NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

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The NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms features 7,861 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.

heart disease
(hart dih-ZEEZ)
A type of disease that affects the heart or blood vessels. The risk of certain heart diseases may be increased by smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, and obesity. The most common heart disease is coronary artery disease (narrow or blocked coronary arteries), which can lead to chest pain, heart attacks, or stroke. Other heart diseases include congestive heart failure, heart rhythm problems, congenital heart disease (heart disease at birth), and endocarditis (inflamed inner layer of the heart). Also called cardiovascular disease.