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Home > Mesothelioma cancer > Mesothelioma cancer terms list > Mesothelioma cancer glossary - S

Mesothelioma cancer glossary - S

spinal tap - A procedure in which a needle is put into the lower part of the spinal column to collect cerebrospinal fluid or to give drugs. Also called a lumbar puncture.

spleen - An organ that is part of the lymphatic system. The spleen produces lymphocytes, filters the blood, stores blood cells, and destroys old blood cells. It is located on the left side of the abdomen near the stomach.

stable disease - Cancer that is neither decreasing nor increasing in extent or severity.

stage - The extent of a cancer within the body. If the cancer has spread, the stage describes how far it has spread from the original site to other parts of the body.

stage 0 bladder cancer - Cancer is found on tissue lining the inside of the bladder only. Stage 0 is divided into stage 0a and stage 0is, depending on the type of the tumor. Stage 0a is also called papillary carcinoma, which may look like tiny mushrooms growing from the lining of the bladder. Stage 0is is also called carcinoma in situ, which is a flat tumor on the tissue lining the inside of the bladder.

stage 0 cervical cancer - Cancer is found in the first layer of cells lining the cervix only and has not invaded the deeper tissues of the cervix. Also called carcinoma in situ.

stage 0 chronic lymphocytic leukemia - There are too many lymphocytes in the blood, but there are no other symptoms of leukemia. Stage 0 is indolent (slow-growing).

stage 0 colorectal cancer - Cancer is found in the innermost lining of the colon and/or rectum only. Also called carcinoma in situ.

stage 0 esophageal cancer - Cancer is found in the innermost layer of cells lining the esophagus. Also called carcinoma in situ.

stage 0 gastric cancer - Cancer is found in the inside lining of the mucosal (innermost) layer of the stomach wall. Also called carcinoma in situ.

stage 0 melanoma - Cancer is found in the epidermis (outer layer of the skin) only. Also called melanoma in situ.

stage 0 nasopharyngeal cancer - Cancer is found in the lining of the nasopharynx (the upper part of the throat behind the nose) only. Also called carcinoma in situ.

stage 0 non-small cell lung cancer - Cancer is limited to the lung. It is found in a few layers of cells only, and has not grown through the top lining of the lung. Also called carcinoma in situ.

stage 0 skin cancer - Cancer is found in the epidermis (topmost layer of the skin) only, in the layer of cells in which the cancer began. Also called carcinoma in situ.

stage 0 testicular cancer - Abnormal cells are found only in the tiny tubules where the sperm cells begin to develop. The cells do not invade normal tissues; all tumor marker levels are normal. Sometimes called a precancerous condition. Also called carcinoma in situ.

stage I adrenocortical cancer - Cancer that is smaller than 5 centimeters (smaller than 2 inches) and has not spread into tissues around the adrenal gland.

stage I adult Hodgkin's lymphoma - Stage I is divided into stage I and stage IE. In stage I, cancer is found in a single group of lymph nodes. In stage IE, cancer is found in one area or organ other than the lymph nodes.

stage I adult non-Hodgkin's lymphoma - Stage I is divided into stage I and stage IE. In stage I, cancer is found in a single lymph node area. In stage IE, cancer is found in an organ or tissue other than the lymph nodes.

stage I adult primary liver cancer - One tumor is present, which is no larger than 2 centimeters.

stage I anal cancer - Cancer that has spread beyond the top layer of anal tissue and is smaller than 2 centimeters (smaller than 1 inch).

stage I bladder cancer - Cancer has spread to the connective tissue layer below the inner lining of the bladder.

stage I breast cancer - The tumor is no larger than 2 centimeters and has not spread outside the breast.

stage I cancer of the uterus - Cancer found in only the main part of the uterus, not the cervix.

stage I cancer of the vulva - Cancer found in the vulva only or the space between the opening of the rectum and the vagina (perineum). The tumor is 2 centimeters (about 1 inch) or smaller.

stage I cervical cancer - Cancer is found in the cervix only. Stage I is divided into stages IA and IB, based on the amount of cancer that is found. In stage IA, a very small amount of cancer that can only be seen with a microscope is found in the tissues of the cervix. The cancer is not deeper than 5 millimeters and not wider than 7 millimeters. In stage IB, the cancer is still within the cervix and either (1) can only be seen with a microscope and is deeper than 5 millimeters or wider than 7 millimeters; or (2) can be seen without a microscope and may be larger than 4 centimeters.

stage I childhood non-Hodgkin's lymphoma - Cancer is found in a single area or lymph node outside of the abdomen or chest.

stage I chronic lymphocytic leukemia - There are too many lymphocytes in the blood and the lymph nodes are larger than normal.

stage I colorectal cancer - Cancer has spread beyond the innermost lining of the colon and/or rectum to the second and third layers and involves the inside wall of the colon and/or rectum, but it has not spread to the outer wall or outside the colon and/or rectum. Also called Dukes' A colorectal cancer.

stage I cutaneous T-cell lymphoma - May be either of the following: (1) stage IA cancer affecting less than 10% of the skin's surface and appearing as red, dry, scaly patches; (2) stage IB cancer affecting 10% or more of the skin's surface and appearing as red, dry, scaly patches.

stage I endometrial cancer - Cancer is found in the uterus only. Stage I is divided into stages IA, IB, and IC, based on how far the disease has spread from the endometrium into the muscles of the uterus.

