Pathology is the medical term for the way a disease works. A tumor is removed by a doctor trained in surgery, but you need a doctor trained in pathology to tell you if the tumor is cancer.

Pathology derives from the Greek pathos "suffering" and ology "study of"––to give us "the study of disease," but often pathology means the disease's behavior––the cancer pathology is to take over healthy cells and grow cancerous tumors. We also use pathology to describe abnormal conditions that aren’t really diseases, like the pathology of Hollywood stars who live their lives in public and become obsessed with fitness.

Definitions of pathology

n the branch of medical science that studies the causes and nature and effects of diseases

palaeopathology, paleopathology
the study of disease of former times (as inferred from fossil evidence)
Type of:
medical science
the science of dealing with the maintenance of health and the prevention and treatment of disease

n any deviation from a healthy or normal condition

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abnormally high acidity (excess hydrogen-ion concentration) of the blood and other body tissues
abnormally high alkalinity (low hydrogen-ion concentration) of the blood and other body tissues
anchylosis, ankylosis
abnormal adhesion and rigidity of the bones of a joint
arteriectasia, arteriectasis
an abnormal distension of an artery
a pathology or abnormality of a joint
asynergia, asynergy
absence of coordination of organs or body parts that usually work together harmoniously
asystole, cardiac arrest, cardiopulmonary arrest
absence of systole; failure of the ventricles of the heart to contract (usually caused by ventricular fibrillation) with consequent absence of the heart beat leading to oxygen lack and eventually to death
presence of multiple diverticula in the walls of the colon
excessive discharge of liquid from a cavity or organ (as in watery diarrhea)
a pathological condition resulting from an excessive intake of fluorine (usually from drinking water)
a disturbance in the synthesis of immunoglobulins; proteins having antibody activity increase greatly in the blood
repetitive nonmeaningful speech (especially that associated with a trance state or religious fervor)
any disease of the blood vessels or lymph ducts
loss of the ability to swallow
stenosis, stricture
abnormal narrowing of a bodily canal or passageway
the formation of atheromas on the walls of the arteries as in atherosclerosis
accumulation of serous fluid in peritoneal cavity
absence of an enzyme
bacteremia, bacteriaemia, bacteriemia
transient presence of bacteria (or other microorganisms) in the blood
induration, sclerosis
any pathological hardening or thickening of tissue
pathology in which fat accumulates in lipomas in the body
the formation of stones (calculi) in an internal organ
abnormal formation of cartilage from other tissues; observed in some Asians
a closed sac that develops abnormally in some body structure
adenomyosis, endometriosis
the presence of endometrium elsewhere than in the lining of the uterus; causes premenstrual pain and dysmenorrhea
abnormal union of bodily tissues; most common in the abdomen
bronzed diabetes, hemochromatosis, iron overload, iron-storage disease
pathology in which iron accumulates in the tissues; characterized by bronzed skin and enlarged liver and diabetes mellitus and abnormalities of the pancreas and the joints
infarct, infarction
localized necrosis resulting from obstruction of the blood supply
the presence of macrocytes in the blood
development of excess fibrous connective tissue in an organ
a state of abnormal softening of tissue
mastopathy, mazopathy
any pathology of the breast
any pathology of the peripheral nerves
any pathology of the muscles that is not attributable to nerve dysfunction
abnormal loss of bony tissue resulting in fragile porous bones attributable to a lack of calcium; most common in postmenopausal women
condition in which the penis is continually erect; usually painful and seldom with sexual arousal
demineralisation, demineralization
abnormal loss of mineral salts (especially from bone)
pyorrhea, pyorrhoea
discharge of pus
azotaemia, azotemia, uraemia, uremia
accumulation in the blood of nitrogenous waste products (urea) that are usually excreted in the urine
excess of urea in the urine
any localized abnormal structural change in a bodily part
chronic abnormal enlargement of the lymph nodes (usually associated with disease)
gangrene, slough, sphacelus
necrotic tissue; a mortified or gangrenous part or mass
abnormally high amounts of bile pigment (bilirubin) in the blood
a pathological condition in which a word is rapidly and involuntarily repeated
an abnormal backward flow of body fluids
discharge from the external ear
any disease or malformation of the nose
accumulation of urine in the kidney because of an obstruction in the ureter
collapse of an expanded lung (especially in infants); also failure of pulmonary alveoli to expand at birth
abnormally low oxygen content in arterial blood
an uncontrollable use of obscene language; often accompanied by mental disorders
production of antibodies against the tissues of your own body; produces autoimmune disease or hypersensitivity reactions
disfunction, dysfunction
(medicine) any disturbance in the functioning of an organ or body part or a disturbance in the functioning of a social group
a chronic disease of unknown cause marked by the formation of nodules in the lungs and liver and lymph glands and salivary glands
carotenemia, xanthemia
excess carotene in the blood stream; can cause the skin to turn a pale yellow or red color
an abnormal state in which the normal flow of a liquid (such as blood) is slowed or stopped
any pathology of the urinary tract
pathological condition of being varicose or having varicose veins
viraemia, viremia
the presence of a virus in the blood stream
abnormal twisting of the intestines (usually in the area of the ileum or sigmoid colon) resulting in intestinal obstruction
diabetic acidosis, ketoacidosis
acidosis with an accumulation of ketone bodies; occurs primarily in diabetes mellitus
metabolic acidosis
acidosis and bicarbonate concentration in the body fluids resulting either from the accumulation of acids or the abnormal loss of bases from the body (as in diarrhea or renal disease)
carbon dioxide acidosis, respiratory acidosis
