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Glossary

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List of terms beginning with Ul

Ulcerative colitis

Ulcerative colitis is a disease of the bowel (colon). It causes inflammation, pain, bleeding and watery diarrhoea. It is not really curable but tends to come and go. Having ulcerative colitis for more than 10 years increases the risk of bowel cancer, so doctors may suggest regular tests to pick up bowel cancer at an early stage.

Ultrasound

An ultrasound (or ultrasound scan) is a scan which uses sound waves to build up a picture of the inside of the body. Usually a gel is put on the skin and a microphone passed back and forth over the area to be scanned. A computer converts the reflected sound waves into a picture on a screen. Some types of ultrasound scan can check for cancer by inserting a tube inside the body, for example into the digestive system or breathing system. The tube has an ultrasound probe on the end.

Ultraviolet light

Ultraviolet light is light that we cannot see. But it is an important part of sunlight. Ultraviolet light is divided into UVA, UVB and UVC. UVC cannot get through the ozone layer to reach us. But UVA and UVB can both increase the risk of skin cancer, including malignant melanoma. Sunbathing and using sunbeds increases your skin's exposure to ultraviolet light and so increases your risk of skin cancer.

Updated: 29 June 2016