stage I esophageal cancer - Cancer has spread beyond the innermost layer of cells to the next layer of tissue in the wall of the esophagus.

stage I gastric cancer - Stage I is divided into stage IA and stage IB, depending on where the cancer has spread. In stage IA, cancer has spread completely through the mucosal (innermost) layer of the stomach wall. In stage IB, cancer has spread completely through the mucosal (innermost) layer of the stomach wall and is found in up to 6 lymph nodes near the tumor, or has spread to the muscularis (middle) layer of the stomach wall.

stage I hypopharynx cancer - Tumor that is confined to one area of the hypopharynx and is no larger than 2 centimeters (about 0.75 inch).

stage I kidney cancer - A tumor that is 7 centimeters (2.75 inches) or smaller.

stage I laryngeal cancer - Cancer that is only in the area where it started and has not spread to nearby lymph nodes or other parts of the body. The exact definition of stage I depends on whether the cancer started in the supraglottis (cancer in only one area of the supraglottis, and the vocal cords can move normally); the glottis (cancer in only the vocal cords, and the vocal cords can move normally); or the subglottis (cancer that has not spread outside the subglottis).

stage I lip and oral cavity cancer - Cancer that is no larger than 2 centimeters (about 1 inch) and has not spread to nearby lymph nodes.

stage I melanoma - Stage I is divided into stages IA and IB. In stage IA, the tumor is not more than 1 millimeter thick, with no ulceration. The tumor is in the epidermis (outer layer of skin) and upper layer of the dermis (inner layer of skin). In stage IB, the tumor is either not more than 1 millimeter thick, with ulceration, and may have spread into the dermis or the tissue below the skin; or 1 to 2 millimeters thick, with no ulceration.

stage I mesothelioma - Cancer found in the lining of the chest cavity near the lung and heart, in the diaphragm (the thin muscle below the lungs and heart that separates the chest from the abdomen), or in the lung.

stage I multiple myeloma - Relatively few cancer cells have spread throughout the body. There may be no symptoms of disease.

stage I nasopharyngeal cancer - Cancer is found in the nasopharynx (the upper part of the throat behind the nose) only.

stage I non-small cell lung cancer - Cancer is in the lung only. Stage I is divided into stages IA and IB based on the size or location of the tumor.

stage I oropharynx cancer - Cancer that is no larger than 2 centimeters (about 0.75 inch) and is confined to the oropharynx.

stage I ovarian cancer - Cancer is found in one or both of the ovaries and has not spread. Stage I is divided into stage IA, stage IB, and stage IC. In stage IA, cancer is found in a single ovary. In stage IB, cancer is found in both ovaries. In stage IC, cancer is found in one or both ovaries and one of the following is true: cancer is found on the outside surface of one or both ovaries; the capsule (outer covering) of the tumor has ruptured (broken open); or, cancer cells are found in fluid from the peritoneal cavity (the body cavity that contains most of the organs in the abdomen).

stage I pancreatic cancer - Cancer is found in the pancreas only. Stage I is divided into stage IA and stage IB based on tumor size. In stage IA, the tumor is no larger than 2 centimeters and in stage IB, the tumor is larger than 2 centimeters.

stage I prostate cancer - Cancer is found in the prostate only. It cannot be felt during a digital rectal exam and is not visible by imaging. It is usually found accidentally during surgery for other reasons, such as benign prostatic hyperplasia (a condition in which an overgrowth of prostate tissue occurs). Also called stage A1 prostate cancer.

stage I skin cancer - The tumor is no larger than 2 centimeters.

stage I testicular cancer - Stage I is divided into stage IA, stage IB, and stage IS, and is determined after a radical inguinal orchiectomy (surgery to remove the testicle) is done. In stage IA, cancer is in the testicle and epididymis and may have spread to the inner layer of the membrane surrounding the testicle; all tumor marker levels are normal. In stage IB, the cancer is in the testicle and the epididymis and has spread to the blood or lymph vessels in the testicle; or has spread to the outer layer of the membrane surrounding the testicle; or is in the spermatic cord or the scrotum and may be in the blood or lymph vessels of the testicle; all tumor marker levels are normal. In stage IS, cancer is found anywhere within the testicle, spermatic cord, or the scrotum and either all tumor marker levels are slightly above normal; or one or more tumor marker levels are moderately above normal or high.

stage I Wilms' tumor - Cancer that is found in the kidney only and can be completely removed by surgery.

stage IA soft tissue sarcoma - Cancer in which the cells look very much like normal cells. The cancer is smaller than 5 centimeters (about 2 inches) and has not spread to lymph nodes or other parts of the body.

stage IB soft tissue sarcoma - Cancer in which the cells look somewhat different from normal cells. The cancer is larger than 5 centimeters (about 2 inches) and has not spread to lymph nodes or other parts of the body.

stage II adrenocortical cancer - Cancer that is larger than 5 centimeters (about 2 inches) and has not spread into tissues around the adrenal gland.

stage II adult Hodgkin's lymphoma - Stage II is divided into stage II and stage IIE. In stage II, cancer is found in two or more lymph node groups on the same side of the diaphragm (the thin muscle below the lungs that helps breathing and separates the chest from the abdomen). In stage IIE, cancer is found in one area or organ other than the lymph nodes and in the lymph nodes near that area or organ, and may have spread to other lymph node groups on the same side of the diaphragm.

