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.

human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 positive
(HYOO-mun eh-pih-DER-mul grothe FAK-ter reh-SEP-ter … PAH-zih-tiv)
Describes cancer cells that have too much of a protein called HER2 on their surface. In normal cells, HER2 helps to control cell growth. When it is made in larger than normal amounts by cancer cells, the cells may grow more quickly and be more likely to spread to other parts of the body. Checking to see if a cancer is human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 positive may help plan treatment, which may include drugs that kill human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 positive cancer cells. Cancers that may be human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 positive include breast, bladder, pancreatic, ovarian, and stomach cancers. Also called c-erbB-2 positive and HER2 positive.