Medical Dictionary


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1. abdomen

(ab-do-men) The part of your body between the chest and the pelvis containing the stomach (with the lower part of the esophagus), small and large intestines, liver, gallbladder, spleen, pancreas, and bladder.

2. ablative therapy

(ab-lay-tive ) Treatment that removes or destroys the function of an organ or system. For example, high dose chemotherapy and radiation before a bone marrow transplant is considered ablative therapy because it wipes out your immune system.

3. absolute neutrophil count (ANC)

The percentage of polys and bands that are part of your total white blood count. If your ANC. is less than 1,000, you are very prone to infection.

4. adjuvant therapy

(add-joo-vunt) Treatment used in addition to your main treatment. It usually refers to chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or immunotherapy added after surgery to increase the chances of curing your disease or keeping it in check.

5. afebrile

Having no fever, normal temperature

6. alkaline

Any substance that can neutralize acids. Alkaline urine is needed to neutralize uric acid, the product of tumor cell breakdown that can be harmful to your kidneys.

7. alopecia

(al-o-pee-shuh) Hair loss. This often occurs as a result of chemotherapy or from radiation therapy to the head. In most cases, the hair grows back after treatment ends.

8. alternative therapy

Non-conventional treatment that may not be medically proven. Some alternative therapies may have dangerous or even life-threatening side effects. With others, the main danger is that you may lose the opportunity to benefit from conventional therapy. It is recommended that you discuss the use of alternative therapies with your health care team. See also complementary therapy.

9. ambulatory

The ability to walk; not confined to bed.

10. amputation

The surgical removal of a diseased body part.

11. analgesic

A drug used for reducing pain.

12. anaphylaxis

An allergic reaction ranging from relatively mild (hives) to very serious (shock).

13. anemia

(uh-neem-ee-uh) Low red blood cell count which can cause you to feel fatigued and have shortness of breath. Anemia can be caused by a variety of conditions and diseases.

14. anesthesiologist

(an-es-the-zee-ol-o-jist) A doctor who specializes in giving medicines or other agents that prevent or relieve pain, especially during surgery.

15. anorexia

The lack of desire for food; no appetite.

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