acidosis resulting from reduced gas exchange in the lungs (as in emphysema or pneumonia); excess carbon dioxide combines with water to form carbonic acid which increases the acidity of the blood
starvation acidosis
acidosis in which the acidity results from lack of food which leads to fat catabolism which in turn releases acidic ketone bodies
metabolic alkalosis
alkalosis resulting from hydrogen-ion loss or excessive intake of alkaline substances
respiratory alkalosis
alkalosis resulting from increased gas exchange in the lungs (as in hyperventilation associated with extreme anxiety or aspirin intoxication or metabolic acidosis)
ED, erectile dysfunction, male erecticle dysfunction
impotence resulting from a man's inability to have or maintain an erection of his penis
MS, disseminated multiple sclerosis, disseminated sclerosis, multiple sclerosis
a chronic progressive nervous disorder involving loss of myelin sheath around certain nerve fibers
ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
thickening of tissue in the motor tracts of the lateral columns and anterior horns of the spinal cord; results in progressive muscle atrophy that starts in the limbs
aortic stenosis
abnormal narrowing of the aortic valve
abnormal narrowing of the intestine
abnormal narrowing of the larynx
pulmonary stenosis
abnormal narrowing of the opening into the pulmonary artery from the right ventricle
pyloric stenosis
narrowing of the pyloric sphincter that blocks the passage of food from the stomach into the duodenum
narrowing of the passages in the nasal cavities
sclerosis of the arterioles
arterial sclerosis, arteriosclerosis, coronary-artery disease, hardening of the arteries, induration of the arteries
sclerosis of the arterial walls
mitral stenosis, mitral valve stenosis
obstruction or narrowing of the mitral valve (as by scarring from rheumatic fever)
MI, myocardial infarct, myocardial infarction
destruction of heart tissue resulting from obstruction of the blood supply to the heart muscle
kidney disease, nephropathy, nephrosis, renal disorder
a disease affecting the kidneys
the presence of gallstones in the gallbladder
the presence of calculi in the intestines
nephrolithiasis, renal lithiasis
the presence of kidney stones (calculi) in the kidney
CF, cystic fibrosis, fibrocystic disease of the pancreas, mucoviscidosis, pancreatic fibrosis
the most common congenital disease; the child's lungs and intestines and pancreas become clogged with thick mucus; caused by defect in a single gene; no cure is known
abnormal hardening or eburnation of bone
dermoid cyst
a cystic tumor (usually benign) with a wall lined with epithelium and a cavity containing other material
a cystic tumor containing milk or a milky substance (especially in the mammary glands)
blood cyst, hematocyst, hemorrhagic cyst
a cyst containing blood
cyst filled with liquid; forms as a result of infestation by tapeworm larvae (as in echinococcosis)
nabothian cyst, nabothian follicle
a cyst that forms in the nabothian glands of the uterine cervix
ovarian cyst
a cystic tumor (usually benign) of the ovary
a cyst on the underside of the tongue
pilar cyst, sebaceous cyst, steatocystoma, wen
a common cyst of the skin; filled with fatty matter (sebum) that is secreted by a sebaceous gland that has been blocked
an abnormal adhesion of two or more structures
adhesions between the iris and the lens or cornea resulting from trauma or eye surgery or as a complication of glaucoma or cataract; can lead to blindness
classic hemochromatosis, idiopathic hemochromatosis
inherited form of hemochromatosis
acquired hemochromatosis
hemochromatosis resulting from repeated transfusions or from excessive intake of foods containing iron
fibrosis of the bone marrow
abnormal softening of bones caused by deficiencies of phosphorus or calcium or vitamin D
Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy
a form of neuropathy that can begin between childhood and young adulthood; characterized by weakness and atrophy of the muscles of the hands and lower legs; progression is slow and individuals affected can have a normal life span; inheritance is X-linked recessive or X-linked dominant
any neuropathy of a single nerve trunk
multiple mononeuropathy
pathology of several individual nerve trunks
a swelling that is the characteristic lesion of tuberculosis
ulcer, ulceration
a circumscribed inflammatory and often suppurating lesion on the skin or an internal mucous surface resulting in necrosis of tissue
a tumor consisting of a mass of blood or lymphatic vessels
inflammation of a blood vessel or lymph duct
cold gangrene, dry gangrene, mumification necrosis, mummification
(pathology) gangrene that develops in the presence of arterial obstruction and is characterized by dryness of the dead tissue and a dark brown color
clostridial myonecrosis, emphysematous gangrene, emphysematous phlegmon, gangrenous emphysema, gas gangrene, gas phlegmon, progressive emphysematous necrosis
(pathology) a deadly form of gangrene usually caused by clostridium bacteria that produce toxins that cause tissue death; can be used as a bioweapon
hyperbilirubinemia of the newborn, neonatal hyperbilirubinemia
a common disorder that is usually due to immaturity of the liver; usually subsides spontaneously
esophageal reflux, gastroesophageal reflux, oesophageal reflux
reflux of stomach contents into the esophagus
hepatojugular reflux
a venous reflux occurring in congestive heart failure
ureterorenal reflux
a backflow of urine from the ureter into the renal pelvis
vesicoureteral reflux
a backflow of urine from the bladder into the ureter
brandy nose, copper nose, hammer nose, hypertrophic rosacea, potato nose, rhinophyma, rum nose, rum-blossom, toper's nose
enlargement of the nose with dilation of follicles and redness and prominent vascularity of the skin; often associated with excessive consumption of alcohol
dowager's hump
abnormal spinal curvature that results when osteoporosis causes the spine to collapse; seen most often in elderly women
palsy, paralysis
loss of the ability to move a body part
fungal infection of the nose; often acquired while swimming
stenosis of the ureter
Type of:
health problem, ill health, unhealthiness
a state in which you are unable to function normally and without pain

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