NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

The NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms features 8,300 terms related to cancer and medicine.

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radiation
(RAY-dee-AY-shun)
Energy released in the form of particle or electromagnetic waves. Common sources of radiation include radon gas, cosmic rays from outer space, medical x-rays, and energy given off by a radioisotope (unstable form of a chemical element that releases radiation as it breaks down and becomes more stable). Radiation can damage cells. It is used to diagnose and treat some types of cancer.