NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

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The NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms features 7,804 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.

optical spectroscopy
(OP-tih-kul spek-TROS-koh-pee)
In medicine, a technique that uses low power light, fiberoptic instruments, and detectors to examine tissue. It is being studied as a way to identify differences between normal cells and cells that may become cancer, and as a way to identify cancer cells that remain in the edges of tumor tissue removed from a patient.