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Glossary - U

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U

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  • Ulcer

    (UL-ser)

    A wearing away of normal tissues resulting from corrosive chemicals (e.g. Acids), infection, impaired circulation or cancerous involvement; can cause bleeding.

  • Ultrasound

    UL-truh-sownd

    A procedure that uses high-energy sound waves to look at tissues and organs inside the body. The sound waves make echoes that form pictures of the tissues and organs on a computer screen (sonogram). Ultrasound may be used to help diagnose diseases, such as cancer. It may also be used during pregnancy to check the fetus (unborn baby) and during medical procedures, such as biopsies. Also called ultrasonography.

  • Ultraviolet

    (UL-truh-VY-oh-let)

    Invisible rays that are part of the energy that comes from the sun. Ultraviolet radiation that reaches the Earth's surface is made up of two types of rays, called UVA and UVB. Ultraviolet radiation also comes from sun lamps and tanning beds. It can cause skin damage, premature aging, melanoma, and other types of skin cancer. It can also cause problems with the eyes and the immune system. Skin specialists recommend that people use sunscreens that protect the skin from both kinds of ultraviolet radiation. In medicine, ultraviolet radiation also comes from special lamps or a laser and is used to treat certain skin conditions such as psoriasis, vitiligo, and skin tumors of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. Also called UV radiation.

  • Unilateral

    (YOO-nih-LA-teh-rul)

    Having to do with one side of the body.

  • Ureter

    (YER-eh-ter)

    The tube that carries urine from the kidney to the bladder.

  • Uric acid

    (YOO-rik A-sid)

    A chemical which sometimes accumulates in your body when kidney function is impaired. When many malignant cells are rapidly destroyed, uric acid is produced in large quantities.

  • Urinalysis

    (YOOR-ih-NA-lih-sis)

    The process by which your urine is examined for various factors.

  • Urinary tract

    (YOOR-ih-NAYR-ee trakt)

    The organs that have to do with the production and elimination of urine, e.g. Kidneys, bladder, ureters, urethra.

  • Urine culture

    (YOOR-in KUL-cher)

    A laboratory test to check for bacteria, yeast, or other microorganisms in the urine. Urine cultures can help identify the type of microorganism that is causing an infection. This helps determine the best treatment. They may be used to help diagnose urinary tract infections, such as bladder infections. They may also be done after treatment for a urinary tract infection to make sure the microorganism that caused the infection is gone.

  • Uterus

    (YOO-teh-rus)

    The hollow, pear-shaped organ in a woman's pelvis. The uterus is where a fetus (unborn baby) develops and grows. Also called womb.