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Home >Information for Patients > Dictionary Index

Dictionary of Cancer Terms

View in Spanish: Metabolismo

Metabolism (meh-TA-buh-lih-zum)
The total of all chemical changes that take place in a cell or an organism. These changes make energy and the materials needed for growth, reproduction, and maintaining health. They also help get rid of toxic substances.

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