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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms


metaplastic carcinoma  listen  (meh-tuh-PLAS-tik KAR-sih-NOH-muh)

  A general term used to describe cancer that begins in cells that have changed into another cell type (for example, a squamous cell of the esophagus changing to resemble a cell of the stomach). In some cases, metaplastic changes alone may mean there is an increased chance of cancer developing at the site.