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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms



stage I nonmelanoma skin cancer  listen  (… non-MEH-luh-NOH-muh skin KAN-ser)

  The tumor is not larger than 2 centimeters at its widest point and may have one of the following high-risk features: (1) is thicker than 2 millimeters; (2) has spread into the lower layer of the dermis or into the layer of fat below the skin; (3) has grown and spread along nerve pathways; (4) began on an ear or on a lip that has hair on it; or (5) has cells that look very different from normal cells under a microscope.

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Definition of: nonmelanoma skin cancer.

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Stage I nonmelanoma skin cancer; drawing shows a tumor in the epidermis (outer layer of the skin) that is no more than 2 centimeters wide. Also shown are the dermis (inner layer of the skin) and the subcutaneous tissue below the dermis.