452 carotid endarterectomy A surgical procedure to remove arterial plaque from the gl°ssary carotid arteries.

carpal tunnel syndrome A common repetitive stress injury characterized by numbness, tingling, and pain in the wrist and hand. The injury results from compression of the median nerve where it enters the hand.

cartilage A type of connective tissue that is an important structural component of certain parts of the skeletal system such as the joints.

cataract A cloudy area in the normally clear lens of the eye that causes impaired vision.

catheter A thin, flexible tube that is inserted into a vessel or body cavity to withdraw or instill fluids or to widen a passageway.

cecum The large blind pouch that forms the beginning of the large intestine.

celiac disease The inability to metabolize gluten, a protein found in most grains.

cerebrospinal fluid The fluid that provides nutrition and support for the brain and the spinal cord.

cerebrovascular accident See stroke.

chemical peel A cosmetic surgery procedure that uses chemicals such as alpha-hydroxy acids, trichloroacetic acid, or phenol to remove damaged outer layers of skin, improving the skin's appearance and texture.

chemotherapy Treatment of cancer using powerful drugs to destroy cancer cells throughout the body.

cherry angioma A small, bright red, flat or raised spot made up of tiny, closely packed blood vessels near the surface of the skin. Cherry angiomas appear most often on the trunk but can appear anywhere on the body.

CHF Congestive heart failure. See heart failure.

chickenpox A common infectious disease caused by the herpesvirus varicella-zoster virus and characterized by a blistery rash and fever. Chickenpox is a mild disease in children but can lead to serious complications in adults.

chlamydia A sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by the microorganism Chlamydia trachomatis. Symptoms usually are mild, but some men with chlamydia may experience burning during urination and have a discharge from the penis.

Chlamydia trachomatis A microorganism that causes chlamydia, epididymitis, and most cases of nongonococcal urethritis (NGU).

cholesterol A fatlike substance that is an important component of cells and is involved in the transport of fats in the blood. Types of cholesterol include high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol.

chordoma A type of slow-growing malignant tumor in the upper spinal cord. chronic Describes a disorder or illness that persists for a long time.

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