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Methods used in the diagnosis of cancer include physical examination, biopsy, imaging techniques, and laboratory test results for abnormalities, or "markers," associated with specific types of malignancies. Some cancer markers are byproducts, such as enzymes, hormones, and cellular proteins, that are abnormal or

DISPLAY 7-2 Surgical Instruments



bougie (BOO-zhe)

slender, flexible instrument for exploring and dilating tubes

cannula (KAN-u-la)

tube enclosing a trocar (see below) that allows escape of fluid or air after removal of the trocar


instrument used to compress tissue

curet (curette) (KU-ret)

spoon-shaped instrument for removing material from the wall of a cavity or other surface (see Fig. 7-9)

elevato r (EL-e-va-tor)

instrument for lifting tissue or bone

forceps (FOR-seps)

instrument for holding or extracting (see Fig. 7-9)

G i gli saw (JEL-yez)

flexible wire saw

he mos_tat (HE-mo-stat)

small clamp for stopping blood flow from a vessel (see Fig. 7-9)


surgical file

re tractor (re-TRAK-tor)

instrument used to maintain exposure by separating a wound and holding back organs or tissues (see Fig. 7-9)

rongeur (ron-ZHUR)

gouge forceps

scalpel (SKAL-pel)

surgical knife with a sharp blade (see Fig. 7-9)

scissors (SIZ-ors)

a cutting instrument with two opposing blades

sound (sownd)

instrument for exploring a cavity or canal (see Fig. 7-9)

troc ar (TRO-kar)

sharp pointed instrument contained in a cannula used to puncture a cavity

are produced in abnormal amounts. Researchers are also linking specific genetic mutations to certain forms of cancer.

Two methods, grading and staging, are used to classify cancers to select and evaluate therapy and estimate the outcome of the disease. Grading is based on histologic changes observed in the tumor cells when they are examined microscopically. Grades increase from I to IV with the increasing abnormality of the cells.

Staging is a procedure for establishing the clinical extent of tumor spread, both at the original site and in other parts of the body (metastases). The TNM system is commonly used. These letters stand for primary tumor (T), regional lymph nodes (N), and distant metastases (M). Evaluation in these categories varies for each type of tumor. Based on TNM results, a stage ranging from I—IV in severity is assigned. Cancers of the blood, lymphatic system, and nervous system are evaluated by different standards.

The most widely used methods for treatment of cancer are surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy (treatment with chemicals). Newer methods of immunotherapy use substances that stimulate the immune system as a whole or vaccines prepared specifically against a tumor. Hormone therapy may also be effective against certain types of tumors. When no active signs of the disease remain, the cancer is said to be in remission.

Cannula Ancient Instruments

FIGURE 7-9. Surgical instruments.

Hemostat Retractor

FIGURE 7-9. Surgical instruments.

"I" 7" ' ■ '

anesthe sia an-es-the-ze-a

Loss of the ability to feel pain, as by administration of a drug

auscultation aws-kul-TA-shun

Listening for sounds within the body, usually within the chest or abdomen (see Fig. 7-2)


BI -op-se

Removal of a small amount of tissue for microscopic examination



Destruction of tissue by a damaging agent, such as a harmful chemical, heat, or electric current (electrocautery); cauterization

chemotherapy ke-mo-THER-a-pe

The use of chemicals to treat disease

d i agnosi s di -ag-NO-sis

The process of determining the cause and nature of an illness

endos cop e


An instrument for examining the inside of an organ or cavity through a body opening or small incision; most endoscopes use fiberoptics for viewing (see Fig. 7-6)

excision ek-SIZH-un

Removal by cutting (suffix -ectomy)


Holding or fastening a structure in a fixed position (suffix -pexy)



A method for evaluating a tumor based on microscopic examination


of the cells

imm unotherapy

Treatment that involves stimulation or suppression of the immune


system, either specifically or nonspecifically


A cut, as for surgery; also the act of cutting (suffix -tomy)



Visual examination of the body



A device that transforms light into a beam of intense heat and power;


used for surgery and diagnosis


An instrument for examining the interior of the eye (see Fig. 7-5A)



Instrument used to examine the ears (see Fig. 7-5B)



Providing relief but not cure; a treatment that provides such relief



Examining by placing the hands or fingers on the surface of the body


to determine such characteristics as texture, temperature, movement, and consistency


Tapping the body lightly but sharply to assess the condition of the


underlying part by the sounds obtained (see Fig. 7-1)


Prediction of the course and outcome of a disease



Use of x-rays passed through the body to make a visual record (radio-


graph) of internal structures on specially sensitized film


A substance that gives off radiation; used for diagnosis and treatment;


also called radioisotope or radiopharmaceutical


A lessening of the symptoms of a disease; the period during which


this decrease occurs or the period when no sign of a disease exists


An objective evidence of disease that can be observed or tested; ex-

si n

amples are fever, rash, high blood pressure, and blood or urine abnormalities; an objective symptom


The blood pressure apparatus or blood pressure cuff; pressure is read


in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) when the heart is contracting (systolic pressure) and when the heart is relaxing (diastolic pressure) and is reported as systolic/diastolic (see Fig. 7-2)


The process of classifying malignant tumors for diagnosis, treatment,


and prognosis

stethosc ope

An instrument used for listening to sounds produced within the body


(from the Greek root steth/o, meaning "chest") (see Fig. 7-2)


A method for treating disease or injury by manual operations


su ture

To unite parts by stitching them together; also the thread or other


material used in that process or the seam formed by surgical stitching

(suffix -rhaphy)


Any evidence of disease; sometimes limited to subjective evidence of


disease, as experienced by the individual, such as pain, dizziness,



Treatment; intervention


Alternative and Complementary Medicine

acup uncture

An ancient Chinese method of inserting thin needles into the body at


specific points to relieve pain, induce anesthesia, or promote healing;

similar effects can be obtained by using firm finger pressure at the

surface of the body in the technique of acupressure


A method for learning control of involuntary physiologic responses


by using electronic devices to monitor bodily changes and feed this

information back to a person

chir opractic

A science that stresses the condition of the nervous system in diagno-


sis and treatment of disease; often, the spine is manipulated to correct

misalignment; most patients consult for musculoskeletal pain and

headaches (from Greek cheir, meaning "hand")

h ome opathy

A philosophy of treating disease by administering drugs in highly di-


luted form along with promoting healthy life habits and a healthy en-

vironment (from home/o, meaning "same," and path, meaning


na turopathy

A therapeutic philosophy of helping people to heal themselves by


developing healthy lifestyles, naturopaths may use some of the

methods of conventional medicine (from nature and path/o,

meaning "disease")

oste opathy

A system of therapy based on the theory that the body can overcome


disease when it has normal structure, a favorable environment, and

proper nutrition; osteopaths use standard medical practices for diag-

nosis and treatment but stress the identification and correction of

faulty body structure (from oste/o, meaning "bone," and path, mean-

ing "disease")

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