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Word of the Week: Etiology

Each week, Verywell explains a term from health, medicine, science, or technology. This week's word means "the cause of a disease or condition." Each week, Verywell explains a term from health, medicine, science, or technology. Etiology How to say it: Etiology (eye-tee-oh-low-gee)What it means: The cause of a disease or condition.Where it comes from: From Greek, αἰτιολογία,

  • Posted on 16th May, 2022 15:30 PM
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Word of the Week: Etiology Image

Each week, Verywell explains a term from health, medicine, science, or technology.

Etiology

How to say itEtiology (eye-tee-oh-low-gee)

What it means: The cause of a disease or condition.

Where it comes from: From Greek, αἰτιολογία, "causes."

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Where you might see or hear it: You might see "etiology" written in a note by your provider about your medical condition.

For example, they might explain that the reason you have the flu is that you caught the influenza virus that is going around this year. The virus is the cause of your illness.

When you might want to use it: Sometimes, the reason or cause of a condition that you has is more complicated. If you're talking with your loved ones about why you are sick, it might help to explain what etiology means and how it relates to your condition—especially if several factors were involved.

For example, if you have cancer, the etiology of the disease is a combination of your genes (which have changes in them that made you more likely to have a type of cancer) and certain things in your life that might have made it more likely to happen (for example, you smoke cigarettes).

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