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Glossary - F


Showing 1-29 out of 29 Terms

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  • Fallopian tubes


    A slender tube through which eggs pass from an ovary to the uterus. In the female reproductive tract, there is one ovary and one fallopian tube on each side of the uterus.

  • False-negative test results

    A test result that indicates that a person does not have a specific disease or condition when the person actually does have the disease or condition.

  • False-positive test results

    A test result that indicates that a person has a specific disease or condition when the person actually does not have the disease or condition.

  • Familial adenomatous polyposis

    (fuh-MIH-lee-ul A-deh-NOH-muh-tus PAH-lee-POH-sis)

    An inherited condition in which numerous polyps (growths that protrude from mucous membranes) form on the inside walls of the colon and rectum. It increases the risk of colorectal cancer. Also called familial polyposis and FAP.

  • Familial cancer

    (fuh-MIH-lee-ul KAN-ser)

    Cancer that occurs in families more often than would be expected by chance. These cancers often occur at an early age, and may indicate the presence of a gene mutation that increases the risk of cancer. They may also be a sign of shared environmental or lifestyle factors.

  • Family Tree

    A drawing that shows the different members of a family, their relationships to one another and any medical conditions that they might have. By looking at the patterns present within the family tree, a medical professional can see whether a genetic condition might run in the family.

  • Fanconi anemia

    (fan-KOH-nee uh-NEE-mee-uh)

    A rare inherited disorder in which the bone marrow does not make blood cells. It is usually diagnosed in children between 2 and 15 years old. Symptoms include frequent infections, easy bleeding, and extreme tiredness. People with Fanconi anemia may have a small skeleton and brown spots on the skin. They also have an increased risk of developing certain types of cancer.

  • Fatigue


    A condition marked by extreme tiredness and inability to function due to lack of energy. Fatigue may be acute or chronic.

  • Febrile

    Fever, elevated body temperature.

  • Febrile neutropenia

    (FEH-brile noo-troh-PEE-nee-uh)

    A condition marked by fever and a lower-than-normal number of neutrophils in the blood. A neutrophil is a type of white blood cell that helps fight infection. Having too few neutrophils increases the risk of infection.

  • Fellow

    A physician who has completed residency. May be a fully trained pediatrician or internist and is doing further study to become a sub-specialist in a field of interest.

  • Fertility


    The ability to produce children.

  • Fertility preservation

    (fer-TIH-lih-tee PREH-zer-VAY-shun)

    A type of procedure used to help keep a persons ability to have children. A fertility preservation procedure is done before a medical treatment that may cause infertility, such as radiation therapy or chemotherapy. Examples of fertility preservation procedures include sperm banking, egg freezing, in vitro fertilization with embryo freezing, and certain types of surgery for cervical and ovarian cancer.

  • Fetal


    Having to do with a fetus. A fetus is an unborn baby that develops and grows inside the uterus. In humans, the fetal period begins 8 weeks after fertilization of an egg by a sperm and ends at birth.

  • Fever

    An increase in body temperature above normal (98.6 degrees F), usually caused by disease.

  • First-line therapy

    (... THAYR-uh-pee)

    The first treatment given for a disease. It is often part of a standard set of treatments, such as surgery followed by chemotherapy and radiation. When used by itself, first-line therapy is the one accepted as the best treatment. If it doesnt cure the disease or it causes severe side effects, other treatment may be added or used instead. Also called induction therapy, primary therapy, and primary treatment.

  • Five-year survival rate

    (... ser-VY-vul ...)

    The percentage of people in a study or treatment group who are alive five years after they were diagnosed with or started treatment for a disease, such as cancer. The disease may or may not have come back.

  • Flow cytometry

    (floh sy-TAH-meh-tree)

    A laboratory method that measures the number of cells, the percentage of live cells, and certain characteristics of cells, such as size and shape, in a sample of blood, bone marrow, or other tissue. The presence of tumor markers, such as antigens, on the surface of the cells are also measured. The cells are stained with a light-sensitive dye, placed in a fluid, and then passed one at a time through a beam of light. The measurements are based on how the stained cells react to the beam of light. Flow cytometry is used in basic research and to help diagnose and manage certain diseases, including cancer.

  • Fluoroscopy


    An x-ray procedure that makes it possible to see internal organs in motion.

  • Flush

    To expose or chase from a place of concealment.

  • Focal


    In terms of cancer, limited to a specific area.

  • Foley

    A catheter with an inflatable balloon tip for retention in the bladder.

  • Follicle


    A sac or pouch-like cavity formed by a group of cells. In the ovaries, one follicle contains one egg. In the skin, one follicle contains one hair.

  • Follicle-stimulating hormone

    (FAH-lih-kul-STIM-yoo-LAY-ting HOR-mone)

    A hormone made in the pituitary gland. In females, it acts on the ovaries to make the follicles and eggs grow. In males, it acts on the testes to make sperm. Also called follitropin and FSH.

  • Follow-up care

    (FAH-loh-up kayr)

    Care given to a patient over time after finishing treatment for a disease. Follow-up care involves regular medical checkups, which may include a physical exam, blood tests, and imaging tests. Follow-up care checks for health problems that may occur months or years after treatment ends, including the development of other types of cancer. Follow-up care is given after positive screening test results, such as a positive Pap test result. In cancer patients, one purpose of follow-up care is checking to see if the cancer has come back or has spread to other parts of the body.

  • Foot drop

    Weakness in your foot muscles.

  • Frontal lobe

    One of the four subdivisions of the cerebral cortex. The frontal lobe has a role in controlling movement and in the planning and coordinating of behavior. (from

  • Fulminant infectious mononucleosis

    Fulminant infectious mononucleosis (FIM) is a rare but life-threatening complication of Epstein-Barr virus infection that usually affects individuals with compromised immune systems. (Source: Postmortem diagnosis of fulminant infectious mononucleosis, Journal of Medical Society)

  • Fungi

    A group of micro organisms larger than either bacteria or viruses, which occasionally cause serious infection when your resistance is lowered.