Common Word Roots for Disease

Review Flashcards

This review flashcard list is designed to help you read and learn about the common combining forms and root words related to disease.

#1 alg/o, algi/o, algesi/o

Alg/o, algi/o or algesi/o is a combining form of "pain".

Pain is an unpleasant feeling that's a sign that something's wrong. As defined by the International Association for the Study of Pain, pain is "An unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with, or resembling that associated with, actual or potential tissue damage."

#2 carcin/o

Carcin/o is a combining form of "cancer". 

The word cancer is used to describe a disease in which cells divide uncontrollably, and then spread into the surrounding tissues. It occurs as a result of genetic changes.

#3 lith/o

Lith/o is a combining form that means "stone".

A kidney stone (shown in the image) is a stone-like deposit of salts and minerals that forms inside the kidney.

#4 onc/o

Onc/o is a combining form that refers to "tumor".

A tumor is a mass of tissue formed by abnormal cells (cells that grow and divide too fast or that do not die when they should) clumping together.

#5 path/o

Path/o is a combining form that refers to "disease". 

Disease is an abnormal condition, a disorder of structure or function, that affects part or all of an organism and is characterized by specific signs and symptoms.

#6 py/o

Py/o is a combining form that refers to "pus".

Pus is an accumulation of fluid, usually yellow or yellow-brown, that forms at sites of inflammation due to bacterial or fungal infection.

#7 pyr/o, pyret/o

Pyr/o or pyret/o is a combining form that refers to "fever". 

Fever is an increase in body temperature that is usually caused by infection. A normal body temperature is between 36.1 and 37.2 degrees Celsius. Depending on how active you are or how early it is in the morning, your body temperature may vary.

#8 therm/o

Therm/o is a combining form that refers to "heat".

Basically, heat is what raises the temperature of a body or substance.

#9 tox/o, toxic/o

Tox/o or toxic/o is a combining form that refers to "poison".

A poison is a substance that causes death, damage, or injury to an individual.