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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms



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

  The tumor has spread to the jaw, eye socket, or side of the skull. Cancer may have spread to one lymph node on the same side of the body as the tumor. The lymph node is not larger than 3 centimeters; or, cancer has spread to one lymph node on the same side of the body as the tumor. The lymph node is not larger than 3 centimeters and one of the following is true: (1) the tumor is not larger than 2 centimeters at its widest point and may have one high-risk feature (is thicker than 2 millimeters, has spread into the lower layer of the dermis or into the layer of fat below the skin, has grown and spread along nerve pathways, began on an ear or on a lip that has hair on it, or has cells that look very different from normal cells under a microscope); or (2) the tumor is larger than 2 centimeters at its widest point; or (3) the tumor is any size and has two or more high-risk features (is thicker than 2 millimeters, has spread into the lower layer of the dermis or into the layer of fat below the skin, has grown and spread along nerve pathways, began on an ear or on a lip that has hair on it, or has cells that look very different from normal cells under a microscope).

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Stage III nonmelanoma skin cancer (1); drawing shows a primary tumor in one arm and parts of the body where it may spread, including the bones of the jaw, eye socket, or side of the skull.
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Stage III nonmelanoma skin cancer (2); drawing shows a primary tumor in one arm and cancer in a lymph node on the same side of the body as the primary tumor.  Insets show 2 centimeters is about the size of a peanut and 3 centimeters is about the size of a grape.