stage III Merkel cell carcinoma

Pronunciation: (stayj ... MER-kul sel KAR-sih-NOH-muh)

Stage III Merkel cell cancer is divided into stages IIIA and IIIB. In stage IIIA, (1) the tumor may be any size and may have spread to nearby connective tissue, muscle, cartilage, or bone. A lymph node cannot be felt during a physical exam but cancer is found in the lymph node by sentinel lymph node biopsy or after the lymph node is removed and checked under a microscope for signs of cancer; or (2) a swollen lymph node is felt during a physical exam and/or seen on an imaging test. When the lymph node is removed and checked under a microscope for signs of cancer, cancer is found in the lymph node. The place where the cancer began is not known. In stage IIIB, the tumor may be any size and (1) may have spread to nearby connective tissue, muscle, cartilage, or bone. A swollen lymph node is felt during a physical exam and/or seen on an imaging test. When the lymph node is removed and checked under a microscope for signs of cancer, cancer is found in the lymph node; or (2) cancer is in a lymph vessel between the primary tumor and lymph nodes that are near or far away. Cancer may have spread to lymph nodes.

Source: NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

2007-01-05 Date last modified: 2018-01-09