NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms
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(... ee-SAH-fuh-JEE-ul SKWAY-mus sel KAR-sih-NOH-muh)
Stage I is divided into stages IA and IB, depending on where the cancer is found. In stage IA, cancer has formed in the inner (mucosal) layer of the esophageal wall. The tumor cells look a lot like normal cells under a microscope. In stage IB, cancer has formed (1) in the inner (mucosal) layer of the esophageal wall. The tumor cells do not look at all like normal cells under a microscope; or (2) in the inner (mucosal) layer and spread into the middle (muscle) layer or the outer (connective tissue) layer of the esophageal wall. The tumor cells look a lot like normal cells under a microscope. The tumor is in the lower esophagus or it is not known where the tumor is.