NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

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The NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms features 7,800 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.

hydrocarbon
(HY-droh-KAR-bun)
A substance made of only hydrogen and carbon. Examples of hydrocarbons are coal, petroleum, natural gas and tar. They are used as energy sources. Being exposed to hydrocarbons may increase the risk of certain types of cancer.