Glossary: e

early menopause (… MEH-nuh-pawz)

A condition in which the ovaries stop working and menstrual periods stop before age 40. Natural menopause usually occurs around age 50. A woman is said to be in menopause when she hasn’t had a period for 12 months in a row. Symptoms of menopause include hot flashes, mood swings, night sweats, vaginal dryness, trouble… Read more »

early-stage cancer (ER-lee-stayj KAN-ser)

A term used to describe cancer that is early in its growth, and may not have spread to other parts of the body. What is called early stage may differ between cancer types.

ecchymosis (EH-kih-MOH-sis)

A small bruise caused by blood leaking from broken blood vessels into the tissues of the skin or mucous membranes.

ECG

A line graph that shows changes in the electrical activity of the heart over time. It is made by an instrument called an electrocardiograph. The graph can show that there are abnormal conditions, such as blocked arteries, changes in electrolytes (particles with electrical charges), and changes in the way electrical currents pass through the heart… Read more »

echocardiography (EH-koh-KAR-dee-AH-gruh-fee)

A procedure that uses ultrasonic waves directed over the chest wall to obtain a graphic record of the heart’s position, motion of the walls, or internal parts such as the valves.

efficacy (EH-fih-kuh-see)

Effectiveness. In medicine, the ability of an intervention (for example, a drug or surgery) to produce the desired beneficial effect.

EKG

A line graph that shows changes in the electrical activity of the heart over time. It is made by an instrument called an electrocardiograph. The graph can show that there are abnormal conditions, such as blocked arteries, changes in electrolytes (particles with electrical charges), and changes in the way electrical currents pass through the heart… Read more »

embolism (EM-boh-lih-zum)

A block in an artery caused by blood clots or other substances, such as fat globules, infected tissue, or cancer cells.