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Jaundice

Jaundice is a yellow discoloration of the skin, mucous membranes, and the whites of the eyes caused by increased amounts of bilirubin in the blood. Jaundice is a sign of an underlying disease process.   Bilirubin is a by-product of the daily natural breakdown and destruction of red blood cells in the body. The hemoglobin molecule ...

Kawasaki's Disease

Kawasaki's disease is an uncommon illness in children that is characterized by high fever of at least five days' duration together with at least four of the following five findings:   Inflammation with reddening of the whites of the eyes (conjunctivitis) without pus. Redness or swelling of the hands or feet, or ...

Kyphosis

The spine has a series of normal curves when viewed from the side. These curves help to better absorb the loads applied to the spine from the weight of the body. The cervical spine (neck) and lumbar spine (lower back) are have a normal inward curvature that is medically referred to as lordosis or "lordotic" curvature by which the ...

Kidney Failure

Renal failure or kidney failure (formerly called renal insufficiency) describes a medical condition in which the kidneys fail to adequately filter toxins and waste products from the blood.   The two forms are acute (acute kidney injury) and chronic (chronic kidney disease); a number of other diseases or health problems may cause ...

Kidney Cancer

Kidney cancer is usually defined as a cancer that originates in the kidney.   The two most common types of kidney cancer, reflecting their location within the kidney, are renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and urothelial cell carcinoma(UCC) of the renal pelvis.   The distinction between these two types (RCC and UCC) is important ...

Keratitis

Keratitis is the medical term for inflammation of the cornea. The cornea is the dome-shaped window in the front of the eye. When looking at a person's eye, one can see the iris and pupil through the normally clear cornea.   The cornea bends light rays as a result of its curved shape and accounts for approximately two-thirds of ...

Keloid

A keloid is an itchy, hard, raised, lump on the skin. It is the result of an overproduction of scar tissue. Keloids occur at the site of a skin injury. The injury can be a result from severe acne, a burn, an operation, a vaccination or a minor scratch.   Keloids are harmless. Sometimes they stop growing or disappear without ...

Leptospirosis

Leptospirosis is an infectious disease caused by a type of bacteria called a spirochete. Leptospirosis can be transmitted by many animals such as rats, skunks, opossums, raccoons, foxes, and other vermin. It is transmitted though contact with infected soil or water.   The soil or water is contaminated with the waste products of an ...

Leukemia

Leukemia is cancer that starts in the tissue that forms blood. To understand cancer, it helps to know how normal blood cells form.   Normal Blood Cells   Most blood cells develop from cells in the bone marrow called stem cells. Bone marrow is the soft material in the center of most bones.   White blood cells ...

Lung Cancer

Cancer of the lung, like all cancers, results from an abnormality in the body's basic unit of life, the cell. Normally, the body maintains a system of checks and balances on cell growth so that cells divide to produce new cells only when new cells are needed.   Disruption of this system of checks and balances on cell growth ...

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