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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms



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

  Stage II is divided into stages IIA and IIB. In stage IIA, (1) no tumor is found in the breast or the tumor is 2 centimeters or smaller. Cancer (larger than 2 millimeters) is found in 1 to 3 axillary lymph nodes or in the lymph nodes near the breastbone (found during a sentinel lymph node biopsy); or (2) the tumor is larger than 2 centimeters but not larger than 5 centimeters. Cancer has not spread to the lymph nodes. In stage IIB, the tumor is (1) larger than 2 centimeters but not larger than 5 centimeters. Small clusters of breast cancer cells (larger than 0.2 millimeter but not larger than 2 millimeters) are found in the lymph nodes; or (2) larger than 2 centimeters but not larger than 5 centimeters. Cancer has spread to 1 to 3 axillary lymph nodes or to the lymph nodes near the breastbone (found during a sentinel lymph node biopsy); or (3) larger than 5 centimeters. Cancer has not spread to the lymph nodes.

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Stage IIA breast cancer. Drawing on the left shows no tumor in the breast, but cancer is found in 3 axillary lymph nodes. Drawing in the middle shows the tumor size is 2 cm or smaller and cancer is found in 3 axillary lymph nodes. Drawing on the right shows the tumor is larger than 2 cm but not larger than 5 cm and has not spread to the lymph nodes.
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Stage IIB breast cancer. The drawing on the left shows the tumor is larger than 2 cm but not larger than 5 cm and small clusters of cancer cells are in the lymph nodes. The drawing in the middle shows the tumor is larger than 2 cm but not larger than 5 cm and cancer is in 3 axillary lymph nodes. The drawing on the right shows the tumor is larger than 5 cm but has not spread to the lymph nodes.