Skin Cancer

Staging Skin Cancer

What Staging Reveals

Once cancer has been found, the doctor will need to determine the extent, or stage, of the cancer. Through staging, the doctor can tell if the cancer has spread and, if so, to what parts of the body. More tests may be performed to help determine the stage. Knowing the stage of the disease helps you and the doctor plan treatment.

Staging will let the doctor know

Goals of Treatment

The choice of treatment is based on many factors, including the size of the tumor, its location in the layers of the skin, and whether it has spread to other parts of the body. For stage 0, I, II or III cancers, the main goals are to treat the cancer and reduce the risk of it returning. For stage IV cancer, the goal is to improve symptoms and prolong survival.

Stages for Non-melanoma Skin Cancer

Non-melanoma skin cancer (basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma) is classified into five stages.

Stages for Melanoma

Melanoma skin cancer is also divided into stages according to the size of the tumor and how far it has spread.

Recurrent melanoma is melanoma that has come back after treatment. It can return to the original skin tumor site or anywhere else in the body, including other organs.