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Common Disease Suffixes

In addition to prefixes and root words, the breakdown of common medical terminology must include attention to word endings, or suffixes. Similar to the common roots, these suffixes are rarely used outside of medical terminology, so we will only provide examples of medical terms. You may also notice that many suffixes have similar meanings. Once you familiarize yourself with the suffixes, prefixes, and roots, you can put it all together to easily decipher complicated terminology. Be sure to combine the tools presented in this blog with those in our other blogs on this subject, linked here:

Common Disease Prefixes

Root Words in Disease Names

Making Sense of Disease Names: Roots, Prefixes, and Suffixes

Suffixes

Suffix Meaning Medical Example
-al Pertaining to Abdominal
-algia or -dynia Pain Neuralgia
-cele Hernia, herniation,
or pouching
Hydrocele
-centesis Surgical puncture Paracentesis
-cyte Cell Lymphocyte
-dipsia Thirst Polydipsia
-ectomy Surgical removal Nephrectomy
-emia Blood condition Leukemia
-genic Producing or causing Carcinogenic
-graphy Process of recording Cardiography
-ia or iasis Condition Pneumonia
-ist Specialist Dermatologist
-ism Condition Hypothyroidism
-itis Inflammation Bursitis
-logy Study of Neurology
-lysis Destruction of or
decomposition of
Dialysis
-megaly Enlargement Splenomegaly
-oma Tumor Lymphoma
-osis Condition Cyanosis
-pathy Disease Neuropathy
-penia Lack or deficiency Neutropenia
-phagia Swallow or eat Dysphagia
-phasia Speech Aphasia
-plasty Surgical repair or reshaping Abdominoplasty
-plegia Paralysis Hemiplegia
-pnea Breathing Apnea
-scopy Visual examination Colonoscopy
-stasis Maintenance or maintaining
balance
Homeostasis
-stomy or ostomy Creation of an opening Nephrostomy
-tomy Incision or cut into Craniotomy
-uria Urine or urination Hematuria

Common Disease Suffixes

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