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Oncology-related Terms Glossary
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HAART

Antiretroviral drugs are medications for the treatment of infection by retroviruses, primarily HIV. When several such drugs, typically three or four, are taken in combination, the approach is known as Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy, or HAART. The American National Institutes of Health and other organizations recommend offering antiretroviral treatment to all patients with AIDS. Because of the complexity of selecting and following a regimen, the severity of the side-effects and the importance of compliance to prevent viral resistance, such organizations emphasize the importance of involving patients in therapy choices, and recommend analyzing the risks and the potential benefits to patients with low viral loads.

Hairy cell leukemia

Hairy cell leukemia is an uncommon hematological malignancy characterized by an accumulation of abnormal B lymphocytes. It is usually classified as a sub-type of chronic lymphoid leukemia. Hairy cell leukemia makes up approximately 2% of all leukemias, with fewer than 2,000 new cases diagnosed annually in North America and Western Europe combined.

Halsted radical mastectomy

Radical mastectomy is a surgical procedure in which the breast, underlying chest muscle (including pectoralis major and pectoralis minor), and lymph nodes of the axilla are removed as a treatment for breast cancer.

Hamartoma

A hamartoma is a benign, focal malformation that resembles a neoplasm in the tissue of its origin. This is not a malignant tumor, and it grows at the same rate as the surrounding tissues. It is composed of tissue elements normally found at that site, but which are growing in a disorganized mass. They occur in many different parts of the body and are most often asymptomatic and undetected unless seen on an image taken for another reason.

Hand-foot syndrome

Chemotherapy-induced acral erythema (also known as "palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia" or "hand-foot syndrome") is reddening, swelling, numbness and desquamation on palms and soles that can occur after chemotherapy in patients with cancer. These skin changes usually are well demarcated. Acral erythema typically disappears within a few weeks after discontinuation of the offending drug.

Head and neck cancer

The term head and neck cancer refers to a group of biologically similar cancers originating from the upper aerodigestive tract, including the lip, oral cavity (mouth), nasal cavity, paranasal sinuses, pharynx, and larynx. 90% of head and neck cancers are squamous cell carcinomas (SCCHN), originating from the mucosal lining (epithelium) of these regions. Head and neck cancers often spread to the lymph nodes of the neck, and this is often the first (and sometimes only) manifestation of the disease at the time of diagnosis. Head and neck cancer is strongly associated with certain environmental and lifestyle risk factors, including tobacco smoking, alcohol consumption, UV light and occupational exposures, and certain strains of viruses, such as the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus. These cancers are frequently aggressive in their biologic behavior; patients with these types of cancer often develop a second primary tumor. Head and neck cancer is highly curable if detected early, usually with some form of surgery although chemotherapy and radiation therapy may also play an important role. The 2009 estimated number of head and neck cancer in the US is of 35,720 new cases.

Hedyotis diffusa

Hedyotis diffusa (Chinese: 白花蛇舌草 báihuā shéshécǎo, literally "white flower snake-tongue grass", sometimes abbreviated to 蛇舌草 shéshécǎo) is a kind of herb used in traditional Chinese medicine. It has been used to boost the immune system and may treat fever, cancer, etc.

HeLa

A HeLa cell (also Hela or hela cell) is a cell type in an immortal cell line used in scientific research. It is one of the oldest and most commonly used human cell lines. The line was derived from cervical cancer cells taken from Henrietta Lacks, a patient who eventually died of her cancer on October 4, 1951. The cell line was found to be remarkably durable and prolific as illustrated by its contamination of many other cell lines used in research.

Helper T cell

T helper cells (also known as Th cells) are a sub-group of lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell, that play an important role in establishing and maximizing the capabilities of the immune system. These cells are unusual in that they have no cytotoxic or phagocytic activity; they cannot kill infected host cells (also known as somatic cells) or pathogens, and without other immune cells they would usually be considered useless against an infection. Th cells are involved in activating and directing other immune cells, and are particularly important in the immune system. They are essential in determining B cell antibody class switching, in the activation and growth of cytotoxic T cells, and in maximizing bactericidal activity of phagocytes such as macrophages. It is this diversity in function and their role in influencing other cells that gives T helper cells their name.

