Last modification: 2024/01/15

This is a glossary of a number of special words and medical terms used by this information service.

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familial adenomatous polyposis (Abrev.: FAP)
hereditary cancer syndrome (cancer predisposition syndrome), in which numerous glandular polyps develop in the colon and rectum; with their increase in size, the risk of degeneration also increases (transition into so-called adenocarcinomas).
Example / Relevance Pediatrics: a large proportion of polyposis patients have an increased risk of developing tumours outside the intestine.

Fanconi anaemia
hereditary haematopoietic disorder; it is mainly characterized by a progressive dysfunction of the bone marrow, which leads to a reduced formation of blood cells (bone marrow insufficiency), as well as by chronic anaemia and a high risk of cancer (especially for acute myeloid leukaemia). Other concomitant symptoms include skeletal malformations (e.g. short stature, malformations of the thumbs and arms). Fanconi anemia is one of the cancer predisposition syndromes. At the cellular level, there is an increased chromosomal fragility; this leads to chromosomal changes and, as a result, to disorders of cell cycle control.

fine needle biopsy syn. fine needle aspiration biopsy
diagnostic procedure in which cells are extracted from an internal organ for fine tissue examination with the help of a thin hollow needle; the insertion of the hollow needle can be carried out under the control of an imaging procedure (such as ultrasound).
Example / Relevance Pediatrics: fine-needle biopsy can be useful if cancer is suspected.

soft spot on an infant’s head, due to the bony plates not having connected yet; the final closure usually occurs before the age of two.
Example / Relevance Pediatrics: a bulging fontanelle can be a sign of increased pressure inside the skull of an infant/toddler (e.g. in the context of a brain tumour, inflammation of the brain or untreated hydrocephalus requiring drainage).