NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

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The NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms features 7,846 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.

ionizing radiation
(I-uh-NY-zing RAY-dee-AY-shun)
A type of radiation made (or given off ) by x-ray procedures, radioactive substances, rays that enter the Earth's atmosphere from outer space, and other sources. At high doses, ionizing radiation increases chemical activity inside cells and can lead to health risks, including cancer.