Hemagglutinin-neuraminidase

Hemagglutinin-neuraminidase refers to a single viral protein that has both hemagglutinin and neuraminidase activity. This is in contrast to the proteins found in influenza, where both functions exist but in two separate proteins.

Hemangiopericytoma

A hemangeopericytoma (HPC) is a type of soft tissue sarcoma that originates in the pericytes in the walls of capillaries. When inside the nervous system, although not strictly a meningioma tumor, it is a meningeal tumor with an especially aggressive behavior.

Hemangiosarcoma

Hemangiosarcoma is a rare, rapidly growing, highly invasive variety of cancer. It is a blood-fed sarcoma; that is, blood vessels grow directly into the tumor and it is typically filled with blood. A frequent cause of death is the rupturing of this tumor, causing the victim to rapidly bleed to death.

Hematologist

Hematology, also spelled haematology (from the Greek αἷμα haima "blood" and -λoγία), is the branch of internal medicine, physiology, pathology, clinical laboratory work, and pediatrics that is concerned with the study of blood, the blood-forming organs, and blood diseases. Hematology includes the study of etiology, diagnosis, treatment, prognosis, and prevention of blood diseases. The laboratory work that goes into the study of blood is frequently performed by a medical technologist. Hematologists physicians also very frequently do further study in oncology - the medical treatment of cancer.

Hematopoiesis

Haematopoiesis (hematopoiesis in the United States; sometimes also haemopoiesis or hemopoiesis) is the formation of blood cellular components. All cellular blood components are derived from haematopoietic stem cells. In a healthy adult person, approximately 1011–1012 new blood cells are produced daily in order to maintain steady state levels in the peripheral circulation.

Hematopoietic growth factor

Hematopoietic growth factor is a group of proteins that causes blood cells to grow and mature.

Heparin

Heparin (from Ancient Greek ηπαρ (hepar), liver), also known as unfractionated heparin, a highly-sulfated glycosaminoglycan, is widely used as an injectable anticoagulant, and has the highest negative charge density of any known biological molecule. It can also be used to form an inner anticoagulant surface on various experimental and medical devices such as test tubes and renal dialysis machines.

Hepatectomy

Hepatectomy consists on the surgical resection of the liver. While the term is often employed for the removal of the liver from a liver transplant recipient, this article will focus on partial resections of hepatic tissue.

Hepatic

The liver is a vital organ present in vertebrates and some other animals. It has a wide range of functions, including detoxification, protein synthesis, and production of biochemicals necessary for digestion.

Hepatic arterial infusion

Hepatic arterial infusion is a medical procedure to deliver chemotherapy directly to the liver. Catheters are put into an artery in the groin that leads directly to the liver, and drugs are given through the catheters.

Hepatic artery

In anatomy, the common hepatic artery is a short blood vessel that supplies oxygenated blood to the liver, pylorus (a part of the stomach), duodenum (a part of the small intestine) and pancreas.

Hepatic portal vein

The hepatic portal vein is not a true vein, because it does not conduct blood directly to the heart. It is a vessel in the abdominal cavity that drains blood from the gastrointestinal tract and spleen to capillary beds in the liver.

Hepatic veno-occlusive disease

Hepatic veno-occlusive disease or veno-occlusive disease (VOD) is a condition in which some of the small veins in the liver are blocked. It is a complication of high-dose chemotherapy given before a bone marrow transplant (BMT) and is marked by weight gain due to fluid retention, increased liver size, and raised levels of bilirubin in the blood.

Hepatoblastoma

Hepatoblastoma is an uncommon malignant liver neoplasm occurring in infants and children and composed of tissue resembling fetal or mature liver cells or bile ducts.

Hepatocellular carcinoma/Hepatoma

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC, also called malignant hepatoma) is a primary malignancy (cancer) of the liver. Most cases of HCC are secondary to either a viral hepatitide infection (hepatitis B or C) or cirrhosis (alcoholism being the most common cause of hepatic cirrhosis).

