The diagnosis of melanoma involves three phases:
When doctors talk about the “stage of melanoma,” they are referring to the degree of severity of the melanoma, which is based on the tumor’s physical characteristics and if/where the melanoma has spread. Once the stage has been determined, our doctors can create the most effective plan for treating the melanoma.
The staging system that is currently used was established through a joint effort of cancer centers around the world. The system is constantly updated to include new findings about melanoma so that doctors can provide an accurate diagnosis and predict how the disease will likely progress, which allows them to create an effective treatment plan. Below we have a provided a summary of the basic characteristics of each stage.
In order to understand how melanoma is classified, it’s helpful to know the meaning of these terms:
In Stage 1, the cancer has spread deeper into the skin, but has not spread to other parts of the body. This stage is broken into two sub-classifications, as follows:
Stage 2 melanomas are more advanced than stage 1 melanomas, but have not spread to the lymph nodes or other parts of the body. There are three sub-classifications in stage 2.
Stage 4 is the most serious stage of melanoma. In this stage, the melanoma has spread to other parts of the body and is no longer isolated to the skin and lymph nodes near the primary tumor. Melanoma most commonly spreads to the lung, brain, liver, or skin and lymph nodes far from the original tumor.
Click here or Call 212.321.0032 to schedule an appointment