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Home >Information for Patients > Dictionary Index

Dictionary of Cancer Terms

View in Spanish: Colesterol

Cholesterol (koh-LES-teh-rol)
A waxy, fat-like substance made in the liver, and found in the blood and in all cells of the body. Cholesterol is important for good health and is needed for making cell walls, tissues, hormones, vitamin D, and bile acid. Cholesterol also comes from eating foods taken from animals such as egg yolks, meat, and whole-milk dairy products. Too much cholesterol in the blood may build up in blood vessel walls, block blood flow to tissues and organs, and increase the risk of developing heart disease and stroke.



 
 
Source: National Cancer Institute Dictionary of Cancer Terms, available at www.cancer.gov/dictionary.