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All Diseases

Staph infections are caused by staphylococcus bacteria, types of germs commonly found on the skin or in the nose of even healthy individuals. Most of the time, these bacteria cause no problems or result in relatively minor skin infections.

But staph infections can turn deadly if the bacteria invade deeper into your body, entering your bloodstream, joints, bones, lungs or heart. A growing number of otherwise healthy people are developing life-threatening staph infections.

Treatment usually involves antibiotics and drainage of the infected area. However, some staph infections no longer respond to common antibiotics.

Stevens-Johnson syndrome is a rare, serious disorder of your skin and mucous membranes. It's usually a reaction to a medication or an infection. Often, Stevens-Johnson syndrome begins with flu-like symptoms, followed by a painful red or purplish rash that spreads and blisters. Then the top layer of the affected skin dies and sheds.

Stevens-Johnson syndrome is a medical emergency that usually requires hospitalization. Treatment focuses on eliminating the underlying cause, controlling symptoms and minimizing complications.

Recovery after Stevens-Johnson syndrome can take weeks to months, depending on the severity of your condition. If it was caused by a medication, you'll need to permanently avoid that drug and others closely related to it.

Stickler syndrome is a genetic disorder that can cause serious vision, hearing and joint problems. Also known as hereditary progressive arthro-ophthalmopathy, Stickler syndrome is usually diagnosed during infancy or childhood.

Children who have Stickler syndrome often have distinctive facial features — prominent eyes, a small nose with a scooped out facial appearance and a receding chin. They are often born with an opening in the roof of the mouth (cleft palate).

While there is no cure for Stickler syndrome, treatments can help control symptoms and prevent complications. In some cases, surgery may be needed to correct some of the physical abnormalities associated with Stickler syndrome.

Stomach cancer is cancer that occurs in the stomach — the muscular sac located in the upper middle of your abdomen, just below your ribs. Your stomach receives and holds the food you eat and then helps to break down and digest it.

Another term for stomach cancer is gastric cancer. These two terms most often refer to stomach cancer that begins in the mucus-producing cells on the inside lining of the stomach (adenocarcinoma). Adenocarcinoma is the most common type of stomach cancer.

Stomach cancer is uncommon in the United States, and the number of people diagnosed with the disease each year is declining. Stomach cancer is much more common in other areas of the world, particularly China and Japan.

Stomach polyps are masses of cells that form on the inside lining of your stomach. Stomach polyps, also called gastric polyps, are rare.

Stomach polyps usually don't cause any signs or symptoms. The polyps are most often discovered when your doctor is examining you for some other reason.

Most stomach polyps don't become cancerous, but certain types can increase your risk of stomach cancer in the future. For this reason, some stomach polyps are removed and others are not treated.

Strep throat is a bacterial throat infection that can make your throat feel sore and scratchy. Only a small portion of sore throats are the result of strep throat.

It's important to identify strep throat for a number of reasons. If untreated, strep throat can sometimes cause complications such as kidney inflammation and rheumatic fever. Rheumatic fever can lead to painful and inflamed joints, a rash and even damage to heart valves.

Strep throat is most common between the ages of 5 and 15, but it affects people of all ages. If you or your child has signs or symptoms of strep throat, see your doctor for prompt treatment.

Stress fractures are tiny cracks in a bone. Stress fractures are caused by the repetitive application of force, often by overuse — such as repeatedly jumping up and down or running long distances. Stress fractures can also arise from normal use of a bone that's been weakened by a condition such as osteoporosis.

Stress fractures are most common in the weight-bearing bones of the lower leg and foot. Track and field athletes are particularly susceptible to stress fractures, but anyone can experience a stress fracture. If you're starting a new exercise program, for example, you may be at risk if you do too much too soon.

Urinary incontinence is the unintentional loss of urine. Stress incontinence happens when physical movement or activity — such as coughing, sneezing, running or heavy lifting — puts pressure (stress) on your bladder. Stress incontinence is not related to psychological stress.

Stress incontinence differs from urge incontinence, which is the unintentional loss of urine caused by the bladder muscle contracting, usually associated with a sense of urgency. Stress incontinence is much more common in women than men.

If you have stress incontinence, you may feel embarrassed, isolate yourself, or limit your work and social life, especially exercise and leisure activities. With treatment, you'll likely be able to manage stress incontinence and improve your overall well-being.

Stretch marks (striae) are pink, red or purple indented streaks that often appear on the abdomen, breasts, upper arms, buttocks and thighs and eventually fade to white or gray. Stretch marks are particularly common in pregnant women, especially during the latter half of pregnancy. Treatment can make stretch marks fade, but it won't completely remove them.

Stuttering — also called stammering or childhood-onset fluency disorder — is a speech disorder that involves frequent and significant problems with the normal fluency and flow of speech. People who stutter know what they want to say, but have difficulty saying it. For example, they may repeat or prolong a word, syllable or phrase, or stop during speech and make no sound for certain syllables.

Stuttering is common among young children as a normal part of learning to speak. Young children may stutter when their speech and language abilities aren't developed enough to keep up with what they want to say. Most children outgrow this developmental stuttering.

Sometimes, however, stuttering is a chronic condition that persists into adulthood. This type of stuttering can have an impact on self-esteem and interactions with other people.

If you're an adult who stutters, seek help if stuttering causes you stress or anxiety or affects your self-esteem, career or relationships. See your doctor or a speech-language pathologist, or search for a program designed to treat adult stuttering.

Children and adults who stutter may benefit from treatments such as speech therapy, psychological counseling or using electronic devices to improve speech patterns. After a comprehensive evaluation by a speech-language pathologist, a decision about the best treatment approach can be made.