NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

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The NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms features 7,811 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.

platelet
(PLAYT-let)
A tiny piece of cell that is made by breaking off of a large cell in the bone marrow. Platelets are found in the blood and spleen. They help form blood clots to slow or stop bleeding, and to help wounds heal. Also called thrombocyte.

EnlargeBlood cells; drawing shows six types of white blood cells (monocytes, lymphocytes, neutrophils, eosinophils, basophils, and macrophages), a red blood cell (erythrocyte), and platelets.

Blood cells. Blood contains many types of cells: white blood cells (monocytes, lymphocytes, neutrophils, eosinophils, basophils, and macrophages), red blood cells (erythrocytes), and platelets. Blood circulates through the body in the arteries and veins.