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Medical Term Dictionary - I
medical terms

I-Iyperplasia - An abnormal, excessive growth of cells that is benign.

Immune system - System by which the body is able to protect itself from outside invaders which are harmful to the body.

Impotence - The condition when a man is unable to have sexual intercourse because of lack of penile erection or, less commonly to ejaculate having gained an erection. The cause may be organic and the result of a condition or disease (diabetes, endocrine gland disorder) or, more commonly, psychogenic, i.e. caused by psychological or emotional problems such as anxiety, fear or guilt.

In Situ - In place, localized and confined to one area. A very early stage of cancer found inside the duct or lobule.

In situ cancer - Localized or noninvasive cancer that has not begun to spread.

In vitro fertilization (IVF) - The process of fertilizing an ovum outside the body. The technique is used when a woman has blocked Fallopian tubes or when there is some other reason for sperm and ovum not uniting. The woman produces several ova (because of hormone therapy treatment), which are removed by laparoscopy, and these are mixed with sperm and incubated in culture medium until they are fertilized. At the blastocyst stage some are implanted in the mother's uterus. The first successful live birth using this technique was in 1978, when the phrase 'test-tube baby was coined.

Incision,al Biopsy - A surgical incision made through the skin to remove a portion of a suspected lump or tissue for pathologic examination that is suspected of being abnormal.

Induction - The commencement of labour by artificial means, either by administering drugs to produce uterine contractions or by anatomy.

Inert - Does not react or cause a reaction.

Infertility - The condition in which a person is unable to produce offspring naturally. Female infertility may be because of irregular or absence of ovulation, blocked Fallopian tubes, endometriosis; while a low sperm count or other deficiency in the spermatozoa can lead to male infertility. Treatment can include drug therapy, surgery or, more recently, the technique of in vitro fertilization.

Infiltrating (invasive) cancer - Cancer that can grow beyond its site of origin into neighboring tissue.

Infiltrating ductal cell carcinoma - Cancer that begins in the mammary duct and spreads to areas outside the duct.

Infiltrating lobular carcinoma - Cancerous cells in the breast lobule that have spread through the basement membrane into the surrounding breast tissue.

Inflanunation - Reaction of tissue to various conditions which may result in pain, redness or warmth of tissues in the area.

Informed Consent - Process of explanation to the patient of all risks and complications of a procedure or treatment before it is done. Most informed consents are written and signed by the patient or a legal representative.

Infraclavicular nodes - Lymph nodes lying beneath the collarbone.

Inframammary crease - The crease where a lower portion of the breast and chest wall meet.

Insemination - The introduction of semen into the vagina, whether by sexual intercourse or artificial means.

Intraductal - Residing within the duct of the breast. Intraductal disease may be benign or malignant.

Intraductal carcinoma in sim (DCIS) - This pre-invasive cancer is located in the milk ducts of the breast.

Intrauterine device (IUD) - A plastic or metal contraceptive device, often in the shape of a coil about 25 mm long, that is placed in the uterus. The device probably prevents conception by preventing potential implantation of the embryo. There are sometimes side effects, e.g. back pain and heavy menstrual bleeding, but it is a reasonably effective method.

Intravenous (IV) line - A needle inserted into a vein to administer blood products, nutrients, and medications directly into the bloodstream through a tube.

Invasive cancer - Cancer cells that penetrate basement membrane, resulting in spread to healthy tissue.

Inverted Nipple - The turning inward of the nipple. Usually a congenital condition; but, if it occurs where it has not previously existed, it can be a sign of breast cancer.

Irradiation - A form of ionizing energy that can destroy or damage cells. Cancer cells tend to be more easily destroyed than the normal cells in the surrounding tissue. For breast cancer treatment, this therapy can be used as an adjunction to breast-conserving surgery to reduce the chance of cancer recurrences.

Isofiavone - A chemical found in soy products.

Medical Term Dictionary - K
Kaposi's sarcoma - A condition involving malignant skin tumours that form from the blood vessels. Purple lumps, as a result of the turnouts, form on the feet and ankles, spreading to arms and hands. The disease is common in Africa but less so in Western countries, although it is associated with AIDS.