Hepatocyte

A hepatocyte is a cell of the main tissue of the liver. Hepatocytes make up 70-80% of the liver's cytoplasmic mass.

Hepatomegaly

Hepatomegaly is the condition of having an enlarged liver. It is a nonspecific medical sign having many causes, which can broadly be broken down into infection, direct toxicity, hepatic tumours, or metabolic disorder. Often, hepatomegaly will present as an abdominal mass. Depending on the cause, it may sometimes present along with jaundice.

HER1

The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR; ErbB-1; HER1 in humans) is the cell-surface receptor for members of the epidermal growth factor family (EGF-family) of extracellular protein ligands. The epidermal growth factor receptor is a member of the ErbB family of receptors, a subfamily of four closely related receptor tyrosine kinases: EGFR (ErbB-1), HER2/c-neu (ErbB-2), Her 3 (ErbB-3) and Her 4 (ErbB-4). Mutations affecting EGFR expression or activity could result in cancer.[2] Epidermal Growth Factor was discovered by Stanley Cohen of Vanderbilt University along with Rita Levi-Montalcini for which both received the Nobel prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1986.

HER2/neu

HER2/neu (also known as ErbB-2) stands for "Human Epidermal growth factor Receptor 2" and is a protein giving higher aggressiveness in breast cancers. It is a member of the ErbB protein family, more commonly known as the epidermal growth factor receptor family. HER2/neu has also been designated as CD340 (cluster of differentiation 340) and p185. It is encoded by the ERBB2 gene.

HER2/neu gene

HER2/neu (also known as ErbB-2) stands for "Human Epidermal growth factor Receptor 2" and is a protein giving higher aggressiveness in breast cancers. It is a member of the ErbB protein family, more commonly known as the epidermal growth factor receptor family. HER2/neu has also been designated as CD340 (cluster of differentiation 340) and p185. It is encoded by the ERBB2 gene.

Hereditary mutation

A genetic disorder is an illness caused by abnormalities in genes or chromosomes. While some diseases, such as cancer, are due in part to genetic disorders, they can also be caused by environmental factors. Most disorders are quite rare and affect one person in every several thousands or millions. Some types of recessive gene disorders confer an advantage in the heterozygous state in certain environments.

Hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer

Lynch syndrome (HNPCC or Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer ) is an autosomal dominant genetic condition which has a high risk of colon cancer as well as other cancers including endometrium, ovary, stomach, small intestine, hepatobiliary tract, upper urinary tract, brain, and skin. The increased risk for these cancers is due to inherited mutations that impair DNA mismatch repair.

Herpesvirus

The Herpesviridae are a large family of DNA viruses that cause diseases in animals, including humans. The members of this family are also known as herpesviruses. The family name is derived from the Greek word herpein ("to creep"), referring to the latent, recurring infections typical of this group of viruses. Herpesviridae can cause latent or lytic infections.

High-grade lymphoma

Aggressive lymphoma is a type of lymphoma that grows and spreads quickly, and has severe symptoms. It is seen frequently in patients who are HIV-positive (AIDS-related lymphoma). Also called intermediate-grade lymphoma and high-grade lymphoma.

High grade squamous intraepithelial lesion

The Bethesda System (TBS) is a system for reporting cervical or vaginal cytologic diagnoses, used for reporting Pap smear results. It was introduced in 1988, and revised in 1991 and 2001.The name comes from the location (Bethesda, Maryland) of the conference that established the system.

Highly active antiretroviral therapy

Antiretroviral drugs are medications for the treatment of infection by retroviruses, primarily HIV. When several such drugs, typically three or four, are taken in combination, the approach is known as Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy, or HAART. The American National Institutes of Health and other organizations recommend offering antiretroviral treatment to all patients with AIDS. Because of the complexity of selecting and following a regimen, the severity of the side-effects and the importance of compliance to prevent viral resistance, such organizations emphasize the importance of involving patients in therapy choices, and recommend analyzing the risks and the potential benefits to patients with low viral loads.

