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.

contrast esophagram
(KON-trast ee-SAH-fuh-gram)
A series of x-ray pictures of the esophagus taken after a patient drinks a liquid containing barium sulfate (a form of the silver-white metallic element barium). The barium sulfate coats and outlines the inner wall of the esophagus so that it can be seen on the x-ray pictures. Also called esophagram.

EnlargeBarium swallow; shows barium liquid flowing through the esophagus and into the stomach.

Barium swallow. The patient swallows barium liquid and it flows through the esophagus and into the stomach. X-rays are taken to look for abnormal areas.