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Search Tips

Quick Tips

Type in only the phrase or words you wish to find. You do not need to type a full question.

Spell out each word fully — do not abbreviate.

If you use AND, OR, NOT, make sure they are uppercase.

If you are researching two unrelated topics, perform two separate searches. Using AND in your search (see below) finds only pages containing both words.

Using AND, OR, NOT, and Other Search Features

You can search for pages that ...

  • contain a certain phrase
    Sample: alzheimer
    Sample: memory loss
  • contain a certain word and also another word (regardless of order) — use AND.
    Sample: agitation AND restlessness
  • contain at least one or the other of two words — use OR.
    Sample: alzheimer OR forgetfulness
  • do not contain a certain word — use NOT.
    Sample: alzheimer NOT "type 2"
  • satisfy multiple criteria — use parentheses to group the criteria.
    Sample: cancer AND (dominant OR recessive)
  • contain two words or phrases near each other on the same page — use NEAR and put the words or phrases in quotes. (There is also NOTNEAR.)
    Sample: "memory" NEAR "loss"
  • contain exactly a certain word — e.g., to match 'balding' but not 'bald' or 'baldness'
    Sample: +balding


Medical terms can be difficult to remember, and often there are many names for a single concept (e.g., cancer of the colon, colonic neoplasm, colon cancer, etc.). Thus, Genetics Home Reference automatically adds words related to those you entered. This may increase the number of results retrieved.

Synonyms added to a search can be viewed on the Query Details page.

Published: February 11, 2013