NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

The NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms features 8,442 terms related to cancer and medicine.

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nonheritable
(non-HAYR-ih-tuh-bul)
In medicine, describes a characteristic or trait that cannot be passed from a parent to a child through the genes. Nonheritable forms of cancer may occur when there is a mutation (change) in the DNA in any of the cells of the body, except the germ cells (sperm and egg). People who have a nonheritable form of cancer do not have a family history of that cancer or an inherited change in their DNA that would increase their risk for that cancer.