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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms


CVA   

  In medicine, a loss of blood flow to part of the brain, which damages brain tissue. CVAs are caused by blood clots and broken blood vessels in the brain. Symptoms include dizziness, numbness, weakness on one side of the body, and problems with talking, writing, or understanding language. The risk of CVA is increased by high blood pressure, older age, smoking, diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, atherosclerosis (a buildup of fatty material and plaque inside the coronary arteries), and a family history of CVA. Also called cerebrovascular accident and stroke.