If you are diagnosed with melanoma, your doctor will determine the stage (extent) of the disease. Staging is a way of determining how much disease is in the body and where it has spread (metastasized). This information is important because it helps determine the best type of treatment for you and your outlook for recovery (prognosis).
Melanoma staging is based on:
Stages I and II are based mainly on the thickness of the primary melanoma and other microscopic features. Stages III and IV are based on how far the melanoma has spread from the skin; stage III signifies regional spread and stage IV is based on distant spread.
Stage IIA Melanoma is either:
Stage IIB Melanoma is either:
Stage IIC Melanoma is more than 4 millimeters thick with ulceration.
Stage IIIB Melanoma has one of the following:
Stage IIIC Melanoma has one of the following:
Stage IV Melanoma has spread (metastasized) to more distant lymph nodes and/or other distant organs.