NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

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The NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms features 7,780 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.

bioactive compound
(BY-oh-AK-tiv KOM-pownd)
A type of chemical found in small amounts in plants and certain foods (such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, oils, and whole grains). Bioactive compounds have actions in the body that may promote good health. They are being studied in the prevention of cancer, heart disease, and other diseases. Examples of bioactive compounds include lycopene, resveratrol, lignan, tannins, and indoles.