NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

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The NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms features 7,899 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.

teratoma
(TAYR-uh-TOH-muh)
A type of germ cell tumor that may contain several different types of tissue, such as hair, muscle, and bone. Teratomas may be mature or immature, based on how normal the cells look under a microscope. Sometimes teratomas are a mix of mature and immature cells. Teratomas usually occur in the ovaries in women, the testicles in men, and the tailbone in children. They may also occur in the central nervous system (brain or spinal cord), chest, or abdomen. Teratomas may be benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer).