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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms


stage II esophageal squamous cell carcinoma  listen  (... ee-SAH-fuh-JEE-ul SKWAY-mus sel KAR-sih-NOH-muh)

  Stage II is divided into stages IIA and IIB, depending on where the cancer has spread. In stage IIA, cancer has spread (1) into the muscle layer or the connective tissue layer of the esophagus wall, and the cancer cells are grade 1. Grade 1 cancer cells look more like normal cells under a microscope and grow and spread more slowly than grade 2 and 3 cancer cells. The tumor is in either the upper or middle esophagus; or (2) into the muscle layer or the connective tissue layer of the esophagus wall, and the cancer cells are grade 2 and 3. Grade 2 and 3 cancer cells look more abnormal under a microscope and grow and spread more quickly than grade 1 cancer cells. The tumor is in the lower esophagus or it is not known where the tumor is. In stage IIB, cancer (1) has spread into the muscle layer or the connective tissue layer of the esophagus wall, and the cancer cells are grade 2 and 3. The tumor is in either the upper or middle esophagus; or (2) is in the mucosa or submucosa layer and may have spread into the muscle layer of the esophagus wall. Cancer is found in 1 or 2 lymph nodes near the tumor.

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Stage IIA squamous cell cancer of the esophagus (1); drawing shows the esophagus and stomach. An inset shows the layers of the esophagus wall with cancer in the mucosa, submucosa, muscle, and connective tissue layers. Also shown are lymph nodes.
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Stage IIA squamous cell cancer of the esophagus (2); drawing shows the esophagus and stomach. An inset shows the layers of the esophagus wall with cancer in the mucosa, submucosa, muscle, and connective tissue layers. Also shown are lymph nodes.
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Stage IIB squamous cell cancer of the esophagus; drawing shows the esophagus and stomach. A two-panel inset shows the layers of the esophagus wall: the mucosa, submucosa, muscle, and connective tissue layers. The left panel shows cancer in the mucosa, submucosa, muscle, and connective tissue layers. The right panel shows cancer in the mucosa, submucosa, and muscle layers and in 1 lymph node.