Hilar

In human anatomy, the hilum (formerly called a hilus) is a depression or fissure where structures such as blood vessels and nerves enter an organ.

Histamine dihydrochloride

Ceplene is a pharmaceutical-grade form of histamine dihydrochloride, which is used for the prevention of relapse in patients diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

Histology

Histology is the study of the microscopic anatomy of cells and tissues of plants and animals. It is performed by examining a thin slice (section) of tissue under a light microscope or electron microscope. The ability to visualize or differentially identify microscopic structures is frequently enhanced through the use of histological stains. Histology is an essential tool of biology and medicine.

Histone

In biology, histones are highly alkaline proteins found in eukaryotic cell nuclei, which package and order the DNA into structural units called nucleosomes.

Histone deacetylase

Histone deacetylases (HDAC) (EC number 3.5.1) are a class of enzymes that remove acetyl groups from an ε-N-acetyl lysine amino acid on a histone. Its action is opposite to that of histone acetyltransferase. HDAC proteins are now also being referred to as lysine deacetylases (KDAC), as to more precisely describe their function rather than their target, which also includes numerous non-histone proteins.

Historic cohort study

A retrospective cohort study, also called a historic cohort study, is a medical research study in which the medical records of groups of individuals who are alike in many ways but differ by a certain characteristic (for example, female nurses who smoke and those who do not smoke) are compared for a particular outcome (such as lung cancer).[1] In retrospective cohort studies, the odds ratio gives an assessment of relative risk.

HLA

The human leukocyte antigen system (HLA) is the name of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) in humans. The super locus contains a large number of genes related to immune system function in humans. This group of genes reside on chromosome 6, and encode cell-surface antigen-presenting proteins and many other genes. The HLA genes are the human versions of the MHC genes that are found in most vertebrates (and thus are the most studied of the MHC genes). The proteins encoded by certain genes are also known as antigens, as a result of their historic discovery as factors in organ transplantations. The major HLA antigens are essential elements for immune function.

HNPCC

Lynch syndrome (HNPCC or Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer) is an autosomal dominant genetic condition which has a high risk of colon cancer as well as other cancers including endometrium, ovary, stomach, small intestine, hepatobiliary tract, upper urinary tract, brain, and skin. The increased risk for these cancers is due to inherited mutations that impair DNA mismatch repair.

Hodgkin's disease/lymphoma

Hodgkin's lymphoma, previously known as Hodgkin's disease, is a type of lymphoma, which is a cancer originating from white blood cells called lymphocytes. It was named after Thomas Hodgkin, who first described abnormalities in the lymph system in 1832. Hodgkin's lymphoma is characterized by the orderly spread of disease from one lymph node group to another and by the development of systemic symptoms with advanced disease.

Homoharringtonine

Omacetaxine mepesuccinate (INN, or homoharringtonine, trade name Omapro) is an alkaloid from Cephalotaxus harringtonia that is investigated for potential use as a drug against hematological cancers. It is being developed by Chemgenex and is on fast track approval schedule in the United States. Omacetaxine has been granted orphan drug status in the U.S. and in Europe.

Hormonal therapy

Hormone therapy, or hormonal therapy is the use of hormones in medical treatment. Treatment with hormone antagonists may also referred to as hormonal therapy.

Hormone receptor

A hormone receptor is a receptor protein on the surface of a cell or in its interior that binds to a specific hormone. The hormone causes many changes to take place in the cell.

Hormone replacement therapy

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a system of medical treatment for surgically menopausal, perimenopausal and to a lesser extent postmenopausal women. It is based on the idea that the treatment may prevent discomfort caused by diminished circulating estrogen and progesterone hormones. It involves the use of one or more of a group of medications designed to artificially boost hormone levels. The main types of hormones involved are estrogens, progesterone or progestins, and sometimes testosterone. It often referred to as "treatment" rather than therapy.

Horner's syndrome

Horner's syndrome or Horner syndrome is a clinical syndrome caused by damage to the sympathetic nervous system. It is also known by the names Bernard-Horner syndrome or Claude Bernard-Horner syndrome or as oculosympathetic palsy.

