NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

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The NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms features 7,777 terms related to cancer and medicine.

Browse the dictionary by selecting a letter of the alphabet or by entering a cancer-related word or phrase in the search box.

stage III nonmelanoma skin cancer
(… non-MEH-luh-NOH-muh skin KAN-ser)
The tumor has spread to the jaw, eye socket, or side of the skull. Cancer may have spread to one lymph node on the same side of the body as the tumor. The lymph node is not larger than 3 centimeters; or, cancer has spread to one lymph node on the same side of the body as the tumor. The lymph node is not larger than 3 centimeters and one of the following is true: (1) the tumor is not larger than 2 centimeters at its widest point and may have one high-risk feature (is thicker than 2 millimeters, has spread into the lower layer of the dermis or into the layer of fat below the skin, has grown and spread along nerve pathways, began on an ear or on a lip that has hair on it, or has cells that look very different from normal cells under a microscope); or (2) the tumor is larger than 2 centimeters at its widest point; or (3) the tumor is any size and has two or more high-risk features (is thicker than 2 millimeters, has spread into the lower layer of the dermis or into the layer of fat below the skin, has grown and spread along nerve pathways, began on an ear or on a lip that has hair on it, or has cells that look very different from normal cells under a microscope).

EnlargeStage III nonmelanoma skin cancer (1); drawing shows a primary tumor in one arm and parts of the body where it may spread, including the bones of the jaw, eye socket, or side of the skull.

Stage III nonmelanoma skin cancer (1). Cancer has spread from the primary tumor to bones of the jaw, eye socket, or side of the skull.

EnlargeStage III nonmelanoma skin cancer (2); drawing shows a primary tumor in one arm and cancer in a lymph node on the same side of the body as the primary tumor.  Insets show 2 centimeters is about the size of a peanut and 3 centimeters is about the size of a grape.

Stage III nonmelanoma skin cancer (2). Cancer has spread to one lymph node that is 3 centimeters or smaller and is on the same side of the body as the primary tumor. Also, the tumor is 2 centimeters or smaller at its widest point and may have one high-risk feature; OR the tumor is larger than 2 centimeters at its widest point; OR the tumor is any size and has two or more high-risk features. There are five high-risk features: (1) the tumor is thicker than 2 millimeters; (2) the tumor has spread into the lower layer of the skin or into the layer of fat below the skin; (3) the tumor has grown and spread along nerve pathways; (4) the tumor began on an ear or on a lip that has hair on it; and (5) the tumor has cells that look very different from normal cells under a microscope.