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Home >Information for Patients > Dictionary Index

Dictionary of Cancer Terms

View in Spanish: Diferenciación

Differentiation (DIH-fur-EN-shee-AY-shun)
In cancer, refers to how mature (developed) the cancer cells are in a tumor. Differentiated tumor cells resemble normal cells and tend to grow and spread at a slower rate than undifferentiated or poorly differentiated tumor cells, which lack the structure and function of normal cells and grow uncontrollably.



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