Host cell

In biology, a host is an organism that harbors a parasite (that is, a virus, a bacterium, a protozoan, or a fungus), or a mutual or commensal symbiont, typically providing nourishment and shelter. In botany, a host plant is one that supplies food resources and substrate for certain insects or other fauna. Examples of such interactions include a cell being host to a virus, a legume plant hosting helpful nitrogen-fixing bacteria, and animals as hosts to parasitic worms, e.g. nematodes.

HPPH

2-(1-Hexyloxyethyl)-2-devinyl pyropheophorbide-a (HPPH) is a photosensitiser chemical that is used in photodynamic therapy.

HPV

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a member of the papillomavirus family of viruses that is capable of infecting humans. Like all papillomaviruses, HPVs establish productive infections only in the stratified epithelium of the skin or mucous membranes. While the majority of the nearly 200 known types of HPV cause no symptoms in most people, some types can cause warts (verrucae), while others can – in a minority of cases – lead to cancers of the cervix, vulva, vagina, and anus in women or cancers of the anus and penis in men.

HRT

Androgen replacement therapy is hormone treatment for middle-aged and older men facing Hypogonadism which is often intended to counter the natural effects of aging. Androgen replacement is also used for men who have lost their testicular function to disease, or cancer, or to other causes.

HTLV-1

Human T-cell Lymphotropic Virus Type 1 (HTLV-I), also called the Adult T-cell lymphoma virus type 1, a virus that has been seriously implicated in several kinds of diseases including HTLV-I-associated myelopathy, Strongyloides stercoralis hyper-infection, and a virus cancer link for leukemia (see adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma). Between one in twenty and one in twenty-five infected persons are thought to develop cancer as a result of the virus.

Human leukocyte antigen/Human lymphocyte antigen

The human leukocyte antigen system (HLA) is the name of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) in humans. The super locus contains a large number of genes related to immune system function in humans. This group of genes reside on chromosome 6, and encode cell-surface antigen-presenting proteins and many other genes. The HLA genes are the human versions of the MHC genes that are found in most vertebrates (and thus are the most studied of the MHC genes). The proteins encoded by certain genes are also known as antigens, as a result of their historic discovery as factors in organ transplantations.

Human papillomavirus

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a member of the papillomavirus family of viruses that is capable of infecting humans. Like all papillomaviruses, HPVs establish productive infections only in the stratified epithelium of the skin or mucous membranes. While the majority of the nearly 200 known types of HPV cause no symptoms in most people, some types can cause warts (verrucae), while others can – in a minority of cases – lead to cancers of the cervix, vulva, vagina, and anus in women or cancers of the anus and penis in men.

Human T-cell leukemia virus type 1

Human T-cell Lymphotropic Virus Type 1 (HTLV-I), also called the Adult T-cell lymphoma virus type 1, a virus that has been seriously implicated in several kinds of diseases including HTLV-I-associated myelopathy, Strongyloides stercoralis hyper-infection, and a virus cancer link for leukemia (see adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma). Between one in twenty and one in twenty-five infected persons are thought to develop cancer as a result of the virus.

Hydrazine sulfate

Hydrazine sulfate is the salt of hydrazine and sulfuric acid. Known by the trade name Sehydrin, it is a chemical compound that has been used as an alternative medical treatment for the loss of appetite (anorexia) and weight loss (cachexia) which is often associated with cancer. Hydrazine sulfate has never been approved in the US as safe and effective in treating any medical condition, although it is marketed as a dietary supplement. It is also sold over the Internet by websites that promote its use as a cancer therapy.

Hydromorphone

Hydromorphone, a more common synonym for dihydromorphinone and dimorphone, commonly a hydrochloride (trade names Palladone, Dilaudid, and numerous others) is a potent centrally-acting analgesic drug of the opioid class. It is a derivative of morphine, to be specific, a hydrogenated ketone thereof and, therefore, a semi-synthetic drug. It is, in medical terms, an opioid analgesic and, in legal terms, a narcotic. It should not be confused with hydromorphinol, also known as 14-hydroxydihydromorphine and RAM-320, or dihydromorphine (Paramorfan).

