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.

stage I esophageal squamous cell carcinoma
(... 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 mucosa or submucosa layer of the esophagus wall. 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. In stage IB, cancer has formed (1) in the mucosa or submucosa 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; or (2) in the mucosa or submucosa layer and spread into the muscle layer or the connective tissue layer of the esophagus wall, and the cancer cells are grade 1. The tumor is in the lower esophagus or it is not known where the tumor is.

EnlargeStage IA squamous cell cancer of the esophagus; drawing shows the esophagus and stomach. An inset shows cancer cells in the mucosa and submucosa layers of the esophagus wall. Also shown are the muscle and connective tissue layers of the esophagus wall and lymph nodes.

Stage IA squamous cell cancer of the esophagus. Cancer has formed in the mucosa or submucosa layer of the esophagus wall. The cancer cells are grade 1 or the grade is unknown. Grade 1 cancer cells look more like normal cells under a microscope and grow and spread more slowly than grade 2-3 cancer cells.

EnlargeStage IB 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. Also shown are lymph nodes. The left panel shows cancer in the mucosa and submucosa layers. The right panel shows cancer in the mucosa, submucosa, and muscle layers.

Stage IB squamous cell cancer of the esophagus. Cancer has formed in the mucosa or submucosa layer of the esophagus wall, and the cancer cells are grade 2-3; OR cancer has formed in the mucosa or submucosa layer and spread 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 2-3 cancer cells. The tumor is in the lower esophagus or it is not known where the tumor is.