Index of Medical Terms

CBC
Complete blood (cell) count.

CEA
A marker for colorectal cancer or recurrent colorectal cancer.

CMP
A group of blood tests that measures kidney and liver function, as well as the level of protein in your blood.

Colostomy
A portion of the colon (large intestine) or rectum is surgically removed resulting in a stoma. The end of the remaining colon is used to construct the stoma. It is brought through an opening created in the abdominal wall and sewn onto the skin. Waste is diverted through the colostomy into an external pouch.

Enterostomal Therapist
A fully trained nurse (RN) who has completed additional training to allow her to take care of patients who have ostomies and patients with complex wound problems. She can often help in the management of difficult to heal wounds, such as bedsores or in the treatment of special wounds following surgery such as fistulas.

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Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP)
This hereditary disease is due to a genetic defect on chromosome 5 that causes hundreds to thousands of polyps (growths) to form in the colon and rectum. This leads to cancer if the colon and rectum are not removed. In many cases, patients can also develop polyps in the part of the small bowel known as the duodenum.

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Hereditary Non-Polyposis Colorectal Cancer (HNPCC)
This hereditary disease is due to a genetic defect involving one of several genes. Patients typically develop predominantly right-sided colon cancers at younger than usual ages. Women with HNPCC are also at increased risk of developing uterine cancers.

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Ileal J-Pouch
An internal pouch, which looks like the letter "J", is created from 10 to 12 inches of small bowel (ileum) as a reservoir for waste to replace the function of the rectum.

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Loop Ileostomy
A loop ileostomy is different from a standard (or end) ileostomy because both upstream and downstream ends of the bowel come through the same opening in the abdominal wall. The upstream end of the bowel drains stool from the small intestine, and the downstream end drains mucus from the portion of the small bowel that leads to the J-pouch. The loop construction of the stoma allows for a simpler closure of the ileostomy and a shorter recovery time following pouch surgery. In the majority of patients, only a small incision around the stoma is required to close it.

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Microarray Technology
Microarrays are small glass slides with DNA placed on them. The DNA on these microarrays represent many thousands of human genes. Researchers use microarrays to determine which genes in the colon are turned on or off and to what degree a gene is turned on or "expressed." The degree of "light" in specific tissues or cells is what we call gene expression levels. The technology gives researchers the "big picture" by allowing them to look at thousands of genes in one experiment. Microarray technology is helping researchers better understand how our genes work.

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Ostomy
An ostomy is an artificial opening created in the abdominal wall through which body waste can pass. A stoma can be constructed either using the large bowel (colostomy) or small bowel (ileostomy). It can also be used as a means by which the body can eliminate urine (ileal conduit) in those patients who have the bladder removed due to cancer or other reasons.

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Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)
PCR is a technique that that allows researchers to rapidly generate a large number of copies of a specific piece or segment of DNA. This helps scientists to identify variations or mutations in genes believed to cause disease.

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Proctocolectomy & Ileostomy
The entire colon (large intestine) and rectum are surgically removed resulting in a stoma. The end of the ileum (small intestine) is used to construct the stoma. It is brought through an opening created in the abdominal wall and sewn onto the skin. Waste is diverted through the ileostomy into an external pouch.

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Stoma
In order to divert stool into an external pouch as part of ostomy surgery, the surgeon creates an opening in the abdominal wall and connects the end of the small or large intestine to this opening. The portion of the bowel that that can be seen is called the stoma.

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