number of US programs of public assistance for persons whose income is insuffi...

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Medicare: The US government's national health insurance program for people aged 65 and old...

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Mesothelioma: A malignant tumor of the mesothelium, the thin lining of the surface of the ...

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Metastasis: 1. The process by which cancer spreads from the place at which it firs...

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Metastasize: The spread from one part of the body to another. When cancer cells metastasiz...

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Methadone: A synthetic opiate. The most common medical use for methadone is as a legal sub...

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Microscope: An optical instrument that augments the power of the eye to see small objects....

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Microscopic: An object so small it cannot be seen without the aid of microscope (for examp...

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Morphine: A powerful narcotic agent that has strong analgesic (pain relief) action and oth...

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Motor: Something that produces or refers to motion. For example, a motor neuron is a nerve...

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Mouth: 1. The upper opening of the digestive tract, beginning with the lips and con...

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MRI: Magnetic resonance imaging.

Mucus: A thick fluid that is produced by the lining of some organs of the body.definition of Mucus

Narcotic: 1. A drug that causes insensibility or stupor. A narcotic induces narcosi...

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Neck: The part of the body joining the head to the shoulders. Also, any narrow or constric...

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Nickel: A silver-white metallic element. Long-term exposure to nickel, such as from jewelr...

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Nicotine: An alkaloid (a nitrogen-containing chemical) made by the tobacco plant or produc...

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Node: Literally a knot, a node is a collection of tissue. For example a lymph node, is a ...

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Nodule: A small collection of tissue that is palpable (can be felt) at any level of the sk...

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Non-small cell lung cancer: Cancer of the lung which is not of the small cell carcinoma (o...

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Nose: The external midline projection from the face. The purpose of the nose is to warm, c...

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Oncologist: A physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. After a ...

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Operation: In medicine, a surgical procedure. Many operations are named after persons. The...

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Organ: A relatively independent part of the body that carries out one or more special func...

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Oxycodone: Oxycodone is the active ingredient in OxyContin. Oxycodone is an opioid, a clos...

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Oxygen: The odorless gas that is present in the air and necessary to maintain life. Oxygen...

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Pain: An unpleasant sensation that can range from mild, localized discomfort to agony. Pa...

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Pain management: The process of providing medical care that alleviates or reduces pain. Mi...

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Palliative care: Medical or comfort care that reduces the severity of a disease or slows i...

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Palliative treatment: To palliate a disease is to treat it partially and insofar as possib...

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Passive smoking: Inhalation of smoke that comes from someone else smoking. Passive smoking...

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Pathologist: A physician who identifies diseases and conditions by studying abnormal cells...

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Pelvic: Having to do with the pelvis, the lower part of the abdomen, located between the h...

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Pelvis: The lower part of the abdomen, located between the hip bones. Structures in the fe...

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Periphery: 1. The outside or surface of a structure; the portion outside the centr...

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Peritoneum: The membrane that lines the abdominal cavity and covers most of the abdominal ...

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PET scan: The popular name (and abbreviation) of Positron Emission To...

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Pleura: One of the two membranes around the lungs. These two membranes are called the visc...

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Pleural: Pertaining to the pleura, the thin covering that protects the lungs. The term "pl...

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Pleural effusion: Excess fluid between the two membranes that cover the lungs (the viscera...

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Pneumonia: Inflammation of one or both lungs, with dense areas of lung inflammation. Pneum...

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Pneumothorax: Free air in the chest outside the lung. Pneumothorax can occur spontaneously...

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Potassium: The major positive ion (cation) found inside cells. The chemical notation for p...

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Primary tumor: A tumor that is at the original site where it first arose. For example, a p...

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Prognosis: The forecast of the probable outcome or course of a disease; the patient's chan...

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Prophylactic: A preventive measure. The word comes from the Greek for "an advance guard," ...

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Prostate: A gland within the male reproductive system that is located just below the blad...

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Prostate cancer: A malignant tumor of the prostate, the gland that produces some of the co...

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Pulmonary: Having to do with the lungs.

Quality of life: The patient's ability to enjoy normal life activities. Quality of life is...

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Radiation: 1. Rays of energy. Gamma rays and X-rays are two of the types of energy ...

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Radiation therapy: The use of high-energy rays to damage cancer cells, stopping them from ...

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Radium: The radioactive element discovered by Marie and Pierre Curie in 1898. Since the di...

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Radon: A radioactive element that is formed, as a gas, during the breakdown of radium. Rad...

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Recurrence: The return of a sign, symptom, or disease after a remission. The reappearance ...

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Recurrent: Appearing or occurring again. For example, a recurrent fever is a fever that ha...

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Relapse: The return of signs and symptoms of a disease after a remission....See the entire definition of Relapse

Remission: Disappearance of the signs and symptoms of cancer or other disease. A remission...

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Respiratory: Having to do with respiration.

Scan: As a noun, the data or image obtained from the examination of organs or regions of...

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Secondhand smoke: Smoke that comes from the burning end of a cigarette or that is exhaled ...

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Sensitivity: 1. In psychology, the quality of being sensitive. As, for example, sen...

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Shortness of breath: Difficulty in breathing. Medically referred to as dyspnea. Shortness ...

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Sleep: The body's rest cycle.

Small cell lung cancer: A type of lung cancer in which the cells appear small and round un...

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Sodium: The major positive ion (cation) in the fluid surrounding cells in the body. The ch...

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Sputum: Mucous material from the lungs that is produced (brought up) by coughing.See the entire definition of Sputum

Squamous cell carcinoma: Cancer that begins in squamous cells -- thin, flat cells that loo...

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Stage: As regards cancer, the extent of a cancer, especially whether the disease has spre...

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Staging: stagingDoing exams and tests to learn the extent of a cancer, especially whether ...

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Sternum: The long flat bone in the upper middle of the front of the chest. The sternum art...

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Supportive care: Treatment given to prevent, control, or relieve complications and side ef...

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Surgeon: A physician who treats disease, injury, or deformity via operative or manual meth...

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Surgery: The branch of medicine that employs operations in the treatment of disease or inj...

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Symptom: Any subjective evidence of disease. In contrast, a sign is objective. Blood comin...

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Therapy: The treatment of disease. Therapy is synonymous with treatment....See the entire definition of Therapy back to top

Thigh: The thick, muscular portion of the leg that extends from the hip to the knee. The t...

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Thoracentesis: Removal of fluid from the space between the lungs and the chest wall (the p...

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Thoracotomy: An operation to open the chest, usually in order to gain access to the lungs ...

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Throat: The throat is the anterior (front) portion of the neck beginning at the back of th...

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Tobacco: A South American herb (Nicotiana tabacum) whose leaves contain 2 to 8 percent nic...

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Toxicity: The degree to which a substance (a toxin or poison) can harm humans or animals. ...

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Tuberculosis: A highly contagious infection caused by the bacterium called Mycobacteriu...

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Tumor: An abnormal mass of tissue. Tumors are a classic sign of inflammation, and can be ...

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Ultrasound: High-frequency sound waves. Ultra-sound waves can be bounced off tissues by us...

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Uranium: A metallic element that is used as nuclear fuel and is highly toxic and radioacti...

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Vertebrae: The preferred plural of vertebra. (The alternate plural is vertebras.) See also...

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Weight loss: Weight loss is a decrease in body weight resulting from either voluntary (die...

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Wheezing: A whistling noise in the chest during breathing. Wheezing occurs when the airway...

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Windpipe: The trachea, a tube-like portion of the respiratory (breathing) tract that conne...

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X-ray: High-energy radiation with waves shorter than those of visible light. X-ray is used...

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