CIRCUMCISION
CLAUDICATION
to the lungs, where carbon dioxide is
exchanged for oxygen. The reoxygenated
blood then returns through the pul-
monary veins to the heart and re-enters
the systemic circulation.
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
circumcision
Surgical removal of the
foreskin of the
penis,
usually performed
in newborn babies for religious reasons
or for reasons of hygiene. Circumcision
may be needed to treat
phimosis,
recur-
rent attacks of
balanitis,
or
paraphimosis.
circumcision, female
Removal of all or
parts of the
clitoris,
labia majora, and
labia minora (see
labia),
sometimes com-
bined with narrowing of the entrance to
the
vagina.
Female circumcision is com-
mon in parts of Africa but has no valid
medical purpose. It can cause retention
of urine and injuries during sexual
intercourse and childbirth.
cirrhosis
A condition of the
liver
arising
from long-term damage to its cells. In
cirrhosis, bands of fibrosis (internal
scarring) develop, leaving
nodules
of
regenerating cells that are inadequately
supplied with blood. Liver function is
gradually impaired; the liver no longer
effectively removes toxic substances
from the blood (see
liver failure
)
.
The
distortion and fibrosis also lead to
por-
ta hypertension.
The most common
cause of cirrhosis is heavy
alcohol
con-
sumption. Other causes include forms
of
hepatitis
and, more rarely, disorders of
the
M e ducts, haemochromatosis
,
Wison's
disease
,
cystic fibrosis
, and
heart failure
.
Cirrhosis may go unrecognized until
symptoms such as mild
jaundice, oede-
ma
, and vomiting of blood develop.
There may be enlargement of the liver
and spleen and, in men, enlargement of
the breasts and loss of body hair due to
an imbalance in sex hormones caused
by liver failure. Complications of cirrho-
sis include
ascites
,
oesophageal varices
,
and
hepatoma
. Treatment is focused on
slowing the rate at which liver cells are
being damaged, if possible by treating
the cause. In some cases, however, the
condition progresses and a
liver trans-
plant
may be considered.
cisplatin
An
anticancer drug
used to treat
some cancers of the
testis
and
ovary
.
citalopram
An
antipressant drug
.
CJD
The abbreviation for
Creutzfeldt-
Jakob disease.
clap
A slang term for
gonorrhoea.
clarithromycin
An
antibiotic drug
used
to treat infections of the skin and respi-
ratory tract.
claudication
A cramp-like pain in a
muscle, most often in the legs, due to
inadequate blood supply. Claudication
in the legs is usually caused by blockage
or narrowing of arteries du to
athero-
sclerosis
(see
peripheral vascular disease
).
A rarer cause is spinal
stenosis
. In inter-
mittent claudication, pain is felt in the
calves after walking a certain distance
and is relieved by rest.
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