Portal:Medicine
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Portal:Medicine

The Medicine Portal

Marble statue of Asclephius on a pedestal, symbol of medicine in Western medicine

Medicine is the science and practice of caring for a patient, managing the diagnosis, prognosis, prevention, treatment, palliation of their injury or disease, and promoting their health. Medicine encompasses a variety of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness. Contemporary medicine applies biomedical sciences, biomedical research, genetics, and medical technology to diagnose, treat, and prevent injury and disease, typically through pharmaceuticals or surgery, but also through therapies as diverse as psychotherapy, external splints and traction, medical devices, biologics, and ionizing radiation, amongst others.

Medicine has been practiced since prehistoric times, during most of which it was an art (an area of skill and knowledge) frequently having connections to the religious and philosophical beliefs of local culture. For example, a medicine man would apply herbs and say prayers for healing, or an ancient philosopher and physician would apply bloodletting according to the theories of humorism. In recent centuries, since the advent of modern science, most medicine has become a combination of art and science (both basic and applied, under the umbrella of medical science). While stitching technique for sutures is an art learned through practice, the knowledge of what happens at the cellular and molecular level in the tissues being stitched arises through science.

Prescientific forms of medicine are now known as traditional medicine or folk medicine, which remains commonly used in the absence of scientific medicine, and are thus called alternative medicine. Alternative treatments outside of scientific medicine having safety and efficacy concerns are termed quackery. (Full article...)

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Small cell lung carcinoma

Lung cancer is a disease of uncontrolled cell growth in tissues of the lung. This may lead to metastasis, invasion of adjacent tissue and infiltration beyond the lungs. Lung cancer, the most common cause of cancer-related death in men and the second most common in women, is responsible for 1.3 million deaths worldwide annually. The most common symptoms are shortness of breath, coughing (including coughing up blood), and weight loss. The main types of lung cancer are small cell lung carcinoma and non-small cell lung carcinoma. This distinction is important because the treatment varies; non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) is sometimes treated with surgery, while small cell lung carcinoma (SCLC) usually responds better to chemotherapy. The most common cause of lung cancer is exposure to tobacco smoke. The occurrence of lung cancer in non-smokers, who account for fewer than 10% of cases, appears to be due to a combination of genetic factors. Radon gas, asbestos, and air pollution may also contribute to lung cancer. Treatment and prognosis depend upon the histological type of cancer, the stage (degree of spread), and the patient's performance status. Possible treatments include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy. With treatment, the five-year survival rate is 14%. (More...)

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Nephrocalcinosis.jpg
Significant bilateral nephrocalcinosis (calcification of the kidneys) on a frontal X-ray (radiopacities (white) in the right upper and left upper quadrant of the image), as seen in distal renal tubular acidosis.

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