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C-reactive protein

A protein found in the blood. Raised levels suggest tissue damage or necrosis (death of cells).

Caesarean scar

A scar left following an operation to deliver a baby from the uterus through a horizontal or, less commonly, a vertical incision in the abdomen.

cafe au lait spots

patches of coffee coloured skin that can occur anywhere on the body. They are usually oval in shape and may measure several centimetres across. A few spots are usually not significant but larger numbers may be.

calcaneus

The heel bone.

calcification

Calcium deposited in tissues and organs.

calcium

An element that forms the structure of bones and teeth and is essential to many of the body's functions.

calculi

Stones that form in on organ or duct of the body.

calculus

A small, hard crystalline mass that is formed in a body cavity from certain substances in fluids, such as saliva, urine or bile.

callus

An area of skin that has become thickened by pressure or friction.

calorimetry

A test of vestibular function used to investigate vertigo.

Campbell de Morgan spot

Small, bright red, raised spots that tend to occur in people over 40 years. They are benign and relatively common.

Campylobacter

a group of bacteria that are among the most common causes of gastrointestinal disorders.

canal of Nuck

An abnormal pouch of peritoneum that extends into the outer folds of skin that protect the vagina.

cancer

Abnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body.

cancerous

Malignant, a tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body.

cancrum oris

A gangrenous disease that leads to destruction of the tissue of the face.

candida

A type of yeast or fungus. The term is sometimes also used to describe the infection resulting from it (candidiasis). The most common is Candida albicans, which causes thrush infections, most often of the vagina or mouth

candidiasis

An infection caused by fungi of the Candida species, also known as thrush

cannula

A thin tube inserted into the body to administer medication, drain off fluid, or insert a surgical instrument.

capillaries

The tiniest blood vessels, linking the arterial and venous circulations.

capsulitis

Inflammation of a capsule around an organ or joint.

carbamazepine

An anti-convulsant and mood stabilising drug.

carbohydrates

A group of compounds that are an important energy source, including sugars and starch.

carbon monoxide

A highly poisonous gas produced by incomplete combustion (burning), for example by faulty boilers or wood stoves, car exhaust fumes or tobacco smoke.