NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

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The NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms features 7,800 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.

palliative sedation
(PA-lee-uh-tiv seh-DAY-shun)
The use of special drugs called sedatives to relieve extreme suffering by making a patient calm, unaware, or unconscious. This may be done for patients who have symptoms that cannot be controlled with other treatment. Palliative sedation may be used in patients who are near the end of life to make them more comfortable. It is not meant to shorten life or cause death.