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Esophageal Cancer Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Patient Information [NCI] - Stages of Esophageal Cancer

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Stage II squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus

Stage II is divided into Stage IIA and Stage IIB, depending on where the cancer has spread.

  • Stage IIA: Cancer has spread:
    • into the middle (muscle) layer or the outer (connective tissue) layer of the esophageal wall. The tumor cells look a lot like normal cells under a microscope. The tumor is in either the upper or middle esophagus; or
      cdr0000752732.jpg
      Stage IIA squamous cell cancer of the esophagus (1). The tumor is in either the upper or middle esophagus. Cancer has spread into the muscle layer or the connective tissue 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 2-3 cancer cells.
    • into the middle (muscle) layer or the outer (connective tissue) layer of the esophageal wall. The tumor cells do not look at all like normal cells under a microscope. The tumor is in the lower esophagus or it is not known where the tumor is.
      cdr0000757897.jpg
      Stage IIA squamous cell cancer of the esophagus (2). The tumor is in the lower esophagus or it is not known where the tumor is. Cancer has spread into the muscle layer or the connective tissue layer of the esophagus wall. The cancer cells are grade 2-3. Grade 2-3 cancer cells look more abnormal under a microscope and grow and spread more quickly than grade 1 cancer cells.
  • Stage IIB: Cancer:
    • has spread into the middle (muscle) layer or the outer (connective tissue) layer of the esophageal wall. The tumor cells do not look at all like normal cells under a microscope. The tumor is in either the upper or middle esophagus; or
    • is in the inner (mucosal) layer and may have spread into the middle (muscle) layer of the esophageal wall. Cancer is found in 1 or 2 lymph nodes near the tumor.

    cdr0000752733.jpg
    Stage IIB squamous cell cancer of the esophagus. The tumor is in either the upper or middle esophagus. Cancer has spread into the muscle layer or the connective tissue layer of the esophagus wall, and the cancer cells are grade 2-3; OR cancer is in the mucosa or submucosa layer and may have spread into the muscle layer of the esophagus wall, and cancer is found in 1 or 2 lymph nodes near the tumor. Grade 2-3 cancer cells look more abnormal under a microscope and grow and spread more quickly than grade 1 cancer cells.
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