Medical Glossary
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Hematocrit A blood test that measures the amount of red blood in the body.
Hematologist A doctor who specializes in the treatment of bone marrow and blood disorders.
Hematology The specialty and treatment of bone marrow diseases and blood disorders.
Hematuria Blood in the urine.
Hemocult test A way to test for blood in the stool. Also called a Stool Guiac Test.
Hemodialysis The removal of certain elements from the blood through the use of an artificial kidney (or kidney dialysis machine).
Hemoglobin The measure of the amount of oxygen carrying cells in your blood.
HER2 (Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 2) Also known as Her2/Neu. It is a normal protein found in many cells. However, some breast cancers can make too much of this protein and it can in turn signal the cancer to grow. Breast cancers are routinely tested for this protein. Patients who have this tumor characteristic may receive a therapy targeted at this receptor.
Hereditary Cancer Syndrome Cancers can form due to inherited, genetic mutations. BRCA 1 and BRCA2 are gene mutations that cause breast and ovarian cancers. Examples of inherited cancers are hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer, familial adenomatous polyposis for colorectal cancer and von Hippel-Lindau disease for kidney cancer.
Herpes Simplex A common virus that causes sores or blisters in the mouth.
Herpes Zoster Is caused by the varicella virus (chicken pox virus) It is commonly known as shingles. It presents as a patterned outbreak of painful blisters. Occurs often in patients whose immune system is compromised such as in the elderly or in cancer patients.
High Risk A person's chance is higher to get cancer than the general population.
HLA (Human Leukocyte Antigen) This is a series of proteins that are found on the surface of cells. This is important in allogeneic transplantation. When an allogeneic stem cell transplant is being considered, the HLA’s on the white blood cell of the patient and the potential donor are compared. The HLA’s are inherited from each parent. Therefore, the best matches are found between brothers and sisters.
Hodgkin’s Disease A cancer of the lymph node system.
Holistic A term used to describe the "whole" of a person which includes the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual parts.
Home Health Aide Services Are homemaking services for the purpose of restoring health or minimizing the effects of illness and disability. Homemaking services include personal care, housekeeping, shopping, meal preparation, and laundry services.
Home Nursing Care Nursing care given in the patient's home.
Hormonal Therapy A tumor treatment that uses drugs to interfere with hormone production or with the action of the hormones. The disruption of the hormones may kill cancer cells. Hormonal therapy is commonly used as treatments in breast cancer and prostate cancer.
Hospice A holistic program of care which provides comfort measures to terminally ill patients and supportive care to family members. Hospices can be either outpatient or inpatient.
Hyperkalemia An abnormally high blood potassium level.
Hyperthermia Is the addition of heat to radiation or chemotherapy treatments to improve the effects against the cancer.
Hypokalemia An abnormally low blood potassium level.