NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

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The NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms features 7,791 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.

monocyte
(MAH-noh-site)
A type of immune cell that is made in the bone marrow and travels through the blood to tissues in the body where it becomes a macrophage. Macrophages surround and kill microorganisms, ingest foreign material, remove dead cells, and boost immune responses. A monocyte is a type of white blood cell and a type of phagocyte.

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.