stage II adult non-Hodgkin's lymphoma - Stage II is divided into stage II and stage IIE. In stage II, cancer is found in two or more lymph node areas on the same side of the diaphragm. In stage IIE, cancer is found in an organ or tissue other than the lymph nodes and may have spread to one or more lymph nodes on the same side of the diaphragm.

stage II adult primary liver cancer - One of the following is found: (1) one tumor, which is no larger than 2 centimeters and has spread into nearby blood vessels; or (2) more than one tumor, none of which is larger than 2 centimeters and all are in just one lobe of the liver; or (3) one tumor, which is larger than 2 centimeters.

stage II anal cancer - Cancer that has spread beyond the top layer of anal tissue and is larger than 2 centimeters (about 1 inch) but has not spread to nearby organs or lymph nodes.

stage II bladder cancer - Cancer has spread to either the inner layer or outer layer of the muscle wall of the bladder.

stage II breast cancer - Stage II is divided into stage IIA and stage IIB based on tumor size and whether it has spread to the axillary lymph nodes (the lymph nodes under the arm). In stage IIA, the cancer is either no larger than 2 centimeters and has spread to the axillary lymph nodes, or between 2 and 5 centimeters but has not spread to the axillary lymph nodes. In stage IIB, the cancer is either between 2 and 5 centimeters and has spread to the axillary lymph nodes, or larger than 5 centimeters but has not spread to the axillary lymph nodes.

stage II cancer of the uterus - Cancer that has spread to the cervix.

stage II cancer of the vulva - Cancer that is found in the vulva, the space between the opening of the rectum and the vagina (perineum), or both. The tumor is larger than 2 centimeters (larger than 1 inch).

stage II cervical cancer - Cancer has spread beyond the cervix but not to the pelvic wall (the tissues that line the part of the body between the hips). Stage II is divided into stages IIA and IIB, based on how far the cancer has spread. In stage IIA, cancer has spread to the upper two thirds of the vagina but not to tissues around the uterus. In stage IIB, cancer has spread to the upper two thirds of the vagina and to the tissues around the uterus.

stage II childhood non-Hodgkin's lymphoma - Cancer is found (1) in only one area and in the lymph nodes around it; or (2) in two or more areas or lymph nodes on one side of the diaphragm (the thin muscle under the lungs that divides the chest and abdominal cavity and helps with breathing); or (3) to have started in the stomach or intestines and has been completely removed by surgery, and lymph nodes in the area may or may not contain cancer.

stage II chronic lymphocytic leukemia - There are too many lymphocytes in the blood, the liver or spleen is larger than normal, and the lymph nodes may be larger than normal.

stage II colorectal cancer - Cancer has spread outside the colon and/or rectum to nearby tissue, but it has not gone into the lymph nodes. Also called Dukes' B colorectal cancer.

stage II cutaneous T-cell lymphoma - Stage II cutaneous T-cell lymphoma may be either of the following: (1) stage IIA, in which the skin has red, dry, scaly patches but no tumors, and lymph nodes are enlarged but do not contain cancer cells; (2) stage IIB, in which tumors are found on the skin, and lymph nodes are enlarged but do not contain cancer cells.

stage II endometrial cancer - Cancer has spread from the uterus to the cervix, but not beyond the cervix. Stage II is divided into stages IIA and IIB, based on how far the disease has spread into the cervix.

stage II esophageal cancer - Stage II is divided into stage IIA and stage IIB, depending on where the cancer has spread. In stage IIA, cancer has spread to the layer of esophageal muscle or to the outer wall of the esophagus. In stage IIB, cancer may have spread to any of the first three layers of the esophagus and to nearby lymph nodes.

stage II gastric cancer - Cancer has spread (1) completely through the mucosal (innermost) layer of the stomach wall and is found in 7 to 15 lymph nodes near the tumor, or (2) to the muscularis (middle) layer of the stomach wall and is found in up to 6 lymph nodes near the tumor, or (3) to the serosal (outermost) layer of the stomach wall but not to lymph nodes or other organs.

stage II hypopharynx cancer - Cancer that involves more than one area of the hypopharynx or is between 2 and 4 centimeters (between 0.75 and 1.5 inches).

stage II kidney cancer - Tumor that is larger than 7 centimeters (2.75 inches).

stage II laryngeal cancer - Cancer that is found in the larynx only and has not spread to lymph nodes in the area or to other parts of the body. The exact definition of stage II depends on whether the cancer started in the supraglottis (cancer is in more than one area of the supraglottis, but the vocal cords can move normally); the glottis (cancer has spread to the supraglottis, the subglottis, or both, and the vocal cords may not be able to move normally); or the subglottis (cancer has spread to the vocal cords, which may not be able to move normally).

stage II lip and oral cavity cancer - Cancer that is larger than 2 centimeters (about 1 inch) but smaller than 4 centimeters (about 2 inches) and has not spread to lymph nodes in the area.

stage II melanoma - Stage II is divided into stages IIA, IIB, and IIC. In stage IIA, the tumor is either 1 to 2 millimeters thick, with ulceration; or 2 to 4 millimeters thick, with no ulceration. In stage IIB, the tumor is either 2 to 4 millimeters thick, with ulceration; or more than 4 millimeters thick, with no ulceration. In stage IIC, the tumor is more than 4 millimeters thick, with ulceration.

stage II mesothelioma - Cancer that has spread beyond the lining of the chest to lymph nodes in the chest.

stage II multiple myeloma - Cancer in which a moderate number of cancer cells have spread throughout the body.

