What are the stages of melanoma?
All cancers are assigned stages based on how far the cancer has spread. These stages run from 0 to IV.
- Stage 0: This is also called melanoma in situ. In this case, melanoma has not spread beyond the top layer of the skin
- Stage I to II: The melanoma is more serious but has not spread beyond the skin
- Stage III: The melanoma has spread in the area close to the original melanoma, particularly to the lymph nodes. There are 3 subgroups of stage III melanoma: IIIA, IIIB, and IIIC. Some of the stage III classified melanomas may not be surgically removable
- Stage IV: This is also called metastatic melanoma. In this case, melanoma has spread farther in the body to other organs, distant areas of the skin, or distant lymph nodes
Why is it important to know your melanoma’s stage?
Knowing a melanoma’s stage is important when deciding how to best treat it. Your healthcare team will test your melanoma to determine its stage. This will help you and your healthcare provider make a more informed decision about treatment options for your particular condition.