CACHEXIA
C
cachexia
A condition of severe weight loss and
decline in health caused by a serious
underlying disease, such as cancer or
tuberculosis, or by starvation.
cadaver
A dead human body used as a source of
transplant
organs
or
for
anatomical
study and dissection.
cadmium poisoning
The toxic effects of cadmium, a tinlike
metal. Poisoning as a result of inhala-
tion of cadmium fumes is an industrial
hazard, the effects of w hich depend on
the duration and severity of exposure.
Eating vegetables grown in cadmium-
rich soil, or the consumption of food
or drink stored in cadmium-lined con-
tainers, can also cause poisoning.
Short-term
exposure
to
cadmium
may lead to
pneumonitis
(inflammation
of the lungs). Exposure over a long
period can lead to urinary tract
calculi
(stones),
kidney failure
,
or
emphysema
(a
form of permanent lung damage).
caecum
The first section of the large intestine,
joining the
ileum
(the end of the small
intestine) to the ascending
colon
.
The
appendix
projects from the caecum. (See
also
digestive system
).
caesarean section
An operation to deliver a baby from the
mother’s uterus through a horizontal
or, less commonly, a vertical incision in
the abdomen. A caesarean section is
performed if vaginal delivery would be
difficult or dangerous for the mother
or the baby. Increasingly women who
do not want to go through labour are
also opting to have the operation.
A caesarean section may be perfor-
med using either an
epidural anaesthesia
or general anaesthesia (see
anaesthesia,
general
) .
The procedure for performing
a caesarean section is shown in the
illustrated box (see opposite page).
After the operation, the mother is given
analgesic drugs
(painkillers) as required.
If there are no complications, she and
the
baby
can usually leave
hospital
about a week after the operation.
café au lait spots
Coffee-coloured patches on the skin
that may occur on any part of the body
Café au lait spots are usually oval in
shape and may measure several centi-
metres across. Generally, the presence
of a few of these spots is not signifi-
cant. However, larger numbers of them
may be a sign of
neurofibromatosis
,
a
hereditary disorder of the sheaths that
surround nerve fibres.
caffeine
A
stimulant drug
that is found in coffee,
tea, cocoa, and cola drinks. Caffeine
reduces fatigue, improves
concentra-
tion,
makes
the
heart
pump
blood
faster, and has a diuretic effect.
CAFFEINE LEVELS
The strength and preparation method
determine exact amounts of caffeine
present (in mg per cup).
Drink
Caffeine
Tea, weak
^ ^ 5omg
Tea, strong
8omg
Coffee, weak
8omg
Coffee, strong
20omg
Cocoa
io-i
7
mg
Cola
^ H
43
~
75
mg
Large quantities of caffeine may pro-
duce side effects such as agitation and
tremors. A regular high intake may lead
to increased
tolerance
,
so that people
need to increase their caffeine intake to
obtain the equivalent stimulant effect.
In people who consume large amounts
of caffeine, withdrawal symptoms (see
withdrawal syndrome
) ,
such as headaches
and tiredness, may occur after a few
hours without caffeine.
Caffeine may be used in some drug
preparations, particularly in combina-
tion with
analgesic drugs
(painkillers)
and with
ergotamine
in preventive treat-
ments for migraine.
caisson disease
An alternative term for
decompression
sickness
.
It usually occurs when a person
surfaces too quickly after a deep dive.
calamine
A preparation of zinc oxide and iron
oxide that is applied to the skin as an
ointment, lotion, or dusting powder to
relieve irritation and itching. Calamine
has a protective, cooling, and drying
effect. It may be combined with a local
anaesthetic (see
anaesthesia, local
) ,
cor-
ticosteroid drug
,
or
antihistamine drug
.
calcaneal bursitis
Inflammation of the bursa (fluid-filled
pad) that cushions the
calcaneus
and
prevents friction at the back of the heel
(see
bursitis
) .
The condition causes pain
and swelling but usually clears up with
rest and
anti-inflammatory drugs
.
calcaneus
The heel bone. The calcaneus is one of
the tarsal bones and is the largest bone
in the
foot
.
The
Achilles tendon
runs
between the back of the calcaneus and
the calf muscles; it controls upward
and downward movements of the foot.
DISORDERS
The calcaneus may be fractured by a fall
from a height on to the heel. M inor
fractures do not usually cause problems
and
can be
treated by
placing
the
affected foot and leg in a
cast
.
A more
serious fracture, with compression of
the bone, may cause permanent dam-
age to the joints involved in turning the
foot in and out, leading to pain and
stiffness that are aggravated by walking.
The point at w hich the Achilles ten-
don joins the calcaneus may become
strained
by
excessive
or
prolonged
stress from the pull of the tendon (in
some
running injuries
,
for example). In
children, this area may be inflamed and
painful (see
osteochondrosis
) because the
bone is still growing.
LOCATION OF THE CALCANEUS
The calcaneus is the largest of the
tarsal bones. It projects backwards
beyond the leg bones.
C a l c a n e u s
134
previous page 133 BMA A Z Family Medical Encyclopedia   2004 read online next page 135 BMA A Z Family Medical Encyclopedia   2004 read online Home Toggle text on/off