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Glossary of terms

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fallopian tube
One of the two tubes extending from the uterus to the ovaries, providing a path by which the ovum, or egg, travels from the ovary to the uterus during ovulation.

false negative test result
A test result that indicates a disease is not present, when in fact it is present.

false positive test result
A test result that indicates cancer is present when it is not.

fecal immunochemical test (FIT)
A test that checks for hidden blood in fecal material (stool).

fecal occult blood test (FOBT)
A test that checks for hidden blood in fecal material (stool).

femoral artery
A major artery that supplies blood to the lower extremity.

ferro-
Prefix designating the presence of metallic iron.

ferromagnetic
The presence of metallic iron or of the divalent ion Fe2+ that possesses magnetism.

fetus
In humans, the product of conception from the end of the eighth week to the moment of birth.

fibroadenoma
A benign tumor usually occurring in breast tissue.

fibrocartilaginous
Composed of fibrocartilage, the fibers that appear between tendons, ligaments or bones.

fibrocystic
A common and benign (non-cancerous) condition of cysts in the breast, characterized by lumpiness and sometimes discomfort.

fibroid
Resembling or composed of fibers or fibrous tissue.

fibroid tumor
Masses of fiber and muscle tissue in the wall of the uterus, also known as myomas.

fiducial marker
A small metal (typically gold) sphere, coil or cylinder about the size of a grain of rice that is placed in or near a tumor to help guide the placement of radiation beams during radiation therapy treatment.

fine needle aspiration
A type of biopsy in which a small needle is inserted through the skin to the site of an abnormal growth to collect and remove a sample of cells for analysis.

firewall
A program or hardware device that filters information coming through an Internet connection into a computer system. If the incoming information packet is flagged by the filters it is not allowed through.

fissure
A groove or tear.

fistula
An abnormal connection or false passageway between the body's organs and or blood vessels.

fluoroscope
A device that projects radiographic (x-ray) images in a movie-like sequence onto a screen monitor.

fluoroscopy
A form of real-time x-ray that employs a fluoroscope to examine the tissues and deep structures within the body.

focal seizure
Also known as partial seizure.
A type of seizure or convulsion often associated with epilepsy in which abnormal electrical activity occurs in a specific area of the brain, often producing symptoms that affect one area of the body.

Foley catheter
A flexible plastic tube (a catheter) inserted into the bladder to provide continuous urinary drainage.

fontanelle
The incompletely formed gap between bones of a skull in a fetus or an infant, also known as a soft spot.

fractionation
The process of administering a dose of radiation in smaller units over time, as opposed to a single large dose, to minimize tissue damage.

fracture
A partial or complete break in a bone.