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   A cancer-causing substance.


Carcinoembryonic antigen
Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) is a protein found in many types of cells but associated with tumors and the developing fetus.

Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA)
Antigen present during embryonic development which normally disappears but reappears in malignant tissue.

Of a substance which causes cancer.

Carcinoid syndrome
A syndrome due to carcinoid tumor which secretes large amounts of the hormone serotonin. The syndrome is directly due to the serotonin. Features include flushing and blushing, swelling of the face (especially around the eyes), flat angiomas (little collections of dilated blood vessels) on the skin, diarrhea, bronchial spasm, rapid pulse, low blood pressure and tricuspid and pulmonary stenosis (narrowing of the tricuspid and pulmonic valves of the heart), often with regurgitation.

Carcinoid tumor
A tumor which secretes large amounts of the hormone serotonin. Carcinoid tumor is also called an argentaffinoma. The tumor usually arises in the gastrointestinal tract, anywhere between the stomach and the rectum (the favorite spot is in the appendix) and from there may metastasize (spread) to the liver. In the liver the tumor produces and releases large quantities of serotonin into the systemic bloodstream.

Cancer that begins in the tissues that line or cover an organ.

Carcinoma in situ
Cancer that involves only the place in which it began and that has not spread. Carcinoma in situ is an early-stage tumor.

Carcinoma of the breast, infiltrating ductal
Infiltrating ductal carcinoma is one of several recognized specific patterns of cancer of the breast. It is so named because it begins in the cells forming the ducts of the breast. It is the most common form of breast cancer, comprising 65-85% of all cases.

Carcinoma of the breast, infiltrating lobular
Infiltrating lobular carcinoma is the second most common type of invasive breast cancer next to infiltrating ductal carcinoma, accounting for 5 to 10% of breast cancer.

Carcinoma, ampullary
Cancer of a structure called the ampulla of Vater, a small muscle located at the junction where the common bile duct (carrying bile from the liver and secretions from the pancreas) empties into the duodenum (upper small intestine).

Carcinoma, basal cell
The most common type of skin cancer, a disease in which the cancer cells resemble the basal cells of the epidermis, the outer layer of the skin.

Carcinoma, hepatocellular
A tumor in which the cancer starts during adulthood in cells in the liver. Also called adult primary liver cancer.

Carcinoma, Merkel cell
An infrequent but highly malignant type of skin cancer. Characteristically starts in a sun-exposed area (of the head, neck, arms or legs) in whites 60-80 years of age as a firm, painless, shiny lump that can be red, pink, or blue in color and vary in size from less than a quarter of an inch (a half cm) to more than two inches (5 cm) in diameter. The tumor grows rapidly and often metastasizes (spreads) to other parts of the body. Even relatively small tumors are capable of metastasis, particularly to the regional (nearby) lymph nodes. Merkel cell carcinoma follows an aggressive course like that of melanoma, and has a predilection to spread to (in order of frequency) liver, bone, brain, lung, and skin. The prognosis (outlook) is accordingly poor.


The class of plants that includes marijuana and other hemps.

A small, blood-containing vessel connecting the veins and arteries.

Carbon dioxide
An odorless, colorless gas produced as the end product of aerobic respiration.

Carbon monoxide
An odorless, colorless, poisonous gas produced from the incomplete combustion of carbon. Prevents the blood from carrying oxygen.

A hard, painful, pus-filled infection of the skin. Carbuncles are larger than boils and frequently have more than one opening.


Enlargement of the heart.

The fat-soluble pigment in carrots, tomatoes and other vegetables, egg yolks, milk fat and other substances that can be converted in the body to vitamin A.

The main artery in the neck.

Having to do with the wrist.

Carpal tunnel syndrome
Pain, numbness and tingling of the fingers caused by compression of the median nerve at the wrist.

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