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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms


stage IIIA non-small cell lung cancer  listen  (... sel lung KAN-ser)

  Stage III non-small cell lung cancer is divided into stages IIIA and IIIB. In stage IIIA, cancer has spread to lymph nodes on the same side of the chest as the tumor. Also, (1) the tumor may be any size; (2) part of the lung (where the trachea joins the bronchus) or the whole lung may have collapsed or become inflamed; (3) there may be one or more separate tumors in the same lobe of the lung; and/or (4) cancer may have spread to any of the following: main bronchus (but not the area where the trachea joins the bronchus), chest wall, diaphragm and the nerve that controls it, or membrane around the heart, lung, or lining the chest wall. OR in stage IIIA, cancer has spread to lymph nodes on the same side of the chest as the tumor. Also, (1) the tumor may be any size; (2) the whole lung may have collapsed or become inflamed; (3) there may be one or more separate tumors in any of the lobes of the lung with cancer; and/or (4) cancer may have spread to any of the following: main bronchus (but not the area where the trachea joins the bronchus), chest wall, diaphragm and the nerve that controls it, membrane around the lung or lining the chest wall, heart or the membrane around it, trachea, carina (where the trachea joins the bronchi), esophagus, sternum (chest bone), backbone, major blood vessels that lead to or from the heart, or the nerve that controls the larynx (voice box). OR in stage IIIA, cancer has not spread to the lymph nodes and the tumor may be any size. Cancer has spread to any of the following: trachea, carina, esophagus, sternum, backbone, heart, major blood vessels that lead to or from the heart, or the nerve that controls the larynx.

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Stage IIIA non-small cell lung cancer (1). Drawing shows cancer in lymph nodes, left main bronchus, and diaphragm; there may be separate tumors in the same lung; the trachea is also shown. Top inset shows cancer that has spread from the lung through the lung lining and chest wall lining into the chest wall; a rib is also shown. Bottom inset shows the heart and cancer that has spread from the lung into the membrane around the heart.
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Stage IIIA lung cancer  (2). Drawing shows cancer in the lymph nodes, trachea, carina, left main bronchus, esophagus, sternum, diaphragm, and major blood vessels that lead to or from the heart; there may be separate tumors in the same lung. Top inset shows cancer that has spread from the lung through the lung lining and chest wall lining into the chest wall; a rib is also shown. Bottom inset shows cancer that has spread from the lung, through the membrane around the heart, into the heart.
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Stage IIIA non-small cell lung cancer (3). Drawing shows cancer in the heart, major blood vessels that lead to or from the heart, the trachea, esophagus, sternum, and carina; the diaphragm is also shown. Inset shows cancer that has spread from the lung, through the membrane around the heart, into the heart.