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.

mainstream smoke
(MAYN-streem ...)
Tobacco smoke that is exhaled by smokers. Mainstream smoke can be a form of secondhand smoke. It contains nicotine and many harmful, cancer-causing chemicals. Inhaling mainstream smoke increases the risk of lung cancer and may increase the risk of other types of cancer. Inhaling it also increases the risk of other health problems, such as heart disease and lung disease.