Melanoma Staging

The stage refers to the thickness, depth of penetration, and the degree to which the melanoma has spread. The staging is used to determine treatment. Early melanomas (Stages 0 and I) are localized; Stage 0 tumors are in situ, meaning that they are non-invasive and have not penetrated below the surface of the skin, while Stage I tumors have invaded the skin but are small, nonulcerated, and are growing at a slow mitotic rate. Stage II tumors, though localized, are larger (generally over 1 mm. thick) and/or may be ulcerated or have a mitotic rate of greater than than 1/mm2; they are considered intermediate melanomas. More advanced melanomas (Stages III and IV) have spread (metastasized) to other parts of the body. There are also subdivisions within stages.

Very early melanomas are stage 1 on the melanoma number staging system. This means they are either thinner than 2mm, or less than 1mm thick but have broken the surface of the skin. Early melanomas (Stages 0 and I) are localized; Stage 0 tumors are in situ, meaning that they are noninvasive and have not penetrated below the surface of the skin, while Stage I tumors have invaded the skin but are small, nonulcerated, and are growing at a slow mitotic rate. Stage II tumors, though localized, are larger (generally over 1 mm. thick) and/or may be ulcerated or have a mitotic rate of greater than 1/mm2; they are considered intermediate melanomas. More advanced melanomas (Stages III and IV) have spread (metastasized) to other parts of the body. There are also subdivisions within stages.

  • Early stage Melanoma
  • Stage I Melanoma
  • Stage II Melanoma
  • Stage III Melanoma
  • Stage IV Melanoma

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