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What is stage 0 melanoma?

Melanoma is a form of skin cancer, and stage 0 melanoma is the very first stage of development of the cancer. Types of cancer are "staged" according to how widespread the cancer is. In the case of melanoma, staging depends on how deep within the skin the tumor is, how large the tumor itself is, and whether the cancer has spread through the skin to other parts of the body. Stage 0 melanoma starts in the cells that make melanin, which is the protective pigment that gives skin color. Because sunlight stimulates these cells to produce melanin, melanoma is often found in areas of skin that are exposed to sunlight. Sometimes melanoma develops on moles on your skin, but it can also occur on normal skin. Fortunately, stage 0 melanoma can be treated if it"s diagnosed early, since it hasn"t progressed very deep within the skin yet.

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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.