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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms


vitamin C  listen  (VY-tuh-min…)

  A nutrient that the body needs in small amounts to function and stay healthy. Vitamin C helps fight infections, heal wounds, and keep tissues healthy. It is an antioxidant that helps prevent cell damage caused by free radicals (highly reactive chemicals). Vitamin C is found in all fruits and vegetables, especially citrus fruits, strawberries, cantaloupe, green peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, leafy greens, and potatoes. It is water-soluble (can dissolve in water) and must be taken in every day. Vitamin C is being studied in the prevention and treatment of some types of cancer. Also called ascorbic acid.