NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

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The NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms features 7,916 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.

secondary cancer
(SEH-kun-dayr-ee KAN-ser)
A term that is used to describe cancer that has spread (metastasized) from the place where it first started to another part of the body. Secondary cancers are the same type of cancer as the original (primary) cancer. For example, cancer cells may spread from the breast (primary cancer) to form new tumors in the lung (secondary cancer). The cancer cells in the lung are breast cancer cells, not lung cancer. Also called secondary tumor.