stage II nasopharyngeal cancer - Stage II is divided into stage IIA and stage IIB. In stage IIA, cancer has spread from the nasopharynx (the upper part of the throat behind the nose) to the oropharynx (the middle part of the throat that includes the soft palate, the base of the tongue, and the tonsils), and/or to the nasal cavity. In stage IIB, cancer is found in the nasopharynx and has spread to lymph nodes on one side of the neck, or has spread to the area surrounding the nasopharynx and may have spread to lymph nodes on one side of the neck.

stage II non-small cell lung cancer - Cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes or to the chest wall, the diaphragm, the mediastinal pleura (the thin membrane that covers the outside of the lungs in the area near the heart), or the parietal pericardium (the outer layer of tissue that surrounds the heart). Stage II is divided into stage IIA and stage IIB based on the size of the tumor and whether it has spread to the lymph nodes.

stage II oropharynx cancer - Tumor that is between 2 and 4 centimeters (0.75 and 1.5 inches) and is confined to the oropharynx.

stage II ovarian cancer - Cancer is found in one or both ovaries and has spread into other areas of the pelvis. Stage II is divided into stage IIA, stage IIB, and stage IIC. In stage IIA, cancer has spread to the uterus and/or the fallopian tubes. In stage IIB, cancer has spread to other tissues within the pelvis. In stage IIC, cancer has spread to the uterus and/or fallopian tubes and/or other tissue within the pelvis and cancer cells are found in fluid from the peritoneal cavity (the body cavity that contains most of the organs in the abdomen).

stage II pancreatic cancer - Stage II is divided into stage IIA and stage IIB based on where the cancer has spread. In stage IIA, cancer has spread to nearby tissues and organs but has not spread to nearby lymph nodes. In stage IIB, cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes and may have spread to nearby tissues and organs.

stage II prostate cancer - Cancer is more advanced than in stage I, but has not spread outside the prostate. Also called stage A2, stage B1, or stage B2 prostate cancer.

stage II skin cancer - The tumor is larger than 2 centimeters.

stage II testicular cancer - Stage II is divided into stage IIA, stage IIB, and stage IIC, and is determined after a radical inguinal orchiectomy (surgery to remove the testicle) is done. In stage IIA, the cancer is anywhere within the testicle, spermatic cord, or scrotum; and has spread to up to 5 lymph nodes in the abdomen (none larger than 2 centimeters). In stage IIB, the cancer is anywhere within the testicle, spermatic cord, or scrotum; has spread to up to 5 lymph nodes in the abdomen (at least one of the lymph nodes is larger than 2 centimeters, but none is larger than 5 centimeters) or has spread to more than 5 lymph nodes (the lymph nodes are not larger than 5 centimeters). In stage IIC, the cancer is anywhere within the testicle, spermatic cord, or scrotum; and has spread to a lymph node in the abdomen that is larger than 5 centimeters. All tumor marker levels are normal or slightly above normal.

stage II Wilms' tumor - Cancer has spread to tissue near the kidney, to blood vessels, or to the renal sinus (a part of the kidney through which blood and fluid enter and exit). The cancer can be completely removed by surgery.

stage IIA soft tissue sarcoma - The cancer cells look somewhat different from normal cells. The cancer is larger than 5 centimeters (about 2 inches) and has not spread to lymph nodes or other parts of the body.

stage IIB melanoma - Melanoma in which the tumor is more than 4 millimeters thick. It has spread through the lower part of the inner layer of skin (dermis) and into subcutaneous (under the skin) tissue, but not to nearby lymph nodes.

stage IIB soft tissue sarcoma - The cancer cells look very different from normal cells. The cancer is smaller than 5 centimeters (about 2 inches) and has not spread to lymph nodes or other parts of the body.

stage IIC soft tissue sarcoma - The cancer cells look very different from normal cells. The cancer is larger than 5 centimeters (about 2 inches) and has not spread to lymph nodes or other parts of the body.

stage III adrenocortical cancer - The cancer has spread into tissues around the adrenal gland or has spread to the lymph nodes around the adrenal gland.

stage III adult Hodgkin's lymphoma - Stage III is divided into stage III, stage IIIE, stage IIIS, and stage IIIS+E. In stage III, cancer is found in lymph node groups on both sides of the diaphragm (the thin muscle below the lungs that helps breathing and separates the chest from the abdomen). In stage IIIE, cancer is found in lymph node groups on both sides of the diaphragm and in a nearby area or organ other than the lymph nodes. In stage IIIS, cancer is found in lymph node groups on both sides of the diaphragm and in the spleen. In stage IIIE+S, cancer is found in lymph node groups on both sides of the diaphragm, in a nearby area or organ, and in the spleen. Stage III is also divided into stage III(1) and stage III(2). In stage III(1), cancer is limited to the upper abdomen above the renal vein. In stage III(2), cancer is found in lymph nodes in the pelvis and/or near the heart.

stage III adult non-Hodgkin's lymphoma - Stage III is divided into stage III, stage IIIE, stage IIIS, and stage IIIS+E. In stage III, cancer is found in lymph node areas on both sides of the diaphragm. In stage IIIE, cancer is found in lymph node areas on both sides of the diaphragm and in a nearby organ or tissue other than the lymph nodes. In stage IIIS, cancer is found in lymph node areas on both sides of the diaphragm and in the spleen. In stage IIIS+E, cancer is found in lymph node areas on both sides of the diaphragm, in a nearby organ or tissue, and in the spleen.

