NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms
The NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms features 7,886 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.
- listen (koh-LES-teh-rol)
- A waxy, fat-like substance made in the liver, and found in the blood and in all cells of the body. Cholesterol is important for good health and is needed for making cell walls, tissues, hormones, vitamin D, and bile acid. Cholesterol also comes from eating foods taken from animals such as egg yolks, meat, and whole-milk dairy products. Too much cholesterol in the blood may build up in blood vessel walls, block blood flow to tissues and organs, and increase the risk of developing heart disease and stroke.