NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

The NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms features 8,525 terms related to cancer and medicine.

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A rare, inherited disorder marked by rapid aging that begins in early adolescence or young adulthood and an increased risk of cancer. Signs and symptoms include shorter-than-average height, thinning and graying hair, skin changes, thin arms and legs, voice changes, and unusual facial features. This disorder can also lead to health problems, such as cataracts, skin ulcers, severe hardening of the arteries, diabetes, osteoporosis, and fertility problems. People with WS have an increased risk of cancer, especially thyroid cancer, skin cancer, and sarcoma (a type of bone or soft tissue cancer). WS is caused by a mutation (change) in the WRN gene, which makes a protein involved in DNA repair. Also called adult progeria and Werner syndrome.