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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms


free radical scavenger  listen  (free RA-dih-kul SKA-ven-jer)

  A substance, such as an antioxidant, that helps protect cells from the damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that are made during normal cell metabolism (chemical changes that take place in a cell). They can build up in cells and cause damage to other molecules. This damage may increase the risk of cancer and other diseases.