NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms
The NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms features 8,525 terms related to cancer and medicine.
We offer a widget that you can add to your website to let users look up cancer-related terms. Get NCI’s Dictionary of Cancer Terms Widget.
- listen (myoo-TAY-shun)
Any change in the DNA sequence of a cell. Mutations may be caused by mistakes during cell division, or they may be caused by exposure to DNA-damaging agents in the environment. Mutations can be harmful, beneficial, or have no effect. If they occur in cells that make eggs or sperm, they can be inherited; if mutations occur in other types of cells, they are not inherited. Certain mutations may lead to cancer or other diseases. A mutation is sometimes called a variant.