NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

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The NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms features 7,812 terms related to cancer and medicine.

Browse the dictionary by selecting a letter of the alphabet or by entering a cancer-related word or phrase in the search box.

programmed cell death
(PROH-gramd sel deth)
A type of cell death in which a series of molecular steps in a cell lead to its death. This is one method the body uses to get rid of unneeded or abnormal cells. The process of programmed cell death may be blocked in cancer cells. Also called apoptosis.