NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

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The NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms features 7,861 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.

An opening into the colon from the outside of the body. A colostomy provides a new path for waste material to leave the body after part of the colon has been removed.

EnlargeThree-panel drawing showing colon cancer surgery with colostomy; first panel shows the area of the colon with cancer, middle panel shows the cancer and nearby tissue removed and a stoma created, last panel shows a colostomy bag attached to the stoma.

Colon cancer surgery with colostomy. Part of the colon containing the cancer and nearby healthy tissue is removed, a stoma is created, and a colostomy bag is attached to the stoma.