NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

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The NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms features 7,790 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.

contracture
(kun-TRAK-cher)
A permanent tightening of the muscles, tendons, skin, and nearby tissues that causes the joints to shorten and become very stiff. This prevents normal movement of a joint or other body part. Contractures may be caused by injury, scarring, and nerve damage, or by not using the muscles. It may also occur at some point in time after a stem cell transplant that caused chronic graft-versus-host disease.