NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

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The NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms features 7,863 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.

lifetime risk
A measure of the risk that a certain event will happen during a person’s lifetime. In cancer research, it is usually given as the likelihood that a person who is free of a certain type of cancer will develop or die from that type of cancer during his or her lifetime. For example, a woman with no known risk factors for breast cancer has a lifetime risk of developing breast cancer of about 12%. This means one out of every eight women will develop breast cancer during her lifetime.