NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

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The NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms features 7,790 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.

central venous access catheter
(SEN-trul VEE-nus AK-ses KA-theh-ter)
A thin, flexible tube that is inserted into a vein in the upper arm, thigh, or neck or below the collarbone. It is guided (threaded) into a large vein near the heart called the vena cava or into the right atrium of the heart. It is used to give intravenous fluids, blood transfusions, and chemotherapy and other drugs, and for taking blood samples. It avoids the need for repeated needle sticks.