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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms



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

  Stage III is divided into stages IIIA, IIIB, and IIIC. In stage IIIB, the tumor may be any size and cancer has spread to the chest wall and/or to the skin of the breast and caused swelling or an ulcer. Also, cancer may have spread to (1) up to 9 axillary lymph nodes; or (2) the lymph nodes near the breastbone. Cancer that has spread to the skin of the breast may also be inflammatory breast cancer.

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Stage IIIB breast cancer. The drawing on the left is a cross section of the breast showing  that cancer has spread to the chest wall. The ribs, muscle, and fatty tissue are also shown. The drawing on the right shows the tumor has spread to the skin of the breast. An inset shows inflammatory breast cancer.