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What are the stages of melanoma?

The following stages are used for melanoma:

Stage 0 (Melanoma in Situ): In stage 0, abnormal melanocytes are found in the epidermis (Clark level I). These abnormal melanocytes may become cancer and spread into nearby normal tissue. Stage 0 is also called melanoma in situ.

Stage I:In stage I, cancer has formed. Stage I is divided into stages IA and IB:

    • Stage IA: In stage IA, the tumor is not more than 1 millimeter thick, with no ulceration. The tumor is in the epidermis and the papillary dermis (Clark level II or III).
    • Stage IB: In stage IB, the tumor is either:
          o Not more than 1 millimeter thick and it has ulceration or it has spread through the dermis or into the subcutaneous layer (Clark level IV or V) ; or
          o More than 1 but not more than 2 millimeters thick, with no ulceration

Stage II: Stage II is divided into stages IIA, IIB, and IIC.

    • Stage IIA: In stage IIA, the tumor is either:
          o more than 1 but not more than 2 millimeters thick, with ulceration; or
          o More than 2 but not more than 4 millimeters thick, with no ulceration.
    • Stage IIB: In stage IIB, the tumor is either:
          o more than 2 but not more than 4 millimeters thick, with ulceration; or
          o More than 4 millimeters thick, with no ulceration
    • Stage IIC: In stage IIC, the tumor is more than 4 millimeters thick, with ulceration

Stage III: In stage III, the tumor may be any thickness, with or without ulceration, and either:

    • Has spread into a nearby lymph vessel and may have spread into nearby lymph nodes; or
    • Has spread to 1 or more lymph nodes, which may be matted (not moveable

Stage IV: In stage IV, the cancer has spread to other places in the body.

This answer is based on source information from the National Cancer Institute.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.