NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

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The NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms features 7,881 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.

positron emission tomography scan
(PAH-zih-tron ee-MIH-shun toh-MAH-gruh-fee skan)
A procedure in which a small amount of radioactive glucose (sugar) is injected into a vein, and a scanner is used to make detailed, computerized pictures of areas inside the body where the glucose is taken up. Because cancer cells often take up more glucose than normal cells, the pictures can be used to find cancer cells in the body. Also called PET scan.