sprue, tropical A disease of the small
intestine that causes failure to absorb
nutrients from food. It occurs mainly in
India, the Far East, and the Caribbean.
Sprue leads to
. It may be due to an
intestinal infection. Symptoms include
appetite and weight loss, an inflamed
mouth, and fatty diarrhoea. Diagnosis is
onds well to
and vitamin and mineral supplements.
sputum Mucous material produced by
cells lining the respiratory tract. Sputum
production may be increased by
tory tract infection
, an allergic reaction
or inhalation of irritants.
squamous cell carcinoma One of the
most common types of
Squamous cell carcinoma is linked to
long-term exposure to sunlight. It is most
common in fair-skinned people over 60.
The tumour starts as a small, painless
lump or patch (usually on the lip, ear, or
back of the hand), which enlarges fairly
rapidly, often resembling a wart or ulcer.
Left untreated, the cancer may spread to
other parts of the body and prove fatal.
Diagnosis is based on a
The tumour is removed surgically or
squint An abnormal deviation of 1 eye
relative to the other. Many babies have a
squint because the mechanism for align-
ing the eyes has not yet developed. A
squint that starts later in childhood is
usually due to breakdown of the align-
ment mechanism. Longsightedness is a
common factor. In some cases, the brain
suppresses the image from the deviating
eye, leading to
In adults, squint may be a symptom of
, or a tumour. A
squint in adults causes double vision.
Treatment in children up to 6-7 years
may include covering the normal eye with
a patch to force the child to use the weak
eye. Deviation of the squinting eye may
be controlled by glasses and/or surgery.
Sudden onset of a squint in adults may
have a serious underlying cause and
must be investigated promptly.
selective serotonin reuptake
stable A term used in medicine to des-
cribe a patient's condition that is neither
deteriorating nor improving; a personal-
ity that is not susceptible to mental
illness; or a chemical substance that is
resistant to changes in its composition
or physical state, or is not radioactive.
stage A term used in medicine to refer
to a phase in the course of a disease,
particularly in the progression of
staining The process of dyeing specimens
of cells, tissues, or microorganisms in
order for them to be clearly visible or
easily identifiable under a
Stanford-Binet test A type of
stanozolol A type of anabolic steroid
stapedectomy An operation on the
to remove the
and replace it with
an artificial substitute. It is used to treat