stage III anal cancer - Stage III anal cancer is divided into stage IIIA and IIIB. Stage IIIA anal cancer has spread to the lymph nodes around the rectum or to nearby organs such as the vagina or bladder. Stager IIIB cancer has spread to the lymph nodes in the middle of the abdomen or in the groin, or the cancer has spread to both nearby organs and the lymph nodes around the rectum.

stage III bladder cancer - Cancer has spread from the bladder to the fatty layer of tissue surrounding it, and may have spread to the reproductive organs (prostate, uterus, vagina).

stage III breast cancer - Stage III is divided into stages IIIA and IIIB. In stage IIIA breast cancer, the cancer (1) is smaller than 5 centimeters (2 inches) and has spread to the lymph nodes in the armpit, which have grown into each other or into other structures and are attached to them; or (2) is larger than 5 centimeters and has spread to the lymph nodes in the armpit. In stage IIIB breast cancer, the cancer (1) has spread to tissues near the breast (skin, chest wall, including the ribs and the muscles in the chest); or (2) has spread to lymph nodes inside the chest wall along the breast bone.

stage III cancer of the uterus - Cancer cells have spread outside the uterus to the vagina and/or lymph nodes in the pelvis but have not spread outside the pelvis.

stage III cancer of the vulva - Cancer is found in the vulva, perineum, or both. The cancer has also spread to nearby tissues such as the lower part of the urethra (the tube through which urine passes), the vagina, and the anus (the opening of the rectum); to nearby lymph nodes; or both.

stage III cervical cancer - Cancer has spread to the lower third of the vagina and may have spread to the pelvic wall (the tissues that line the part of the body between the hips), and nearby lymph nodes. Stage III is divided into stages IIIA and IIIB, based on now far the cancer has spread. In stage IIIA, cancer has spread to the lower third of the vagina but not to the pelvic wall. In stage IIIB, cancer has spread to the pelvic wall and/or the tumor has become large enough to block the ureters (the tubes that connect the kidneys to the bladder). This blockage can cause the kidneys to enlarge or stop working. Cancer may also have spread to lymph nodes in the pelvis.

stage III childhood non-Hodgkin's lymphoma - Cancer is found (1) in areas or lymph nodes on both sides of the diaphragm (the thin muscle under the lungs that divides the chest and abdominal cavity and helps with breathing); or (2) to have started in the chest; or (3) in more than one place in the abdomen; or (4) in the area around the spine.

stage III chronic lymphocytic leukemia - There are too many lymphocytes in the blood and there are too few red blood cells. The lymph nodes, liver, or spleen may be larger than normal.

stage III colorectal cancer - Tumor cells have spread to organs and lymph nodes near the colon/rectum. Also called Dukes C colorectal cancer.

stage III cutaneous T-cell lymphoma - Nearly all of the skin is red, dry, and scaly; lymph nodes are either normal or enlarged but do not contain cancer cells.

stage III endometrial cancer - Cancer has spread beyond the uterus and cervix, but has not spread beyond the pelvis. Stage III is divided into stages IIIA, IIIB, and IIIC, based on whether cancer has spread to the connective tissue holding the uterus in place, the ovaries, fallopian tubes, vagina, and lymph nodes in the pelvis.

stage III esophageal cancer - Cancer has spread to the outer wall of the esophagus and may have spread to tissues or lymph nodes near the esophagus.

stage III gastric cancer - Stage III is divided into stage IIIA and stage IIIB depending on where the cancer has spread. In stage IIIA, cancer has spread to (1) the muscularis (middle) layer of the stomach wall and is found in 7 to 15 lymph nodes near the tumor, or (2) the serosal (outermost) layer of the stomach wall and is found in 1 to 6 lymph nodes near the tumor, or (3) to organs next to the stomach but not to lymph nodes or other parts of the body. In stage IIIB, cancer has spread to the serosal (outermost) layer of the stomach wall and is found in 7 to 15 lymph nodes near the tumor.

stage III hypopharynx cancer - The tumor is larger than 4 centimeters (about 1.5 inches) in size, has spread to a single lymph node on the same side of the neck, or both.

stage III kidney cancer - Cancer has spread to a single nearby lymph node, and/or the layer of tissue around the kidney, and/or the main blood vessels in the kidney, and/or an adrenal gland. Also called stage III renal cell cancer.

stage III laryngeal cancer - The cancer has not spread outside of the larynx, but the vocal cords cannot move normally, or the cancer has spread to tissues next to the larynx; or the cancer has spread to one lymph node on the same side of the neck as the original tumor, and the lymph node measures no larger than 3 centimeters (just over 1 inch).

stage III lip and oral cavity cancer - The cancer is larger than 4 centimeters (about 2 inches); or the cancer is any size but has spread to only one lymph node on the same side of the neck as the cancer. The lymph node that contains cancer is no larger than 3 centimeters (just over one inch).

stage III melanoma - The tumor may be of any thickness, with or without ulceration, and may have spread to 1 or more nearby lymph nodes. Stage III is divided into stages IIIA, IIIB, and IIIC. In stage IIIA, the cancer may have spread to as many as 3 nearby lymph nodes, but can be seen only with a microscope. In stage IIIB, the cancer has spread to as many as 3 lymph nodes and may not be visible without a microscope, or has satellite tumors (additional tumor growths within 1 inch of the original tumor) and has not spread to lymph nodes. In stage IIIC, the cancer either has spread to as many as 4 or more lymph nodes and can be seen without a microscope, or has lymph nodes that may not be moveable, or has satellite tumors and may have spread to lymph nodes.

