a modified version of a germ or other substance related to a disease, usually given by injection (a shot). It is used to stimulate the immune system to resist that disease for a period of time, or even permanently. For instance, the HPV vaccines help to prevent cancer by helping the body fight human papilloma virus (HPV), which can cause many types of cancer. Research continues into vaccines to help a person who has cancer, with recent progress in prostate cancer treatment.
a device that creates an erection by drawing blood into the penis; a ring placed at the base of the penis then traps the blood and keeps the erection. See also impotence.
the passage leading from the vulva (the female genital organs that are on the outside of the body) to the uterus (the womb).
any inflammation of the vagina. Atrophic vaginitis is an inflammation of the vagina in which vaginal tissue becomes thin and dry. This condition often occurs after menopause and is caused by lack of estrogen. It may be relieved by an estrogen cream, ring, or tablet that is placed in the vagina. Vaginitis can also be a side effect of chemotherapy. See also,chemotherapy, estrogen, menopause, vagina.
one of 2 muscular tubes that carry sperm from the testicles to the seminal vesicles. See also seminal vesicles, sperm, testicles.
a protein that helps tumors form new blood vessels. See also angiogenesis.
surgery in which a segment of each vas deferens is removed to prevent release of sperm and thus prevent pregnancy. See also sperm, vas deferens.
one of 33 bones that is stacked and interlocked to form the spinal column; the spinal cord runs through these bones . The plural is vertebrae (ver-tuh-bray). See also spinal cord, spine.
-no-muh or ad
a benign (not cancer) polyp inside the colon or rectum with finger-like projections of gland cells that can be seen under the microscope. These finger-like structures generally make up at least half of the adenoma. Villous adenomas are usually broad-based, pre-cancerous lesions, and often cause rectal bleeding. They are usually removed when found. See also adenomatous polyp, colon, polyp, rectum, tubular adenoma, tubulovillous adenoma.
a polyp or mass that has some finger-like projections of gland cells when seen under the microscope. If there are enough of these, the mass would be considered a villous or tubulovillous polyp. See also adenomatous polyp, colon, polyp, tubular adenoma, tubulovillous adenoma, villous adenoma.
examination of the colon for polyps or masses using special computed tomography (CT) scans. The images are combined by a computer to make a 3-dimensional (3-D) model of the colon, which doctors can “fly-through” on a computer screen. See also colon, colonoscopy, computed tomography scan, polyp.
very small organisms (called micro-organisms) that cause infections. Viruses are too small to be seen with a regular microscope. They can grow and reproduce only in living cells.