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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms



stage IIIC breast cancer  listen  (... brest KAN-ser)

  Stage III is divided into stages IIIA, IIIB, and IIIC. In stage IIIC, no tumor is found in the breast or the tumor may be any size. Cancer may have spread to the skin of the breast and caused swelling or an ulcer and/or has spread to the chest wall. Also, cancer has spread to: (1) 10 or more axillary lymph nodes; or (2) lymph nodes above or below the collarbone; or (3) axillary lymph nodes and lymph nodes near the breastbone. Cancer that has spread to the skin of the breast may also be inflammatory breast cancer. For treatment, stage IIIC breast cancer is divided into operable and inoperable stage IIIC.

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Stage IIIC breast cancer. The drawing on the left shows cancer in lymph nodes in the axilla. The drawing in the middle shows cancer in lymph nodes above the collarbone. The drawing on the right shows cancer in lymph nodes in the axilla and in lymph nodes near the breastbone.