stage III mesothelioma - Cancer has spread into the lung, chest wall, diaphragm (the muscle between the chest and the abdomen), the sac surrounding the heart, or the ribs. It may also have spread to other organs or tissues in the chest.

stage III multiple myeloma - A relatively large number of cancer cells have spread throughout the body. There may be one or more of the following: 1) a decrease in the number of red blood cells, causing anemia; 2) the amount of calcium in the blood is very high, because the bones are being damaged; 3) more than three bone tumors (plasmacytomas) are found; or 4) high levels of M protein are found in the blood or urine.

stage III nasopharyngeal cancer - Cancer is found in the nasopharynx (the upper part of the throat behind the nose) and has spread to lymph nodes on both sides of the neck; and/or cancer has spread to the oropharynx (the middle part of the throat that includes the soft palate, the base of the tongue, and the tonsils) and/or the nasal cavity and to lymph nodes on both sides of the neck; and/or cancer has spread to nearby bones or sinuses, with or without spreading to lymph nodes on one or both sides of the neck.

stage III non-small cell lung cancer - Cancer has spread to structures near the lung; to the lymph nodes in the area that separates the two lungs (mediastinum); or to the lymph nodes on the other side of the chest or in the lower neck. Stage III is further divided into stage IIIA (usually can be resected which is sometimes treated with surgery) and stage IIIB (usually cannot be resected which is rarely treated with surgery).

stage III oropharynx cancer - The tumor is larger than 4 centimeters (about 1.5 inches) in size and may involve a single lymph node on the same side of the neck.

stage III ovarian cancer - Cancer is found in one or both ovaries and has spread to other parts of the abdomen. Stage III is divided into stage IIIA, stage IIIB, and stage IIIC. In stage IIIA, the tumor is found in the pelvis only, but cancer cells have spread to the surface of the peritoneum. In stage IIIB, cancer has spread to the peritoneum but is not larger than 2 centimeters in diameter. In stage IIIC, cancer has spread to the peritoneum and is larger than 2 centimeters in diameter and/or has spread to lymph nodes in the abdomen. Cancer that has spread to the surface of the liver is also considered stage III disease.

stage III pancreatic cancer - Cancer has spread to the major blood vessels near the pancreas, and may have spread to nearby lymph nodes.

stage III prostate cancer - Cancer has spread beyond the outer layer of the prostate to nearby tissues and may be found in the seminal vesicles (glands that help produce semen). Also called stage C prostate cancer.

stage III skin cancer - Cancer has spread below the skin to cartilage, muscle, or bone and/or to nearby lymph nodes, but not to other parts of the body.

stage III soft tissue sarcoma - The cancer cells look very different from normal cells. The cancer is larger than 5 centimeters (about 2 inches) but has not spread to lymph nodes or other parts of the body.

stage III testicular cancer - Stage III is divided into stage IIIA, stage IIIB, and stage IIIC, and is determined after a radical inguinal orchiectomy (surgery to remove the testicle) is done. In stage IIIA, the cancer is anywhere within the testicle, spermatic cord, or scrotum; may have spread to one or more lymph nodes in the abdomen; and has spread to distant lymph nodes or to the lungs. In stage IIIB, the cancer is anywhere within the testicle, spermatic cord, or scrotum; and may have spread to one or more nearby or distant lymph nodes or to the lungs. In stage IIIC, the cancer is anywhere within the testicle, spermatic cord, or scrotum; and may have spread to one or more nearby or distant lymph nodes or to the lungs or anywhere else in the body. The level of one or more tumor markers may range from normal to very high.

stage III Wilms' tumor - Cancer has spread to tissues near the kidney and cannot be completely removed by surgery. The cancer may have spread to blood vessels or organs near the kidney or throughout the abdomen. The cancer may also have spread to lymph nodes near the kidney.

stage IIIA adult primary liver cancer - Stage III is divided into stage IIIA and IIIB. In stage IIIA, one of the following is found: (1) one tumor, which is larger than 2 centimeters and has spread to nearby blood vessels; or (2) more than one tumor, none of which is larger than 2 centimeters and all are in just one lobe of the liver and have spread to nearby blood vessels; or (3) more than one tumor, at least one of which is larger than 2 centimeters, and all are in just one lobe of the liver and may have spread to nearby blood vessels.

stage IIIA anal cancer - Cancer has spread to the lymph nodes around the rectum or to nearby organs such as the vagina or bladder.

stage IIIA breast cancer - The tumor is either smaller than 5 centimeters and has spread to the axillary lymph nodes (the lymph nodes under the arm), and the lymph nodes are attached to each other or to other structures, or the tumor is larger than 5 centimeters and has spread to the axillary lymph nodes, and the lymph nodes may be attached to each other or to other structures.

stage IIIB adult primary liver cancer - Stage III is divided into stage IIIA and IIIB. In stage IIIB, the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes and one of the following is found: (1) one tumor, which may be larger than 2 centimeters; or (2) one tumor, which may be larger than 2 centimeters and has spread to nearby blood vessels; or (3) more than one tumor, none of which is larger than 2 centimeters and all are in just one lobe of the liver; or (4) more than one tumor, none of which is larger than 2 centimeters and all are in just one lobe of the liver and have spread to nearby blood vessels; or (5) more than one tumor, at least one of which is larger than 2 centimeters, and all are in just one lobe of the liver and may have spread to nearby blood vessels.

