NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

The NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms features 8,531 terms related to cancer and medicine.

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hereditary hemochromatosis
(heh-REH-dih-tayr-ee HEE-moh-kroh-muh-TOH-sis)
An inherited condition in which too much iron builds up in the body. The extra iron is stored in the body’s tissues and organs, especially the liver, heart, pancreas, skin, and joints. This can cause liver disease, heart problems, diabetes, and organ failure. Symptoms include changes in skin color, pain in the joints and abdomen, fatigue, and loss of sex drive. Patients with hereditary hemochromatosis also have an increased risk of liver cancer. There are five types of hereditary hemochromatosis. Each type is caused by changes in different genes. Symptoms for each type typically begin at different ages. Type 1 hemochromatosis is one of the most common genetic disorders in the United States.