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Menopause Glossary of Terms

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    Cancer: A general term for more than 100 diseases in which there is an uncontrolled, abnormal growth of cells. Cancer cells can spread through the bloodstream and lymphatic system to other parts of the body.

    Cataracts: A cloudy or opaque area in the lens of the eye.

    Cell proliferation: An increase in the number of cells as a result of cell growth and cell division.

    Cervix: The lowest part of the womb, or uterus, through which babies pass when they are born.

    Chemotherapy: Drugs that have a toxic effect on cells. Often used in the treatment of cancer to kill the cancerous cells.

    Clinical trial: An organized research program conducted with patients to evaluate a new medical treatment, drug, or device.

    Complementary therapy: Practices not generally recognized by the medical community as standard or conventional medical approaches and used to enhance or complement standard treatments. Complementary medicine includes dietary supplements, megadose vitamins, herbal preparations, herbal tea, acupuncture, massage therapy, magnet therapy, spiritual healing, and meditation.

    Coronary artery disease: A condition caused by the narrowing of the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle.

    Depression: A condition characterized by altered mood. There is loss of interest in pleasurable activities. Depression prevents a person from leading a normal life. Types of depression include major depression, bipolar depression, chronic low-grade depression (dysthymia), and seasonal depression (Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD).

    DEXA scan: Also called dual X-ray absorptiometry scan, it is a special X-ray that detects bone thinning.

    Diabetes: A group of diseases in which the body cannot properly control the amount of sugar in the blood. As a result, the level of sugar in the blood is too high, causing a variety of complications ranging from heart disease to blindness and kidney failure. This disease occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin or does not use it properly.

    Dysmenorrhea: Pain associated with a woman's menstrual period.

    Dyspareunia: Pain during intercourse.

    Endometrial cancer: Cancer of the lining of the uterus or womb.

    Endometriosis: A condition in which tissue that looks and acts like endometrial tissue is found outside the uterus, usually inside the abdominal cavity/pelvic cavity.

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