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Cancer is a disease in which certain cells begin to divide too quickly and without any order. Cancer can spread to tissues and organs near the place where it started (called the primary site). Cancer cells can also spread through the bloodstream and the lymph system to other parts of the body to form new tumors. Cancer that started in one place, but has spread to another part of the body is called metastatic cancer.
There are a number of rare benign and malignant tumors that can originate in structures in the neck. These include sarcomas and rare conditions that involve nerves or lymph nodes.
When the lymph nodes in the neck are found to contain squamous cell cancer, a doctor will try to find out where the cancer started (the primary tumor). If the doctor cannot find a primary tumor, the cancer is called a metastatic cancer with unseen (occult) primary.
Clinical trials are research studies that evaluate a new medical approach, device, drug, or other treatment. As a Stanford Health Care patient, you may have access to the latest, advanced clinical trials.
Open trials refer to studies currently accepting participants. Closed trials are not currently enrolling, but may open in the future.