Hydronephrosis

Hydronephrosis is distension and dilation of the renal pelvis calyces, usually caused by obstruction of the free flow of urine from the kidney, leading to progressive atrophy of the kidney.

Hydroureter

Megaureter is an anomaly whereby the ureter is abnormally dilated. Congenital megaureter is an uncommon condition which is more common in males, may be bilateral, and is often associated with other congenital anomalies. The cause is thought to be aperistalsis of the distal ureter, leading to dilatation.

Hydroxychloroquine

Hydroxychloroquine is an antimalarial drug, sold under the trade names Plaquenil, Dolquine, and Quensyl, also used to reduce inflammation in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (see disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs) and lupus.

Hydroxyurea

Hydroxycarbamide (INN) or hydroxyurea (brand names include Hydrea and Droxia) is an antineoplastic drug, first synthesized in 1869, used in myeloproliferative disorders, specifically polycythemia vera and essential thrombocythemia. It is also used to reduce the rate of painful attacks in sickle-cell disease and has antiretroviral properties in diseases such as AIDS.

Hypercalcemia

Hypercalcaemia (in American English, hypercalcemia) is an elevated calcium level in the blood. (Normal range: 9–10.5 mg/dL or 2.2–2.6 mmol/L). It can be an asymptomatic laboratory finding, but because an elevated calcium level is often indicative of other diseases, a diagnosis should be undertaken if it persists. It can be due to excessive skeletal calcium release, increased intestinal calcium absorption, or decreased renal calcium excretion.

Hyperglycemia

Hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar, is a condition in which an excessive amount of glucose circulates in the blood plasma. This is generally a glucose level higher than 10 mmol/l (180 mg/dl), but symptoms may not start to become noticeable until even higher values such as 15-20 mmol/l (270-360 mg/dl). However, chronic levels exceeding 7 mmol/l (125 mg/dl) can produce organ damage.

Hypericum perforatum

St John's wort is the plant species Hypericum perforatum, and is also known as Tipton's Weed, Chase-devil, or Klamath weed.

Hypernephroma

Renal cell carcinoma (RCC, also known as hypernephroma) is a kidney cancer that originates in the lining of the proximal convoluted tubule, the very small tubes in the kidney that filter the blood and remove waste products. RCC is the most common type of kidney cancer in adults, responsible for approximately 80% of cases.

Hyperplasia

Hyperplasia (or "hypergenesis") means abnormal cell proliferation of cells. It may result in the gross enlargement of an organ and the term is sometimes mixed with benign neoplasia/ benign tumor.

Hypersensitivity

Hypersensitivity (also called hypersensitivity reaction) refers to undesirable (damaging, discomfort-producing and sometimes fatal) reactions produced by the normal immune system. Hypersensitivity reactions require a pre-sensitized (immune) state of the host. The four-group classification was expounded by P. H. G. Gell and Robin Coombs in 1963.

Hyperthermia therapy

Hyperthermia therapy is a type of medical treatment in which body tissue is exposed to high temperatures to damage and kill cancer cells or to make cancer cells more sensitive to the effects of radiation and certain anti-cancer drugs. When combined with radiation therapy, it is called thermoradiography.

Hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemoperfusion

Intraperitoneal hyperthermic chemoperfusion (IPHC) is a type of hyperthermia therapy for cancer. IPHC is also called intra-abdominal hyperthermic chemoperfusion, intraperitoneal hyperthermic chemotherapy, or Sugarbaker technique, after Paul Sugarbaker, developer and advocate of this procedure.

Hyperthermic perfusion

Hyperthermia therapy is a type of medical treatment in which body tissue is exposed to high temperatures to damage and kill cancer cells or to make cancer cells more sensitive to the effects of radiation and certain anti-cancer drugs. When combined with radiation therapy, it is called thermoradiography.

Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism is the term for overactive tissue within the thyroid gland causing an overproduction of thyroid hormones (thyroxine or "T4" and/or triiodothyronine or "T3"). Hyperthyroidism is thus a cause of thyrotoxicosis, the clinical condition of increased thyroid hormones in the blood. It is important to note that hyperthyroidism and thyrotoxicosis are not synonymous. For instance, thyrotoxicosis could instead be caused by ingestion of exogenous thyroid hormone or inflammation of the thyroid gland, causing it to release its stores of thyroid hormones.

Hyperuricemia

Hyperuricemia (British English: hyperuricaemia) is a level of uric acid in the blood that is abnormally high. In humans, the upper end of the normal range is 360 µmol/L (6 mg/dL) for women and 400 µmol/L (6.8 mg/dL) for men.

Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia or hypoglycæmia (not to be confused with Hyperglycemia) is the medical term for a state produced by a lower than normal level of blood glucose. The term literally means "under-sweet blood" (Gr. υπογλυκαιμία, from hypo-, glykys, haima). It can produce a variety of symptoms and effects but the principal problems arise from an inadequate supply of glucose to the brain, resulting in impairment of function (neuroglycopenia). Effects can range from mild dysphoria to more serious issues such as seizures, unconsciousness, and (rarely) permanent brain damage or death.

Hypopharynx

In human anatomy, the hypopharynx (or laryngopharynx) is the bottom part of the pharynx, and is the part of the throat that connects to the esophagus.

Hypotension

In physiology and medicine, hypotension is abnormally low blood pressure. This is best understood as a physiologic state, rather than a disease. It is often associated with shock, though not necessarily indicative of it. Hypotension is the opposite of hypertension, which is high blood pressure. Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps out blood. If it is lower than normal then it is called low blood pressure or hypotension. Hypotension is generally considered as systolic blood pressure less than 90 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or diastolic less than 60 mm Hg. However in practice, blood pressure is considered too low only if noticeable symptoms are present.

Hypothalamus

The Hypothalamus is a portion of the brain that contains a number of small nuclei with a variety of functions. One of the most important functions of the hypothalamus is to link the nervous system to the endocrine system via the pituitary gland (hypophysis).

Hypothesis

A hypothesis (from Greek ὑπόθεσις; plural hypotheses) is a proposed explanation for an observable phenomenon. The term derives from the Greek, ὑποτιθέναι – hypotithenai meaning "to put under" or "to suppose." For a hypothesis to be put forward as a scientific hypothesis, the scientific method requires that one can test it. Scientists generally base scientific hypotheses on previous observations that cannot satisfactorily be explained with the available scientific theories. Even though the words "hypothesis" and "theory" are often used synonymously in common and informal usage, a scientific hypothesis is not the same as a scientific theory. A working hypothesis is a provisionally accepted hypothesis.

Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is a deficiency of thyroid hormone in humans and other vertebrates. Iodine deficiency is the most common cause of hypothyroidism worldwide but it can be caused by any number of other causes such as several conditions of the the thyroid gland, or less commonly, the pituitary gland or hypothalamus. It can result from a lack of a thyroid gland. It can also be due to iodine-131 used to treat thyroid cancer, its surgical removal. Cretinism is a form of hypothyroidism found in infants.

Hypoxia/Hypoxic

Hypoxia, or hypoxiation, is a pathological condition in which the body as a whole (generalized hypoxia) or a region of the body (tissue hypoxia) is deprived of adequate oxygen supply. Variations in arterial oxygen concentrations can be part of the normal physiology, for example, during strenuous physical exercise. A mismatch between oxygen supply and its demand at the cellular level may result in a hypoxic condition. Hypoxia in which there is complete deprivation of oxygen supply is referred to as anoxia.

Hysterectomy

A hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus, usually performed by a gynecologist. Hysterectomy may be total (removing the body, fundus, and cervix of the uterus; often called "complete") or partial (removal of the uterine body while leaving the cervix intact; also called "supracervical"). It is the most commonly performed gynecological surgical procedure. In 2003, over 600,000 hysterectomies were performed in the United States alone, of which over 90% were performed for benign conditions. Such rates being highest in the industrialized world has led to the major controversy that hysterectomies are being largely performed for unwarranted and unnecessary reasons.

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Published - April 2011







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