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.

curative surgery
(KYOOR-uh-tiv SER-juh-ree)
Surgery to remove all malignant (cancerous) tissue, which is meant to cure the disease. This includes removing part or all of the cancerous organ or tissue and a small amount of healthy tissue around it. Nearby lymph nodes may also be removed. Curative surgery works best for localized cancer. Chemotherapy or radiation therapy may be given before surgery to shrink the tumor or after surgery to kill any cancer cells that remain.