NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

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The NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms features 7,804 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.

Clark level II skin cancer
(klark LEH-vul … skin KAN-ser)
Skin cancer that has spread from the epidermis (outer layer of skin) down into the papillary dermis (the thin top layer of the dermis).

EnlargeClark levels of skin cancer; drawing shows skin with five thin lesions of different depths. In the first lesion (Clark Level I), the cancer is in the epidermis only. In the second lesion (Clark Level II), the cancer has begun to spread into the papillary dermis (upper layer of the dermis). In the third lesion (Clark Level III), the cancer has spread through the papillary dermis into the papillary-reticular dermal interface but not into the reticular dermis (lower layer of the dermis). In the fourth lesion (Clark Level IV), the cancer has spread into the reticular dermis. In the fifth lesion (Clark Level V), the cancer has spread into the subcutaneous tissue.

Clark levels of skin cancer. In Clark Level I, the cancer is in the epidermis only. In Clark Level II, the cancer has begun to spread into the papillary dermis (upper layer of the dermis). In Clark Level III, the cancer has spread through the papillary dermis into the papillary-reticular dermal interface but not into the reticular dermis (lower layer of the dermis). In Clark Level IV, the cancer has spread into the reticular dermis. In Clark Level V, the cancer has spread into the subcutaneous tissue.