The stage of a cancer is a term used to describe its size and whether it has spread. Knowing the stage of your cancer helps doctors decide on the best treatment for you.
Your specialists can give you more information about the stage of your melanoma.
Melanoma in situ (stage 0)
Melanoma in situ is a term used to describe the earliest stage of melanoma. It is also called melanocytic intraepithelial neoplasia. This means the melanoma cells are only in the top layer of skin (epidermis) and have not started to spread into the lower layer of the skin (the dermis). Because of this, people with melanoma in situ do not usually have any risk of the melanoma spreading to other parts of the body.
Stages 1 and 2
The melanoma is only in the skin and has not spread anywhere else in the body.
The melanoma has spread to the nearest lymph vessels or nodes, but not to anywhere else in the body.
The melanoma has spread to distant areas of skin, or to other organs such as the lung, liver or brain. This is called advanced or metastatic melanoma.