stage IIIB anal cancer - Cancer has spread to the lymph nodes in the middle of the abdomen or in the groin, or the cancer has spread to both nearby organs and the lymph nodes around the rectum.

stage IIIB breast cancer - The tumor may be any size, has spread to the tissues near the breast (the skin or chest wall, including the ribs and muscles in the chest), and may have spread to lymph nodes within the breast or under the arm.

stage IIIC breast cancer - Cancer has spread to lymph nodes beneath the collar bone and near the neck, and may have spread to tissues near the breast (the skin or chest wall, including the ribs and muscles in the chest) and to lymph nodes within the breast or under the arm.

stage IV adrenocortical cancer - The cancer has spread to tissues or organs in the area and to lymph nodes around the adrenal cortex, or the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.

stage IV adult Hodgkin's lymphoma - The cancer is found in at least one organ other than the lymph nodes and may be in the lymph nodes near the organ(s); or the cancer is found in one organ other than the lymph nodes and has spread to lymph nodes far away from the organ.

stage IV adult non-Hodgkin's lymphoma - The cancer either (1) is found in at least one organ or tissue other than the lymph nodes and may be in nearby lymph nodes; or (2) has spread to one organ other than the lymph nodes and has spread to lymph nodes far away from that organ.

stage IV adult primary liver cancer - Stage IV is divided into stage IVA and IVB. In stage IVA, there is more than one tumor, which may have spread to nearby lymph nodes, and the tumors (1) are in both lobes of the liver; or (2) are affecting a major branch of blood vessels in the liver; or (3) have spread to nearby organs (besides the gallbladder); or (4) have broken through the lining of the peritoneal cavity. In stage IVB, the cancer has spread beyond the liver to other places in the body. The tumors may be of any size and may have also spread to nearby blood vessels and lymph nodes.

stage IV anal cancer - Cancer has spread to distant lymph nodes within the abdomen or to organs in other parts of the body.

stage IV bladder cancer - Cancer has spread from the bladder to the wall of the abdomen or pelvis. Cancer may have spread to one or more lymph nodes or to other parts of the body.

stage IV breast cancer - Cancer has spread to other organs of the body, most often the bones, lungs, liver, or brain; or tumor has spread locally to the skin and lymph nodes inside the neck, near the collarbone.

stage IV cancer of the uterus - Cancer cells have spread to the lining of the bladder or rectum or to distant parts of the body.

stage IV cancer of the vulva - Cancer has spread beyond the urethra, vagina, and anus into the lining of the bladder (the sac that holds urine) and the bowel (intestine); or it may have spread to the lymph nodes in the pelvis or to other parts of the body.

stage IV cervical cancer - Cancer has spread to the bladder, rectum, or other parts of the body. Stage IV is divided into stages IVA and IVB. In stage IVA, cancer has spread to the bladder or rectal wall and may have spread to lymph nodes in the pelvis. In stage IVB, cancer has spread beyond the pelvis and pelvic lymph nodes to other places in the body, such as the abdomen, liver, intestinal tract, or lungs.

stage IV childhood non-Hodgkin's lymphoma - Cancer is found in the bone marrow, brain, or spinal cord. Cancer may also be found in other parts of the body.

stage IV chronic lymphocytic leukemia - There are too many lymphocytes in the blood and too few platelets. The lymph nodes, liver, or spleen may be larger than normal and there may be too few red blood cells.

stage IV colorectal cancer - Cancer may have spread to nearby lymph nodes and has spread to other parts of the body, such as the liver or lungs. Also called Dukes' D colorectal cancer.

stage IV cutaneous T-cell lymphoma - Stage IV cutaneous T-cell lymphoma may be either of the following: in stage IVA cancer, the skin is red, dry, and scaly, and the lymph nodes contain cancer cells; in stage IVB cancer, the skin is red, dry and scaly, cancer cells may be found in lymph nodes, and cancer has spread to other organs in the body.

stage IV endometrial cancer - Cancer has spread beyond the pelvis. Stage IV is divided into stages IVA and IVB, based on whether cancer has spread to the lining of the bladder (the sac that holds urine), to the bowel, or to lymph nodes or other parts of the body beyond the pelvis.

stage IV esophageal cancer - Stage IV esophageal cancer is divided into stage IVA and stage IVB, depending on where the cancer has spread. In stage IVA, cancer has spread to nearby or distant lymph nodes. In stage IVB, cancer has spread to distant lymph nodes and/or organs in other parts of the body.

stage IV gastric cancer - Cancer has spread (1) to organs next to the stomach and to at least one lymph node, or (2) to more than 15 lymph nodes, or (3) to other parts of the body.

stage IV hypopharynx cancer - The tumor has spread to nearby tissues and lymph nodes of the neck and may have spread to other parts of the body.

stage IV kidney cancer - Cancer has spread beyond the kidney to 1 or more nearby lymph nodes and/or to other organs. Also called stage IV renal cell cancer.

stage IV laryngeal cancer - The cancer has spread to tissues around the larynx, such as the pharynx or the tissues in the neck. The lymph nodes in the area may contain cancer; the cancer has spread to more than one lymph node on the same side of the neck as the cancer, to lymph nodes on one or both sides of the neck, or to any lymph node that measures more than 6 centimeters (over 2 inches); or the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.

