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Dictionary of Cancer Terms

View in Spanish: Mutación somática

Somatic mutation (soh-MA-tik myoo-TAY-shun)
An alteration in DNA that occurs after conception. Somatic mutations can occur in any of the cells of the body except the germ cells (sperm and egg) and therefore are not passed on to children. These alterations can (but do not always) cause cancer or other diseases.



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