NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

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The NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms features 7,811 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.

oxygen radical
(OK-sih-jen RA-dih-kul)
A type of unstable molecule that contains oxygen and that easily reacts with other molecules in a cell. A build up of oxygen radicals in cells may cause damage to DNA, RNA, and proteins, and may cause cell death. An oxygen radical is a free radical. Also called reactive oxygen species.