stage IV lip and oral cavity cancer - The cancer has spread to tissues around the lip and oral cavity (the lymph nodes in the area may contain cancer); the cancer is any size and has spread to more than one lymph node on the same side of the neck as the cancer, to lymph nodes on one or both sides of the neck, or to any lymph node that is larger than 6 centimeters (larger than 2 inches); or the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.

stage IV melanoma - The tumor has spread to other organs or to lymph nodes far away from the original tumor.

stage IV mesothelioma - Cancer has spread to distant organs or tissues.

stage IV nasopharyngeal cancer - Stage IV is divided into stage IVA, stage IVB, and stage IVC. In stage IVA, cancer has spread to other areas in the head and may have spread to lymph nodes on one or both sides of the neck, and the involved lymph nodes are smaller than 6 centimeters. In stage IVB, cancer has spread to lymph nodes above the collarbone and/or the involved lymph nodes are larger than 6 centimeters. In stage IVC, cancer has spread beyond nearby lymph nodes to other parts of the body.

stage IV non-small cell lung cancer - Cancer has spread to other parts of the body or to another lobe of the lungs.

stage IV oropharynx cancer - The tumor has spread to the hard palate, tongue, or larynx, to nearby lymph nodes, and may have spread to other parts of the body.

stage IV ovarian cancer - Cancer is found in one or both ovaries and has metastasized (spread) beyond the abdomen to other parts of the body. Cancer that is found in tissues of the liver is considered stage IV disease.

stage IV pancreatic cancer - Cancer may be of any size and has spread to distant organs, such as the liver, lung, and peritoneal cavity (the body cavity that contains most of the organs in the abdomen), and may have also spread to organs and tissues near the pancreas or to lymph nodes.

stage IV prostate cancer - Cancer has metastasized (spread) to lymph nodes near or far from the prostate, or to other parts of the body, such as the bladder, rectum, bones, liver, or lungs. Metastatic prostate cancer often spreads to the bones. Also called stage D1 or stage D2 prostate cancer.

stage IV skin cancer - Cancer has spread to other parts of the body.

stage IV soft tissue sarcoma - The cancer has spread to lymph nodes in the area or other parts of the body (such as the lungs, head, or neck).

stage IV Wilms' tumor - Cancer has spread to organs further away from the kidney (such as the lungs, liver, bone, and brain).

stage IVA pancreatic cancer - Cancer has spread to organs that are near the pancreas (such as the stomach, spleen, or colon) but has not spread to distant organs (such as the liver or lungs).

stage IVB pancreatic cancer - Cancer of the pancreas in which the cancer has spread to distant organs (such as the liver or lungs).

stage V Wilms' tumor - Cancer cells are found in both kidneys.

Staging - the term used to describe the extent of cancer and whether it has spread from the original site to other parts of the body.

standard of care - In medicine, treatment that experts agree is appropriate, accepted, and widely used. Health care providers are obligated to provide patients with the standard of care. Also called standard therapy or best practice.

standard therapy - In medicine, treatment that experts agree is appropriate, accepted, and widely used. Health care providers are obligated to provide patients with standard therapy. Also called standard of care or best practice.

Statute of limitations - This is the time period that legal action must be taken before, after this time period the right to file legal action is void.

stem cell transplantation - A method of replacing immature blood-forming cells that were destroyed by cancer treatment. The stem cells are given to the person after treatment to help the bone marrow recover and continue producing healthy blood cells.

stent - A device placed in a body structure (such as a blood vessel or the gastrointestinal tract) to provide support and keep the structure open.

stereotactic biopsy - A biopsy procedure that uses a computer and a three-dimensional scanning device to find a tumor site and guide the removal of tissue for examination under a microscope.

stereotactic body radiation therapy - A radiation therapy technique that uses special equipment to position the patient and precisely deliver a large radiation dose to a tumor and not to normal tissue.

stereotactic external-beam radiation - A radiation therapy technique for brain tumors that uses a rigid head frame attached to the skull. The frame is used to help aim high-dose radiation beams directly at the tumors and not at normal brain tissue. This procedure does not involve surgery. Also called stereotactic radiation therapy, stereotactic radiosurgery, and stereotaxic radiosurgery.

stereotactic radiation therapy - A radiation therapy technique for brain tumors that uses a rigid head frame that is attached to the skull. The frame is used to help aim high-dose radiation beams directly at the tumors and not at normal brain tissue. This procedure does not involve surgery. Also called stereotactic external-beam radiation, stereotactic radiosurgery, and stereotaxic radiosurgery.

stereotactic radiosurgery - A radiation therapy technique for brain tumors that uses a rigid head frame that is attached to the skull. The frame is used to help aim high-dose radiation beams directly at the tumors and not at normal brain tissue. This procedure does not involve surgery. Also called stereotactic external-beam radiation, stereotactic radiation therapy, and stereotaxic radiosurgery.

stomatitis - Inflammation or irritation of the mucous membranes in the mouth.

subjective improvement - An improvement that is reported by the patient, but cannot be measured by the healthcare provider (for example, "I feel better").

survival rate - The percentage of people in a study or treatment group who are alive for a given period of time after diagnosis. This is commonly expressed as 5-year survival.

syncope - A temporary suspension of consciousness due to generalized cerebral ischemia; a faint or swoon.

systemic - Affecting the entire body.

systemic chemotherapy - Treatment with anticancer drugs that travel through the bloodstream, reaching and affecting cells all over the body.

systemic disease - Disease that affects the whole body.

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